As Long As You're Here

Natalie was just a normal teenage girl trying to finish her Senior year without any drama, distractions or anything or the sort. She had finally found her true friend and who she was and what she was gong to do for the rest of her life she didn't want anything changing that. So far things are going good, but she's only about half way through the year, if that. But who knew winter break could change everything.


19. First Day Back

Natalie’s POV

I get home from school and go straight up to my room and change into pajamas. As I go to my bathroom to brush my teeth I hear my door open. I spin around and Jay is walking into my room. “So how was meeting Perrie and Eleanor?” Jay asks “really good, they are both so sweet and I could talk to them all day long. They just welcomed me with open arms and I felt like I had known them forever.” I say as I put my hair up. “Good I knew you were going to fit in with all of the perfectly” he says “Oh hush Jay” I say smiling; I get my tooth brush wet and start to put toothpaste on it. “Jay” I  say looking out of the bathroom door for him, he appears in the bathroom doorway. “Yes?” “We have school tomorrow…” “Yes we do.” “Honestly I am terrified Jay” “It’s gonna be okay Nat” Jay soothes me rubbing my back like he always used to do when I was stressed or scared. “That’s what everyone is saying, but that’s not gonna stop me from being scared. I just want you to promise you will be there for me all day, we don’t have all our classes together and the ones we don’t have together are the ones I’m most scared for.” “I promise, I will always have my phone on me and I will find you during every passing and I will come to your side in a heartbeat. You’re my best friend and I’m always going to be here for you, you know that” “Yeah I know Jay, no matter what.” “Exactly no matter what” I hug Jay tightly and he squeezes me back soon after. While hugging him I speak up “Jay, it’s great to have Liam all the time but sometimes I just need my best friends… That’s one of those times. Can you promise me that even when I move in with Liam I can still come back and talk to my best friend if I need to?” “Of course Natalie, I did say no matter what” “Thank you Jay” I say smiling and squeezing him once more. “Okay I have to go to sleep, school tomorrow. And you should too” I tell Jay as I slide out of our hug. “Okay sweet dreams Nat” “Sweet dreams Jay” I hear Jay walk out of my room and the door close. I brush my teeth and climb into bed, this time with Jay on my mind. I wake up super early the next morning and jump into the shower. I take a quick shower before anyone else was up and put my hair up in the towel. I put on a pair of dark denim skinny jeans and a pink and white striped loose knit sweater. I go into the bathroom and dry my hair, which takes almost an hour. By the time I finish I hear Jay and Noah waking up and getting ready. After my hair is dry I make it perfectly straight and put on my make up for the day which was gold sparkly eye shadow and little bit of black eye liner along with mascara. I put on a little of light pink lip gloss and then go to choose my shoes, this was always the hardest part for me. I decide on my short chestnut Bailey button UGG’s and then go down stairs for a quick breakfast. I make myself a bowl of oatmeal with some toast and jam. As I sit down at the table Jay comes down the stairs in jeans and a sweatshirt. He opens the pantry and pulls out a pack of pop tarts. He puts the pop tarts in the toaster and walks back upstairs. “Well good morning to you too” I yell “I have to wake up Noah” he yells back to me. “I’m up!” I faintly hear Noah yell. I smile and giggle to myself, this is why they’re my second family. Jay comes back downstairs and gets his pop tarts from the toaster and eats them as he walks to the telly and sits on the couch. I finish up my oatmeal and take my piece of toast to the couch next to Jay. I curl my feet up and lean into Jay. “You ready for the first day back?” He asks me. “As ready as I’ll ever be” I tell him. I finish my piece of toast and check the time. “Jay, we should be going soon. Is Noah almost ready?” I ask standing up and making sure I have everything in my backpack that is sitting by the bar. “I’m not sure. I’ll go check.” Jay