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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2. Two

 

 

TWO

 

“Keep on moving like you did last summer, when the grass was greener and your hair was longer, if you become familiar with another in town, don’t forget about the fun that we had last time around.”

Nick Jonas – Last Time Around

 

Liam Payne would probably be the nicest person to ever live in this planet. Throw him a potted plant, he will have it replanted for you, make you feel guilty for almost killing it and then tell you that plants clean the air we breathe, if we destroy them we’ll never inhale anything pure and clean anymore. That’s how crazy nice he is.

 

I know. I’ve done and proven it myself.

 

Liam and I have two opposing personalities –him being the nice little angel while I was the naughty evil devil-, yet we stuck with each other. After all this time, it’s still a wonder for me how it happened.

 

We, Liam Payne and Campbelle Brooks, swore to be best friends forever.

 

Then I realized, forever doesn’t exist.

 

Fall 2013

 

Heavy heart -there was nothing more accurate to describe what I was feeling at the moment.

 

Everyone was against me. Everyone assumed it was entirely my fault. The last time I checked, Harry was the first one to confess that he loved me when he’s not supposed to, but there was no way he’ll just bottle up his feeling, even if it meant going behind Zayn’s back –my boyfriend.

 

No one ever wanted to listen to my side, saying that I’ll just come with a make-up story. Why would they anyway? I was just Campbelle Brooks, the One Direction whore, screwing up with the boys’ life since 2010.

 

I told Harry to stop, he didn’t –it made me more desirable, he said.

 

I told Harry I love Zayn, he didn’t believe me –I wouldn’t do a thousand mistakes with him if I did love his best friend, he said.

 

I told him it was so wrong, but Harry never let me go. He kept on pulling me to him until I couldn’t let him go myself.

 

I enjoyed every mistake we made when I was not supposed to.

 

For all the wrong decisions I made, Harry Styles was my biggest regret.

 

I realized I loved him too. It was just too late to tell him back.

 

Zayn crushed my heart. I broke Harry’s. Nothing was left of me.

 

Even before, no one was ever there for me. I grew up with no one to trust but my mother and my own self. I grew up with nothing but my mother’s love for me.  It just always has been me and my mum.

 

Then one fine day, a five year old boy named Liam Payne came to my life. We became inseparable ever since. For fifteen years of friendship, Liam showed me another kind of love, -that kind of love best friends shared to one another.

 

 I was there for him when everyone didn’t want to be his friend. I was the one to clean his wounds when he goes home beaten from being bullied in his school. I was there for him in every performance he did –back from his very first struggle in the X Factor up until he became a part of the worldwide phenomenon boy band, One Direction. I was there. I’ve always got his back, because we promised each other we’ll be best friend no matter what.      

 

Through this problem, I was expecting him to be the last person I’ll have.

 

“Liam… I need you right now.” I cried out.

 

He had his back away from me. It was a clear sign that he doesn’t want to listen to me anymore.

 

I took tentative steps towards him, my hand reached out on his shoulder for some kind of comfort, but he shrugged it quickly.

 

I have endured every hate everyone threw at me, I drew my defenses up so not one of it hurt me. But this one simply act of impelling crushed me so bad I couldn’t do anything but cry harder. “Liam, please…”

 

Slowly, he turned around and faced me. One look and I was already sure he’s not on my side too. It was the anger in his eyes that greeted me. “Why would you do that Camp?”

 

“So you think it’s entirely my fault too? Won’t you listen to what I have to say first?”

 

“I’ve had enough stories coming from Zayn and Harry.”

 

“But you don’t know anything-”

 

“And that’s what hurts the most!” he screamed at me. Liam never shouted at anyone. What have I done?

 

Then he added, “Wasn’t I your best friend?! Didn’t you realize that they’re my best friends too?! Why didn’t you tell me the truth Camp?! Why did you have to lie to me too?”

 

Tears still flow freely down my eyes. I couldn’t even stop the sobs but I managed to tell him, “I could never hurt you, Liam. You’re my best friend.”

 

“That’s always your excuse! I’m your best friend! I have to trust you because I’m your best friend! I have to understand you because I’m your best friend! I can’t love you that way I want to because I’m your fucking best friend Campbelle!” I dropped my gaze to the floor and started at the carpet. I couldn’t look back at him anymore. The hurt in every word he said stabbed me painfully in my chest. Liam’s hurting more than I am. “For the past three years, I can’t tell you that I’m falling in love with you because I’m your best friend.”

