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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6. Six

 

 

 

“You call me up just to break me like a promise, so casually cruel in the name of being honest.

I’m a crumpled piece of paper lying here, cause I remember it all too well.”

 All Too Well – Taylor Swift

 

Spring 2011

@ZaynMalik1D: Finally got my smoking buddy back with us. Such a turn on @_CampbelleBrooks ;)

 

“Wow, the love from your fans is very overwhelming.” I said. Note sarcasm. “I told you don’t post the picture! And don’t flirt with me on Twitter!” I shouted at Zayn again, also shoving my phone out in his hands.

 

Since it was their day-off, and I also happen to be in the city & pass a couple of resumes to some potential agencies after I graduate from college, I decided to visit my boys, only to found out Liam was out on a date with Danielle Peazer, his new girlfriend. Niall was out with his old buddies watching a football match, while Harry and Louis were doing some apartment shopping, said they’d see me later then and take me out for dinner. That leaves Zayn as the only one to bugger and hang out -especially after I found out he’s just planning on snoozing for the whole day.

 

But somehow in the back of my mind, I was glad it was just Zayn and I hanging out together.

 

Zayn and I have been going out on dates ever since he asked me out for the first time a few weeks ago. Nice, cozy, normal dates they were –if you’ll minus the stalking paparazzi and annoying fans on the way.  But with all honesty, I couldn’t be more than happy since then. Zayn and I clicked with one another, something that really surprised me since I’ve always found it hard to have a conversation alone with Zayn. He just doesn’t talk that much, and I was always hoarded away by the other boys to actually pay attention to Zayn himself.

 

The first date was a bit awkward. It was expected because I just spell awkward to whomever I was with whether Zayn liked it or not. We went out to a nice restaurant near my university, nothing that extra special because Zayn himself said he doesn’t want me to act differently because it was just him and I. But it was just so damn hard to act like my normal self. And I can’t lie at all. I did want to impress Zayn on our first date. Bought a new dress just for the occasion and actually have gone and asked my roommate, Mitchie, to help me with my make-up and hair, told her I was going out with a very special guy. She instantly pointed out Zayn, because she has always speculated he’s the only one in the bunch to have the balls to go beyond the friend zone and ask me out.

 

It was either Zayn, or I’ll just end up with Liam instead, Mitchie said.   

 

The first date wasn’t perfect, it was a disaster actually. Zayn end up late because he got held up by a group of fans on the way, but I told him it was okay, even though my feet has gone numb with the four inch heels I wore that night. When we got in the restaurant, a mob of girls went crazy with the sight of Zayn out with a girl they didn’t realize was me, Liam’s best friend, Campbelle Brooks. It left them with no choice but to ask us to leave because the fans outside were causing havoc and their guard can’t handle them all. In the end, Zayn and I decided it was better to crash the supposedly nice dinner out back to my apartment’s common room with some Delhi take-out and a pack of gummy bears, talking about our similar passion for arts, how the Bradford Bad Boy doesn’t know how to swim and lastly, how this God- sculpted-himself lad doesn’t know how to swim.  

 

And damn, Zayn gave amazing foot massages. He saw me winced in pain after taking the black pumps off, said he was sorry for it was mostly his fault I had to stand outside for more than half an hour because he was late. The only thing he could make it up with was to give me some foot massage.  I was this close to tearing his clothes off and see all his glory.

 

But as promised, I’m a good young English lady. I didn’t even kiss him that first date night.

 

Zayn and I decided formal ain’t our thing. Next date would be more laid back. Even before I could ask, Zayn insisted that there certainly will be a next one.

 

That very night was then followed by at least ten more dates for the following four weeks. Less awkwardness, less disaster, just more of us just spending time together, actually trying to know more about one another. 

 

We shared our first kiss –well, not technically our ‘first’, but still our first- on the fourth date. All were chaste, innocent kisses, nothing more, nothing less. Zayn was being the entire gentleman he is. 

 

‘Happy’ was just an understatement for everything I was feeling. I could jump off a cliff and land with a huge grin in my face -that happy.

