Payton is a small town girl from Louisiana. She's done everything she supposed to. Make straight A's, vice president of the student council, in beta club, on the cheer squad, basketball, softball, and volleyball team. But what will happen when Payton runs into Niall Horan and meets the rest of his bandmates. Worst of all, who will hold Payton's heart? Payton's best friend Lauren has a thing for Harry, but what will happen when Lauren's ex boyfriend, Kaleb, gets into the mix? It's all just too... Irresistible.


10. Clapton

Payton's POV

            "Crap," I mumbled to myself walking into homeroom. I'd left my ID at home. If I forgot it one more time it meant detention and I surely did not feel like getting yelled at by my coach and spending three hours here on Saturday. I told my homeroom teacher I had to go to my "locker". I yanked out my phone and texted Lou.

            "911! or how you would say 999! I left my ID at home and this will be my third time and I don't want detention. Text me back ASAP!"

            "Sorry! Me and Harry are eating breakfast and just ordered food. How bout I get Niall to do it?"

            I was desperate, "Sure. That's fine! Just tell him to hurry!"

            My homeroom teacher was okay sometimes. She let us goof off a bit in class. Two of my other best friends are in first hour with me, Sydney and Mary Jordan. We always made fools of ourselves. The teacher said she wanted to watch us "perform" because we always say we'll be the next girl band. We each looked at each other and immediately stood up and ran to the front of the classroom. My microphone was my calculator and Sydney and Mary's were pencils. We started singing High School Musical's "You Are the Music in Me". By the time we got to the second verse they didn't know the rest of the words so I broke out into a solo and slid on my knees across the classroom. I really could be a performer one day I thought to myself. We were all laughing by the end though because of my cheesy dance moves when there was a knock on the door.


Niall's POV

            I saw the entire thing. From the moment Payton stood up with her calculator to when she bowed at the end and blew kisses to the rest of the class. Why did she have to be so hilarious? I figured I could just bring her ID and be done with it, but no she had to do those stupid cute things she always does. Once she finished I knocked on the door even though I was already about halfway through the entrance. Payton froze when she saw me. Her teacher looked at her and told her she could be excused for a moment. We walked into the hallway together.

            "Here's your ID," I said walking away.

            "You don't have to go so fast."

            "Actually I think I do."

            "What the hell is your problem?"

            "You're honestly going to ask me that Payton. You know exactly what my problem is."

            "I'm doing what's best for everyone."

            "You mean the easy way out?"

            "Niall, just wait."

            "No Payton you wait. If you don't want us to be together because of Louis or some other excuse then be my guest, but I refuse to sit around and watch you act like nothing’s wrong around Louis. You and I damn well know that we can't be around each other without something going wrong. I can’t talk, be around, or even look at you without wanting you. So if you want the easy way, here's the easy way. I'm done. Goodbye Payton."

            I walked off and once I reached the stairs I looked back at Payton. She just stood there then turned to the wall face first and put her head on it. I knew exactly how she felt because I was feeling exactly the same. She took a deep breath, put a smile on her face, and walked back into the classroom. It killed me to say what I just did, but it had to be done. For the sake of Louis's happiness with Payton, and the right guy for Payton to be with. Louis.


Payton's POV

            I have no idea what I'm doing. I just shouldn't be with either of the boys. I leaned my head outside the classroom wall. I took a deep breath, grabbed the door knob, put a smile on my face, and walked in. This wouldn't be the first time I've had to fake a smile. All I needed to focus on right now was math class, and my gig tonight. I finally got into one of our local restaurants to play my acoustic guitar and sing. My time is only about 30 minutes. It's not a lot, but it's all I've really got. Everyone knows about it already except for Niall. I really hope he comes to his senses that I'm only trying to do the right thing, but even then I still end up hurting someone. These thoughts raced through my mind the entire day of school and basketball practice. Lauren finally brought me home.

            "See you tonight Pay!" she said as she was backing out.

            "Thanks La! See you tonight,"

            When I got inside I hurried and did all my homework. I knew if I didn't now it would never get done and honestly I need to keep up my straight A's if I actually want to go to college. Money wasn't in my family's best interest. As it got closer and closer to 8 o'clock I started to get ready. I showered and straightened my long blonde hair as usual. I was so proud that it was growing to be just above my butt. I put some mascara and lip gloss on. I picked my outfit out. My black skinny jeans, turquoise quarter sleeved button up shirt that tied in the front and became longer in the back, a black undershirt, a long beaded turqoise necklace some black flats, and earings to match my necklace. I was finally ready and i heard a car horn. I hopped out the door with my guitar and got into Lauren's car filled with Sydney, Mary Jordan, Harry, and me. I'm pretty sure Syd and Mary didn't say much during the car ride because they were star struck.

            "I should bring Harry around more often. Normally you guys never shut up," I winked to Sydney and MJ. They both laughed. I think that might have broken some of the awkwardness. When we arrived at the restaurant, "The Latin Corner", I saw inside already at a table Liam, Zayn, Louis, AND Niall. Butterflies erupted in my stomach when I saw Niall. Then, even more of the fluttered when I realized I was about to sing... in front of a crowd... for the first time.... publically. I walked in and Louis grabbed my guitar from me and gave me a tight hug.

            He looked into my eyes, "You're going to be amazing. I can't wait to hear you sing for the first time."

            "Way to make me less nervous!"

            "Oh, umm sorry, Haha I'm just happy were all together." He said now talking to our entire table. Niall sat looking down at his phone the entire time. I tried to break the silence.

