The next morning I awoke to the sunlight glare in the bedroom. I sat up and ran a hand through my hair. I was still in Zayn's apartment. I got out of bed as my feet touched the hardwood floor. I crossed the room to the bathroom.
I washed my face and saw my dress hanging from the cabinet. I put on the dress and walked down the hallway into the living room. "Hey, you're up." Zayn smiled as he emerged from the kitchen. "Let's grab a bite to eat." I just nodded and followed him out the door. We entered the elevator and the doors closed before us.
"I can't believe it! We are finally leaving this hell hole." April gushed. Graduation had finally come and everyone was anxious to get their diplomas. "In just two hours, we're going to be considered college students." Lauren beamed.
Both of my friends were more excited than I was to be graduating. Just a few hours after the ceremony, I would be headed on a plane to another city, New York.
I was going to New York University while April was going to Florida and Lauren was going to Texas. "C'mon Stel, cheer up." Niall nudged me with a smile. I attempted to smile back, but it was no use. They'd see right through it.
"I'm just going to miss all of you." I said as I tried to hold back the tears, but they came without warning. Liam reached out and hugged me. I was going to miss Liam more than everyone else in the entire group. He was the first person I saw when I entered the classroom on the first day I came to the school and probably would be the last person to see before I leave.
I was going to miss Liam's habit of reading my mind, his ability to cheer me up when I'm feeling down, and his ability to give the best advice. Also, I was going to miss Niall and his ability to laugh at everything. I was definitely going to miss all the hilarious jokes he'd crack during lunch.
I was going to miss his carefree personality and sometimes I wish I shared that same trait with him. I was going to miss April and her amazing sense of style - how she could be casual one day and dress up the next. She had become one of my best friends.
I was going to miss Lauren and her snide comments, her glares. I was going to miss her sarcastic rudeness towards everyone, but will never really mean it because I know that is the only way she can get through school.
Lastly- "Styles, you have the guts to walk up to us right now." Lauren interrupted my thoughts. I silently thanked her because I didn't want to think of Harry. Yet, I did anyway. I was going to miss the day we first met. I was going to miss the day I saw his green eyes at the party.
I was going to miss his dimpled smile. I was going to miss his flirtatious ways. I was going to miss the long talks at his apartment. I was going to miss his curly hair that felt soft when I ran my hands through it. I was going to miss entering his apartment and unexpectedly find him naked.
I was going to miss seeing the tattoos lined up on his left arm and his chest. I was going to miss tracing them when lying in bed beside him. I was going to miss waking up next to him and to see that he was still asleep, then think how cute he looks. I was going to miss the nights when he'd cook for me.
I was going to miss the laughs that we shared together and the way he held me close while we danced. I was going to miss the sound of his voice when we'd talk on the phone and when he sang to me. I was going to miss the rides in his car after lunch. I was going to miss the movie nights.
I was going to miss the times we'd sit in the parking lot outside of our building and just talk until it became dark. But most importantly, I was going to miss Harry. He and I have opened up to each other. He cared about me and loved me as well as I did.
Nothing was ever going to be the same between us, not since prom night. "I just need to talk to Stella alone." he said. He hardly glanced at me as he kept his gaze on my friends. I looked over at them and mouthed 'It's okay.'
They hesitated a moment before they walked off to a different area. I knew that they were going to be close by. "Stella, before you say anything, I want to apologize for everything I did that night and I understand that you might not forgive me. I'm really not asking for your forgiveness.
"I know you're mad at me and probably want nothing to do with me. Also, I understand that we can't be friends either. I've been a jerk to you that night and probably countless of times before, but you have shown me what it's like to love someone.
"I have never treated any other girl the way that I have treated you. Those other girls, honestly, I never cared about. You, you mean the world to me Stella. You'll probably deny it at first, but you'll need me like I need you.
So, I came to give you something." He reached into his pocket and pulled out a box, then handed it to me as I took it from him. "Open it as soon as you land in the airport." He said, then walked away. I watched him enter one of the rooms where the other guys were gathered.
I looked down at the box as my friends approached me. I never knew that was going to be the last time I'd ever see Harry Styles.
Zayn and I walked out to the blue Camaro. He drove down the street and parked in front of IHOP. We got out of the car and entered the restaurant, then were seated at our seats. We were given menus to look over the food choices before ordering our food.
After ordering our food and drinks, we were given some time to talk. Being alone with Zayn reminded me of the time when we were together back in high school, well before everything had changed junior year.
He'd take me out on dates and we would just have a blast. That was the Zayn I fell in love with. "Why are you being so nice to me?" I asked him, then took a sip of my coffee. Zayn raised an eyebrow at me and I just rolled my eyes. "Don't act that way." I added.
"Can't I just have a good time with you?" He asked. "Oh by the way, you should have that checked." He motioned towards my neck as I picked up the napkin dispenser to see that Zayn's hand prints were still there.
My neck was slightly bruised. No wonder why I ached around there. I thought to myself and hopefully that covering it up with my hair would do the trick. "Here, wear this." He took off his jacket, then held it out towards my direction.
I uttered a small thank you before I put it on. I could smell the cologne that he used. It was the same one he used when we were dating. "Keep the jacket." he said. "It looks good on you." Our food was served out to us and I began eating.
"We never had a good time Zayn." His name was still a stab to the heart every time I said it. "You have no idea how much you've traumatized me. I couldn't even- I couldn't move on from what you did, let alone trust anybody."
"You trusted that one guy. What's his name? Harry, is it?"
A cold chill was sent down my spine as his name was mentioned. Why did it seem like the tables were turned? Why did Harry's name affect me like that? I just couldn't understand. Maybe it was because of what he did to me at prom, or almost did.
"He was different." I replied.
"Was? What did he do? Did he hurt you?"
"When did you start becoming defensive Zayn? You don't have a hold on me anymore."
"Why are you arguing with me Stella? I buy you breakfast and this is how you repay me? You can't even trust me for one second. I'm trying to be nice here. Isn't that what you want?" That was how most of our conversations started.
I shut my mouth shortly after and proceeded to eat my breakfast. Yes, that's what I want. I want a guy who's nice and doesn't want to only have sex with me. After breakfast, we walked back to the car and entered. "I'm sorry." I said. Why was I apologizing?
"It's alright." he said as he started the car. Why did I find it odd to apologize to Zayn about everything? It wasn't my fault to begin with. It was his. Why should I be apologizing to him? He drove me to my apartment building as he stopped the car out front.
"Stella, I know this is a bad time but I'm sorry." Zayn said. "I'm sorry about everything. I- I've changed since then and you have no idea how hard I've been trying to make you see that I've made mistakes. You're the first girl I've ever chased after."
Annoyed, I got out of the car and entered the building. I rode the elevator up to my floor and closed my apartment door behind me. Seconds later, a knock came at my door. "What?" I saw that it was only Francesca. "Sorry. Hey Francesca." I attempted to compose myself.
"Is something wrong? You look-"
"I know. I just- A lot has been going on lately." I interrupted her and ran a hand through my hair again. "So, that guy last night…?"
"Long story." I told her.
"I'm up for stories." she smiled. I let her enter my apartment and closed the door. We sat down on the couch and I told her my story. "At least things didn't happen between you two after you left last night." She said once I finished my story.
"Well, it's only the beginning." I told her.