- Lucy -
The gallery went great and at the end of the day, we collected about 7,000 bucks. Three canvases were sold. The rest were shipped to Zayn's art shop for sale. Zayn and me split the money 50-50.
"Hey, have you ever thought of enrolling into college or anything? Get a degree or somethin'." Perrie asked me as we were hanging out at her place. She shared the apartment with Zayn and they have one cat and one dog. I nodded my head. "So what's stopping you? You can go to any college, you know." She asked.
"I had no income." I stated simply. "Well, now you do. Zayn has like a thousand artists working under him. You don't need to work everyday. Just when he needs you." She stated reasonably. I shrugged. "I'm thinking of it, but I dunno..." I trailed off before stuffing my mouth with the chips. "Oh come on! You can go to the college that Niall is at." I choked on my chips at the sound of his name. God, that encounter with him creeps me out. He thought I was a freaking prostitute! Perrie, being the kind person she is, laughed at me. After I recovered from my outburst, I gave her a glare.
"So that creepy, pervert dude is in college?' I said, almost choking again. "Yup, at Camberwell College of Arts. And wait," She narrowed her eyes. "Creepy, pervert dude? What did I missed? And you met Niall? How? Where? Was it at the gallery?" She kept on shooting her questions at such a rapid pace.
"He mistaken me for a prostitute, don't ask me how it even got there. Yes, I met him. He chatted me up at the gallery." I answered her, checking off all the points. She pouted. "Next time there is a gallery involving you, I'm going to go. I'm so sorry that I didn't come to your gallery. I was so caught up on an assignment. Stupid school." She muttered the last part more to herself, but I heard it.
"It's okay. I don't really like Niall though. He's kind of inappropriate." I said to her. It is quite true. Who in the world assumes that a prostitute would be a gallery, promoting her business? That's right. Niall. Perrie laughed at my statement.
"He's actually quite okay. He is studying photography and he is in Derby County Football Club, so he is a soccer player slash student." She licked her lips teasingly. "Mmm...Hot."
"Wait till I tell Zayn about it." I narrowed my eyes teasingly and she just laughed along. "But in all seriousness, do you want to go to Camberwell? They have good courses there. And Niall can help you around the college and all." She said, inserting the metal spoon that had chocolate chip ice-cream on it. I shrugged. "I dunno. I have to think about it."
After the silence were too long for any of us to bear, Perrie started to speak again. "Do you wanna see my works?" She asked excitedly and I nodded, amused by her enthusiasm. She got off the stool and went inside her's and Zayn's room to get her things to show me. I just stayed put in the kitchen counter and munched on my chips, thinking about the conversation we just had. Do I really want to go college right now? I mean, I'm eighteen and there are learning opportunities for me, and with the job I have right now, I have a financial advantage. Maybe I should ask Zayn for his opinion on this. Perrie soon came in, wobbling with excitement as a thick black file was being clutched by her. I almost laughed at how excited she is. She sat down at her original place and placed the black file gently on the counter. She wiggled her eyebrows at me and I gave her a full grin. She opened her file and I gasped. There were beautiful tops and dresses. Mostly dresses.
The details on the dresses were incredible and the colours, which I assumed must be watercolour by the texture of it, really suit the designs. The dresses were worth of Christian Dior and Chanel's time. "Wow." I said breathlessly. I looked at her in disbelief. "You did these all?" She nodded, a little anxious. "It's not as impressive as the other students in my clas-"
"Not as impressive? Pez, this is uh-ma-zing." I emphasized the 'amazing' because it was true. She smiled shyly and blushed. "Seriously, you are freaking great!" I gushed her and she waved off my genuine compliments with modesty. We talked, eat, gossip and rant the whole day. I promised her that I was going to introduce her to Celesta. She freaked out when she found out that Celesta works as an intern at Harper's Bazaar. She decided to bring up the topic of college and Niall so often to me that I almost wanted to leave right there and then. Before I could do that, I heard someone opening the door. Perrie got up from her seat and excitedly went to the door to greet him.
Apparently, he was not alone. Can someone say 'Long Live King Niall' because he walked in behind Zayn. His eyes were wide opened when he saw me. I mirrored his actions because, just like him, I did not expect anyone else except for Zayn and Perrie. Personally, I was still mad at him for assuming that I am a prostitute when I was not even one to start with. Perrie looked at Zayn, then looked at Niall and me, and her gaze remain fixated between me and Niall. Her emotionless face suddenly burst into a huge cheeky grin and I knew that she was up to no good.
"Um Niall... You just came back from football practice or?" Perrie asked nonchalantly. "Yup, football practice." Niall said, removing his coat off while looking at me. I pretended to take a glance at my watch. "Um, I need to go now, Pez." I said, hoping that she won't reel me into her unknown devil-like plans. She raised her eyebrow curiously at me. "Oh, and where do you have to rush to?" Shit.
"Uh, to feed my cat." I said lamely and she shook her head. "Your cat can wait for a few more hours. Come and have dinner with us. Zayn would be glad to have you for dinner. Right Zayn?" She pressed into the matter. Zayn shrugged nonchalantly. "I don't see why not. Max and Ash will be coming over and Max is bringing his girlfriend for the week, so it'll be a small gathering here. Are you fine with that, Lucy?" I caved in and nodded reluctantly and Perrie wore a smirk before going to the kitchen with Zayn to prepare dinner, leaving me alone with Niall. I hate that bitch.
I headed to their living room and sat down on the couch. Niall tagged along and sat on the armchair that was beside the sofa I was sitting on. We just sat in silence until Perrie came out with some chips. I glared at her, but she ignored all of it, which made me more pissed off. "Hey Pez, are there any beer?" Niall asked the blonde. She just shook her head and sighed. "You know how he feels about alcohol and all." Niall nodded understandingly and fished out his phone. He tapped some stuff on the screen before putting the phone close to his ears. It was silence again before he cleared his throat. "Hey Ash, can you bring like a couple of beer to Zayn's place?" He was silent again and then nodded. "Hmm... Fine. Don't be late." And he hung up. I guess if I don't strike up a conversation with him now, the awkwardness will drag on for the whole entire night.
"Um, what's up with Zayn and alcohol?" I asked and no reply. He did a double-take. "Wait. You're asking me?" He asked and I nodded, a little bit annoyed already. He sighed and leaned back on the armchair. "He is a Muslim and he is uncomfortable with having alcoholic beverages and pork around the house, so that's really about it." I nodded understandingly. "No wonder he grabbed a water bottle instead of a glass of champagne at the gallery." I said and Niall shrugged. After I indirectly brought up the subject of the gallery again, silence dawned upon us. This time, Niall was the one who break it. "Look, I'm really, really sorry about that misunderstanding. I was not degrading you on purpose or whatsoever. I genuinely thought that you were a, you know, a call girl."
I laughed at his sophistication of calling a prostitute a call girl, the classier version. And just like that, all the tension between us disappeared. Niall looked at me. I look at him with a small smile.
"You know, I was thinking at that time, you were a prostitute and you were at a gallery. And all I wanted to ask you, besides the price of your "services" was if you would like to have some sex paint, maybe?" And I gave him a playful scowl before laughing. "I mean, I was like, woah, an escort at an art gallery. Maybe she has some fetish." I just shook my head in disbelief.