I woke up late the next morning, buzzing with excitement with the thought of Nathan's 'idea.'
Wondering why I'd got up so late, I thought back to my night and remembered what happened last night with Nicole, and I remembered snatches of nightmares I'd had. I shouldn't worry about it, I'm probably never going to see her again, yet her comment, "We're closer to you than you could ever imagine," really scared me. But all thoughts of her were pushed out of my mind as I reached for my phone and read a text from him asking for me to come round to his house this morning. I readily agreed and then ran downstairs for a quick bite of breakfast and then I went for a quick shower to freshen up and wash my hair. Once I came out, I put my brown hair into a quick plait and left it to dry naturally, I couldn't be bothered to dry it properly. I put on a simple checked shirt with my favourite pair of black jeans and then pulled on my brown cowboy boots. I put on the tiniest bit of makeup and then after all that, my hair was pretty much dry so I gently fingered it out of it's plait. Leaving it like that had turned it very wavy and I just left it down like that and then skipped down the stairs out to my car, slipping my charm bracelet onto my wrist as I did so.
When I arrived, Nathan opened the door for me and welcomed me in with a massive smile and a hug to match with a quick kiss on the lips as well,
"Nice boots," He commented and I just smiled in response,
"So," I say, as he leads me in to the living room which is becoming very familiar to me now, but I'm not complaining, "What's your great idea?" I ask,
"Patience, patience," he says with an excited smile, gesturing for me to sit down,
"Come on, please tell me?" I ask, pleading, as Nathan goes around the room, re-organising ornaments and straightening out cushions, deliberately wasting time to annoy me,
"Pleeeaaassseee?" I ask again, getting up and walking up to behind him, and tickling him in the stomach to try and persuade him,
"Hey!" He says, laughing, "That's not allowed! All in good time..." Nathan says, trailing off, and as I look into his eyes I can see a familiar cheeky glint, and before I know what's happened, Nathan has swept me up off my feet and is carrying me through the air towards the sofa and puts me down gently there, as we both laugh.
"Come on Nathan, you have to tell me now,"
"Alright," he says, settling down on the sofa as well, close to me, and I lean in towards him and he places an arm around my shoulder.
"Why don't you write a song or something, like that one you did at your old school, and then I could talk to some people at our record label and then something might happen out of that...?"
I sit, stunned at what he's just asked me to do. For a moment I think, wow, I can actually have the job I've always wanted, I can follow my dream. But then the reality of everything hits me, and instead of agreeing, I say,
"Oh no Nathan, I'm sorry but I just couldn't do that, I mean, I-" I trail of as Nathan looks at me, he looks so sad and crestfallen, it breaks my heart, "I'm sorry," I whisper, but then my eyes light up with a possibility, "what about, if I maybe write a song, and then you and the boys could sing it instead," I suggest to him,
"Alright, it's a shame though, you have so much talent," He says, but then goes on, with another different idea, "hey I know what we could do! Why don't we write a song and then the boys and I can sing it WITH you?"
"Like a collaboration?" I ask, surprised, and now mildly more excited,
"Yeah, 'The Wanted, featuring Hannah Ferrier' it sounds cool,"
"Hmm I suppose," I say, thinking over my situation,
"Yeah, oh my god this is great, because then that would get you acknowledged by people and then things could go on from there!"
"I guess so," I say, smiling now, happy thoughts of what my life could be, swirling round inside my head,
"So is that a yes?" Nathan asks excitedly,
"I suppose so, yes!" I reply happily,
"Great, I'll ask the lads about it later and then if they say yes, which I'm sure they will, then when we go into the studio tomorrow I'll ask the people in charge about it,"
"Sounds like a plan," I say with a smile, and then Nathan pulls me in for a kiss, lips connecting with mine, long eyelashes brushing slightly against each other's skin, and then again, I can feel the strange, exciting connection within my body. It's like electric flowing through my body and then rushing through me into Nathan, somehow joining us.
