Taking A Final Stand

Chantal LeBlanc, a 14 year-old from Toulouse, France, has been bullied all of her life. She's finally had enough. She's changed schools, MJCs (a program for French students who are interested in extracurricular), and towns, just to get away, but it's no use. She's decided to move to London, England, where her pen pal, Niall Horan, lives. Niall's heard about her amazing musical talents, but now, he gets to see it for himself, as she has to audition, in order to enroll in a performing arts school; the exact same performing arts school that Niall attends. Will she rise above and beyond the obstacles that lay ahead? Or will she fall so hard, she can't see the light , at the end of the tunnel?

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11. Feeling Better

I wake up to the sound of my LG Viper, blasting "She's So Gone" by Lemonade Mouth. I look at my phone. Great, I think. A text message. I check the message.

Jean-Luc: Bon Anniversaire, Chantal! Tu me manques, et nous espérons vous voir bientôt!

I smile, and reply:

Tu me manques aussi! Merci beaucoup! A bientôt!

I look over, to see where Niall is. He's not in bed. I grab my pink Aeropostale flannel, a white spaghetti strap tank top, my Earl Jean skinny jeans, and my black SO boots, and make my way to the bathroom to change. I get downstairs, and see Niall, making food.

"Good morning, Chantal." Niall replies. "How are you feeling?" 

"I'm feeling better." I answer. "Guess what today is." I see a beautiful smile come across his face. He hands me a birthday pancake. 

"Happy birthday, gorgeous." I smile.

"Thanks Niall." I hold him close to me. Just the way he holds me makes me smile.

"I have a surprise for you."

"What is it, Niall?" I ask, jumping up and down. 

"I can't say, yet. It's a surprise!" We both start laughing, as Liam comes into the room.

"Happy birthday, Chantal!" Liam exclaims. "How are you feeling?"

"I'm feeling much better. Thanks Liam." He hands me a present. A small, red box, with a silver bow. I look at it, finding a note on it. It reads

Chantal,

We really hope you like this present. Niall told us that you've decided to stay! If you want, you could live with us! We hope your 15th birthday is the best one yet!

Sincerely,

Niall, Zayn, Liam, Louis, and Harry

I smiles, and open the present. I pull out a necklace with a Celtic cross on it. Tears of joy fill my sapphire eyes. Inside the Celtic cross lays a beautiful ocean sapphire gemstone.

"You guys..." I reply. "This is so beautiful. Thank you so much." Niall comes over to me, takes the necklace, and puts it around my neck. I smile.

"So," Niall asks in an innocent voice. "Are you going to live with us?" I nod, smiling as bright as the sun, and hug him.

"So, where are we going?" I ask.

"You'll see." All six of us get our coats on, and head to the Jeep. I squeeze next to Niall, and Liam. Louis sits on the right side, with Zayn in the passenger seat, and Harry in the driver seat. It's a long drive, so I put in my headphones, and listen to recordings I made of songs I wrote. I feel one of the headphones come out of my ear. I turn, only to find it in Niall's ear.

"Niall, what are you doing?" I ask, insecurity filling my voice.

"I want to hear how beautiful your voice is." I blush.

"You really think my voice is beautiful?" I ask. A tear flows down my face.

"Of course, I do." He wipes my eyes gently, as a song I wrote called "Different Worlds" comes on. I sing:

It seems like only yesterday, we were just apart.

Then, I slowly came into your heart.

It seems like only  yesterday, our two worlds collided.

Didn't think I'd understand how I felt before. 

It felt like only yesterday, I took a glance at you. 

Then, I felt like I was just brand new.

It felt like only yesterday, you snuck into my heart.

Didn't know that soon I'd see that this was just the start.

Our different worlds collided, when I just started out.

My heart was like a boulder, and, without a doubt, I knew something was bound to happen between us.

Don't know how I saw this, but all this was because our different worlds...

Our different worlds collided.

Now, I'm understanding why we were apart.

I was scared to look inside your heart.

Now, I'm, finally, seeing why we became friends.

Didn't think I'd ever see a day that would soon end.

Our different worlds collided, when I just started out.

My heart was like a boulder, and, without a doubt, I knew something was bound to happen between us.

Don't know how I saw this, but all this was because our different worlds...

Our different worlds collided.

It seems like only yesterday, we were just apart.

Then, I slowly came into your heart.

Our different worlds collided, when I just started out.

My heart was like a boulder, and, without a doubt, I knew something was bound to happen between us.

Don't know how I saw this, but all this was because our different worlds...

Our different worlds collided, when I just started out.

My heart was like a boulder, and, without a doubt, I knew something was bound to happen between us.

Don't know how I saw this, but all this was because our different worlds...

Our different worlds collided. 

Our different worlds collided.

It felt like only yesterday, I took a glance at you.

Then, I felt like I was just brand new.

It felt like only yesterday, you snuck into my heart.

Didn't know that soon I'd see that this was just the start,

Because our different worlds...

Collided.

 As the song ends, I turn to Niall. He's crying. I dry his crystalline blue eyes.

"Niall, why are you crying?" I ask.

"Your voice is just that beautiful, Chantal." He answers. "Did you write that for me?" I nod.

"Of course, Niall. In fact, that's the first song I wrote for you." He smiles at me. It's dark when we, finally, make it to our destination; my old MJC. 

"We're here!" Liam replies, as Harry parks the car. As we pile out, I see a sign that says: 

Lycée de JFK- MJC/ le théâtre, Paris

Tears fill my eyes faster than a flash flood. I tense up, as the tears fall.

"Chantal, what's wrong?" Harry asks. "Aren't you happy?"

"I can't go in there." I answer. I sprint all the way down the Champs Elysee. I can see Niall, Liam, and Louis running after me. 

"Chantal! Stop!" Niall replies. I fall to the ground, sobbing. They run to where I am.

"Chantal," Louis asks, sweetly. "what's wrong?"

"You guys brought me to a place I've been scared to go back to." I reply, my voice shaking.

"What do you mean?" Niall asks.

"I've been bullied here, and at my school, for 7 years. It got worse and worse. I told you about this in one of my most recent letters. That's why I said I refused to go back to Lycée de JFK a Paris, and Lycée de JFK-MJC/ le théâtre, Paris. That's the reason I moved to England. To get away from it all." I cry harder.

"I'm sorry, Chantal." Liam replies. "I didn't know. I told Harry to bring us here, since I knew it was your old MJC. I didn't know you got bullied there. I'm really sorry." I can tell he means every word he says.

"It's okay, Liam. You didn't know. I understand, completely." I dry my eyes, and see Zayn and Harry coming over. I stand up.

"Chantal, why did you run off?" Zayn asks.

"I don't want to talk about it, right now. I just want to go home." I reply. 

"Okay," Harry replies," but we're going to the Eiffel Tower before we leave."

"That's fine." I answer. We walk for about a mile, until we see La Tour Eiffel. I smile, and bring Niall to the bottom of the glorious tower. The rest of the boys go to the top. 

"Niall, I love you." I say to him, in my sweet voice.

"I love you, too." Niall replies. "Happy Birthday." He kisses my lips, softly, but passionately. His hands fit perfectly around my waist, and I wrap my arms around his neck. I pull away, smiling, and hold him close to me. I'm not letting my one true love slip away. Never.

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