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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10. Rocky Road and Five-Quid-Mojitos.

Rocky Road And Five-Quid Mojitos

Esmée

 

When we walk out of the restaurant, Liam’s arm around me and me cuddled into his side as closely as possible, it’s already dark out.

Here, outside the city, you can actually see the stars, something I haven’t been able to since I left home for Dublin. I must’ve forgotten how great it is—seeing the stars, trying to count them and failing, looking for the figures—because if I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have been able to not miss it terribly and drive out of town every time I can to do exactly that. Then again, I’ve never seen them as as beautiful as they are to me now, with Liam, and I’m not sure if I should find that pathetic or just be content with it, and with this moment.

“Wow,” I breathe and Liam turns to look at me.

“What is it?”

He looks like he really cares about me, I notice. He looks at me as if I’m the fucking sun or something, as if, in that moment, I matter more than the beauty of the stars, or the cold air or the fairy lights in the trees. And I really like it, also because I’m pretty sure I look at him the same way, which I’m also not sure if I should find pathetic or enjoy.

“The stars are just really pretty,” I say, and if I said it to anyone else in any different moment, I would probably find it a bit embarrassing that I just literally marvelled over stars for, like, three whole minutes or something of me spacing out, but with Liam, it seems to me like it’s okay to say things like that, slightly stupid things, because whatever it is that we have is slightly stupid as well but we both don’t really care. Also, I feel like, with Liam, I could never even say anything stupid, because he’s always got that look in his eyes, and he’s always so perfect and nice and just Liam, because I don’t think anyone else could pull something like that off, because this is him. And I think that’s pretty damn perfect. (Because he is pretty damn perfect. But I would never say that out loud.)

“You’re right,” he says, smiling down at me. “I guess they are.”

He doesn’t say that corny “but you’re more beautiful than the stars”-line they say in movies, and I’m grateful for that, because it would ruin the moment we’re having, but he sort of says it with his eyes, because Liam has the kind of eyes that speak.

I check my phone for the time and notice I have three missed calls and five texts from Clary, and I’m guessing she’s probably waiting for me in our tiny shoebox flat with Reese’s and cheddar, just in case this date goes pretty shitty, so I guess I should call her. Also because Clary never calls if she can avoid it; Clary’s a text person.

“Sorry, would you mind terribly if I just checked with Clary for a bit?”

Liam shakes his head. “Go on.”

I smile gratefully and walk away about a yard, dialling Clary’s number.

She picks up on the second ring. “Essie?”

I nod and then realize she can’t see me. “Yes.”

“You’ve got to come home.”

I frown. “Clary, do you actually realize that I’m on a date and on a date with a like proper fit and on top of that nice lad and that I haven’t been on a date since Lower Sixth? So this actually better not be about not having milk in the fridge because I swear to God—”

“Brian broke up with me.”

I almost choke. “He what?”

Brian is—was—Clary’s boyfriend; for about as long as I’ve known her. He’s really nice as well. They’re perfect. Absolutely perfect.

“He said he just didn’t find me pretty anymore.”

I blink. “I didn’t catch that.”

“He fucking said I wasn’t attractive to him anymore. That nobody would like a girl with hair that looks like a squirrel lived in it and a sailor’s voice.” Not that much of a nice lad, after all.

“I hope you told him where to shove that.” I clench my fist. I mean, sure. Clay’s hair is a big whoosh. Clary’s hair is as big as she is, and as big as her voice. But that’s what makes her so Clary. That’s also what he used to tell her he loved her for.

I can hear her give a little laugh. “I told him he could go fuck himself and a few other things your English ears won’t stand.”

I shrug. “I don’t even have enough middle fingers to express what I think about him right now, so I’m not judging.”

“It’s fine. I just … I literally don’t have anyone else to talk to.”

There is a short pause.

“Rocky Road or Cookie Dough?” I ask.

She sniffles. “Rocky Road.”

“Okay, I’ll be there in half an hour.”

I make in seventeen minutes.

