The Perfect Match 15+ (Completed)

Summary: Niall Horan is the epitome of bad news. After his mother passes away, he finds himself in the battle with drugs and alcohol. With jeopardy of not graduating his senior year, his teacher Ms. Aleman pairs him with tutor Aubrey Osborn, daughter of a man who may know Niall a bit too well. Ms. Aleman thinks Aubrey and Niall are the perfect match, but their histories beg to differ. On top of it, Aubrey is applying to the most competitive schools in the nation, while Niall could care less about a higher education. Two teenagers. Two hearts. Two stories. Will it be the perfect match?

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22. Chapter 22 (:


Six! By no surprise, the entire town arranged their arrivals when the newspapers spread the gossip on Daddy. More and more people pour into the room as I gander for Niall in the horde of bodies. I gulp apprehensively as a line of men in uniform enters the room. My eyes wander the room for Niall, but instead, find a lot of unfamiliar faces. When I find Zayn, I mouth, “Where is he?” He shrugs his shoulders, and he whispers for Perrie to give him a ring on his cell phone. A horrible feeling gathers in my throat, and I bolt out of the room ready to puke. As I rush to the washroom, a figure collides into me nearly tumbling me over. His arms find my elbows balancing me.

“Hey, baby,” he says, “are you alright?” Is he kidding? Yeah, right. I almost hear the thud from my heartbeat.

“Niall, there are three-hundred people in there,” I panic, “three-hundred. Do you understand how many people I have to impress? What if I mess up? Oh God, what if I forget my name? I am going to do horrible, Niall. Those people are going to hate me, and I—” Suddenly, his massive hands cup my face drawing me into a slow, passionate kiss. His lips are slow, thoughtful.

“No one is going to hate you,” he breathes. His lips are lingering on mine, and I urge to lean into him in again. “You know how you feel about your father. Say it.”

“Niall, what if I say the wrong—”

“Aubrey, listen to me,” he orders grabbing the sides of my face, “you are going to be wonderful. If you get nervous, I will be in the front row by your mother, do you hear me?”

“I guess,” I mumble, “but Niall, everyone is here. What if I do mess up?”

“Well, people make mistakes,” he smiles, “and hey, we know that better than anyone.” The both of us smile remembering the memories of the previous months together. I lower my eyes unable to face him. I can hardly face the boy I love, how am I going to face three-hundred people? “Hey,” he says raising my face with his hand, “I love you, Aubrey, and no matter how horribly you do, I will always be here to kiss the pain away.” A smile slowly edges onto my lips as he presses his lips to my forehead.

You caught me. I am falling in love with Niall Horan more and more as we spend more time together. In addition to his gorgeous appearance, he protects me, and though I may not admit it, I need him to. I need him. Our heads turn when we hear footsteps looming toward us.

“Hey,” his voice manages, “Niall, do you mind if I speak to Aubrey in private?” Niall nods understandingly and pats his back before disappearing from the hallway. I turn to Louis, who buries his hands in his pockets before stepping toward me. “How have you been?”

“I’ve been good,” I say, and for once, I mean it. I may not have the admission into Columbia University, I may not have a father, and I may not have the most reliable friends in the universe, but I do have an amazing boyfriend, a proud mother, and a life to live for. No more complaining. “Listen, Louis,” I sigh, “thank you for being nice to Niall and I the day in the hospital, we owe you a lot.”

“Aubrey, you don’t owe me shit,” he counters. He crosses his arms and lowers his eyes to his feet shuffling them awkwardly. “If anything, I owe you an apology.” He exhales a breath and flings his arms by his sides. “I was an asshole, and I know it took me ages to apologize to you, but I was afraid. You probably don’t give a shit, and I understand why, but I hope we may be friends at least. I was a coward, Aubrey, and I’m—”

“Louis, I forgive you,” I interject blazing my eyes into him, “you were a coward, but hey, we all are, but we learn from it, right?”

“Right,” he smiles meagerly, “and hey, if you need help grieving, you know my number.”

“Yeah, right,” I giggle, “with all those beautiful college girls around you, will you really have time for me?” He laughs, and suddenly, being around Louis is…comfortable. It reminds me a lot of the days when were friends and nothing more. The happiness in his eyes reminds me we are going to be fine.

“Sorry to interrupt,” a voice wavers, “but honey, we’re about to start.” My mother lays a hand on my shoulder and smiles to Louis who returns the gesture. “Are you ready?” I gulp hard nodding my head. She leads me to the podium, and Louis follows us before diffusing to his designated seat by his mother and sisters.

Three-hundred. Three-hundred pairs of eyes drill their stares into me as I stand before them. I hear a cough, and suddenly, the moment stills, and I see Daddy in the front row giving me a wide smile and a nod for me to continue.

