The Way We Are

My name is Campbelle Brooks, also known as every female Directioner’s worst nightmare.

Formerly known as Liam Payne’s best friend; Louis Tomlinson’s mortal enemy; Niall Horan’s erotic fixation; Harry Styles’ secret fuck buddy, and Zayn Malik’s girlfriend, now you know the reasons why everyone wants to murder me in my sleep.

It’s been a year since I got banished off the whole band’s life. Shamed and heart broken, I promised myself that I will forget everything that’s got to do with One Direction or that I even met them.

Only, life truly is a bitch. After getting an unplanned visit from an old forgotten friend, it was inevitable –again, here comes trouble.

"Somewhere in between falling in love with our midnight conversations that were exhaled through cigarette breaths and interrupted by coffee stains, and reading the love notes you had written on my flesh, I realized, I am in love with the presence of your words and the feel of your existence.

But am I in love with you?

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9. Nine

 

 

Is your heart taken?

Is there somebody else on your mind?

I’m so sorry I’m so confused just tell me,

Am I out of time?

Is your heart breaking?

How do you feel about me now?

I can’t believe I let you walk away when,

I should’ve kissed you.”

I Should’ve Kissed You – One Direction

 

Way to end the sex. Major cock blocker award goes to Perrie Edwards.

 

I’d say go to hell but that’ll make me a bitter bitch.

 

But I am a bitter bitch, so go to hell.

 

“Why the fuck does she wants my address?!” I shouted back at my sex buddy as I grabbed on to my blanket and draped it over my naked body.

 

The last time I checked, I’m not friends with Perrie. Hell, I don’t even know that woman personally! Now she wants MY address? What in the fucking hell is the world up to with me now?

 

“Liam! Why does Perrie wanted to know my address?!” I continued on with my rant, even got to shove Liam forcefully in the arm that got him to stir up and face me.

 

But instead of consoling me and my bitch-after-sex attitude thanks to a certain Ms. Edwards, Liam was nonchalant towards me. He just held me by my forearm and said, “Camp, just please, calm down.”

 

Rule No. 1: Never tell girls to calm down when they’re having a bitch fit.

 

Quickly, I swayed his arms away from me and shot him invisible daggers with my stare. “Calm down?! Is that all you can say, calm the fuck down?! Liam, the girl Zayn’s going to marry is asking you where I live!” I screamed with such exasperation.

 

But Liam remained his cool as he answered, “Maybe she just wanted to visit you? See the infamous Campbelle Brooks that Zayn, the band and the whole fandom is talking about.”

 

God, I wanted to punch him, and then myself.

 

 Liam Goddamn Payne, the biggest idiot in the history of all fucking idiots.

 

“You’ve got to be fucking kidding me. She wanted to know my address because she wants to visit her fiancée’s ex-girlfriend? For what good reason would it be, huh, Liam? To brag it straight right in my face that she’s the one Zayn’s going to marry? Is that it?” 

 

My words shocked him as much as it shocked me when all of it sank it. It flew right out of my mouth. It’s possible, isn’t it? For Perrie’s reason why she wants to know who Campbelle is could be to see if I was even worth half of who she is.

 

“Perrie would never do that. She’s an amazing girl.” Liam quickly defended.

 

Fucking dense much?

 

Rule No. 2: Never talk about how amazing a girl is when you just had sex with another one.

 

“Ugh! You’re whole loads of impossible!” I shrieked back at him.

 

Fuming with anger, I took Liam’s crinkled plaid shirt lying on the floor and wore it before I stormed out of the room, leaving my asshole of a best friend, alone and confused in the bed.

 

“Campbelle! Wait-” he called back immediately, but I had already slammed the door shut in his face, in fact too loud that the neighbors are going to wonder what on earth the ruckus is about.

 

I retreated on my mother’s room instead, locked it even before Liam could barge in and just sat at the floor –without having a pair of knickers on. I am still a bit sore with the damage Liam did down below, but I was too angry and pissed, I couldn’t care less about it.

 

The universe clearly does not want me and Liam having sex anymore. I just know it. Come on, this is the third time! First, Louis, Niall and Harry found that I am back. Next, Liam said Zayn’s moved on and has already forgotten about me. And now, my former lover’s future wife wants to know where I live. This has to be some sort of sign from the gods high up above that whatever Liam and I are doing should stop for good. I have lost count on how many times I did actually say that.

