Endlessly (A One Direction Love Story)

Anika has always been friends with Liam Payne. She forced him to play with her dolls when they were little, saw him in the front row at each of her dance recitals, forced him into the car for hours while she drove to auditions, and made him critique her every move at the studio. But two years ago, she sat backstage as her best friend sang his heart out for the second time. But this time, instead of coming home after two weeks, he was gone. For good. Liam and Ana still spend every waking hour together, but things are different. Niall and Ana are spending every waking hour together, and Liam's jealous. Will it be the classic story of the best friends who are meant to be, or are Liam and Ana destined to be... just friends?

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21. Comfort Zone

NIALL

 

ONE WEEK LATER

 

I banged my fist against Liam's door over and over again until it swung open and I nearly punched him in the face.

 

"What  is going on?" Liam asked, slightly agitated.

 

"What the hell is this?" I demanded, shoving the magazine in Liam's face. He took a step back and took the magazine from my hands, staring at the front cover.

 

"Is that Ana?" He asked. I nodded, crossing my arms. Liam flipped throught the magazine and looked through all of the pictures from her photo shoot.

 

"Yes, that's Ana. And from the sound of that interview, she was saying I broke up with her because of your friendship. It makes me sound like a jealous asshole. And what about those pictures? You two were all over eachother! I thought you were my friend, Liam! And you went and threw yourself at her just like you said you wouldn't!" I shouted. Liam shook his head and handed the magazine back to me.

 

"That's not what she said at all. She said she would never stop loving you and that we were her constants. She never once said that was why you broke up with her, she didn't even talk about why you did! And I would never do that to you, you know that. The photographer asked us to dance, it was like dancing with my sister. Whatever feelings I thought I had for her are gone, just a figment of my imagination. And need I remind you that you broke up with her, when you two both clearly are still in love with eachother and you're just too stubborn to admit it! Maybe if you told her how you felt you could sort it out and get back together and this whole thing will just blow over." Liam said. I shook my head.

 

"She doesn't want me like she used to. I'm not what she wants anymore. I'm not going to go and tell her I'm still in love with her when she's done with me." I said, shaking my head. Liam sighed, a pitiful smile on his face.

 

"If only you knew how totally wrong you were." He said, and then closed the door in my face. I sighed and dropped the magazine on the floor before walking back up to my flat and lying down on my couch. I pressed my head in my hands. Would it be such a bad idea to call her? Try and figure out what went wrong and why she needed a break? Yes, it would. I sighed and reached for my guitar. I strummed a few chords and wrote them down. When I wasn't emotionally damaged I might be able to turn this into a nice song. Eventually I fell asleep, cuddling my guitar like the loner I was.

 

I woke up at three the next day with four texts from Liam, Ana, Louis, and Harry.

 

Ana: Hey! My parents are in America for the week and I have free reign over my house! How would you all like to have a seven day house party at my place? No paps, just all of the people we love in one place having a fucking great time? My address is 195 Raglan road, Wolverhampton. Feel free to show up whenever, but make sure you tell me if you're coming or not! XX Ana

 

Liam: Are you coming to Ana's? She basically told you she still loves youuuuuu xx

 

Louis: I know you're asleeeppp get up my little irishman! Eleanor and I are already at Ana's and it's massive, you must come. We're all dying for you to show up!

 

Harry: The place is only an hour away, so please come! If you're up by 5 we can drive together. Louis said Ana has enough alcohal to get an elephant trashed and her house is huge. It won't be the same without you.

 

I sighed and called Harry, who picked up on the third ring.

 

"Hey, man. It's Niall. I'll be ready in twenty, so we can meet in the lobby and drive together." I said.

 

"Great, I'll be there. Your car or mine?" He asked.

 

"Your Range Rover will be the least obvious, so let's take yours." I said. Harry agreed to meet in the lobby in a bit, and as soon as he hung up at hopped through the shower and packed seven days of clothes as well as some food for the car ride. I pulled on my Wayfareres and snapback, and stuck my feet in my Supras. In twenty five minutes I was in the lobby, getting out of one lift as Harry was getting out of the other. We said bye to Charlie and hopped in Harry's car.

