The Cookie Girl. (edited version)

(A One Direction Fanfic) From the author of Cats, Kisses, And Wagon Wheels, here's Liam's story--The Cookie Girl!!! Esmée Minton knows a lot of things. Liam Payne isn't sure he knows anything anymore. When the two of them meet; it’s the worst possible situation and they are the worst people to meet. Or are they? ...

Actual real-life reviews I do not kid you:
"I am so captivated by this story! It's beautifully and amazingly written!" - "[Esmée] is my girl crush and she doesn't even exist!" - "This has to be the most adorable perfect thing I've ever read." - "I'm more invested in thsi story than in my own life. I love this; don't talk to me." - "I'm addicted to cocoa now."

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3. I like weird

I like weird.

 

Clary wakes me up by barging into my room, the door slamming into the wall.

“Essie!”

I groan in response and turn, hugging my pillow to my chest. I hear her huff and walk over to my bed. I clench my eyes shut and hug the pillow tighter, knowing what will come.

“Get up now, you lazy bum!” she hisses.

I always sleep like a cat, curled up in a ball, and now I only hug my knees closer to my chest. Because I know what she’ll do next. She pulls away my duvet and I cuss quietly at the rush of ice cold air hitting my skin. But I still don’t get up.

“You want it that way.”

I barely have time to grip the sides of the headboard before she’s already pulling at my feet, like I’m some petulant child or something.

We stay like that for a while, her pulling at my feet and me gripping the headboard. But I work in room service and carry trays around all the time while Clary helps out at the reception, so I’m clearly stronger than her. After a while, she gives up and walks up to the headboard again. Clary helps out at the reception and shouts at half-deaf tourists every day while I work in room service, so clearly her voice is louder. And she knows it as well.

“ESSIIIE!”

I groan. I hate it when she calls me Essie. Or anyone, for that matter.

“GET THE FUCK UP NOW YOU WHORE!”

Clary is also Irish.

I give up before my eardrums burst and rush to get up. I wrap my Union Jack duvet around myself and take the mug that Clary gives me. I smell the chocolaty scent of hot cocoa and smile.

“So what did you wake me up for?” I ask.

Clary shakes out her ginger curls. “You look like shit by the way.”

I scoffed into my cup. “Whoa, cheers, Clar.”

“No probs.”

I rolled my eyes. “No, really. What do you want?”

“When did you and Baldy Direction become a thing?”

I almost spit my hot chocolate into her face.

“What?”

She rolls her eyes. “Leila is gonna have your head, I’m not even joking.”

I groan and fall back onto my bed. “This is not good,” I say, staring at the ceiling. “Really, really not good.”

Clary’s pale face appears in my view. “On a lighter note, you’ve got like 3k followers now without ever tweeting anything that’s not about baby animals or Disney movies or food, that’s a thing, huh?”

I continue staring through her.

“Okay, or not.” She pulls my left arm and I sit up again.

“I don’t like this,” I say.

Clary shrugs. “I do, to be fair. He’s quite the cutie.”

Not the point.”

She sits down next to me and flings her arm over my shoulder. “What is the point then, babe?”

I sigh. “I just really like Liam, and frankly, that's scaring me a bit. Can you like someone this much when you’ve just met?”

She gloats. “So you are a thing?”

I frown. “Not really. But he asked me to, you know, have coffee.”

“Like a date?” she asks, eyes wide.

I shake my head. “As friends. To get to know each other and stuff.”

“But that’s so ace!” She side-hugs me. “He’s not even rushing you into anything, is there anything he’s not perfect with? I could just scream!” Her face falls. “Wait. Why aren’t you screaming?”

I trace the patterns on my mug. “I’m just afraid of what’ll happen. I’m just …” I shrug. “I’m just a weird girl who likes kids’ movies a bit too much and works in a hotel, for God’s sake. And he’s Liam Payne, the guy who broke up with his last girlfriend because she was getting so much hate from fans who just want to jump him every second of his life.”

Clary just looks at me and blinks. “And what’s that to you?”

“And Leila’s gonna rip me to shreds!” I continue. “She’ll hate me!”

Clary grips my shoulders and forces me to look at her. “You stop there right now. You’re the cutest girl I’ve ever met and you’re perfect for Liam, okay? From what I’ve read about him, he’s honestly the sweetest lad and I’ve always somewhat pictured you as the kind of girl he needs to be with. There are always gonna be some people who won’t like you—so what? Why should you care, Essie?” I bite my lip and she smiles at me. “And what if Leila’s one of them? Why should you give a single fuck? It’s your life and it's sort of time you finally start thinking about yourself as well, because it’s yours.”

I sit astonished by Clary’s speech. We’ve never been that close; then again I’m not that close to anyone here. But it’s great to know she thinks so highly of me.