We spend the rest of the day together, just messing around and having fun, and then as the afternoon light disappears, we decide to sit down and we begin to start writing our song. We decide for it to be about meeting that one special person and falling in love and feeling that 'connection'. It was Nathan who brought that up, I wasn't sure until then if he'd been feeling it too, but this confirmed my thoughts. We worked until late evening until it was finished, I was proud of what we'd achieved. Nathan then brought his laptop through and went on his twitter and tweeted:
'Just finished writing song lyrics with my gorgeous girl, this is going to be BIG!'
I just blushed in embarressment at this, and then asked him,
"Could I please borrow your laptop so I can check my twitter? I've not been on it in ages,"
"Yeah, sure, go ahead, I'm just going through to make a cup of tea, do you want one?"
"Ooh yes please," I replied, logging in, first of all I tweeted: Been an exciting yet tiring day, well worth it though!
Then I replied to a few sweet The Wanted fans who were telling me how lovely I was, seeing their responses afterwards was the best bit though. As I scrolled through all the tweets though, I came across a few hateful ones, I chose to ignore them, but it became harder and harder as they kept coming, but it seemed only to be coming from one person. Even though I knew I shouldn't, I clicked on their profile and was shocked by what I saw.
The account had their username as: @WeHateHannah and I scrolled down through their tweets I could feel The hot tears flowing down my cheeks and could do nothing to stop them. It was more hateful comments: 'She's such a bitch, she's just using our baby Nath,' 'she's only in it for the fame guys, she's just that kind of person' 'if you ship Nannah then you can go jump off a bridge as well' And there were more like that, following themes like that and each one more awful than the last.
'Hey," Nathan said, cheerily, walking in with our cups of tea, he stopped dead in his tracks once he saw me, with tears pouring down my face like tiny waterfalls, "Hannah? Oh my god Hannah, what's happened? What is it? Please tell me?" He asked, concern filling his voice, as he set the mugs of tea down on a table and rushing over to me,"Hannah?" He whispered, "Come on love, look at me, please?" He said, cupping my face gently in his hands, forcing me to look at him, green eyes reflecting my emotions in his. I just pointed to the screen of the computer, refusing to look at it for much longer. I cursed mysellf for breaking down like this, I shouldn't worry Nathan like this, it's nothing major to think about, but those, comments, they just reminded me of my past, from at school. I had grown up, gone to university, and thought I'd finally gotten away from the bullies I'd had to face everyday of my life, it seemed I was wrong.
Nathan got up from kneeling beside me and snatched the laptop from me, I watched all the different emotions cross his face as he read what was on the screen, shock, anger, disbelief and hurt. I saw a stony expression settle in his beautiful face, and then I watched as he logged out of my account and then into his own and I saw him compose a tweet, and realised what he was about to do,
"Oh no please no Nathan. Please don't," I begged, "this will only make things worse, I know it will,"
"No, I've got to do this, they need to know how disgusting, disrespectful and downright evil they are," he said, pulling me in beside him as he hit the 'tweet' button. I peered round his shoulder to see what he'd written:
@WeHateHannah I hope you're proud of yourself. You made my girl cry. Get a life & stop hating on someone you don't know. #hatingwontdoit
"Thank you," I whisper, although I'm scared, I just have a feeling that things are about to get a whole lot more worse and complicated.
"It's ok," Nathan replies, delicately stroking my hair,
"It was just, I don't know," I begin to say, " it was just like high school all over again,"
"Look, Hannah, listen to me, I know that you've been scared by your past, but I'm here to heap you alright? I'm here for you, don't ever forget that,"
I just nod in agreement, I can feel my eyelids getting heavy and it's a struggle to keep them open and focus my attention.
"If you ever get hate again, just ignore it, they're only jealous of you," Nathan says, he can see how tired I am, "come on, lets get you home, it's very late."
Once Nathan drops me off back at my little cottage, he walks me up to the door, and with a hug and a kiss goodbye and quick whisper of: "don't worry,"in my ear, pauses and then says, "doesn't it ever get lonely here? in this old farm cottage with no one else around?"
"Yeah, it does sometimes," I say sadly,
"Hmm," Nathan says thoughtfully and then kisses me goodnight and drives silently away, off into the night.