 

Liam was the first one to know about it. He then confessed Zayn has told him once before that he has been really planning to ask me out a long time ago, he was just testing the waters before he does. Said it wasn’t easy as it was because I’m his best friend’s best friend. It took him almost a year to sum up the courage. That one kiss on the dare was his final chance.

 

Best choice I did in the past seventeen years. It has beaten my friends with benefits set-up with Liam.

 

And speaking of which, Liam and I decided to stop it, since he’s got a new girlfriend already. And I’ve got Zayn.

 

Well…kind of.

 

We’re exclusively dating, but Zayn hasn’t asked me to be his girlfriend yet –if he’s really planning to do so. And that confuses things between Zayn and me. I have zero experience with relationships. How do I know?

 

Damn it.

 

Zayn plopped himself on the couch next to me and asked away, “Are they being too mean again?”

 

Ha, mean you say? Yeah, right.

 

Hate isn’t new to me. It’s just that the fans always over react when it comes with me and the boys. Just because I hold hands with Harry doesn’t mean I’m his secret girlfriend. Just because Louis and I accidentally lip locked in one of their Twitcams doesn’t mean I’m screwing him (read: He aimed for my cheeks, but I turned my face around a little too late. It was like 0.0002 seconds, get over it). I’ve been told on twitter millions of times that I’m such a whore for dating all of them (read: which I don’t) and just die. Whore, bitch, home wrecker, I could go on and name some more. I rarely used social media anymore (read: minus me posting funny photos and videos of the boys because that has to happen) because of them, because most of the messages I receive were really horrible and just foul in my side.

 

I don’t think the term ‘mean’ would suffice, Malik.

 

I glared at him and said, “How about you read it for yourself?”

 

@ZaynMalik1D @_CampbelleBrooks you’re bad influence to Zayn! Go kill yourself!

 

@ZaynMalik1D why do you like @_CampbelleBrooks? She’s bad news! Why are you all friends with her anyway?! She’s such a whore!

 

@ZaynMalik1D Turn on?! TURN ON?! You’re making us hate @_CampbelleBrooks more!

 

Hey @_CampbelleBrooks I’m outside, waiting for you…with a pitchfork. Die, bitch.

 

@ZaynMalik1D @_CampbelleBrooks getting more hate. I’m done with this.

 

I can’t believe someone like @_CampbelleBrooks is best friends with @Real_Liam_Payne. She’s so different! How come someone like Liam would befriend a girl like that? You guys can do so much better than that 1D whore. #Whoreding

 

@ZaynMalik1D @­_CampbelleBrooks #Campbelleiswhoredingtheboysagain let’s start trending this!

 

@ZaynMalik @_CampbelleBrooks she’s so obviously just using the boys for fame. She’s not even THAT pretty at all.

 

@ZaynMalik1D I know you like @_CampbelleBrooks very much, but she’s making you break your promise that you’ll stop smoking. Please, don’t encourage him anymore.

 

Damn, @_CampbelleBrooks! It’s so obvious @ZaynMalik1D wants to fuck you.

 

Stop hating on @_CampbelleBrooks! Can’t you read how glad @ZaynMalik1D is? Just be happy for them!

 

@ZaynMalik1D & @_CampbelleBrooks can do whatever they want! It’s their life! Stop telling them what to do.

 

@ZaynMalik1D &_CampbelleBrooks perfect couple! Proud shipper of #ZELLE!

 

But are @ZaynMalik1D and @_CampbelleBrooks really together now?

 

EHRMEHGERD!!! @ZaynMalik1D and @_CampbelleBrooks!!! <3 <3 <3

 

I watched as Zayn scrunched his face in some of the insults and how his lips formed a smile afterwards to the later. He told me “Look, it’s not all that bad,” as he handed me back my phone and hold my hand.

 

Letting out a deep sigh, I then replied, “I know. Actually, I do love some of your fans. Your fans are awesome. But sometimes the hate they send when I get pictured with you gets to me, especially to my mum. She’s scared for me with the amount of threat I receive in a day. She’s very worried the fans will actually do try and kill me on my sleep.”

