Loved You First

"Was it possible that all the signs, I had convinced myself were just my imagination, actually were real?

I just couldn't help but wonder how long she'd had feelings for him, even if they were subconcious.
I was sure that I loved her first, but at this point I actually didn't know who she loved first."

*WARNING*
A few slightly sexual references (not smut, I don't do that)
A few slightly violent scenes
Use of strong language at times
SELF-HARM references in a couple of chapters

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73. 'Friends'

Chapter 65

"Friends"

Louis' P.O.V.

I could hardly believe it. Christmas was only two weeks away now, which meant two weeks to seeing Mag and trying to fix things. I hadn't spoken to her at all yet, because Harry hadn't been able to figure out if she would be okay with it. Besides she obviously didn't want to talk with me, or she would have asked for me when she called one of the others.

I remembered what she said the night before the gig about the time apart being good for us, and wondered if she really meant that. I hoped not because then she probably wouldn't be too happy when I unexpectedly showed up at Christmas.

Zayn was still not fond of the plan and would keep his distance from me. Niall spent almost all his time with Tally, more than usual, and seemed to be calming her down almost 24/7. Harry was the only one who spent a lot of time with me, but he would hardly leave me alone for more than 5 minutes, or to use the toilet and take a shower. Occasionally he would even sleep in my bed with me, if he could tell I was feeling down. I wouldn't ask him to, he would just lay down with me and hold me comforting, and then usually be gone when I woke up. Harry had always taken care of me, which was odd since I was 2 years older than him, but it was really endearing and only made me care for him more.

He would spend a lot of time on the phone with Lauren as well, but wouldn't bother to leave the room and would still keep an eye on me.

Liam was constantly on the phone with Skye. It had been that way ever since I got back and I wondered what on earth they could be talking about so much. He would always make his calls in private, and whenever I walked in on him, he shut up, glanced at me strangely and then left the room.

I had a feeling that there was something he wasn't telling me, that he knew something - perhaps about Mag - and either didn't know how to tell me or wasn't sure if he should. I had considered confronting him, but decided not to bother, and if it was really important he would have told me.

Despite everything going on "backstage", the shows were going amazing so far and the energy on stage hadn't been this good for a while. The last couple shows before I went to London, had been awful in my opinion; I had barely even been present mentally but I was feeling better now, thanks to Harry and upcoming Christmas, so even though I would spend nights crying in Harry's arms, it wasn't as bad as it could have been.

All I wanted, all I needed to know was how Mag felt. What she was thinking about me now, about us and our possible future. It pained me not to know and when guessing, I couldn't help but imagine the worst scenario possible, which would be her never speaking to me again and ending up with someone else - usually Calum.

I still wasn't sure about him and Mag, which was another reason for my late night tears. I hadn't forgotten everything from that night, only what happened after Mag left, so I remembered our little conversation about her and that skinny-jeans-and-hoodie wearing giant. Why did he have to be so tall anyways? Mag couldn't be with someone so tall, it would be awkward. She belonged with someone shorter and appropiate to her size. She belonged with me. I remembered how they had looked at each other, and to anyone else, it would have seemed like a friendly smile, but to me it was so much more. It was the same that happened when I fell in love with Mag, and Harry had been the first to notice.

"When you have feelings for someone, you can always tell if they have feelings for someone else."

Harry had noticed it back then, because he had been in love with me, and I had noticed it with Calum, just like his ex had. She apparently still had feelings for him, and I wished that he could just be with her. He said that he had been a jerk towards her, so if she wanted him back why didn't go for it? I knew why. He was in love with my Mag. Well, maybe not in love, but he fancied her, that was perfectly clear.

I still wasn't sure how Mag felt towards him, but the fact that he had two more weeks with her, while she was upset with me was too much for me to handle. Harry knew all this, and I knew he was spending all this time with me, comforting me at night to make sure I didn't "fall into depression".

I overheard the other boys' conversations sometimes and I knew they were worried about my current state, and usually I would be upset that they talked about me behind my back. But with the way I was feeling, I accepted Harry's caretaking with open arms, while I tried to think of the best possible way to convince Mag to go with me.

Mag's P.O.V.

Two weeks. Two weeks left and then I would be seeing the boys again. Well, I would see Liam and Zayn and then it would be another week until I saw the rest, but I didn't want to focus on that. I wanted to focus on happy things, and therefore I had let Skye drag me out to go Christmas shopping, because that was one thing I always loved.

All the shops and streets elaborately decorated, Christmas lights twinkling and carols that filled the air, not to mention the gift wrapping. At most shops the workers would wrap the presents for you and I loved the beautiful paper and ribbons. But I loved wrapping presents myself and I thought back at all the early mornings I would spend wrapping up my gifts and even sometimes my parents' and siblings.

