Afraid of Falling - Niall Horan Fanfiction

'Just keep running' I kept telling myself, ' just keep running and don't look back'. As I ran, I thought about the events of the last hour and felt my eyes begin to fill with small droplets of water before I ended up on the floor.

When 16 year old Tegan hides from her fears, she runs. But what will she do when she experiences a feeling completely new to her, a feeling that she doesn't quite understand, a feeling that her past makes her afraid of...

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1. Just keep running...

 

'Just keep running' I kept telling myself, ' just keep running and don't look back'. As I ran, I thought about the events of the last hour and felt my eyes begin to fill with small droplets of water before I ended up on the floor.

***

I heard the door slam shut, full force before I quickly shut the laptop and clambered into bed, pulling the covers up over my nose, so only the tip of my head and eyes were visible. Shutting my eyes, I pretended to sleep, praying he wasn't coherent enough to check on me. I heard heavy footsteps slowly making their way up the stairs. My bedroom door swung open and the smell wafted to my nose; my dad was drunk...again. I heard his footsteps getting closer. The sudden breeze made me shiver as he pulled the covers clean off me.

"GET UP!" He yelled. I slowly began to rise.

Before I stood up properly, his cold, hard hand connected with the side of my face, knocking me back down onto the bed. "Don't mock me. If I tell you to get up, you GET UP!" I began to rise again.

"I didn't -" I whispered, but I was cut short. His hand connected to to my face for a second time, and again, I ended up on my side.

"Don't answer me back! Downstairs, now."

He turned around and slowly made his way out of my room and I unwillingly followed behind. He walked into the living room as I reached the bottom of the stairs. I heard a small thud but passed it off as nothing. Taking a deep breath, I walked into the dark living room. When I saw my dad passed out sleeping on the couch, a thousand thoughts ran through my head, but my mind quickly rested on one. My only chance. I waved my hand in front of his face to make sure he was really out of it. No movement. I quietly ran up the stairs and grabbed the small navy jack wills duffle bag from under my bed and began to shove various items into it. Phone, charger, spray, hair brush, toothbrush, A pair of jeans, two tops, my navy hoodie, two pairs of socks, underwear, a pair of pj's, and my cheap 'converse'. I sat on my knees grinning, admiring how I could fit that much stuff in such a small bag. I grabbed a second pair of jeans and my 'I love coca cola' top and changed quickly before I ran to the bathroom and looked in the mirror. Great. I had a small cut on my left cheek from where my dad's hand hit my face. Even though it was small, it was bleeding. God I hated blood. Feeling queasy, I grabbed a piece of cotton wool and mopped away the blood to find the cut had stopped bleeding, the blood just hadn't dried yet. I returned to my room and made sure I had everything I needed. I went over to my bedside table and opened the small cupboard door. I reached in and grabbed the small envelope, examining its contents. A hundred and twenty five pounds. I didn't realise I had that much money until now, but then again, I never really went out anymore. Too busy waiting on my dad, hand and foot. My dad spent most of his money on booze and alcohol; especially after mum...well....you get the idea. I quickly shoved the envelope into my bag and grabbed my favourite bracelet off my little table. It was an electric blue braid that my uncle had bought me. I cherished it. I carefully placed it on my slim wrist and felt a single tear roll down my face as I slung the duffle over my shoulder and walked out my room, pulling my hood over my long blonde hair; I hated the colour of my hair, crept down the stairs and walked over to the door. Listening for any sign of movement from the living room, I raised my hand up to the latch on the door and slowly pulled down. When I heard it click, I partially opened the door and slipped through. Closing the door quietly behind me, I stood for a moment in the darkness of London and sighed.

"TEGAN!" Shouted a voice inside the house.

'Shit!' I thought, and ran for it, barely seeing where I was going. I just kept running. I turned right into a park, and kept running. By this time my eyes were filled with tears and I struggled to see where I was going, even though the orange street lamps partially illuminated the path. As I ran I looked up and saw a figure walking towards me with their head down. The figure didn't realise I was hurtling towards them until the last second, and I didn't think to move. The person tried to dodge me but their leg caught mine and I hurtled towards the floor. My hand broke most of my fall but still my head managed to connect to the concrete path.

"Oh god! I'm so sorry!" Said a sweet Irish voice. I looked up and saw his face. He had blonde tipped hair with brown roots coming through, and beautiful, kind, blue eyes. He seemed familiar. He continued to extend his hand to help me up.

As I reached out to take his hand, what I wasn't expecting was my stomach to do backflips when my fingers touched his soft skin. He pulled me up.