            "Oh, everyone. This is Sydney, Mary Jordan, and well yeah everyone knows Lauren."

            "How long have you guys been friends?" Zayn asked.

            "Well, me and Lauren since 1st grade, Sydney and I since 5th, and when Mary moved here in 6th grade we became friends, but all four of us united together in 8th grade."

            "Surprised you guys haven't gotten sick of Payton!" Louis said nudging me.

            "Well, I'm surprised Lou is still in the band!" I said.

            Everyone laughed then someone came up to me and told me I was on in five. Everyone wished me good luck and I hopped on the mini stage and tuned my guitar. Then, the moment was finally here. The place was full, and the owner of the place came up to the mic.

            "Tonight we have a special girl playing. She comes at least once a week and probably eats all the food we have stored here. Give it up for Payton Suire!"

            The crowd all clapped and I walked out on stage, my heart skipping a beat with every step. I pulled my guitar strap over my head and adjusted the mic shorter, to my height. I cleared my throat.

            "Well, I'd just like to thank everyone for coming out tonight. This is my first time ever performing and I hope you enjoy!"

            "WOOOOO GO PAYTON!" I looked out in the crowd to find Sydney standing up cheering. She knew how to make me smile and lose some of my nerves.

            "This is one of my favorite songs today. I'm sure most of you know it, so umm this is Landslide by the Dixie Chicks."

            I heard a few cheers from the crowd and my fingers took it away. I strummed every note perfectly for the introduction. I was looking in the crowd and found Niall still looking down at his phone. I rolled by eyes. I knew I needed to start singing.

            I began, "Took my love and I took it down. Climbed a mountain and I turned around..."

            I had looked all elsewhere in the crowd and once my eyes reached Niall again he was looking straight at me. He nodded his head to me. He knew exactly what I needed. Some assurance that I was doing good. I finished singing the song perfectly. Knowing Niall still cared was all I needed. He gave me confidence that I could do well and I did. When my first song was finished I didn't know what to expect, but what I did see was the crowd clap and whistle. Some even stood up. I knew I had this in the bag. I took a sip of my water.

            "The next song I'd like to sing is Soak Up the Sun by Sheryl Crow." I had the most fun singing that one. I went on to sing Stop this Train by John Mayer, then Nans Song by Robbie Williams. That song always got me a bit teary eyed because my mom says she wants it played at her funeral. I don't know when that may be, but I know I don't want that day to ever come. The next song I sang was Little Things. The one song me and Niall shared together. When things weren't complicated. I saw Niall sit up when I started singing. When I finished I looked at him and he a smile on his face. An actual smile. I saw Louis get up and walk out because his phone rang.

            "Now the last song I'd like to sing for you guys tonight is Ronan by Taylor Swift. This song means a lot to me and I'd like to share it with you guys." I started to strum and began, "I remember your bare feet, down the hallway, remember your little laugh. Race cars on the kitchen floor, plastic dinosaurs,"

            The entire song I kept my composure. I knew I had to finish it without crying. I thought I was going to, but then the lines hit me.

            "And what if I'm standing in your closet trying to talk to you. And what if I kept the hand-me-downs you won't grow into..."

            Tears started streaming down my face and I looked at MJ, Lauren, and Sydney. Tears streaming down their faces also. They just kept pouring out and I finally took a breath and uttered the last words, "I love you to the moon and back."

            "Thank you. It all means a lot that you all came out," I said fast and then ran off the stage to the back outside of the restaurant.

            I heard a door open behind me. I turned around, mascara running, face blotchy red and found Niall standing there.

            "You did amazing."

            I wiped my face, "Thanks"

            He didn't even need to say more. He knew. Maybe not the story, but just knew me well enough to know I didn't need someone to talk to. Just someone to be there. His arms wrapped around me as mine did the same. My head rested in his shoulder and tears poured out of my eyes. We sat there. Silent. We then took a seat on the cement edge of the railroad tracks.

            "Ready to talk?" he asked.

            "The song. It gets me every time. My younger brother, Clapton, died recently. It was cancer. He was only 10."

            "Why didn't you ever talk about him."

            "I figure that if I don't talk about him it'll be like he was never here. I won't remember everything we shared so I don't get upset. I shouldn't need to miss him. He should be here right now."

            "Where was his room?"

            "We changed it to the guest bedroom. My parents have his things stored in boxes in their room."

            "It's okay to miss him"

            "He should've been there tonight. Watching my show."

            "Everyone has their time Payton. It just so happened that his came earlier than needed."

            There was a long pause, "You know, sometimes, I go in a box full of his clothes and pull out his favorite LSU baseball team sweatshirt. He got it signed by his favorite player when I took him. It was right before he passed. I just put it on and sit there. Think about what we'd be doing together. Think about how much he loved baseball. Think about if he'd ever actually join the LSU baseball team like he said he would. Then I take it off and put it back where I found it because the pain of knowing he isn't here anymore is too much to bear."

            No words were needed after that. We just sat there together. Looking at the stars.

            Finally Niall broke the silence. "He's out there you know. Watching over you. He'd be proud."

            I didn't move. Just kept staring into the emptiness. Wanting my brother. My thoughts were interrupted when I heard a leaf crunch behind me and Louis walk up.

            "I heard everything from Lauren. Let me take you home" he said.

            I nodded my head and took his hand even though I wanted to stay with Niall, i had to do what was right.

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