Coming from a big family, there would always be a mountain of presents under the highly decorated tree and even up until now, at the age of 20, I would peek at the nametags, and rattle any gift with my name. But there wouldn't be any of that this year. I was still happy though, even though I wasn't spending Christmas with my real family, Zayn was close enough to be considered as my second family and I was looking forward to seeing his mother's place at Christmas, and tasting her delicious food again.

Shopping with Skye had been great, even though I had come to realize, after checking my account, that if I wanted to stay in London, and at this point I don't even know why I was still in doubt, I would have to start looking for a job soon. Which means I would probably also have to get a work visa or something, I really didn't know much about these things, but I'm sure I would figure it out in good time.

Right now I had finished my chicken dinner and was sat alone amongst bags, wrapping paper, ribbon and bows. Skye had gone back to work for a late night fashion shoot and would spend the night at Stacey's, since she lived closer to their workplace.

I decided to pack all my friends' presents first, since my family wouldn't be getting theirs until next month. I had already planned a trip back home in January, before the boys' tour was over.

I picked a random bag and started wrapping, quickly getting into a routine: cutting the paper, folding it over, tape on, ribbon around. I had only gotten through 5 presents when I heard the doorbell ring, and jumped up to open it.

I was a bit shocked when I saw Calum with his usual attire of skinny jeans and hoodie - still no jacket - holding a bulging plastic bag.

I just then remembered what Jenna had told me last week, but pushed it to the back of my mind as he smiled a half-smile.

"Calum? What a surprise!"

"Well, I called Stacey to see if she wanted to hang out but she said she was working late and Skye was staying the night... so I figured you would be alone?"

I nodded, as he glanced in, spotting the living room and raising his eyebrow at the mess of bags.

"Would you like some company?" He asked, and I hesitated glancing towards the bag in his hands. He noticed this and a smirk formed on his lips, as he opened it revealing ice cream, candy and several cans of coke.

I couldn't conceal the grin that spread on my lips, and I opened the door wide for him,

"Well come on in then!"

"What's going on here?" Calum asked, as we passed the living room, on the way to the kitchen.

"Oh... I was just doing some gift wrapping."

"Really? I always get my gifts wrapped at the shops." He shrugged, setting the bag on the counter and starting to unload it.

"All of them?"

He nodded in response, and I looked at him strangely,

"But... one of the best things about Christmas is wrapping the presents?"

"I thought it was unwrapping them." He replied with a wink and cheeky grin, making me swat his arm and roll my eyes.

"Maybe you can help me wrap my presents?" I offered hopefully, but the look on his face made me change my mind,

"No... I'd rather do it myself."

"But I'd love to watch!"

*

"Who are these for?" Calum asked holding up a shoebox containing a pair of flowery printed Keds.

"My friend Tally... the girl who you replaced in the band." I said with a smile.

I knew how much Tally loved her pink Keds, and since I had worn them out, this was my way of repaying her. She had been going on for ages about the new collection which included the pair I had bought her.

"Are you telling me, that this girl I've heard so much about, who supposedly has wicked guitar skills wears... flowerprinted Keds?" Calum asked doubtfully and I shot him a glare,

"Excuse me, but footwear has nothing to do with talent! Tally has a very cool style and is incredible with a guitar!"

Calum held up his hands in defense, and continued looking through my bags.

"So what did you get me?" He asked curiously, and my eyes darted unwillingly towards one of the bags, hoping he hadn't seen which one.

"What makes you think I got you something?" I asked teasingly.

"I think it would be strange if you didn't get me something, since you got something for Shay and Stacey." He nodded towards the two presents next to me with nametags on them, and I blushed light red.

"I got you something." He suddenly said seriously, and my head shot up in surprise, only to see him looking at me intently.

I actually hadn't expected him to get me anything. I often got people presents, who hadn't got me anything but it didn't bother me; I loved to give.

"You did?" Was all I could manage to say, and he nodded slowly still looking down at me with that intense gaze.

Now seemed the perfect time to bring up what had been on my mind, and I moved from my space on my floor, to sit next to him on the couch.

I busied myself with opening a coke and taking a long sip.

"Done wrapping?" He asked, leaning back against the armrest, so his body was facing me, folding his hands behind his head.

"Snack break." I replied simply, grabbing a pack of Reese's peanutbutter cups and ripping it open.

I concentrated long and hard on my snack, as I felt his eyes on me the entire time, making it hard to say what I wanted to.

"I'm going for a fag." I suddenly announced, getting up from the couch and he followed suit.

"Sounds great!" He smiled and followed me to the small balcony.

"You smoke?" I asked, wondering how I couldn't have noticed this before, but he had never seen me smoke either.

"Yeah once in a while."