 

Like, for real. The huge desire of fans wanting to kill me because I’m good friends with One Direction is scary. I have a blow whistle and a pepper spray in my bag just in case someone really decides to execute me.

 

“Campbelle, just shut it. The boys and I won’t let anyone hurt you, of course.”

 

I chuckled and shook my head back at him. “Funny, you guys have Paul and fifteen other bodyguards each. I have no one.”

 

“Well I guess I’ll have to be your personal bodyguard then?”

 

“And this is why I like spending time with you. You make me feel safe.” I told Zayn calmly as I leaned my head against his shoulders and just closed my eyes. Everything is just so tiring –the travelling, running back and forth to some advertising companies that would gladly take me in the future, and all the hate and stuff. “You know what, I bet if it was Louis, he’d gladly hand me away. Then I’d be dead a long time ago.”

 

I was quickly squished by Zayn’s arms as he squealed on the top of his lungs, “Aww, Campy!!!”

 

I scoffed. “How many times do I need to tell you, don’t call me that?! It’s just Camp!”

 

“But I don’t want to call you just Camp,”

 

“Then call me by my whole name. God, that’s not as complicated as it is.”

 

“I don’t want to call you by Campbelle as well. I want something unique. Something only Zayn Malik could use.”

 

“Do please enlighten me with your awesomeness, Mr. Malik.”

 

“Can I call you mine instead?”

 

And that I hollered with laughter. “I did not peg you as someone who would use pick-up lines! Oh my god, Zayn Malik. That’s like the daftest thing you’ve ever said. It’s not even original! Hahaha!”

 

Zayn didn’t look amused with my answer. As I bellowed with laughter, he looked serious as he said, “I wasn’t kidding, Campbelle.”

 

“Wait, I thought you want to call me ‘mine’?” I continued laughing. “Oh, should I then start calling you ‘Papi’?!” Oh my fuck, I can’t breathe.

 

Ridiculed, Zayn stood up and left me clutching on my stomach chortling loudly. After wiping the tears of joy that formed on the side of my eyes, I jumped out and followed him. “No, wait! Zayn!”

 

I managed to push myself against his door even before he could shove it shut to my face. “Zayn…I’m sorry! I’m sorry! Come on, don’t be mad at me. I’m just messing with you.”

 

Slowly, Zayn opened the door for me, only to shoot me back with “I wasn’t.”

 

“What?” I asked, confused.

 

We stared at one another, frozen in doorframe, waiting for him to clear what he meant with what he said. “Camp, it’s been more than a month ever since I asked you out. I’m not seeing anyone but you. I hope you’re not seeing anyone but me as well. But…It’s just… I just can’t help but get confused. Up until now I don’t know on what stage we are. We go out and do things couples do like hold hands and share a kiss or two, but do you see me something more than a friend for you?” Zayn asked me.

 

I want to tell him I’m just as confused as him. Zayn haven’t asked me anything yet, but was that really necessary? I want to tell him I’m not as smart as it looks like when it comes to things like translating people’s feelings. I require a lot of explanations before I understand certain things, like this one. But as he said, I’m clearly messing this one. Was I supposed to say I’m in love with him first or do I wait for him? I’m sure I feel something more for Zayn, but does he? Damn, how hard could love be? Am I in love? Duh, of course you’re in love with Zayn Malik! For almost a year now too, might I add?

 

Dang! How thick could you get, Campbelle Brooks?!

 

“We’re something, right? I mean, at least that’s what I think. But there’s something between us, right Camp?” Zayn asked, hopeful.

 

 I felt blood rising up my cheeks, making me blush that I resorted looking down at the ground. What am I doing? Just say what you need to say, woman!

 

Slowly, I tilted my face so to look at him again, then I muttered back softly, “Zayn, I… I’ve been dying to ask you the same.”

 

Zayn looked like something heavy was finally off his chest. His beautiful brown orbs for eyes bore right straight through mine, making me melt as it always does when I look at them. “Then why didn’t you?”

