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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19. Too Close

ANA

 

I pulled my blankets higher over my head and stretched my feet as far down as I could. This was going to be a long day. I knew the words to say, I knew how to say them, he just had to follow the script in my head. He had to react the exact way I anticipated or else I was screwed.

 

"Ana?" I heard someone call from the front room. Oh no, oh no, oh no. Oh, no. No no no. Nonononono. This wasn't good.

 

"Niall? I'm in here!" I called. Seven months. We'd been together for seven months.

 

"Hey, Princess. What's wrong?" He asked. What was he talking about? Right, it was four in the afternoon and I was still in bed. Duh.

 

"Uh, nothing. That's not true, but... Can you come over and sit with me?" I asked. My stomach fluttered when the matress sank and I tried to make it stop.

 

"What's wrong?" Niall asked, pulling the blanket down off my face and stroking my hair behind my ear. I sighed and kept my eyes squeezed closed.

 

"Niall... Maybe I rushed into this whole love thing. Don't get me wrong... I do love you. At least I think I do. I just think I rushed into all of this before I was ready, because I lost dance and I didn't want to lose you too. And more than anything I want to be with you, but I know that the smart thing would be for me to take a break." I tried to stop breathing so heavily. My stomach felt empty and it was like my heart was beating in slow motion.

 

"So you're breaking up with me." Niall said. In the movies he probably would have pulled his hand away and left in a rush, but Niall just kept stroking my hair and trying to slow his breathing.

 

"No, I'm not. I just mean... we should slow things down. Maybe spend a little less time together." I said. I didn't want to break up with Niall, but I had the sick feeling that it was going to end up that way.

 

"But I don't think I can do that. I love you too much, and being away from you is hard enough just for a day." Niall said. I stared into his eyes, and he looked like he was going to cry. I shook my head.

 

"Niall, I just can't have this strong of a connection with you. I can't rely on you as much as I do." I said. Niall stared at me like he didn't know me anymore, and it felt like a knife was cutting all of my vital organs into shreds. "Niall, don't look at me like that. It's not that I don't trust you. I do trust you... but I've only ever had Liam before. My family didn't love me, I didn't have friends because of dance and now that part of my life is over, I don't know what I'm meant to do anymore. I think what I wanted more than anything was someone to trust and have my back, and you were there for me like no one else was. And I think that I put too much of myself into this relationship and not a friendship that I should have. I'm so sorry, and I don't want us to break up, I just want to be friends with you first. Maybe we can... start over?" I asked.

 

I tried to look Niall in the eye, but he kept looking away. I sighed and ran my hands down my face.

 

"You're breaking up with me, aren't you?" I asked, looking at Niall. He nodded slowly.

 

"I think it's an either or. And I can't be with you if you can't love me back, no matter how much I want to." Niall said. I thought that this would all work out for the best... but now I was the one getting my heart broken.

 

"It doesn't have to be an either or." I said quietly. Niall glanced around the room.

 

"I know, but it's easier this way. I guess I should go now." He said, getting to his feet and wiping his hands on his jeans. I sighed and knew no matter what I said, he wouldn't take me back.

 

"I guess so. Bye, Niall." I whispered.

 

"Bye, Ana." Niall said back, and then he pressed his lips to my forehead. As much as I loved the way he gently kissed my head goodnight and pecked my nose after we kissed, I knew this was the last time I would feel his lips on me.

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