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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6. Of Love And Tattoos.

Of Love And Tattoos.

 

Esmée

@directionerrr: @esmeemint Stay away from Liam.

 

@howmanyrs: @esmeemint Nobody wants you dumb cookie bitch.

 

@leeyumbabeh: @esmeemint whore.

 

I sigh and put my head into my hands. This has been going for a while, and they never stop. Every second, new tweets come in; every second, they get worse. My phone bings again and when I click on the mentions button, I close my eyes so I don’t have to see it right away.

But of course I look.

And of course I cry.

These girls were my family. My directioner family; we’ve always stuck up for each other. And now they hate me. Some of them actually hate me.

The thing is, since the whole date-picture thing, everyone in this fandom has been going berserk.

I sort of feel like I have to give them credits for actually recognizing him through a first-storey-window, but then again the hate makes me overthink that again. I breathe in deeply and make a decision.

 

@EsmeeMint: Last time I checked, as directioners we supported the boys and all they do. What happened?

 

I clicked on my mentions again.

 

@zarrylurve: @esmeemint last time I checked, you didn’t fuck everything up.

 

@NiallOfficial: @esmeemint @zarrylurve last time I checked, liam wasn’t happy either. lay off esmée, she’s a nice gal

 

I manage a small smile. Niall is a cutie. I’ve known him for a few days only, but I’ve really come to like him. You know, as a person. I really understand why he’s Liam’s best friend: he’s always friendly, no matter what, and he has that attitude of a ten-year-old boy who wants to be friends with everyone and loves pancakes.

Twitter is really annoying me now so I grab my phone and settle down on the sofa, watching some stupid rom-com and furiously typing away to win Woody’s Wild Ride.

“What are you doing in there for fuck’s sake?” Clary calls from her room when I make an annoyed whining sound at losing again.

“Piss off,” I answer and restart the game even though the music is actually really annoying and hell, I hate this game because I suck at it.

A text notification launches and I sigh and click on it, but that’s only because it’s from Niall and I can’t just not answer Niall because he’d actually think I was really angry at him and freak and be really sad. Niall is like a little kid.

R u rly upset bc of the tweets???

I hate text language and I don’t want to talk about it, either, but this is Niall.

I dunno really. Should I be?

The answer comes faster than I would’ve ever expected.

No. Sum of em r like tht but tht’s not the real fans. They luv u bc L’s happy n they’ll stick w u. I shud kno.

It’s then that I realize that Niall does know what he’s talking about. He gets it all the time—the hate, I mean. He’s heard the worst, from all I know. Some of those girls have been super-mean to him. And if Niall can handle that, then why shouldn’t I?

Thanks Niall. Love you xx

I have made a decision.

@EsmeeMint: I don’t know if you realize this, but I’m a person. I have feelings just like you. I hurt just like you. Did being a directioner family stop at the carrot costumes?

I just don’t understand … have we come so far that as soon as a girl is seen with one of the boys, she automatically has to get hate? Even one of us? Is this what being in this fandom is about now because then I don’t know if I want to call myself a part of it anymore. This used to be about supporting the boys whatever they do, and not about desperately wanting to be with them.

Liam and I are really good pals and I get that I’ve been lucky and I thank the stars for that; but at the same time, I don’t realize why you can’t be happy for me the way I was for you when you guys all won meet & greets and I stayed at home? It makes me sad that the people I saw as my family are now what I’m almost afraid of…

I realize that not all of you are like that, okay, don’t get me wrong. I just don’t understand how any of you can be content with themselves hating on a girl that is just like you? I’m one of you; I stay up and cry and live on tumblr. And if being seen with Liam is what it takes for you, who I thought were my family, to turn on me and send me hate, then I don’t want to be part of this family anymore. It makes me sick that it’s come so far and I feel sorry for those of you who think that sending hate is a cool thing and doesn’t hurt me. What awful lives you must lead guys.

(I’m deactivating my twitter now bc honestly, it just makes me cry now.)

Have a nice day and sorry for my rant! If you read this, chances are I don’t mean you and I still love you lots.

Bye nigglets! Xx

PS: I don’t think that being mean to me will make Liam love you. Just a side note.

 

I send off my last twit-longer and click the tiny blue button in the top right corner.

Do you really want to deactivate your twitter?, the little bird asks me.

I take a deep breath and click on Yes. I don’t need this. All I need is Liam and then I’ll be able to get through this. Because I really like him and he really likes me and that’s all that’s important.

Right?

I hear a knock on the door, but I can’t really bring myself to answer it, but Clary must have done so because next thing I know, Niall is practically sitting on my lap.

