"Another round of drinks, please." Louis looked up at me, smiling. He had no clue who he was smiling at, just another waitress in his mind.
I nodded and collected the glasses from the table, walking them to the bar and filling them up. I looked over my shoulder, spotting Harry and the blonde, who's name I learned was Stacey, snuggled up in his chair.
She huddled on his lap, nibbling at his neck and earlobe. They had already left to the bathroom twice, not coming back for nearly a half hour each time.
I wanted so bad to ask him what it was like to be able to have sex in a public bathroom without worrying about jeopardizing your parenting skills. People looked down on me enough in this town as it is, being nineteen with a nearly two year old daughter.
Ari was my world and I knew she would have been Harry's too. But I couldn't stop him from living his dream. It would have just given him a bigger excuse to blow us off.
I loved Harry and I still do, but watching how fame has ruptured every sane nerve in his body tears me apart. I wanted to talk to Gemma, but I didn't. I knew she would have advice for me.
She's probably pissed right off though. Mad at the fact I drove away with her niece, yet again. That's the problem with me. I run away too much.
I scooped the drinks off the counter and swayed back over, placing the foamy liquids in front of each person.
I turned to walk away, but Stacey raised her hand lazily as if she were at school. "Um, miss... My friend Harry here, he says he knows you." she giggled to herself.
I nodded, "Mm..." I looked at Harry, trying not to let my heart take in his essence for too long, afraid I'd be pulled in more.
"I just wanna tell you, that you keep your skanky ass away from my boyfriend!" she drunkely stood up and dragged her feet, effortlessly pushing her body into mine.
"Don't touch me!" I hissed.
She cupped her hand and dug her fake nails into my hair, grabbing a junk of dark brown locks and tugging, causing me to lunge forward. I let out a yelp before Zayn could jump up and tear her off of me.
"Are you okay?" he asked, tossing her into Harry's arms, which she then latched onto.
"Yeah, I'm fine." I spun on me heel but stopped. I took a deep breath and walked up to Harry. "I'm sorry."
Walking away from him, I thought about what I said. Not sure if I was apologizing for what had just happened... Or for leaving with his daughter two years ago.
It was nearly two in the morning before I passed out on Bennie's couch. I had a room up stairs but couldn't find enough strength in my emotionally drained body to walk up the stairs.
Seeing Harry wasn't what I expected. I had dreamed of a warm embrace and a long kiss on the lips, followed by tears of joy when I introduced him to his darling daughter.
Everything that could have went wrong, did. He looked at me as if I were a wild animal. He doesn't love me anymore. I need to face that.
His whore was in the way of everything, but I don't see why I'm so mad about it. He's in the biggest boy band in the world, models, singers, playboy bunnies, they all want him. And if he wanted he could have them.
If he ever were to pick me, why would he? I'm just some high school sweetheart gone wrong. He knocked me up and left for the dream team.
No. He didn't leave. I did.
I rolled over on my back, picturing that night.
"Are you sure?" he breathed heavily, leaving a trail of bites down my neck and stopping just above my breasts.
"Of course," I cupped his chin and brought him to eye level. "You're the one. In every single way."
He smiled and leaned into my mouth, stabbing at my lips with his tongue.
He unhooked my bra, throwing it to the side. He moved down to slide off my pants and everything underneath, leaving us both naked, entwined in each others bodies. Just like we had always imagined.
Soon, the once lit candles had melted away and the duvets we were plastered on had some how snaked their way around us. My legs tangled between his and my chest kept his warm.
I found my chin a spot just atop of his shoulder, I eyed him. Amazed. Here we were, alone in the tiny bunky the Styles' had built behind their house. It was nearly finished, just not furnished.
The wood flooring was cool, but our body heat kept us flustered. "I love you." he breathed into my hair. My eyes fluttered shut, leaving me breathless.
Of course then, was a much simpler time. We could run wild and make out wherever we pleased. We had nothing to care about, nothing to worry about. Let alone a child to care for.
A tear slipped from the corner of my eye, I pulled the sleeves of my sweater up to my wrist, swiping it across my cheek.
"Go to sleep, Maeve..." I hushed myself, pulling in the thin quilt that lay above me. I shut my eyes and drifted off to a sad and confused slumber.
"Ma!" I felt a light slap. I squinted to see Ari shooting me a toothless smile, her hair was knotted and her pajamas were worn from her sleep, but her face was bright and refreshed. Mine probably looked like shit.
"Hello, baby!" I smiled, rolling over to my side so I could lift her up. I set her on my belly and she touched my face.
Her curls were mobbed together, worrying me about brushing it out later. Her green eyes matched the ones I saw last night, perfectly. Every inch of the pupil was the same.
I only saw a tiny bit of me in her. The way she smiled and that tiny button nose. At least her real beauty was modeled after an angel, rather than her fuck up mother.
But I'd never admit that, afraid she'd hate me for taking her away from what every child needs. A father figure.
"Where's auntie?" I asked Ari, she gurgled out a few 'ta's' or 'ba's', but Bennie eventually came tip toeing out of the kitchen.
"Good morning, sunshine!" she beamed, picking Ari up from my chest.
