Pearl White ~A One Direction FairyTale~

You think you know how the story goes. Snow White meets some dwarves, eats an apple, falls asleep, gets kissed by a prince and lives happily ever after.

If only my life were that simple. My name's Pearl. Pearl White. And unfortunately for me, I'm never even going to get to meet my prince. Because his name is Liam Payne, and he's a member of the boy band One Direction.

Cover made by the amazing user NathanielStanley! Thank you so much!


19. Testimony

The hardest part of giving testimony isn't that I'm caged and put on display, prodded and poked with words by the opposing lawyer. 

No, the hardest part is seeing Celia. She used to terrify me with her uncontrollable rage and her ability to manipulate even the kindest person, with a complete lack of remorse, and only occasional kindness. But the Celia I see here is little more then a child. 

The air is still, quiet in the room as I speak, my words dry like chalk dust. Suddenly, the sound of a chair scraping the floor overpowers the space. I jerk my head up to the source.

"Order, order in the court!" interrupts the judge. Celia has gotten up again and is dancing. Her malnourished bones cut through her paper skin. Danse Macabre. She hums a waltz to herself, and in her eyes, I see pure terror.

"Celia, sit down," admonishes her lawyer. He speaks down to her like she's only five years old and stolen a sweet before dinner. "I'm sorry, your honor, they haven't been able to give her a blend of medicine that works. She can't keep it down." Celia quiets and stands still. Like an owl, she tilts her head to the side as though she's listening to a ghost.

"No," she says quietly, teeth chattering. "I TRIED TO KILL HER!" She suddenly screams, and startled, I jump and cover my ears. With out warning, she stops, and speaks quietly, "This is my punishment. They told me I have to dance." She moves her feet faster across the floor as the jury erupts. She's confessed her guiltiness! My heart leaps and sinks at the same time.

"ORDER. ORDER in the court!" The judge rubs his head. "I'm stopping this case right here. I rule Celia medically unfit to stand trial. This court is dismissed."

I breath a sigh of relief. I'm not sure why they didn't rule her medically unfit earlier in the trial when the opposing team had actually appealed for it. Perhaps it was because her lawyer admitted that she had been in rehabilitation, and had been diagnosed only with bulimia nervosa disorder and body dysmorphic disorder. They probably thought it was some sort of gimmick because Celia was still composed at that point. But this is no gimmick. There is nothing but pure confusion and fear in Celia's eyes as she hums. What does she see with those wide, frightened eyes? 

Celia resumes dancing. Her arms curl around her body as though she's hugging an invisible figure to herself as she steps from side to side. I turn away, trying to stop the tears from flooding down my face as her lips curl, revealing veneers ruined by stomach acid. I want to vomit now, spill all my guilt rising from my stomach across the floor. Did I do this to her? Is this my fault? 

"Please, get her to a hospital," I shriek shrilly, losing my composure. The lawyer nods, and steps forward to assist Celia, but she pushes him away with a surprisingly large amount of strength. It is so loud, so loud in the court and the walls are pressing in on me. I scratch my arms. I want to escape. I need to leave. My stomach is turning.

Celia's feet hit the ground, tapping and twisting. Tendons and bones are outlined in each foot as she dances and kicks in her lawyers arms. And then she collapses.

"Call an ambulance!" someone yells, as another person administers CPR. I thank my lawyer and tell him I'm leaving. He can email me the invoice later, but I need to get out of here before it's too late. Liam grabs my shoulder as I stride by him, hurriedly catching up to me.

"Wait!" he calls. It's difficult to hear him in the uproar. Everywhere is chaos, people pressing up against the walls and pressing up against me. The room is swimming and gets smaller and smaller and hotter and hotter.

The Hopeful Seven catch up as well.

"Damn, that was some crazy-ass shit," says Twitch.

"Are you ok?" asks Smithy.

"I'm going to faint," I pant. "Get me out of here. Too many people." I need to escape. I need to be free.

"There's paparazzi outside," warns Liam.

"I know. Just, can we go to a cafe or something? Somewhere small, where I don't have to worry about being mobbed and then can we grab lunch and eat at home? I just need to get away from all this," I motion towards the stream of people pouring out of the court room.