“You are not that much of a lightweight, Niall, get the hell off me,” I say good-naturedly.

He grunts and lets me shove him off, ruffling my hair. “We need to go out and do something, shortie.” My complaints that I’m not short are ignored as he just keeps on talking. “We need to do something weird so that you get distracted. Liam’s pissed off so he’s working out again, but I don’t do sport. I do food. So you’re gonna show me the nearest Nando’s, woman. And then we can go and pick Harry up from the tat parlour.”

My eyes grow wide at that. “Another tattoo?”

Niall shrugs. “Don’t get it either. But I’m hungry, can we go?”

I hesitate and he immediately gets what I’m thinking.

“I’ve got a nice ginger wig here for ya as well.”

We grin at each other and I hold my hand out for the wig. He digs in the pockets of his jacket and gets a very ruffled-looking wig out. It’s bright orange.

“Nice,” I comment drily.

Niall grins cheekily and pulls out another one in the same shade of eye-cancer-inducing orange, only with wild curls. “We can be trwins.”

It takes me a while, but then I burst out laughing. This lad really is something.

“Well then,” I wheeze, holding my hand out for the wig, “Give me that, mate. I need to colour-coordinate an outfit to that hair colour.”

Niall looks positively petrified at that.

“But… I’m hungry,” he says in this tiny voice that makes him seem like a little kid. (Though he actually really is a little kid because I can tell you, that boy never grew older than ten in his mind.)

But seriously, what is it with these guys thinking girls have to take hours to get ready? Geez.

“I was kidding, Niall. I just need to get out of a bright pink Erin Go Bragh t-shirt before becoming my undercover ginger self, okay? That clashes. And the orange hurts my eyes anyway, without a pink top.”

He still doesn’t look convinced, but he shrugs and starts off to the kitchen, where by now he knows exactly in which drawers to find all the biscuits. He’s like a dog sometimes.

I dash up to my room and almost splutter when I see myself in the mirror. I look about as bad as I was feeling just minutes ago; my hair is a complete haystack, my neck has stress blotches and I have mascara smudges under my eyes. I clean my face with makeup wipes and apply some new mascara as well as dusting on some facial powder. I pull on a pastel-ish green shirt and trade my trackies for a pair of black jeans. My parka’s downstairs so I go to the kitchen to find Niall munching on a biscuit with three more in his hands. (Three different kinds. I am astonished.) When I come in, he looks up like a deer caught in the headlights.

“What are you already doing here?”

I snort in a very un-ladylike way trying to hide a laugh.

“Funny, that’s sort of what Liam said when we went out.”

“The date we crashed?”

I nod, biting my lip.

“How are you ready? How?”

I shake my head. “I’m starting to feel really bad if you’re only used to girls putting a lot more time and effort into looking good for you than I am. But what do you think I’d do up there; pilates? Read the cosmo and have some bubbly?”

He shrugs. “How would I know?”

I roll my eyes and close the biscuit jar. “Come on already, will you?”

 

 

 

 

 

Liam

 

Truth is, I love to work out. It takes my mind off things and at the same time, it gives me time to think and nothing makes me as focused. Plus, nothing’s as great as the feeling of being completely knackered but feeling the endorphins rushing through your body.

I arrive at the smaller one of the two gyms to see nobody there, which I’m quite grateful for. There is no music on, but I put my headphones in and turn on my iPod. While I’m running on one of the treadmills, I finally get some time to think about everything that is going on.

I really like Esmée, I know that for a fact. I like her so much that I’ve actually completely forgotten about Danielle. But what do I know about her? I have a feeling that it’s nothing, so I count it all up in my head.

She’s eighteen and she left school with A Levels in English, Music and Art (which doesn’t really get you anywhere, but it’s cute). Her family is from London and her parents died, leaving her with her aunt Mia who lives in Castlemaine. She wants to be a writer and she likes baking. She’s definitely not more than 5’6’’ tall and she loves children’s movies and chocolate, or cocoa.  She likes Ed’s music and she has a tumblr—I need to find out her url. She gets even more emotional about Toy Story than me and she has a crush on Batman. She likes daisies and snow and she hates small, confined spaces and crowds. She knows ballroom dancing but hates to dance at parties. She tastes like chocolate and lemons. I’m getting distracted.

I sigh and switch to the punching bag, throwing targeted hits at it.

The funny thing is that this sudden feeling, this thing I have with Esmée is so much, so overwhelming that is makes me doubt even more. I mean, I’m unsure about a lot of things. Like what to say and how to act in front of a camera. It comes naturally to Harry or Louis but it’s actually really hard for me.

