A/N: I can’t believe we’re already on chapter 76, and have exceeded 7.3k reads! Thank you guys, ily. Please don’t be ghost readers!
-- Caycia’s POV --
The tube was dark and damp and frankly I hated it. I know it was a typical London thing, everyone rode the underground trains, but truthfully they were way too overcrowded and noisy and I wished I had a car so I wouldn’t have to go through this.
But of course I didn’t have a car. Ever since I’d come to London I hadn’t been working because Zayn refused to let me work, even after my incessant begging, he had wanted to be all gentlemanly and pay for everything. So, here I was. I had devoted everything to our relationship. I’d given up my family, I’d given up my home, I’d given up my car, I’d given up the career which I was slowly gaining some headway in. I’d given up everything to move here, and now that Zayn and I were on a “break,” and I had no home, no car, no job, no income, a strained relationship with my family, only a few friends, and no more boyfriend.
How did this all come crashing down so quickly? What had made Zayn change his mind about the two of us so suddenly? I really didn’t know, and I really didn’t want to think about him at a moment like this. The fear of people staring at me as I cried my eyes out was preventing me from thinking much more about him.
I rode the tube in silence, eventually plugging my headphones into my ears to numb out the noise, and the rest of the world around me. A young woman sat down beside me and lifted her toddler up onto her lap. He was maybe three, but yet he was so well behaved as he drove his little toy delicately on his lap without disturbing anyone. I found myself staring at the small child, wishing there was one of my own sitting on my lap.
Sooner or later it was my stop, and I excused myself through the crowd of people and exited the train. I continued to walk past people as my music blared in my ears, helping to somewhat calm my extremely frayed nerves. I quickly made my way up the steps, up to street level and continued walking to Penny and Harry’s house.
Penny is the first person I’d ever go to if I needed help. I mean, I’d usually go to Zayn, but there isn’t that option anymore. I could go to Louis, but I really didn’t want to put us in that situation.
As I walked up the familiar street I took in the sight of the large homes, the other people walking down the street. Penny will know what to do. I’m sure Penny and Harry will let me live with them until I can get back on my feet. Penny and I could go back to Zayn’s together, and she’d help me get all of my things, and then she’d help me move them into her house. Of course, if that wasn’t an option, she’d help me find elsewhere to live. I know she would. It was in Penny’s nature to help people, and I know she’d do absolutely anything for me, no questions asked.
As I walked up to the front door I felt the sudden urge to run away, but I shook it off and knocked lightly on the massive piece of wood. I heard light giggling as Penny’s voice became more distinctive as it got closer. She opened the door with a large smile spread across her face. “Caycia!” She said in a high pitched voice, and I unexpectedly regretted coming here. “What are you doing here? Oh never mind!” She grabbed me and wrapped me up in a big bear hug. I admit, it was comforting for a moment but when the sadness overwhelmed me again I wanted nothing more than for her to let me go. “Harry, Caycia’s here!” Penny yelled up to the second floor as she pulled me by my hand into the house.
I heard a few thumps upstairs and then Harry began walking down the large staircase, “hey, it’s good to see you,” he smiled as he shoved a bookmark in the thick novel he held within his hands. I realize that I had seen him earlier when he drove Zayn and I home from the hospital. I begin to wonder if maybe Harry knew Zayn was breaking up with me. What if Harry figured it all out and told Zayn about Louis and I? He wouldn’t do that, would he?
“You too,” I managed to mumble out.
“Would you like something to eat? We just finished baking cookies about thirty minutes ago,” Penny was talking so quickly and she was absolutely beaming. I couldn’t bring it in myself to destroy that happiness with my own troubles.
“Chocolate chip,” Harry commented and smiled too. He took a step forward and wrapped his arm around her small waist. She visibly calmed and leaned into his body.
“Sure,” I replied. I followed the two of them to the kitchen. As we got closer I could smell the chocolate chip cookies in the air and my mouth began to water. I hadn’t eaten in a while, but I wasn’t sure if I would be able to. There was a lot going on and my stomach was already upset.
