Liam James Payne. August 29th 1993 – May 3rd 2014. Loving Son, brother, band mate and friend. Everytime Louis read the message scrawled across the grave stone his head throbbed with thoughts, could he have stopped Liam from leaving that night? Was it all his fault? Each boy had their own reasons to blame themselves, each boy had their own way of healing. This is their story of tragedy , and self pity, how will they survive without the glue that held the band together?


4. Mad World

Chap 4

Mad World


Flashes of guilt erupted like an explosion through Niall’s mind, the poisonous guilt was what pulled him out of his bed every single night, what made him stay awake until all hours of the evening thinking back to the days where Liam was still alive, where Liam would have jumped at a chance to help his friend through the night.

Visions controlled Niall’s sleeping patterns, memories haunted his mind. The times they had shared together the boys, the band, those times were good and those times were very bad. How was one to move on when every part of your body, every sense of your warn out mind would fill in a horrendous visionary picture of every single perfect moment, every single good memory or pure happiness and joy erupted inside your head. What if it was his fault, what if the accident was all because of him?

Liam was always happy, his smile was something the boys counted on. Even when he was scared, even when he didn’t want to smile there it was planted along his poised lips. The reddened smirk of a happy boy was something Niall always turned to for reassurance, but now that smile was what haunted his mind every single night.

“Niall, look at them all!” He remembered standing on the interior side of the Sunrise studio, the crowd was something they hadn’t seen before, people from Australia knew who they were, they had flocked from miles away just to get a glance at them. The lingering taste of vegemite stung against his tongue, something he had been so eager to try, something that would make him remember this silly little country, one that was similar to his own. 

That smile was there that day, just like every other day. It wasn’t as if Liam never cried, because they all did. The world wasn’t perfect, but for Liam it might as well have been. His tears never lasted long, Niall had always joked it was because sadness was no match for the sunshine filled heart of his fellow band mate, until his death, that had always seemed like a joke, always something said in light hearted banter, but what if he was wrong? What if Liam’s happiness wasn’t a match for the sadness that evidently caused his death? What if it was all his fault?

He started mulling around pointless thoughts, trying to guess all the horrid things Liam would probably think about all things post his death. Could Liam really blame him? Niall had taken the death badly, perhaps worse than the rest of the band. Everyone knew Harry was trying to drown his sorrows with alcohol, it was all over the news, nobody paid any attention to Zayn anymore because he never left the house, and Louis? All the media were concerned about was the fact that Eleanor publically comforted him, and how he just blew her off, as if the most important thing in their lives were bloody Eleanor. It made him sick how everything turned back to the golden couple, what about the rest of them? What about Liam?

Sure, it wasn’t like he didn’t stir up a quirky headline, because he did. His meltdown was front page news, despite the adult community probably having low tolerance to the bad behaved band members, the adult community didn’t give a damn if he was hurting, and Niall didn’t blame them either.

“Get the bloody hell out of here!” He had screeched, and no matter how hard Zayn had tried to hold him back, his words nobody could control. “You make me sick! This is a funeral!” He kept screaming at the group of girls who had waltzed onto the property, fans didn’t seem to know what appropriate time and place meant.

When one of them pointed her camera in her direction, snapping a photo of his angry face, something inside of him snapped, he couldn’t control his menacing words as he continued to yell abuse at the young teenagers, he didn’t care why they were there, they didn’t even know Liam, they only knew the Liam from the television interviews. They were nothing to him, nothing at all. Still a week later, Niall still fumed at the memory. How dare they invite themselves to something so sacred, the goodbye of a friend, the goodbye of a brother.

“Niall, hey shh, its okay mate.” Zayn cooed into his ear, patting his hair down, whispering comfort into his ear, Niall didn’t want to calm down, he wanted to scream and fight, maybe it was the low tolerance of alcohol he had tested many times prior, or maybe it was the fact that Liam couldn’t even have privacy at his own funeral. All Niall knew was the anger that boiled in the pit of his stomach, that disgusting feeling that wouldn’t leave no matter how hard he tried to remove it.

