3. No Longer A Stranger
That night, I couldn't sleep. I was always the cautious, responsible one out of all of my friends and family. He was just so... irresistible? 'He's five years older!' I thought again to myself. For some reason, the lyrics to a Taylor Swift song kept replaying in my head. "Made a rebel of a careless man's careful daughter." ...That made no sense!!! I was always the rational one. I didn't want Niall to text me, but I did.
...Too late. That morning, I woke up to a notification on my phone. "You're probably still asleep...the one day that I decide to wake up early and be productive, I can't stop thinking about yesterday! Write me when you get up? xxxNiall" Oh gosh...'What do I respond?!' I panicked a little. I settled for: "It was nice waking up to such a sweet message :) How are you?". A mere minute later, I get a response. "I'm good, just fed up with this boring hotel room...wanna hang out later?" There came the panic again. "Wow, you're so bored you rather spend your day with a fourteen year old girl? ;)" I needed to make it as clear as possible that I was not old enough for anything that he might be thinking about. Niall replied quickly again, only this time almost instantly.
"You're 14?!?!?! Holy crap, you looked older!" followed by: "No offense of course...". Good. I could end this once and for all.
"I know, I know, I look a lot older; but I thought you could still tell I wasn't 19 lol. You do know that I'll understand if you stop talking to me right? I won't care because I know that no 19 year old, especially a world famous one, would want anything to do with a 'little girl'." The next response took longer. Ten minutes maybe?
"I probably sound like a complete creep, but I don't want to stop talking to you. I actually like you a lot. Except maybe we could be just friends?" I wasn't expecting that at all. "Sounds fine with me!" I answered and went downstairs to eat breakfast. All day we exchanged funny remarks and short anecdotes. I would accidentally laugh audibly and leave my mother flustered.
"So... you still want to hang out?" Niall asked. "Sure! How about the ice cream place on the beach?" I replied. I received a "great! see you in 15 minutes!!! XD" before I could even take my finger off of the send button. I only had 15 minutes to look presentable. Although we were 'just friends', I still didn't want him to see me looking like I've been living under a rock. It WAS the beach... so I threw on my hot pink Pac Sun Bandeau bathing suit top and a pair of daisy dukes to go with my vans. I quickly stuck my pink flower clip to pull pack part of the messy brown waves I call my hair out of my face and fixed my slightly smudged eyeliner. I tried to keep it as light as possible. "Mom! I'm going to the ice cream shop! be back before sunset!" I called, grabbing my longboard and skating down the driveway.
I could see his messy blonde hair all the way from the corner. Niall was already at the little ice cream hut- on his new longboard as well. He looked stunning, wearing only swim trunks and sunglasses. 'He must've ridden his longboard here barefoot...so his hotel is probably really close...' I thought. He turned and saw me rolling down the sidewalk. I shot a small wave and a smile in his direction, immediately receiving one in return.
"Hey!" he said as I pulled up in front of him. "Hey," I replied smiling, before turning to the cashier. "One small triple chocolate fudge on a cone and..." I turned back to Niall, implying for him to choose a flavor for himself. He just shrugs. Looking back at the cashier, I order for him "..and an extra large superman." I shoot Niall a mischievous grin. "Oh you're gonna love this. If you finish the whole thing, I'll do whatever you dare me to." He just raises his eyebrows.
I really wasn't expecting Niall to finish 15 scoops of 5 different flavors of ice cream; but he did. He sat back and nodded toward a boy about my age. "I dare you to kiss him" he said. "What?!" "You said that if I finished the whole thing, you would do whatever I dared you to." I groaned and went over to the boy.
I wasn't expecting her to do it, but she did. Victoria went over to the random kid I picked and kissed him square on the lips. I was shocked at three things. One, that Victoria actually did it. Two, that the boy wasn't surprised. And three, that I was oddly jealous. I knew I shouldn't be, but I was. I just couldn't describe it.
The poor guy had no idea that the boy he told me to kiss was Kyle, one of my friends since I moved to Clearwater Beach. We did the weirdest things together-anything from me giving him a makeover to him burying me in the sand-that nothing surprised him anymore. I walked back to where Niall was sitting on the edge of the water fountain and plopped down next to him. His mouth was still wide open. "You actually did it?!" he finally asked. just as he said that, Kyle walked up to us. "Oh hey Kyle," I said casually. Niall scowled at me. "You two know each other?! Not fair!" Kyle and I laughed. "You never said I wasn't allowed to know him" I teased. "Kyle, this is Niall. Niall, this is Kyle." "Nice to meet ya Niall, 'specially since your name rhymes with mine." Kyle said. Niall mentioned something to Kyle about his snapback-oh bother, Kyle could go on for days about snapbacks-and I zoned out as the two began to ramble. I finally interrupted them. "I gotta get home before my mom throws a fit. See ya guys later." I got up, quickly hugged both of them casually, and boarded back home.