The next couple of weeks pass by so quickly in a hectic blur. I forget all about the hate because Nath and I have been so busy. Nathan phoned up the record label and they agreed to give it a go with me, but first of all they wanted me to go and sing for them first of all before we jumped to any conclusions, which was totally nerve wracking. I got a phone call a few days later saying they'd like to sign me. I was completely ecstatic about that and of course I said yes, this was my dream! Things have been a crazy blur of events ever since then, and I've not had much time to see Nathan, and it's my birthday tomorrow and I'm meeting up with him then so I'm very excited. I took what Nathan said about not worrying to heart and to be honest I've not really been on twitter for a while, but I've still been having the nightmares, I don't think anything could stop them, but for now I'm happy. But it's my birthday tomorrow, and I've made a promise to myself to forget about everything troubling me and focus on the good times, even if it is just for one day.
I woke up early this morning, buzzing with excitement. I quickly skipped down the stairs for breakfast and then ran back up again to get ready, it was a gorgeous day outside, the sun was shining brightly through my bedroom window, the little crystal hanging by the top of the window casting little rainbows, prisms of light, across my room. Because of the nice weather, I reach deep inside my wardrobe to the very back and pull out my favourite summer dress, a strapless white one with a floral pattern of tiny red and pink flowers scattered all over it. I leave my hair down, watching as it falls out of its pony tail and tumbles down past my shoulders in shiny, brown waves. I reach for my phone as I hear it go off, I look through all my messages, from friends wishing me a happy birthday, and then an extra special one from Nathan, and he's asked me to go around to his house again for 12 o'clock. I quickly reply back with an eager yes and then go outside to cherish the sun while I can. The morning passes by so slowly, I keep looking at the clock, willing the hands to go round faster, but 12 comes around so slowly. By the time it's half eleven, I'm itching to go so I jump in my car and set off, it won't matter if I'm early. As soon as I arrive outside Nathan's house a smile quickly appears on my face. I can see the front garden, decorated with pink and blue balloons drifting around everywhere, and confetti trailing along the ground and hanging from the trees. A long table is set out along the far end of the garden, covered with a white tablecloth. And sitting in the middle of the grass and the sunshine is a pile of presents wrapped up prettily with silver paper and gold ribbon. This can't all be for me, I thought, as I peer through the living room window from where I'm standing, I can see eager faces looking out at me, lighting up with huge smiles. I watch as the door opens and Kelsey appears, followed by Nareesha, Siva, Tom, Jay and Max.
"She's here!" Kelsey exclaims, running towards me, all smiles and hugs me,
"Thank you,' I reply, and then I'm ambushed by everyone else wishing me a happy birthday and coming in for a hug. "You didn't have to go to all this trouble for me you know," I say, smiling as a happy feeling floats up through my body,
"It's no trouble at all!" Nareesha reassures me, "you're our friend and we wanted to surprise you!"
"Hey, where is Nath?" Max suddenly asks,
"I'll go and get him," Jay says with a wink, blue eyes glinting with something, a secret, although I'm not sure what it could be,
"Yeah he might need some persuading," Max adds, slipping inside the house as well, and then Tom says,
"I've just got to go and find something, hand on a second. You coming Kels?" He asks,
"Yep!" Kelsey replies hurrying inside with him.
"Siva, come and help me organise some things for later?" Nareesha then asks, and Siva follows her inside, looking back at me,
"We won't be long! Back out in a few minutes!" And then I'm left outside in the garden, on my own, with only the gentle breeze of the wind and the birds to keep me company. This was really weird, I was beginning to think, when all of a sudden a voice shouted out from behind me,
"SURPRISE!" I quickly span around to see where it came from and found myself facing Sophie, who was currently laughing her head off after jumping out from behind a tree,
"Happy birthday Hannah!" She exclaimed, hugging me tightly, "oh my god the look on your face...hilarious!" She said, still laughing, and then I turned around to face everyone else standing in the doorway, laughing as well, and I joined in. I turned back around to Sophie, to talk to her,
"I bet you didn't think you'd see me here," she said,
"No I didn't to be honest! But I'm so glad you are!"