 

He quickly brought his hands on his face and brushed the tears away from his eyes. “It’s just too late… you’ve screwed everyone up. I’m done with all of this. I’m done with you.” there was so much emotion in his voice that I knew he was very serious. I don’t have anyone else. I couldn’t hear any more of it.

 

After all we’ve been through, this was only chance he could say something that him and I know was the reason why I’m broken inside.

 

There was nothing else to do but for him to push me away too.

 

“Leave now, Campbelle. Maybe it’s for the best.” Finally, he got it off his chest.

 

I never attempted to reply. Suddenly, my eyes were dry. I couldn’t feel anything else because every defense I just had finally collapsed.    

 

I didn’t waste any time. I grabbed everything I owned, no note, and no goodbye, no anything. I left as per what Liam requested.

 

I called my mum and told her that I’m leaving the tour and that I need to be somewhere far from everything. She asked me to come home but I told her immediately that going back to Wolverhampton was never a choice. She asked where will I go, but I never got the chance to answer her back. I have nowhere to go, but I couldn’t stay any longer. Not when everyone wanted me gone. I didn’t know where else to go, but I made sure not to leave any trace of me behind even if it was clear to me he won’t every attempt to find be back.

 

Liam never did, because it was for the best.

 

-

 

The whole brunch with Ana, Liam, my mum and I rounded on a table together like those days before was just too awkward. The fact that I haven’t seen any one of them for more than a year, and how everything went out not too well for Liam and I the last time we talked to each other, made me want to leave again. I wasn’t prepared for a confrontation again. I haven’t thought of them for so long, I went home without a back-up plan if I did come across either Ana or Liam himself.

 

Maybe it won’t really be nicotine that will be the cause of my premature death.

 

My mum and Ana conversed to each other like it was them who haven’t seen each other for ages. I was too preoccupied to understand what they were talking about. Knowing Liam all my life, it was a shock that he was too quiet during the whole meal. I haven’t said a single word myself, adding awkwardness to everything prepared for this unexpected meal with my former best friend and his mum.

 

What was my mum thinking? I thought she said I was safe again? Was she expecting that after long months I went away, I’d come back and be myself again towards Liam like nothing ever happened? Has she forgotten that it was Liam himself that shunned me away?

 

I caught myself staring at Liam, my former best friend. It hurts me too much. Even if I hate every inch of him right now, I still missed my best friend so much. Being friendly was never in my nature. I push people away like how my father pushed my mum and I gone out of his life and left us with nothing but ourselves to hold on for life. Trust has always been a big issue for me ever since then. Liam Payne was the only person to breakthrough that high threshold I’ve held all my life.

 

Only, I played too much with that kindness he’s shared towards me. I didn’t realize that I’ve gone way beyond, his heart once full of forgiveness for all the crazy shit things I do suddenly became empty. There was nothing else to do but for him to push me away or he’ll falter himself.

 

It was too late to understand. I was full of hate and anger inside. I was already miles and miles away from him, from them, from everyone, when I realized that Liam was right and he was just trying to save me from breaking my now cold shattered heart.

 

I should have listened to him, -never play with love or endure the consequence.

 

To understand it now was just already late.

 

I saw Liam push his plate and finally speak out, “I’m sorry to interrupt your conversation, but could Campbelle and I please be excused?”

 

With just hearing him mention my name again already made me feel guilty all over again. He always does it to me. Make me feel like a solo guilty party. Now I hate my life.

 

Why can’t I think of any escape plan this time?

 

It took me a bit longer to take Liam’s hand when he held it out for me to take but hastily tore it away the second my feet stretched so I could stand up on my own. Little did I see him hesitate with taking my hand again, but failed to do so. He understood me. I was still the same stubborn Campbelle Brooks he knew, nothing changed about that.

 

I could feel Ana and my mum bore their gaze at us as we walked out of the dining area and have him escort me out at the backyard of the house.

 

Liam and I still haven’t said anything to each other. It was the silence around that mid-morning that speaks for us while we sat on the back door’s step. Just like old times, this is how we end up when we fight with one another. We’ll sit down next to each other and just keep quiet until one of us surrenders –most of the times it’s Liam because he always needs to speak out and defend himself that will turn me guilty in the end-, and then finally we’ll say sorry, make up but still continue on doing crazy shit all over again like we never learned our lesson.

