Amore And Pizza

Hey, I'm Avery. I thought I had it figured out, ya know? I thought I had distinguished the difference between love and imagination. I was SO sure that no one could ever love me. Especially someone so extraordinary like Niall. But for once in my sob story of a life, I WANTED to be proven wrong. But I was right. Again.

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10. A Poodle Buys Me Hot Cocoa

     "I still can't believe Coach said we needed to work harder if we're going to beat East Denver! Unbelievable! With Avery on our team, their defense has no chance." Niall concluded while waving his fork in the air. It was Friday. Niall was obsessing over the fact that on Wednesday at soccer practice, coach was having a fit about East Denver. Apparently they were getting better, and we were not. Harry and Niall were really bonding, both going overboard with the flattery, in my opinion. Both saying we were amazing. More like I was amazing. Liam and Louis were pumped about the game tonight. They were playing Denver South, who Liam told me hasn't won a game against West Denver since 1973. Kalley and Zayn were happily holding hands and throwing grapes into each other's mouths. Or, trying to, I should say. I laughed. 

     "You guys are ridiculous." Niall and Harry both made puppy dog faces.

     "Puh-lease! I'm gorgeous!" Harry said, flipping his hair as if he were a model. I laughed, rolling my eyes.

     "So Liam, how are you and Carey?" I asked teasingly.

     Liam blushed. "Good. Really good, actually. I'm going to ask her out after the game." Harry and Louis patted him on the back.   

     "What about you, Louis? You takin' Gabrielle?"

     Louis shook his head. "Nah. I talked to her for about two minutes before I remembered why I dumped her." We all laughed.

     "Why exactly is she so mean?" I asked.

     Kalley shrugged. "No one really knows. She's just been like that for awhile. I think her dad walked out on them." I frowned. I never believed there was no reason for someone to be mean. If her dad left that would make sense.

     "We should try to talk to her at volleyball." I looked at Kalley. She nodded. I caught Harry smiling at me. He looked away quickly but didn't hide his smile.

     "So after Liam finally asks out Carey, we'll all meet up at Piazza Hut right?" Zayn asked. He just came back today after being sick, so he wasn't filled in with all the details. Niall nodded.

     "Yeah, you're taking me and Kalley. Avery's gonna ride with them." Niall tilted his head to Harry, Louis, and Liam. Niall didn't look that happy about that, though. I hoped it was because he was jealous.

      "Okay." After that, Kalley and I talked about our plans for tomorrow. She was going to borrow her mom's car and take us to get homecoming dresses. I told her that her mom should bring the car over. We both laughed. Kalley told everyone about how our parents were getting along. "Well, if your parents get married then I don't have to stop at so many places." Zayn said, making us all laugh.

 

                                                                  ****************************************************

 

     School finished quickly. I was walking back to my locker when Niall caught up with me. "Hey, stranger." I said.

     "Hey. Ready to go?" He asked. The game started at 4. It was 3:40. I nodded. We turned to walk outside towards the football field. Discreetly, I brushed my hand against his. Nervously, he entwined his fingers with mine. I bit my lower lip with excitement. I spotted Kalley and Zayn and waved them over. They both grinned when they saw our hands. As a group we walked to the painted black metal bleachers. Harry spotted us and walked over. He noticed Niall's hand in mine and looked at Zayn.

     "Louis and Liam are in the locker room. I saved us all some spots. Come on." We followed Harry to a section in the front. People were already filling the stands, pulling out blankets. It was still September, yet everyone looked prepared for November weather. Harry noticed my confused expression. "This is Denver, Avery. Not South Carolina. It gets cold here. Should be like 40 degrees tonight." Great. All I had on was my thin, pink zip-up sweater.

     Harry sat down, patting the spot next to him for me. I sat down, still holding Niall's hand as he took the spot next to me. I leaned back to look at Kalley, who was on the other end. She leaned back and gave me a thumbs-up. She mouthed, "He's going to ask you out." I rolled my eyes and sat back up.

     All of a sudden the announcer for the game came on the loud speaker. "Hello, ladies and gentlemen! Welcome to West Denver Memorial, home of the tigers!" Everyone started to clap and cheer. "Tonight, we will be playing the South Denver Hawks." A few people cheered from a section of bleachers on the other side of the field. "And now, please welcome, our very own, West Denver Tigers!" Everyone continued to scream and cheer as our football team came running out from the locker room onto the field. I saw Louis and Liam running with their fists in the air, helmets in their hands. Harry puts his hands around his mouth and cheered for them. I couldn't help but notice his hands, they were huge. I looked up at his hair moving with the slight breeze. I had the strangest image of a poodle flash through my mind.

     The game started with Louis and Liam on the bench. Harry told me that they were both running backs. They were playing defense right now. I watched football, but wasn't really a big fan. It started to get cold before the sun even went down.

     The score was 21-3 at half time, with us kicking butt. Everyone was bundled up, annoying me with their warmth. Especially Niall. Maybe it was a little selfish, but there he sat, with his big warm jacket, and never gave me a second thought. He must've known I was cold. We were still holding hands.We all decided to get up to get some hot cocoa. There was a line while we stood at the concessions. Niall let go of my hands while we were in line. Disappointed, I rubbed my hands together as my teeth started chattering. I felt something placed on my back, with hands holding it there.

