-- Caycia’s POV --
Three days later - 7 days till the Styles’ wedding
“So what’s it been like not having Harry around?” I ask Penny as she pulls into the paved parking lot for the bridal boutique. We were here to try on Penny’s dress, one last time before the wedding, which was now seven measly days away.
She pouts her lip overdramatically, “I miss him so much!”
“Well, he’ll be back in like four days… so like no time,” I point out.
“I know, it’s just hard to be away from your best friend for so long. I’m sure you get it,” she smiles. I smile back, but the worst part is that I’m not sure if she’s talking about Zayn, Louis, or both…
We both hop out of her SUV and walk towards the front doors to the overly large boutique. Penny reaches the doors first and grabs the door handle, allowing me to walk in first, “thanks,” I murmur to her.
“So what’s it like without Zayn?” She asks just as I’m entering the boutique.
I swallow so hard that I swear the entire three person staff in the shop and Penny can hear me, “it’s uh -“ I begin.
“Welcome!” A woman suddenly appears in front of us, dressed in a black blazer and a black pencil skirt - very business woman-like. In my mind I’m secretly thanking her for helping me avoid a very awkward situation with Penny. I know I’ll have to deal with her, but I will tell her about Zayn and I when I feel it’s right. And now’s not that time.
Penny somewhat shoots me this glare because, yet again, I’ve managed to avoid her pressing questions about Zayn, although truth be told I really don’t know how much longer we can dance this dance.
“Hi,” Penny says quietly, but it manages to echo throughout the massive store, which is very awkwardly void of any customers.
“So what can I help you two ladies with today? Are we trying on two wedding dresses for your wedding?” She sounds too preppy and happy, and it’s plainly obvious that she’s trying to ask if Penny and I are the couple that is to be wed, while very obviously judging us.
“No, just one dress. My husband-to-be already bought his tuxedo. At least that’s what he told me,” Penny giggles and sighs.
“Very well then, are we buying, or trying on?” The woman suddenly seems all too impatient with us.
“Trying on,” Penny responds, “I’ve already ordered and paid for the dress. Actually, I’ve tried it on already once too! I just wanted to come here today, try it on once more before the wedding and show my best friend!” Penny’s so excited, it’s infectious.
“Of course, your name?” The woman is holding a small binder in her well-manicured hands.
“Penny. It may or may not be under Styles.”
“May or may not be,” the woman mutters under her breath. After a few moments, she speaks up again, “ah, here it is.” She uses a lanky overly decorated fingernail to point to the name on the page. “Right this way,” she falsely smiles.
We follow behind her like little chicks following their mama. She takes us to the back of the boutique and leads Penny into one of the change rooms. “Someone will be right with you to help you get the dress on,” the woman speaks in a monotone voice before waltzing back towards the front of the shop.
It’s quiet in the store and I’m terrified that at any moment as Penny is getting undressed that she’ll begin questioning me about Zayn again and I won’t be able to answer truthfully. I sit there on the lavish bench in a small room, which literally has no decorations and is just painted a shade of glossy white. I’m left to stare awkwardly at my phone and listen to the sounds of Penny taking of her clothing.
Eventually a woman walks past me with a dress inside one of those large bags - the ones to keep the wrinkles and dirt away - hung over her shoulder. She knocks on Penny’s changing room before entering and again I’m left to stare at my phone.
I can hear them shuffling about as they maneuver Penny into the dress, and I find myself wondering what she’d gotten. Penny hadn’t told me what type of dress she bought. Did she buy a mermaid style, princess style, something with straps, lace, chiffon? Was it strapless? Is it colourful? Was it maybe beach-y?
As I’m sitting there thinking of possibilities I hear the door in front of me click open, and Penny stands before me. I’m literally speechless as I bring my hands up to cover my mouth.
Penny does this little twirl and I envy the way the form fitting mermaid style dress hugs her curves in all the right places. The dress is an ivory white shade, with a lace overlay and a satin sash around the waist. It’s strapless and her long hair flows down in waves on her shoulders. The dress is the perfect mix of sophistication and elegance, yet it still manages to be sexy and flirtatious.
“You…” I try to speak, but I’m so overwhelmed by so many emotions as my best friend stands before me in a wedding dress.
Penny turns and looks at me and I can feel the tears as they fall from my eyes. My throat is stinging because I know I just want to let it all out, but the tears continue to slowly fall. Sluggishly her face twists too, and she’s a crying mess in front me. I stand up and walk towards her; we hug each other for a moment.
“You look so beautiful,” I whisper into her ear. “So, so beautiful.”
“I love you,” she says to me. It feels like we’re back in senior year again, when we were inseparable. When we’d sleep over at each other houses for days at a time. Those were the days when she’d have extra clothes at my house, for those nights when she didn’t want to leave. She’s been my best friend for years, and though the both of us have changed so much, she’s still like a sister to me. Our bond is something that neither of us could ever explain to another person. It’s just sort of like destiny threw us together, to keep each other strong in our moments of weakness.
