Friends, Lovers, or Nothing? (Sequel to Summer Love)

Things have gotten better slowly. Excruciatingly slow, to be exact. I saw Niall every now and again, but I refused to acknowledge his existence. I despised the guilty feeling I got when I looked at him nowadays. I knew he wanted to talk to me, but I knew I'd do something stupid if I did. Sometimes, he wasn't even home. Occasionally on those days, I would go speak with Maura, keeping tabs on how and what Niall was doing. Telling me concert dates and when he had to go in for recording sessions. These conversations stayed secret between us. That is, until Niall walked in on us one day. He stared at us, taken aback by my presence. I shifted uneasily in my spot on the couch next to Maura. I looked down at my reflection in my tea.

"It's good to see you." Niall said, shutting the door behind him. I kept my face low, avoiding his persuading, blue eyes.

"So,what are you doing here?"

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1. Oopsies

"I was just leaving." I grabbed my purse and stood up too fast, making myself lightheaded. I stumbled a bit, then sat back on the couch to catch my breath. Feeling nauseated, I left my purse on the couch as I walked out the door.

"Hold up!" he yelled after me. Catching up with me, he grabbed my shoulder and spun me around to face him. "You, uh...left your purse." he handed it to me.

"Uh, thanks." I blushed.

"You look nice. Well, I mean, you always looked nice but, your hair has gotten longer." I ran my fingers through my hair, embarrassed that he'd noticed. We haven't talked for over about six months.

"I guess it has..." I spoke quietly.

"Well, see you later."

"I doubt it." I muttered under my breath. He looked up at me, aware of what I had said. I blushed again, and backed away slowly. Walking home, I didn't turn back, afraid he might be watching after me. When I got to my house, I immediately went into the living room and threw myself on the couch. I was half-asleep when my father brought Jillian home from school.

"Pleaseeee daddy! It might be the only chance I get to meet them!" Jillian pleaded.

"Jillian, you see Niall all the time."

I rolled my eyes. I was going to get roped into this in three, two...

"Arabella will take you." he compromised.

Told you so.

"Hooray! One Direction meet n' greet Friday!" she bounced over to me. "And you are taking me."

"What? I most certainly am not! I did not sign up to be your personal chauffeur!"

"Arabella, please. I have an important business meeting." dad looked at me, not wanting to argue.

"Have you forgotten that Niall will be there? I can hardly face him walking down the street." I whispered the last part.

"The wonderful thing about meet and greets are that you don't have to stand in line with her." he pat my back. "Everything will be fine. Knowing you, you'll probably poke fun at all of the crazy fangirls."

"I already make fun of Jillian." I laughed and she glared at me.

"Okay, that's enough. Fortunately for you, you have two days to come up with new insults for people who aren't your sister." he said firmly.

"Two days? That's hardly enough time!" We both laughed.

"Then I guess you'd better get started.

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Friday came faster than I thought. We were at the entrance of the biggest mall in town. As soon as I saw the crowd of screaming girls, I sat down on a bench.

"What are you doing?" Jillian asked.

"I'm waiting right here while you go and do your ridiculous band greet thing."

"But--"

"Dad said I didn't have to wait with you, so I'm not. You have your own little phone, call me when you're done." I pulled out my iPhone and opened the game 'Happy Jump.' She gave me a 'whatever' look as she walked to stand in line. I'm glad my high score on this game was 42,968 because I could tell I would be sitting here for awhile.

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Niall's POV

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My cheeks hurt from smiling so much. I was happy to make a connection with the fans, but this was exhausting. I closed my eyes for a brief moment.

"Can you sign this please?" a little girl asked. I opened my eyes and recognized her strawberry blonde braids.

"Jillian?"

"Hey Niall! It's good to see you again." she smiled. The boys gave me confused looks, but I ignored them.

"Ditto. Did your sister bring you?" I asked her anxiously.

"Huh? Yeah, Arabella's here." she replied, bored. I got a little giddy in my seat. It's been about six months since we've had a real conversation (not including that mishap the other day). I've seen her around the neighborhood, but she's refused to respond to me. It felt awful because I still loved her, so much.

"Can I talk to her?"

Jillian smiled deviously. "Well, she doesn't seem to eager to talk to you at the moment. Maybe I could convince her to come over here, but it's gonna cost ya."

"What do you want?"

"Backstage passes." she put her hand on the table, leaning over to look my in the eye.

"Done."

"Pleasure doing business with you." she backed off. For a ten-year-old girl, she was menacing. Jillian pulled out a pink, flip phone and hit redial. Once the ringing stopped, her composure changed, and she seemed sad.

"Arabella," she whimpered desperately,"I'm lost. Where are you? There are so many people....I can't find you. Come get me, please."

There was a short pause.

"I'm upfront, hurry! These girls are scary." With that, she hung up and reverted back to her regular self. No more than five minutes later, a hand with pink, manicured nails grabbed Jillian's shoulder.

"Thank goodness you're here!" Jillian hugged Arabella's waist.

"Mhmm." she stroked Jillian's hair once,"you ready to go?"

"Actually, I still need Niall to sign this CD." Jillian pushed the disc towards me.

"You've got to be joking." Arabella gave an exasperated sigh, letting go of Jillian, and glowering at me. I almost retreated in my seat, but I was too happy to see her. Just as I was about to say something, she stopped me.

"Don't bother talking to me. You've made it fairly clear that you don't care about how I feel."

"What are you talking about?" I lay Jillian's now signed CD on the table. Arabella's face was hard, but I could see the sadness in her eyes. Her soft, long hair falling over her shoulders. She didn't answer me.

"So how have you been?" I tried again.

"I've missed you..." She picked up Jillian's album off the table and wheeled the little girl away. I watched her as she quickly made her way out of the crowd.

"Mate, who was that?" Liam leaned over to my seat.

"My inspiration."

"You mean--"

"Yeah," I lowered my eyes.

"Hmm." he nodded and bit his bottom lip, thinking. "I didn't know that song was actually about some one."

"It wasn't my intention..."

"OHMIGOSH! NIALLER! COULD YOU PLEASE SIGN THIS SHIRT FOR ME?" a random fan yelled.

"We'll talk later." Liam smiled at me.

I redirected my attention to the gushing fan, thankful for a distraction. It was like that for the rest of the day.

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