"Pearl," interrupts Allen, "Try not to blame yourself. I saw your face up there. It's not your fault."

"Thanks, Allen," I smile, and give him a hug, but my knees are trembling.

"Alright, I'm gonna leave now," says Smithy. "I recommend you guys do too, Pearl needs to get her rest here. She's been through a lot. We can all catch up over coffee on Monday, I'll give you a ring, love, and you can tell me what time'll be good for you."

I wave goodbye, and hug them all, thanking them for being there for me.

"I'll try to find a side door for us to leave out," says Liam. I put on my sunglasses.

"Let's go." 

The paparazzi mob us anyway, tossing questions and requests at us, but security forms a protective shield over both of us and we step into the black limousine. The tinted windows will give us at least some form of privacy. It's weird, getting used to the fame, even a month later.

"Can we change our plans?" I say, off-put. I don't even feel like going to a restaurant now, even just to take it home. "Can we order food home? I dunno, Chinese seems good right now."

Liam nods, clasping my hands. "Chinese it is. Hey, Charles, take us home." I moved in with him in an expensive flat in Primrose Hill after we both left St. Mungo's. His money, his idea, his choice. Personally, I would have preferred something smaller, but Liam needs room to practice with his mates. Niall, Harry, Louis and Zayn all come over from time to time. It's still weird getting used to the luxury apartment after cold showers and canned food at St. Mungos. But every now and then, the Hopeful Seven come and visit for dinner as well, and it's nice because all of us can be ourselves together.

"Keep the tv off," I mutter as I sink down into the couch. I'm exhausted, and I don't want to see the trial posted across national television. Liam calls in for Chinese food.

"What do you want, love?"

"Just choose for me, sweetheart. I love your taste." I lean back my head against the couch and close my eyes, propping up my feet, and gasp as Liam's fingers begin to rub my ankles.

"That feels really good," I groan. He kneads my arches.

"I know how much that took out of you," he says softly. "I'm really proud of how you handled yourself. I was so nervous, but you held it together really nicely."

His kind words trigger more tears and I begin to cry.

"Thanks, Liam," I sniffle. "But I just can't stop thinking it's my fault. I did this to Celia. I know she's sick and all, but I feel like I drove her there-"

"Let me stop you there." He exhales. "Ok. You can't hold this over your head forever. I did the same thing after the accident. I blamed myself so much, I actually drank more. I didn't tell you this before, but if I didn't go to St. Mungos, they would have fired me becuase I was literally wasting away everything, ruining the band, this close," he pinches his fingers together, "to ruining everything, not just for me, but for my mates as well. Yes. It was my fault. I fucked up. But at a certain point, you need to say, 'I'm going to learn from this' and you move on. Might take days, might take years, but you cannot give up."

He pauses. "And this isn't your fault by the way. You didn't make a decision to hurt Celia, Celia made a decision to hurt Celia. She's an adult. She needs to take care of herself. That's not your job, no matter how much you feel like it is."

He kisses me deeply, despite my tears.

"Come on, love. Scooch over, you can't hog the couch now, I'm not giving up my spot just yet."

I laugh despite my tears.

"Thanks, Liam."

"No problem. Hey, if you sit up, I'll rub your neck too, I'm sure it's sore from the trial."

"How did you know? And why are you being so nice today?" I toss a pillow at him. "You're never this doting. What's gotten into you?"

"Hey. Is it wrong to want to make you feel better once in a while? Though, if we head upstairs, I can really make you feel better-"

"Please, no. So not in the mood, Liam."

"I know," says Liam, sobering up. "I'm sorry, I was just trying to get a laugh out of you." He kisses me softly, like a whisper on my lips. Tentative, almost as though he's nervous, he pulls away.

"More," I groan, demanding softly, opening my eyes. He smiles. "More?" he asks. He leans in, lips inches from mine.

"Like this?" he murmurs, kissing me soundly. I pull away for a moment.

"Perfect," I smile back, before leaning in to resume. 

But even Liam, as loving and caring as he is, can't distract me from the trial's consequences. The next morning, on the front page, there it is in cold black and white. Celia is dead.

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