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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20. Where do I go from here?

LIAM

 

There was a pounding on the door of my flat. I shouted out and rolled off the couch, taking my time to get there. "Calm down, I'm coming!" I shouted. I ran a hand through my hair and looked through the peephole. Niall was standing outside my door with tears streaming down his face, and he just pulling on his jeans like he was nervous. He lifted his hand to knock again and I quickly opened the door.

 

"What happened?" I asked, Niall looked around and took in a breath, sniffing.

 

"I broke up with Ana... I broke up with Ana. I need to go." He said again, and then turned around and walked off down the hall. What... Niall broke up with Ana. Oh, God. I closed my door and rushed to get dressed. I put my shirt on three different times before it was facing the right direction and not inside out. I hopped out the door pulling my shoes on and didn't even bother tying my laces before I banged the lift button over and over. I hopped in and slammed close door over and over and finally I made it to the lobby.

 

Charlie tried to say hello to me as I left and I ended up just waving over my shoulder as I sprinted out the front door. Like usual, there were a couple of guys with cameras out in the car park, and I just ran past them and sprinted across to Ana's building. I took the stairs because there was an old woman trying to take the lift. I was out of breath when I finally reached Ana's door. I pulled out my key and shoved it in the lock, jimmying it over and over until I finally got the door open. I left the door open as I ran down the hall and shoved open the door to her room.

 

"Ana." I breathed, doubling over to catch my breath. She was curled into a ball in her bed, and I could hear her sobbing. I kicked off my shoes and climbed over the other side of her bed and wrapped my arms around her. This was never meant to happen, she and Niall were that couple that nothing could get between. They were the ones that were never meant to break up. But they did.

 

"Ana, Niall told me what happened. I'm here, you're fine and I'm here." I breathed, pressing my head against hers and holding her tight. Ana just sobbed for a while longer. She finally managed to roll over and open her mouth like she was going to say something, and then started sobbing again.

 

"Don't cry, it doesn't hurt like this for very long." I sighed, wrapping my arm around her head and pulling her into my neck. Ana's sobs woaked my shirt and I sighed. I didn't know why he broke up with her, they were the couple everyone wanted to be, nobody could have seen this coming. "I promise it doesn't hurt like this for very long." I lied. I still hurt. I hadn't gotten dressed in two days, and my stomach still hurt at the thought. But Ana needed me right now and I couldn't tell her it wouldn't go away.

 

"How would you know? Danielle took you back after two days. Niall's not coming back, Liam." Ana managed to get out between sobs. I sighed and shook my head.

 

"Danielle broke up with me on Monday. For real this time. And she's definitely not taking me back this time." I said, staring at the light blue walls and willing myself not to cry.

 

"God... we're just a mess, aren't we?" Ana managed a light laugh and I chuckled sadly.

 

"That we are. But it's not going to feel like this for very long, Ana. I promise." I said and held her until she slowly stopped crying. Her breath hitched every once in a while and she hiccuped occassionally, but Ana slowly calmed down enough to tell me all of what had happened. I ruffled her hair.

 

"Wow, hate to make you feel bad but you really messed up, Ana." I said. Ana laughed and nodded, pressing her face into my shirt.

 

"Don't remind me. I just... I was scared of the way he makes me feel. I've never felt like that before and I couldn't handle how much I relied on him. It made me so scared that he was going to let me down, even though I knew he wouldn't. It was sort of the unknown that was scaring me." Ana said. I nodded. I'd been all Ana had since we were six. She didn't have time for friends and she didn't really want them. And now she had Niall and Harry and Louis and Zayn and all the girls and me, and it was scaring her.

 

"Well you just need to know who you're going to trust, and who you're going to hang out with. You don't have to rely on everyone, you just need one or two people who you tell everything to, and then friends that have your back and make you happy." I said. Ana nodded after a minute.

 

"Okay... I pick you and Jade. And everyone else will be my friends who make me happy. But I need a goal. I always dreamed of being the prima ballerina, and dancing for the rest of my life. And now I can' t be that anymore. What am I going to work for?" Ana asked. I sighed and thought for a minute.

 

"Well, you've always been beautiful. Maybe you could talk to Eleanor and try out some modeling." I suggested. Ana breathed into my shirt, thinking.

 

"Okay. I'll call her now and see what we can sort out. Will you stay here with me tonight?" Ana asked. I nodded and sat back while she searched for her phone. Finally she pulled it out of her pillow case and searched her contacts, finally putting the phone to her ear. She looked at me hopefully until Eleanor answered.

 

"Hey, El!" Ana said, faking a happy mood. I smiled at her and gave her a thumbs up, which she returned. "No, yeah! Um, so you know I've been pretty lazy since I stopped dancing, and I was talking to Liam and he suggested maybe I tried out modeling, you know, go to some go-sees and stuff. Would you know where I should start?" Ana and El chatted away for a few minutes while I looked around. There was dirty clothing all over the room and I spotted some of Niall's socks among her clothes or in the laundry basket. They had been inseperable... It was like I was in shock over their break up. But a small part of me knew that I was always going to have feelings for Anika.