 

Stupid were all those lessons been, we never learned at the mistakes we’ve both did anyway.

 

But maybe then Liam did, when he asked me to leave him and his new best friends. Maybe it was only me who never learned my own lesson, just because he wasn’t there anymore to make me feel the guilt.

 

I kept my eyes staring at my hands that were firmly rested on my lap. Out in the corner of my eyes, I could see Liam glance his way at mine for quite a while then turn around just as quick as he did. I could feel that he wanted to say something, yet he second thinks of doing so like his words and actions being watched by everyone all of a sudden.

 

I was fighting myself from smacking him back to senses. He was never that before.

 

He changed so much. He wasn’t the same Liam Payne, my best friend anymore. He wasn’t the tall, lanky, and clumsy Liam Payne, my best friend anymore. He simply was not the Liam James Payne from Wolverhampton anymore. Here next to me, he was the Liam James Payne of One Direction now. It made me hate them more. It’s like they forced him to change for his whole superstar boy band image. Everyone that surrounded him around his life now changed him completely. This was the new Liam, the new him who unexpectedly greeted me with a hug but then turned into some socially inept person in a matter of seconds we met again.

 

It seemed like more wasted minutes passed before I heard him let out a deep sigh and muttered softly, “It’s been eighteen months since the last time we saw each other,”

 

Of course he’s been counting the days.

 

“I missed you so much, Campbelle.”

 

He said each word with so much honesty in it. My chest heaved as the words sank in to me, and all I felt like was to break down and cry next to him.

 

Now all I wanted was to punch myself.

 

Screw everything I just said, he’ll always be my softie Liam Payne.

 

I felt salty tears started well up my eyes. If I blink at all, they will fall down and my cry will be unstoppable by then.

 

Liam really knows when the right time is and how to break through my walls. Just as soon as he enveloped me to his now lean and buffed arms and took me in completely, I wasn’t able to hide the sobs from escaping my mouth anymore. Every emotion that I suppressed deep down my chest after all those long months I kept myself away from them was immediately unleashed by him just saying he missed me.

 

Words won’t come out of my lips. It’s all but sobs even if I try to. I wanted to tell him that I missed my best friend too, that I’m so done with fighting with him because I can’t have him mad at me anymore because he’s my only real friend and that I badly needed a friend at this very moment.

 

He let me bury my tear streaked face in his chest while his hand lovingly caressed my back, whispering every second for me to stop crying. “Please, don’t cry. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry for everything I did and said before. I was the worst best friend ever for not listening and pushing you away. I’m such a jerk for telling you to leave. You don’t know how bad I felt after it sank in to me that you did leave us.” Told you he’s always the first one to give in.

 

He kept on saying, “I’m sorry. I’m really sorry, Campbelle.”

 

Now you understand why I always felt guilty. I should be the one saying sorry because of everything I did, not him.

 

It’s like if I don’t forgive someone like Liam Payne, I simply don’t have a soul or I will be sinned for eternity. Either ways, I’m a monster if I don’t accept his forgiveness. Plus, who am I not to forgive? 

 

Still crazy and nice, he is Liam Payne, my best friend.

 

As soon as I got the force with me, I lightly pushed myself off from being buried on his chest. “You’re so stupid, Liam.” I managed to blurt out, my lips slightly forming into a smirk.

 

But Liam didn’t notice it. The expression he gave me back was priceless. He looked like he just witnessed someone killed a turtle and he couldn’t do anything. Oh my Liam. “I know. I was a stupid jerk. I’m so sorry. Please Campbelle, forgive me.”

 

“Liam, stop saying you’re sorry. You’re making me feel worse!”

 

“Oh my God, I’m so sorry!”

 

“Oh my God, Liam-”

 

“I should be the one feeling worse, not you!”

 

“The hell, Liam-,”

 

“Sorry-”

 

“Liam James Payne! Just shut up or I’ll leave you again!” 

 

At last, my warning shut him up.

 

And it gave me heaps of courage to ask him, “Aren’t you supposed to be on tour?”

 

“Our tour’s done, for now at least. We’ve finally been given a break for six months. We’ve been travelling the world for three years straight, we deserved to chill and relax too.” He answered back.