I smile at her. “You know what? You’re actually right.”

She grins. “Of course I am. But I’m also actually really late, so I gotta run!” She pulls me into a hug and dashes out of the door, waving at me one last time.

I smile. Clary’s almost exactly the opposite of me. She’s outspoken and she doesn’t mind being the centre of attention. She cusses like a trucker, but she has the right hook of one as well. She’s tall and thin and her blonde hair is frizzy and has a slight copper tint. But most importantly, she doesn’t pry and she takes care of me. We take care of each other, in a weird way. I cook and wash her stuff and make her a cuppa and she talks back to people and defends me and that’s worth at least as much. I’ve never really thought about how happy I am to have her.

My laptop pings and pulls me out of my dream-like state. I get up from the bed and put on thick woollen socks and a jumper and tap over to my desk to open it. Yawning, I type in my password and Chrome opens automatically, showing me my twitter mentions page.

I blink and look at the screen again.

I pinch myself and look at the screen again.

It's still there. 793 mentions.

The first tweet is from sugarscape. Wow, I’ve never had anything to do with sugarscape, other than the occasional reading of an article of theirs.

@sugarscape: One Direction get some. Cookies. From @EsmeeMint?

There is a link added and I click it, almost not wanting to read it, but of course I still do.

 

THE COOKIE GIRL

TONIGHT LET’S GET SOME. COOKIES. AND MILK.

 

If you haven’t watched Liam Payne’s twitcam yesterday night, we don’t really judge you because it was at some ridiculous a.m. We pity you, though, cause you’ve missed this beauts ladeh here—the cookie girl. Esmée Minton (or the cookie girl as Leeyum called her—are we on nickname basis already?) works for the Éireann Hotel in Dublin’s city centre. For the room service. We agree with Harold here that she’s more attractive than the Cookie Man, but also a bit cleptomanic, if you ask us. She was caught trying to steal a mug. But that’s not what we’re talking about. We’re talking about the fact that Liam dear has an “elevator girl” as the Sassquatch calls it. Whom the mug belonged to. And that even though he’s just recently split up with his girlfriend of two years, Danielle Peazer. Wow.

Get in there.

No really.

 

In case you’ve missed the twitcam, we’ve put up the Cookie Girl part here:

 

 

I feel a bit sick, actually.

I go back to my twitter page and scroll down the mentions.

Wow. I am so done with this.

Clary was right; I gained more than thousand followers over night.

I shake my head, rubbing my temples. I really need a hot shower and another cup of cocoa before I can look at this.

I get up and stretch a bit. It’s not like anyone’s going to see me today because I am so not leaving this flat after last night. I get a random sweater and gym shorts from my closet and trot town the stairs to the bathroom that I share with Clary. As usual, her make-up is still all over the sink, but today I just don’t care. I turn on the shower and stare into the mirror while I’m waiting for the water to warm up.

I look really tired which isn’t really a surprise after last night’s shift. My tawny eyes look huge and my hair is ruffled. I look like a little child that hasn’t slept in a week.

I shrug and put one hand into the shower to test the water temperature. It’s actually warm already and I quickly undress and step into the shower. I sigh as the hot water hits my tense shoulders and pitter-pats onto my face. I love letting the water rinse my face in the morning because it wakes me up, even though it makes me sneeze almost every time. The winter-y scent of my shower gel envelopes me and I start to relax a bit more, rubbing first shampoo and then winter conditioner into my hair and belting out Ed Sheeran’s Gold Rush.

When I step out of the shower, I am almost okay again; and by the time I’ve blow-dried my hair and put my raspberry-scented anti-frizz serum in it, I’m feeling like the normal me again.

Already a lot less zombie-like, I make myself ridiculously hot cocoa in the kitchen and grab a package of fruit flakes since I’m not really hungry. I take both into the living room and put in Mulan, which is my second favourite film ever. My favourite is Toy Story 2, but Clary broke one of the DVDs last week and I haven’t gotten to buy another one. It was a special edition as well.

Right during one of the best scenes—when Mulan saves everyone by causing a snowslide and basically almost killing everyone with that as well—someone knocks at the door.

I huff and pause the movie to see who it is to have the audacity of disturbing me during a Disney movie.

It knocks again as I’m just getting up.

“For God’s sake, I am moving!” I call and I hurry over to the door. I open it to reveal Liam who is looking painfully good considering his sleep loss and is wearing a huge smile.

“Hey,” he says. “You look pretty.”

I scoff. He somehow manages to make jeans and an open plaid shirt over a plain white t-shirt look like he stepped out of a magazine and that gives me the strong urge to hit him with a chair because I’m suddenly really aware of my well-nobody’s-gonna-see-me-anyway-so-why-bother appearance.

I rub the back of my neck. “Hi?” It comes out like a question.

