Age is Just a Number

Caroline is a 15-year-old girl who likes One Direction, but isn't in love with them like the rest of her friends. When one of her friends takes the four of them to meet One Direction backstage, Caroline meets five boys who will change her life forever.

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13. Betrayal

Caroline's POV

      Crud.

      I wondered how the girls knew where and when I was going to meet Harry, but then I remembered I had told them. Big mistake.

      As I stood staring at Ella, Hannah, and Kayla, who were glaring at me furiously, Harry got a confused look on his face. He quickly spun around and came face to face with them. I saw their jaws drop and their eyes widen. They must have not been able to tell who he was before, but once he'd gotten to the door he'd taken off the hat and sunglasses. Only now did they realize that they were standing in front of Harry Styles, one of their idols.

      Ella was the first one to speak. "You're...Harry Styles...right?"

      Harry frowned slightly. "Ummm, yeah, but why were you glaring at Caroline?"

      The girls' eyes widened. "It's a long story, but...how do you know Caroline?" Hannah asked, looking from Harry to me and back to Harry again.

      "We met at the backstage thing, remember? You were there too," Harry said. "But why were you glaring at her?"

      "How..." Kayla started, and I couldn't take it any longer.

       "Oh for crying out loud!" I yelled. "Harry wrote his number down on the picture he signed for me, we were texting, we went on a date yesterday, I accidentally texted you, you started bugging me, I decided if I told you who I was going on a date with today you would be mad, so I didn't tell you. I made the mistake of putting the time and the place in a text message to you, so that's how you knew to be here. Harry's picking me up for our second date. I wanted to hang out with him instead of you guys because he's only got a week and we've got all summer," I finished, panting.

      Everyone stood still, staring at me and trying to comprehend everything I'd just gushed out.

      "So, you're going on a date...with Harry Styles. And you thought we'd be mad if you told us, so you hid it from us," Ella said. I nodded. "How dare you! Did you think we wouldn't find out?" she screamed.

      "Hey, don't yell at her! She was trying to protect you!" Harry yelled back, stepping in front of me.

      Ella looked like she half wanted to slap Harry and half wanted to kiss him.

      "Trying to protect us?" Hannah asked incredulously. "She was trying to make sure we didn't find out she was going out with you so that she could have the whole band to herself! That's not protection! That's betrayal!"

      That I couldn't handle. I couldn't believe they actually thought that was the reason I hadn't told them. I didn't want all the boys to myself! I was just hanging out with Harry. Louis, Zayn, and Liam already had girlfriends!

      Anger boiled up inside of me and I could feel hot tears welling up in my eyes. "I can't believe you!" I screamed at them, shocking everyone. "I was trying to protect our friendship. I was going to tell you, but I didn't know how! I didn't even know if this relationship between Harry and me was even going anywhere, so why would I tell you yet? Clearly, you aren't my real friends. If you were, you would understand what I was trying to do and why. Instead, you just assumed the worst and didn't trust me in the slightest. I hate you! All three of you! You can insult my clothes, music, hair, and whatever else you want, but don't you dare try to insult my loyalty to the people I love! There's more loyalty and trust in my pinky than there is in your whole body, okay? So just get the heck out of here and out of my life! I don't ever want to see you again!"

      Everyone was frozen. The girls stood in shock, not knowing what had just happend or how to respond. Even Harry stood staring at me wide-eyed.

      Finally, Kayla said, "Well, I guess we're sorry. I-"

      "Oh, no. Not 'I guess we're sorry'. That's not going to cut it. I don't think anything can cut it, actually. Did you hear any of what I said? You. Aren't. My. Friends. Leave. Now. And don't come back," I said, incredibly angry that that was all she could come up with.

      Ella covered her face and ran away, with Hannah running after her. Kayla remained on the porch, glaring at me.

     "You don't even deserve Harry," she said coldly, and then turned to Harry, slowly approaching him, fluttering her eyelashes flirtatiously. "If you ever get tired of her, I'll be just down the road," she said softly.

      Harry got a confused and disgusted look on his face. He pushed her off of him and said, "Caroline is more beautiful than you inside and out, and I would never go crawling to someone like you."

      Kayla narrowed her eyes and looked furious. "You're going to regret that, Styles," she said menacingly.

      Harry leaned in to her, close enough to kiss her and then whispered loud enough for me to hear, "Leave."

      Kayla slapped Harry so hard that he stumbled back with the shape of a hand imprinted in red on his face. Without thinking, I punched her. Hard. She fell back and blood from her nose was gushing everywhere. She jumped up and ran off the porch, screaming "This isn't over! Just you wait!"

      I rushed back inside, thanking God that my parents had left at the same time I was supposed to be leaving. They had gone out the back and hadn't heard anything that had gone on outside. I rushed to my room. I knew Harry probably hated me now, after seeing me explode like that, and then not even helping him after Kayla slapped him.

      I collapsed on my bed, sobbing and exhausted. Today was supposed to be fun. It was supposed to be Harry and me hanging out and having a good time. I curled up in a ball and cried.  Suddenly, I felt a hand rubbing my back.

      I looked up and saw Harry sitting on my bed. He looked worried, but he smiled at me.

      "Why are you still here? I thought you hated me after that," I moaned, putting my head back down.

      "Why would I hate you? Those girls seemed like jerks. You don't deserve friends that treat you like that," Harry said softly.

      I sighed. "Thanks," I said. "And I'm sorry."

      "What for? You didn't do anything wrong. It wasn't your fault those girls showed up. You were doing the right thing," Harry said again.

      "I told them the time and place. I exploded at them. I made Kayla so angry she slapped you, and I just made it worse by punching her. I ruined our day, and I put all of this on you on our second date," I cried. Harry shook his head.

      "You didn't mean to tell them the time and place.You were right to get angry and I'm glad you punched Kayla. She deserved it. I don't mind you putting this on me. I want to help, and you didn't ruin our day. We can still have some fun," he said comfortingly.

      I looked up at him. "Really?" I asked.

      "Really."

      I got up and went to the mirror. My makeup was all over my face and my hair looked like a rat's nest.

      I covered my hands and whirled around to face Harry. "But my hair and makeup are a mess! We can't go anywhere," I said.

      He just laughed at me. "Then go fix your hair and makeup. We aren't exactly in a hurry, you know," he said. I blushed and went into the bathroom. I didn't need Hannah and Ella and Kayla. I could get new friends, right?

     

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