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: http://www.onedirectionfanfiction.org/Story/20318/Little-Steps/

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40. What To Do

The next few days, Niall and I kept up with avoiding each other. Literally, we said no more words to each other. Family conversations got better, though. The others managed to ignore Niall and I and went on with their own conversations.

Sometimes, I found Niall and Gregg talking in the living room. As soon as I walked in, their conversations halted and Niall turned away. Gregg gave me an innocent smile. They made it very obvious that I was their topic of talk.

I don’t think Denise liked me very much. She never seemed to talk to me, and avoided me when she could. I was playing with Noah one day in the kitchen, and as soon as she saw the interaction, she picked him up and took him away from me. Or maybe it’s just her not wanting him to be influenced by such a horrible person like me.

It must have been five or six days since Niall and I had argued. Every time I thought he would talk to me or at least say hi, he simply turned away and walked off as if I were invisible.

I could barely take this anymore. I longed to talk to him, but it didn’t seem like he wanted to talk to me. Gregg seemed to be on Niall’s side, but he didn’t hate me. He just seemed to support Niall a lot more.

On about day four since our argument, I saw Gregg and Niall in the living room, scrolling through Niall’s laptop. They switched the tab or closed his laptop when I came around.

I was currently walking alone in the park. I didn’t tell anyone I had left the house, thinking one of them would follow me. I had already ignored countless texts and calls from Gregg and Maura, wanting to have this time to myself. I needed to be alone. Honestly though, a walk in the park was not helping at all. Everywhere I looked, there were happy couples on picnics, or families playing catch.

Somehow, I was starting to see everything negatively.

I sat down on an empty bench, breathing in the fresh air of the outside. A little girl ran by, giggling as boy chased after her. I pulled my phone out and shot a text to Harry.

Me: What’s up? I’m bored.

He answered quickly.

Harry: Amber is coming over soon! Come on, Ireland can’t be that boring.

Me: It can be when there’s no one to lead you around.

Harry: What about Niall? He took you in the first place.

Me: Yeah… we aren’t exactly in the best spot right now.

Harry: Oh. What happened?

Me: he overheard us talking about the relationship you and I had, and how it was fake.

Harry: Shit. What did he say?

Me: We got in a nasty argument. I haven’t talked to him in almost a week, now.

Harry: I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have brought it up when we Skyped.

Me: No, it’s not your fault. I should have told him.

We continued to text until he notified me that Amber had come. He offered to Skype so I could meet her, but I told him that a) I was at the park, and b) there was no way of getting Niall’s laptop without talking to him.

I plugged my earphones into the small hole in my phone, setting Coldplay’s album, Parachutes, on play. I threw my head back, letting the music of my favorite band, calm me.

Halfway through the album, I realized I was crying again. Not for any reason, just extra tears finally finding their way out. I sat up straight on the bench, watching as kids continued to play. I teenage couple stood beside a tree making out against it. I turned away at the remembrance of Niall. Everything seemed to remind me of Niall.

“Hello?” a tiny voice asked, touching my shoulder. My head whipped to the side to see a small boy standing beside me, peering up into my eyes. His eyes were a shocking blue, exactly like Niall’s. He had hair, so blonde it looked almost white.

“Hi there.” I cooed lightly, smiling down at him.

“Why are you crying?” he asked curiously, locking his hands behind his back and rocking on his feet. His little Irish accent was a bonus to his cuteness.

“Just, some boy problems.” I giggled, looking at him. He laughed, a contagious laugh that reminded me of Niall’s.

“My mum told me that girls have cooties. I’m not supposed to talk to them cos’ they are trouble.” He said cutely, though his face looked completely serious.

“Well, your mum is right. Stay away from girls because you may get into an argument with one, and break their heart. Maybe get yours, too.”

“That’s what mum told me.” He nodded, putting his hands on his hips.

“You should go find your mom. I don’t think she’d like you talking to strangers.”

The little boy nodded and ran off.

I smiled and stood up, deciding I should head back. Setting my music on again, I made my way away from the park, towards the neighborhood of houses. I knocked on the front door of Niall’s house ,waiting for someone to answer. To my surprise, Niall opened it, looking frantic.

“Oh my god.” He exhaled, grabbing my wrist and pulling me inside. His touch set off a spark, one I hadn’t felt in days. “We thought you were kidnapped or something. What the hell were you thinking, leaving without telling anyone? My mum called you like, ten times! Gregg even tried to call you. What the hell, Aria?”

