The Boy Down The Street

Elani Chade (pronounced Elahni) is an extremely shy, timid girl, who is struggling through bulling at school. Her only true friend, Louis Tomlinson, is loud, popular and a jokester. They are complete opposites, but are inseparable. What happens when they start falling in love? Will it work out well, or will it break their friendship?

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5. Packing

Elani

What did Louis just say? Did he say he loved her? Elani sat in shock, thanking Liam silently that she had tape over her mouth. She squelched her usual feeling of running away and sat frozen on the spot, not knowing what to do. She was fully aware that she was blushing. Why did she do that so often? Why wasn't she given the gift of the gab, and not the shy, nervous trait? Why couldn't she be confident like everyone else?

Louis sat infront of her, looking down, not meeting her eyes and unnaturally silent. The curly haired guy Harry, sat next to him looking uncomfortable. The other boy Liam watched an ant climb over a leaf.

'Louis?' Elani said, before remembering that her mouth was covered and that no one could understand her. All three boys looked up. Louis looked miserable, and avoided looking into her eyes. She ducked her head. She didn't know how she felt about it all. She realised she liked him back, though she knew she was too shy to say so. Overall she felt much better about herself, but strangely guilty. The expression Louis wore on his face was one she had never seen before.

Suddenly she stood up and gave him a hug. What made her do it she didn't know. She just felt that with all Louis had been doing to support her, she had to return it, and it only seemed natural to hug him. Maybe, she thought, she had overcome her shyness?

Louis smiled sadly at her and hugged her back. 'I'm sorry,' he whispered. Elani shook her head, and struggled to talk over the tape, but Louis placed a finger over her lips. 'Don't say anything. This isn't fair to you. I shouldn't of said I loved you. Not yet.' She swore he was going to do something, but he stopped abruptly and sat back, staring at the sky.

Elani looked pleadingly over at Liam, motioning to take the tape off. Right then Zayn and Niall came back, Zayn gasping for breath and Niall standing over him, demanding for food. They halted and looked at the three.

'Everything ok?' asked Zayn.

'Yeah,' Louis forced a smile. 

'Still playing truth or dare?' Niall asked, 'cause that was the cruellest dare ever.'

'It was just ONE chip Niall!'

'But I was looking forward to eating it. You owe me.'

'But I don't have money!'

'That's fine,' Niall grinned mischievously, making Zayn wince, 'you can do my poetry homework.'

'No no,' Zayn said quickly. 'I'll buy you five packets of chips! Anything but more homework-'

'Ha,too bad.'

Zayn sighed and sat down as the other boys widened the circle. 'So, what did I miss out on?'

Elani looked pleadingly at Harry as if to say, no don't tell him. He got the message and shrugged. 'Nothing.'

Zayn nodded like he had been expecting it. 'See! Nothing's interesting without me. My hair is what makes me fabulous.'

'Well MY hair-' argued Liam, just as the bell rang. 'Elani, you can take the tape off now.'

Elani ripped it off, wincing as it stung, and chucked it into her bag. She sighed in relief, and then turned to the boys. 'Hey, I better go.'

Niall smiled at her, 'Do you want to hang out with us at lunch again tomorrow?'

Elani looked down and nodded. 'Yeah, I'd love to.'

Liam smiled. 'Well, see you soon.'

Elani turned around and started walking to her next class. It felt so good to be wanted, and not excluded. She glanced back happily. All the boys waved enthusiastically, jumping up and down, except for Louis, who still sat staring at the ground. Elani felt a little bit heart broken. Had his comment ruined their friendship? After all, it was just a game. Maybe that was part of it, telling lies and seeing if people believed you? Cause who would like her? She was ugly, as Bianca had said. Maybe he was trying to make her feel better about herself. She would have to see him that afternoon.

 

Louis

Head in his hands, Louis sat at the table. What would Elani do? Would they ever be friends again?

'Louis?' a voice said. He looked up to see his sister, Fizzy. 'Is everything ok?'

Suddenly there was three knocks on the door. Louis jumped up quickly. Elani.

'Yeah, everything's fine!' he shouted at Fizzy. 'Go upstairs, I'm seeing a friend.' He opened the door.

'Hey,' Elani stood standing at the doorstep, her beautiful, soft hair blowing across her face. She held out his jacket. 'This was from last night.'

He took it.

'Um, I'd like to ask you about something.' Elani started. Louis braced himself. What would she say?

She twirled her hair and stared at the ground. 'Well, my parents are going for a holiday, tomorrow actually, and uh, they're going for four weeks so-'

On the inside, Louis sighed in relief. In fact, he couldn't have been happier. 'Did you want to stay with me?'

She gave a cute little cough. 'Yeah.'

Louis grinned so much his mouth started to hurt. 'Did you need help packing? You can sleep in the spare room and I'll walk with you to school and I'll take you to the shops on the weekend and we can have ice cream and go to the bakery! Then we can have a feast on carrots and I'll dress you in stripes so we match and we can have a party!' He said in one breath.

Elani laughed, making his heart skip beat. 'Sounds fun. And yeah, if you don't mind helping with the packing?'

