Chemistry

Liam Payne has never been what you call 'popular'. Shelby has been popular pretty much her whole life. But one day their two worlds collide...

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6. Never Judge A Book By Its Cover

Shelby's P.O.V.

I was woken up by my alarm. I threw my arm out and slammed the snooze button. Andrew was still snuggled up next to me from yesterday. I must have dozed off while doing math homework. I stood up, being careful so I didn't wake my sleeping brother. He was lucky. He didn't have to be at kindergarten for another 2 hours.

I got dressed and put my hair up in a messy bun. I applied some light makeup. I stuffed all my school stuff into my bag and went downstairs. I had just finished eating my bowl of cereal when I heard a honk from outside. I put my bowl in the dishwasher and walked outside. Harry was sitting there in a red convertible. I thought he had an Audi?

"Hey, babe. Wanna ride?" he asked.

"Umm. No thanks. I think I'll walk." I told him. I started to walk down the street.

"I'll walk with you." he said jumping out of the car.

"That won't be necessary." I said, walking faster.

"Oh, come on. Why not? You're not still mad about the other night, are you?" Harry asked, sounding annoyed. I didn't answer. He put his arm around me. I pushed him away.

"Give me a good reason I shouldn't walk with you." he insisted.

"You're a dickhead." I told him. He laughed.

"I said a good reason. Come on, give me another one." he said. 

"Because..." I started, trying to come up with a good answer.

"Because she's walking with me." a familiar voice said from behind me. I turned around. Liam. Thank God. I quickly walked over to him.

"Yes. I am walking with Liam." I said, smiling at him.

"Shelby, you can't be serious. You're choosing this dork over me?" he asked sounding surprised. I nodded.

"Yeah. I am. And Liam is not a dork. He's my friend." I told Harry. He knew there was no possible way to change my mind. He stomped over to his car and drove away. I turned to Liam.

"Thanks. You really saved me some drama back there." I said. He smiled.

"No problem."

We walked to school together. As soon as we walked in the doors we were getting stares. But I just ignored them.

"Well, I gotta go now. See you in Chemistry." I said smiling. I gave him a quick kiss on the cheek as a thank you before walking to my locker. Eleanor and Danielle approached me.

"Is there something you'd like to tell us?" Dani asked. I shook my head.

"No. Why?"

"What about you and Mr. Payne over there?" El asked, looking over at Liam. I looked at him. He was talking to his blonde friend. I looked back at the scowling girls.

"Listen, there's nothing going on between me and Liam. We're just friends. Okay?" I told them. They didn't seem satisfied with my answer.

"Shelby, trust me. There's definitely something going on between you two. The whole school knows you like each other." El pointed out.

"I don't like him! I told you, he's just a friend." I lied. The bell rang and I closed my locker.

"See you, later." I said smiling at them. I turned to walk to Social Studies but I felt someone grab my arm.

"Look, Shelbs. He may be cute but he's a nerd. If you want to stay popular, than pick someone popular. Like...Harry. He's super hot." Dani said. I pulled away from her grasp.

"Harry is nothing but a bastard." I told her. I walked away before she could say anything else. I sat down in my seat and sighed. Were Dani and El really my friends? Cause friends are supposed to support each other. And they were definitely failing at that.

***

I walked into Chemistry after Social Studies was done. Liam wasn't there yet. I sat down in my seat and waited. I felt all eyes on me as people whispered things to their friends. I didn't get why this was a big deal. Liam was just a friend. And so what if he's not popular. He's great just the way he is.

Class started and still no Liam. Maybe he was just running late. I waited as the minutes went by. 1. 5. 10. 20. I couldn't take it anymore. I asked to go to the bathroom. I went out into the hallway. No Liam. Where could that boy be? 

I heard a noise come from the boys bathroom. I put my ear up against the door. Was someone...crying? I lightly knocked on the door. No answer.

"Liam?" I asked softly.

"Come in." a voice said lightly. I opened the door and closed it behind me. I locked it. I turned around and saw Liam sitting on the ground. His eye was black.

"Liam? W-Who did this to you?" I asked. He shook his head.

"It doesn't matter." he said quietly.

"It does now tell me who did this." I demanded.

"Harry." he sighed. My jaw dropped. Harry did this? That son of a bitch. I sat down next to Liam and looked at his eye. It was purple and swollen. I got a paper towel and wet it. I gently rubbed it on Liam's eye. His lip was bleeding, too. I wiped away the blood. He winced with pain.

"Sorry." I said quickly.

"I-It's okay." he stuttered. I gave him a cold paper towel and he held it against his eye.

"I'm so sorry he did this to you." I told him. "I'll talk to him later."

"No! I mean...don't. It's fine." Liam said. We sat in silence for a while.

"Want to hang out after school?" he asked. I sighed.

"Can't. I'm babysitting my brother." I groaned. He chuckled.

"I could help, if you want." he said. I nodded.

"That would be great." I told him.

We spent a few hours sitting on the floor of the boys bathroom. Just talking. And the more we talked, the more I realized how much I liked him. From his sparkling brown eyes, to his warm, bubbly personality. He is a great example of why you shouldn't judge a book by its cover. Because you never know what's inside until you push yourself to find out.

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