Feel Again (Louis Tomlinson)

{Book 3 - COMPLETE} All Marley Pennington wanted to do since her freshman year of high school was to turn her life around. To be someone she always wanted to be, and when she gets her dream job, everything seems to be headed in the right direction.
But Louis Tomlinson is another story. He's alone, afraid, and just wanting everything to go back to normal, before everything was ruined. Marley, a well-liked and cheery person tries to change Louis' look on life and love.

"Yeah with you
I can feel again
I'm feeling better ever since you know me
I was a lonely soul but that's the old me"

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7. Marley

Chapter 7 - Marley

As soon as Louis and I get back to the bus he storms off and doesn't even say goodbye, let alone say thank you. I frown, a little disappointed. I like him a lot, he seems really sweet, and I know he can when he wants to be, but he's scared, and that's holding him back. I hope the story I shared with him let him know that he's not alone.

"Hey, is everything okay?" Harry appears, looking utterly confused.

I nod. "Yeah, I just took Louis out for some tea to help with his hangover." 

Harry runs a hand through his hair. "That was nice of you."

I shrug. "It was no big deal..." I trail off. "Is he alright?" I blurt before I can stop.

"What do you mean alright?" Harry asks, lowering his voice as we sit on the couch.

"He told me about what happened with Eleanor, in great detail, and I just want to make sure that he's alright, even though it might not seem like it. You're one of the few people that really know him, Harry."

He sighs. "None of us really know. He took it hard, and we got worried at first. When he didn't get better, we just sort of...stopped trying. He told us he was okay, but we knew better. But we also knew better than to push Louis." He explains.

"Oh." That's all I can say. I pick at my acrylic nails. I need to get them redone, I'll just do them myself when I get home. 

"Thank you," Harry says. I look at him. "For caring, you know. No one else seems to insist on making him talk anymore. He could use it." He smiles and I smile back. I tell him I have to leave to go study, and Harry surprises me by wrapping his arms around me.

Because I never know when I'm going to hug Harry Styles again, I breath in his scent. It may seem creepy, but at the moment I don't care. I thank him quietly and leave. I really do have some studying to do. I like to freshen up on my historical non-fiction and classic novels that high school students would read.

When I get home and to my room, I pick up my personal copy of One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest and began reading. This novel has so many meanings, it's one of my favorites. I read it as a Junior in high school and I suppose it just stuck with me. My classmates thought that it was a little troubling, but I am always fascinated by Nurse Ratched. 

***

The next morning my alarm goes off. I sit up, jump in the shower and try to get rid of the nervous and sick feeling in my stomach. The last thing I need before this interview is to throw up. Once I step out, I dry my body and slip into my bra and panties. I rub some cucumber-scented lotion to my freshly-shaven legs and apply deodorant. Thirty- five minutes later my hair is blow-dried and curled, nails painted and I am slipping on my new heels. The outfit I bought Wednesday looks even better now that I'm looking at myself wearing it in my own mirror. I smile, and leave my parents a note telling them I'll be back soon. 

I try not to skip to my truck. It's a beautiful morning, and the clock on my dashboard says 8:00am. Usually this is early for me, but I will do anything to get this job, I'm so close I can almost taste it. I've wanted this for so long it seems like I would be dreaming if I got this offer. But I did, and this is happening, and I'm driving to the office building. My trusty iPhone pulls up a map and I'm surprised to see that the drive will only take ten minutes. 

Before I can notice what's going on, I'm pulling into the building and shutting the ignition off. I still have twenty minutes before I am supposed to meet this man named David McNeal. What if he doesn't like me? What if I mess up and say something stupid? I don't really know what to expect going in there, but after fifteen minutes of fidgeting and checking the time every thirty seconds, I am telling the woman at the front desk my name. 

"Please take a seat over there." She points to some chairs in the corner. "I will let you know when you can..." She is cut off from the phone ringing. It makes me jump. She answers it and smiles at me. "I'll let her know, thank you."

I raise an eye brow.

"You can go up, Miss Pennington. Mr. McNeal is down the hall, second door on your left." She points to a hall way on my right.

I thank her and walk a little too quickly to the door. I don't know if I am supposed to knock, but I do, then open it a second later. "Mr. McNeal?" I call out.

