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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16. It's A Minor Chord Kind Of A Day

     "All along it was a fever..." I sang along as I played to the song "Stay" by Rihanna. Today's lunch was corndogs, and I wasn't really hungry. I decided to miss lunch-even though I would regret it during volleyball- and play piano in the choir room. Today was just one of those days. Nothing wrong happened, I just felt like being alone and playing piano. Okay, forget it. Truth was, I was afraid to be near Harry. After what happened yesterday, I've gone out of my way to avoid him. He had told me to forget it, but how could you forget your almost-first kiss? "Round and around and around and around we go. Now tell me now tell me now tell me now you know. Not really sure how to feel about it, something in the way you move. Makes me feel like I can't live without you. And it takes me all the way, I want you to stay." The song was beautiful with the piano, and I hadn't played since we moved. Why I'm singing a love song while I'm trying to forget about what happened yesterday?, you may ask,well, I have no idea.

     When I finished I heard someone behind me clear their throat. Startled, I turned to see Niall grinning at me.

     "That was really good, Avery! I thought you said piano was just a hobby?" While he said this he sat by me on the black piano bench.

     "Shouldn't you be at lunch?"

     "Was I not supposed to be here? I wanted to see if you were okay, 'cause you didn't come to lunch." Aww, he was worried about me.

     "No, you can be here. And uh, thanks." I smiled at him. 

     "Scooch." Niall elbowed me over so he had room to play. Well, he wasn't really playing a song, just a bunch of minor chords. "See? I'm a pro." I laughed and elbowed him back. I started playing again.

     "Do you know this song?" Niall shook his head. "Just listen, then." I played again and sang the best I could muster. I could feel Niall's eyes on me as I played. I loved the sound that came from the different chords. The sound filled the room, making the lonely room not so lonely. I really loved piano. My dad told me that my mom played it.

     "You have got to stop doing that." Niall said, exasperated.

     "What?"

     "Being so amazing." I looked into his eyes, regarding me with admiration. I smiled.

     "Well, sorry. My mom played piano, I've always wanted to be like her." I played another minor chord absentmindedly. "The sound a piano makes is really beautiful, don't ya think?"

      "Yeah. But the piano's beauty pales in comparison to yours." I stared at him for a few heartbeats. "That was a little cheesy, wasn't it?" We both laughed.

      "Yeah, it was." I regained my breath.

      "Wanna go get some lunch, now? You know me, I'm hungry. A lot." I laughed and nodded. We both headed out the door and into the hallways to go to the cafeteria. The grin on my face refused to go away. I was more beautiful than a piano. Compliment of the century.

 

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

 

     "Hey, Avery! Where were you?" Kalley asked as Niall and I sat down beside her. 

     "Uh, we were just..." I looked at Niall for help, but Kalley beat me to it.

     "Oh, I get it. I got cha." Kalley winked at me, obviously under the impression I was not playing piano with Niall, if you catch my drift.

     "Wait, what? No, no, no, no..."

     "Don't worry about it, Avery" I glared at Kalley as her, Zayn, and Gabrielle shared a smirk. Gabrielle sat next to Louis, who sat next to Harry. I watched Harry, who watched his half-eaten burger intently like it might start doing kung-fu. I was surprised to see Gabrielle sit by Louis, after all the history there. Liam and Carey weren't here. I wondered where they were.

     "So, what's new?" Niall asked, looking at Louis.

     "Well, we are 90% sure were going to kill on the football field." Louis bragged. "But what about you guys? Harry hasn't said a whole lot about your soccer team. Harry," He said, poking Harry's arm, "hasn't said much today at all." My eyes fell on him with a pang of guilt. Everything was so messed up now. I wanted to know if it was a weird moment for us both, or Harry meant for it to happen. I couldn't imagine that being the reason. It couldn't, right?

     "Um, I think we can do it," I said to make my mind focus on something else. "Our forwards are getting a lot of pressure, it's a little annoying. Coach is kinda obsessive over this rivalry." Niall laughed.

     "Kinda? He has an addiction."

     "Oh, Avery, sorry, this is random, but my mom said I could come over after volleyball tonight!" Gabrielle told me.

