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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5. Chapter 4 - Parker

Chapter 4~Parker

Ha! I’m “missing.” Of course my parents would pull something like that. I’m their only daughter—and the youngest child. I am in no means missing. I know exactly where I am, and it’s where I want to be. It’s best for me here.

You might be wondering where “here” is. “Here” is in an alley on the very west side of town. It’s not as busy as central, but people bustle past my hiding spot all day. If I go out for too long, someone is bound to recognize me. I was reported missing a week ago. For now, I sleep in a pile of blankets. It’s not too hot, not too cold. I eat what I stole from home, and I spend what little money I have with me very wisely.

I don’t want to go home, and I make myself forget the real reason why I left. I tell myself that they kicked me out, that they didn’t want me anymore, that they told me to make my own living for a change.

Ha! Sometimes I wonder if they’re the only people on this planet who care about me. I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s true. They treat me so well it sickens me. My whole life, I’ve had everything I needed and more, and what did the other people I care about get? Nothing. Not a single thing.

Now, I’m walking along the streets in jeans, a white t-shirt and a sweatshirt. My hood is up and I avoid all eye contact with people walking. I hope no one notices who I am and calls the police to turn me back in to my parents. That’s the last thing I want. As I’m walking by a local super market, something catches my attention on the television in the window. A female newscaster is saying something, so I listen carefully.

“International pop star and member of the world famous boy band One Direction, Liam Payne came forward with information about Parker Harrison. Payne told the media that Harrison was at his band’s concert a few days ago. Payne saw Harrison leave early, and not come back. We hope Harrison is found as soon as possible. The police are doing everything they can to find where this poor girl went to.”

My eyes bulged. Liam Payne talked to the news about me? He doesn’t even know me! I smiled a bit, thinking how concerned he was that he went and told someone he saw me. But I don’t care. I don’t care that someone from my favorite band did something for me.

But he didn’t know that I didn’t want to be found. It sounds like Liam; always doing the right thing. He seemed like such a nice person, but I was beyond pissed at him for talking about me. I know he was trying to help, but it’s not his business! We don’t know each other; we’re strangers. He needs to stay out of this.

I shook my head and walked on, thinking about how the newscaster said I was a “poor girl.” Ha! This was so pathetic. I didn’t want to come home. If I had the money I would leave this place and live somewhere where no one would ever find me. I would live on my own and make my own money and make my own decisions. It would be my life.

As I rounded the corner, turning onto Grove Street, someone was staring at me, walking in the opposite direction that I was. I pulled my hood up tighter around me, hiding my face as much as I could. My feet scuffed the ground as I snuck into the alley. I hope whoever it was didn’t recognize me. I sat down and tried to get comfortable. The ground was wet from the recent rain. Here in Miami It rains a lot as summer starts to come around. It’s January, but obviously, we don’t get cold weather and snow.

“Hello?” Someone asked from a few feet away.

My head snapped down, as I tried to hide my face. “What?”

“Aren’t you Parker Harrison?” It was a male voice, and it was surprisingly calm and polite.

“No, no you have the wrong person.” I snapped. “I’m kind of busy.”

“I know it’s you Parker, you were in the front row. I can’t forget a face like yours.” The guy said. My head looked up, and I was met by a pair of soft brown eyes. “You’re always in the news. People are worried about you.”

“Liam? What are you doing here? How do you know who I am?” I stood up and backed away. Holy shit! Normally I would ask for a picture or something but with everything that’s going on, it wasn’t going to happen.

“I watch the news, Parker. What are you doing out here?” Liam took a step closer, but I took one back.

“Don’t worry about me. You don’t know me, and I don’t know you. You need to leave, and not tell anyone you saw me.” I frowned.

Liam just chuckled. What was so funny? “Why would I do that? Your parents are wondering where you are. People are going crazy trying to find you.”

I crossed my arms and stuck my chin in the air. “What if I don’t want to be found?”

Liam frowned. “Why not? What is happening that is so bad that you can’t go home?” He seemed genuinely interested and concerned, and that confused me. We’re basically strangers, why does he care?

I looked down at a puddle. “That’s none of your business.”