 

I pulled a face and asked, “Were girls supposed to do that?”

 

“I don’t know? Last time I check, I’m not a girl.”

 

“Zayn,” I giggled. “It’s just… I don’t want to be some shady girl to you. I was worried that if I ask you away, you think I’m expecting something more from you. I don’t want to jeopardize us, whatever we call us right now.”

 

Something about the words I just said, and me being totally honest -a bit nutty myself- made Zayn pull me closer to him, once again enveloping my entirety inside his arms, engulfing me with his warmth, lost within his intoxicating musky scent and just feeling his heart beat in rhythm with mine.

 

I’ll never get used to this. I’ll get enough of Zayn and him swooning me all the time.

 

“I’ve always been in love with you, Campbelle.”

 

His voice filled my ears like music. My heart leapt. I looked up and again I was into his light brown, melted chocolates eyes. “Please be mine?” just like the chocolate, my heart melted.

 

“I’m yours.” I answered back. “I’m all yours, Zayn Malik.”

 

I watched his mouth turn into a smile before he dipped down to plant one long meaning kiss on my lips.

 

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

 

I kept myself away from any drama. For weeks that I was again back at home, I diverted my attention to everything that has less interaction in any form or with any one that’ll end me with emotional breakdown. I spend days helping my Mum around, even volunteered on the nursing home she worked one. I let my mind be preoccupied by the amounts of books in my study. I even started looking for jobs around the town so to help financially. Mum’s not getting any younger; I was the only one she’s got. I needed to be the less of a wreck I am inside so she could be a bit proud of me at the very least.

 

A few days later, I got a call back in a small thrift shop just a few minutes away from the house. They were in need of another staff so they asked me if it was okay for me to fill the job. Though the salary wasn’t even one fourth of what Mum earns, I didn’t matter. This is real life for me. I’d rather be in a small stock room alone than be eaten alive by people who would continuously judge me for being Campbelle Brooks, the girl who messed up the boys of One Direction.

 

But as much as I wanted to avoid any unnecessary topic about One Direction, the people around me were too fond of those boys. And again, trouble always comes and finds me. It was inevitable that the said trouble included those five fucking boys.

 

After that night I don’t want to talk about anymore, things between Liam and I changed. We both agreed to cease sleeping together for now. He turns too aggressive –physically and verbally- whenever I let him in. But he still manages his time for me –which I’m truly grateful in all honesty- and was living the days out to prove me he won’t break his promise. He tries his best to make up all those wasted times I was away. But his management doesn’t want him out of the radar of the press so they made him fly back to London to do some promotional stuff with the band.

 

Mum started asking me now. She sometimes interrogates me during supper and asks if I ever called Harry back, or even the other boys. I always answer her with no. I wasn’t ready yet, especially after what Liam told me. That one Mum knows about, and she kept insisting I call Harry. I don’t understand why the hell she persuades me to give him a ring. He’s not a priority as of now. Neither are the other boys.

 

Mary Anne, my 27 year old co-worker in the thrift shop, was a fan. She’s a single mother of a pretty two year old girl angel named Kelly, whose adorableness makes me high whenever she’s around the shop. She kind of makes me forget my problems, and that makes my heart ache in its deepest.

 

Mary Anne was the only self-confessed fan who didn’t know anything about me -that or in the back of her head, she was planning my murder. Or maybe she really does know me and my story, but she doesn’t look like she’s a sick nosy fan anyway. I believe she was mature enough to know the reason why I haven’t talked much about me. She’s a happy, contented, strong single mother just like my own Mum. Women like them know their way in life. She couldn’t care less about a girl who fucked 3/5 of the world’s biggest boy band. She’s got her own life to worry, unless I ask for advice. Not likely to happen anyway.

 

She likes playing their songs all around the store though, and I can’t say no. I was the newbie; she’s worked there for five years now. But thank God she wasn’t loco like the rest of them. The only thing crazy about her is that she dreams of marrying Niall Horan in the future.

 

Well, good luck with that.