     "Okay! Great!" I was glad Gabrielle had brought it up, we needed a hang out soon. I smiled at her.

     Zayn cleared his throat. "So Niall, Avery, why were you guys late, exactly? Full details." My jaw dropped as my cheeks burned. I felt all eyes on me, even Harry's. It's not like we were doing anything bad, it was just the assumption that we were. What a change of subject. We had come full circle to the mystery behind mine and Niall's dissappearance. Honestly, my life was turning into a soap opera.

     "Well," Niall began, "we were uh, just-"

     He was cut off by Harry, who abruptly stood up and clapped his hands together. "Well, I will see you guys later." By 'guys', I think that meant just Louis, because he only looked at him. Not so subtly he stalked off, never looking back. My heart fell a tad. Was he afraid of what Niall might say?

     "I'm going to go see what his problem is." I started to get up before being grabbed by Kalley.

     "Don't you want to tell us your story?" Kalley asked, smirking.

     "Niall will explain it. See ya." I glanced once at Niall, who was watching me go with reluctance. I gave him a half smile, then turned around to go chase after Harry.

     I found him walking from his locker with his hands shoved in his pockets. He glared at the ground, not noticing me till I was right in front of him. 

     "Hey, why did you take off so fast?" 

     "Um, I can't really talk right now, I have to go somewhere..." Still not making eye contact, he tried to walk around me, but I stepped in his way. "Avery, seriously."

     "What's the matter? Why are you trying to get away from me?" For the first time that day, I made eye contact with Harry. And it was not pretty. His eyes were such a beautiful green, but they were bloodshot, like he hadn't slept last night, and they were mad.

     "You didn't want to be anywhere near me yesterday! You couldn't get out of your room fast enough! Your just so..." He threw up his hands in the air, exasperated. I winced and took a step back. Where was this coming from? He was mad that I didn't kiss him? Oh no. Realizing he had scared me, Harry put down his arms and took a deep breath. "I'm sorry, I get it. You like Niall. I'll just um, yeah." And that was it. He walked around me and down the hall before I could return to earth. I felt hot tears sting my eyes. I swallowed them and headed to my locker with a heavy heart, an empty stomach, and a memory of his eyes forever imprinted on my mind.

 

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

 

     "You can't be serious! You don't like them at all?" I argued with Gabrielle. It was after volleyball, and we were arguing about the choice of music to listen to. She didn't like One Direction!

     "I'm serious! I'm not into that." Gabrielle explained while laying on my bed. Sighing, I sat down next to her.

     "Wanna play some volleyball then?"

     "Sure." I went to my closet to grab my volleyball and headed outside. We went to the backyard-which I'm pretty sure I've only been to once since we moved-and started peppering. "So," Gabrielle said, "how's it goin' with you and Niall?"

     "Did he tell you about lunch?" She nodded. "Well, I'm pretty sure we're going to the dance!" Excitedly I told her about our little conversation. Niall's cheesy compliment was really the cherry on top, even though he was calling me prettier than a piano. 

     "Wow. You're right, he definitely likes you. No doubt. So, what happened after you left to chase after Harry?" I had been smiling up until that question. I stopped paying attention to our peppering, which was incredibly stupid because I had just set up Gabrielle for the perfect spike. Without realizing I spaced out, Gabrielle slammed the ball into-go figure-my face. "O my gosh! Avery, are you okay? I'm sorry!" She ran up to me and helped me peel myself up off the ground. Groaning, I went and sat down on the steps of our back porch. Gabrielle sat by me with a smirk on her face.

     "Why are you smirking?"

     "You got distracted the second I mentioned Harry."

     "It's not for the reason you think." I told her about our little conversation in the hallways. I didn't explain the whole incident last night, I couldn't risk Niall hearing that. I just told her about how he was mad about me and Niall.

     "What are you going to do? Harry likes you, Avery." I groaned again and dropped my face in my hands.

     "I don't know!" I said, muffled by my hands. 

     "Come on, let's just play some volleyball. Forget about boys for a night." I followed Gabrielle back onto the lawn and bumped, set, and spiked until Niall was out of my mind. Harry, not so much.


 

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