These Bruises

"Que sera, you'll never guess who I saw."
I was loved. I was hurt. That was repeated when I left you. But there are two other people who I love. As a single mom with two little kids in California, my life got better. It was six years. Six years since I last saw you. Six years since those little talks. Now you can see that these bruises that I've been hiding for those six long years mean. (Second book in Little Talks duology)


3. On the other side

<Zayn POV>

Six years. 

Six years since all hell went down. 

Six years since I made the dumbest mistake of my life. 

Six years since she left me. 

What did I do in that time period?

Tons of things. 

Me and the boys did our third stadium tour and it was a success! However, when we stopped in Fort Lauderdale, I frantically searched for her. I ran into Katie, but she said Britta was nowhere. Not in Amelia Island, not in Orlando, nowhere. So...

I gave up on her. 

I practically begged Perrie to take me back because I was a jerk to her. She gratefully took me back and we dated for a year until I finally manned-up and proposed to her. She said yes. 

About two weeks before the wedding, we got called in. Me, Harry, Niall, Louis, and Liam. It was the year 2015. Our contract expired. 

We had to talk this out about whether we were going to renew the contract or not. Finally, we decided on the biggest decision for the five of us, and our fans. 

We decided not to renew the contract. We were done. One Direction was no more. 

We finally got to settle down. I married Perrie, Harry and Becca (a girl he fell in love with six years ago) got hitched and so did Niall and Rachel (also a girl we met six years ago. She and Becca are great friends). Louis and Eleanor are married and Louis is still good friends with Nicole and Eleanor R. Sereen (Perrie's cousin) visits a lot and she found a nice gentleman whom she loves. Emily (the worker from the cruise) and Martin (the awesome bellhop) are together. Never question Martin's age because you'll probably realize he's the same age as you. Cassidy went back to Amelia Island to spend the rest of her summer there. Josie went back to Mullingar and Kaitlyn went back to Paris. I don't know about Elizabeth and that Jesse guy. But that's the crew. 

Minus Britta. 

Oh, and Liam is still singing, but solo. He's still dating, but he's dating an old friend. Sophia Smith. So the only 1D member with media on him is Liam. There's sometimes me because I'm Perrie Edwards' husband, she's still in Little Mix. Oh, and about a month ago, we found out we were expecting our first child! Perrie is still on tour, so we're going to announce it when her tour is done. 

The tour is currently in San Diego, California. I literally have nothing to do. Last time I was here, I had something to do: sing, get mobbed, sing. So what is there to do? 

"Hey, Zayn," Leigh-Anne says, "I saw this really cool street/block thing. It's called Underville and you should go check it out until the show." 

I get up from the sofa. "Are any of you gals going?" I ask them. 

"We got to rehearse, babe." Perrie answers. Oh, right. They're the ones touring. I'm the awkward guy who sits backstage or somewhere scattered around the arena and shit.

"Okay, I'll go to Underville." I tell everyone. "I'll be back in time for the show." I give Perrie a quick kiss. "Be careful and don't do anything stupid." 

"Same for you." She says to me as I exit the arena. 

I signal a cab. "Where to, sir?" The cab driver asked me as I got in. 

"You know where this Underville is?" I ask. 

"Yep." He replied. "You don't sound like you're from around here." Wow, you finally just discovered that. 

"I'm from England. My wife is here with her band and they're doing a tour." The cab is in motion. "You ever heard of Little Mix?" 

"My sister loves that band." The driver answered. He was quiet until he said, "Are you Zayn Malik?" 

"Yes I am." 

"My sister was a huge fan of One Direction! She was devastated when she heard you guys broke up as a band. Back when you guys were a band, I promised her that before she died, I'd get her one of you guys' autograph." 

My eyes widen. "How old is she now?" I ask. 

"24." He answered turning a corner. That would be Britta's age right now. "Her name's Molly." 

I ask the driver, who's name is Mark, for a piece of paper and he kindly gave me one. I take out a pen and write:

To Molly
Thanks for being there for me/us! Ps, your brother is awesome.

I sign the paper and hand it to Mark. "Give this to Molly." I tell him. 

"She's on a business trip, but I'll be sure to." He pulls into a stop. "Underville, straight ahead. That'll be five dollars." 

I pull out a five dollar bill and hand it to Mark. I get out of the cab, say goodbye, and slam the door. 

I look ahead of me and Underville is a shopping corner. There weren't a lot of people around at this time because it's ten in the morning. I did see a woman with lovely blonde ombré ends, a little girl with long brown/blonde hair, and a stroller so there must be a baby in there. The woman looks young. She walks into Caribou Coffee. 

I sit on a bench. I pull out my phone and play some of my old music. I begin to song a little. 

"Oh, well imagine
As I'm pacing the pews in a church corridor 
And I can't help but to hear,
No I can't help but
To hear an exchanging of words. 
'What a beautiful wedding. 
What a beautiful wedding.' Says the bridesmaid to the waiter. 
And yes but what a shame. 
What a shame the poor groom's bride is a whore..." 

I continue singing the old Panic! At The Disco song when a crowd starts to form. Behind me, a band was setting up. They looked like they didn't have a lead singer. I walk over and say, "Hey, lads, you need a singer?" 

They all say yes. "You know the song we're going to play now?" 

I shrug my shoulders. "Play it and let's see if I remember." I stand front and center. The lead guitarist strums and the band plays a certain song. 

A familiar Train song. 


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