Louis felt like he could jump to the moon. 'Yep, when are we going to start?'

She grinned. 'Now.'

 

They walked up the street and entered her house. It was completely empty, except for a few dishes in the sink. 

'Where is everything?' Louis asked, frowning.

'Oh, Matt's gone to his friend's house. And Ashley's packed, but she hasn't found anyone to stay with yet.'

'Did she want to stay with us?' Louis asked politely. Secretly he wanted it to be just them two on their own. 'She can play with Lottie.'

Elani thought about it. 'No,' she said to his pleasure, 'She's really popular. I'm sure she'll find someone soon. You already have me to look after.'

'I always look after you.'

She smiled, his heart beating faster. 'I know. Thanks. It's really nice of you.' She looked up, and Louis stared into those adorable blue-green eyes. There as something about them today. They weren't as closed in and unreadable. 

'So, lead me the way to you're room.' He switched his gaze to his surrounding, not recognising one bit. Even though they were such close friends he had only been to Elani's house a couple of times, and that was when they were young.

Elani smiled and walked up the stairs. 'It's in between Matt and Ashley's room, which is terrible because Ashley get's up extra early to do her hair, and she's so noisy she wakes me up too. Matt snores. Anyway, this is it!' She flung open the door, leaving a very neat, plain room.

'How can you be so tidy!' Louis marvelled, picturing his own bedroom. 

'Haha, I'm not,' Elani admitted, and pulled open her drawer. Her clothes were all rumpled and anything but folded. Louis couldn't help but smile.

'So, what did you want to pack first?'

Elani shrugged, her beautiful hair rippling. 'As long as I get everything done.' She tried to get her suitcase from the top of the cupboard, before realising she was too short.

Louis laughed. 'Here, let me help.' He reached up on tiptoes and brought it down for her.

'Thanks,' Elani said, and set it down on the ground and wiped the dust from the lid. She opened the suitcase slowly. Inside there were some old photos. Elani gasped and took one out. It was of her and Louis when they were younger, playing in the park.

'Wow,' Louis said, kneeling beside her.

'I didn't know I had these.' Elani said, rummaging through them. Pictures of Ashley and Charlotte poured out, pictures of the family on holiday and the kid's school photos.

Louis sat crossed legged and sat her on his lap. She stiffened a bit, and then relaxed, leaning back onto him. He hid his smile.

Elani picked another another photo up and laughed. 'This was you,' she said pointing at a boy in red pants. 'You liked red, even then.'

Louis swept her hair to one side so he could see better. It smelled nice, like strawberries. He pointed to the girl next to him. 'And that's you,' he said, 'you were pretty, even then.'

Elani blushed. 'I'm not- that pretty...' she stammered.

'You're right,' Louis said, 'you're beautiful.'

Elani looked up at him. 'Really?'

Louis gave her a a quizzical expression. 'Like, duh!' he said in an American accent, making her laugh.

'That was a total fail.'

'Was not.'

'Was too!'

'Was not!'

'You sounded nothing like an American!'

'Oh!' Louis pretended to be offended. 'Nobody says that to me, miss. I'm the master from Doncaster.'

Elani giggled, and he wrapped his arms around her, selecting another photo.

'Haha, look at Lottie!' He laughed at his little sister's expression. 'She looks like she's about to sneeze!'

'No, look at Ashley! That was her first attempt on doing her hair by herself. Haha, she looks ridiculous.'

They made fun of their siblings for a little while until Louis realised it was already five o'clock. Reluctantly he let go of her and told her to stand up. 'We have to pack everything today, remember.'

'Yeah, I know,' she looked down at the suitcase. 'Where we do we put all the photos?'

'Well, if you ask me, I'd chuck them under your bed, but we should probably not do that.'

Elani agreed. 'We can put them back on the shelf.'

Louis scooped his arms into the suitcase and carried a whole pile of photos. He dropped them on the floor and started arranging them into piles. As he was straightening the last one, Elani cut across to the other side of the room and slipped, falling onto the photos and messing up the piles again.

'Elani Chade!' Louis cried over her uncontrollable laughter. 'What was that for?'

She couldn't speak, she was laughing so much. Louis stared at her. She was so adorable...

'Sorry,' she said gasping, 'I'll help you fix that.'

Before he could do anything she had picked up the photos and threw them at him. He ducked, but the photos flew everywhere, harmlessly bouncing of him. 'Hey!' he protested, and kicked the photos back at her. A picture of her when she was five in her  uniform got stuck in her hair.

She giggled, unaware it was there, and grabbed a bunch of photos and put it down his shirt.

Louis bounced up and down, made sure all the photos had slipped out, and grinned at her. 'BRING IT ON!' he shouted, and tackled her.

Elani gave a short scream and fell to the floor, rolling with laughter. Louis loved seeing her like that. He grinned mischievously and started to tickle her.

'Stop!' she cried, laughing so hard that she held her stomach, 'STOP!'

Being Louis, he didn't stop.

Before long they were both lying on the floor, to tired to even laugh. And they hadn't even started packing yet. Louis grinned and stared at the ceiling. Four whole weeks. She was staying for four weeks. Those weeks were to be the best time of her life.

 

 

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