     "You look like an icicle." I turned my head to see Harry, holding his jacket to my back.

     "Thanks." I stuck my arms out as he put his dark blue jacket over me. It had warm fur on the inside. I felt the warmth he had left inside. I noticed Niall looking at us. I didn't really mind, though. Niall could have offered his an hour ago. I pulled out my money as we reached the counter. 

     "Lemme pay." Harry asked the lady for two hot chocolate's. I turned to him as we waited for our order.

     "Why are you so nice all of a sudden?" Harry gave me a look.

     "It's the first time since Pizza Hut that I've actually gotten a chance." I looked up into his eyes. They looked a little sad. Like he wanted to hang out more. Great. Now I felt bad.

     "Well way to make me not feel guilty." He laughed.

     "Anytime." He gave me a sarcastic smile. He thanked the lady for the hot cocoa and handed mine to me. Niall, Kalley and Zayn had already headed back to the bleachers. We made our way through crowds of people, desperately trying to not spill our drinks. A group of people walked in front of me, making me lose sight of Harry.

     "Harry!" I tried standing on my tiptoes to find him again. It was no use. There were too many people in front of me, and they weren't moving anytime soon.

     "Avery!" I heard my name from somewhere on the other side. Honestly. This was such a cliche moment. True to my word, I heard Harry saying choice words at the people who would not move. He finally pushed his way through and made it back to me. "Sorry 'bout that. Gets a little crowded." 

     "Ya think?" He laughed.

     "Here, hold my hand. Then I won't lose you again." I looked at him, then his outstretched hand, then him again. Oh, for goodness' sake! I grabbed his hand with my free hand and let him lead me back to our spots. Niall was sipping his cocoa as we got back. He nearly choked on it when he saw Harry holding my hand. I quickly took my hand away and sat down. Harry sat to my other side, watching the band play during the half-time show.

     "Why were you guys holding hands?" Niall's blue eyes cut into me with, what was that, jealousy?

     "There were a lot of people, I got cut off..." I let the sentence end there. I didn't know how else to explain it. I couldn't explain it any other way without getting myself in trouble. Like the way my heart raced when my hand was in his, how he made me nervous. I couldn't tell Niall that. We were getting closer every day. If I told him those things we'd for sure lose all the progress we made.

     "Oh I see." I was worried that he saw what I was trying to hide. But he must not have because he smiled again like it was no big deal. We watched the half-time show in silence. The game picked up again. Liam made a 40-yard touchdown in the last quarter. He was definitelty trying to impress Carey. We all cheered super loud for him. The game was good, but not really exciting for me because we pretty much killed the other team. No competition. The game ended with a solid 56-6. If it wasn't for Harry's jacket I think I would have cried, it was that cold. I watched him in just a sweater like the one I had on. He refused to take his jacket back even after the game ended. 

     "That was a good game." Zayn commented. We all nodded as we packed up our things and headed to the parking lot. Harry made his way over to Louis' car. 

     "Are you still gonna ride with them?" Kalley asked.

     "Yeah. I made a promise. But it's a short ride. I'll see ya guys in a bit." I hugged Kalley and waved to Niall and Zayn as they got in the camaro and drove away. I hated seeing the disappointed look on Niall's face, but a promise was a promise. I walked over to Harry, who was leaning on the car.

     "Hey hot stuff." I laughed at Harry's pose. 

     "You know it. Bet cha Liam's asking out Carey right now." I nodded. "Was Niall mad at you or something?" 

     "What do you mean?"

     "Well, after we sat down, Niall and you were whispering. I thought I got you in trouble." Well, you almost did. But I wasn't going to say that. After all, it wasn't a big deal. Right?

     "No he was just asking why. Besides, we're not dating. It's not like I can't be around other guys." Harry smiled really wide. 

     "You're not? I thought for sure you guys were!" I could tell he was trying to suppress the grin on his face. It wasn't working.

     "And you're grinning because...?"

     "I was just thinking that, um ,that er...Hey look! Liam and Louis are coming!" Completely ignoring my question, he ran over to them.

     "Well..." 

     "Hey Avery! Guess what!" Liam ran up to me in excitement. He picked me up and twirled me around. Whoa. Where did that come from? He didn't wait for me to ask "what". "I asked out Carey! I just walked up to her and asked if she wanted to go to homecoming with me.She said yes!" He was so excited, it was really cute!

     "Way to go Liam! I knew she would say yes." Harry came over and put his arm around Liam.

     "If you're taking her to Homecoming, you can't go around hugging random girls then."Harry said looking at me. He laughed at my dumbfounded expression. "Don't worry, Avery, I got your back." He patted me on the shoulder and walked over to hold the car door open for me.

     "I appreciate it." I said sarcastically. Harry shut the door behind me and crawled in the other side,right into the middle. Like the first time I was in this car.

     "Next stop:Pizza Hut!" We all laughed at Louis while he revved the engine and sped off to Pizza Hut.

 

                                                               

 

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