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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23. Stop, Don't, No, Please.

ANA

 

"We're heading out so somebody else has to help you clean." Louis said. I sighed and gave him and Eleanor hugs before she pulled him out the door. Soon after, Harry, Liam, and the others cleared out as well. Leaving Niall and I totally alone. I avoided all contact as I began cleaning up the house.

 

"It's almost five, Ana." Niall called up the stairs. My parents knew I was staying at home for the week while they were gone, but I hadn't told them about my... guests. I quickly wiped the last makeup smudge off the counter and rushed down the stairs.

 

"Are your things together?" I asked Niall as I rushed past to put on my shoes. Niall shook his head, but with the look on my face he quickly added, "But I can be totally packed in five minutes."

 

"You can and you will." I tied up the laces on the heeled boots Eleanor had lent me, and I was totally in love with. Niall was back downstairs with his bag ready in three minutes, and I grabbed my things and put my hand on the knob.

 

But before I could open the door, my mum did. There they were in all their glory. Mum, 5'9, not including her six inch heels. Her shoulder length brown hair pulled back in a tight chignon, her makeup in exactly the right place in exactly the right tones, and her crisp pencil skirt and blazer in complimentary dark tones. Dad stood just behind her, a tall 6'5 and very sturdy, with short cropped black hair and dark skin. Mum was pale in comparison to him. They both had very formal suit clothes on in matching colours, and equally disapproving looks on their face.

 

"Anika, you're still here. And you have company." Mum said. The tone of her voice was so nose-up that she didn't actually have to turn her nose up to get the point across. Dad stepped through the door and Niall flattened himself against the door.

 

"Yes, and we were just leaving." I said, grabbing Niall's wrist and pulling him out the door, which was swinging shut.

 

"Oh, no I insist you stay for dinner. I can have some nice lamb stew ready in an hour." Mum said in an it's-not-an-option tone. I sighed and pulled the door shut, giving Niall a look. He bit his lip and dropped his bag back on the floor by the front door, and I put mine down next to it.

 

"Who's this?" My dad asked, finally acknowledging Niall.

 

"This is Niall." I looked at my father, a warning look on my face. "He's a friend."

 

"Is he the one on the magazine?" Mum asked, as if she didn't care and it was off hand.

 

"You'll have to be more specific." I snorted. I was plastered all over every magazine with every boy.

 

"The boy band one." Mum said. I sighed.

 

"That's him." I made a face and plopped down at the table. Niall sat pin-straight in the chair next to me.

 

"Now tell me, is he the one who's pitchy or the one who sounds like a girl? The rest of them have dark hair, and then there's Liam." Mum stirred some vegetables in the vegetable broth.

 

I was about to speak up about how none of them sounded girly or pitchy, when Niall cut in. "I'm the pitchy one." Niall offered, totally serious. My jaw dropped open and I stared at him, but this time it was Niall who avoided eye contact.

 

"He's not pitchy. None of them are." I replied curtly.

 

"No, there's definately a pitchy one, and we've just concluded that it was Niles so you can stop objecting." Mum casual put the lamb in to boil, and I dug my nails into the table.

 

"That's mahogany, darling." Dad said, raising his eyebrows at my nails. I sighed and let the table go.

 

"His name is Niall." I said.

 

"I can be Niles, that's okay too." Niall said quietly. I glared at him.

 

"Oh, so you're just going to take this? Let them call you pitchy and get your name wrong, and you're just putting up with it? You're clearly not the person you were before." I crossed my arms and looked away. I hated my parents. I wished I could just be somewhere else right now, in the car out of the city watching the stars.

 

"Darling, would you get out some Pino Noir?" Mum said to Dad, who nodded and pulled out two glasses.

 

"You must only be sixteen?" Dad asked Niall, raising his eyebrows.

 

"Actually, I'm ninteen." Niall said quickly. Dad raised his eyebrows almost all the way off his face.

 

"Are you sure?" Dad asked, his voice so superior I just wanted to hit him right across the face, slap that stupid look off his face.

 

"I'm sure, but, uh, I can go without." Niall said, looking nervously up at my father.

 

"Of course. Wouldn't want to get in trouble for giving alcohal to minors." Dad poured out two glasses of wine and turned to me.

 

"How is dancing?" He asked, but I knew he already knew.

 

"Just wonderful, Father." I spat. He gave me a pleasent smile.

 

"So you're still dancing? I'm sure that injury has impared your dancing. I'm surprised you were good enough to get in, but a bum leg won't have done you much good." He said. I closed my eyes and inhaled deeply, trying to control myself.

 

"Not one bit, Father."

 

"So even though you can't dance, you've still got your position?"

 

"No, Father."

 

"You're a choreographer."

 

"Yes, Father."

 

"So you don't contribute anything, that's what I'm hearing."

 

"No, I contribute, Father."

 

"Yes, unimportant opinions."

 

"At least I get paid and people like me. You're co-workers hate you, you have to work your ass off for the money you have, and you're not happy. You're only happy when you're beating puppies or stabbing prostitutes or whatever it is you do for fun." I snapped, standing and staring my father in the eyes. He stood tall, almost unaffected.

 

"And you get paid money that you don't deserve, doing a job that helps no one in any way, and act totally out of line." Dad said calmly. I smiled sickeningly sweetly at him, rubbing it in his face.

 

"And tell me, Father, how many children do your co-workers think you have?"

 

"One."

 

"Charlie, right? Because Florence and I do jobs that you don't approve of because it isn't standard government work, because we have dreams where as you're happy being unhappy." I replied.

 

"Art, dancing, it's all a waste of time! Nobody needs either of them, it's a hobby, not a career, Anika."

 

"Is that what you told Florence? Is that what you said to her on her wedding day? That she wasn't getting any of your money to help pay for the wedding because she was a waste of time?"

 

"I was simply being honest, Anika. You need a critique who isn't as obsorbed in their own world, pretending what they do makes sense."

 

"And you need to be a little more obsorbed in your own world, doing something that doesn't make sence. Maybe if you weren't a lawyer you would have time to do things that make you happy, not things that just make sense!" I snapped back. Dad just narrowed his eyes at me and then smiled.

 

"If you'd like to try and find an actual job and settle down like a twenty year old like yourself should be, Daniel Cross has a handsome son name David that has recently gone through the terrible deed of having to take his wife off of life support. I could always schedule you two a dinner." Dad said calmly. I threw my hands in the air.

 

"You're really doing this in front of my ex-boyfriend? Really, Dad? Do you even care about my happiness? And did you ever stop to think that money can't buy everything?"

 

"Of course money can buy everything. It's the only thing you can buy things with."

 

"Niall, get up. We're leaving." I grabbed Niall's wrist and pulled him out the door, grabbing our bags behind us. I swung the car door open agressively and got in, looking up at my towering house as Niall got in the other side. I rolled down the window to get some fresh air as Niall started the car, and as we drove off I watched my parents smile and wave from the front window.

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