I grabbed my coat next to the balcony, and closed it tight around my body as I opened the door, Calum zipped up his hoodie, but I couldn't see how that would help. It was freezing outside and I didn't understand why he couldn't just wear a jacket like everyone else. I knew he had a car to get around, but still.

I slipped my feet into the slippers I had required specifically for smoking as Calum fetched his boots.

Once we were sitting outside, me on the little stool I put out there, Calum on the floor with his back against the wall, I could hardly destinct between the smoke and my own clouds of breath. It was freezing, and I looked at Calum in his hoodie.

"Aren't you freezing?" I asked, and he smiled as someone who had heard that question too many times,

"I guess... A bit."

"A bit?" I asked shocked,

"You're wearing jeans, a t-shirt and hoodie and you're freezing a bit? It's below zero... there's ice on the ground!" I exclaimed, nodding towards the street and remembering Skye and I slipping across the street the last few days.

Ice combined with my clumsiness and general lack of balance was something I dreaded every winter. I prefered snow, despite the frozen wet feet, because at least snow wasn't slippery.

"I've never really... worn jackets or coats, since I was like 15." Calum said, as if it explained everything.

"Why not?"

"Well I've never been able to find a jacket style that I like." He shrugged,

"My aunt forced me to wear these horribly thick jackets that I could barely move in. By the age of 15, she finally realized that I would take them off as soon as she was out of sight, and figured it was no use to force me. Said it was my "own bloody fault if I get pneumonia"." Calum used air quotes with a slight smile, and I chuckled trying to imagine a 15-year old Calum being scolded by his aunt.

I knew that he and Shay grew up with their aunt in Chelsea, but I had never found out why and I would do anything to put off the conversation, looming in the back of my mind,

"If you don't mind me asking... why did you and Shay grow up with your aunt?" I asked, blowing on my hands that were beginning to feel like ice. The eternal problems of a smoker.

"Our father... died of cancer, when I was still a baby and Shay was just two years old. Our mother passed away only a year later in a car crash. Our only relatives in Australia were our grandparents, who were too old to take care of us so we were adopted by my mother's sister here in England." Calum replied, staring at the dark sky with a sad expression in his eyes.

"I'm sorry." I said truthfully.

It must have been awful to lose his parents at such a young age.

"Don't be." He replied, flicking his cigarette off the balcony,

"I never got the chance to know either of my parents... I've always considered my aunt and her husband as my parents, since I've been with them almost my whole life. I think it was harder for Shay. She was old enough to wonder where her "mama" and "dada" were. I don't have any memories of my biological parents or being a baby in Australia... only happy childhood memories from Chelsea. I've only been to Australia once, visiting my nan last year."

I realized how little I actually knew Calum, I hadn't even known that he was originally from Australia, especially with his thick British accent.

We moved back inside and talked for hours about his childhood and early teen years, then moving on to mine. We laughed at funny memories and cringed at embarressing stories. I felt that I really knew him now, that I could really consider him as a good friend.

Up until now he had been more a bandmate than a friend, but that had all changed in a matter of hours, over two cans of coke, one big bag of candy, a pint of ice cream and five more cigarettes each.

I knew I couldn't wait any longer, I had to ask him what had been nagging me for the last week.

"Calum?"

"Yeah?"

"I have to ask you a question... and you have to answer me completely honest."

"Okay?" He said looking at me slightly confused.

"Well... Why didn't you tell Jenna about Louis and I when you invited her over? You made it sound like he was someone she would be interested in, but why would you do that?"

Calum's eyes widened in surprise, like someone who had just been caught, but quickly switched to indifferent.

"Mag, this is just a misunderstanding."

I crossed my arms and raised my eyebrows at him. Misunderstanding was usually what people would say, when they had been caught.

"Don't look at me like that," He said with a soft voice,

"It really is. Look, I didn't tell Jenna about you and Louis because I didn't know where you guys were at the moment, and I didn't think it was neccessary to say 'Hey by the way Mag and Louis have something going on but they're not together'. I don't know, it didn't really cross my mind. And when I told Jenna she might be interested, I meant professionally, you know for her blog. I didn't know she would understand it differently."

Calum's explanation made sense but I had no idea if he was telling the truth. I knew he was a good liar and I had no way to know what he was thinking, he was so unreadable. Something in my gut told me that he was lying, that he wasn't telling me the truth about his intentions, but I knew he would never admit it. If only I knew how to break him.

Suddenly a thought popped into my head. There was a way I could break him, but if he had been telling the truth, it could get ugly. I guess that was a risk, I was willing to take.

"Oh... okay, that sounds reasonable." I said in the most disappointed voice, I could pull off.

"Is there a problem with that?" He asked clearly confused about my reaction.

"Well no... I just thought, well actually hoped..." I drifted off, avoiding his gaze and he moved closer,

"Hoped what?"