 

As I leaned my back against the door, I could feel the floorboard creaked below me, telling me that someone was just behind the door itself. Suddenly, I heard Liam’s voice called out for me from the other side, “Campbelle…”

 

I didn’t respond. I just slouched and hugged my legs, rested my head upon my knees. I’m sick of this, having to deal the anger and frustration all by myself in the end because I don’t want him to pity me. Liam knows I’d run to him whenever I have a problem, he’d do the same if it was his case. But clearly with how he acted, things have changed. I know for myself that I did too. It’s just not the same as before.

 

Then I heard Liam spoke again. “I don’t want to fight with you tonight, please. I’m sorry.”

 

“You’re a fucking idiot, Liam.” I replied from my side. I quickly brushed the tears that formed right in the side of my eyes with the back of my hand. I’m not crying tonight, damn it.

 

“I know… and I’m sorry, Camp. I’m so sorry,” he began apologizing. “Please…I can’t take it that you hate me right now.”

 

Dumb fuck you deserve it.

 

“Campbelle, are we going to stay this way all night? We need to talk.”

 

A frown began to form in my face. “Talk about what?” I asked.

 

“Honestly, Campbelle. I just told you my real feelings. God, do you have the slightest idea how hard I kept it in me? Four years Camp –four long, hard years. I’ve waited for four years just to tell it to you, and you haven’t even said anything back at me.” Liam said, with such precision in every word, it couldn’t be just left forgotten in the thin air. “Would you let the fact that I finally managed to tell my best friend that I’m in love with her slip tonight? Would you?” I heard him asked again.

 

It all then came to me. My mind was in such a whirl with everything that the most crucial words Liam has ever told me got dumped somewhere deep in my brain, he thought I just let it slipped because I haven’t said anything back about it.

 

A long pause was thrown in place. It was when I started to process what has been just revealed to me, and my breath caught in my throat as I realized with guilt that I should have seen this coming. I definitely, definitely should have seen this coming between us.

 

The only problem was this was Liam. This was Liam.  

 

In a voice barely above a whisper, again, Liam confessed, “I love you, Campbelle. I do. I really do.

 

Though my eyes were full of impending tears, I stayed strong and kept them all in me.

 

Worry about my freezing ass later. I had other problems on hand tonight.

 

Problem No. 1: Perrie Edwards was asking for my address.

 

Problem No. 2: Liam Payne, my best friend, dropped the L-word.

 

----------(The Way We Are)----------

 

Spring 2008

 

“Ugh! Come on! Let me win, machine!”

 

Exhaling, I looked at the few tickets that I received from the ski ball machine. Liam chuckled next to me, as I threw in another token, determined to beat the high score.

 

Glaring at him, I grabbed the ball, rolling it up only to miss again. “Goddamn it.” I whispered under my breath, biting on my lips so hard it could have drawn out blood any second.

 

Frustrated, I threw more and more, only to fail again. Liam shook his head and stepped closer. “You’re doing it all wrong,” He snickered at me.

 

He grabbed the ball, placing it in my hand, and then draped his own hand over mine. Slowly he drew my arm back, and released the ball as I watched it roll into the top slot, effortlessly.

 

My eyes widened in shock, “What the- How did you do that?!” I exclaimed.

 

He took my hand again, positioning it over the ball, and drew it back once more, explaining every step by step. I turned my head only for my eyes to land on his lips that was just inches apart from my own.

 

Liam was aware I was staring at him. For a moment, everything stopped and the only thing I could hear was mine and Liam’s breathing.

 

In the back of my head, I thought maybe we could kiss. I wanted to lean forward my put my lips next to his. Maybe it was fine. What’s the worst that could happen if my own best friend would be my first kiss? Best friends could kiss, right?

 

Right?

 

“You are a winner!” Both of us heard the machine next screamed, spewing tickets at an oblivious young boy beside us.

 

Liam whipped his head away, releasing my hand, tucked them back in his pocket as he tried to clear his throat and cheer for the boy.

 

He was quick to let it go, but I caught how his face burned up, and I could say the same with me.

 

I think my best friend and I just had a moment.

 

-----------(The Way We Are)------------

 

Mary Anne made fun of me the next day at work.

 

“You just got deflowered again last night, Campbell. First one after what, twenty months?” she announced in between breaths as she bellowed with laughter next to me. “Why are you so moody? You should be glowing, -or more like high right now! Wait, oh my god, don’t tell me Liam’s dick disappointed you last night?”

 

Thank God that our thrift shop doesn’t get that much customers. I wanted to disappear out in thin air. This conversation was more uncomfortable than hearing Niall Horan and his erotic fantasy about me one time when he was pissed drunk.

 

I just groaned in annoyance. “Can we not talk about deflowering and someone’s dick right now?”