I moaned, "Ugh, what time is it?" I asked, looking for my phone.
"Nearly twelve..." she trotted into the kitchen, Ari still swaddled in her embrace.
"Twelve?! Oh Ben, I'm so sorry! I shouldn't have left her with you that long!" I stood up, following her- rather the smell of pancakes- into the kitchen.
Jordan stood at the stove, his short black hair, gelled up into a ski jump at the tip of his head. His side burns were growing out and his large body seemed to be almost bullet proof.
"It's no problem, I know you had a long night," my heart back flipped.
"You do?" I gulped, sliding into the bar stool.
"Mhm, your boss called. He said you had a problem with a customer." I nodded, thankful no names were given out.
Jordan slipped a few pancakes onto my plate, smiling as he took Ari from Bennie's arms.
"Come on, sweets." he carried her up the stairs and into her room, I could hear them begin to play within seconds.
Bennie went silent when he left, her face went white and the atmosphere in the room warped.
"Ben... Are you okay?" I asked, chewing a pancake bit.
"Mhm." is all she said, but her eyes shot behind my shoulder, I followed her gaze to look behind me.
A short, brunette with long curly hair that waved down her back,stared back at me. Her green eyes pierced through my simple hazel ones.
Her face was soft and forgiving but I knew she was still angry from the day before. Or maybe sad. Or maybe curious. Or maybe... Fuck.
"Gemma!" I jumped from the stool, looking from Bennie to our guest.
"She came to the door this morning, I couldn't send her away." Bennie answered my unasked question. Her head was down, the usual flawless blonde waves were tied back in a pony tail. I knew she felt bad, but I wasn't upset.
"What do you want?" I hoped I didn't sound rude.
"Answers." she sniffed, nose high, but eyes low. On me.
I thought about it for a minute, tempted to take my daughter and leave.
"Maeve, I'm not leaving without answers." Gemma barked.
"Answers to what?!" tears threatened to pour, I prayed they'd dry.
"I know Ari is Harry's, Maeve." I breathed deeply. "I see it in her eyes, her hair... Her dimples. Everything about her is him." Gemma looked down at her hands as if she were asking them for help.
"Let's talk then." I pointed to the living room and followed her in. "You're coming to, Bennie." I spun to demand she come with us, since it was because of her I was in this situation.
"Where do you want to start?" I asked, sitting across from both of them on a black leather couch.
"Why'd you leave?" Gemma blurted.
It took me a minute to answer, but I had finally gathered the right words.
"He wanted to sing. Having a baby to raise at that age... It'd stop him. I couldn't tear him away from his dream, Gemma." there they were. The tears. I dropped my head into my hands and sobbed.
"You were his dream. Maeve, everything about you he had a plan for." her voice cracked and I looked up, she mirrored my actions, face in palms, sobs wracking her body.
"He doesn't know about her, right?" she quipped and I nodded.
"I left before anyone but my family knew." I shook my head, "Gemma, my own parents wont even talk to us. They're so disgusted." I thought of my parents and how many people Ari has lost because of my selfish actions.
"We could have helped you. We could have raised Ari with you, Harry would have still been able to sing, Maeve. You always had us." at this point, Gemma was mad.
Her face was red and her hands shook when she spoke. I tried to muffle a sorry but I knew it was no use.
"I wasn't thinking. I really wasn't. I just wanted out." I thought about leaving. I thought about the car ride out of Holmes Chapel and I thought about how hard I had cried the whole drive. By the time I reached London, my face was raw.
"We need to tell him." Gemma piped up.
"No!" I stood up.
"He needs to know!" Bennie agreed with Gemma, standing up with her.
"I... He has a girlfriend.." I sat back down, but they kept their stance.
"How do you know?" Gemma crossed her arms, looking at me as if she were my mother.
"I was his waitress last night. The whole band was there... Including her." tears jerked to my eyes again.
We talked for a long time. Gemma had said she was in town to surprise Harry and she would try her best to get us to meet up. Alone.
I had told her everything, from why I left, to our first time, to seeing him last night with Stacey.
All three of us were in tears.
"I've missed you so much." she smiled, wrapping her arms around me.
"Do you want to meet your niece?" when Gemma agreed, Bennie went to fetch her from Jordan.
She brought her down and sat her on Gemma's lap.
"You're so beautiful." Gemma cried, playing with her hair, that Jordan had wrapped up in a little pink bow.
"She's a spitting image of Harry." I nodded. "I know."
"I have to do it. For her." Bennie put her arm on my shoulder.
"He'll be happy you told him." Gemma smiled and pulled out her phone.
"I can make an arrangement for you two to meet tomorrow...Where?" I thought about it.
I didn't want anywhere public but I didn't want anywhere alone.
"How about here?" Jordan interjected. We all agreed and Gemma set it up.
"You can explain everything tomorrow." I thought about answering every little detail to them. I didn't like the thought but knew I owed it to them.
"I'll see to it that Mum comes tomorrow as well... It'll be easier on him if he has us." I liked the idea of all of us gathering together.
It brought back warm memories that have been cold for too long.