I stood, frozen in my place. My heart beat loudly against my chest and suddenly the room was spinning. I felt light headed and needed to take a seat, but I didn't move. "Dammit, Zayn!" I heard Louis shout from the kitchen after Zayn had dropped the mug.
The floor was stained with coffee and shards from the mug were everywhere. I was just as surprised to see Zayn. He was standing before me in the flesh. "Zayn…" His name sounded foreign to me all of a sudden.
I had known him for three years, well I thought I did. He was suddenly a stranger to me. It seemed like he was just a figment of my imagination. If I closed my eyes and I opened them, he would disappear. I did just that, but he was still standing right before me.
It wasn't a dream, not even a bad nightmare. It was worse. It was reality. "You two… know each other?" Louis asked as he brought out a mop, a broom, and a dustpan. He carried a bucket of water and soap in his other hand.
"Yes, when she lived in San Francisco." Zayn answered for me. Why now? Why would Zayn be here in Los Angeles? I doubt that it was to see me. After all, I was the one who left him. "How've you been Stella?"
To hear him call my name was like a stab to my heart. "I've been good. How about you?"
"Good. It's great to see you. I mean, you look beautiful." Was I not beautiful when we dated? Sure I have changed since freshman year, but I don't think I was ugly. I just nodded and ran a hand through my hair.
I cleared my throat and shifted my weight a bit. "So, what brings you to Los Angeles?" I asked, then placed my hands in my pockets. I sensed that there was tension between us. I wanted to relieve the tension, but all I kept thinking about was what happened a year ago.
"Just visiting." He casually replied. "Louis and I are going to a party this Saturday. Want to join us?"
"I'll uhm, I'll think about it." I said, then grabbed my bag and asked Louis to drive me home. Louis nodded and we walked out to the driveway. We got in his car and he drove to my apartment. I thanked him, but he grabbed my arm before I got out.
"You alright? You seemed a bit tense back there." he said. I nodded, then looked into his blue eyes. I could sense that he was concerned about my well-being too. The look in his eyes were the same as Harry's had been back at his apartment.
"I'm fine. You don't have to be concerned about me. I already have enough people worrying about me. I don't need another." He released his grip and I stormed into my apartment building. This was why I couldn't show that I was weak.
Everyone was going to start asking questions. Their curiosity got on my nerves and sometimes I wondered if mine got on theirs. I stepped into the elevator, but before they closed, an arm slipped through to stop the doors.
Harry stepped in and then the doors closed. We were both standing two feet away from each other. We hardly made any eye contact or sound as we rode the elevator to our floor. It only reminded me of the first day we met.
Funny how it feels like it was yesterday when I met his green eyes. The elevator stopped at our floor and we both walked out, still being silent. We entered our separate apartments and closed the door.
The rest of the week had gone by in a flash. It was already friday and my friends were making plans for the weekend. "Guess who's having his annual birthday bash tomorrow night." April said sarcastically.
From the tone in her voice, I could easily tell who she was talking about. Harry. February 1st was Harry's birthday, but the party was celebrated days later. Was that the party Zayn and Louis inviting me to?
I still haven't told any of my friends about seeing Zayn earlier this week. "He only invites the popular people." Niall said. Harry entered the cafeteria with a girl slung underneath his arm. She was a brunette. "Who's that?" I asked April.
"Jamie. New girl. She just moved here from Austin, Texas and she's a new addition to the cheer team." April answered. Harry had seemed to move onto a different girl so fast. I wonder how Lauren feels about Jamie, after all, she did tell me to stay away from Harry. I did just that.
I just nodded and looked down at my food. "Hey everyone." Lauren smiled and walked over to our table. "Hey." We all muttered quietly. Lauren and I were friends, but I wouldn't consider us close friends.
"Stella, why the long-"
"Hey April. I'm guessing you heard about Harry's birthday tomorrow night." Jamie, Harry's new girlfriend, interrupted Lauren with a smile. "Yeah, I did." April smiled.
"Are you planning on going? I mean, I know that you and Harry dated once, so-"
"I'll definitely be there." April interrupted. Jamie nodded, then walked back to the table where Harry had sat. "Stella, you seem a little down. Maybe you should go to the party. It'll be a lot of fun."
I knew April was trying her best to cheer me up and it was slightly working. I just couldn't get my mind off of the only moment Harry and I had after not talking to each other for a month. Also, I didn't want to mention to anyone about Harry caring.
They would probably laugh at me if I told them. "Sure, I'll go." I managed a smile, but they knew the smile didn't fully reach up to my ears. April smiled, "Great. I'll pick you up at your apartment."
After lunch, Liam walked out with me and we sat down on the steps. "Are you okay?" he asked. I knew he was out here, not only to keep me company but to be there for me as a friend. I sighed, "No."
He fell silent and I told him what happened earlier that week. "So you believe that Zayn's reason to come here is for you?" I nodded in reply and looked down at my hands. I didn't want to cry in front of Liam, but there was no stopping the tears from falling.
He wrapped an arm around me and rubbed my arm. "You don't have to go to the party if you don't want to." he said. But I want to. I thought silently and it was as if he knew what my answer would be. "Just whatever happens, be careful."
I nodded, "Thanks Liam."
"Any time." he smiled. I heard the doors behind us close and Harry descended the steps, then walked out to his car. "I'll give you a ride home." Liam suggested.
"What about your class?" I asked as we both stood up and began to walk towards his car. He shrugged and smiled, "Substitute and we're reviewing for a test anyway, so it doesn't matter." I smiled and we arrived at his car.
Liam, unlike Harry or Zayn or Louis, drove a black Ford Ram. We got into the truck and he drove down the street to my apartment. "You drive a truck too?" I asked, clearly remembering that he had drove a car when he picked me up to go to the party and homecoming.
"It's my dad's. He's letting me borrow it for the week." He answered with a smile. On the ride to my apartment, Liam and I shared some incredible laughs. If it doesn't work out with Harry, maybe I should consider dating Liam.
He and I had such great chemistry as friends. We were always constantly cracked jokes with each other and compared things we had in common. Though, there was something missing with Liam that seemed to spark in Harry.
Harry and I hardly had some chemistry. Every time I looked into his eyes, I saw Zayn. Though, I couldn't forget that moment we had in his apartment. The way his eyes lit up when he smiled and the fact that he cared about me was something I would never expect from someone like him.
Liam seemed to be a bit more reserved than Harry, but would occasionally show his fun side. Harry, well he was always a fun guy. Liam parked the truck in front of the building. I didn't want to say goodbye just yet. "Are you going to the party?" I asked him.
"I'm not cool enough to go." he said.
"You're cool to me Liam." I smiled, then leaned over and kissed his cheek. "Thanks for the ride. I'll see you monday." I got out of his truck and went up to my apartment. As soon as I reached my floor, a note was plastered on my door.
Come over tonight at seven.