 

"Thanks! Yeah, I'll be there in twenty! Thanks so much, love ya!" Ana said, and hung up the phone, a real smile on her face. "Pick out some clothes for me while I shower... Eleanor's at Seventeen in London and she said the director would love to have more models! I need to get ready and be there in twenty minutes." Ana said. She jumped out of bed and ran off to the bathroom. A second later I heard the water turn on. I walked over to Ana's dresser and started looking for clothes for her. I pulled out some clean underwear and things, and then a tank top and cardigan and some jeans that I remembered she had worn together once. I looked through all of her jewelry and pulled out some earrings my mum had given her for Christmas a few months ago.

 

"Liam?" Ana called from the bathroom. "Can you hand the clothes in here?" I took the clothes over and opened the door a crack, handing them through. "Thanks, you're a life saver." Ana said, pulling the door shut. A minute later the door opened and Ana started blow drying her hair. I pulled on my shoes and picked up all of her clothes off the floor and dumped them in the laundry basket.

 

"I'm ready! Are you coming with?" Ana asked. I nodded and we walked out to her car together. I'd always loved the old yellow beemer we had picked out when we were sixteen, two weeks before I auditioned for XFactor.

 

"This is it?" I asked as we pulled up in front of a huge office building. Ana shrugged and grabbed her purse and phone before getting out of the car. I got out as well and we took the lift up to the seventh floor. It was a nice building with marble floors and white walls, and everyone was wearing nice clothes and looked official. Ana wrapped her arm around mine and was practically shaking with excitement.

 

"Calm down! You'll do brilliant." I assured her as we got out of the lift and Ana squealed excitedly.

 

"Ana! And Liam!" Eleanor said excitedly, getting up and wrapping us into a hug. I laughed and gave her a kiss on the cheek. "Are you excited?" El asked Ana, grabbing her hands. Ana nodded, and she actually looked... happy.

 

"I don't think I was even more excited when I got the part as Clara." She admitted, and followed Eleanor over to meet the photographer. She grinned over her shoulder at me and mouthed, 'thanks!'

 

ANA

 

"Ana, this is Ann Shoket, the editor in chief of Seventeen in America." Eleanor said, bringing me over to a woman with a curved nose and brown hair. I held my hand out and she took it.

 

"Wow, you have such a real look! I can definitely see you in Seventeen!" Ann said, pulling me in for a hug. I grinned at Eleanor and hugged Ann.

 

"Thank you so much!" I said brightly. Eleanor waved as she went over to the photographer, who directed her on set and took photo after photo in different poses and outfits.

 

"So tell me about yourself!" Ann said, sitting down and pulling out a chair for me. I glanced over at Liam, standing alone, and then looked back at Ann.

 

"Sure! But do you mind if Liam sits down over here? I sort of dragged him with me and he's over there looking like a lost puppy." I said. Ann laughed and nodded, and I waved Liam over. He introduced himself and sat down next to me. I noticed that he had a new tattoo along the back of his arm that he hadn't had last week when I saw him.

 

"Woah, when did you get that tattoo?" I asked, grabbing his arm and looking at the arrows up his forearm.

 

"Uh, yesterday." He said, laughing as I examined it. I blushed and dropped his arm.

 

"Sorry! So what do you want to know?" I asked.

 

"Well, tell us about your career as a dancer, your relationship with Niall and the rest of the boys and what made you want to start modeling. We're going to record your answers and if you get the job we'll publish a small interview in the magazine with your photographs that you'll take here today." Ann said. I nodded and crossed my legs. I leaned back in my chair and sighed, deciding where to start. I looked at Liam a little helplessly. He seemed to know what was going through my mind: what would I say about Niall?

 

"Well, where to start! Uh, I became friends with Liam when we were across the road as children. He was basically my only friend. I had two friends: Liam and dance. I dragged him to all of my lessons and auditions and made him play with my dolls and help do my hair for all of my recitals. Thinking back on it, I probably scarred him for life. But he was the only person I had that accepted me when I messed up. My parents were pretty harsh, and anything less than perfect wasn't good enough. But with Liam, he would just tell me my dancing was perfect no matter what. It was hard when he finally got up the courage to drag me places and I went with him to his XFactor audition. See, when he was fourteen I knew he was going places. So it was actually really scary being there with him at his audition. It was like saying goodbye to my one constant. And then two weeks later I had him back, and even though he was devistated it was secretly the best day of my life. Being away from my best friend was the hardest thing ever. And then he auditioned again two years later and this time he didn't come back. And I sort of learned how to fend for myself. It got to the point where being with other people was hard because my life was sort of eat, sleep, dance, text Liam, eat, sleep, dance. When I was sixteen I auditioned for the London Ballet and they said I didn't really have what they wanted, and I auditioned every year after until now, three years later, five auditions later, they finally cast me as Clara in the Nutcracker. I was the youngest dancer in London Ballet history. But then Niall came into my life and things started to get complicated because I'd never had feelings for anyone before, and for once I had friends and a crush and so much else. When I broke my ankle, it was kind of a blessing in disguise. Because I finally got to be a normal girl, which I've never been before. It also sort of made me come to terms with how I felt for Niall-" I spoke, almost out of the room and reliving every moment of my imperfect life. But then Ann inturrupted.

