Broken Crystals

When Crystal collapses in the middle of the road after another beating, headlights are the last thing she sees. She wakes up in a strange house, surrounded by five strange boys. She refuses to relax around them or be herself. But can the one Irish boy with the beautiful blue eyes show her what it means to be loved and fix her cracks?

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47. The Red Box

Louis POV 

"El, please... listen to me." I plead with her as she turns her back to me and rumages in her wardrobe.
"Lou, look." She turns to face me, eyes sad and looking down at the floor. She chews on her lower lip before opening them to speak.
"I'm sorry I flipped out at you but I was just so pissed it was unbelievable. I'm still angry now. I can't believe you didn't bother to tell us sooner!" Anger begins to rise in her voice.
"But there was so much going on with Crystal and-" I try to defend us but she shakes her head at me.
"Louis, I don't care! I know what was going on was obviously big and affected us all, especially Niall and Crystal, but we still deserved to know sooner! None of this would have happened if you had told us straight away!"
"We only found out last week!" I beg her to understand.
"A whole week! That's a hell of a long time, Louis!" She fumes at me, red in the face now.
"El, I'm sorry." I whisper, stepping towards her. She goes to turn away but I snake a hand around her waist and pull her to me; clamping our bodies together.
"Louis," She warns.
"El, please. Just listen to me. We were going to tell you, we honestly were. We didn't quite know how to though... we were planning to the night Crystal told Niall. That was only three days after we had found out. We didn't want to leave it too long but we didn't want to tell you straight away as we thought it might panic you all. None of us were really sure what to do. Then when Niall told me about Crystal... All I could feel was guilt. I felt terrible. It was only going to make things more complicated and I knew Niall would hate me for it." I sigh, snuggling my face into the crook of her neck.
"Lou, I'm sorry for going off on one at you yesterday... and today." She adds with a soft chuckle. 
"It's fine, I deserved it." I reply, kissing her cheek softly.
"Yeah, you did." She says with a wink.
"Hey," I mumble, grinning playfully.

Crystal's POV

"We're going to go down to the shop and grab some lunch." Eleanor calls out to us, dragging Louis by the hand out of the door. Perrie chews on her lip; they were bleeding were she had been chewing on them so much. 
"Perrie," I sigh, muting the sound on the tv as the front door closes. 
"What?" She asks, smiling at me. 
"I know you're not okay." I tell her, raising my eyebrows. Her smile stays for a moment before fading away with a deep sigh.
"I just- I can't believe they're not here yet. I mean it's-" She stops to look at her phone.
"Quarter past twelve already and neither of them have bothered to call or text or come up here." I swallow, thinking it's probably best not to tell her that Niall had tried to ring me several times.
"I'm so going to-" Her voice is cut off by the sound of rapid knocking on the apartment door. She shoots me a look and I shrug. I stand up to answer it and Perrie cowers underneath the duvet; her bright eyes the only thing visible. I take a shaky breath before opening the door a crack and peeping around the side.
"Crystal?" Zayn's voice questions. Perrie sits up at the sound of his voice and I open the door further; revealing just Zayn standing there looking solemn. My heart sinks when I realise Niall's not there. 
***
"Have fun, guys." I plaster a smile onto my lips as Zayn waits for Perrie near the front door. They had spent the last hour talking and... shouting in her bedroom. I'd sat out here watching tv but I couldn't concentrate, so instead I'd been playing the guitar. 
"Thanks, Crystal." Perrie smiles at me before padding over and leaning down near my ear.
"He'll be here, soon. Promise," She whispers before pulling back and bouncing her nails on the top of the guitar. I smile sadly and go back to finger picking the strings as the door closes.

About an hour later, I'm curled up watching Forrest Gump on tv with a bunch of tissues and a cup of hot tea. The sun was shining outside and El and Perrie had both asked me if I wanted to join them at the cafe but I couldn't bring myself to go.  A knock sounds on the door but I ignore it. I didn't want to speak to him. Not yet. I wasn't ready. My phone rings in my lap but I ignore it, knowing it's him. The knock sounds several times again once the ringing stops but I still don't move. A few moments later the sound of something scuffing the floor causes me to pause the film, and then to look over the back of the sofa to see a piece of paper being shoved underneath the door. I contemplate, chewing on my lower lip,  before finally standing up and padding over. I cross my legs and sit down, placing my mug onto the floor beside me. I pick up the paper and unfold it. A sad face is drawn with the words 'I'm sorry' scribbled underneath. Anger rises inside me so I stand up and head over to the kitchen; rummaging around in the drawer for a notepad and pen. I rip a piece of paper off and sit back down, writing 'Don't care" onto it. I slip it underneath the door and hear a sigh from behind it. A few moments later; another is slid under.
'Please can we talk?' 
 I scribble back a reply.
'Not in the mood'
'Please?'
'Go away'
I kick the door slightly with anger and head back over to the sofa, picking up the guitar and listening as his footsteps head towards the lift. I sigh heavily and cradle the strings with my fingers. Gently, I begin to finger pick the melody for one of my favourite songs; "Candles" by Daughter. 