"Good, well turn around and go say hi to your boyfriend, I think he wants to speak to you," she says, taking me by the shoulders and spinning me around, and before I have time to get hold of my bearings, she pushes me gently, but forcefully forwards, and I stumble and fall, right into Nathan's arms.
"Good catch," I say, slightly breathless from all of the excitement, as I look up at Nathan. God I've missed him. He looks gorgeous today, is it possible that every time I see him he becomes more beautiful?
"Happy birthday," he says, flicking his fringe out of his face and taking hold of both my hands in his, "now, shall we get this party started?"
We spend most of the afternoon relaxing and talking in the summer sunshine, until Sophie announces,
"Right! It's present time!" And pulls me up off the grass from my spot next to Nathan and drags me towards the pile still lying in the middle of the garden. Everyone else follows us and we end up sitting in a big circle on the grass, with Sophie in the middle, taking charge and dishing out the presents.
"This is from me," Sophie says, handing me quite a large, rectangular shape. I gently peel back the wrapping paper, folding it neatly and then rolling up the ribbon tidily,
"In your own time," Jay jokes, and I hurry up slightly, smiling.
"Oh wow Sophie," I say in delight, as I realise what it is, a photo album. I turn the pages delicately, and see that they're filled with photos of us, many of them memories of us when we were at university. "This is amazing," I say, "thank you so much!"
I open the rest of the presents, a box of chocolates from Jay, a few CDs from Max, a pair of earrings from Nareesha and Siva and perfume from Kelsey and Tom. "Thank you so much everyone," I say with a huge smile, and then Nathan turns and says to me,
"I haven't forgotten you know, I've just got to go and get your present," he says with excitement on his face as he jumps up and runs inside. He comes back out, walking carefully and carrying a large cardboard box with a pink bow placed on top. He sets it down gently in front of me,
"Go on then, open it!" He says,
"I think you're more excited about this than me!" I say to him, laughing. I carefully lift up the lid of the box, bring that there are a few holes cut in the sides. I am not prepared for what I find in the box. I gasp in surprise and delight as I look in and find a small, black Labrador puppy, peering up at me, out of the box, with big brown eyes. He's the most beautiful animal I've ever seen,
"Oh," I say, not knowing what else to say, I'm speechless, Nathan has bought me a puppy for my birthday! I reach inside the box and gently lift the gorgeous little creature out, I hear everyone gasp and sigh, he makes the cutest little snuffling sound and everyone goes,
"Aww," at the same time.
"Oh my gosh Nathan, he's beautiful! How on earth did you know?" I ask, I'd been wanting another dog for years,
"I'm glad you like him," Nathan replies, "his name is Smudge. Well the last time I saw you, you looked so lonely in your house on your own. And I knew you missed your old dog, the one you had when you were younger, so I thought, why don't I get Hannah another dog for her birthday?"
"Well he's the most perfect and unexpected birthday present I've ever received!" I say, laughing with joy. We spend a few more hours together, out in the sun, playing around with Smudge. He's the most perfect little puppy in the world and already knows his name. We give up trying to teach him tricks because he keeps losing focus so in the end we all end up running around the garden with him and throwing tennis balls for him to chase. When we're all exhausted and Smudge wanders over to me and snuggles into my leg and falls fast asleep, everyone else gets up and decides to go home. I thank them all hugely again and then it's just me, Nathan and Smudge, lying on our backs in the fading sunlight, gently falling through the leaves on the trees causing a dappled effect on the ground. I turn my head so I can face Nathan, the last light of the sun's rays falling onto his face. He looks at me and smiles,
"A good birthday?" He asks me,
"One of the best I've ever had," I reply, and I truly mean it, I gaze up at the sky and sigh happily,
"What is it?" Nathan asks,
"Nothing," I reply, "I was just thinking about how beautiful the sky looks," I say, looking up again with Nathan, and we watch the sunset creep in, with streaks of red and light orange, yellows and bright purples and pinks lighting up the horizon.
We stay like that for a few minutes, the only sounds are the wind rushing gently through leaves and the birds singing in the branches overhead and the heavy breathing of Smudge, fast asleep on top of me, occasionally letting out a little snore every now and then.