 

Just so to answer the question, Liam junior never disappoints.

 

Okay, awkward Campbelle on.

 

“Is it true? The rumors about Liam’s ten inch penis-”

 

“Mary Anne!” I shouted back in horror.

 

“Okay, well then let’s talk which dick do you prefer other than his: Zayn’s or Harry’s?”

 

 “Oh my God, are you calling me a slut?!”

 

“Why, are you not?” she asked me, straight faced.

 

Though she was five years my senior, I smacked her right in the head with the first thing I grabbed on, which was a box of antique rings, that sent the contents flying out all over the floor.

 

“I’m kidding! I’m just kidding, Campbelle!” Mary Anne screamed back in defense as she swatted my hands away. “Come on, I’m just curious to what went down with you and your quote best friend unquote last night.”

 

I was two second away from throwing her the next thing I could grab on, my cellphone, which has been ringing nonstop since I got to work. “Mary Anne, this is a serious matter!”

 

“What matter? Perrie asking for your address, is that it?” Again, I shot her the look. Like, duh? “Camp, I think you worry too much. Just calm the fuck down. It couldn’t be that bad. She just wants to know where you live.”

 

“For what reason would it be?!”

 

“Maybe she wants to move to Wolverhampton when she and Zayn get married.” Mary Anne said.

 

Deadpanned, I replied, “Never in his wildest dreams will that happen.”

 

“Or maybe she just wants to talk to you about Zayn.”

 

I let out a deep sigh and told her for the nth time “Why would she do that? Zayn and I are long done. Why would the ‘present girlfriend slash fiancé’ want to talk with the ex- girlfriend, especially now that they’re engaged?”

 

Mary just shrugged, “Oh, you know, Perrie could still be worried about you.”

 

“What could she possibly worry about me? Zayn said it himself in the interview. I am someone he’s left in his past. We. Are. Done.”

 

“That was one interview, Camp. Maybe Liam did confess Zayn has moved on, but I think not. Didn’t you notice he was shocked as well when he found out you’re back? That could be the reason why he didn’t want to address it yet on that one interview with MTV.” she explained.

 

I shook my head back at her and told Mary Anne, “Zayn doesn’t want to talk about his girlfriends out to the public. Clearly, he’s changed. He basically dissed our tragic relationship on that interview in MTV.”

 

“I’m sure Zayn talked about you even before.”

 

“No, he doesn’t. Zayn’s just not that kind of guy. You could have just misinterpreted his reaction when he found out I’m back.” I told Mary Anne.

 

She just frowned back. “Why are you defending Zayn? I thought you were over him?”

 

Without even thinking twice, within lightning fast seconds, I answered.

 

“I am.”

 

The look Mary Anne gave said she didn’t believe it at all. “This one time, I’m not sure if you’re lying, Camp.”

 

Soon I realized what could have confused her. It was the first time I didn’t break down when someone mentioned Zayn’s name. It was like I was suddenly okay again.

 

And I just confused myself too.  

 

No. Stop Campbelle. Don’t forget that you’ve got bigger problems right now. You’re mind’s already a mess.

 

Suddenly, my phone went ringing again. I was perfectly aware who was calling me right at this moment. He’s been bugging me ever since this morning, but all I did to him was bitch back. Or more like run away from being confronted once again. All I wanted was a way out. When I can’t handle the confrontation, I’d find a way out. That’s always been me, Campbelle Brooks; a coward.

 

He insisted that we talk about the L-word. I knew him very well; he’s expecting I’d say something good. What he doesn’t understand was how those three crucial words affected me. I’m not even sure when was the last time ‘love’ actually did something good to me.

 

When Zayn told me he loved me, I believed him because I thought we’re in love and that we’re meant for forever. I was so confident that I loved him. It was just me and him. Then one abrupt question was thrown, answered by a complete undecided ‘No’ and everything about us went downhill. One wrong word crushed all dreams I built and desired for my life, with him on the center of my world.

 

When Harry told me he loved me, I got caught with the idea of us and eventually lost my self. Now all I know is that whenever I feel broken, it’s Harry that I need. Only, it was more on needing him to tend me back because he’s the only one who understands, not needing him to love me endlessly.

 

There were so many things wrong with what we were doing but neither one of us could find the strength to stop something that felt so right. I knew the difference between wrong and right but when it came to Liam, unlike what happened to Harry and me, I didn't care.

 

Now that Liam has gone brave and told me he loves me, I’m not sure if I’m really equipped to love a person, for two mistakes had made me learn my lesson.

