Breaking Free

Ever felt smothered by everyone else's idea of what your life should be like? Have you ever just wanted to say "Stop! It's my life!" to those closest to you? We all have, haven't we? I bet you were too afraid to do it though. So you kept your mouth shut, and did exactly what you always told yourself you would never do: you followed the rules set by people who don't really know you, and let THEM control your life. But what could happen if you finally just said no? If you decided to follow your own dream? Would something amazing happen? Would you fall in love? Would you find what you've been looking for your whole life? What could happen if you just...broke free?

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39. When Time Passes By

 

--Eight Months Later--

"...spotted in Manchester with Payne today was bandmate and friend Louis Tomlinson, showing off his new love interest, model Kaylie Elkins. The couple has been--"

"Marietta can you please turn that off?" Belle called out, her heart wrenching in pain.

"...Elkins is quite the contrast from Tomlinson's former girlfriend Anabelle Costa, the infamous heiress to Costa Enterprises--"

"Marietta!"

"...was the opening act for One Direction earlier this year before mysteriously abandoning their UK tour, going back to join forces with her father, Damian Costa--"

"Marietta are you trying to get fired?!" Belle brusquely stood up from her desk and swiftly walked out towards her secretary's desk.

"...Costa is still in the hospital suffering from pancreatic cancer as most of you viewers know, his daughter taking over Costa Enterprises for the time being. Keep checking in with us on our website for any updates about Costa's condition. Now over to breaking news about actress T--"

"Marietta!" Belle called out loudly to her assistant, who jumped in fright at Belle's presence.

"Yes Miss Costa?" Marrieta, a young Hispanic girl, asked nervously, tearing her eyes away from her computer screen.

"Did you not hear me asking you to turn that off?" Belle asked incredulously.

"Uh, no ma'am I didn't, I'm so sorry. I just got kind of...you know..." Marietta chuckled nervously.

Belle sighed and rolled her eyes. "It's fine just...just please turn it off okay?" She couldn't help but feel bad for her young assistant.

"Yes ma'am, absolutely." Marietta closed the gossip website page and went back to working on a budget report.

Belle walked back into her father's office, which she had been occupying for a month now, while her father was in the hospital. She hadn't thought of Louis and the boys in almost two weeks, and then Marietta's stupid website had to go and ruin it for her.

Over the past eight months, Belle's life had been completely turned upside down, and not in a good way. Her father had been sick with joy at her "unexpected return", and her mother had just been glad for an excuse to throw another party. She'd immediately been enrolled in business courses online, even though they were pointless. Belle was raised in Costa Enterprises, she knew business better than her professors.

Alan's funeral so many months ago had been one of the hardest things to attend in Belle's life. Against her father's wishes, she'd gone to the funeral with Alan's parents. Mr. Fuller, Alan's dad and Damian's biggest enemy, had accepted her with welcome arms, knowing that Belle had nothing to do with Alan's death. At least not directly. He also offered Belle a spot with his company, knowing the vile person her father was, but she declined. She wouldn't have another Fuller death on her hands. 

When Belle asked how he died, Mr. Fuller told her that Alan was in a car accident, burned alive with no chance at recovering a body. They'd shared a knowing look. Classic Damian Costa cover up.

Belle's entire look had changed as well; her hair had grown out long and had been dyed a much darker shade of brown. She wore more makeup, wanting to look more business-like for client meetings. Her wardrobe now consisted of pencil skirts and high heels, blazers and clutch handbags. 

Futhermore, her entire demeanor had been altered. She was no longer fun, carefree, and spontaneous. Belle was orderly, mature, and composed one hundred percent of the time.

The old Belle was gone, replaced by Anabelle Lee Costa.

The only time Belle was able to get back to who she used to be, who she was with the boys, was when she played her guitar. When she played, Belle was Belle again. She would close her eyes and the memories would flood back. 

Meeting the boys for the first time. Taking selfies with Louis. Dancing like idiots with Zayn. Waking up next to Louis that morning, scared to death. Arguing with Liam at rehearsals. Punching Harry and breaking her hand. Louis' expression when she agreed to be his girlfriend. 

It was wonderful, and Belle was never able to keep the smile off of her face.

Until the other memories followed suit.

Seeing Olivia being dragged away by Paul and the policeman. Finding out Alan was dead. Saying goodbye to Louis. Hearing him beg her to stay. Niall kissing her. The arguing inside the boys' room.

Then the tears would start. 

Finally Belle realized that no matter how great the good memories made her feel, the bad ones were too much. So she stopped playing altogether, immersing herself in Costa Enterprises to avoid the pain.

Sometimes when she used to think about the boys, she would question whether it was even real or not. The kind of happiness she shared with those boys was like such a fairytale, surely it had all been a dream.

But then the pain would rip through her diaphragm and she would realize that it had been a dream for a while, then it had turned into a nightmare. A nightmare caused by Damian Costa.

And thanks to her father, Belle had to leave her only true family. Her best friends, and the love of her life. She left her dream to protect the people she cared most about, and she sacrificed herself in turn. 

Belle knew she should be happy that the band was getting more and more famous by the day, Louis had moved on and was in a new relationship. That was the whole point of her leaving after all: to let them be successful and safe, without her causing any troubles. But she just couldn't be. Knowing that Louis was holding some other girl's hand, a girl who was probably ten times prettier and funnier and talented than her, it tore her heart to shreds. Knowing that he was hugging her tight, letting her wear his beanies, kissing her lips, and calling her beautiful...it honestly made Belle struggle to breathe.

Belle closed the door to her father's office and leaned back against it, trying to calm down and catch her breath. She hadn't been ready for that shock, whatsoever. She hadn't spoken to Louis since that night almost eight months ago, nor any of the other boys. Well, Zayn tweeted her one time about three months ago. 

 

@zaynmalik: Just watched the amazing @HunterHayes in conert! Couldn't help but think about @SilverBelles22 ... #missingyoualways

 

Belle knew that he had been referring to when she sang 'Wanted' for the boys so long ago, the day she first met them. The day that had changed her life.

But had it changed it for worse or for better? That was the ultimate question. Was it truly better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all?

Belle's inner turmoil was suddenly interrupted with her phone ringing obnoxiously. She jumped at the loud ringtone, an old timey phone sound. Gone were the days when Louis would steal her phone and change it to a famous song at the time...

Wiping the few tears that had managed to run down her face, Belle quickly composed herself and answered her phone.

"Anabelle Costa from Costa Ent--"

"Anabelle it's me." Belle's mother Trudy interrupted, sounding slightly hysterical.

"Oh hey Mom. Are you alright? What's wrong?" Trudy very rarely took the time out of her busy schedule to actually talk to Belle.

"It's your father Anabelle. He's...he's..."

Belle paled. "Oh God...no Mom don't say it..."

There was a long silence.

"He's gone Anabelle."

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