 

"Felt? How you felt for Niall?" She asked, crossing her legs. I held out my hand and gave her a knowing look.

 

"We'll get to that part." I said, smiling. Liam put his arm around the back of my chair and rubbed my shoulder comfortingly. "And so finally everything was sort of in place. I had the perfect boyfriend, and even though I no longer had dance, my one constant without Liam, it sort of felt right. In my mind, dancing will always be my pation. I'll always be a dancer, but it can't be my one and only anymore. Dancers will always tell you that it isn't true, but dancing isn't the most important thing. Once you lose everything, you realise all that you've been missing out on. And honestly, it's fucking awesome having friends. Especially ones like Eleanor and Liam. After a while, though, it's hard to not have what you're used to. And you begin to think that maybe you're rushing into so much that you haven't had time to rethink what is going to happen next. And I knew that I no longer had that drive. I thrived on how Niall and all of my friends made me feel, and I knew I needed something that was mine, something I could always relate to with someone, but also was unique to me. And Liam over here suggested maybe I tried modelling. I sort of thought it was stupid, but then it sort of made sence. I'm confident in the way I look, I've come to terms with my freckles and my hair and I have a confidence that dance gave me that so many girls don't have and I want everyone to have. I want to make everyone around me feel like they can be whatever they want to be, and their life doesn't have to rotate around what you're used to. It was definitely hard, but Niall did break up with me. In fact, he broke up with me this morning. It's not that I don't have feelings for him anymore, but I don't feel the same way after he's broken up with me, because it made me realise that there never will be a constant. I've had a lot of constants; Dance, Liam, Niall, food. But nothing is forever, and even though I don't think I'll ever stop being in love with Niall, I know why he did what he did and I could never feel badly towards him because of it." I finished. Liam squeezed my shoulder and Ann nodded, impressed.

 

"I'm really impressed by your maturity about the break up. I know a lot of girls will struggle with losing their first love, and I think you'd be great on giving advice and speaking about about handling a break up. You could be really inspiring to a lot of girls. Now how about we take some test photos and then ask some more questions!" Ann said brightly. I grinned and nodded, and she pulled me over to rack after rack of clothes, asking about my height and clothing sizes. Liam stayed right by my side the whole time, nodding and pointing out things he liked. It was kind of nice having my Lee back.

 

"Go change into this in the back room and you can head on out and we'll get started!" Ann said. I walked into a dressing room and pulled on the clothes. Then I was bombarded by two women, who painted my nails and curled my hair and did my makeup. When I looked in the mirror, my hair looked like it did before Niall and I got it done. I realised I had kind of missed it.

 

"You look great!" Liam and Eleanor said at the same time when I came out. I blushed, something I almost never did, and then smiled. This was different... and I sort of liked it.

 

"Head on over here, love. Now put one arm over your head and bend over a little, and make it look like you're laughing." The photographer, Nigel, said. I did each thing he told me, and he snapped picture after picture. After about twenty minutes, I looked up and saw that Liam was looking uncomfortable in different clothes, and that they were putting some makeup on him as well.

 

"Do you mind if Liam takes some pictures with you? Sort of like on best friends, and you two could just do some fun pictures." Ann said. I nodded, my heart racing a little. He looked so adorable in a rolled-sleeved Batman tee. I grinned at him and pointed to his shirt.

 

"Nice top, Liam." I teased. I heard the camera click and I turned to Nigel.

 

"That one actually turned out really well, my favourite so far." He said, looking at the picture on a screen by the camera. Liam came over and stood awkwardly next to me. "How about you two dance together? That would be sweet since it's been about him helping you and supporting you all these years." Nigel said. I nodded and Liam and I sort of laughed and moved around awkwardly for a bit. Then I held his shoulders and put him in place.

 

"Hold still!" I shouted, and Liam laughed. I dropped my hands and grabbed his, then looked at Eleanor. "El, mind setting the mood? A little music or something?" Eleanor laughed and played Last First Kiss. I shot her a look and then looked at Liam, who was chuckling. And then we started dancing. It was nice and slow and I felt so nimble on my feet, like I hadn't spent a day away from dancing. Liam spun me around and I giggled. Every thought of Niall was out of my mind. Well, except for me thinking about how I hadn't thought about him... whatever. Shut up, mind. When the song ended, Stole My Heart started playing. El reached to stop it, but I held out my hand. "No, turn it uppppp!" I said. Liam and I started doing the sprinkler and dancing badly, making serious duck faces and laughing at our own stupidity. Eleanor was pulled on set by the photographer and laughed the whole time she danced around with us. When the music was done we took a few photos of the three of us, and then me with each of them.

 

"It was amazing having you three today, and I wouldn't be surprised if you are even on the cover next week, Ana! I'll keep in touch." Ann said as we left to studio. I felt like I was on a cloud, with the two best friends that anyone could ask for.

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