“I love you Pen,” I respond. We step away from each other and we’re both furiously wiping away the tears that are falling down our cheeks. I frantically grope through my purse until I find tissues and hand them off to her before she smears black mascara on her dress.
The woman who’d brought the dress in steps out of the change room. I had completely forgotten she was there and I use the sleeve of my shirt to wipe away the stray tears, when I could have just as easily grabbed a tissue. “It’s a beautiful dress, isn’t it?” She asks.
“Stunning,” I respond.
“You’re an absolutely beautiful bride,” the woman says to Penny, “you’re gonna knock him dead.”
“I think he just might cry as much as I do,” Penny laughs lightly as she carefully wipes away more tears. “I’m just so excited.”
“I can’t even imagine.” The woman says, “I remember being so excited for my wedding day, and it all just flies by so quickly!”
“I can only imagine how busy you’ll be! You’ll be exhausted by the end of the night!” I say to Penny.
The woman takes a step forward and grabs Penny’s arm lightly, “my advice to you is just relax. This is a happy celebration, don’t ever let minor problems - and trust me, there’s always some problem - ruin the day. And just take a moment to enjoy having all of your loved ones being under one roof.” The woman smiles genuinely and releases Penny’s arm.
Penny gives the woman a warm smile, “thank you.”
Four days later - 3 days till the Styles’ wedding
-- Penny’s POV --
I’m anxiously pacing around the living room. Everything’s this massively hectic mess, and Harry’s not home yet, and Caycia’s late, and I’m terrified that this entire wedding will be sucked down the drain by tardiness.
I’ve known for four days now. Four. Yet she still has decided to keep it a secret from me. However, I’ve suspected it for a while now. Ever since that day, not long after Zayn was released from the hospital, and he came over with this woman. A woman he’d met in his group therapy sessions. A woman named Lily.
Much to my surprise, I’d learned that Zayn and Caycia had broken up, and she had moved out. I was still curious to learn where she’d been living, but I definitely knew of one person that she’d go to… Louis. It still amazed me that she hadn’t told me, and that she’d so easily lied to my face.
However, truth be told I wasn’t very surprised to hear about Zayn and Caycia’s break up. I mean, they’d slowly been declining ever since the accident. It seemed that right before the accident Zayn was… different to say the least. He just didn’t seem as into Caycia anymore.
And then there was these moments when we were in a crowded room and I’d catch a glance of Louis on the opposite side from Caycia and he’d just watch her. He’d watch her with such tenderness - such love. And even though she’d arrive with Zayn, I’d still catch her slipping. Every few minutes she’d sneak a little glance at Louis and her eyes would light up like she was looking at a flying comet. It was like Louis and Caycia were two halves of the same person and when they weren’t together they weren’t complete. They seemed to be so attracted to each other. They just gravitated towards one another, unintentionally. If I’m being completely honest with myself, I’m jealous of the love the two of them share. Though Harry and my love is strong, it’s nowhere near as powerful as that.
The one thing I really didn’t understand was how Zayn just seemed to get over Caycia so fast. I mean, I know they say things like accidents can change a person, but did it really rid of his love for her?
Suddenly, the front door swings open and Caycia appears holding two cups filled with tea. “Hey,” she says as she uses the heel of her foot to close the front door.
I don’t bother with the friendly greeting, “we need to talk.”
Caycia turns to me and her eyebrows are twisted in confusion, “okay…” She trails off as she walks towards me and places the cups down onto the coffee table.
“Why didn’t you tell me?” I’m standing before her with my arms crossed. Caycia slips her purse off her shoulder and places it down.
“About what?” She questions but I can already sense she’s more nervous than when she arrived.
I sigh before beginning, “okay hear me out. I have known for a while and I’ve been giving you opportunities to tell me, but I just can’t keep it in anymore and I’m sorry if I come off bitchy here, but I just want to know why.” I look at Caycia and she’s sipping her tea. I can see her eyes gloss over and I believe she knows exactly what’s about to come. “I know about the breakup. Why didn’t you tell me?”
She bites her lip and places her tea down. Caycia steps around the coffee table and grabs my arm, pulling me to sit down on the couch with her. “Now you need to hear me out…” she laughs lightly, trying to calm her nerves. “I was going to - seriously. The night that he broke up with me, I came here. I came here and I was going to just tell you and get it all out, but then a few things happened and it sort of freaked me out and I couldn’t. First of all, Harry came down the stairs and,” Caycia sighs, throwing her face into her hands, “I’m pretty sure he knew about my little affair and it scared me off because I really didn’t want Zayn to know and I was doing everything possible to prevent it from ever happening again and from hurting Zayn because that’s the last thing I’d ever want to do.”
My mouth drops open and she sinks low into the couch. I open my mouth to speak.
“Please, don’t. Just let me speak,” she raises her hands to stop me in my tracks from speaking. “It wasn’t entirely an affair, we kissed… a few times.”