 

I was fighting a scoff from escaping my mouth. I thought their management didn’t know about chilling and relaxing at any sort. It’s a big joke they were called Modest. Have I ever mentioned that I loathed Modest Management?

 

After that, we were back to being serious again. “I said you’re stupid because I should be the one asking for you to forgive me.” I told him.

 

“But what I did was wrong too. I didn’t listen to my own best friend. I let you leave and didn’t have the balls to go look after you. I won’t stop saying sorry until it’s worth that eighteen months you were gone and hated me.” Liam said.

 

Straight faced, I told him, “You bet your sorry ass that I was really mad at you and what you did.” Then I softened and quickly snaked my arms into his neck and embraced him as tight as I always did before. “But we were both wrong. Liam, we’re best friends. Remember when we swore to death that we’ll have each other’s back till the end? I can’t be mad at you anymore, even if you’re Liam Payne of One fucking Direction now and that I have to share you with the whole world.”

 

I felt him bury his face in my neck. My skin shivered with the way he brushed his lips and breathe on it. “I’ll always be just Liam for you, Campbelle. I’ll always be just Liam Payne, the guy from Wolverhampton.” He reassured.

 

And I believed him.

 

He will always be just Liam for me.

 

Summer 2009

 

“What if she turns me down again?”

 

I was getting dizzy with watching Liam pace back and forth in the middle of his room, contemplating himself if it was a another good decision or not.

 

 It was not.

 

I purposely made him see me roll my eyes at him, and then explained for the nth time, “I’ll comfort you and tell you that she’s missing out of returning the act of admiration from one of the greatest guy in the world. Then when you get fine, I’ll beat you up like a punching bag and make you realize that you’re just stupid like her. This is will be the 22nd time you’ll ask her! Come on. Once is a mistake, twice is enough, three times, you’re a fucking idiot Liam Payne.”

 

Liam groaned and fell on the edge of the bed beside me. “Camp, I really like Dianne.” He said.

 

“You think I don’t know that?” I mocked.

 

Of course, he didn’t laugh. “But why do you think she won’t say yes and go out with me?”

 

Honestly, it was just so frustrating to hear him ask that same old question over and over again every single time he’ll come up the courage of asking Dianne Hamilton to go out with him. If I didn’t know Liam, I’ll be laughing my ass out at how desperate he is. It’s like Dianne was the only girl left in the world. Some kind of dedication he has for her, really. I’m so close of giving him a monument for being the craziest boy in Wolverhampton.

 

So I threw him a joke, “It might be because Dianne found out that you practice kissing with the back of your hand.”  

 

I still had the clear picture in my head when I caught him doing it. He didn’t know I was watching him not until I tripped over a pile of clothes on the process of surprising him that I was on the same room. I didn’t who was more embarrassed that time, me or Liam himself.

 

Angry, Liam shoved me forcefully off the bed. “Camp, I’m serious right here!” he shouted. “And haven’t you promised that you’ll never brought that one up ever again?!”

 

I did promise. But he knows I suck at keeping them, especially if it’s about his wonkiness.

 

I sat up on my knees and held him on the legs. Liam looked back at me with his pouting lips. “Well I’m loads serious too. You can find someone else other than Dianne. Why waste your time for a girl who turned you down 22 fucking times? You’re better than that. You can find someone else if you’ll just get Dianne off your mind for just one time. God, we’re only 16 years old, Liam.” I told him.

 

“What a great advice that is, really, coming from the great Campbelle Laine Brooks. How many guys have you dated again? Aren’t you just as clueless as me when it comes to love?” he spat back.

 

“What the hell?! Are you telling me you’re in love with Dianne Hamilton?

 

“No! I’m just saying that you’re just as virginal as I am, so don’t act like you know everything.”

 

“Shut up. It’s okay if I stay a virgin. You, my friend, are the poor one for still not nailing a girl.”

 

“Such a nice best friend I have in you, Campbelle.”

 

Our silly fight turned into silence in a matter of seconds. He fell back on the mattress and stared at the ceiling of his room. I sat down next to him and copied his position. Suddenly, the ceiling was interesting for us.

 

“Am I a bad kisser?” Liam asked out of nowhere.

 

 It made me frown. I then retorted, “How the hell would I know that?”

 

He just sighed and said, “I’m just asking for your opinion.”

 

I snapped my head at his side and asked, “How can I have an opinion if I haven’t even kissed you?”

