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:


45. Connecting The Dots

Liam’s P.O.V.

I was getting worried about Aria. Every day, she seemed to eat less, picking at her food during dinner without talking, and never making eye contact with me. I guess she knew that I would make her eat. Her face seemed to be paler, her lips a deadly pink. She spent a lot of time in her room, and sometimes I would hear her sobbing in the bathroom.

Another thing was that damn hoodie of Niall’s. It almost never came off of Aria’s body. She always had in on when walking out of the bathroom after a shower. Did she really miss him that much? I had tried talking to her once or twice, tried to convince her to talk to Niall, but now, she just ignored me. Her bright blue eyes, which were so much like Niall’s, were dull. Her nose was pink a lot, I believe from the crying, and her eyes drooped. Light bags sagged under her eyes, and I was worried that she wasn’t sleeping properly.

Two and a half weeks she’d been here, and I’d never seen her smile. Not for real.

At the moment, she was, of course, in her room. I just needed to get her out of there. She hadn’t left the house in over two weeks.

“Aria,” I yelled, knocking on her door. “Can you go down to the corner store and get some soda?”

There was silence, but then I heard her sigh.

“Give me a second.”

Eureka. I grinned, backing away from the door. Seconds later, she opened it, wearing Nike shorts, sandals and Niall’s hoodie.

“It’s cold outside. You should go put some-“

“I’m fine.” She grunted, pushing past me. I stopped her long enough to put some money in her hand. I frowned as she shuffled downstairs and left my house quickly.

I frowned and looked at the closed front door again, just to make sure she was gone, then strolled into the guest room.

Her stuff was spread across a small section of the room, her clothes falling out of her suitcase. A book rested on her bed, open to a certain page. The duvet was crumpled up, from how she had been snuggled in it for so long. Aria’s hairbrush was on the night table, along with a pack of gum and a watch.

The bathroom door was open and the light was on. Mindlessly, I walked into the bathroom, and my eyes instantly fell to the razor laying in the sink. On normal terms, I would have ignored it, but this one was different.

This one had blood on the blade.

I sucked in a breath, and saw a bunch on toilet paper in the trashcan, little specks on blood peeking out. My heart began to race as I examined the sink. The drain of the sink had red surrounding it, surely blood.

Suddenly, I was connecting the dots. The hoodie, her pale face, her small appetite.

Of course, she had kept Niall’s hoodie on the hide her cuts from me. She wouldn’t want to ever risk me seeing so she kept the hoodie on every time we were around each other. The blood loss from her cuts would explain her pale face. She never ate, probably because she was so depressed. She was probably too sad to notice how starved she really was, and how skinny she was getting. Because she missed Niall.

Because she loved him.

Because she left him.

I could only come up with two words right now.

“Holy shit.” I whispered, picking up the razor. I looked at it in disgust and dropped it, walking back into the room. I noticed a pen which held the page of her book open. Curiously, I walked over and picked the book up. On the page, page thirteen, she had written out something along the border, around the words.

“How I feel: Ugly, terrible, hideous, insane, depressed, sad, lonely, confused, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid.”

I licked my lips and sat down, wondering why she felt this way. Wondering what could stop her from thinking like this. Wondering what would save her from herself.

She already committed self harm, and I couldn’t let it get any worse. I couldn’t even bare to think of Aria…committing suicide.

I set the book back on the bed and put the pen in the crease, holding in open like before. But then I paused, and picked the pen up. And on a blank area of the page, I wrote out the word,


Aria’s P.O.V.

With the hood pulled over my hair to block my head from the light drizzle, I stepped into the corner store and went straight for the aisle of sodas. Liam hadn’t exactly told me what kind he wanted, so I grabbed a Dr. Pepper two liter and went to the cashier.

I set the bottle down on the counter and pulled the money from my pocket, for the first time looking at the cashiers face.


His forehead creased as he realized who I was, and he cracked a grin.


“What are you doing here?” I asked, pressing a smile to my lips. He hesitated, then looked at me.

“I’m here with my dad. My parents are divorced and I’m stay with him for a while.”

I nodded as he scanned the bottle, then told me the amount and gave me my change.

“Hey, can you give me your number? We can catch up later.” He suggested. I nodded and quickly exchanged number with him. After saying goodbye, I began by walk back to Liam’s house, swinging the plastic bag with the Dr. Pepper in it in my hand.

When I rang the doorbell, Liam opened it looking frustrated, and hurt.

“Hi.” He gulped, looking down at the Dr. Pepper. “Thanks for that.”

I gave him a funny look and nodded, then proceeded up the stairs.

“Aria,” he sighed from the bottom of the staircase, “we need to talk. Let’s go to your room.”

