C'est La Vie

HIM: Niall James Horan. Irish. Boyband member. My best friend. The guy I am hopelessly in love with. All rolled up into one.
ME: Maxime Adelina Mercer. American, but of French descent (cue to my name, in case you couldn’t tell). Personal trainer/physical therapist for previously mentioned boyband. Eternally friendzoned.

Will Niall ever see me as more than just a friend? Or is this just the life I'm destined to live? Being friendzoned by the boy who means more than the world to me.

Find out more in "C'est La Vie"

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7. "I Got Something In My Eye." "What?" "A branch."

-NIALL'S POV-

What...the...fuck...

Who gave Max permission to look like that?! Because I sure as hell didn't. Doesn't she know that by dressing that way she's guaranteed to turn on every guy in a two-mile radius? Including me! No, especially me!

"Hello boys." She said seductively towards our general direction, waving her fingers.

The hell? That's not the Max I know. Max doesn't flirt, she says what's on her mind and sometimes she's a bitch about it. In a good way, though.

I glanced at the boys and they were absolutely speechless, ogling Max without a care in the world. Which I was not happy about. Nobody's allowed to ogle her except me! Especially Louis and Liam, they had girlfriends for fuck's sake!

And Josh. Who did he think he was waltzing on stage with his arm around Max -- my Max.

(Yeah, yeah, I know she's not "mine" but you get what I mean!)

Does Josh like Max? Holy shit...does Max like Josh?

She does have her arm draped around his waist...that's not a thing, is it? No...it couldn't be.

But she did say yesterday that the mystery guy she is apparently in love with (that's not the sound of my heart breaking, I swear) only thinks of her as a friend...it very well could be Josh.

"Niall. Niall. Niall!" Louis' voice snapped me out of my trance.

Oh fuck. I had been staring (no, rather glaring) at Josh and Max for a while. 

"What?" I asked through semi-clenched teeth, turning towards Louis. He was taken aback at my tone, but quickly recovered.

"I said, doesn't Max look nice today?" He asked suggestively, with a glint of mischief in his eyes. I glanced back at Max, who had this smug look on her face.

Oh. I get it. She was dressing like this to mess with me, pay me back for pissing her off yesterday.

Well two can play this game, Maxime.

I plastered a fake expression of disinterest on my face and shrugged. 

"Eh." I said, tearing my eyes away from Max's beautiful body in feigned nonchalance and going back to my guitar.

I heard Max scoff in disbelief at my reaction and had to bite my lip from laughing. I know Max well enough to know that when she doesn't get her way, or if things don't go exactly how she plans, she is not a happy camper.

The boys also started to mutter around me, but my eyes stayed glued to my guitar with my back half turned to everyone.

"Is he fucking serious?" Zayn.

"Well that was quite rude." Liam.

"Are we sure he's not gay?" Harry. ('Preciate that mate.)

"Hey don't worry about him, he'll come around, he's just in a bad mood." Josh (to Max).

I heard a slight sniffle and then a quiet, "I'll be in the medical room if you guys need help with anything," before hearing Max's footsteps leave the stage.

Fuck. I didn't make her cry, did I? Was that why she was sniffling? Her voice sounded so sad...

"Max wait I--" I dropped my guitar and turned around to stop her from leaving, but she was already gone. I sighed in frustration and ran my hands through my hair. "Ah fuck."

I glanced around and noticed that all the boys' and Josh's eyes were glued to me, glaring.

"What the hell is wrong with you Niall?!" Liam shouted. "I get that you're in a pissy mood for whatever reason, but downing Max's self esteem when she was obviously trying to look nice? That was low mate."

"Liam I know okay, I just--"

"Oh come off it man." Zayn interrupted with a disgusted look on his face. "You knew that would hurt her feelings, you just didn't care. Are you trying to ruin your friendship with her?"

"No!" I said quickly, lowering my voice before I spoke again. "Of course not. I just wasn't thinking!"

