"Don't be nervous baby, they'll love you, I promise . . . and you'll love them." Zayn squeezed my hand to reassure me that it would all be okay. We were walking into rehearsals, it finally being the time to meet the band. Well, everyone but Harry. Harry was meeting his girlfriend's family for Christmas and so he wouldn't be at the rehearsal.
"I know, I know. I just - of course I'm going to be nervous, they're a huge part of your life . . . I just don't want them to hate me."
"Caycia, stop it. They're gonna love you," we continued to walk, arriving at a large set of doors with the words 'ENTER STAGE' on them. "Look, here we are. Calm down okay." He leaned in close to me, planting a soft kiss to my lips.
He squeezed my hand once more before using his free arm to push one of the doors open. We walked through to find three boys goofing off, and one girl quietly sitting on the side of the stage with Starbucks in hand and her iPhone in the other.
"Hey guys," Zayn said, interrupting their tag session.
All three of them looked my way, eyeing me up and down, checking out the girl which I'm sure Zayn had told them everything about . . . and when I say everything, I mean everything.
Although I couldn't see them up close, the three of them looked quite handsome. There was a boy with shorter light brown hair and few tattoos, most being on the backside of his arms. He was muscular, with a beauty mark on his neck. He was wearing tight black jeans and white converse, with a simple t-shirt on his torso. I guessed this was Liam from what I remembered when I knew all of their names back earlier in the year.
Then there was a boy with braces, and blonde hair, formed upwards in a quiff. When he talked to the other two boys I noticed a different accent, which sounded Irish. He was wearing a green snapback, baggy grey sweatpants, a white tank top, and very bright white sneakers. I guessed this was Niall.
Then there was who could only be Louis. His hair wasn't formed up in a quiff, instead it was lying on his forehead, as though he just woke up and didn't bother with it. He was wearing a red beanie, along with grey sweatpants and a simple t-shirt. His tattoos on his right arm very apparent. I couldn't shake the feeling that he seemed oddly familiar.
Liam was the first to introduce himself, hopping off the stage to stick his arm out, "Hi, you must be Caycia. I'm Liam. Zayn has told us so much about you," he beamed.
"Hi! It's so good to meet you, I've heard so much about all of you!" I said, very excited to be finally meeting the people who Zayn considered a second family.
And then Niall hopped off the stage, clumsily falling only to pick himself up. "Damn," he breathed before regaining some composure, "Hi, I'm Niall," his accent very apparent.
"I'm Caycia," I smiled before shaking his hand.
Finally, Louis hopped off the stage walking towards me. That's when my stomach began to twist in knots. When he was nearly five feet away from me and I finally recognized who he reminded me of. Louis Austin. The boy I fell so hopelessly in love with over two years ago. As he got closer his face suddenly twisted from happiness to confusion. "I'm Louis, it's so nice to meet you love."
My stomach ached finally hearing that sweet voice which I had longed for so long so long ago. "I-I'm Tar- I mean, sorry, I'm Caycia. It's nice to meet you," I stuttered out, embarrassed by my very apparent nervousness around Louis. We shook hands and I felt that old familiar spark the instant our hands touched, never wanting to pull away.
"Hey . . . you look really familiar . . . have we met before?" Louis asked and I nearly threw up all over the four boys who were standing around me, unapparent of what was going on. I couldn't believe how different Louis looked. He was older, sexier. He was more attractive than I'd remembered him to be. I just longed to reach out and touch him, to relive what we used to have, but he didn't even remember me. He didn't recognize me. He had moved on, and considering the smile plastered across his face right now, I'd think he's pretty fucking happy.
That's when I realized I hadn't answered his question and everyone was staring at me, and staring at my hands which were wrapped around my stomach. The pain in my heart was unbearable at this point.
"Babe, are you feeling alright?" Zayn asked me, and I felt his arm wrap around my back. I couldn't move, all I could do was shake my head back and forth. "Uh, I'm gonna take her back to my house. She must be feeling sick, I'll catch up with you guys later, okay?"
Zayn took me back, lying me in bed and talking to me. Although I wasn't listening, I was thinking about how Louis Austin is now internationally famous Louis Tomlinson, and I was in love with his best friend, Zayn Malik. I was shocked. I was stupefied. I was startled. I was beyond surprised. I was simply dumbfounded. How the hell did this happen?