Humane (Liam Payne)

{BOOK 2 - COMPLETE} On the outside, Parker Harrison's life seems perfect. A loving family of her and her brother, Garrett and their parents. But behind closed doors, things are not as they seem. Garrett moves out as soon as he can, getting as far away as possible with the ability to still see Parker, leaving her to feel empty and guilty.

When she runs away from home, and her parents report her missing, the last thing she wants is to be found. When she crashes into Liam Payne, things start to change. He becomes an unlikely ally to staying hidden, and he opens up his arms to her.

Liam is desperate to find out why Parker is the way she is. And when he does, it's in no way what he expected.

***THIS IS ALSO AVAILABLE ON www.wattpad.com/AlliM11 ***

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22. Chapter 21 ~ Liam

Chapter 21 ~ Liam

When I opened the door to our apartment, the words that came out of Parker’s mouth were the last I expected. The way she broke down in front of me made me crumble inside. I knew it was nothing compared to what she was feeling. When she started asking about my family I knew something terrible had happened to her.

I knew that it was bad. No one was like that if it wasn’t something horrendous. But what she told me, that her parents beat her brother because of his sexuality chilled me to the very bone. Hate coursed through my veins at the thought of someone doing that to another person, let alone their own son.

I finally understood was Parker was feeling. I understood the best I could. It wasn’t pain she was feeling. It wasn’t her that was hurt, it was her brother. It was guilt. She felt guilty for hearing what was going on just feet from her and not doing anything. She can’t blame herself though. Parker was young and thought that’s what was right. She didn’t know any different.

I tried to wrap my arms around her, but she moved away.

“And you know what the worst part was?” She asked me, a scowl on her face. “I let them.”

I shook my head. “You didn’t know any better.” I said.

She frowned, and stared at the wall behind me. “I should have. I should have known that something was wrong.”

“Don’t be so hard on yourself.” I soothed.

Her head snapped over to look at me, fire in her eyes once more. “How can I not? I let them get away with fucking child abuse!” she screamed. “It’s not something I can forget! I hear him every night! And after he left I stayed with those low-lifes!”

I couldn’t even begin to imagine what that must have been like, to hear your brother crying in the middle of the night. Only it wasn’t from a bad dream. It was reality. “I am so sorry.”

 “Don’t be,” she snapped, “it doesn’t change anything.”

“It does actually,” I said. “It can change your future.”

“What do I have to do with this? This is about Garrett and what they did to them.” She hissed at me, then stood and sat on the couch. I thought about sitting next to her, but decided against it. She would probably kick me off of it—literally.

After a moment of silence, I said, “Why did you tell me all of this? I thought you weren’t going to tell me anything.” I was honestly curious.

 She bit her lip and looked down, her hair falling over her face. “I-I don’t know. I had been holding that in for a long time. I didn’t mean to.”

I smiled slightly. “It’s alright. I’m glad you did.”

“Why?” She asked, picking at her nails.

I sighed and moved so I was sitting on the ground in front of her. “I can help you, Parker. You don’t have to go through this alone.”

She frowned. “What? Now that you know about my past you think that we’re buddies now? I don’t think so. I don’t need your help.”

I frowned as well. “No, I don’t think that. I know you’re hurting and I want to be there for you.” How hard was that to understand?

“I don’t need you, okay? And I’m not hurting, Garrett is.”

She was lying, it was clear in her eyes. I sighed, but didn’t want to argue any further with her. She needs rest, and I don’t want to push her any more. “Fine. You should go to sleep, you need the rest.” I said, standing up and grabbing a blanket for her.

She snatched it from my grasp and pulled it over herself. “You’re not my mother, you’re not my father, and you’re certainly not my boyfriend. So stop helping me.” Her brown eyes seemed cold and hard.

My face fell. “Okay,” I replied, and left the room without another word.

When I got to my bedroom I closed the door and sat behind it, my eyes watering with tears. I don’t cry often. How could someone do that to their son? It seems impossible for someone to actually do that since my family was so kind. My parents loved my two sisters and I very much, I can’t imagine any of them hurting any of us. The fact that Parker was so young and thought that what her parents were doing made it so much harder for her to move on.

I’m not saying she should forgive and forget —because that’s completely unforgiveable— but she can’t keep holding onto that anger forever. It’s unhealthy and she deserves more than anyone —besides Garrett— to have a happy life after their horrible childhood.

