Just Friends

"So," I smiled as I sat at the cafeteria table, in front of the new kid, Niall. I set my tray of food on the table. "have you made any friends yet?" He nodded. "That's good." I said picking up my apple and taking a bite out of it.
"What's his name?" I continued the conversation.
"He's coming to eat with us." He said, "You'll see."
I frowned confused, okay...
"Oh! There he is!" Niall said gesturing to a guy coming towards us. I turned around but as soon as I saw who it was I flashed my head back towards Niall.
"You're kidding me right?" I one hand on my forehead staring at the table. "Niall, you can't be friends with him he's-"
I was cut off by the guy sitting beside me on the bench of the table. "trouble." I finished under my breath as he and Niall did some kind of handshake.
"Hey there Brooke, haven't seen you in awhile." He winked at me.
"Hello Zayn..." I said coldly as I inched away from him on the bench.

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17. (15) Putting The Pieces Together

I was walking towards my locker for a last stop before leaving seeing that it was the end of the day. I could hear footsteps behind me pounding on the floor, getting nearer and nearer until I felt a pat on my shoulder, making me jolt my head back to see who it was. I’d been jumpy since lunch.

“Hey.” Niall said.

“Oh, hey, you.” I smiled clutching the books in my arms, that I didn’t bother putting in my bag, closer to my chest.

He smiled slyly. “Um, can we talk?” I knotted my eyebrows together as we got closer to my locker and punched in the code.

“Yeah, sure.” I nodded my attention mostly figured on the contents of my messy locker. I spun my bag over one shoulder so it hung on my chest now as I plucked some books out and shoved new ones in.

He stayed quiet. “Niall?” I asked confused.

“Could you listen to me? Please?” I rolled my head back and let out a sigh before shifting my body towards his.

“Okay, I’m listening.” I said crossing my arms over my chest.

A group of girls were chatting away at a locker across the hall, googly eyes over the football players that were crossing nearby. They passed by, and all they got were a few winks and then went back to talking and fixing their makeup in the little cheap mirror that stuck to the inside of the door with a little magnet that was so efficient that a slam on the locker would make it fall. Not a care in the world. I bit the inside of my cheek, wondering why I had ended up in this mess and fearing what Niall would ask.

“I thought you didn’t know motorcycle guy!” He urged.

“He was far Niall, I thought I didn’t recognize him but I guess I do after all.” I shrugged.

The group of girls was now walking away the leader stood in the front, swaying her hips and flicking her long brown curly hair over her shoulder as she raised an eyebrow at a group of younger geeks that were adjusting their glasses at the sight of her and her wannabes and waved them away giggling at how they thought they had a chance with her to her friends.

He rolled his eyes but decided to take my answer. “So, um” He cleared his throat, “You guys don’t seem to get along so well.. or at least you don’t seem to like him.”

I scratched the back of my head. “Oh, he, um, I just don’t like him that’s all, it’s true.” I shrugged trying to turn my attention back to my locker but he turned me around.

“Were you guys ever close?”

I scoffed. “Niall I can’t even stand him how..?” I partially lied.

He bit his lip shyly. “I um, noticed something about him.”

I swallowed and licked my lips, scared of what he’d say. “Which is?” I choked out before clearing my throat.

He took a deep breath. “His tattoo.” My vision started to blur. No Niall you’re not supposed to put the pieces together. You’re not supposed to figure this out! I mentally scolded him.

My eyes flickered up towards his. “And? What about it?”

He patted away an invisible lint from his shirt. “It seemed to match yours.”

I opened my mouth to speak but closed it quickly. “Anything could match mine Ni.” I tried to defend myself.

“But this one had the same writing, the same size and it really matches.” He paused. “So Brooke, what’s the real story with this guy?” He somewhat ordered.

I didn’t answer.

 “You told me someone else had a matching tattoo, your bad boy best friend I guess. But I don’t things went down good with him, I mean, by the way you lied yourself out of lunch today.” He raised an eyebrow at me.

I bit the inside of my cheek. “Niall, it really doesn’t matter.” I tried to convince him. I also tried to help myself from letting my emotions about Zayn onto Niall. He still had the tattoo. I was sure he’d gotten it removed. Maybe he still cared.. I began to think before I mentally slapped myself. Of course he doesn’t you idiot.

“Yes it does.”

I started chewing on my lips and picking at my nails.

“Brooke I care about you.” He continued.

My eyes met his for a second before he continued.

“And I just want to know why the first friend besides you I get, you don’t approve.” My arm fell loosely to my side.

“You don’t need my approval Niall.” I groaned.

“But I want my friends to get along!” He said throwing his hands in the air.

I blinked a few times catching tears that threatened to fall.

“Ni you want the truth?” I nearly spat.

He nodded and gave me a well-obvious-freaking-ly look and I rolled my eyes.

“We were best friends okay? But it didn’t go down so well.” I crossed my arms. “You don’t need to know anything other than that.” I looked down and swallowed the lump. “Well he was my best friend anyways, not too sure it was mutual.” I mumbled.

“Brooke, I..”  He said, looking sorry for me.

I put my hand up to push him away. “Forget it.” I slammed my locker door shut and stormed away. 

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