“So what brings you by?” Penny asks as she lifts a cookie off of the tray and places it on a small plate. She hands me the plate and turns around to grab a glass and the jug of milk from the fridge to pour me a small glass of milk. She places the glass in front of me as well.
“Thanks,” I murmur out and grab both the plate and the glass, “well I just wanted to come see how you’re doing. I feel like we haven’t seen each other in quite a while now.” I lie. Harry walks out of the kitchen and I presume he’s going to continue reading his book.
“Oh y’know… I’ve been super busy with the wedding,” she beams.
“Only two more weeks,” I point out.
“I know, I’m so excited,” she runs her hands over her face, “but so nervous. I just want everything to go right.”
“That’s my job Pen, you can kick my ass if something goes wrong.” I try my best to comfort her.
“I’ll be kicking your ass no matter what. Bridezilla remember?” She jokes.
“Yeah okay…” I comment sarcastically, “you’re definitely a bridezilla.”
“Fuck Caycia, you can’t do anything right,” she continues and we both laugh together.
“But honestly,” I place my hand upon hers and muster up the best smile I can even though it’s one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done, “you’re the furthest thing from a bridezilla… and you’ll be a beautiful bride, you know that, right?”
She blushes furiously, “thank you.” She takes a sip out of her glass of red wine, “Harry tells me that constantly.”
“That’s because he loves you more than anyone I’ve ever seen,” I remark.
She twirls the wine in her glass, “I don’t know. There’s one couple I can think of who might just love one another more than Harry and I do… and I shouldn’t be saying that because there shouldn’t be anybody in the world who shares as much love as Harry and I do, because y’know he’s my fiancé.”
“Who?” I ask.
She sips her wine again and stares into the glass. She stays quiet for a moment, seeming to savor the wine, “the characters in my novel.”
“Oh right! How’s that been going?” I ask.
She leans forward onto the countertop, “really good actually. It’s been slow lately because of the wedding and everything, but I should be done it soon. I’m really excited.”
“I’ll be the first person to read it, yeah?” I have always been her biggest fan and I plan to keep it that way. I will constantly support her, through anything.
“Not exactly…” she trails off.
“Harry’s already read the first few chapters, but they’re rough. I told him not to, but when I was out of the house one day he went up to my laptop and read them and I yelled at him and I got angry and I promise he hasn’t read anymore.” She rambles out without pausing, “no one is reading anything until I have the final copy out there.”
“It is okay Penny. Harry will be your husband when the book is released. He has a right to see these things before anyone else. He is the most important person in your life,” I tell her.
“I know that. I’m just not going to leave you out of things because I’m married. You are family to me Cayc,” she softly touches my hand.
I feel the sudden need to cry. I’m already in a fragile state and this conversation has taken a turn to the sentimental and I can’t handle this right now. I stand up abruptly, probably too abruptly. “Thank you, I - I should probably go,” I try my best to sound confident, but I know Penny all too well, and her face is full of concern with my sudden mood shift.
She swiftly stands up beside me. “Oh - okay Caycia.” She doesn’t ask about my mood change and for that I’m thankful. “Please do visit us again soon, please,” her eyes are soft and they seem to be pleading with me as she places her hand on my arm. I feel as though she's pleading with me to tell her what’s wrong, but I can’t. I can’t ruin her mood. She’s so happy and peaceful and things in her life are going so well, I can’t bring my stupid drama and shit into her life. Penny already has so much to worry about with the wedding and making sure everything goes well, she doesn’t need to worry about me and my wellbeing. I can’t put that burden on her. I just can’t.
“I will, I promise.” I pull her into a hug to hide the tears that are threatening to fall from my eyes. “I’ve got to go,” I stammer out and practically run out of their large home. When I get back onto the street I try my best to walk at a normal pace even though my heart is thrashing and my eyes are now full of tears. I don’t want Penny to think something’s upsetting me, and I can feel her eyes on me as I walk down the sidewalk.