Lately, I’ve been unsure about a lot more than just that, though. I’ll be quite honest with you, though I love my job and what we do, I sometimes wish I could just make it all disappear for a second. Make it all go away and just be Liam, the boy who still gets called “cheesy head” by his sisters sometimes and who likes dogs and turtles and Disney movies. I miss home a lot when I’m on tour and it really gets to me as well. It seems to be so much easier for the other lads—this whole thing does. Sometimes I really wonder if I’m meant to do this, if it would be better if I just left. Because after all, I’m the boring one, the ‘other one’, I’m just Liam. It’s not like anybody would miss me. But I miss being normal, not a millionaire who still acts awkward around girls.

And I think, now I do, that maybe, secretly, that’s the reason Danielle and I broke up as well. I mean, she’s a dancer. This is her world, too, so it should work out well, right? It should work out perfectly, because she understands what it’s like to have to do tours and to be called away last minute and she understands the stress and the late nights and the pressure. But maybe … I’m just not sure if it’s my world, and if I understand all that. What if my world really is a girl who bakes too much and whose biggest appearance pressure in her job is that she desperately wants to find a way to prevent her hair from frizzing. Maybe that’s secretly what I do need; someone who is as far from this craziness as possible, someone who gets angry when I come back at 3 a.m. instead of nine and isn’t still out as well.

Maybe, because I’m the boring one, I need normalcy. I need to be grounded.

May is like a present from whatever higher power there might be; and for some reason I’ve stopped worrying so much when I’m around her. I stop being so unsure about everything and I just do things. I feel like I’m just Liam around her, not Liam Payne of One Direction. Maybe that’s what Niall meant by me being back. Because I feel like I’m back.

And with her, I’ve got facts, and I’ve got a laugh and I’ve got someone who is almost a little bit too much like me. I’m not unsure anymore.

Except for one thing. It’s almost too … too secure. I’m too sure about everything. I’ve only known this girl for a really short while and it feels like I’ve got everything figured out. It’s mad. It’s not normal.

And it’s so much. I am so aware of her, all the time. I pick up everything about her, the tiniest details. When she touches my hand, my whole side tingles and I don’t even have to look at her to notice her entering the room.

It’s so overwhelming, so fantastic, so different from anything I’ve ever experienced that I wonder if this is what love feels like and if it if, have I ever really been in love before? I thought I was, with Danielle. I thought love was having someone who is your best friend and who you want to spend time with. But it’s probably so much more; it’s excitement and tingles everywhere and agony and suspense and confusion all over but you don’t even mind because it feel so good. It’s not only wanting to spend time with them but wanting it so much that you literally do not care about anything else but them; their breath, their scent, their presence.

I do realize I sound like a total nutjob even in my thoughts. But isn’t that what love is about as well? Being totally crazy for someone? Well, I’m crazy alright.

I wipe my sweaty forehead, panting. I’ve just pushed myself a little too hard, but I tend to do that when I’m thinking.

A squeaking sound makes me pause my music and look up. Standing there is the girl I saw on my first day here, the one who traded shifts with Esmée. Basically the girl I owe my life to. Okay, that was melodramatic. But you get me.

I flash her a small smile and she gasps.

“You’re actually him,” she says in a frighteningly high voice. I don’t remember her voice being that high.

“I guess so?” I pull out my headphones and put my iPod back into my pocket.

She lets out another squeaky noise and I’m starting to get worried.

“Are you okay?”

She nods so fast I’m afraid she’ll break her neck or something.

“You’re Liam Payne.”

I nod slowly. “I am Liam Payne.”

“You snogged Essie in an elevator.”

I try not to blush, but have you ever tried not to blush? It makes you blush harder.

“That is entirely not true,” I say.

She tuts. “Clary may hate me but she likes riling Esmée up way more. She told me. I know.”

I give up. “You’re Leila, right?”

She grins. “Thanks for the shoutout. I’m totally in love with you.”

“You’re really cool for that. Shouldn’t you be screeching and trying to convince me not to go out with your friend?”

She smiles. “So you are going out? That’s good. She’s cute.”

“Uhm.” I’m totally confused. Has there been some sort of thing going on with fans that makes them tolerant with girlfriends because I could tell you a totally different story. Mind you, that’s probably a minority. Definitely.

“Plus,” she continues, “I’m not much of the screeching type. Okay, that’s a lie. I screech all the time. But I know you’re not much of the screeching type, so I’m humouring you.”

This girl really baffles me. “Thanks, I guess.”