"What are you thinking?" Nathan says, eventually breaking the silence,
"Just about how lucky I am," I reply truthfully and turn to him with a smile,
Nathan then props himself up on one elbow and looks at me, slowly edging forwards towards me,
"I would get up," I say to him, "but there's a puppy asleep on me," I say, as Nathan leans over me, staring down at me with his green eyes, and then he kisses me, gently, so we don't wake up Smudge. Nathan's lips are soft and gentle, delicate. I can feel butterflies flying around frantically in my stomach and it feels nice. I feel Nathan's long eyelashes brushing my cheeks and I close my eyes as well. As soon as we break away, Smudge wakes up, and sleepily licks my hand affectionately,
"Oh Smudge!" I say, laughing, and I look up at the sky again with Nathan by my side, holding my hand, the sky is now inky black with darkness. It's a clear night and there are hundreds of thousands of tiny little stars scattered across the sky like a box of silver glitter that's been knocked over.
"I should probably go home," I say, not very enthusiastically.
"I suppose so," Nathan says, sounding as sad as me that I've got to leave,
"Thank you so much for today," I say to him, slowly getting up and gently picking up my sleepy little puppy.
"Hannah," Nathan says, "there's something you should know, tomorrow me and the lads are going to America for a few months, I don't know how long it will be for, but it will be a long time. I'm so sorry, I would've told you sooner but I only found out a few days ago, but I'm so glad I managed to spend my last day in the UK here with you,"
"Oh," I say, sad at the thought of not seeing him again for a long time, but I put on a brave face and say, "well I hope you have a great time out there, I'll think of you everyday. I'll try and get Smudge trained by the time you come back," I smile at him, to show him I can cope and that he has no need to worry,
"You know what you are?" Nathan asks me, "you're amazing. I always had worries before that if I ever got a girlfriend she'd get annoyed with me travelling so much, but you're just perfect and you understand."
"Of course I understand," I say, "I love you and I understand that this is part of your job and that no matter what, I'll always feel close to you," I say, "right in here," I whisper, taking his hand in mine, and bringing it up to my chest and pressing it against my beating heart.
Nathan smiles down at me, his forehead gently pressed against mine,
"I love you too, I always will," he whispers to me, his breath tickling my face, and then he kisses me again, I can still feel the fireworks, and I can still feel the connection, but it feels stronger this time, more powerful, and the kiss is filled with sadness and longing, and I can taste salty tears on my tongue, I wasn't aware that I was crying, until we broke away and I saw tears in Nathan's eyes as well as mine,
"Oh come here," he said, and pulled me into a hug, pressing me firmly against his body, arms wrapped around me, I placed my head on his chest and could feel the strong rhythmic beat of his heart beating inside him. We stayed like that for a few minutes, locked together in each other's arms until Smudge began to stir,
"I suppose I should take him home," I say,
"Yeah," Nathan replies, his voice low and hollow, and full of sadness,
"Come on, you're supposed to be the strong one," I say gently, reaching up and brushing part of his fringe out of his eyes, as I bring my hand down he catches hold of it and kisses it gently, before letting me go.
I get into my car and start the engine, as I drive away I whisper,
"Goodbye," missing him so much already.
I get home late and head straight up to bed, too tired to do anything else. I get into my pyjamas and brush my teeth, I quickly check my twitter before I climb into bed and thank a couple of people who have wished me a happy birthday. Just as I'm about to close twitter, I see another tweet for me, but this time, it says:
Break up with him now. Or your life is about to get a whole lot worse.
The comment rang in my ears, echoing back and forth in my mind as I tried to fall asleep, the words striking a whole new set of fear in my heart. As I cuddled in closer to Smudge, who I decided should sleep on my bed, I thought that it would be best not to tell Nathan about this, he was already quite worried about leaving me for a long length of time and this would only worry him further. Instead I tried to ignore it, telling myself that these people couldn't actually do anything to me, they didn't even know where I lived. As I tried to convince myself everything would be ok, I fell asleep next to Smudge, tears streaming down my face in an endless waterfall, mixed with the emotions of missing Nathan and fear. Above all, it was fear.