I'll Keep Trying

Lacey is an eighteen year old singer/songwriter about to drop her first album. She attends a prestigious performing arts school and also majors in acting and drama. Little does she know how much drama she's about to receive when she begins hearing rumors that the overrated Harry Styles has taken an interest to her. She used to number herself among the thousands of screaming fangirls across the planet that call themselves Directioners. But those days are long gone. They've been gone for three whole years. Heck, Lacey doesn't even believe the rumors are true. But when Haz goes out of his way to try and contact her, Lacey must make a decision, and she begins to lose herself in a world of emotion, drama, and finding ways to be true to her heart.

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1. I wake up screaming

I can feel the ground shaking under my feet. The screams of probably thousands of girls vibrate in the air around me. The bass of their music is pounding in my ears, Natalie's shrieks piercing my eardrums. Confetti is falling from the ceiling, fire is shooting up into the sky, people are everywhere; the noise is incredible. I didn't even think to bring earplugs, but at the moment, nothing else matters. They were really here. Really. I could see them on the stage, right in front of me. Louis bouncing up and down to the beat, Liam singing into his microphone. Niall and Zayn singing to each other, and Harry performing our favorite shoulder thrust. I was sure I was going to have a heart attack; this was the final song, What Makes You Beautiful. I didn't want them to leave; I wanted to stay in this moment forever, with them right in front of me. Right there. 

I had won front row seats to the concert in May, days before the concert was going to happen. Nat and I had been down recently because we knew we wouldn't be attending, but feverishly we combed through all the contests on the radio and got lucky. I could see their precious faces from here, their sparkling eyes and chiseled jawlines... and my personal favorite Harry's dimples. I remember waving at him cheerily in the middle of Little Things and the gentle smile he had returned. And I knew it was for me. I knew it was for me.

Of course, you can't win front and center 1D concert tickets without having a little drama among your friends. One of my acquaintances, whom I once thought to be really friendly, overreacted when I took Nat instead of her. Nat was my very best friend and Directioner buddy; who would have thought I'd choose Jill over her? After Jill had finished yelling at me about being a bad friend (were we ever friends in the first place?...), she told me I would regret it deeply. It had kind of freaked me out the way she stared into my eyes while she said that. But whatever, I wouldn't have to talk to her again after today. 

The ride home was quiet. Nat and I napped on each other's shoulders until her dad's car pulled into my driveway. I yawned and said goodbye as she drove away.

Wait.

Something is wrong.

I turned around and faced my house. It looked a little darker than usual. There is something in the atmosphere that doesn't feel right. The porch light wasn't glimmering merrily as it was normally; nor were the lights on inside the house. Okay, I mused. Mom and Dad want me to go in through the back door. They must still be sleeping.

Quietly I snuck in through the back of the house using the spare key Mom hid under the flower pot and turned on a light. It was eerily quiet. I felt as though the house had been waiting for me, and for some reason, I reached over and grabbed a knife from the kitchen drawer. One of them was missing.

No.

I started walking through the house, looking around. Mom was probably going to walk out smiling and ask me how it was and wonder why I was holding a knife. Of course. But still... I can't shake the feeling that I'm being watched. Something is definitely wrong. It's too drafty. Too quiet. I remember with a shudder that Dad had promised me he'd be up waiting. And usually when he waits, he's at the computer.

No.

I started walking towards the door to the family room, where the computer and Dad would be waiting for me.

No.

I started to push open the door. 

No! Don't go in there!

I should have listened to my conscience.

"MOM! DAD!" I shrieked. The knife fell from my hands and clattered onto the ground. They were dead. Dead on the ground, stab wounds through their stomachs and hearts. Screaming, I back up and crash into the closed door thinking the very next thing I will do is call 911.That door was not closed when I entered the room. I look to the couch and see the bodies of my siblings, Jesse and Giana. Blood covers their bodies and faces. My eyes widen with horror. Sitting there on the couch, smiling, fiddling with the missing kitchen knife, is Jill. Her eyes glow. "I told you," she whispers, before standing to meet me. 

"NO!"

I jolt up in bed screaming my head off like a little girl. It's dark. It's cold. My arms are shaking. My whole body is shaking. I didn't put nearly enough blankets on. "No..." I whispered weakly again, and collapsed on my pillow sobbing. 

Natalie stirs in the bunk above me. "Lacey?" she rasps. "It's one in the morning." 1:02, to be exact. I can see it on the alarm clock next to my bed. "Did you have another nightmare?" I don't even bother answering her. She knows what it was about. It's happened to me a million times before. Kind of a downer for her; for everyone who knows me and my story. I can hear her sigh and throw off the sheets. The ladder creaks as she comes down and strokes my head, handing me a tissue. I sit up in bed and blow my nose. Nat pulls me into a hug and I just sit there letting her comfort me. 

"I've told you a million times and I'm not going to tell you again. We need to get you a therapist."

"No..." I whimpered and wiped my eyes. "Therapists are for crazy people."

"My mom's not crazy. She had a therapist and she also did counseling. Neither of those things are for crazy people, Lace." I breathed quietly through my mouth as she brushed the hair on my head. I could tell she wasn't even looking down at me. She used to, but after this happening so many times, she'd learned that it wasn't really necessary to cuddle me to get me to calm down. 

"But therapists treat you like you're crazy. They treat you like some sort of person with a mental disorder and like you might explode at any minute."

"Well, no offense Lacey, but these nightmares are kind of a problem. Some people might call it a mental disorder." Natalie sighed, rubbing her eyes and yawning. I felt bad for waking her up this late at night. I knew she had testing tomorrow and had wanted to sleep well tonight. "Counseling and therapy are for those who want to learn more about themselves." I could tell she was trying to be patient with me, but it was hard for her when I ruined her natural sleep habits. "I'm going to go back to bed. Take a sleeping pill and try to get some rest."

Nat patted my back tiredly and climbed up the ladder, settling back into bed. Within minutes I could hear her quiet breathing telling me she was asleep. Pulling the covers back over me, I closed my eyes and tried to get some more sleep, shaking out the image of One Direction from my mind. Ugh, I thought to myself. If I ever did get the chance to date one of them I wouldn't accept it for a million bucks. My album was going to drop tomorrow, and I needn't distract myself with thoughts of them. Hopefully something good would come of all this.

 

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