"Marley Pennington. Thank you for coming. Please take a seat." Mr. McNeal smiles at me. He does not look like what I expected. The image of him in my mind does not resemble the man in front of me now. I thought he would have a big belly and a mean face with a permanent frown. This man seems about forty-five and his smile lights up the room. He's a big man, but hardly over-weight. He has a mustache a small beard and charming eyes. "It's nice to meet you."

"You too," I sit in the chair in front of his desk. I'm shaking, so I cross my legs to keep from bouncing my knees.

"Remind me again of your age?"

"I am twenty years old," I answer.

Mr. McNeal nods. "How long have you been working at the nail salon?"

I do the mental math in my head. "For about four and a half years. I got the job when I was about sixteen and I love it, but I think I am ready for bigger and better things."

"That's what I like to hear." He opens a file and reads something silently. "Your current employer, Diane Roden says it would have been a mistake not to hire you. This job is very complicated, lots of traveling."

I nod. "Diane is a very nice woman, I am lucky to work for her." I still can't believe she would set this up for me. "And I know it's a lot of responsibility but I have wanted this job for as long as I can remember. I know that if you give me the chance I can prove to you how much this means to me."

Much to my surprise Mr. McNeal stands up, walks to his door and opens it. "Come on, I need to show you something."

Confused as I am, I stand up and follow him down the hall a few doors and then into a room. The air is clouded with hairspray and beauty products. There are ten chairs and vanities, and five of those ten are occupied. I don't even notice the people sitting in them and no one turns to look at me. "What's all this?" I ask in awe. It is literally a dream to be in here. All the expensive and high-quality makeup and things are here.

"This is the second part of your evaluation." Mr. McNeal answers me.

I turn to him. "Evaluation?"

"Yes, I will need you to do my clients hair and dress them in a way you would think is appropriate. They are male, but two other females will come so you can do the same with them. How does that sound?" he has a smile on his face.

"I can do it." I answer confidently. This is great! I have the best way to show them I mean business. 

"Before you start, I want you to meet someone. Lou, come over here!" He calls, and a woman with very pale purple hair comes and gives me a hug. "This is Lou Teasdale, she is the stylist for my clients, you will be working with her if we decide to hire you."

"It's nice to meet you." I answer her.

"You too! And good luck, I'm sure you'll smash it!" She reassures me and I notice her English accent. 

"Well, you better get to work then." Mr. McNeal tells me and I nod, thank him turn around meet his clients.

"You're going to love them, they're--" Lou begins but I gasp when I see who is sitting in the chairs.

"Marley?" A voice asks and I smile, walking over and smiling at the source.

"So...I would be working with you guys?" I ask Liam, Niall, Louis, Zayn and Harry.

They nod. "I didn't know it would be you! This is great!" Harry cries out and I laugh.

"I wasn't expecting to see you here." I admit, and rummage through the drawers looking for a comb, I figure hair would be a good start.

"I think we can say the same." Niall says.

I turned to Zayn first, since he was first and right in front of me. The entire time I work they try to talk to me but I was in the zone. I want to try something different with each of them, go for a new look without going completely over the top. 

"Look at you, all professional looking." Harry says.

I smile and say without pausing, "I really want this job." 

"I can tell, you're like going all out."

I notice that Louis hasn't said anything since I arrived. In fact, he hardly looks up from his phone. I frown at the sight, wishing he would talk to me. We had a good conversation at the café and I was hoping we could be friends. "Shh, I'm trying to concentrate." I scold Harry.

When I'm done with Zayn's, Harry's (he kept messing it up, causing me to almost bite his hand off), Liam's and Niall's hair and touching up their makeup, Louis was next. I gave him a smile but he only returned it with a half-smile. We didn't talk and all the conversing that was going on was between the other people in the room and Niall and Zayn. Louis' eyes were so blue, I couldn't stop myself from staring into them for a few seconds. I get no reaction from him; he only stars straight ahead.

"Done, let's go over to wardrobe." I announce and they all follow me over to the other side of the room. 

I sift through the racks and begin coordinating the outfits in accordance to each person. When I turn around, all five of them are starting stripping off their clothes. Oh. This is going to be interesting.

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