"I'm Niall"

"Hey" I replied, unsure what to say.

"Are you ok?"

When I stood the vertigo hit. I winced and raised one hand to a little fresh cut on my hairline. I began to feel queasy again at the little blood on my forehead.

"I don't think so." He responded. You've cut your face.

I realised what he was talking about and looked down, "It's nothing." He raised one eyebrow and began to raise one hand to my cheek, but I flinched; a reaction I had gotten used to. His face filled with concern, "Hey, I'm not gonna hurt you." He soothed. He slowly continued to raise his hand and examined the cut on my cheek and hairline. "They're not deep, but they could do with cleaning up."

"I'll be fine in a minute." I replied sharply.

"I have to go anyway" I turned sharply around to walk away, but I didn't realise he was still holding my hand, and he turned me back round but I didn't look up, "Please let me help you" he said, still worried.

"I'll be fine, I have to go." I repeated. He let go of my hand. I turned round and walked away, slowly getting faster and breaking into a run, my head was pounding and I daren't look back. Still in the park, I eventually found a small wooden bench to curl up on. I sat down and brought my knees up to my face and wrapped my arms around my legs and cried silently. Why was I crying? I don't cry! I never cry! Minutes later I heard footsteps getting closer and closer. I began to panic. My heart was getting faster and faster and my head felt like someone was beating it with a hammer. I felt the bench move as someone sat beside me but I kept my head buried in my knees. i jumped slightly when a hand rested on my back and I slowly looked up to see Niall's face again, and he saw my tears.

"Don't cry" he said in his sweet accent. He raised his hand cautiously, this time I didn't flinch, and he proceeded to wipe away my tears with his gentle fingers. Once again, at his touch my stomach decided to put on another circus act, making me feel even more light-headed. "What's wrong?" He questioned. Without thinking, I told him everything. How my mum died. How my dad got drunk every night. How he came home and hit me. And when I decided I'd had enough. Why did I just tell him all that!?

When I finished my story, he pulled me close and comforted me whilst I rested my head in the crook of his neck. "I'm sorry, your safe now" he soothed. "Your so cold!"

"I'm fine" I replied, but he took off his blue hoodie and wrapped it round me. It was so warm.

He was right, I felt so safe in his arms. I was so calm then, but the moment was ruined when I heard a deep voice shouting through the park, "TEGAN!"

I opened my eyes and the panic set in again, my breathing was getting faster and faster and so was my heart.

"What's wrong" Niall asked anxiously.

"It's my dad, I have to get out of here." I couldn't see him so I was going to run for it. My head was still pounding and I stood up too quickly. I felt light-headed again. Slowly my legs went weak and everything went black.

Niall's POV:

"I'm sorry, your safe now" I told her wrapping my arms round her, "Your so cold!"

"I'm fine" she protested, but I didn't listen. I took off my hoodie and wrapped it round her. I still didn't know her name. I opened my mouth to speak but was cut short when I heard a deep, gruff voice shouting through the park.

"TEGAN!"

She heard it too and sat bolt upright. I could hear her breathing getting faster and faster. "What's wrong?"

"It's my dad, I have to get out of here." She quickly stood up, too fast. She stood there for a split second before her legs buckled and fell. I caught her before her limp body hit the bench. I looked round, still hearing her dad's gruff voice but couldn't see anyone. I lifted her up; one arm behind her knees and the other arm on her back, just above her waist. I made my way through one of the park gates into a small car park. Not far from where I stood I saw a small, but surprisingly clean bus shelter. As I walked over to it, I looked down at Tegan's face. I think she was sleeping. She was so cute when she slept. I wondered what she was dreaming about. Eventually I set her carefully down on the little wooden bench and pulled out my phone. I scrolled through my contacts and found the one I was looking for. I pressed on 'Tommo' and pressed 'call'. It rang out for what seemed like ages before going through to voicemail.

"Sorry I can't take your call right now, but Kevin can pass on a message!"

I pressed 'call' again, and it rang out again, but this time, Lou picked up.

"Hey, Lou, I really need you to pick me up."

"Awh Niall! You know Eleanor's round!"

"I'm really sorry mate, please?"

Louis sighed down the phone. "Kay, wassup?"

"I need you to come to the car park behind the big park."

"Any idea of the 'big parks' name?" Lou said, almost sarcastically,

"No Lou, I don't know where I am, I wasn't planning to stay here so I didn't feel the need to look for a name."

"Kay I'm on my way" - he hung up the phone.