 

Maybe I just really couldn’t love that much as they did.   

 

I busied myself by rearranging the pieces of antique rings back on its box when my phone went off again. When I didn’t care to even look at it, Mary Anne herself pushed the phone in front of me.

 

Liam Calling…

 

I groaned and instantly rejected the call. “Why are you ignoring his calls?” she asked, and I couldn’t help but noticed she sounded just so much like my mum.

 

Mum’s going to freak out if I tell her. She has to know. Her words of wisdom are always right. 

 

After a deep long sigh, I managed to confess, “Last night, he dropped the L-word.”

 

“I don’t see the problem,” Clearly, she did not understand me, or she was being sarcastic to me again, or just really didn’t know what I meant with the L-word. How old is she again?

 

“Mary Anne, Liam told me he loves me. He said ‘I love you’ before we had sex, and again after it.”

 

By the time I was done explaining, her whole mouth was in perfect ‘O’. “He did not!” Mary Anne exclaimed.

 

“Yes, he did! Liam did! And what’s more of my concern is that Liam confessed he’s been in love with me for years now.”

 

“I thought you said he already confessed it before?”

 

“Yes, but I did not know he was in love with me before that!”

 

Both of our heads snapped back in the shop’s door when we heard its bell chimed, signaling a customer just entered the shop, -speak of the devil.

 

“I brought cupcakes. Is that alright?” Of course, it was Liam. Who else could it be?

 

----------(The Way We Are)----------

 

I remembered Mum telling me once before, she was very happy that I made a friend like Liam, that I’m very fortunate someone like Liam James Payne was my best friend. She couldn’t ask for anything better than Liam. He’s well brought up by his parents, a good kid with a big heart and such big dreams of becoming a famous singer one day.

 

When that day came and Liam was part of that boy band that conquered the whole world with their talents, Mum reminded me to keep him. Keep him forever if I could, because I’ll never find a friend like Liam James Payne ever again.

 

Four years later, I think I’m going to disappoint her.

 

One wrong word said and I could break Liam and myself all over again.

 

Knowing my dilemma and how I won’t have the balls to say everything out to Liam with her watching us, while she indulged herself with the heavenly aroma of the newly baked cupcakes he brought for us, Mary Anne locked Liam and me out in the storage room where the stacks of clothes boxes were. The room was so small and tight, it was a surprise how we managed to find a space to sit on the floor itself.

 

“Remember that one time when Aileen locked us together in your study area so we could reconcile after our fight?”

 

I rolled my head to the side to see Liam staring at me and I felt completely exposed. Sometimes when he looked at me like that I felt like my mask was completely stripped away, I was myself again, and all I know is that I have to listen to him -his every thought, desire, and need.

 

Liam finally notice that I caught him staring at me and he licked his lips and turned away, but I still asked him away. “We were like fourteen that time, am I right?”

 

He nodded nervously. “Yeah, and it was Christmas Eve. We got into a fight with one another because Mum teased us to kiss under the mistletoe your mum placed right above us.”

 

“Oh yes, I remember that! They’ve tricked us that night to stand together for a picture but what we didn’t know was that Mum was on the stairs hanging mistletoe,”

 

“They said, ‘Kiss or you two will have bad luck for the rest of your life’.” Liam continued on, perfectly mimicking Ana’s sweet motherly tone.

 

I raised my eyebrows and asked him, “And why did we fight again?”

 

“I chose to lean and try to kiss you.” He said as we stared at each other’s eyes. “You chose to have bad luck instead.”

 

And it all made sense to me.

 

“But we didn’t kiss that night, we got introduced to the bottle of whisky Mum thought she’s hidden in her study,” I reminded him, causing both of us to shake in fits of laughter. “How eventful that night was.”

 

“Best Christmas Eve ever as we call it.” Liam added in between our chuckles.

 

“I think they got it right though. I got whole loads of bad luck because I didn’t kiss you under the mistletoe, but you never did. See how lucky you are right now; 1/5 of the biggest boy band in the world and a multimillionaire!” I told him, grinning as wide as I could. Deep inside, I was guilty, and too hurt to just realize this after all the time I should have. Our life –our relationship as best friends- wouldn’t be this complicated now if I settled myself with Liam, given him a chance when he was clearly asking for just once.

 

Liam sucked in a breath and I looked at him staring down at his hands. “I might not be as lucky as I think I am, Camp.”

 

I understand him. I know what he meant.

 

After a few seconds of silence, Liam asked me out, “Did I scare you?”

 

My body felt like it was on fire. My stomach was in my throat. My eyes were dry. My chest felt like it was caving in, knowing perfectly this was the time Liam and I settle this.

