I wake up and find myself still on the floor. I sit up and look around for Zayn, but can’t spot him in the large room. Seizing the opportunity, I take a long shower and get dressed. I decided to leave the jacket in the room because it was just too hot to wear it.
I’m not sure where the rest of the boys are, so I head down to the lobby in hopes of finding something to eat. When I don’t find anything very appetizing at their complimentary breakfast, I head out the doors in search of a Starbucks. I aimlessly walk around, trying to remember which turns I take so that I can find my way back.
Eventually I come across another little coffee shop and settle on it. I order a hot chocolate, a muffin, and an apple. I sit down at a table and begin to scroll through my Twitter feed in boredom. Besides my followers skyrocketing, I notice a lot more hate now that the fans know I am hanging out with the boys for the tour.
Ugly. Slut. Whore. Skank. Bitch. Fat.
Am I really fat? I had never thought about it until now. I don’t have a thigh gap. I look down at my food. Maybe I’m not really hungry after all. I throw everything in the trash on the way out.
I begin to make my way back to the hotel after receiving many furious texts from Zayn asking where I am. I simply respond that I am getting breakfast and I’ll be back in ten minutes.
I look down the road I am walking on and begin to get confused. Didn’t I just walk down here? I turn the corner to another familiar street. I head the opposite direction instead. It again takes me to a road I have definitely been down. By now, I am so confused. Just then I got a text from Zayn.
I thought you said you’d be back in ten? We’re all waiting on you.
I think about whether I should tell him I am lost, but decide against it since he will most likely just get even angrier.
Give me another five minutes. I’ll be there.
I begin to pace down random streets, trying to find the IHOP Niall and I went to last night. I know how to get back from there. I spot a blue building just a bit away and begin speed walking towards it. My spirits suddenly drop when I notice it’s a Best Buy.
“You lost?” a guy asks from behind me.
I turn around, his voice startling me. He looks about my age or just a bit older. He has a cute smile, dark brown hair, and gray eyes.
“Um... yeah. Do you know where IHOP is from here?” I ask hopefully.
“Of course! I was just headed there. Let me show you the way,” he offers.
“That would be so great. Thank you so much,” I reply in relief, following him down the sidewalk.
I begin to talk, but he mostly just listens, taking in everything that I am saying. We have been walking for about ten minutes when he suddenly stops.
“Come here. It’s a shortcut,” he says cheerfully, pointing into the alleyway. I definitely don’t feel comfortable with this.
“I’d rather just stay on the sidewalks," I refuse, trying to sound polite.
“Oh, come on. I don’t bite,” he says, taking a step closer to me.
“No thank you. I’m not in a big rush so we can just stay out here,” I lie, trying to mask my slight fear. His face suddenly turns angry.
“Come here, you little bitch,” he hisses as he lunges at me.
I scream and begin to run away, but he grabs my ankle and I fall hard on my chest. The wind is knocked out of me and I struggle to breathe. He takes this time to drag me into the alley. As soon as I get the air back, I scream the loudest I possibly can, hoping somebody can hear me. He keeps switching between covering my mouth and taking my clothes off. I try to push him off of me, but he is too heavy.
He is just about to have taken my jeans off when I hear a voice.
“Hey,” I hear a man shout from the entrance to the alley. “You get off her!”
The guy on top of me suddenly jumps up and begins to run on the opposite direction, the man chasing right after him. I sit up and sob into my hands. I suddenly feel someone hug me.
“You’re okay now. It’s okay,” a woman’s voice soothes me.
I hug her and cry into her shoulder. We stay like this for another good ten minutes before I pull back, my crying slowed, but not stopped.
“Thank you,” I whisper, uselessly wiping my eyes.
The man comes walking back panting before she can say anything in response.
“He got away. I’m sorry, sweetheart. Do you have somebody we could call?” he asks me kindly.
“My brother, but I can do it,” I say, taking out my phone.
“No, honey. You just relax. I’ll talk to him,” the man offers.
I am too tired to argue, so I dial Zayn’s number and give the phone to the man. I am still crying slightly, but I stand up and compose myself anyway.
“Hello?... I’m here with your sister and she’s had a bit of an incident... We are right next to Bella’s on Chaplin Street... Alright,” he says through the phone before hanging it up and giving it back to me.
“What did he say?” I sniffle.
“He is coming to get you right now. We’ll stay with you until then,” the man says.
“Thank you so much,” I whimper, making myself cry harder.
I end up sitting on the ground with the lady rubbing my back until a black SUV drives up at the entrance of the alley. Zayn hops out of the backseat followed by a guard.
“What the fuck is going on?” Zayn screams when he sees the scene in front of him. He doesn’t say this out of anger, but out of confusion.
The man pulls him aside and talks to him quietly while I stay seated.
“What’s your name?” the woman asks me.
“Arielle. What’s your’s?” I choke out.
“Anne. That’s Mark over there,” she says pointing to the man. “He’s my husband.”
“How long?” I ask, trying to distract myself.
“Only five years," she informs me.
That makes sense since they both look like they are in their early thirties. Zayn makes his way back over to Anne and me. He squats in front of me and says in a very low voice.
“Ari-Kat? You ready to go?” I simply nod my head.
If I wasn’t so traumatized right now, I would be smiling my head off at the fact Zayn called me Ari-Kat. He hasn’t called me that since I pushed him away.
He bends over and picks me up bridal style. He carries me to the car, setting me down in the seat and buckling me in. Before he gets in the other side, I see him walk over to the couple and thank them one last time. As soon as he is in the backseat with me, the guard up front speeds off towards the hotel.