Liam is literally a perfect person, by the way. When I came back to him, he had already called the driver and told me that he was just going to go to the Temple bar—apparently, he’d reserved some champagne and a table area, which made me feel really shitty about myself, even though he said it was fine, but then again, this was Liam—with the lads. I told him I needed to buy ice cream and to just call me a cab, but he actually made the driver go so fast that I’m pretty sure he might have to hand in some tickets to management and called the other boys to make them buy ice cream and meet us in front of the hotel so that no more time would get lost.

See what I mean with perfect?

Clary’s pretty much a crying mess by the time I arrive, spluttering something about how I might hate her for ruining my date with a nice bloke and how she really, honestly loved Brian.

I smile and tell her that no, she didn’t ruin my date, and feed her ice cream and The Lion King, because there’s no way anything about a story about animals in the savannah can remind her of Brian.

“You know,” she says (but with her mouth full of ice cream, so it sounds more like a sound a dog would make than actual human speech) when Timone and Pumba go into their musical number for Hakuna Matata, “it’s strange how we never really talked and only because you finally get a guy and I lose mine, we’ve actually become really good friends.” She looks at me with those big cloudy-sky-coloured eyes of hers. “We are friends, right? You would say that I’m your friend?”

I nod and she throws her arms around me in a hug that might just kill me.

The thing about Clary, I realize in that moment, is that she always seems so okay. I mean, she’s always though and stands up for you and makes jokes about everything that it kind of makes you forget that she’s a pretty vulnerable person underneath and that even if she makes a joke about something, that doesn’t mean she’s still hurt by it. She just cries on her own, and I’m so happy that, in this moment, she doesn’t have to because crying on your own is probably the worst kind of crying because you can’t seem to stop the tears and also because they don’t even give you that emotional relief they would if you weren’t alone and they make you feel even more pathetic because, well, you’re alone.

“We’re the best of friends,” I say quietly and then straighten up and make her sit properly on the couch. “Which is also why we’re going to go out tomorrow. I’ll ask my friend Justin and we’ll be hitting a club and if you want, you can have emotionless sex with a weird stranger and I won’t complain and you’ll feel better.”

She sniffs. “No I won’t.”

We both know that’s a lie, so I don’t say anything, and we just look at each other until she breaks out in a grin.

“Okay, thanks,” she says and I grin, too, and then we hug again for such a long time that we have to rewind the DVD because we’ve missed too much.

 

 

 

Liam

 

“Why did I have to find out through an interview that you fancy a girl?” is the first thing I hear when I pick up my phone. Though, I do understand why my mum is a tad upset. Mums tend to be that way when their kids keep stuff like that from them.

“Hi, Mum,” I say. “It’s nice to talk to you, too. Missed you.”

She huffs, but I can tell that he’s not seriously angry.

“When can I meet her?” she asks.

“We haven’t exactly talked about stuff like that yet,” I say, slowly.

“Why not?”

“Because I haven’t exactly asked her to be my girlfriend yet?” It sounds like a question.

There is a pause, then, “Well, but I really want to meet her.” I can tell that she’s scared I’m trying too early to compensate losing Danielle.

I smile. “You’ll love her. Esmée’s great.”

“I’m sure I will, love. Esmée is quite the unusual name, isn’t it?”

“I guess? But she isn’t ordinary either, and I think her name fits her perfectly.”

My mum chuckles. “Isn’t she girl who brought the cookies to your hotel room, though?”

“Yes, she works in the hotel we’re staying at. She wants to be a writer, though,” I add quickly. “And she’s brilliant, I think. You know, Ed came to visit and she wrote a song with him.” Okay, so I am boasting. But who wouldn’t, honestly?

“Ruth will love that,” my mum says and I grin.

“Yea, I think they’ll get along really well.”

“Don’t make me pull everything out of your nose, Liam. Tell me about her, what’s she like?”

“She’s lovely, Mum. Really, I didn’t even mean to get into something like this again quite soon, but she just completely blew me away.”

“That sounds great, Liam.” She practically gloating over the phone. “How old is she again?”

