I rushed into my hotel room, frustrated since I had to insert my key card into the door handle thing multiple times before the green light came on. I placed the journal on top of the box which I'd placed on the bed and sat down on the floor, facing it, my chin resting on my knees, my arms wrapped around my legs. I was procrastinating, almost afraid of what I'd find inside. How could I have forgotten most of my life? I'd never thought of it before but how must Niall feel? I'd never noticed it before but whenever he looked at me, even though he smiled, his eyes held a sadness.
I shook my head. I didn't want to think about him now.
I inhaled deeply, gathering up the courage to dig deep into my past. I might remember all of it, I might not. But I wanted to know that I'd at least tried. For myself. For Darcy and Quinn. For Niall.
I could've called Dad and asked him more about what happened to me before IT but he'd always evade my inquiries and change the subject. I pretended not to notice. Besides, I'd just called him yesterday to ask how they were doing back at home. Also, I found it peculiar that he never told me about Niall and the boys so I had a feeling he didn't really want me to find out about them. I was curious to find out the reason behind his reluctance to reveal my past to me. However, at the moment, that wasn't my first priority.
I got onto my knees and reached for my journal until my fingers were inches away from actually touching it. My fingers were hovering there as I contemplated. Was I ready? Would I like what I read?
My arm started aching.
Damn it, I cursed through a clenched jaw as my arm went slack.
I started pacing, sneaking peeks at the book and box, chewing on my fingernails and the inside of my cheeks.
I need a bath first.
I went to the toilet, preparing my bath, making sure the water was lukewarm before I added a bath bomb from Lush that Danielle had got me. She'd bought three bath bombs for me and I'd used one two nights before. It smelled wonderful and this one did too.
I was desperately in need of a long, relaxing bath where I could just do nothing, where I didn't have to think.
Before I hopped in, I rinsed my body in the shower which was in a separate cubicle so I wouldn't be soaking my body in my own filth. I grabbed my face cream on the way and applied it before I laid my head back and closed my eyes focusing on my breathing, the sweet scent of the bath bomb surrounding the toilet.
This was good. I was relaxed.
I didn't realise how exhausted I really was until I caught myself falling asleep while in the bath.
That meant it was time for me to get out.
I released the stopper, getting out to wrap myself in a towel as the water spiraled and drained out. I went over to the sink, being very cautious on the wet, slippery floor. Didn't want to fall and hit my head, did I?
I splashed my face with cold water until all the face cream was off and dried my face with a face towel, checking my face in the mirror just to make sure.
Damn girl, you got some eye bags in your eye bags, I smiled to myself, quoting my friend I left back at home.
I missed home-I'd never been gone this long.
I stared at myself in the mirror, my eyes looked lost and frightened.
But where exactly was 'home'?
I clutched the bath towel close to my body as I exited the toilet and quickly got dressed, throwing on a pair of loose,baggy sweats and an oversized shirt. I grabbed a bar of chocolate I bought from the cafe where Harry and I ate earlier that day and starting feeding off of it,hoping that it would elevate my serotonin levels and save me from feeling so miserable and shitty.
I sat down on the same spot I was an hour ago, feeling refreshed and confident with a chocolate bar in hand.
"Okay. I can do this."
I owe it to myself.
And honestly, I also felt like I owed it to Niall.
Here we go.
I carefully took the book with both hands and placed it gently in my lap,staring down at it. Then, I very meticulously flipped it open to the first page. Before I read the first line, I took a huge chunk out of my chocolate bar to commemorate the start of a very long night ransacking the box that contained my past and reading the journal that the used-to-be-me wrote.
Three hours later...
How could I not remember Niall after all of this?
It all made sense now. Sullivan. My experience at the strange house earlier on when I spazzed out.
If I really wrote all of this, I was madly in love with Niall,head over heels for him. This book was filled with so many memories of my past life but one thing I knew for sure - I was happy,despite my mum dying. I was happy with Niall.
A strangled sob escaped my lips.
How could I be such a jerk to Niall?
I dropped everything and grabbed my keycard,phone and purse.
Could I get a cab this late?
Indeed I could,although it took fifteen minutes of waiting to hail one down. I overlooked the weather and by the time I got into the cab, I was thoroughly soaked. And freezing.
My teeth were chattering by the time I arrived and I prayed hard that Niall was awake at 3 in the morning as I knocked on his front door and pressed the doorbell.
Please be awake.
After a long five minutes, I was on the verge of giving up. The wet strands of hair that clung to my face didn't bother me anymore as the skies rained down on me and the cold seeped to my bones. I sat down on the front porch, hugging my body,doing whatever I could to keep warm.
I didn't want to leave knowing that I hadn't settled things with Niall.
I felt a strong pair of hands on my shoulders,pulling me up and turning me around.
His arms pulled me into a tight hug and he pressed his lips to my forehead.
"H-h-hey," I coughed out as he helped me into a room and made me sit on the bed. I felt bad because I made it wet.
"Are you insane?" he scolded as he dashed to the closet and grabbed a few blankets that he set beside me.
"I n-needed to-to s-ee yo-u," I stuttered.
"Take off your clothes," he instructed, running out of the room. I struggled to do what he told me to do as my arms and fingers felt numb. By the time he got back with a hot cup of water and a fresh pair of clothes and a jumper, I'd only managed to take my pants off. His eyes looked into mine,full of sympathy.
He gently set the clothes beside me and put the cup on the bedside table nearby.
He helped me to get my shirt off, being very polite to avert his eyes away,even though I wouldn't have cared less. I was too cold to care.
He grabbed the towel that hung on his shoulder and started drying me off as I held my arms close to my chest,coughing. He rubbed my back soothingly as he passed me the cup of boiling hot water which I sipped gratefully.
"Sorry," I said as soon as I could talk.
He passed me the clothes and I understood that he wanted me to get dressed,since I was only in my undergarments. He also gave me a pair of socks which I quickly slipped on. I slipped on the jumper he'd left on the bed as he got into the covers and held the comforter open for me to join him. He reached over for the blankets and threw them on us as well. I was still shivering slightly but I didn't want to show him that.
"Come here," he invited,his arms open. I reluctantly moved over as he wrapped his muscular arms around me. I could feel him flinch as my cold skin made contact with his bare chest. But he was so warm that I didn't want to pull away. He smelled good, just like his jumper. Slowly, I pressed my lips to his chest.
"Jesus,you're freezing," he commented in his thick Irish accent. Yet, he didn't pull away.
I felt his chin rest on the top of my head.
"Why did you come here?"
"I wanted to apologise for how I've been behaving."
"You don't have to apologise. It's not your fault."
I turned my head to look up at him.
"But how we were before and how we are now...."
"Things happen," he said.
I chewed on my lower lip.
"Do you hate me?"
"Are you angry at me?"
He sighed. "No." He kissed my forehead. "I just miss you. I miss us."
I swallowed. "I'm sorry for what you've been through because of me. I...I want you to be happy."
His eyes softened and at that moment, everything just stopped. I felt...present. I didn't feel lost or confused or miserable. I felt...home.
I reached up to press my lips to his,closing my eyes as our lips met where everything felt...right.