“It’s nothing. So would you mind signing everything I own and letting me take a picture with you so I can start trying to control my breathing again?”

I laugh and nod. She talks very fast and she seems very insane, this Leila girl, but it’s quite nice.

She jumps up and down, clapping. “Thanks!”

And then she conjures a camera and a notepad and a phone as well as a sharpie and I sign the case of her phone and a piece of paper and smile nicely when she snaps a photo of us because I like her and she’s the nice kind of fan.

“I. Am so. Happy. I need to go on tumblr. And call several people to scream at them. Bye Liam Payne.” She lets out another squeal.

“Wait,” I call after her when she’s already almost out of the door.

She turns and looks at me questioningly. I hesitate, and she giggles.

“Look, there’s only such a long time span I can control my absolute fangirling and the shrill scream that’s definitely gonna happen, so…”

I smile and shake my head. “Uhm, Esmée. You know that we went out, right?”

She nods. “Obviously, I know everything that’s going on in this hotel. And the fandom.”

“So you’re not mad or something?”

She snorts. “Hell no. Okay, it’s so totally unfair because I’ve liked you way longer. But she’s the perfect match for you, and I totally see that now. She’s one of us. She’s been up all night before the release of every album and every single just like me and she’s cried over shit just like me. Besides,” she flips her hair over her shoulder with a bit too much drama, “as a hardcore fangirl and all of your future wife, I have to support every relationship you get into. It’s my job to support you.” She seems to think for a moment before she adds, “Well, apart from Haylor. That was just shit.”

“That … is a very nice way of thinking,” I manage to get out.

“Innit?” She grins brightly. “Now I need to go and ship Limée.”

I raise an eyebrow. “Limée?”

“It’s your ship name.” And she flounces out.

Apparently we have a ship name.

Limée.

Is it weird that I like that?

 

 

 

 

Esmée

 

Take my friendly advice when I tell you now not, under any circumstances, ever to take Niall Horan out to eat something. Because that will literally be all you’ll do for a few hours. Watch him stuff himself with Nando’s.

And it’s not a nice sight as well. Reminds me of a war scene.

We’re currently on our way to the tattoo studio we’re supposed to meet Harry at (he sent Niall a text while he was ramming chicken marsala down his throat) and I’m pretty sure it’s the same one I was at yesterday with Missy. Niall took a bucket of chicken wings away from Nando’s, so he’s still eating. I’m texting my aunt Mia and trying to convince her it’s not me she’s seen on twitter. Yes, my aunt is on twitter. There is something wrong with this family. It’s like we have the fangirl existence gene.

“What’s Harry getting anyway?” I ask.

Niall shrugs. “I’m not into that shit, so I really don’t know. He doesn’t talk about them in advance, just turns up with another one.”

“Have you ever thought of getting one?”

“I have… I do sometimes, but then the next second I just go nah,” he says and opens the door for me. It is indeed Serena’s tat parlour and I scratch my head a bit. This ginger wig is really itchy.

“Hiya, folks. Can’t let you in I’m afraid, private session,” her booming voice comes from my right side.

I shrug and pull the wig off. The blinds are drawn anyways and I hate that thing. Her smile grows immediately when she sees me.

“Hey there, bab! Nice ‘do. You haven’t had enough or what?”

I roll my eyes at the green-haired woman. “Don’t be daft. I was only with Missy yesterday.”

She shrugs. “Could be that you decided to get some more ink as well. Who’s that?”

I look at the vastly confused Niall and grin. “Niall, Reena; Reena, Niall.”

She shakes his hand and gives him a bright grin. “Nice to meetcha. I still gotta throw you guys out though, as I said, private sesh.”

“Oh no, I’m a friend of Harry’s.” Niall seems to have found his voice again and pulls off his wig as well.

Reena snorts. “How many friends’ that guy need? How many ginger friends as well. Last one was real, though.” She points at me. “That guy whose music you listen to literally all the time. Think it’s him. Haven’t asked. That’s not something you do, y’know.”

“Please tell me she’s not talking about Ed Sheeran,” I whisper.

“She probably is,” Niall answers (thought I didn’t really need an answer to that one). “I think he was passing by. We’re only picking him up as well, how long’s it gonna be?” he asks Reena.

She waves her hand in a comme ci-comme ca way. “Fifteen, twenty?”

“We’ll wait,” he decides and pulls me down onto a fluffy leather couch.

As soon as Reena exits the room, he looks at me as angrily as a Niall Horan can.

“You have a tattoo?”

I shush him. “Don’t scream.”

He shrugs.

