War Cry

*unbelievably slow updates* One Direction is put onto a three year break. All of the guys have decided what to do with their lives in the meantime. Liam Payne chose to go into the army. He was glad to meet his best friend, she was nice and funny and someone so easily to get along with. She made his army experience a lot more enjoyable. But what if another band member finds her just as enjoyable as he does? Would he be jealous? Or would he be happy for her?

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21. Chapter 20

Chapter 20

 

Change became the biggest factor of my life the minute I decided to enlist for the army. I’ve gotten used to it, I’ve learnt to adapt to the new changes that I’ve brought in. But I couldn’t, not for the life of me, adapt to the emptiness and the loneliness I felt without Tanya as a primary person in my life. I knew that I’ve been without her before. I spent 21 years without her but in the past three, I couldn’t see myself without her by my side.

I couldn’t believe how badly I messed things up between the both of us. Everyday since new years I’ve just wanted to approach her and apologize and talk over everything but I was too much of a coward. After seeing her face when I kissed that girl… I know how she gets when she’s angry and I know how she gets when she feels betrayed. I know how she is. So why the hell did I do that to her, knowing how she gets?

I am one messed up and stupid friend.

The word friend doesn’t even sound right anymore. There is no way in hell we can go back to being friends again. The only way to go is to be more than friends or not friends at all and I’m worried that we’ll end up being not friends at all. I don’t think I could ever survive not having Tanya in my life as anything less than friends.

There it is again, the word ‘friends’. It’s killing me to know that that’s all we can ever be. I don’t want to just be friends. After getting a taste of what could be, all I could do is wish for that could-be to be an is. But I know that there’s no way in hell Tanya would want that. She won’t even talk to me anymore and that’s an obvious sign of what our relationship is now- no relationship, just Tanya and just Liam. I haven’t seen her in two weeks, since New Year’s, now that it’s Zayn’s birthday, there’s no avoiding her.

Zayn’s 24th birthday was just a barbeque style lunch on the roof of a building just a block away from ours. The roof was built like a backyard without a lawn. One side was built like a patio with a wooden roof and a fire pit on the side. It also had an elevated deck with just one step leading to the normal level of the roof. On it was tables and chairs. The other side was open to interpretation. Despite the fact that Zayn’s birthday was in the middle of winter, it was nice to have a reminder of what summer was like.

“Liam, do you mind starting up the barbeque?” Zayn asked, carrying a tray of meat and some tongs.

I glanced at the burner. I’m the only one in the band who knows how to properly use a burner as big as the one on the roof. My mum would always hold barbeque parties during summer and dad would always cook the meat and I’d always help him out, being the only other male in the family. I turned on the burner and laid the steak on top.

It was still early and I was dreading the moment I’d see Tanya’s newly dyed dark red hair pop up from the stairs. I didn’t even know she dyed her hair until Niall put a photo up of the both of them on Instagram. It was a shock. I was so used to her brown locks that I never imagined any other colour on her. But damn, she looked just as beautiful as ever.

“Louis, can you start the fire in the pit?” Perrie asked, handing him a box of matches and gesturing to the pile of wood in the corner behind.

“Hey, guys!” Niall’s voice called out from the stairs. I turned swiftly, almost kinking my neck. Niall stepped out onto the roof, holding his present and a case of corona. I searched behind him looking for dark red hair that I haven’t seen in real life before but when she didn’t show, I felt a wave of disappointment wash over me. I tried to play off her absence like I didn’t care but it was obvious that I did care to everyone. I roughly turned over the steak, which caused it to sizzle loudly. I felt five pairs of eyes turn to me but I didn’t turn around to look at any of them. The silence went on and when she realised that I wasn’t going to turn around to acknowledge them, they all went back to whatever they were doing.

“Hey, Niall,” Harry called, rather loudly, “where’s Tanya?” I knew what he was doing. I was slightly irritated that he was putting his nose where it doesn’t belong but in a way I was grateful. I wanted to know the exact same thing.

“She wanted to go with Cali,” Niall replied.

That was an understandable reason. Tanya and Cali are like two peas in a pod and as close as you can get. But with Tanya going to uni in London and Cali in Manchester, they barely saw each other. They call each other everyday and one of them tries to drive up or drive down at least once a fortnight.

“What time will they be here?” Harry asked.

“I don’t know. Soon. Cali came just as I was about to leave and Tanya was halfway done getting dressed. You should see the mess in my room, it took her over an hour to decide on what to wear,” he answered.