He sighed and I didn’t notice that he had gotten closer until he was right in front of me. My eyes focused on his kind face, the way his eyebrows touched when he was concentrating, his hair and how he styled it to give it a mow-hawk kind of look. It was really hot, actually, but I wouldn’t let him know I was thinking what I was. “I guess you’re right.” He turned and started to walk away.

“I can’t go back there, Liam.” I blurted, and covered my mouth as soon as the words came out. Why did I do that?

He paused, then turned back around and walked back. “Why?” He frowned and bowed his head so we were at eye level. He was taller than me, but not by much.

“I just can’t, okay? It’s…personal.” I mumbled and looked away.

He was silent for a few seconds before brushing past me and looking at where I was sleeping for the time being. I didn’t know where I was going after this, but I wasn’t going to spend the rest of my life on the streets. “Is this where you sleep?”

I bit my lip. “Yeah, yeah it is.”

Liam inspected it, but didn’t touch anything. It was a pile of blankets that were protected my two tarps—one on the bottom and one on the top.  The one of the top replaced a roof, and did a surprisingly nice job. See? I was capable of taking care of myself. “If you’re so desperate to get away, why did you stay in town?”

I sighed. “I can’t afford to go anywhere else.” Why was I sharing this with him? People said he had a quality about him that made you trust him, but I didn’t expect it to be like this. I guess it was the way he seemed to care so much, the way he seemed to be concerned.

“I’m sorry.” He replied softly and came closer, but I didn’t step away this time. Talking about…everything wasn’t easy. It brought back things I didn’t want to remember. But I was strong. I was strong enough to mask the pain I went through and act like everything was fine, because it was—now that I wasn’t living at home. “Do you need a place to stay, Parker?”

“Yeah, do you know of any really cheap apartments?”

“No,” he shook his head, and I frowned. “I meant do you need a place to stay? As in would you like to stay with me? I have an extra bedroom.”

I was shocked. He was offering me to stay in his house? For a split second I wanted to say yes because he’s freaking Liam Payne, but I couldn’t accept. I wouldn’t. Things would get complicated and I would owe him so much.  I don’t like owing people anything. “No. I can’t.”

Liam crossed his arms and had a smile playing at his lips. “Because….?”

“Because I said so.” I said flatly, mirroring his actions by crossing my arms as well.

“Are you sure, it’s really no problem. I’m not home much, so we wouldn’t see a lot of each other. I have work and you could—”

“Thanks, but no thanks.” I smirked. “I’m fine right here.”

Liam scoffed. “Look where you’re sleeping, Parker!”

I raised an eyebrow. “I think it’s time for you to leave, Liam.”

Liam stepped closer once more. “You can trust me.”

I stepped back. “No I can’t. I can’t trust anyone. We just met.”

He shook his head. “I tried. But we’ll see each other again—promise.” He winked, and then began to walk away. But he paused and turned. “And don’t worry. Your secret is safe with me.”

I stared as Liam turned around the corner and vanished from sight. Could I really trust him? Was he able to keep my secret? I groaned and left the alley, in the opposite direction Liam went.

*****

Turns out, Liam kept quiet. It’s been three days since we talked in the alley, and there was nothing new on the news. But what if he told someone else? What if he told his friends? What would they think of me? I continued walking down the street, stopping when I saw something that caught my eye. It was a dress. It was peach and at the waist it was black, flowing down to about knee length. My hand touched the glass, wishing I would afford it. The price tag was $50.

I took my hand off the window and walked inside. Maybe I could at least try it on, right? I picked the dress off the rack that was in my size and walked up to the lady that was at the register. “Excuse me? Could I try this on?”

She peeked over her diamond studded-glasses that sat low on her nose. Her eye swept what was I was wearing and she pressed her lips into a thin line. “Can you afford, that sweetie?”

I bit my lip. “Well, I was just going to try it on and…”

“I think you should leave. Find somewhere you can afford. Try WalMart, there’s one just down the street.”

Smoke was about to come out of my ears. I dropped the dress on the ground and stormed out, slamming the door behind me. What a bitch! A tear fell from my eye and I wiped it away before anyone saw. I hate it when people judge you for what you look like or what you’re wearing. That dress was perfect for me. If my parents were here, they would have bought it for me.

Only I wouldn’t have wanted it then

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