5. Crossing Boundaries
"So, were those your friends from school?" Niall asked me. "Well, yeah. They get kind of boring sometimes." I answered. "They don't look like they talk about much more than a controversial Facebook post," he observed. "Pretty much....so how was your day?" I wanted to change the subject more than ever before. He was so interesting, and talking about my shallow 'friends' was the last thing I wanted.
"Good actually. Got through all morning without having to sign a single autograph. I like being ordinary." I couldn't help but laugh.
"You LIKE being ordinary?! I would do anything to travel the world like you do." Niall raised his eyebrows. "Yeah, especially when you can't see most of that world you travel, because you either get mobbed or have to stay and rehearse." I nod my head, thinking over what I had just heard.
I got up; Niall looked at me in confusion. "Come on," I urged. "Where are we going?" He asked, still completely lost.
"I'm going to show you the 'ordinary' side of Clearwater Beach." That's when he perked up. No wonder so many teenage girls thought he was perfect. Looking at him right then and there, I really did believe he was flawless. Every imperfection just made him so much more attractive. From his slightly crooked smile to the way the normally styled stiff blonde locks fell above his face like soft petals.
"Then what are we waiting for? Lets get going!" He stood, taking my hand in his and pulling me out the door. "Where do we start?"
When I took her hand, I could've sworn I felt a spark go through my arm. It was literally the weirdest feeling ever. I shrugged it off then, too excited about being able to see the parts of Clearwater that I've never seen before. Victoria was grinning from ear to ear. Even with braces, her smile was radiant.
I grabbed my longboard as we headed out the door. "Quickly go to your hotel room and grab your board. I want to show you something." I told Niall. He nodded and jogged in the other direction down the street, returning in less than ten minutes.
Pushing off with my right foot, I rolled down the sidewalk; Niall following my lead.
I showed him all of the local highlights of the city. It was fun; revisiting places I hadn't been to in a long time because my so called friends considered them 'lame'. After a few hours, the sun began to set. We finally stopped in front of a small, quaint entrance to an empty part of the beach.
The beach entrance was small; barely visible if you weren't looking for it. I could hardly see the wooden walkway that was hidden by sand and palm leaves.
I hadn't been here in months. This used to be my favorite spot in all of town. Niall followed me to wear I sat down between two sand dunes. We say there for a few minutes in silence, watching the sun set. Finally, he spoke up. "So what's your problem?" I was stunned and confused by the question. "What?" "Your problem. You know mine. This whole thing with One Direction-never being able to completely be myself. What's your inner struggle? Don't say you don't have one. Everyone does."
I sighed and began explaining my family situation. Niall listened intently. As if he actually....cared. When I fell silent, he nodded and thought for a moment. "You're strong though. I can tell. You don't show that it bothers you, even if it does" was all he said. "I'm not one to take pity upon myself. I don't ask for help unless I know for sure that I won't be able to fix it myself." I confessed.
"Another day another life
Passes by just like mine
It's not complicated
Another body to grow old
It's not complicated..." He recited; I cocked my head. "...Autumn Leaves. Ed Sheeran." Niall concluded.
"I know. He's one of my favorite artists. And that's my favorite song....but what does that have to do with anything?" I asked.
"You think that in life you just have to tough it out and hide your silent struggle. It's not like that at all. Cut loose a little will ya?"
He had no idea that just being there with him in that moment WAS cutting loose for me.