I stand and change to just my boxers and climb into bed, my mind racing. I will be tired tomorrow. Tomorrow! The break is over tomorrow and we have an interview in the morning. I groan. What horrible timing. Just when things blow up here we have to go do our job. I love it more than anything but now isn’t the best time.

I try and push all the thoughts of Parker and everything she just told me to the back of my mind, but it’s difficult. All the new information I have is overwhelming, and I don’t even want to try to imagine what’s going on in Parker’s head.

After hours of tossing and turning, I don’t get to sleep until well after two in the morning.

***

When I wake up, I am more tired than I was last night. I don’t know how that’s possible, but I feel completely drained. I groan but get up anyways and walk to the kitchen. Her bedroom is empty, and the bathroom door is closed with the light on. Parker must be in there. I don’t bother her and make myself breakfast, keeping my thoughts on today.

We’re doing an interview with some American TV talk show at eleven and after that we have the afternoon off, but at six we have a radio interview to discuss what’s next for us. That will be difficult seeing the lads and I don’t know what the next few months will hold. It’s eight now and I’m just sitting in the kitchen waiting for my phone to buzz. It does, and I see it’s a text from Niall

*A car will pick u up outside your apartment and take us to the studio at nine

I sigh. I have one hour, and I need to shower before I go. What am I supposed to do for an hour? I think of watching TV, but I also want to give Parker some privacy. She needs it and I’ll just be in her way. She doesn’t have a lot of space here, but there is nothing I can do. If I could expand this apartment, I would. This place isn't huge. It’s all I need and I wasn’t expecting company when I rented it.

I go my bedroom and lay out shorts and a gray t-shirt for after my shower. Lou will probably fix our clothes when we get to the studio. It’s now eight fifteen and I need a shower. Wincing, I knock on the bathroom door.

“Parker?” I asked softly.

“What?” She asked, yanking the door open.

“I need a shower.” I explained slowly.

“Oh. Okay.” Her voice softened a little. She frowned, but left.

I take a fast shower and dart to my bedroom and get dressed as fast as possible. When I check my phone, I see that I have thirty minutes until I leave. I take a deep breath before leaving my room and facing Parker, who’s sitting on the couch reading a book.

“Hi.” I said, awkwardly sitting on the chair next to the couch. After last night, I would expect there to me major tension in the room. I was correct.

She looked at me for a split second and then went back to her book. “Hi.”

I inspected the book closer. She was reading The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. “The Catcher in the Rye?” I questioned.

She looked up and me and then at the cover. “Yeah, it’s one of my favorites.” She said, giving me a shy smile.

“Where’d you get it?” There’s a book shelf in my room, and I’m pretty sure I own that one.

  "Your room. I went and got it when you were in the shower. I hope that’s okay.” She apologized, but I smiled.  

“It’s fine.” I answered, but inside my head, I was freaking out. She went in my room? There’s nothing in there that’s worth finding but I find it strange that she went inside my room and picked a book off the shelf. I want her to feel comfortable here, but I didn’t think she would do something like that. “You’re going to be here alone all day. I’m doing two interviews today with the lads.” I told her, so she wouldn’t be expecting me later. But why would she?

She just nodded, keeping her eyes on the book. I checked my phone for what felt like the millionth time and saw that it was eight thirty. Since I couldn’t stay there any longer I just grabbed my keys and left, planning to wait outside until the lads came to pick me up. Normally I would have driven myself but today’s a busy day and we need to use our time wisely. After our first interview, when we have the afternoon off, the lads and I usually have to stay with management to talk about the following day.

At eight fifty-five a black van pulls up and Niall sticks his head out the window, waving. I give him a nod and climb on. “Mornin’!” The Irish lad chirps.

“Morning,” I greet back. “What’s the plan?”

“We’re going to the studio now, and the interview will last about ten minutes. Then we can leave until six, when we have to be at the studio on Second Street at five-thirty.” Harry answers. I’m surprised he remembered all that. Most of the time he’s on Twitter or texting Amabel.

I just nodded again and stayed silent until we reached the studio, thoughts of Parker running through my mind. I’m learning that the more I learn about her, the more I talk to her, and the more I think and care about her. What’s wrong with me? And why won’t she leave my head?

But most of all, why am I not surprised?

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