“Eighteen,” I answer. “She’s been working in the hotel for a year now, I think. And she has a crazy roommate and loves the same films as me and Mum, you should see her baking, it’s beyond amazing! And I’ve honestly never met someone as genuinely kind as her, but at the same time she’s funny and smart and I can’t wait for you to meet her! She’s from London as well, but she moved to Castlemaine with her aunt after her GCSEs, so don’t worry about another Niall speaking.” I can hear my Mum laugh. “Oh, she loves hot chocolate as well and, well, she’s just really really cute.”

My mum sounds really happy when she says, “I’m so glad you finally met someone like her. Uhm, not that I didn’t like the girlfriends you’ve had. She just sounds like she’s perfect for you.”

I smile. “She really is. She’s way too good for me.”

“Nobody’s too good for you, Li,” she says, but of course she has to because, well, she’s my mum. “Did you take her out?”

“Yeah, yesterday evening. Niall helped me find a really cute restaurant outside of town and I took her there after our interview. Ed performed and I had Chinese food delivered to the pub because earlier, she’d said that she really fancied lemon chicken…”

“I raised you well,” my mum interrupts me. “Oh wait, Ruth’s here.” I hear muffled speaking, probably my mum talking to my sister about me.

“You’re on speaker, Liam.”

“Hi, loser,” Ruth says playfully.

“Hi, blondie,” I say back and she laughs.

“So I heard,” Ruth says.

“You heard,” I retort and there is a short pause.

Did she really write a song with Ed?” she blurts out.

I laugh. “Yes, she did. After nearly fainting when she met him, if Niall’s right.”

“I already like her,” Ruth decides and I grin.

“So do I, by the way,” my mum pipes in. “You really have to bring her around. I’d love to meet her.”

“Sure,” I say; and the truth is, I’m actually looking forward to her meeting my family as well. I know for a fact my dad will love her and I’m quite sure my mum’ll like her a lot as well. (And I’ll have to watch out for her and Ruth because apparently, May loves Labradors and Ruth has Brit; and also they sort of like the same stuff and will probably gang up on me.) Esmée is also the type of girl whom everyone loves immediately, especially parents.

“What’s she look like?” I hear my Dad’s voice ask and I shake my head. This wasn’t supposed to become that conversation. That let’s-ask-Liam-about-that-girl-he-likes-so-we-can-embarrass-him-when-we-actually-do-meet-her conversation. I think I can hear my mum scold my dad for being rude, but I don’t really mind because that’s just another thing about her I can boast with and I don’t mind that.

“I’m his dad, I can ask stuff like that,” he defends himself and I laugh.

“Se has really light brown hair; it looks like caramel,” I tell him. “Quite short, say 5’5’’? Big hazel eyes, a few freckles, big mouth and high cheekbones. She has sort of an upturned nose, so she looks really cute… you’ll want to hug her immediately. She’s just the right amount of curvy and she has tiny feet. I mean, size 3.”

“Are you joking?” Ruth laughs.

“I’m not, she has midget feet.”

“Did you really meet her in an elevator?” my mum asks.

“Yes, I did.”

“How do you do that?”

“Well, we got stuck and she’s a bit claustrophobic and the rest is, as they say, history.”

“Only Liam could get stuck on an elevator and come out with a date,” Ruth jokes and my dad’s booming laugh is so loud that I have to hold the phone away from my ear so that I don’t get any hearing damage.

“Okay, okay,” I say. “I hate you guys. Love you lots.”

 

 

 

 

Esmée

 

Justin comes barging into our flat about half an hour before when we’d actually agreed to meet up, already dressed in dark skinny jeans and a pale blue button up with blue-white checkered cuffs.

“Hello, babes!” He greets. “Oh… you don’t look like babes,” he adds when he sees us. “You look like homeless people.”

“Thanks, Justin.” I roll my eyes.

“You’re welcome. Now, I’m gonna hottify you, Mint, while the pile of sorrow over there can eat some more ice cream, but after that, we’re both coming for you.” He looks at Clary in a way that makes it clear that he won’t take no for an answer. “And then I’m gonna take you to the hottest club we can get into without having to sell our souls and make you dance until you’ve wrecked your shoes. Mint, have you called loverboy?” I nod.

“Liam’s not gonna call and/or text me.”