gets up from the couch and walks upstairs. He knocks on Noah’s door and I hear the door swing open. “Ready to go?” Noah asks. “Waiting on you” Jay says. He comes back downstairs and puts on his tennis shoes and grabs his backpack. “Ready?” He asks me. “Sure,” I say sliding my backpack on. “Noah we’re leaving without you!” Jay yells opening the door to the garage. We go to Jay’s mustang and open the garage door, Jay starts the car and Noah coming running in to the garage from the house and jumps in the back seat. “First day back and you were already planning to be late” Jay smirks “Shut up” Noah snaps back. “Ooo” I mumble under my breath before turning up the music. Just a few minutes later we arrive at the school and Jay parks his car. Noah jumps out automatically and runs to his friends “Thanks bro” he yells as he runs away, Jay sighs. “Why do we even give him a ride, he has his own car.” I ask the obviously annoyed Jay. “Mum says we have to save the planet” “Do we want to save the planet or Noah’s life” I joke. Jay smiles and opens his door. I open mine and slide my backpack on. Jay walks around the car and we walk together into the school. I rub my thumb on my jeans as I walk; I always do this when I’m nervous. Jay notices and grabs my hand. “Stop, you’re fine and just remember if I’m not by your side I have my phone.” I take a deep breath “But Jay… With all the Liam rumors everyone’s bound to know and I’m scared of what they’re going to-” I get interrupted by a girl walking up to Jay and I and pushing my shoulder so I would be looking at her. “Oh so you’re already cheating on Liam? And with him? Wow, you don’t know how to choose guys. You don’t deserve Liam anyway. Welcome back, slut. Congrats you’re finally popular.” She says, then walks away. “And let the madness begin…” I say to Jay “Nat, just don’t forget to breath. You know what’s true and the day should be over soon” Jay says as we walk down stairs to our first period class and take a seat in the middle next to each other. Soon after we arrived everyone piled in and as they saw me they quickly dropped their voices to a whisper and talked to their friends occasionally pointing at me. After this happening about 10 time I had had it. I stood up and hit my hand on the table, “okay I know you’re talking about me, so how bout instead of talking about me behind my back you come up to me and do it.” They all get quiet and I sit back down. None of them begin talking at all until the teacher comes for class, and this time when they talk it’s only about school related things. Just a few minutes before the bell rings the teacher lets us pack up. “So that class wasn’t that bad,” Jay tells me. “Yeah well that’s only because you’re with me. Next period I’m screwed” "You’re going to survive. Just remember call or text if you need me” “Yes I know Jay” The bell rings and we each go our separate ways to our next classes. On my way I got plenty of stares and got stopped about 5 times. “Are you the girl that’s been seen with Liam?” “Liam’s never going to love you” “Did you have fun photo shopping all those pictures?” Among plenty of other things is what I heard on the way to my next class. During my next calss more whispering and one person came up to me. “So did you kidnap Liam and the boys or what? Because they just wouldn’t choose to hang out with you.” She snapped at me. I took a deep breath trying not to yell at her because I just about wanted to punch the next person who made a comment and I wasn’t even half way through the day. My next class all of the same things happened but this time I was able to calm down quite a bit because I was with Jay. Next was lunch, Jay and I decided it would be best to go off campus for lunch today. After lunch Jay had a class on the third level and I had a class in the basement. We each went our sperate ways and this class so far was the best one, no one came up to me and the whispering and pointing was kept to a minimum. About half way through I asked the teacher if I could go to the bathroom. I snuck out of class and made my way to the bathroom. I went to the bathroom, washed my hands and checked my hair then headed out back to class. On the way back I felt my phone vibrate. I took it out of my pocket and slowed down a bit, Jay had texted me.

