Closer and closer, we get to Neverland, the heavy California air flying in through the cab's open windows. I breathe in deeply, my head leaning slightly out of the passenger seat window. I could seriously get used to being here, the atmosphere much different than rainy England.
The cab ride is quite enjoyable for me, warm sunlight piercing through the windshield, happy tunes playing on the radio. Running a hand through my hair, aviators placed over my eyes, I feel totally and completely relaxed.
The bickering between Louis, Harry, and an exasperated Liam in the backseat doesn't even bring down my good mood. Niall's excited chattering to no one in particular makes me chuckle, the fact of the matter completely obvious that he can't wait to see Wendy. He keeps mumbling things along the lines of "I wonder what she looks like now," and "Will she be completely different?"
The poor kid, it's only been a couple of weeks since he's seen Wen last and he is worrying that she has changed in that small period in time.
I remember when I was like that...once a long time ago. The feeling you get when you don't see that one special person, even for just a day, you become frightened that they've changed. Changed the way they are, the way they feel about you...
Sadly, that did happen to me. The one girl I ever loved, her feelings changed. She fell in love with someone else, leaving me heartbroken and lost. No one ever knew about us. Just her and I.
I quickly wipe away the stray tears that are beginning to fall down my tanned face, thankful that I'm wearing my aviators to keep the sadness hidden. My good mood no longer evident, I rest my head back in my seat, trying to forget the pictures, the memories, of the girl I once called mine.
Turning the corner, I can see the shape of Neverland, the old shack-like building looks almost brighter, happier than it was the first time we arrived there. It's like something has somehow brought the place back to life, bringing the bright sun and blue sky's to rest above the small brick house.
I can practically hear the joyous screams of the young kids there, Beau and Milo shoving action figures in my face, begging me to draw them as ninja warriors like I had weeks ago.
Just thinking about those two little boys makes me smile, bringing back some of the happy rays of light inside of me. Images of the brown haired little boy named Emerson fill my mind as well, his cute little smile and adorable laugh making my heart melt.
The one girl, Lily, possibly had made the biggest impact on me the last time we were here at Neverland. I don't know what it is...but there's something about her...something about that little girl that lights a fire within me. I feel a sort of connection to the blonde angel, her wide blue eyes hauntingly similar to someone I used to know.
"Zayn? You ready, bud?" Niall asks me, his Irish accented voice filled with excitement. My eyes focus on my surroundings, no longer in my thoughts.
Neverland stands before me, the once chipping front door now newly painted cherry red, along with the shutters. I can see brand new white curtains in the windows of the one story building.
Squinting my eyes, I can barely make out a figure in one of the windows, blonde hair sticking out from behind the curtains slightly before disappearing in a blink of an eye. I realize now that the person was much too tall to be petite little Lily.
All at once, panic fills within me, along with pain and remembrance . Could it really be...no. It couldn't her. The girl who stole my heart. The girl who was my one true ray of everlasting sunshine.
This is it. Neverland stands before me, new and improved. It's like it's coming alive right before my eyes, colors now vibrant and bright. No longer is it dark and avoidable. You can't help but be attracted towards the small child sanctuary.
I step out of the cab, not even bothering to grab my bag from the trunk, too mesmerized at the change that has occurred in the little place that started so much for me. What has changed the house I called home for a week, I'm not sure. It's as if I felt this before, this happiness, this sense of joy coming from an unknown source.
Just as fate had brought me to Neverland the first time, it has brought me back, that intense feeling of positivity and sureness building up inside of me. Once again, I feel as if I am at the right place.
"Liam! Wait up!" Harry calls out, grunting heavily as he pulls our luggage out of the trunk of the dented cab. He throws a wad of bills at the driver, receiving numerous curses as the man begins to drive away, flipping us off out the window in the process.
Helping the Cheshire boy with the bags, my four best friends hastily make their way to catch up to me and my fast pace. I am practically being pulled towards the house, not being able to control my bodily movements.
What is inside that house will change my life forever, just as it had the first time the boys and I showed up here, I know it. I just have to figure out what that missing puzzle piece is.
Bringing my hand up to knock, I attempt to ignorethe weird fascination Zayn has with the front window all of the sudden, his skin flushed of all color. It's as if he has seen a ghost. His wide, caramel eyes are locked on the sheer white curtains, his lips parted in shock.
"Zayn, are yo-" I begin, being cut off as the door cherry red door to Neverland begins to creak open.