I’m bored as I zap through the channels, nothing grabbing my attention on the small television. Sighing loudly, I lean backwards and rest my head on the couch, replacing the icepack on my wounded knee. My eyes drift to Niall a few feet away from me, and then back to the screen. I sigh again, before gazing at Niall once more. I cock my head sideways, watching him tap away on his phone. He does seem inoffensive like that...
I shudder and recall my first night here. But he’s not. He’s dangerous when he’s off his meds. I breathe out loudly once more.
“Will you stop doing that?” He huffs, not looking up from his device. “You’ve been sighing and looking at me for the past half hour.”
“What do you want me to do?” The blonde exhales.
“Are things always this boring with you guys?”
He rolls his eyes in exasperation.
“Do you have any instruments on this bus?” I ask, going on a completely different subject.
“Because I’d like to play.”
Niall frowns, looking at me with sudden interest.
“What instrument do you play?”
“None of them. I just like to hear the different sounds they make,” I shrug.
“Well I have a guitar...” He says, shoving his phone down his pocket as he stands up. I watch him as he leaves the small living room and returns a couple seconds later, guitar in hand. He hands it to me.
“Be careful with it.”
“I'm not going to smash it to the floor,” I sigh, annoyed as I place my fingers on the fingerboard, descending my right hand to the middle of the instrument. Pressing on the strings with my left hand, I slide my right thumb down and smile when the soft sound echoes out of the guitar. I repeat the action, moving my digits down the guitar’s neck and changing the length of my strokes with my right hand, trying to imitate a melody I had already heard. I shut my eyes, smiling.
“I could teach you, you know?”
I blink, Niall tearing me out of my small moment of bliss.
“How to play the guitar... I could teach you,” Niall proposes.
“No thank you,” I shake my head, handing him back his guitar.
“Because I don’t want to learn anything from you guys,” I huff, pushing the guitar away.
“It’s your loss,” The blonde responds casually, grabbing his guitar. I dig my head into my arms in exasperation, shutting my eyes. I want to go home.
My ears perk up though when I hear Niall’s steady strumming, the melody gaining rhythm quickly. My heart melts slowly when he starts singing.
You don't understand, you don't understand
What you do to me when you hold his hand
We were meant to be, but a twist of fate
Made it so we had to walk away
I frown as he begins humming the rest.
Voices fill the bus as Sophie and the other boys enter. Niall stops playing, looking up. I notice Zayn’s absence, just like Sophie’s worried look.
“What happened this time?” I ask.
“Perrie flipped her shit, that’s what happened,” Sophie mumbles, wincing. Not adding anything, she walks to the end of the bus and locks herself in the bedroom. There’s a moment of astounded silence, before Harry hurries behind her.
“Well?” Niall frowns, asking the other boys.
“It was... Interesting,” Liam answers, grabbing a water bottle from the mini-fridge.
“This night sucked,” Louis huffs loudly, plopping on the couch beside me. “Not only did the movie make me all hot and bothered, but Zayn and Perrie’s relationship seemed ready to crack,” he sighs, passing his hand through his hair. “Anne, love, could you maybe―”
“No way,” I retort, knowing where his question was going. “Don’t even think about it.” I try scooting away from him but he ignores me.
“Please Anne,” he whines, reaching over to me. I squeal as he grabs me and places me on his lap. “I only want some affection right now,” he mumbles.
“Get it from somebody else,” I reply, squirming to get off him.
“Anne please,” he practically moans, sending shivers up my spine.
“Louis let her go,” Niall exhales, clearly exhausted.
“My knee!” I gasp in pain as he presses on it accidently. “You’re squeezing my knee!” I yelp.
To my great surprise, Louis releases me.
“Thank you,” I sigh.
“I’m sorry I hurt your knee,” he mutters, shoulders sagging.
Regulating my breathing, I shift away from him and arrange my shirt. The Doncaster boy shifts to approach me some more but I stop him.
“It’s called personal space and I happen to need it every now and then,” I shake my head.
“It’s called my ego and you happen to step on it too often,” he sasses back.
“Am I the only one noticing how frequently Sophie starts crying?” Liam says casually, sitting next to Niall.
“No I’ve noticed too,” Niall nods sadly.
I jump as the bus’s door opens brusquely and then slams shut. Zayn’s angry scream follows. I listen terrified as he pounds on the wall with his fists, curses spilling out of his mouth.
“Shut it Liam! She broke up with me alright! Perrie broke up with me!” He shouts, voice breaking at the end. Tears of frustration are flooding his eyes when he comes in the living room. “She broke up with me,” he repeats, destroyed.
Liam stands up and opens his arms, welcoming Zayn.
I watch in awe as Zayn starts crying in Liam’s shoulder.
“Why did she break up?” Louis frowns. “Is it because of Sophie? Because I remember you saying she already knew all about her...”
“And I did! I told her all about Sophie, but she thought it was a FUCKING METAPHOR!” The darker boy explodes. “She didn’t really think we had bought Sophie! No bitch thought that I had created a metaphor or some shit to explain my feelings!”
