Little Steps

Aria Lubianco has been through the worst. Found freezing and sobbing on her doorstep by none other than Liam Payne, she is the definition of a strong but broken girl. As she warms up to the boys, feelings arise for one in particular. However, it is almost impossible for Aria to keep herself together when a mystery person begins sending her threatening messages.

As new people enter the story, suspects are chosen and bonds grow, all due in time.

What will little steps get Aria?

Originally by and all credit goes to lalaladooo:


43. A Knew Kind Of Pain

Aria’s P.O.V.
The second day at Liam’s passed by very quickly. We went to drop Danielle off at the airport, as she was getting ready for her last show for Rihanna before having to take a break for pregnancy reasons. When we got home, Liam and his dad went to Skype with his mom, so I sat alone in my bedroom, and eventually fell asleep.

The third day, I sat in the guest bedroom, thinking about the message, and about Niall being threatened. I found myself picking up my phone and dialing his number. The call rang endlessly, and I was about the end it and declare any contact with him over, when he picked up.

“Ello?” he said, sounding normal. He didn’t sound depressed, and quiet, the way I did.


“Um, who’s this?” he asked, sounding confused.

I frowned. “Aria. It’s Aria.”

“Oh, shit.” He cursed. He went silent for a second.

“I uh, threw my phone in the toilet. All my contacts got erased.” He explained, suddenly sounding reserved. There was an awkward silence, and I considered hanging up.

“Why did you call?”

I took a deep breath and exhaled. “I got another message.”


“And it mentioned you. Whoever is sending me these messages is threatening me, telling me that they’ll hurt you.”

“Where are you anyways?” he asked, completely ignoring what I just said like an utter idiot.

“Niall!” I exclaimed. “You could be shot and killed and your worried about where I am? Are you serious?”

He sighed. “Of course I’m worried about where you are. Are you safe? Are you secure? Do you have enough food? I could –“

“Niall,” I struggled not to laugh. “I’m okay.”

“So there are people coming after me if you don’t do what they say, yeah?” he said, repeating it to himself.


“Well don’t do what they say or else you’re going to die.”

“Wow,” I snorted. “Thanks for the encouragement.”

Niall laughed lightly. “What if I help you? You can’t do this alone. I know we aren’t on the greatest…terms, right now, but I care about you. I really do. I won’t let you risk your life alone.”

I rolled my eyes, even though he couldn’t see. “Niall, I only called to tell you to watch out. Pay attention to your surroundings. I didn’t call to make up. We are far from making up, so don’t count on it.”

I could almost picture Niall’s smile dropping, his blue eyes becoming dull.


“And Niall?”


“Why the hell did you throw your phone into the toilet?” I laughed, leaning back on my pillow.

“Reasons.” He said. “I have to go. Bye.”

I ended the call without responding. I hated the fact that I was happy to hear his voice. I wasn’t supposed to miss him. I left. I told him that we couldn’t do this. And yet, I was the one who seemed the most hurt.

I sighed, completely frustrated with everyone and everything, wondering why I couldn’t have a normal life. No celebrity friends, no celebrity crushes, no paparazzi, no mysterious messages, no evil dad. Instead, why not some normal friends, a normal and loving boyfriend, an ounce of popularity in college, a dad and mom who treated me right?

I guess all my luck went to some other person.

My phone vibrated once again.

Mom: the clock is ticking.
Frustrated, I shut down my phone and threw it to the opposite side of the bed. I clutched my head, sure that I was going crazy. What the hell was going on? Why couldn’t people just stop hating me for once and just be nice to me? Make me feel like I meant something to this world?

Maybe it was because I didn’t. I didn’t mean anything.

My heart was racing and I couldn’t think straight. Everything just seemed to be collapsing before my eyes. Niall and I, my safety, my security, the safety and security of my friends, my own family, everything was falling. I just wanted to scream.

And so I tugged Niall’s hoodie on, slipped on a random pair of shoes, and ran out of Liam’s house, down the empty streets, past the buildings, to the middle of a field full of tall grass. I fell to the ground and inhaled to cold air, making my nose hurt. But I didn’t care. I needed to feel some pain. Just as much as I needed to let it out.

I screamed.

I screamed countless curse words, clenching my fists as rain started to pour down. I thought, what a dramatic scene. The rain, the sadness, the dark sky. Nothing was bright anymore. Nothing could make me smile. Not even Niall’s infectious giggle, or Liam’s brotherly advice. Not even the sound of hearing my father was dead. Because he wasn’t dead. Niall wasn’t around to laugh for me. Liam had other things to deal with besides me.

I was a burden.

I suddenly wondered, why I hadn’t realized this sooner. Everything made sense. My father hated me because I was a burden. Maybe, if I hadn’t been born, there would have been less stress for my parents, with only my sister, Scarlett, to take care of. Maybe then, my dad wouldn’t have hit my mother, and maybe they would still be together, and Scarlett would be alive.

If I wasn’t alive, Niall would probably be dating some other girl. Prettier than me, smarter than me, Maybe if I wasn’t here in the first place, everything would have been better.

The grass, rough and prickly, poked into my skin, but I didn’t take notice.

I didn’t notice anything then. Not the clouds, not the rain, not the world. Nothing at all.

All I noticed was how much I wanted my stupid, stupid life to end.

So badly.