@NiallOfficial It was meant to be a goodbye to a friend, you don’t even know him. You had no right to be there.

@NiallOfficial I feel sick

@NiallOfficial Tears aren’t enough, goodbye’s are always tough. I never thought it would be so soon.

@NiallOfficial I am trying so hard

@NiallOfficial I won’t be tweeting for a while. I am sorry.

He had considered going away for a while, but he couldn’t bring himself to leave town. The world was where Liam was, the world was where they spent most of their lives. It just wasn’t fair, every place, every memory, every time. It all came back to Liam. He didn’t want to be reminded, in a way he wanted to just forget it all and move on. Moving on was heartless, he felt guilty even suggesting it to his mind. He needed closure, but for some reason he wasn’t willing to get it. He wanted to suffer, that’s what he believed he deserved.

Life was tricky, being one of the most popular artists in the world was tough, no privacy at all. It was something he missed from his old life. Now in his time of grief, the fans didn’t even back off. All those stupid reblog is you support Niall bull was starting to get on his nerves. Reblogging doesn’t change a thing, it’s a waste of time. He didn’t want their sympathy, he didn’t need anything from the people who crashed the funeral. It was Liam’s day, not theirs. Photographs of the event were still streaming all over social media, enough to make him want to delete his accounts.

He just couldn’t bring himself to do that, to cut himself off from the world. He needed the option, to have those things there in case he changed his mind. He used to love scrolling through his mentions, or just simply looking through random tags but not anymore. Even a simple word or number would pull up results about the funeral. The whole world was talking about it, even those who hated the band.

Everything that Liam stood for was taken away from him in his last moments of existence. Too many times had he complained about the way everyone treated his girlfriend, how they’d send her hate or stalk her at work. He just wanted some peace, and they couldn’t even give him a peaceful funeral?

A smile whisked across his face as he sat down on the floor of his bedroom recalling a time when Liam walked in on him strumming the chords of a popular song from the time, he had interrupted, not by talking over the top of him, but by singing along with him. The pair of them sang their hearts off for a good twenty minutes before they were shuffled off into a van and driven to a day filled with various tiring interviews.

It was small things like that, which Niall missed the most. Having the little things pulled away, knowing that never again would he sing beside him, never again would he watch as Liam tried his hardest to ruin Harry’s solo’s. Never again would he see how his face lit up each time they entered a new city. It was all gone, and never coming back again.

A phone call interrupted his thoughts, he scampered to grab the machine that he hadn’t heard go off for days. A quick swipe of his thumb answered the call for him. “Hey are you busy today?” Harry asked on the other end. A confused frown ran across his face, why would Harry choose to interact with him? Was Louis busy? It didn’t make sense.

“No, what were you thinking?” He asked with a yawn, he wanted Harry to be under the impression that he had interrupted some important snooze time, he didn’t want people knowing that he hadn’t slept through the night since it happened.

“Well I was thinking, come and rescue me from Taylor.” He answered in a muffle, obviously trying to keep his voice down. At first he was tempted to say no, why would he bother leaving the house to help Harry escape a girl he had always despised but he was too tired to even object. “Be right over mate.” He answered softly, grabbing his keys from the dresser and slipping a jacket over his singlet as he walked down the long corridor of his messy house. He hadn’t cleaned it in a week, nor had he paid for anyone else to do it either.

It was only ten minutes later that he was pulling up outside Harry’s place, walking straight to the door only to be greeted by the fairytale blonde with her fake smile, and bouncing ponytail. “Niall, so nice to see you.” She sang, stepping aside for him to march in.

March he did, straight past her without any acknowledgement. He knew where Harry’s bedroom was, and he headed straight there not saying a word to the preppy American. He knocked his fingers lightly against the door, before walking in to find Harry sprawled out on the bed lazily.