"You're damn right you weren't thinking you asshole." Louis said coldly. I glanced at him and he looked absolutely furious. He was probably second closest to Max after me, and he was also the only person who knew about my feelings for her. But he looked...really mad, more so than I expected. "You better go talk to her and apologize right now before you fuck things up even more. She deserves that much."

I scrunched my eyebrows at him. "Why do you care so much?"

 

-LOUIS' POV-

"Why do you care so much?"

Shit. I can't tell Niall that Max likes him back, that would be so wrong! Of course, I haven't exactly 'confirmed' my suspicions, but it's pretty damn obvious that she likes him just as much as he likes her. I mean, she obviously dressed like a fucking model today just to get his attention. And what did the idiot do? He said "Eh." Eh! I know he was trying to act like she didn't effect him, that she didn't get his heart racing, but he was being a fucking dumbass. It was wrong of him to hurt her when she was so hung up on him, and it really bothered me.

I scrambled for a reason to explain my excessive interest in her feelings. "Uh, El has just told me before how Max hides her feelings a lot. She'll pretend she's fine when she's really not. Just go talk to her Niall, she's probably pretty upset even if she doesn't act like it."

Hey, I didn't even have to lie. Eleanor and Max are really close and I'm pretty sure El is the only person Max has ever really opened up to before, not even Niall. Of course, that makes a whole lot of sense now, given that she likes him.

Wait...did Max tell El about her feelings for Niall? And if she did, why didn't El tell me?

"Fine!" Niall interrupted my internal dialogue, throwing his hands up in the air. "I'll go talk to her, but she might not even want to talk to me right now. I wouldn't be surprised if she--"

"Uh, Niall?" Zayn interrupted. We all turned to him. "I think you're a bit late."

"What?"

"Harry's gone." 

We all looked around and sure enough, Harry had disappeared. 

"So what?" Niall asked.

"Well I'm pretty sure he went to go check on Max himself." Zayn said as if we should have already known.

"Why do you say that?" I asked.

Zayn turned to me with an expression that said 'you should know'. 

"Because he has the hots for Max. Duh."

 

-HARRY'S POV-

Ugh, stupid Niall and his stupid words have to go and screw things up like the stupid idiot he is.

I don't mean that, I love him.

Except when he hurts the girl I'm head over heels for, that is.

Maxime Adelina Mercer. When I first met her, I couldn't stand her. I mean, she's crazy hot and all, but she's also just plain crazy. She says the weirdest shit, and man is she loud. It's like, whatever pops into that weird brain of hers goes straight to her mouth. Her whole personality used to piss me off, and we sort of had this love-hate relationship for a while.

But about four months after she became our physical therapist and personal trainer, my feelings for her...changed.

I'm not quite sure when or how it happened, but suddenly I was looking at her in a whole new light. She had always been hot, but suddenly she was beautiful instead. Her quirkiness used to piss me off, but out of nowhere it was suddenly making me smile like an idiot. And I really noticed a change in myself when I started getting these really sudden urges to just grab her and kiss her. To press my lips against hers, even if it was for only a second.

I was crazy for Max.

And I would have said something to her as soon as I realized it, but there was just one little problem:

Niall.

He and Max were the absolute best of friends, she was closer to him than anyone else in the group. It probably had something to do with their similarities: they were both carefree about life, they cussed like sailors, loved to party. And they both hid their emotions from the people who cared about them the most.

I was never quite sure if there was more than met the eye with those two, but I always suspected. The late night phone calls, hanging out in each other's flats all day sometimes, cute tweets and text messages. I wasn't willing to risk my friendship with Niall or the sake of the band when there was a possibility they were more than just friends, even though they always denied it.

But I also couldn't stay away from her. She was like a drug to me at this point, I craved her attention. And I didn't care what kind of attention it was or what it stemmed from.

Now I'll admit I'm a flirt. But flirting doesn't work with Max, she isn't dense like most girls, and she is completely immune to any charm I may have. So I did the next best thing I'm a pro at:

I pissed her off.