I snuck back into the house after draining my clothes of the water, though I was still soaked. I was more depressed than ever, and suddenly, I didn’t feel so hungry, even after the walk back home. I rushed up the stairs, not wanting Liam to see me and went straight to my suitcase, grabbing a razor from the small side pocket. I examined it, gulping before deciding I needed this. I deserved to feel some pain.

I ran into the bathroom and locked the door, sliding down to the floor. I bit my lip, my muscles tightening as I slid the blade across my wrist, a burst of pain, ringing through. Holy, shit.

I braced myself, dragging the blade along my skin a second time. This time, it felt good. I felt good to be hurt. Before I knew it, I was going crazy with the razor, cutting myself all the way up my arm. My whole left arm was numb, and my head was spinning.

I threw my head back, hissing slightly as I cut myself again, accidentally on a previous cut. I winced, looking at how ugly my arm looked. Now it matched my face. Perfect. I looked around at the small bits of blood spilled on the floor. Deciding I was finished for the day, I ran my arm under the cool water of the sink tap, occasional stings making me flinch. I them grabbed a few piece of toilet paper and cleaned up the floor, blowing across the skin of my arm before leaving the room, dabbing my cuts constantly to stop the bleeding.

I slipped Niall’s hoodie on, knowing I’d have to keep it on more often because of what I had just done. I took a few deep breaths, feeling better. Much better.

After breakfast the next morning, I was really bored, so I went knocking on Liam’s room door before entering, of course wearing Niall’s hoodie. He looked up from his bed, setting his book down.

“Hi.” He smiled. “Are you feeling better? I didn’t see you eating much breakfast.”

I nodded, and it was in all honesty.

“Come sit.” He said, patting the empty spot on the bed. I closed the door and walked over, sinking into the bed.

“I want to talk to you.” He started, looking into my eyes. “I think what you need to do right now is let everything out. Everything you’re feeling. Just tell me. Let it out, because if it stirs up inside of you, you might let it out in the wrong way.”

It was almost as if he knew.

I laughed nervously taking a deep breath.

“First of all, I think it’s good that I took a break from Niall.” Lie. “I’m glad I at least have you around. I feel safe that you’re here and I know that we’ll find a way to keep everyone safe.” Lie.

“I know you’re lying, Aria.” Liam said, one hundred percent serious. “Tell me the whole truth.”

I sighed. “Fine.”

“Everything is wrong. I can’t even think straight anymore. I didn’t know what I’m to do with my life with some crazy maniac sending me stupid texts that drive me nuts. But see, when they start threatening the one person I pretty much love, that’s when it gets bad. My head hurts a lot more often. I keep getting these headaches, and last night, I didn’t even sleep. I couldn’t. I just kept thinking about everything and nothing and what I did to have to deal with all this. And those texts aren’t the only things driving me crazy. It’s Niall, for god’s sake. I can’t stop thinking about him. It’s like the farther I get from him, the more I love that idiot. Everything I think about, everything I look at, everything I hear, it all reminds of the damn boy. I can’t get him out of my head. I swear, I’m going crazy or something.”

Liam nodded, and his hand touched my left arm, the one full of cuts. I winced, pulling back with a yelp of pain.

“Uh, are you okay?” Liam asked, eyeing my arm, which was covering by the long sleeves, curiously.

“Fine. I’m fine.”

He looked doubtful, but shook it off, telling me to continue.

“So yeah. I feel like If I weren’t here in the first place, maybe things would be better. Maybe I should just leave. I should go see who is sending these texts to me. If I get killed, it won’t matter much. You guys would forget me soon enough anyways.” I shrugged. Liam sat, staring at me with his mouth slightly agape.

“How could you ever think that?” he said, finally, his eyes still fixed on me. “I could never forget you. I could never ever bear the thought if you getting killed knowing I could do something about it. Don’t ever think that or say that again. It’s not true. Don’t let false things like that invade your mind, because none of it is true. People do care about you and those people, will always love you in some way. Because once you care about someone, it’s hard to stop.”

I stared at him, my eyes drifting to his hands as he took my right hand into his, rubbing his thumb on my palm. Niall used to do that a lot.

We remained that way for a minute or so, him caressing my hand, the two of us sitting in a comfortable silence.

“I have a confession to make,” I sighed after a while. He looked up at me.

“What is it?”

I bit my lip. “Last night, I ran outside. I was going crazy, or something, and so I ran. I kind of wanted to run away from everything, and just be alone. So I got to this huge field, and I sat down. Then it started raining,” I said. “I was really depressed Liam, and I still feel the same way. Like I just don’t mean anything anymore.” I whispered the last part, dodging the part about cutting myself.

He didn’t say anything then, just grabbed me by the waist and pulled me into my arms, my back colliding with his chest.

“Aria, you are one crazy girl.” He whispered, his arms wrapped around me tightly. For a split second, I couldn’t help but wish it was Niall holding me this way.

“I know.”

“And you know that I love you, right?”

I rested my head on his shoulder blade. “I’m not so sure that anyone loves me.”

“You don’t know how much you mean to us, Aria. To me, to Maura, to Niall, to Zayn, Harry, Louis, and even to Danielle. Danielle told me, how she talks to you and she feels so free, like she can tell you anything. She told me that she hasn’t felt that way with anyone besides me and her best friend. And Louis, he called the other day. He told me that we needed to meet up soon and said to bring you along some time. Apparently, Niall told Louis what happened and Louis feels bad for both you guys. We care, Ari, and even if you don’t believe it, it’s true.”

I sighed and closed my eyes.

I just wasn’t buying it.

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