“Yes I do,” I continue. “I got it when I moved here; you know, as an eighteenth birthday present of some sorts. Well, the first one.”

He almost chokes, “The first one?”

“You just destroyed everything he’s ever believed in,” a voice says from the door to one of the tat rooms.

Raise your hand if you didn’t see it coming that it’s Ed Sheeran. Because for some reason I don’t and I nearly die.

“You’re Ed Sheeran.”

“Yes,” he says patiently.

“You’re Jesus,” I wheeze.

“I’ve been called that,” he grins, literally falling onto the sofa next to me.

“…Can I touch you?”

He bursts out in laughter and I blush.

“Not like that you pig!”

Niall hits me on the back in laughter, but he hits me a little too hard, so I end up being pushed to the ground where I stay for a second probably looking like a hypnotised rabbit before I scramble up and take a seat again. Me being shoved off my seat seems to sober the boys up a bit and Ed smiles at me.

“I’m real, though.”

“No you’re not,” I answer automatically and he laughs.

“She didn’t fangirl like that over Liam,” Niall mentions.

“That’s extremely pathetic,” the ginger says drily.

I cross my arms. “I had lost a contact, okay? I was practically blind when I first met him and it would have been a bit awkward to fangirl after that.”

“She’s funny.”

“She’s okay,” Niall reasons and I push him in the side. (But I’m not nearly as strong as him so unfortunately, it doesn’t have any effect whatsoever.)

“Are you getting a tattoo as well, Ed?” I change the topic.

He shakes his head. “I’m failing miserably at writing a song, but nothing else. So I decided to pay the boys a visit, what with all that drama around your face. Thought it’d get me off the writing block.”

I nod. “Isn’t it awful? I pretend to be a writer,” I add when I notice his questioning glance.

“You’re boring, I’m gonna go watch Harry whine like a puppy from the pain,” Niall announces.

“That’s mean!” I call after him, but the door’s already closing.

I pretend not to hear him shout back ‘Whatever, Mummy’ but I’m pretty sure he did.

“I love your music by the way,” I say nonchalantly. “It’s genius.”

Ed looks content with himself. “Thanks.”

“It’s nothing.”

“So tell me what tats you have,” he bursts out.

I look at him confused. “That’s a bit of a personal question, don’t you think?”

“I’m not forcing you to answer.”

I smile. “Well, there’s one on my neck that says ‘All I wanted, All I need’” I lift my hair to show him. The two sentences are written inside a circle made out of feathers.

“That’s way cooler than anything I’ve ever gotten and I feel really shitty.”

I shrug, laughing. “I got it when I left home for Dublin. It’s sort of … breaking free, you know? Going out there but always remembering that I’ve got what I need, that I’ll always be okay.”

“All you wanted?” he asks.

I look down at my hands. “My parents died,” I say and he doesn’t ask because he seems to understand at once.

“Sorry,” he says.

There is a tiny pause while we both ponder a bit until I choose to break it by showing my right sleeve up my arm and showing him the tiny outline of an elephant in the crook of my arm.

“Cool.”

I shrug. “I love elephants. I literally aspire to be like an elephant. Y’know, without the additional weight and all.” He laughs. “No, seriously. They take things slow, but are deliberate, and they’re nice and cute but still never forget. I like them a lot.” Also, the day my parents died, we were at a zoo and we fed elephants together. It’s the last nice memory I have of them. But nobody wants to hear about stuff like that because dead parents are a depressing topic.

Ed makes a popping sound. “You really are Liam’s girlfriend.”

I grin. “Do you think that?”

He frowns. “Don’t you?”

“I don’t know. I just feel like … you know, he’s the Liam Payne and I sometimes forget that. And then I remember and I also remember that I’m just a girl who’s stuck in a low-paying job at eighteen and who spends her free time watching children’s films and trying to write a book.”

“But what if that’s the kind of girl Liam needs?”

“Don’t be silly.”

“Do you think you’re in love?”

I stare at him. “What?”

“Because I think he may be sort of in love with you, and I’m not really sure about you. And he’s a nice guy, Liam.”

“He’s more than nice,” I murmur

“I guess he is.” It’s obvious that he wants me to continue.

“What do you want me to say?”

“How do I know?”

“How do you feel when you’re with him?” he asks.

That’s easy.

When I’m with Liam, I feel like I’m dying a thousand of tiny deaths all over all the time but I don’t even mind because it’s such a delicious way of dying and the most beautiful thing I’ve ever felt even though I’m scared at the same time.

“I don’t just think so,” I hear myself say, like through water. “I’m pretty sure I’m also ... you know, sort of in love with him.”

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