“You didn’t, ya know....” He trailed off, not being able to form the words sex and Taylor in the same sentence, not again. He had promised himself two years ago that he would never say such a thing again, and he wasn’t breaking his promise for anything.

Harry shook his head without a hint of hesitation. “No! Of course I didn’t!” He exclaimed, sitting up out of protest. He knew people would assume that, even though he had made it very clear when they had ended that he would never make that mistake again.

Niall chuckled to himself, taking a seat on the bed to be comfortable. “Good, cos that would be a step back.” He informed his friend of four years, they never really talked about relationships the pair of them, probably because he didn’t have many, and well Harry didn’t like talking about the ones he had.

“I must have drunk dialled her.” He explained sheepishly, rubbing his tired eyes and laying back down against the pillows. Niall watched his friend’s frail features, he did look rough, he knew it was tough on all of them, but never actually thought Harry would be so beat up over it. He was probably the least close with Liam of the lot of them, not that he knew the whole story, it was just something he had observed.

“Idiot” Niall muttered, shaking his head in disapproval. “Should have deleted her number you tosser.” He had told Harry many times to delete all traces of his ex years ago, but of course the youngster didn’t listen, he never did. It was something they all noticed, something they all hated about the youngest member.

“I didn’t ask her to come! She asked herself.” He groaned, obviously suffering from a headache he had brought on to himself. Drinking and Harry didn’t always mix well. He would drink to get rid of his headache, which of course only made it worse within time, he was naive at the best of times, and although it was amusing, Niall felt sorry for him quite often.

“You didn’t ask her to write a song about ya either.” He chuckled, laying back beside his friend, letting out a giant sigh. He could hear Harry’s light laugh from beside him, but he didn’t look up to see his facial expression.

He knew exactly what his friend would have looked like, they practically lived in each others pockets for most of the year, all five of them, all four of them were as close as anything. It was a friendship crafted for them, one they didn’t pick themselves. It was something they would never have chosen, they were all so different, yet so very the same.

“He would be laughing at him right now.” Harry whispered softly, the mention of ‘he’ made Niall shiver, Harry didn’t even have to say his name, because Niall knew exactly which he Harry was referring to. Niall wasn’t ready to talk about it yet, he was still trying to deny the fact that it happened. Like as if it was some belated April fools, one that wasn’t funny anymore.

“I-please don’t.” He stuttered over his words, not knowing how to begin. He wanted Harry to know that it hurt too much to think about Liam, too much so that he couldn’t bring himself to say his name anymore, like as if it was some kind of dirty word. Liam was gone, and Niall didn’t find himself worthy of speaking about his memory as if it was nothing. He couldn’t joke about it just yet, but obviously Harry could. The lump in his throat continued to grow as he could vision himself being sick right there in Harry’s bed.

“Hey I didn’t mean to upset you. I miss him too yeah?” Niall nodded, but he didn’t look at the younger boy, he couldn’t bring himself to do it. Liam was gone, and he couldn’t change that, he couldn’t take back any of it, he couldn’t just bring Liam back from the dead, he couldn’t go back in time and stop the car from leaving that night.

“I just can’t Harry.” He whispered as strong flowing tears dripped down his plush cheeks, he wiped them away with the sleeves of his jacket, but they only kept coming. He hated that Liam broke him, he hated how weak he seemed, but without his best friend, what was his life going to end up like? What was going to happen next?

“You don’t have to.” Harry whispered back sweetly, the two of them laid out in silence for what felt like a lifetime, no technology, no speaking just silence. Niall felt like silence was his new best friend, and also arch enemy at the same time. It was as if he was trapped between having someone there to comfort him, who also had the ability to destroy him one step at a time.

The sound of Taylor’s high heels squeaking across the tiles of Harry’s hallway send shivers up and down his spine, she was coming, and both boys knew it. It seemed silly that two men were laid on a bed together afraid of little girl, scared of what lurked behind the door. Taylor was harmless, they both knew this, yet there they both were stiff as cheese as her footsteps grew closer and closer until the door handle was being turned slowly. 

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