I stared at him for a second, turned around and made my way to the second floor of the house. I went into my room and sat on my bed, pushing my book aside. Liam came in shortly, closing the door behind him.

“You’ve been acting weird, lately.” He began, pacing back and forth with his hands behind his back and all. “Do you want to tell me what’s going on in the brain of yours?”

“Nothing’s wrong,” I lied. “I’m totally okay.”

“Don’t lie to me,” he seethed, stopping his pacing and leaning up against the wall. “Just tell me.”

“Liam, there’s nothing wrong. I swear. Geez, you talk like you’re sure I’m about to kill myself or something.”

He frowned, eyeing me. “What’s with you and Niall’s hoodie? You’re like, attached to it.”

I could feel myself tearing up. “I miss him, alright? Got a problem with that?”

His expression softened and the urge to cry became stronger. He walked over and sat beside me, wrapping his arms around me.

“I know how you’ve getting your pain out, “he whispered, “and that’s not the right way to solve anything.”

My eyes widened and I pulled away from him, staring into his chocolate brown eyes.

“W-what, are you talking about?” I snorted, chuckling nervously. Before I could take action, he grabbed my hand and held on tightly, pushing the left sleeve of the hoodie up, revealing all my cuts.

“This. This is what I’m talking about.” He said, gazing down at them.

I gulped.


“How did you know?” I whimpered, looking away from him. Now I just felt ashamed.

“It was after you left.” He explained. “I randomly went into your bathroom and there was a razor in there. It was bloody, and there were bloody tissues in the trash.”

How could I have been so careless? I never imagined that Liam would walk into my business. Suddenly, I was mad.

“Why would you go into my room in the first place? God. You can’t just invade my privacy!” I yelled, pulling my hand from his and tugging my sleeve back down.

“Woah,” he said, holding his hands out. “You can’t just blame this on me.”

“God.” I hissed. “Just leave.”

“No,” he protested. “I found something else as well.”

He reached over and grabbed the book I had pushed over. My heart was beating at a fast pace. I stared at the book as he set it down in my lap.

“What is making you feel this way? Why can’t you tell me? I could help you. We could figure things out to the point where you don’t feel like this. But hurting yourself, that is the wrong idea."

My lips quivered as I looked at the one word in different handwriting on the page. Liam’s handwriting. He had written the word ‘beautiful’, in an empty spot.

“I think if you just let your pain out verbally, You’d feel better. Vent to me. Come on.”

I sighed, gulping down tears, and set the book down.

“It’s the same.”

“What do you mean?”

“Why I feel like this, it’s the same reason.”

“What reason?”

“Niall. The messages. And Niall.” I began to sob, wishing I could stop. But I couldn’t. It had been hard to control my tears lately. “I can’t stop thinking about him. And I’ve realized, it’s my fault I feel this way. Leaving him was a mistake. I completely over reacted. I should’ve waited. I should’ve let the both of us calm down. It’s my fault. All of this.”

Liam let out a large sigh, letting my cry into his chest.

“Have you been getting any more messages?”

I nodded into his chest. “All of them involve hurting Niall.”

“You need to talk to him.” He stated. I looked up at him to see if he was serious. “You need him. You love him. You know you do.”

He was right.

“I can’t talk to him,” I stammered. “I won’t even be able to say hello. I’m just going to freeze up and make a fool of myself.”

“If you Skype him, I’ll sit right beside you the whole time.” He promised quietly, squeezing me protectively.

“I can’t do it.” I argued. “It hurts just thinking about him.”

“Aria, look at me.” He commanded. I looked up, my eyes stinging with tears. “You’ve been here from almost three weeks. That’s practically a month. And for three damn weeks, I haven’t seen you smile once. You and I both know you don’t really want to be here. You want to be with Niall. I want you to be with Niall. It’s obvious you both miss each other like crazy. You’re depressed without him. You think I haven’t noticed how little you eat? How little you talk? How you stayed cooped up in your room? How you’ve become un -naturally pale and skinny?”

I blinked.

“Aria, look straight into my eyes and tell me you never want to see Niall again.”

I looked right at him. “I never want to-“

I couldn’t do it.

“Exactly.” Liam whispered, his lips against my hair. “You can’t do it.”

I stay silent.

“Tell you what,” he suggested, standing up. “I’m going to go Skype Niall now. When you’re ready, you can interrupt. I’ll be off the screen but sitting right beside you. Okay?”

“Okay.” I answered softly. Liam kissed my forehead and left my room, leaving me to juggle with my options.

I could go chat with Niall on Skype, see the guy I loved, or I could sit here and fail at containing my misery.

Since when did choosing get so tough?

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