Jealousy ripped through me. The fact that I was always jealous was starting to irritate me. I was never actually a jealous person before. I wasn’t selfish enough to want something someone else has. But Tanya had flipped that around. Now, I’m almost unrecognisable with how envious I’ve become of Niall.

Harry finally finished asking questions and walked over to me. He stood silently beside me with a Corona in his hand, gazing over the rooftop. I waited expectantly for him to say something and when he didn’t I continued to flip the steaks. When I finished the steaks and I turned off the burner, he finally spoke.

“So, I have this friend and his best friend is a girl,” he started. I knew exactly where this was leading. I looked at him, waiting for him to finish his not-so-hypothetical situation. “He’s been acting weird when it comes to her. Lately it’s worse than usual. We all know that he likes her but it’s starting to get even stranger. What do you think it is?”

I glared at him before picking up the plate of steaks and putting them on the long table of food. I walked back to the burner to clean up my mess and all the while, Harry followed me like a puppy. “Well?” He asked.

I dropped the greasy rag and turned to him. “Maybe you should leave him alone until he figures out exactly what is wrong with himself first.”

He pursed his lips. “Should I tell him what I think is going on with him?”

I frowned. What the hell does he know? “What do you think it is then?”

He scanned the place, looking or eavesdroppers then leaned slightly closer. “I think that he’s in love with his best friend.”

I jerked back like I’ve been tasered. I could barely wrap my head around me liking her but loving her? That’s too much. “That’s quite an assumption.”

Harry grinned. “But it’s true.”

“How do you know?” I asked him, irritated that he acted like he knew everything about this situation when in actual fact there was a lot more to it.

“Easy,” he shrugged. “The way he looks at her, the way he tenses up when he sees her with the guy she’s seeing, the way he’s always staring at her with these desperate eyes like he’s trying to catch her attention but doesn’t want to ruin anything, and along with those desperate eyes, he also has heart eyes. Like big, obvious heart eyes and they follow her around whenever she’s in the room. When she’s around, that’s it. There’s no one else.”

I frowned and turned my eyes back down to the greasy rag. “I’m not like that.”

Harry chuckled. When I looked over to him, he wore a smug smirk on his face. “Who said I was talking about you?”

I glared at him and turned away. I couldn’t stand how he pretty much had me all figured out except for the fact that I’m in love with her. How does he know that I’m in love with her when I don’t even know it yet? Love is too much. Harry then appeared on the other side of me.

“But, in all honesty,” he said, “you are.”

“I’m not,” I stubbornly replied.

He sighed and took a swig from his Corona. I need to get myself one of those and maybe five more after that. “You wait. You’re going to realise it soon and we’re all going to be there to say ‘I told you so.’”

“We?” I asked, frowning.

“Yeah, we,” he answered. “We all see it, therefore we’re all going to be the ones to say it.” Just as he said that Zayn was walking past. He stopped in his tracks and looked at Harry with an expression of horror.

“Did you just…?” He asked Harry, the unspoken words hanging in the air. I looked back and forth between the both of them, unsure of what exactly was happening.

Harry grinned smugly at Zayn, which earned him smack upside the head. Harry clutched the back of his head and glared at Zayn. “What the hell?”

“Now you’re messing with Liam’s head. I thought we all agreed to butt out of it,” Zayn hissed.

Harry shrugged. “I’m sorry. I’m impulsive and this one’s moping around and always getting angry at Niall and I feel sorry for Niall because he has no idea what to do.”

I looked over at Niall. He looked fine. He was stood beside the food table talking to Perrie and Eleanor while holding a Corona in his hand. He didn’t look upset or anything but maybe he was on the inside. I have been acting rude to him lately, which is unfair especially since he’s supposed to be my best friend. I sighed and turned to look at Zayn. He gave me a defeated look and shoved Harry out of the way. “Look, what he said is true. We all know how you feel even though you don’t know it yet.”

“I don’t get how you guys came to that conclusion.” I shook my head, pulling down the top of the burner to cover it. “It seems a little farfetched.”

Zayn gave me a look of confusion. “How is it farfetched when you already like her? It’s not hard to go from like to love.”

That’s true. It really isn’t hard to go from like to love. But with everything that’s going on between the two of us, love will just make everything all the more complicated. I can’t be in love right now. I gripped the neck of the Corona that Louis shoved into my hand as he walked past.