I give her this judging look and she continues, “yeah okay. I know. I know. It’s still bad. But you know what it’s like with me and Louis… okay, I know that’s still not a good reason. Anyways, Harry sorta scared me off because I feel like he knows about the affair, or he was about to learn what was going on and I really just wanted to tell you first hand. I really didn’t want you to hear it from someone else. The rough thing for Louis and I is that we really don’t know if Zayn is aware or not… because of the accident, parts of his memory are foggy or even erased. I really don’t know if he broke it off with me because he found out, or something else, but there’s nothing I can do because I seriously doubt he’ll ever get back together.” Caycia’s fidgeting with her hands in her lap.
She looks up at me and shrugs, “and of course when I come here to tell you about how my life is falling apart, you are beaming. And I mean beaming. You were rambling on about the wedding and about how happy you were. Then you started talking about the stress and how you were dealing with so much with the wedding and there was so little days left and I just couldn’t do it Pen. I couldn’t ruin that for you. I couldn’t ruin your happiness with my sad, pathetic, fucked up life. I can’t even choose between two men and you’re about to marry your best friend and I couldn’t do it. No matter how many times I told myself that you would be supportive and that you would help me I couldn’t. So that’s my story… I swear I was going to tell you. I was going to wait until you returned from your honeymoon when you were stress free…”
I look at Caycia for a moment to gauge a reaction. When she doesn’t give me any sign whatsoever, I begin speaking. “Caycia…” I grab her hands within mine, “you know you can come to me with whatever, whenever you want. You shouldn’t have suffered through that by yourself.”
“Well…” she begins.
I give her a stern look and she shies away.
“It’s actually a funny story…”
Caycia takes in a deep breath before beginning, “so I came here and you were too happy so I couldn’t ask to sleep here, and so I went to Liam and Niall’s. Of course when I get there, Liam’s banging some chick and I felt so awkward I left, and the last person left was Louis.” She shrugs her shoulders.
I open my mouth to speak again.
“He’s been really good. He knows that I’m still strictly off-limits.” She uses her hands to emphasize off-limits. “I still have hope that Zayn might take me back. I’m not willing to just give up on us… I should see him at the wedding and I’m hoping that’s a chance for me to talk to him, since he hasn’t returned any of the ten or so texts I’ve sent.”
“Actually…” I think about how just before the boys left for America Zayn changed his RSVP to tell me that he’ll be bringing a date and I was incredibly pissed off because it was so last minute. He was in luck because my old friend Kandi had just phoned in saying she was too sick to attend and so Zayn’s ‘date’ would have a meal, and a seat. I debate for a moment to tell her. Should I? She’s staring at me with these big doe eyes and I don’t know if I can tell her. Should I just be honest with her?
“Why are you looking at me like that?”
“Zayn’s bringing a date to my wedding,” I blurt out. I cover my mouth with my hands that were just holding on to hers.
Her face turns this shade of white I’ve never seen on another person. She licks her lips, “wh-what?”
“Just before they left he called and changed his RSVP. I’m sorry,” I reach forward and grab her hands again. This time they’re trembling.
“It’s… it’s okay, really.” She turns to face me with this plastered smile, “I’m okay, really.”
She was a terrible liar.
A/N: I APOLOGIZE SINCERELY FOR BEING AWAY FOR SO LONG. I GOT SO CAUGHT UP IN SCHOOL, BUT I’M BACK NOW AND I’M TOTALLY READY TO FINISH OFF THIS FANFIC BEFORE IT’S BEEN TWO YEARS (HAHA). I WANT TO THANK YOU ALL SO FUCKING MUCH FOR (WE’RE NOW AT) 11.5K READS ON MY MOVELLAS AND WATTPAD ACCOUNTS COMBINED AND THIS IS MY FIRST FIC EVER WRITTEN AND IT’S SO CARROTY AT THE BEGINNING SO IF YOU LASTED THROUGH THAT AND STUCK AROUND YOU’RE AN INCREDIBLE HUMAN BEING AND I DO SO HOPE THAT MY WRITING HAS IMPROVED SINCE THEN. I ALSO HOPE THAT YOU’VE HAD TIME TO CHECK OUT ‘SUPERSONIC’ BECAUSE ONCE THIS FIC IS FINISHED I WILL BE PUTTING MOST OF MY TIME INTO IT BECAUSE I’M BEYOND EXCITED. SAME GOES TO ‘SEEING DOUBLE’ BUT Y’KNOW YOU CAN CHECK THAT OUT TOO IF YOU’RE UP FOR IT. I’M SORRY I RANT ON MY AUTHOR’S NOTES BUT I DON’T THINK ANYONE READS THESE ANYWAYS.
PLEASE COMMENT/VOTE AND SHOW ME THAT YOU WANT TO SEE MORE. MAKE GUESSES/PREDICTIONS/WRITE THOUGHTS/HOPES/DREAMS/ETC. BECAUSE THEY MAKE ME SMILE AND I COULD USE A SMILE. ILY :)