I went and sat down next to Tegan - she was still peacefully sleeping. I wrapped my arm around her and her head rested on my shoulder. I was surprised she hadn't woken yet. I had to admit I was beginning to worry.

Less than ten minutes later, Louis slowly pulled up in front of the bus shelter. I noticed Eleanor in the front seat, just before they both emerged from the car.

"What's going on?" Louis asked, confused.

"I basically ran into her, help me get her in the car, I think she needs to go to a&e. I'll tell you what happened on the way." I lifted Tegan up, the same way as I did before and carefully placed her in the back seat of the car.

"I'll stay in the back with her." Eleanor reassured us as she walked round the other side. We all climbed in, Lou started the engine and we drove off.

"What happened?"

"I was walking through the park, I looked up and she was running towards me, I don't think she saw me and before I could move, she tripped over my leg. I think her head hit the pavement. She ran away from her dad. He came shouting after her and she passed out. I carried her out of the park to the bus shelter."

Louis saw the worry in my face.

"She'll be fine mate"

I didn't reply. I looked into the back of the car and saw Tegan had her and rested on Eleanor's shoulder. Both their eyes were closed, but I knew Eleanor wasn't sleeping.

We pulled up outside a&e and Louis ran in and explained what happened while I lifted the sleeping Tegan from the car and carried her inside.

"Niall! What's her name?!"

"Tegan!"

"Last name?"

"No idea. Her bag is in the car, she might have a purse in there?"

"I'll look!" Said Eleanor. She returned with Tegan's purse and pulled out a credit card.

"Her last name is Harris." Eleanor told Louis, Lou told the lady at the desk. He turned back round.

"Date of birth?"

Eleanor put the card back in her purse and pulled out the little note that read, 'Tegan, Happy 16th Birthday, Love Mum x'. The note was dated 6th November 2011.'

6th November 1995' El told Lou and he relayed the information back to the lady. She picked up a phone next to her and dialled a three digit number.

"Hello? Dr. Byrne, we have a young lady here to has passed out and has currently not woken yet, but looks as of she is sleeping....okay." She hung up the phone and turned to Lou and I. "Dr. Byrne will be through in a moment to see her asap, as she has not woken up yet. She needs to sit on one of the chairs for a quick examination, and he will decide where to go from there."

I placed her carefully on the chair whilst Eleanor sat beside her. She stirred, my heart skipped a beat, but she continued to sleep. Why was I worrying so much about this girl. I had only just met her.

I put my elbows on my knees and my face in my hands. " I feel so guilty"

"Why? It's not your fault." Said Lou.

"But it was my leg she tripped over. I could have moved over sooner."

"Don't beat yourself up about it, she'll be fine." I sighed when he said this.

I paused for a moment before a tall man dressed in blue scrubs walked in.

"Are you here with Tegan?"

Louis nodded.

"I'm Dr. Byrne" the man said, extending his hand for Louis to shake.

"Louis Tomlinson" replied Lou, grasping the mans hand. Dr. Byrne crouched in front Tegan, pulling a small torch from his pocket. He clicked the torch on and gently lifted one eyelid, then the other, carefully examining them.

"How long now has she been passed out now for?" Lou turned to me.

"Er-erm...about half an hour I think.

"Ok. At the moment she is just sleeping, but we're going to run a few more tests, just to be sure"

"Ok" I replied, barely audible.

Dr. Byrne walked through a set of double doors, and quickly returned with two other nurses and a gurney. I carefully lifted Tegan onto the bed before the nurses wheeled her off. We sat down and waited for what seemed hours, until one of the nurses came through and told us we could see her, but she wasn't awake yet.

We walked to her room, all three of us quiet, with Louis in front and Eleanor and I following suit. Louis opened her door and we all walked in. I looked round the room and saw the sleeping girl in the bed. Even with the cuts on her face, she was beautiful. Eleanor pulled up a chair next to her bed whilst Louis and I just stood next to the door.

"Do you think she has anywhere to stay?" Louis asked, Eleanor turned to look at him.

"I don't know" I replied.

"If she doesn't, we could offer her the spare room?" The kindness showed in his eyes. Eleanor and I nodded in agreement.

Minutes that seemed like hours slowly passed. I turned to Lou,

"Thanks for helping earlier."

"S'ok mate".

I turned my head towards Tegan as I saw her flex her hand out of the corner of my eye.

"Do you think she's waking up?" Eleanor asked, no one replied, we all were focused on Tegan. Her forehead furrowed as she began to fidget. She opened her eyes slowly and blinked as her eyes adjusted to the light.

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