“I don’t think it’d be a good moment to warn you for your swearing?” I enquire sarcastically.
“Damn fucking right so shut up!” Zayn roars.
“Boohoo she broke up with you,” I roll my eyes, “so what? Be a man for fuck’s sake and get over it. There are plenty more women on this Earth. If your happiness and whole life depended on her, well I’m sorry but you’re pathetic. One needs to learn to be happy by himself. Take it from someone who knows.”
“I didn’t ask for your opinion,” he snarls, charging towards me.
Both Louis and Niall rapidly step in front of him, protecting me.
“Zayn calm down,” Niall starts. “You’d hate yourself if you did something too rash.”
“I will not stand there doing nothing while she calls me pathetic! I’ll show her what pathetic is!”
Louis hold Zayn back.
“I’ll take care of her alright?”
“NO! You are unable to punish her properly!”
“I am so!” The older boy retorts heatedly.
“Then prove it!”
My eyes grow big as Louis turns to face me. I gulp as the situation rapidly shifts.
“You should’ve shut your mouth Anne.”
“Louis please,” I stammer, backing away from the trio as much as I can. “I wouldn’t forgive you,” I continue, shaking my head.
“Anne I think we’ve given you enough chances, yet you keep disrespecting us. It’s out of my hands now,” The blue-eyed boy denies, disappointed. “Get undressed.”
“No,” I shake my head. “No Louis please,” I beg, my fingers digging into the couch.
“Anne I’m not going to ask you again. Undress or I’ll do it myself.”
I start trembling.
“No!” I squeal, curling into a ball. I begin crying, partly in fear, partly in pain, my wounded knee throbbing excruciatingly.
“She’s crying. I don’t want her crying,” Louis says taken aback. “Lads I don’t want her crying,” he repeats when I look up to glower at him.
“I’ll take care of it then,” Liam declares. “Hold her.”
I scream and struggle as Louis locks my arms behind my back.
“No, no, no please!” I plea as Liam’s fingers hook around my pants, pulling them down. “I’m sorry Zayn alright! I know what you’re going through and it’s a complete waste of time to care about someone who isn’t willing to love you with all your imperfections!” I shout through my tears. “I know what a heart-break feels like okay?!” The vivid memory sends an arrow through my chest.
“You think you know what I’m going through, but you don’t!”
“How do YOU know what I went through!? I’m not Sophie: we haven’t had the same life!” I holler, thrashing as much as I can in Louis’s grip to get Liam to stop undressing me.
“Liam pause for a second,” Zayn orders, face hard. He squats down so we’re face to face. “What’s your story Anne hmm? What can you possibly have lived that can compare to my current fucked up situation?!”
“I’m not sharing private parts of my life with you,” I hiccup.
“Then Liam, carry on.”
“No, no wait!” I protest as his fingers touch my skin once more. “I told you you we’re pathetic because I would’ve wanted someone to tell me the same thing! I would’ve wanted someone to shake me out of my miserable state! The earlier you let go, the easier it’ll be!” I tell him.
The Pakistani boy shuts his eyes briefly.
“You still lacked of respect. You can’t say what you want, whenever you want. Somebody is going to have to fuck her mouth,” Zayn declares, turning to look at the tree other boys.
“What?” I croak, hand covering my mouth. I resist the urge to vomit.
“You heard me. Tomorrow morning, you’re going to have to pick who’ll fuck that dirty little mouth of yours.”
“This is non-negotiable. You’ve said enough for the night,” he ends dryly, standing. “I’m going to bed.”
I watch as Louis and Liam follow behind Zayn, all of them stripping to their boxers before slipping inside their bunks. Niall sighs beside me, passing his hand behind his neck awkwardly.
“Are you going to sleep on the couch, or in Harry’s bunk?” He asks.
“I want to go sleep in the bedroom.”
“Harry and Sophie are in there... I strongly doubt you want to join,” he remarks.
“I’ll sleep on the couch then,” I give up brokenly.
“I’ll fetch you a blanket and a pillow,” Niall nods.
“Can you stop?!” I burst angrily.
“Can you stop being so likeable? Can you please act like the rapist you we’re on the first night?!” I say desperately. “That way I’d stop feeling sorry for you!”
“What do you mean, feel sorry for me?”
“You act like a kicked puppy! It’s almost if that first night was all a fragment of my imagination! You’re not the same person and it confuses me!” I explode. “Stop trying to be nice, I don’t want your kindness.”
“Fine. Again, it’s your loss,” he snaps. “I’m so fucking tired of being treated like shit by both of you, when I’m trying my very best to be nice,” The blonde bites, shooting me a hateful glare before leaving me alone.
I shut my eyes, wrapping my arms around myself. I hate this. I hate them. I hate Sophie. I hate Dad for leaving me with them for more than two days. A feeling of loss and loneliness invades me. I’m shaken by soft sobs once more.