24. The Truth
"You were crying." I said taking Layla's hand. "N-No I wasn't..." She hesitated. I could feel her starting to tense up. "Don't lie to me, Layla." I demanded. The muscles in her hand tensed up even more as I squeezed it. "Layla..." I looked at her. "Can we stay back for a minute?" She asked wiping away her tears with her open hand. "Sure." I reassured her. She stopped walking, taking in a few deep breaths. "You gonna talk?" I asked. She took my other hand in hers, looking down at the ground. "Layla, seriously what's wrong?" I asked, my face becoming more serious. She kept taking deep breaths, looking around and avoiding eye contact. "Layla, you can tell me anything. I need you to trust me..." I promised her, letting go of one of her hands and placing mine on her chin. "I like you, Harry. A lot..." She said looking away. I smiled a bit, happy she liked me, too. "I like you, too." I smiled. She looked up at me, a seed of hope in her eyes. "Really?" She asked. "Yes, really." I said. She closed her eyes for a minute, the very corners of her mouth coming up in a slight smile. "I was afraid..." She drifted off. "Afraid of what?" I asked. "Telling you. You know, I hated you all in the beginning...." She turned away. I furrowed my brow, "Oh, well, thanks?" "No, don't take it that way. I was just afraid that you'd be all snotty and act like you were the king of the non-existing world. I pictured you as someone who thought that they deserved more, they were better than everyone else, but..." She trailed off again. "But what?" I asked. She looked me directly in the eyes, her green ones sparking underneath the light from the sky. "You're nothing like that person. You're YOU. And...I like that." She blushed. "I didn't picture you ending up like this either." She gave me a look telling me to go on. "I thought you would be more of a leader. Bossy and rude. You look like you would be one of those girls who went out and partied all night for guys attention. Made sure that you were drunk so some no good, piece of trash guy could take you back to their flat and "fix" you up, ya know?" I said. She looked at me with wide eyes. "Why would you think that?" She asked. I could tell she didn't really like my comment, the tone in her voice suddenly changing. "Because you look like that!" I said backing away and gesturing towards her. She turned away and looked down at the ground, "I'm nothing like that Harry. Even if I wanted to be, I wouldn't have been able too. There was too much to do at home. I had to help my parents out, and I had to take care of my sisters and brothers. There was a lot to do at hom-" "Brothers?" I cut her off. "Ya. I had another older brother. He was 24. He used to be in the army. He had a perfect life. I was really close to him." She said wiping her ears away. "What about Dylan?"