 

I was about to stack some new trinkets in the shelves when Mary Anne barged inside, yelling, “Can’t miss their interview! Haven’t seen them live in months! Out of the way you go!”

 

“Wha-,”

 

But Mary Anne pushed pass me and turned the television on. She put the channel to MTV and that’s when I understood whose interview it was.

 

Mary Anne squealed in delight. I immediately dropped the box out of my hands. “What’s wrong with you?” she snapped. I was too caught up in the moment to answer her.

 

In screen I saw my best friend, the sassy asshole whose guts I hated, the Irish lad with a secret yet to be revealed, the guy I shared my biggest regret with, and finally, the one that got away.

 

They looked more mature than the last time, I realized as I stared at them on the television. Far better than those skimpy years I spent touring with them.

 

And Zayn -oh my God, Zayn. He’s changed a lot. He looked rather good. How did he do that?

 

Zayn has already forgotten about you, Campbelle. He moved on.

 

HE MOVED ON.

 

“So boys, you’re on a break from touring. How do you guys spend these months of freedom for a while? Anything interesting you guys are up to?” the host said.

 

“Oh, you know, taking the advantage of just sleeping in the whole day. Besides eating and some sports, I think that’s what I do.” Niall told him right back. The male host just pretended to act surprise with his answer. Not a single word surprised me.

 

“Yeah, most of us just make the most of our free days, just enjoying them.” Louis added. There it was seen on cam how he also nudged a silent Harry, whom in return nodded to whatever he said. Harry obviously has other things under that mop of curls in his head.

 

Liam leaned forward his chair and chipped in, “Well we’re not entirely free to do whatever we want. We’re actually back in London and doing some recording for our new album. But on our free days, we’re mostly home, you know, enjoying the company of our families and friends doing all sorts of catching up.” He watched as the boys stared at him, a bit of a frown etched in their faces. “Err…at least I am.”

 

The host raised his eyebrows expectantly, held the microphone in front of him and said, “Speaking of home, we’ve heard a very interesting story back home about you Liam.”

 

Shit.

 

“Did you know Liam Payne is from Wolverhampton?” I jumped a little as I heard Mary Anne said out. “But I’ve never seen him anywhere. I mean, there was one time I think I saw him pass by our shop, but I reckon that was him. How about you, have you met him before?”

 

I still haven’t said a word back to her. I was frozen stuck to where I stood next to her, my eyes widened, because right by the next second, an evident picture of me with Liam flashed on the screen.

 

The camera zoomed in the faces of the boys once again, but not on Zayn’s. They left to ignore him as a few more shots of Liam and I was shown again on screen. That ONE time I agreed with my best friend to take me out in broad daylight for some yogurt treat and they already put me on headlines. Dumb fucking paparazzi. I second Liam. Get proper jobs, you sneaky dickheads.

 

“Oh my god,” I heard Mary Anne chuckle, “That one looks like you. Exactly, with the hair and that face-”

 

“It looks like you’ve finally reunited with your best friend, Campbelle Brooks,” The host announced on the live audience.

 

That’s when I heard Mary Anne gasped, “Camp?! That’s you?!” she screeched. “Oh my fucking god! That’s you!”

 

No shit, Sherlock.

 

I ignored Mary Anne’s hyperventilating. She could be dying with the sudden revelation and I couldn’t give a shit at all. I kept my eyes glued on the screen, hoping I’d catch his reaction. But they kept it stuck on to Liam’s.

 

“So how’s Ms. Brooks?” the host asked again.

 

“She’s, uhm, she’s good. She’s back home actually.” Liam told him back. I nearly wanted to die.

 

Damn you, Liam Payne! Don’t you realize your words would cause hoards of fans outside my house later?! Why tell them that I’ve return?!

 

“So that’s why you spend most of your time in Wolverhampton, because Campbelle’s home.” Fuck you, whatever your name is, you host. Fuck MTV. Fuck everyone else who’s got to do with this fucking interview.