 

That was until I realized it was one awkward question for us. But I was too late to take it back.

 

 I froze instantly while I felt Liam himself got tensed beside me.

 

“I-It’s not like I’m thinking of kissing you. You shouldn’t have asked me that stupid question anyway.” I clarified quickly. I added a chuckle and said, “Aren’t this not supposed to be awkward for both of us? We’re best friends for fuck’s sake.”

 

“Y-Yeah… Best friends, of course.”

 

The tension that surround in his small room made me anxious. My stomach was doing some sort of somersaults. Why the hell am I feeling this?

 

“Camp?” my head quickly snapped at his side again upon hearing him call my name out. Liam was already looking at my way.

 

It made me realize my face was inches away from my best friend’s.

 

How is it that I never noticed that Liam’s got beautiful hazel brown eyes, or that he’s got this cute little button nose? And with plump pink lips like his, I highly doubt Liam’s a bad kisser.

 

 

What the fuck are you talking about Campbelle?!

 

We were both lost on staring at each other’s eyes when suddenly, he whispered, “Camp, what was your first kiss like?”

 

Damn you, Liam James Payne. You, of all people, know I haven’t had one yet.

 

I haven’t got the chance to say something witty back at all. Without any warning, Liam leaned in closer and lightly pressed his lips against mine.

 

It was a simple little kiss, -nothing more; nothing less.

 

But I don’t think it’s just a friendly one.

 

As soon as his lips left mine, I didn’t hesitate and pulled him back. This time, I initiated the kiss.

 

 Liam rolled over and fell on top of me, his lips still attached with mine as we kissed each other like it wasn’t our first time to do so. I could feel everything. His limbs intertwined with mine. His hand placed in the back of my head as he pressed his lips with more force this time while his other hand skimmed my waist. Though my mind was too preoccupied of the fact that my best friend is kissing me, I could feel him pushing his hand underneath the hem of the white shirt I wore. The moment his cold fingertips touched my skin, I couldn’t stop the lustful moan from escaping my mouth.

 

Oh my fucking God.

 

He wanted it as much as I did, might have been even more than I do.

 

Maybe in the back of my head, I did want to try and see for myself how good of a kisser Liam really is.

 

He kissed me everywhere possible -my lips, the sensitive spot between my jaw and ears until he went further down my neck and my collarbone- sucking every inch of skin exposed before him that got me moaning of the building pleasure. It was madness, but there was no way I’m stopping him.

 

I could feel him go hard against my thigh, and he continued on pressing his hardness on the flesh of my legs. One second I was teasing him for being inexperienced, now we’re making out in his bedroom and I’m turning him on.

 

Liam James Payne, my best friend.

 

This is fucking crazy.

 

I couldn’t help it. I was melting into him. He kept his hands busy with gliding up and down my thighs, and so I wrapped my legs in his waist, pushed my bottom closer to his just to feel every shock in my system because of the sudden contact with his growing manhood against mine. Oh my god. Oh. He was aggressive and delicate at the same time. Our lips moved so well together, but not as well as our tongues. I was in Heaven – I was sure I had died.

 

He detached his lips from sucking the mount of my chest and looked at me, his lips swollen and so fucking enticing, “Is this good?” he asked, his breathing raspy and uneven.

 

“I’m not trying to stop you, ain’t I?” Panting, I quickly grabbed on his face and brought my lips back to his. This is good. No, this is Heaven. Of my fuck, I don’t even know the right word to describe it.

 

He cut me off again when I was almost on the process of biting on his lips and announced in my ear, “Oh my God, Campbelle… I should have kissed you a long time ago.”

 

That’s just all I needed to hear. His eyes were glistening with lust. Placing another sweet peck in his lips, I seductively suggested back, “How about we make up for all those wasted times?”

 

As fucked up as everything already, it was clear to us that what happened to Liam and I was inevitable. The hungry kisses progressed into both of us completely tearing off every piece of clothing that barricaded our skins from touching one another and exploring what was bare underneath. The innocent touches turned into hot tease in a matter of seconds we understood what to do.

 

It was a bit sloppy first time –totally painful in my part-, but I regret nothing.

 

Liam and I both lost our virginity to one another.

 

And I will never forget that day as long as I live -that one fine day in the summer of ’09.

 

End Notes:

 

I'd really appreciate some feedbacks about this story. :) 

 

https://twitter.com/_AndieTiu

     

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