I slowly pull my phone back out of my pocket and plug my headphones back into my ears. The music doesn’t do much to calm my slow sobs.
By the time I get on the tube again I’m not longer crying. I know exactly where I’m heading… Niall and Liam’s flat. I know it’s not normal… at all really. I mean, they’re family to me, but this sort of puts all three of us in a weird predicament. It would be weird living with them, somewhat awkward, but I really didn’t have any other choice here.
When I arrive at their flat, Niall answers the door, “Caycia, oh.” He can’t hide his surprise by my sudden appearance, “is Zayn okay?”
“Yeah, I just wanted to ask you guys something.” I say more nervously than I expected.
“Oh, okay. C’mon in, I’ll go get Liam.” He replies and then he leaves me standing in their living room. I can’t help but feel extremely out of place in this apartment. There’s a mess everywhere, in typical boy fashion, there’s video games spread out all over the coffee table. Niall must’ve been playing some soccer video game before I’d arrived, because it was on pause on the large TV. The flat is very bachelor-like. The walls are all painted dark colors; dark greys, and one accent wall that appears to almost be black. Even the furniture is a palette of dark colors.
“Is everything okay?” Liam’s deep voice startles me.
I turn to face a shirtless Liam with a pair of sweatpants hung dangerously low on his waist. I eye his body up and down for a mere second before I notice Niall joining us in the living room. I muster up the courage to talk to them, “yes.”
“Okay, is there something you wanted to ask us?” Liam looks at Niall and they both exchange a look of confusion. They’re probably wondering why I was here. I’d never been in their flat before, I hadn’t had the chance to fully get to know these guys as well as I’d imagined. As I stood there thinking, an absolutely beautiful tall woman with ombre hair emerged from the hallway. I imagined it was probably the girlfriend that Liam was always beaming about. As she walks closer she begins fixing the hem of her shirt and her hair which is somewhat unkempt.
Liam flushes when he looks back at Niall and I. The heat flushes my cheeks just as fast, “oh shit, I’m interrupting.” I murmur out.
“I-“ Liam begins but the shade of red darkens on his cheeks.
Niall is sitting there, staring at the three of us, “isn’t there something you wanted to ask us?” Niall attempts to draw the attention off of Liam and his girlfriend.
“It’s okay, I’ll just ask another time. I’m interrupting. It wasn’t important anyways,” I mutter out as I swiftly walk towards the door. “It was nice seeing you guys,” I say to the boys, “it was nice sort of meeting you,” I say towards the woman standing beside Liam, “but I must go.” And then like I’ve been doing all day, I ran out the door.
I practically ran to the tube and got on it for the third time today. There was no way I could ever ask Niall and Liam to take me in. Liam would always have his girlfriend around and they were so hopelessly in love, it wouldn’t help my situation. I was happy for them of course, but seeing that would just shatter my heart. I regret ever going over there, and having to meet Liam’s girlfriend for the first time under those circumstances.
When the tube finally stopped at my stop, I got off once again, for what I hoped would be the last time for the day. It was late now, the sun was setting and I didn’t feel comfortable walking around London without anyone else. Luckily I was only a few blocks from my destination. I didn’t bother putting my headphones in this time, I thought carefully over the words I’d use to explain my situation.
And when I arrived at his front door, I rang the doorbell. What was I doing here? Well I really had nowhere else to go. This was the last place I ever thought I’d end up standing, but here I was. I was here to beg and to plead for a place to live, at least until I got back onto my feet. But who knew how long that’d be?
He opened the door in a pair of low hung sweatpants, like Liam was wearing earlier and a V-neck which hung so low that I could read the ink on his skin. My mouth dried and I swore I’d swallow my tongue at any moment. His hair was dishevelled and I suddenly couldn’t breathe.
“Cayc?” His sweet voice calls me by my nickname.
“Hi,” I stutter out and the tears start falling from my eyes.
“What’s wrong?” Louis asks before stepping forward and wrapping me in a warm embrace.
A/N: PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE WITH A CHERRY ON TOP COMMENT ILY