 

“My mind’s in a holler with all that I’m hearing right now, Camp. You’ve got a lot of explaining to do. You’re best friends with Liam Payne and you never told me when you know in fact that I’m a huge fan? But how come I know anything about you?!” Well, I wonder too, honestly. Then Mary Anne exclaimed, “At least tell me if you’ve seen all five of them naked!”

 

“How about the other boys, how’s your relationship with your good buddy Campbelle? Louis, Niall?”

 

“Yeah, we know she’s home. Surprised us too, really, like literally surprised us she’s back.” Wow, thank you for sending hate live on a show. Fuck you too, Tomlinson.

 

“Harry, m’ boy, have you gone and see Campbelle as well? I heard the stories about you and her have taken more like a year to get over with.”

 

For the first time, I saw Harry looked murderous on an interview, but he chose not to speak of a word. Thank god.

 

“And you, Zayn? Are you happy that she’s back and best friends with Liam again? After all, you and Campbelle were together for two years.”

 

By this time, the camera has focused on Zayn’s. He looked calm, like he wasn’t ticked or uneasy by the topic about me. “I’d rather not say anything in respect for everything that happened to Campbelle and I. Everything we had is placed now in my past. It’s best to move forward, and I’m honestly glad I did.” he told the host back, straight and honest.

 

“Well, yes of course, especially now that you’ve got Perrie. How’s the lovely fian-,”

 

Surprisingly, Mary Anne turned the television off as she caught me with tears welling up my eyes.

 

Zayn. Perrie. Fiancé. I’m not dumb.

 

I was shaking. I was fortunate to have Mary Anne next to me and got to hold me down on my forearms because the second everything sank in my brain, I started breaking down. God knows I wasn’t ready to hear that –him moving forward and now being engaged?

 

And God also knows there’s still a part of me that want him back. How fucked my emotions are whenever I hear, or see, or dream about Zayn Malik.

 

My body’s defense was to completely shut off to the world around me. I couldn’t care less that customers would see a girl weeping on the floor. This is what I hated most about me. I couldn’t contain my emotions. There wasn’t a nerve in me to stop tears from falling. There wasn’t an inch in me that wouldn’t show what I felt inside.

 

Mary Anne kneeled down beside me and just comforted me. She kept telling me to stop crying and asks what do I need? What could possibly help me right now that she could provide?

 

I thought of Liam. I needed my best friend. Liam would get me to stop crying. Liam would cradle me until I sob out all tears.

 

But what Liam doesn’t know is how to pull me away from misery. He just takes what he could possible save. He doesn’t dig deeper, further to what was truly hurting me.

 

Harry did once.

 

This is exactly how I was when Harry rescued me, long before when our first mistake happened. Harry was the only one who knew perfectly how I am when I crumple into pieces because of Zayn.

 

“H-Harry… I n-need Harry,” I managed to croak in between sobs right to Mary Anne, then seeing how confused she is to how on earth is she going to do that for me.

 

But Harry was all that I needed. It was time to tell him the truth.

 

-To be CONTINUED-

 

© Andie Hernandez

 

Hello again! I, uhm, I really not sure what to say here, but just wanted to thank you guys for the lovely reviews and those who’s gone and favorited The Way We Are. Just stick with me we’ll get there, drama’s about to start.

 

Any thoughts?

Team Liam/Campbelle? Team Harry/Campbelle? Team Zayn/Campbelle? Ooohhh, spoiler there. I’m totally using ZERRIE’s engagement on this story. If you’re a shipper of this lovely couple, and Perrie in particular, then I apologize beforehand for whatever word would come out of Camp’s messed up head. (My thoughts also there) Questions? Everything you need to know, I’ll answer them all.

 

It’s easier for me to chat with you guys on twitter, @_AndieTiu , because I’m tweeting like all the time and right now, I’m trying my twitter flirting skills with Marvin Cortes, that guy on America’s Next Top Model 2.O. He followed, tweeted, retweeted and favourited my tweets to him for two times in a row. TWO FUCKING TIMES! That meant we’re soul mates. Haaaa.

 

I’ve been tweeting Niall for more than six months already and never once did he notice me. *Cue ‘One Way or Another’*

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