“Great,” Justin says and then he’s already pulling me up the stairs to my room. Say what you will about Justin, but he is awesome at parties and making you get over a guy ASAP.

“Do you have anything sexy in here?” he asks me, his eyebrows raised so high that they’re almost disappearing into his perfectly styled hair.

“Define sexy?”

“Anything that will make you look older than fourteen and not like a schoolgirl from Wild Child.”

“Then, no. I guess not.”

Justin groans exasperatedly. “Great. Let’s go to Clary’s room. That girl looks like she might actually have something that could make you look attractive.”

He leaves my room and bounds down the stairs, with me running after him like a panicking kitten or something.

“Justin,” I say. He doesn’t react. “Justin!”

“What?”

“Clary is like a size six or something. I’ll never fit in any of her clothes, mate.”

Justin frowns. I imagine it has to be really hard for him to comprehend that, for girls, different sizes actually mean something. I mean, blokes can just wear whatever clothes they want, all the time, unless they’re either really fat or Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Clary sits up on the sofa—don’t get your hopes up, she doesn’t actually move away from it, she just gets out of her slouching position—to tell Justin, “She’s right, you know. She’s got boobs and all.”

Justin stares at us for a second, then he throws up his arms. “God fucking dammit woman, I am not taking you if you look like a porcelain doll.”

I sigh. “I’ll see what I can find…”

“No,” he says. “Absolutely not. I’m gonna need you to actually not look cute tonight, so I will raid your closet again. And I will find something to show off all that…” he gestures to my chest, “stuff you have. Okay. Okay.”

And with that said, he’s hustling out of the room and up the stairs to my room again, leaving me to plop down on the sofa next to Clary, who says, “Is he actually gay or straight because I don’t have a fucking clue.”

I grin at her. “You don’t know unless you know.”

“Oh. Okay.” There is a pause. “I would love for him to be gay, actually. Like, he’s super-fit, but I would love for him to be.”

That’s when a manly scream (actually it is more like a girly screech but I can’t say that or Justin would strangle me) comes out of my room.

“You own a sexy dress?”

Oh no. I know what that dress is.

“Put that back; I am never wearing that!” I screech, while scrambling up form the sofa to run up to my room.

“But I want you to wear this,” Justin whines, holding up the light blue and black Topshop mini dress my aunt Mia gave me for my nineteenth birthday a few weeks ago.

I shake my head. “I told myself I would never wear that.”

He nods patiently. “Yes, and I thought you’d already sold it on ebay. But it turns out you haven’t, and that’s good, because this is what you’ll be wearing tonight.”

I cross my arms. “No, I won’t.”

“Yes, you will.”

“No; and if you have to sew me in it, I won’t.”

I end up wearing the dress, of course.

And even though I would never admit it out loud, it does look really good. Not necessarily my style exactly, but extremely hot. I actually love it. But, again, I would never admit that.

I end up wearing a pair of black heels that Clary calls “fuck-me heels” and bold eyeliner in a sort of pin-up like style as well as dark red lips as make-up, and I do look like a sexier version of me.

“You really do look gorgeous,” Clary tells me when we step out of the cab in front of Temple Bar and I nervously adjust the skirt of my dress.

Honestly, she’s the one to talk. She’s wearing a short, tight leather skirt over polka-dotted thin black tights and a see-through beige blouse over it. Her frizzy strawberry blonde hair is straightened—it took me one and a half hours, and her hair only goes about four inches past her shoulders now that it’s straightened, so that’s not that much hair—and clipped back in the front, and her dark eyeshadow really brings out the blue in her eyes. I am beyond jealous of her. Or I would be, if I didn’t like her so much.

“It’s too short and too tight and it, like, misses important parts of fabric,” I complain. “Like, parts that should definitely cover my skin.”

Justin sighs and gives the cab driver some cash. “You’re lying, it’s perfectly fine. It’s from Mia, it can’t even be really skimpy. I don’t think she can even give you something skimpy; it’s like against legal guardian rules or something.”

I scoff. “Whatever. Please get me drunk.”

Justin grins cheekily. “Will you table dance?”

I glare at him. “Fuck you; you broke your foot at a party when we were sixteen because you got wasted.”