 

We mostly avoided talking about my breakup with Ana, and just sang obnoxiously loud to the radio. I ate almost a whole bag of crisps by the time we got there, and were greeted by Louis and El getting back from the store.

 

"You cammmeee!" Eleanor said, wrapping us both in hugs, She took the food inside while Louis helped with our bags.

 

"We're doubling up on rooms, so you two will be together. First got dibs, sorry." Louis said. I shrugged and followed him inside. I got hugs from Danielle, Perrie, Jade, Leigh Anne, and Ana.

 

"Jessie's got the stomach flu. I was out of there as soon as Ana texted me. It was like a massacre of vomit." Leigh Anne said. I made a face. Leigh Anne was actually very pretty, but she seemed so nervous all the time. I talked to her for about an hour until the sun was setting outside.

 

"Who wants to go clubbing with Haz and I?" Ana asked the room while we all ate pizza. I almost choked on a piece of peperoni. If Ana went to the club with Harry, she would surely end up making out with him, if not more. I knew Harry would never abuse someone when they weren't concious, but if neither of them was aware what they were doing...

 

"No clubbing for you two!" Eleanor said, pointing her finger between Ana and Harry. I felt a sigh of relief come out. Eleanor for the win.

 

"Come onnnnn!" Harry said. Eleanor crossed her arms and shook her head.

 

"You'll end up bringing some random girl home. Or worse, you'll bring Ana home." Eleanor said. Louis hooted with laughter. I found myself looking between Liam and Danielle. They had broken up the same day as Ana and I, and they seemed totally civil about it. After Liam showed me the real interview footage with Ana, I realised she was being shockingly... calm and mature about the breakup. It was clear we both still wanted to be together, and maybe Liam was right that we were both too stubborn to admit it. I helped Ana clear the dishes while everyone was playing cards in the front room...

 

ANA

 

Gin Rummy my ass. I would rather do the dishes than play cards like old blokes in high pants. I found myself alone in the kitchen with Niall, and we scrubbed the plates in silence. Suddenly, the lights flickered, and then went out. Eleanor squealed in the other room and I felt myself freeze.

 

"Niall?" I breathed. I felt a wet hand reach out and find my soapy one.

 

"Ana, I'm right here. I hate to admit it, but I'm a little freaked out." Niall said. I giggled quietly and realised this was the first time we had talked, and things were so normal. Like we'd never stopped talking.

 

"I'm sorry about the magazine. I didn't think she would twist my words to make you sound like the bad guy." I said, realising that had been weighing on my shoulders all week.

 

"Yeah, I was kind of mad about it until Liam showed me the real interview footage. It's fine." Niall replied. I squeezed his hand. "I heard what you said, about how you'd never stop being in love with me." Niall said after a moment. I froze. Yes, I still felt the same as I had before. But I was scared to be in love.

 

"Yeah... sorry. I know I shouldn't have said it, and that you've moved on. I just, it was the same morning, I was just telling the truth." I said quietly. I felt Niall nod in the dark. Something... made me want to kiss him. See what it felt like. I reached around with my other soap covered hand until I touched Niall's shoulder. I took in a short breath as I slid my hands out of his and around his neck. Suddenly, two hands were on my waist. Niall was breathing slowly, so close to my face. And then we were kissing like nothing had ever happened, like we had never broken up. And then the lights came back on. I pulled away from Niall instantly. It was so different when you could see his face, all my courage was gone. I turned back to the sink and started scrubbing dishes again, and after a moment Niall went back to rinsing them off.

 

"I still love you." Niall said, staring at me while I dried my hands. I shook my head. Love. I didn't want that word.

 

"No, no." I said flatly, and left the kitchen. He knew I still loved him, but why was I doing this? Why was I letting fear take over?

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