"That maybe there was another reason."

Calum looked at me questioningly, clearly intrigued and urging me to go on.

"Well I thought maybe you wanted Jenna and Louis... to get together." I watched his reaction closely but he held his poker face,

"Why would I want that? I know that you and Louis are... involved."

"That's why I thought you were trying to... get rid of him." I said in almost a whisper, looking up at him through my eyelashes.

"Why... um... why would I get rid of him? I know you don't... you don't like me as more than a friend." Calum was struggling to get the words out now, and I silently high-fived myself for breaking his wall a bit.

"But getting rid of Louis would change that... wouldn't it?" I moved closer to him, looking at him intently, wondering if he would go for my bait.

He looked at me for what seemed like a long time, the look in his eyes almost giving him away but just as I thought he was about to confess, he straightened up clearing his throat and looking away,

"No I never thought about that. I stick to my previous explanation."

I frowned, realizing that he wasn't a fool. He could sense that I was trying to trick him. As I came to this realization, I figured out that I never did believe his explanation. I somehow knew that Calum had brought Jenna for the sole purpose of breaking up me and Louis, and it didn't take a rocket scientist to understand why. I just needed to hear it from his own lips.

"Calum do you like me?" I asked, surprising myself and his head snapped towards me, looking at me as if I had suggested he kill a puppy.

"W-what?"

"Do you like me?" I asked raising my voice, fully aware that he had heard me the first time.

"I like you as a..."

I cut him off before he finished,

"Not as a friend. You told me before that you liked me, and I'm just curious if your feelings have changed."

Calum ran his hands through his head in a frustrated way and made an effort to avoid looking at me,

"Mag... I know that you love him, and I know he loves you and I would never try to get in the way of that."

He sounded so genuine, but he hadn't denied liking me.

"Have you talked to him lately?"

His question took me by surprise, and I wasn't sure if I was ready to discuss the Louis situation, especially with Calum.

"Not since he left."

"When do you plan on speaking to him again?"

"I... I don't know."

I still had no idea when I would speak to him again, it was like we were both waiting for the other to make the first move, afraid of rejection. I didn't know if he felt the same about me, and I didn't want to make a fool of myself. It was like Calum had read my mind as he tilted my chin so I was facing him and said,

"If I had done something like that to you, I would have been on my knees begging for forgiveness within 24 hours. Does that answer your question?"

"But Calum..."

"No, don't speak." He said softly, and just as I thought he was about to kiss me, he pulled away,

"I still like you, but I know how you feel and I don't want to jeapordize our friendship by doing something stupid... I'm not Louis."

"What's that supposed to mean?" I asked, feeling the need to defend Louis.

"Well, I wouldn't go and get pissed so I end up snogging someone else."

It was like a slap in my face. I had managed until now without hearing or saying the words out loud, but now I did and the hurt was evident in my whole body. I had told myself, I would be able to forgive the kissing but now I wasn't so sure.

He kissed another girl. He got upset which made him get so drunk that he decided to shove his tongue down another girl's throat. Who was to say that it wouldn't happen every time he got upset, and with our issues that would be a lot. He couldn't exactly be described as reliable in that matter.

Maybe I was right when I said that love shouldn't be such hard work. It shouldn't be like a battlefield. It was hard with Zayn but never this hard; then again Zayn and I didn't work out. But what about the others? Harry and Lauren, Liam and Skye, Niall and Tally. They had all gotten together so easily, like it was meant to be, and every time one of those couples came out, noone was surprised because everyone around them could see that they were meant to be. It was nothing like that with Louis and I, but just because it couldn't be seen, does that mean it wasn't real?

I came to London to put distance between us, so I could really think things through about us, but now I was more confused than ever. I almost wanted to cry, but I had cried too much lately, especially in front of other people.

"Hey... let's go smoke." Calum suggested, and I managed a weak smile and a nod as we went to the balcony once again.

"Listen Mag," Calum started speaking once we were outside freezing again,

"I know you love him and I know he hurt you. You're conflicted between your love for him and all the problems you seem to have. I'm not going to say anything about that, because that's something you have to decide for yourself. But Louis isn't the only guy out there. You don't have to worry about ending up alone and broken if you two don't work out. And if you do solve your problems, I'll be happy for you and move on. But until then I'll be here on the sideline, playing my guitar and ready to swoop in if needed."

Calum winked at me with a million dollar smile and I couldn't help but smile back,

"I know Calum... I know."

The snow started falling again, and as I watched the flakes falling elegantly, illuminated by the Christmas lights, I realized for the first time that Calum was right. My worries about being alone were one of the reasons why I held onto Louis so hard... and that was a lousy reason.

***

Christmas in the next chap!!! :D remember to comment guys, pleeease?? :) like&fave!

xoxo, M. ;)

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