“You dropped your phone in the toilet,” he counters.

“You table danced for our English teacher,” I shoot back.

“Well, I got an A that year,” he says, and we simultaneously erupt in laughter. Clary just stares at me.

“You,” she points at me, as if I didn’t know she was talking to me, “actually got drunk?”

I nod. “I did, you know, in Sixth Form. If you already have a fake ID, you might as well use it. But, to be fair, I never did get really pissed drunk. Justin does; like, on a regular basis, so I always end up being the one to carry him into his bed.”

“This opens my eyes for you in a very different way,” she says. “Don’t tell me you smoke as well.”

“Three packs a day,” I say and Justin guaffs.

“I’m joking,” I reassure Clary after seeing her shocked face. “I had a cigarette once; didn’t like it and never tried it again.”

“You clearly have a bad influence on her,” Clary tells Justin, but he just shrugs.

“I can live with that. I make her a more fun person to be around.” He flashes the bouncer his ID and pulls me after him, only giving me the chance to show my ID for a millisecond. This time, the bouncer actually doesn’t pull me back, which is what usually happens to me. They don’t even give me alcohol in pubs without checking for my ID because even though I am now nineteen, I sort of look like a fourteen-year-old. But tonight Clary either did my make-up really well, or he just doesn’t care. I hope it’s not the latter.

“What is this place even?” I ask once we are inside.

Clary is the once who answers me as she catches up with us in that moment. “It’s the Club M.”

Justin nods. “Sublime Saturday. Mojitos for five euros all night long and the best floor fillers.”

“Great,” I say drily. “Well, if that ain’t the kind of music I listen to.”

Clary laughs. “It’ll be fun, you’ll see. I’m so happy you’re doing this for me, honestly,” she adds, slightly more serious.

I grin at her. “It’s nothing. Now I’m gonna buy us some of those five-quid-Mojitos and get you to dance with a guy.”

“Thanks, Esmée,” she says, but I just shake my head and pull her in the direction of the bar. I think we’ve already lost Justin, but it doesn’t really matter. We’re here to get Clary to have fun, and I’ll be damned if I don’t do everything I can to make sure she will.

Oh, she will have fun alright.

 

 

 

 

Liam

 

“Zayn,” I say (because Zayn is the best one to talk about stuff like this), “Do you believe in, y’know, love at first sight or something?”

Contrary to the others, who would have been laughing into my face right now, Zayn seems to actually think about my question for a while.

“I guess so?”

“You do?”

“Yea, well, I believe that we all have that one person, you know? Like, you can fall in love with different people, of course, cos you really like them? But I think that everyone has that one person who’s perfect for them.”

“Like… soulmates or what?” I feel ridiculous just saying it, but he nods.

“I guess, yeah.”

“So you don’t think it’s totally freaky that I feel like I’m in love with Esmée after such a short time?”

Zayn thinks again, but much shorter than last time, before he answers, “No, I don’t think so. Y’know, my aunt says she knew she was in love with my uncle the moment she met him. She just knew that it was him, that they belonged together. I mean, she’d been married before, and all, but she says that she never felt like she did with him and that that taught her what love really is. I mean, they met in, what, their late fourties? I always thought that was ridiculous and stuff, but I’m starting to think it’s true, actually. You know, that if you meet that person, or really get to know them, you just know. And if you do now, then that’s cool. I’m happy for you, man.”

I frown. “It’s just, sometimes I think it might not be a good idea and all, you know?”

He shrugs. “How would you know if you don’t try?” He sits up straight and looks at me. “Honestly, mate, you’re doing the right thing. You’re happy and she’s happy and if it doesn’t last, then, well I guess it wasn’t meant to be or some shit. But you shouldn’t not want it just because you think it’s going too fast, okay? Because if you and Esmée, if that’s not the real thing, then I don’t know, man, I might as well just give up now because if that’s not all that soulmate shit then that stuff doesn’t exist, okay?”

“I guess.”

“Great. Now let me sleep or I swear, I will fucking punch you. No more chick flick moments until I’ve had some sleep.”

I sigh and get up, throwing a pillow at Zayn and leaving the room before he can actually hurt me.

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