From: JAY:)
How’s 5th period going?

To: JAY:)
Good actually… Best class so far:)

As I press send I am pushed forcefully against the wall. I let out a whine as my back hit the wall. The person that had pushed me not only pushed me hard but they pushed me by my neck and were now pushing me against the wall, their hand still on my neck. I opened my eyes only to make painful eye contact with the one person I would hope I would never have to make eye contact with again. But, with the first glance into his grey eyes I knew it was Michael, my ex. “Oh how I’ve missed you Nat” “Don’t call me that” I growl, he moves his hand to the center of my upper chest “I’m going to call you whatever I want Nat… because you’re mine, you've always been. You’re not with that stupid gay boy Lime from that band boy” “Liam” I snap “No one cares” he says pushing me harder against the wall, that I already had my back to. I feel tears well in my eyes. Michael lifts my chin so I am facing him. “Oh Natalie, don’t cry. I know you’re happy we’re together but no need to cry baby” He says wiping the one tear that was streaming down my face. “See baby we’re going to be just fine, we’re the perfect couple everyone thought we were so perfect” he said out loud moving his hands to my arms and gently caressing them. “But no one knew our little secret” he whispered bitterly in my ear. He pushes his lips harshly to mine as soon as it registers what had happened I strongly pushed his face back and away from mine. “Excuse me bitch?” Michael says walking right back to me getting up close to my face. “If I want to kiss my baby, you’re going to let me kiss you… Is that clear?” “No” I mumble “Did you just say no?” Michael pauses and he raises his fist in the air and I cower down the wall. I flashed back to the day that I ran away from him, but this time I couldn’t do it. “You know what happened last time you said no?” I nod my head slowly “Now you don’t want that to happen again do you? So, I’m going to kiss you again and you’re going to let me kiss you this time right?” I don’t say anything for a moment. “Right?” Michael snaps. I shake my head slowly 'no', my body trembling furiously. "You're just a little hood-rat" I see his fist swing towards my face from the corner of my eye and I squeeze them closed. But much to my surprise his fist doesn’t hit my face instead I hear a large body, most likely Michael’s, hit the ground. “You need to leave people alone, especially people who don’t want to have anything to do with you.” I hear Jays voice and I open my eyes instantly. Jay had somehow made it downstairs to my rescue, right when I needed him as it always seemed to work out. Michael gets up from the floor and wipes the surprised look off his face and goes to pick a fight with Jay. He goes to punch Jay in the stomach and Jay deflects his punch and uppercuts Michael making him stumble back. Michael gains his balance and looks at Jay then at me. He shakes his head whispers something I couldn't quite make out and walks away. I run to Jay and wrap my arms around his neck. “How did you know?” I ask him holding back my tears them letting go of him. He doesn’t say anything but takes his phone out of his sweatshirt pocket, he unlocks it and shows me picture that was open. It was a picture of Michael kissing me, just before I pushed him away. “Who sent you that?” “Claire” Jay says simply. “Of course… Mrs. Robinson probably sent her to check on me and instead she saw us and took that picture and sent it to everyone.” “I’m sorry Nat…” “Please don’t call me that” “But…” “Jay, just don’t. Can I go back to class” I ask right on the edge of tears “Are you sure you want to finish the day?” “They want me to go home Jay… I’m not going to give them what they want… I’m finishing 5th period and going to 6th period okay?” “Okay…” Jay says quietly. I walk away, past him and back to my class. I open the door and everyone stares. I stop at first but then walk to my seat in the back of the classroom. They watched me all the way back to my seat, they all saw that picture. I sit quietly through class and as it ends I silently pack up my things and leave the class room. Just before I got out the door Claire stops me “You just can’t keep your hands off any guy that talks to you can you? You would think you would keep Liam since you have him, but obviously not” “Oh shut up Claire, you saw what happened back there don’t act like you don’t know he pinned me against that wall and was going to punch me.” “Sorry" she pauses "Nat... I don’t know what you’re talking about.” She says while playing with her hair, then running straight into my shoulder and pushing me out of her way. That was the last thing I could take, I ran out of the classroom and out to the parking lot and to Jays car. I sit down next to his car and cry. It was sprinkling and I got out my phone and called Liam. I rang twice and he answered “Hey baby girl! How’s school?” “Liam I can’t do this.” I tell him crying, concern filled his voice “Natalie? What do you mean? Do you need me to come pick you up?” “No Liam… I-I can’t do us…” I say crying even harder “Natalie but…” “No Liam I really can’t, I’m not strong enough to do this… I’m sorry” “Natalie please just come over tonight and we can talk this through” “I love you Liam, goodbye” I say hanging up the phone. I wipe the tears from my face and got up from the ground. I walked back into the school and right to my 6th period class and into my seat. Everyone looked at me, stunned, especially Jay. I slid into my seat and spaced out for the next 50 minutes of class. Jay drove the two of us home right after school, making Noah ride the bus home. The entire way home neither of us said anything. When we got home I went straight up to my room without saying a word and closed my door. I threw my stuff down and completely broke down. I fell asleep early and in my school clothes that night and no one bothered me, not even mum, she would always say hi to me when she got home, but Jay must have told everyone what happened. I didn’t want to break up with Liam, but I knew that everything wouldn’t stop and I would never be able to handle it. It was the very last thing I wanted to do and now I highly regret it. 

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