We stand there for a while, before he asks, “Can I come in?”

I sigh and make room for him. “Sure, but my roomie is not able to grasp the concept of tidying.”

He laughs and walks past me into the living room. Oh, okay. Yeah, sure, go along, mate.

“You’ve seen our suite.”

I laugh. “That’s a point. Do you want anything to drink, by the way? Or, well, I’m not really sure if we’ve got any food because my roomie eats a lot as well.”

He smiles at me and shakes his head.

I plop down on the sofa and gesture for him to sit down as well.

“So,” I face him. “What did you come here for?” I realize I’m probably sounding really rude and blush, but he just laughs.

“Actually—wow, is that the Toy Story special edition collector’s DVD set?”

I nod proudly. “Yeah, I got it for my eighteenth birthday. I’ve got the second one as platinum edition as well.”

He stares at me. “Marry me.”

I laugh. “My roomie broke it, though, so I’m afraid you’ll have to break off the engagement. I’m so lost.”

He looks outraged and I giggle at his childishness. “Is there anything your roommate can do?”

I break into a full-out laugh now and he joins me after a while.

“Okay,” he says. “What I really came for was to ask you if … you wanted … to go somewhere?” It’s cute how nervous he seems. “I thought we could maybe … you know, as friends … grab a coffee or we could do something else, I mean … or something,” he finishes lamely.

“Oh,” I say.

“Yeah,” he retorts. “Oh.”

I shrug. “Sure. How much time’ve you got?”

“Loads, we don’t have anything to do today. This is more like a holiday than anything else.”

I smile widely. “Okay, let me get my coat; I will literally be five minutes. Don’t expect too much, though, I simply can’t bring myself to look acceptable today.”

I rush up the stairs and change out of my gym shorts and sweater and into a pair of skinny jeans and a thin sweater over them. Briefly, I even think about if I’m even looking good enough for Liam, but then I decide I’m actually too tired to care about stuff like the way I look right now. I know I’ll regret it later, but I can’t bring myself to make a fuss. (Also, he’s already seen me in my work uniform and still wants to have coffee with me.) As I’m about to leave my room, I notice that my hair looks absolutely hideous, so I throw it up into a bun and, while I’m at it, I then apply some BB Cream to my face to make my skin look more even and put on just a dash of mascara and rouge.

“That’s pretty acceptable to me,” is what Liam says when I come back down and I laugh, even though I can’t hide my blush.

“Thanks, I guess,” I say, grinning. “You don’t look too bad yourself. Actually, you look so awake that I feel bad since I’m Frankenstein’s bride right now.”

“You look lovely,” he blocks and I shrug, still blushing.

“Whatever floats your boat. Okay, let’s go.”

“Let’s go,” he agrees.

 

 

 

Liam

 

Esmée is even greater than I thought, now that I know a bit more about her. We spend the afternoon tucked into a tiny corner at a Starbucks, having too much coffee (well, me at least; after one cup, Esmée tells me she doesn’t actually drink coffee and goes on ordering weird juice and lots of hot chocolate) and talking; and I find myself enjoying it a lot.

It already started when we hadn’t even left the hotel; with her laughing at my lame jokes and me listening to her telling anecdotes from her time at the hotel. And from then on it has only gotten better.

It seems to me like talking to her, spending time with her, is absolutely effortless and almost ridiculously easy; and that’s what makes it so brilliant.

“So basically,” she says, gesturing wildly, “then my aunt got a dead frog and literally dropped it into the biology teacher’s soup at lunch and started screeching about how he couldn’t force us to dissect frogs if we didn’t want to. And she went on and on about how maybe that was even going against the beliefs of some students who were, say, members of PETA and vegetarians or even Buddhists and therefore wouldn’t want to hurt animals. And, well, long story short, I didn’t get that D in Bio and passed my GCSEs with distinction and later on, they asked Mia to supervise the school’s debate team.”

By now, I’m almost in tears because I’m laughing so hard and she is practically lying on the table.

“You’re pulling my leg,” I gasp, and she shakes her head.

“No, I swear. She does stuff like that. My aunt Mia is mad as a hatter.”

“Please never let her meet Louis,” I say and that sends us into another fit of laughter. I seriously can’t remember when I laughed this hard the last time.

“No; she would also teach him stuff like how to make joints out of banana wraps and we don’t want that.”

I just stare at her, completely flabbergasted, and she shrugs.

“Mia was really part of the popular crowd in school. Also, that was in the eighties.”

I shake my head and launch into a story about my sister Ruth and how she once told that bloke who was really into her that she was a lesbian and then had to kiss one of her friends and Esmée laughs so hard that she almost has cocoa coming out of her nose and while I’m listening to her laugh and splutter like a little kid, I think to myself that I could not imagine anywhere I’d rather be in this moment.