I'm still sat there ten minutes later when the sound of something hitting the wall underneath the living room window to the apartment makes me pause. I frown and place the guitar carefully down before standing up and heading over to the window. I pull the blinds up and open the window, only to be met by Niall's face.
"Crystal," He says simply. I bite my tongue, resisting the urge to scream and pull my head back. 
"What are you doing?" I ask, sighing exasperated. I look down and see him standing on a ladder.
"Talking to you." He states with a small grin. 
"I don't want to talk," I snap, going to shut the window.
"Crystal, wait!" He exclaims, grabbing my wrist before I can close it. I huff and snatch my hand back, spinning on my heels and stalking away. 
"Crystal," Niall sighs. I listen as he clambers through the window, landing with a soft thud on the floor.
"Niall, I'm really not in a state to talk." I tell him, heading in to my bedroom and slamming the door behind me. I settle on to the bed and stare up at the ceiling, frowning as he enters the room after me.
"Crystal, please just hear me out." He begs. I don't react. He sighs deeply and pads across the room towards me, laying down on top of the duvet beside me. We both stare at the ceiling for a long time.
"I wanted to tell you, Crystal. I really did. I'm not going to try and give you an excuse as to why I didn't earlier because there isn't one. Plain and simply, I was a prick. I have no excuse and you have the right to be majorly pissed with me." When I don't answer he takes a deep breath and continues. 
"If I was you... I would never speak to me again. I don't blame you if you don't want to.  But I just need you to know that I am truly sorry." His words wash over me and I draw in  a breath, frowing and gently lettling my eyes slide shut.
"Niall, it's not the fact that you're going to be gone for longer that bothers me the most… it's the fact that you didn't tell me. Or any of the girls for that matter." 
"I know, I know." He runs a hand through his hair, tugging on the roots before dragging them down his face.
"Please forgive me, Crystal." He sighs, turning his face to study my own. I continue to stare at the ceiling, humming softly to myself.
"What are you humming?" He asks me a few minutes later.
"A song." I reply simply.
"What song?"
"A good one,"
"Crystal." He draws in a sharp breath. Then it dawns on me; I was being a complete idiot. I was acting blunt and shallow towards him when all he was asking for was to be forgiven. I knew how it felt to feel guilty about something I couldn't change… I knew how it felt to want to be forgiven and loved again. Tears roll down my face and I turn on to my cheek to look at him. I take in his face; the bags beneath his eyes and the bloodshot within them, surrounding his blue irises. The stubble grazing around his cheek and along his jaw where he hadn't shaven. The way his hair fell limp and flat naturally.
"I'm sorry, Niall." I sigh. He chuckles deeply at this.
"I think you'll find it's me that should be apologising." He reaches out and wipes my cheek with his thumb; my tears clinging to his fingertip.
"You already have." I whisper and his lips curve up into an impish smile. 

 Crystal's POV

Someone is nudging me in the side so I groan and roll over onto my back; cracking open my eyes.
 "What?" I grumble.
"Crystal, wake up." Perrie hisses in my ear. I flick her away and roll over again, burying my face in the duvet. She hits me jockingly in the arm before shoving something right in my face. 
"What's this?" I ask, voice croaky. Sitting up, I spin the envelope over in my fingers. My name is written in sloppy handwriting on the front.
"Open it," She replies simply, nodding at it. She was sat on the end of my bed, legs crossed and cup of tea in hand. I frown at her before sliding my finger underneath the seal and running it along; breaking it. I pull out the single piece of paper inside.
"What does it say?" Perrie asks me, taking a sip of tea. I shrug and unfold it before reading it aloud.
"Crystal, 
We've all gone out but we'll be back by 11 so can you all make sure you're out? Go shopping and have fun.
Love you Princess,
Niall X" 
"Why do they want us to go out?" Perrie questions and I shrug, confused too.
"I have no idea," I mutter with a shake of my head. 
***

"What about this one?" Susie suggests, lifting up a jean jacket for us all to see.
"I love that," Danielle exclaims, rushing over to take it from her hands. 
"Excuse me?" A small voice asks, tapping me on the shoulder. I spin slowly on my heels, looking down to see a young girl of around six smiling up at me.
"Hello," I smile down at her, crouching down to her level.
"Are you Crystal?" She asks innocently. I smile up at Perrie who comes up beside me and then nod at the young girl.
"Yes, I am. And what's your name, little one?" I ask softly. She grins again, dimples appearing on her chubby cheeks.
"I'm Ella." She announces proudly.
"Hey, Ella. What can I do for you?" I ask her as she places a piece of paper in to my hand.
"Can you all sign this please?" She hands me a pen too and I take it smiling.
"Sure," I say and begin to write. I hand the paper to Susie who comes up on my other side. 
"What's this?" Perrie asks suddenly. I look across to see Ella handing Perrie a long box wrapped in red wrapping paper.
"I'm not allowed to tell you who it's from." She states, immitating zipping her lips up and throwing away the key. Perrie clucks her tongue in confusion, slowly tearing the paper from the box. 
"What is it? There you go, Ella." I hand Ella the piece of paper back and she smiles widely up at me, returning her gaze to Perrie as she pulls something from the box.
"Tickets," She says, confused as she reads them and hands one to me.
"Who for?" Susie asks her, coming up behind Perrie and looking down at her hands.
"Ed Sheeran!" Perrie squeals, jumping up and down. 
"I love him!" Susie exclaims, jumping excitedly like two children with Perrie. So do I. Ed's lyrics were there for me when my mother was in hospital. His lyrics meant a lot to me and were even played at her funeral. He was one of the few artists that I could really connect to; he taught me that music wasn't just words. Something floating down to the floor drags me from my thoughts. I frown and pick up the folded piece of paper that fell from the box. I unfold it and read the note.
"-Tonight; the boys X" 

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