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)


5. Paid young and taking on the world from the drivers seat

<Britta POV>
I did something that I haven't done for a while. 

Something I haven't done for two years. 

What is it?

I ate ice cream for breakfast. 

The last time I ate ice cream was when I caught Charlie with a woman that night. Two years later, that woman, Molly, and I would would become good friends and she would babysit my kids when I went to work and I couldn't bring the kids with me. 

Why would he be here? Why would Zayn Malik, of all people who I wanted to escape six years ago from the Santa Monica Cruise, be here in San Diego? I thought he was gone and out of my life? Apparently after yesterday, he isn't now. 

The home phone begins to ring. With a spoonful of Rocky Road ice cream in my mouth, I pick it up. It's Camille. 

"Hello?" I moan. 

"Brit, what is up with you? You never answered my texts last night, nor my phone calls. Molly texted me saying she's coming home tomorrow but she couldn't reach you!" She says. "Britta, this isn't you. What's wrong?"

I begin to sob. I couldn't contain it. "I-it's m-m-my e-e-ex b-boyfriend." I sob. 

"Charlie?" She asks. "I thought he moved to Frezno?" He did. 

"It's n-not C-Charlie." I cry. 

"Well then who..." I hear her doorbell ringing frantically. "I'll call you back." She hangs up. 

I get back to my ice cream when I hear a sweet little voice at my feet. "Mommy? Are you alright?" It was Tristan. 

I pick him up and set him in my lap. He's getting a little blackish-brown hair. Just like his father. "Mommy is just having a little trouble, Tristan. That's all." He's beginning to understand words that I say. 

"Will mommy plays cars with me and Louisa?" He's understanding names like Louisa and Camille. 

I wipe tears off of my face and set him down. "Tell Louisa that mommy will be there soon." He runs off to tell his little sister. I get up and walk into the play room. 

Those two already set up the play mat with all the cars set up. Tristan always claims the black car and Louisa  always claims the bright pink one. They give me the periwinkle car. 

I sit criss-cross applesauce and start to play. That's when the doorbell rings. "I'll get it!" Louisa gets up and runs to the door. 

"Don't answer it unless it's Macy." That's her playmate from preschool. 

A few seconds later, she runs back. "It's for you." She says. I groan and get up. I walk to the door and open it. 

It's someone who I never expected to be here. 


"Am I interrupting a wedding?" Is the first thing in nearly six years he says to me. 

What the hell? "No." I answer. 

"Well, am I interrupting a family death?" What the fuck? 

"No wedding nor family death here." I answer. 

He tries to go in to hug me, but I reject. "Britta, don't you remember me?" He asked. 

"Yes, I do remember you." I answer. "You're the boy who six years ago I thought I loved but went behind my back and cheated on me with a co-worker who around the time I was hurt by another co-worker had tuberculosis!" I yell. I begin to slam the door, but he stopped me. 

"Brit, why did you run away?" Zayn started, "everyone was worried you'd be dead. Your mom and sister grieved for quite some time. I visited them back in 2014 when we did the stadium tour in Ft. Lauderdale. We looked all over Florida but we couldn't find you. We gave up on you. I gave up on you, your friends gave up on you, the boys gave up on you, your family gave up on you! I thought you were gone forever." 

He puts a hand on my waist. "Look, Britta Ann Carter," it's been forever since somebody called me by my full maiden name, "I'm sorry I cheated on you six years ago. Just give me another chance! Well, you....umm...sort of can't because..." He then mumbled something that sounds like "I'm now married to Perrie". 

"I know." I tell him. "I watch the news." 

Louisa pops her head out from behind my legs. "Who's this little darling?" Zayn asks bending down and picking her up. 

"Louisa." She answers. I chuckle. 

"Hi, Louisa. I'm Zayn." She waves hi. 

Tristan walks out too. "Are we going to play cars now?" He asked. 

Louisa points down. "That's my brother Tristan." She tells Zayn. 

"Well you two are just adorable!" He compliments. He looks at me. "You babysit them?"


I don't. 

They're my real kids! 


"Then who's are they?" He asked. 

I turn red, and look at the tile floor. "They're mine. I'm a single mother." 

He goes from a calm nice Zayn Malik to the Zayn from six years ago when he thought Harry hurt me. 




[i didn't have any good title ideas for this chapter so this is the best I can get. 

Homecoming is this week! So I won't update this Saturday because of the dance and Friday because of the game. 


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