 

 

 

Esmée

 

Liam is even greater once you actually get to know him, I decide when we’re finally on our way back to the hotel. It’s almost dark outside already and there are next to no people on the streets—everyone’s either already gone home or they’re getting ready for leaving the house later on. Our arms are linked and we’re walking almost in synch—almost, because Liam’s legs are a lot longer than mine.

“What’s your favourite colour?” he asks me out of the blue.

I cough a bit, surprised. “Uhm, are we playing 21 questions now?”

He shrugs. “I feel bad because I don’t even really know a lot about you.”

I laugh. “I feel bad because I know way too much about you.”

He shakes his head and smiles. “I’m serious. Just tell me a bit about you.”

I shrug. “Okay... uhm, well, my birthday’s on the first of May and I was raised by my aunt Mia. I’m from London, actually. I really want to be a writer, I guess… I hate coffee. I don’t like small, confined spaces or crowds and I don’t eat cabbage. I love cocoa. I like Disney movies a bit too much.”

He laughs at me stating these weird facts and I cross my arms. “What? You said you felt like you didn’t know me, so now you do.”

Liam holds up his hands in mock surrender. “Seriously though, I think you’re the perfect friend for me,” he says, casually slinging his arm over my shoulder. “So, what is your favourite colour anyways?”

“Hm. I think it’s beige. Or  maroon.”

“That’s not even a proper colour.”

“Sure it is.”

“It’s not. Beige isn’t a colour, it’s a French word.”

I laugh. “What’s your favourite colour then, Mr. Payne?”

“Purple.”

“Manly,” I comment, grinning.

“You’re mean.”

“Jup. And I just realized all the jokes that can be made with your last name.”

He groans. “Please, don’t you start as well.”

“They’re mostly sexual jokes so I’ll refrain from telling them, I’m just letting you know.”

He shoots me a playful glare. “Thanks so much.”

“You are so welcome. Okay, pets? So I know you have a dog, right? Wait, do you even still have it? I mean …” I trail off, realizing how endlessly stupid it is to ask him about the dog he used to share with his girlfriend. The girlfriend he broke up with, which made him heartbroken. Way to go, Minton. That’s gonna get him to loosen up.

Liam just goes on, though, as if he didn’t even notice, or as if it doesn’t hurt him to think about it. And, I mean, who knows, maybe it doesn’t. Even though that’s not the way I picture Liam. He may move on from girlfriend to girlfriend a lot, but that doesn’t mean that he gets over things just like a snip of the finger. I don’t see him like that.

“Yeah, I mean, he’s more with Danielle now because I’m never there, you know? He’s quite a cool dog; I just don’t see him enough. Unfortunately.”

“That’s sad.”

“It is, but hey, a dog wouldn’t be happy with me. I mean, he’d only get fed about once in a few months with how little I’m at home, and I hear they die from that.” I laugh. “And my turtles died,” Liam adds, as an afterthought.

I gawk at him. “I never got that. I mean, they just died?”

“I don’t know what happened; my Mum just called me.”

“That’s awful! Though I suppose turtles aren’t very exciting pets. I imagine they’re really boring, I mean, they’re so slow.”

“Don’t mock the turtles.”

I raise both of my hands, pulling his right hand up with my left. “I’m taking everything back and saying the opposite. Turtles are awesome.”

He laughs and I crouch down to pick a single clover.

“Aren’t shamrocks great?”

Liam arches an eyebrow. “That’s not even a four-leaved one.”

“Yeah,” I say, looking at the daisy, “but that’s the point. I like stuff that seems ordinary, even if it isn’t ordinary at all. I mean, this shamrock is actually really beautiful, only nobody recognizes that because they just look for the four-leaved ones. And then there’s Ireland, which has made this overlooked tiny little thing their national plant.” I look at Liam and smile. “I just think that's nice.”

He nods. “That’s really nice.”

I sigh. “You think I’m mad as a hatter, don’t you?”

“No. I think it’s really cute how you get so worked up over a clover, and explain the meaning of life with it.”

I throw the little plant away and bury my face in my hands. “I’m so weird.”

“Hey.” He pries my hands away from my face and takes them in his. “I like weird.”

I groan. “Don’t talk to me,” I mumble, still not looking at him. “I’m going to hang myself with my shoelaces once I get home.”

Liam looks down at my shoes. “You don’t have any shoelaces,” he says, a grin on his lips.

I glare at him, but my resolve is crumbling. “Well, I do own sneakers at home.”

We look at each other for a moment, and then we both burst into laughter.

“That was so weird,” I grin when I’m able to talk again.

Liam’s smile fades and his face becomes serious and he tilts my chin up so I have to look at him. “I meant it, by the way,” he says.

“What?” My voice is embarrassingly close to a whisper.

“I like weird.”

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