The Ten-Year Plan

Ten years ago, Makayla Morris was in love with Niall Horan.

He was nineteen, she was seventeen. Young and dumb, they made a pact. A pact which comes back to haunt Makayla ten years later, when a certain blonde Irishman swoops back into her life and brings surprise in the most unexpected ways.

"Ten years, ten years and I promise. If neither of us are married or are serious about anyone..."
"Ten years?"
"I promise."


4. 2.



Ten years later.

Present Day London.




   I stood waiting in line for my coffee when my phone started ringing.


   “Hey love,” the voice replied, and I managed a tiny smile. “Where are you? Did you remember our dinner tonight?”

   “Hey babe,” I said looking up at the ceiling and trying not to overthink it too much. “I’m just meeting a friend for coffee, I didn’t forget our date.”

   “Good,” he answered, “I’ve got a surprise for you.” My heart rate increased alarmingly fast and I forced myself to swallow.

   “Great,” I choked out, “Anyway, I’ve got to go, my friend’s here. See you, James.”

   “See you tonight sweety.” I hung up quickly, stashing the phone away. I grabbed the coffees and went over to sit by myself at a booth. A few minutes later, I spotted her looking all busy and messy as usual. “Charlie!”

   We stood up, hugging each other tightly.

   “Makayla!” she laughed into my ear. I had missed my best friend sorely.

   “About time you moved to London,” I replied, sitting back down. I pushed the other cup of coffee over to her. “Here, I got you one.”

   “Thanks,” she grinned, taking it and slurping it down quickly. “Urgh, it’s freezing outside.”

   “It’s not that cold yet, it’s still autumn.”

   “Well excuse you Ms. Adjusted to British Weather,” she shot back, tucking her strawberry blonde hair behind her ear.

   “Well excuse you Ms. Just Spent My Vacation in Majorca,” I shot back in return.

   “So how’s the job?”

   “Good,” I answered, sipping my coffee. “I got promoted to associate at the firm.”

   “Yeah sure you’re one of the best barristers in London,” she shot back sarcastically and I grinned. “It’s only because you’re banging your boss.”

   “Shh!” I hissed, feeling my cheeks redden in embarrassment as a few heads in the coffee shop turned. “Urgh, you’re unbelievable. How’s your job?”

   “You mean cashier service at Tesco? Lovely,” she snorted, rolling her eyes. “Unfortunately, we can’t all be lawyers. Talking about banging your boss, how is the lovely fellow? James?”

   “Yeah,” I breathed out heavily. “About that…”

   Her eyes widened and she leant forward, sensing juicy information.


   “I…I think he’s going to propose to me,” I blurted, biting my lip.

   Charlie stared at me very hard for a minute, and I wondered if she’d gone mute until she let out a high pitched shriek. I jumped, clutching at my chest.

   “Holy shit-”

   “Propose?” she shouted and I hushed her quickly, rushing over. “Fuck me d- Makayla Morris when did he do it?”

   “He hasn’t asked me yet,” I replied, sitting down in my chair and propping my head in my hands. “I-I found a ring up the back of his bedside table.”

   “Diamond?” she asked, eyes wide. I couldn’t suppress a smile.

   “A Tiffany,” I nodded as she slapped her hand over my mouth, suppressing giddy laughter.

   “Oh my god, are you gonna say yes?” she asked, looking concerned.

   “I don’t know,” I said blankly, “I…just- it’s a bit rushed. We’ve only been seeing each other for six months.”

   I stared out the window, deep in thought.

   “I don’t know,” I murmured again.

   “Makayla,” she sighed. “Hey, Mickey.” I snapped back to attention, glancing at her. She hardly called me Mickey anymore. In fact, no one really had in the last ten years.

   “What?” I said, almost defensively. She had a strange way of staring at me until I felt completely defiant and like a small child.

   “Are you having second thoughts about this?”

   “He hasn’t even asked me yet!” I protested. “Maybe…maybe he’s saving it for later. When we’re ready.”

   “He seems rather ready if he’s hiding your massive diamond rock in the back of his bedside table,” she shrugged. “I bet it’ll be some really lame proposal where he gets down on one knee and tells the world how much he needs you.”

   “Shut up,” I groaned, slapping my hand over my forehead.

   “You know I’ve never liked him.”

   “Yeah I remember how you first met.”

   “He was wearing a dress,” she snickered.

   “It was a barrister’s robe!” I said snappishly. “Must you hate every guy I date?”

   “Look on the bright side,” she pointed out evenly. “I’m just making sure you end up marrying a guy who can cop the heat. Anyway don’t exaggerate, I don’t hate all the guys you date. I liked a few of them.”

   “Yeah?” I snorted reproachfully. “Like who?”

   “The hot ones you dated years back, not all these older guys,” she said, waving her hand.

   “I just don’t think I’m ready for marriage,” I sighed.

   “Aren’t you two going out for dinner tonight?” she inquired and I drew in a short breath. I’d almost forgotten. She took my silence as my answer.

   “Oh my god!” she gasped, slapping her hand to her mouth again, “He’s totally going to propose tonight!”

   “Shut up,” I wailed, slapping her arm. “I can’t…I don’t want him to ask me. Not yet. I’m not- I’m not ready for marriage. Am I? I’m only twenty seven, I’m not ready to be tied down, I-”

   “Woman!” she said hotly, grabbing my shoulders and holding me still. “Listen to me! This is your choice, alright? Don’t feel obliged to say yes to anything or anyone.”

   “I don’t want to lose him,” I stated plainly. “But…six months…”

   “Just keep in mind, if you don’t get your ass in there someone’s gonna take the expensive diamond ring right out from under your nose,” she pointed out, leaning back in her seat. Sometimes I hated how right she could be.

   Wouldn’t it be easier if she just said something like

   “You are the perfect age and you have found the perfect man and I swear if you let this moment slip through your fingers that you will never find someone as perfect as James ever again.”?

   To be honest, I didn’t know what was holding me back.

   Some nagging feeling at the back of my mind like I’d forgotten something important.

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