“L-losing a loved one is one of the most difficult occasions to deal with,” I state, “and especially when the loved one is a father, no arrangement of words will precisely defend how I feel about losing Officer Robert Anthony Osborn, husband, father, and friend to many of the people here today.” In the front row, my mother begins to sob, and I lose the ability to speak. “I-I’m sorry,” my voice cracks, “I can’t do this.” I bolt away from the podium, but a pair of burly arms seizes my elbows and stops me from leaving. I raise my eyes and find a pair of icy sapphire globes. My eyes wander the room, and I see three-hundred people waiting for me to finish.

“Aubrey,” Niall whispers, “do it for your father.” I nod swallowing my tears and return to the podium apprehensively. I have the words prepared, but with clouded vision, the muddle of words is hard to see.

“My father was loving, strong, and gentle,” I sigh, “and he showed it through his love for people. He loved his family, he loved his friends, and despite the turbulences, he loved his life, and I am sure to say it is through his example I learned to be the woman I am today. I am passionate in my endeavors, and I am resilient in my struggles.” My mother nods approvingly and smiles proudly. Louis hands his mother a tissue, and I attempt to not cry again. “I loved my father because he did not believe in karma,” I state, “instead, he believed if you loved people unconditionally, with a bit of help from God, you would have a full life.” Suddenly, the door swings open, and an older man with sparsely peppered brown hair maneuvers to an empty seat. Niall turns around, and the muscle in his jaw tightens as he holds his tongue. He nods encouraging me to continue. “When I was younger, I told my father I wanted to be a singer, and if you know me well enough, you know I cannot sing a tune to save my life,” the subtle sound of laughter erupts in the room, “but for Christmas, my father bought me a guitar. To him, what mattered was I was happy, and though it meant listening to my horrid voice for a short-lived phase, he supported my goals because he loved me.” Zayn uses the cushion of his thumb to wipe a tear from Perrie who smiles gratefully. A police officer muffles his sob into his hat. “My father understood the importance of love. People need love, and my father eagerly provided his love, and when he lied on the hospital bed, I believed my love was not enough,” I heave a breath, the words flowing seamlessly from my lips, “but it was. Despite his condition, the love from his family and friends fulfilled his life, and if we continue to love and forgive people as well as my father did, we will find harmony.” Jade, who is sitting alone in the third row, lowers her eyes understandingly. “If by the end of my life, my friends and family are able to say I loved and forgave, I will, in accordance to my father, have led a full life. His values will forever be engraved in our minds, but his memory will forever remain in our hearts. We love you, Daddy.”

Applause fills the room heartily, and I return to my seat before the pastor speaks. When I have a seat, my mother pats me on the back proudly, and either Niall has a lot on his mind, or he totally ignores me. After the ceremony is over, our friends and family join us for food and refreshments in a larger room within the building. Niall and I enter with our hands joined, and the older man from the ceremony smiles approvingly. Niall heaves a breath and drags me to a table garnered with food.

“Niall,” I press furrowing my eyebrows, “are you alright?”

“I’m fine,” he huffs.                                                                     

As Niall forces a river of champagne into his throat, the older man steps toward us and smiles broadly offering me his hand. Niall hurriedly finds my hand and pulls me behind him guarding me with his life. A wash of possession paints over his face, and though he secures me, a part of me remains frightened.

“Niall, calm down, would you?” the older man beckons. “May a father meet the beautiful girl his son is snogging?” What? No, he has to be kidding. I peer over his shoulder to see my mother whose smile fades into apprehension.

“Dad,” Niall grits through his jaw, “go home. You don’t belong here. Greg and I have done wonderful without you. You never gave a shit about us before, why are you here now?” His grip on my arm stiffens, but I refuse to leave him alone when he needs me. The entire room continues to dissolve into their personal conversations as Niall drills his stare into the man who refused to be his father for more than ten years. 

“Niall, a friend of yours invited me here,” his father counters, “his name is uh, Lewis, I believe. He left a message on my front door to visit you.” Suddenly, Louis enters the room, and when his eyes find Niall and his father in a dispute, his eyes widen in fear. “Don’t be angry with him, son,” his father warns, “he told me seeing you would be beneficial for the both of us.” Niall pushes his father aside stalking toward Louis. “I am willing to pay your tuition for college,” his father announces. Niall pauses his face turned from his father. “You don’t have to accept it,” he says, “but I would love to step in as your father. I know money does not buy happiness, but I have no other way to convince you I’m sorry for the pain I’ve caused you and your brother.”

Niall exhales a deep breath and closes his eyes unsure. “I forgive you, Dad,” he reasons, “but I don’t need your money. I need…you.” Suddenly, his father lapses his arms around him in a long-desired embrace. His father sobs as Niall holds onto the man he assumed hated him for over ten years. “I love you, Dad,” he mumbles, and I half-smile as both men refuse to let go of one another. I cup my heart as the love of my life finds…well, home. When Louis fearfully steps toward us, I wrap my arms around him and reward him with a warm hug because for once in my life, I feel normal.

I am not waiting for the day to end.

I am not waiting for tomorrow.

I am not waiting for a storm to pass.

For once…I am breathing.

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