The House Next Door [One Direction]

COMPLETED: One Direction: Harry Styles/OC - Victoria lives next door to her best-friend Jeremy. Jeremy lives with his friends Dan and Gemma. Gemma's brother comes to visit with his friends. Having nine people crowded into two houses was never going to be easy, but it was always preferable to the alternative.

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18. Don't Wanna See Your Face

 

This chapter has been greatly inspired by a song called ‘Don’t Wanna See Your Face’, which is originally by the John Butler Trio, but I like the Jack Man Friday version better, and I have been listening to it on repeat for days. Go and have a listen on YouTube, Jack Man Friday is an awesome musician!

Anyways, enough of my ranting, just get on with the reading :) There are only a few more chapters left :O I am thinking of possibly doing a sequel, but so far there has not been enough interest, so I don’t think I will, unless you guys can change my mind...

‘He’s not here’.

These were the only words that were running through Victoria’s mind as she looked around at the familiar wooden tables. The bright light of the afternoon sun shone through the opened windows highlighting the rings of sticky coffee that glued napkins to the table. A sparse scattering of spilled sugar crystals glittered like miniscule jewels as they gently refracted the light over the work surfaces.

Only lone business men reading newspapers, and giddy school-girls could be seen from Victoria’s position; but there was no Jem.

Deciding that she could not go roaming and traipsing all over London in an attempt to find Jem, Victoria settled for sending him a simple text message. Wherever he had gone, he was old enough to look after himself.

1D1D1D1D1D1D1D1D1D1D1D

Meet me at our coffee shop @ 10.30am tomorrow, xx – V

That was all that the message had said, but what did it mean?

On the surface, it was an invitation for one of their regular coffee dates, exactly as they had done since they had first met. However, Jeremy knew that there had to be more to it. Was she ready to forgive him?

Thinking about all the possibilities made Jem even more confused than what he had been before he had received the message, and that was saying something.

Now, he had to face the dilemma of what to reply with. What were her expectations?

He read and re-read the message again, heart clenching when he saw the two kisses at the end, next to her initial.

She always did insist that her name was Victoria and not Toto, as she was labelled in the contact list of his phone.

He was more focused on the two tiny crosses next to this. There was a time when he fantasised that those kisses were real, and that they were a sign of some subconscious feelings of love for him. But now he knew better. She did not love him, at least, not in that way. How could she, after what he had done to her?

Letter by letter, he constructed a reply, trying as hard as he could to make it sound pleasant and unaffected – the exact opposite of what he was really feeling.

Am already working tomorrow. Will be waiting with hot chocolate. J.

He stared at the message for a few minutes, wondering if he should put his own crosses at the end of the message.

He shook his head, as if that act alone would convince his brain of his answer. Finally pressing the send button, he lay back on the couch and made an effort to unclench his muscles and relax.

However, the more he tried, the harder it was to do this. He felt increasingly agitated with every minute that passed. It was like he would never be able to sit and be still again.

Looking at the phone that was still in his hand, he saw that it was nearing midnight. Wondering if he would be able to even shut his eyes tonight, Jem climbed the stairs as silently as possible so as not to wake Dan and Gemma, and crept into his bedroom.

Not even bothering to undress himself, he lay down on top of the covers and simply closed his eyes, torn between wanting tomorrow to arrive and quickly as possible, and wanting tomorrow to never have needed to happen in the first place.

1D1D1D1D1D1D1D1D1D1D1D1D1D1D

“Hey, Jem.”

Without waiting for an invitation to sit down, Victoria pulled the chair out from underneath the table and sat to the side of Jeremy. Unconcerned with his deliberate attempts to ignore her, Victoria rambled on hoping to get through his tough external veneer.

“Come on, Jem. You know you can’t stay silent with me forever,” she coaxed gently as she took his hand into hers.

“Gemma told me what’s been going on,” she finally added in a quiet voice, looking down at her lap as she said it. “She told me what I had been too blind to see for myself.”

It was only at this quietly spoken comment that Jem looked up at Victoria.

“I’m sorry,” Jem finally said with a voice raspy from not being used since yesterday afternoon.

“What are you sorry for?” asked Victoria, looking at Jem intently as she patiently waited for his answer.

It took Jem a few moments to gather his thoughts, and Victoria watched as his mouth opened and closed several times as he tried to express the multitude of emotions churning around in his brain.


“I’m sorry for being such an idiot...”

“But you’re not an idiot-” said Victoria quickly, but Jem cut her off just as quick.

“Yes,” he said in a much more firm tone, “I was an idiot. I think I always knew that I couldn’t ever have you, even before you had Harry in your life, but I still tried to be the better one. I tried to make you see that being with me would be better for you. I could give you more than what he ever could. We might not have been rich, but I would be able to be there for you in the middle of the night when you needed a cuddle...”

Memories began to flash through Victoria’s mind of all the times when Jem had indeed been there for her. The teddy bear on her bed became clear in her mind, as did the night when she had turned up on his doorstep in the freezing cold because she felt too alone at home when Harry could not be there.

“...I would be able to provide for you...”

Victoria’s hand subconsciously flicked upwards to play with the earrings in her ears. They had been her Christmas gift from Jem, and the blue stones perfectly matched the sapphire of the pendant necklace that Harry had bought for her from the Antique shop they had visited.

Although he did not want to seem like he was begging her to change her mind, Jem could not rid his voice of its pleading tone as he gave one last jab at convincing Victoria.

“I could take care of you,” he finally finished, not trusting his voice to speak any more.

Knowing that Victoria would be breaking his heart as she spoke, she chose her words carefully. She did not want to lose a friend over this.

“Jem, I think you know what my answer is going to be... I am with Harry, and I am going to stay with Harry, but I want you to stay with me too. But you’re going to have to stay as a friend. I don’t want to lose you, but the decision is up to you. If you think you can live with the choice, I am more than happy to put this behind us and move on, but if you can’t.... I don’t know Jem. I just don’t know.”

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