“Is it just me, or are you caring about me? I thought you said you wouldn’t care if I left.” I snarled, hitting my shoulder against his as I passed him.

“No. It was my mum and Gregg who cared.” He snapped quickly. Just when I thought he was about to apologize. Not that I would have forgiven him, anyways.

“Where did you go?” he demanded, hot on my trail as I made my way up the stairs.

“Nowhere.” I answered. “Why would you care?”

“Just because I don’t care doesn’t mean my mum doesn’t. She’s freaking out down there.” He hissed.

“So?”

“You could’ve got hurt. Don’t go out by yourself.” He growled, from behind me.

“So why are you following me?” I snapped, turning around to face him halfway up the stairs.

“Your room isn’t the only one up there, you know.” He shot back, leaving me with no comeback.

I thought this could be one of these movie moments when we stared into each other’s eyes and ended up making out on the staircase, but instead I spun around and stomped up the stairs. Niall went to his room, closing his door. I heard him let out a loud sigh as I walked to the guest room. I sat down on the bed, realizing how much I already missed that blonde idiot. I couldn’t get him out of my head no matter what I did.

There was a swift knock on the door before Gregg walked in.

“Niall was talking to himself again, so I figured you were home.” He sighed, closing the door gently.

“What do you mean, talking to himself?”

“He just keeps telling himself how stupid he is and how he doesn’t deserve you and a bunch of other shit. Nothing really. So how are you?”

“I’m fine.” I lied, rubbing my temples. “You talk to Niall a lot, don’t you?”

Gregg nodded. “I just listen while he tells me how he feels. He’s pretty shaken up by all this.”

“He should be.” I muttered.

“He’s never been in an argument with a girl before. He never really had much luck with girls, to be honest. Don’t tell him I said that. It’s just that he really regrets what he did but he’s hurt by the fact that you tell other people stuff, but not him. I think he feels like he isn’t good enough for you.”

I took in Gregg’s words, biting my lip hard.

“I don’t understand why he would say the things he said to me though. Maura said you heard what he told me.”

Gregg nodded and smiled sympathetically. “He said some pretty mean things to you. It’s nothing he ever should have brought up in an argument. But Niall, well, he doesn’t think before he speaks. He knows his words hurt you and regrets saying them.”

I nodded, showing I understood, though I honestly didn’t care.

“What were you and Niall doing on his laptop?” I asked. Gregg became uneasy.

“Just… stuff.” He mumbled.

“Oh.”

“It’s nothing bad. Nothing about you. We were just messing around.”

Which is why they switched the tab when I walked by. Of course it was nothing about me.

“Are you here to try to get me to forgive Niall? Because it’s not working.” I said suspiciously.

Gregg laughed. “No. I honestly just want to know how you’re doing. I haven’t talked to you lately. I didn’t want you thinking I was mad at you.”

I smiled softly, looking down at my lap. “In that case, thank you.”

Gregg sighed. “It’s been a week now. I hope you two can get everything figured out. I liked it when you guys actually talked to each other. It was kind of cute, in a disgusting way.” He teased, winking before leaving the room.

Not even a second later, Gregg popped his head in again.

“By the way, Niall told me he thinks you’re hot.”

“Um, alright Gregg.” I chuckled nervously.

“And he also told me that he thinks it’s sexy when you’re mad.”

“Gregg, just leave.” I grinned, trying not to laugh. I knew he was only trying to lighten up the mood. I watched as he disappeared, but not before shooting me another wink.

I shook my head and picked up my phone as it vibrated.

Mom: I know where you are, Aria. I’ll find you if you don’t come help me. I need you. Be a good daughter now, will you?

I thought about breaking my phone at that second. My heart was racing, and not in a good way. It was so much to handle. Niall and I’s situation, these texts, I didn’t know if I could take it all. I got a headache just thinking about it. I threw my phone on the night table and kicked my shoes off, staring at the floor. My phone vibrated again.

This time, the text was from Niall.

Niall: You left your bag in my room. Do you want them?

Me: Can you bring them?

Niall: Fine.



Only minutes later, there was, yet again, a knock on the door.

“Don’t come in! I’m not dressed!” I yelled, knowing it was Niall.

He opened the door anyways.

“What if I was naked, Niall?”

“All your clothes are in your bag, Aria. I’m not that stupid.” Niall said emotionlessly, dropping my bags by the bed.

“Thanks.” I said quietly as Niall turned for the door. He turned around again.

“No problem.”

And with that, he was gone.

I knew what to do, right then. I was done trying.

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