 

I haven’t said anything back. I can’t tell him he didn’t frighten me when he said those three words. I was more scared for what I could possibly have told him last night. I reminded myself, that I needed to be more careful now. I have to think before I speak, which I confess myself is not my biggest trait at all. It’s just I can’t let it happen again, how I’ll let something so unsure be muttered out that’ll ruin a relationship in the end.

 

“Liam,” I began. Then I completely stopped.

 

He sensed me second guessing myself. Liam’s hands went straight right to hold mine, knowing his touch will somehow put me up with a bit of ease, help me, so I could speak out. “Last night…I think we got caught in the moment. Everything happened all so fast, then that message came and my mind just can’t handle anything but worry, anger and frustration. I didn’t say anything because it wasn’t the perfect timing to do so. Liam… I can’t say I love you out of rush. It’s just not right. You know that. You can’t just expect I’d say I love you back that instant, not yet.”

 

“I-I understand, and I’m sorry.” He said as he tightened the grip he has on my hands. “I just can’t hold it anymore now you’re here with me again. I just know in that moment when I had you right in my arms, I had to tell you that I love you, Campbelle.”

 

“I don’t want to lose you again. Someone else could sweep you off of your feet and I’d lose all of my chances.” He added.

 

“I’m not going anywhere, I promised to you, remember?” I quickly told him back. I let the fact slip that Liam was trying to tell me someone could take me away from him, which I know he could have had meant by all means was Harry. “I don’t want to hurt you just like how I did the last time. Liam, I just got back. I’m still finding how to put everything back in place, back to what they should be. Don’t you think we’re moving way too fast? I’m not closing myself to you, I just…I need to think about it first. We’ve got all the time together now, Liam. We don’t have to rush this –rush us.” I told him.

 

My cell phone buzzed on my lap and I had to look down to know that my phone screen was flashing Harry Calling…

 

“Is it Harry?” Liam whispered and I knew he was looking at my phone.

 

Harry Calling….

 

I shook my head. “Harry’s call could wait-”

 

Harry Calling….

 

“No, Camp. Is it because of Harry? Is he the reason why you’re holding back?” he cleared himself out.

 

We looked at each other like we’re about to kiss. But instead, I spoke in a hushed manner, “I just don’t want to make the same mistakes I did in the past with you, Liam. Just give me time to think, that’s all I’m asking for. There’s no harm in waiting.”

 

“I could be too late now, Camp.” Liam whispered as he let go of my hand.

 

Inside my heart, there stirred a quiet pain. It killed me to see and hear someone as amazing and as good as Liam be that sad, that hopeless for himself. He doesn’t deserve to be.

 

He just shot down the hopes that I could change my mind and just choose him in the end. I wished Liam said something else, something like he’d patiently wait, just like what Harry did.  

 

I wanted to get out there but for some reason I felt like I was tied on the ground. I think the fates have decided that they should prolong the suffering inside me and Liam.

 

Out of the silence of the storage room, Liam’s phone started ringing. “Uhm, would you mind if I take his now?”

 

“Not at all, just go ahead.” I said as I hugged my knees, trying my best not to let the emotions overcome me while I was next to him.

 

The call was short. Liam hasn’t said that much back to the speaker on the other line, just a soft ‘oh’, and that’s it.

 

Second later, I heard Liam called out. “Camp, there’s something I need to tell you,” he said, a bit of a worry in the tone in his voice I noticed.

 

“That was Harry,” I stated as a matter of fact.

 

“He, uhm-”

 

“Tell me it’s not trouble. Have luck finally gone my way?”

 

“Err…no.” Fuck that. Liam bit his lips before he continued, “Harry called me because you won’t answer his phone. Harry was calling to warn you that Perrie already knows where your address is.”

 

And I snapped. “Who the fuck told that woman where I live?!”

 

“Louis did.”

 

I pursed my lips in disapproval and stormed out of the storage room.

 

Louis William Tomlinson, meet the new and improved Campbelle Brooks. Bitch version 2.0.

 

End Notes:

And now the fun begins. :D

​I just want to thank you all for all the AMAZING responses to this story. You guys make me so happy, with all the appreciation and support for The Way We Are. <3 I feel like a thank you isn't even enough! I'm that HAPPY! :) 

​Did you like this chapter? I hope you're getting excited, because I definitely am! Please tell me what you think about it. :)

​I'm making it a point that I update twice a week (hopefully). So expect the new chapter by Tuesday!

​Love you guys. <3

​@_AndieTiu

 

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