Suddenly the door swung open and up came Cali holding two bottles of champagne. She looked great; I haven’t seen her in three weeks. Not since before New Year’s, before I royally fucked up. Her naturally curly hair was straightened and fell down to just under her ribs. She had the front parts of it pulled back. She wore a black dress with a pink floral pattern, an oversize black coat, a big black sunhat and black thick-heeled boots. The dark colour made her pale skin tone look marvellous. She looked gorgeous.

But as soon as I saw Tanya walk up, I forgot all about Cali. Tanya wore the simplest of clothes but I found it so overly attractive. She wore a white halter-top that stopped just above her hips with light denim jeans and white sandals. Over her clothes was a black hooded jacket and she also wore a hat almost identical to Cali’s but white. Her dyed red hair that I’ve now come to appreciate was in loose curls. I couldn’t help but notice the necklace I gave her around her neck.

It’s true.

I am in love with her. There’s no denying it anymore. Not when she’s this close to me and I could smell her favourite perfume in the wind. Not when I could see her smile as she looked around. And most definitely not when she’s wearing the necklace that I gave her for Christmas.

But that all came crashing down when Niall walked up to her and gave her a kiss on her soft pale cheek then grabbed her hand and dragged her to the food table. My heart jumped out of my chest and straight off the four story building and smashed on the gravel floor. I’ve never felt so miserable in my whole life.

It’s apparent that they’re actually together now rather than just dating. He now had the right to call her his girlfriend. I don’t know what hurt more; the fact that they were together or the fact that she didn’t tell me at all. I guess it was the former since I knew that she wouldn’t be talking to me for a while after the New Year’s incident.

I didn’t realise how I watched her every move until I met Harry’s eyes. He wiggled his eyebrows at me in a knowing way and I knew that he knew that I just got my revelation, that I am in love and that I have to figure out what I’m going to do about it.

My instincts told me to go up to her, to finally talk to her after all these past few weeks of silence. But I knew I couldn’t since she was with Niall whose arm was wrapped around her waist.

“Hey, Liam,” Cali said as she approached me with a glass of sparkling champagne. There were more people by then, Gemma Styles, Ed Sheeran, a few of Zayn’s friends.

I smiled at her. “Hey.” I never noticed how short she actually was. She only came to just about my elbow. Even when she’s wearing heeled boots.

“How have you been?” She asked.

I shrugged. “Alright, I guess.”

She pursed her lips at me and took a sip from her glass. It looked like she wanted to say something but couldn’t. I sighed. “Out with it.”

She looked up at me with wide eyes. “What?”

“You want to say something and I know it, Cali. Just say it. I know that you and Tanya are close, I’m sure she said something to you,” I explained.

She shook her head. “No, she didn’t tell me a thing. But I do know that she’s really mad at you and that she can’t talk to you for a while, not until she gets over what happened.” She paused. “What did happen?”

I ran a hand down my face before taking a long gulp from the beer in my hand. Cali waited patiently with a curious look on her face. “I did something completely stupid and now everything’s fucked.”

Her eyebrows rose at what I revealed. The curious look in her eyes grew. I knew that she wanted to know more but I can’t tell her anything other than that. I didn’t want to tell her anything more than that because I knew that if I did get into the story, I’d be spilling every single dirty little secret about Tanya that I have.

“Look, Liam,” Cali started, “Tanya’s not really fussed about anything but there’s one thing she doesn’t want broken which is trust. Our parents raised us to be truthful and honest people. Tanya expects people to be the same. So if you’ve done anything to break her trust, you need to be honest with her and tell her exactly what happened.”

I narrowed my eyes. “You do know what’s going on.”

She scoffed. “I don’t but I know my sister better than anyone knows her. You come in close second.”

My head fell. “Not anymore.”

Cali sighed and placed a reassuring hand on my shoulder, which is a stretch for her considering how short she is. “Just give it time, Liam, she loves you.” With that, she walked away.

I had never felt so frustrated after that. What kind of love? The same love as me? Or the love I thought I felt for her for the past three years? Cali may have thought that she was helping me but, man, I have never felt so confused and frustrated in my life.

The rest of the day went by slowly. I didn’t talk to her for the whole day. Call me a coward but I couldn’t face her. Besides she hung on to Niall for the whole night and whenever they were separated she was with Cali or someone else. I just wanted to talk to her alone without other people looking at us.

Not once did she look my way even when I stared a hole right in the back or the side of her face. That’s when I knew.

I have to be the one to go to her. I have to be the one to make the bold move. I have to be the one to be truly honest. What Cali said was right. I broke Tanya’s trust now I have to be honest with her.

 

--------------------------------------------

 

I know it’s been a month. Sorry

 

-Winona

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