I always teased Max just a little bit more; always went that extra step in our pranks; always called her Frenchie (which pissed her off like no other nickname); always made sure to call her out if she did something extra weird. We would get in these debates over the most pointless shit, but I didn't care. Even if she was screaming at me, I was getting that attention. She was giving me her attention.

It seemed to everyone else as though I didn't think of her as anything more than a friend, and not even a close one at that, but I really do. She's perfect, even with all of her quirks and awkward moments. They just made her even more perfect in my eyes.

So when Niall had to go and upset her when she came to the arena looking drop-dead-fucking-gorgeous? It bothered me. When her beautiful green eyes started to glaze over with held-back tears? It hurt me. When she ran away from the stage to seek refuge in the medical room? It motivated me.

While the other boys and Josh were giving Niall a hard time about his actions, I silently walked off stage. As soon as I was out of sight I started jogging towards the medical room. I quickly rounded a corner (almost busting my ass) and ran straight into the room where I thought she would be, realizing only then that I hadn't even thought about what I would say.

"Hey Frenchie d--"

I froze. 

Max was sitting on top of a table with her feet on a chair, knees drawn to her chest and elbows propped up on them. Her face was in her hands, making her curled blonde hair fan in front of her face. Her petite frame was slightly shaking.

She was crying.

Max never cries.

Max never shows any emotion except happiness all-the-fucking-time.

Max. Never. Cries.

I stepped in slowly. "Max?" I called out softly.

Her head shot up out of her hands, and her green eyes were wide in shock, and red around the rims. Tear marks had run down her face, leaving little trails in her makeup. 

"Oh uh, hey Harry." She said cooly, turning her head and wiping her face quickly. She stood up and straightened her barely-there shirt out and sniffed, flipping her hair back over her shoulder. "Didn't expect anyone to come back here, do you need something? Is your ankle acting up again? I can tape it up, the tape is back here somewhere..." She rambled on, turning in circles and opening up drawers to find tape. 

"Max my ankle is fine."

"I know I just saw some tape in one of these drawers..."

"Max."

"This is going to bother me if I don't--"

"Max." I said more firmly, crossing the room in just three strides to where she was. I grabbed her shoulders and made her look at me. Her eyes were brimming with tears again. "Why are you crying?" I asked softly.

"I'm not crying." She said, lying horribly. "I just uh, got something in my eye."

"What?" 

"A branch." She said sarcastically, looking down and laughing sadly. Before I could say anything though, she popped her head back up and looked at me again, this time with a different expression on her pretty face. "Look Harry I know you give me shit all the time, but I really can't deal with you right now." She said coldly, shoving my hands off of her shoulders and walking around me.

"No Max wait." I said, grabbing her wrist as she shoved past me.

"What Harry?" She spat. Her words stung. "You want to make fun of me for crying? You want to make fun of me for actually making an attempt to look nice? What was it you said earlier, oh I remember, 'Hot damn, she is a girl'." She imitated my slow, deep voice. I looked away and bit my lip. I hadn't meant it like that, I was just keeping up my douchebag act. "You know what Harry, this might shock you, but I am a girl with feelings, and you hurt them all the time. So just leave me alone okay?!"

"I really hurt your feelings?" I asked softly after a quiet moment. I had moved my hand from Max's wrist down to her fingertips, which I was holding softly. She was so furious she didn't even notice.

"Yes Harry. All the time." She said coldly.

"I-I never meant to." I stuttered out quietly. "I was just teasing you, I would never actually want to hurt you."

"Well you do." She said harshly. I flinched. 

What could I do to make her believe me? She was already broken enough, that much I could plainly see by the tears in her eyes. 

"Dammit Harry, you actually think you can do no wrong, that everybody will love you just because you're Harry fucking Styles. Well you know what? I'm sick of you and vous et de votre attitude envers tout le monde, même vos amis et--"

"Jesus Christ Max shut the fuck up." I interrupted before grabbing her face and pulling her up to my height, pressing my lips against hers.

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