The question was still hanging in the air. I could see the fear and pain in Mehmet’s hazel colored green eyes. It was often times surprising how we both shared the same eye color. Several people have said that the eyes were the window to the soul. I didn’t know how true that was, but if there was one thing that I knew to be a fact, it was that the eyes often times did reveal hidden truths. At the moment, I could clearly see the fear in his eyes. He was afraid of getting hurt again, or that I would hurt him again. I promised him I would never do that again, but after all he’s been through, I couldn’t shake the feeling that this fear, was perhaps running his life.
“Just be truthful with me…I promise I won’t think badly.”
“I know you won’t think badly” he said in a low tone. “It’s just that…just that…” he was hesitating a lot. “I can’t put it into words. It’s hard for me to express how I feel about some things. It’s like a Pandora’s Box. If you open it and let out everything, it will stay out for good.”
“Are you still angry at me?”
“No” he instantly said. “I’m not angry at you anymore.”
“Then answer me and tell me why you fear of getting hurt again? Just tell me what’s in your heart” I put my hand over his heart, and I could feel it thumping really hard, and fast.
“Fine…I’m afraid that we’re going to get separated again. That you won’t be around anymore or that someone or Lulú, will cook up something more to separate us. And maybe this time for good.”
“Mehmet, that’s never going to happen again. I believe in you, and nothing will ever make me doubt you ever again. And if she tries to do something else, I won’t be a fool to fall for it again. I promise you!” I said firmly.
“How can I be sure of that when you haven’t even found exonerating evidence that it was her?” he looked serious. “And to answer your question about why I never told her about us and how we were really good friends before, I didn’t want to reveal that to her, because it was just a constant reminder of what I had lost…” A tear escaped from his eye. “I didn’t want to even remember how we were friends, and that it was all ruined because of a stupid lie that someone with no scruples or morals for that matter, had told.”
I felt so bad for him now. He was opening his heart up to me, telling me what he was really feeling, and the pain that he felt when I told him to bugger off. He had enough courage to tell me what he was really feeling, and wasn’t holding back from saying it.
“I know there is no exonerating ‘evidence’, but I don’t need it to know the truth. I know you didn’t steal the money. I should have believed you and given you the benefit of the doubt.”
“Zayn, don’t mess with me here. I’m tired of being pushed around.”
“I will not push you around.”
“Zayn, please, please just don’t…” he cried now. “Don’t make any promises you cannot keep.”
“I’m not making any promises I cannot keep. What I am telling you is the real deal.”
“I didn’t tell Pao about you, because I cared about you so much that it hurt to even say it out loud even to her. It would have been even more real, that I had lost you as a friend. That’s how much I actually loved you…and still do. You were like a big brother to me.”
Mehmet did look up to me. He looked up to his big brother Eduardo. He was away at the University, so sadly he wasn’t around the way he wanted to.
“Listen to me” I hugged him. “I’m not going anywhere, and nothing or anyone, is going to separate us anymore. Just trust me when I tell you that.”
“Promise?” he sobbed.
“Promise!” I assured.
He hugged me tightly like he was afraid I was going to disappear. Finally, we walked up to his room and he lied back down. I lied down next to him, until he was sound asleep.
I was pretty tired myself, but I couldn’t seem to fall asleep. I kept thinking about Mehmet and how he had so much courage to actually tell me what he was really feeling. He was always kind of shy, a little insecure, even though he really had no reason to. He was a good looking boy and totally had it together. But he was often times bullied, and of course he grew untamed and became what people called him El Indomable.
I also started to remember when I first met him nearly four years ago. He was just a thirteen year old skater, lonely, with no friends in London. I was seventeen at the time, unsure of what future lay ahead of me. Then I happened to be walking in that skate park. He was riding his board and busting some really cool moves. He was doing a lot of Ollie flips, actually pulling a 180 and actually holding it together without falling. I was impressed. He was so innocent looking – and still looked really innocent even now – and was pulling off all these complicated tricks and flips with a skateboard. He was really advanced for his age then.
Then at one point in that session, he stopped, sat down, and started crying. I observed him, wondering what was wrong and why he was so sad. I remember the sadness in his face. I just had to walk up to him and see what was troubling the boy.
“What’s wrong?” I remembered asking.
He looked up at me, innocent teary hazel green eyes. “I’m just sad because I’m lonely.”
Listening to him speak and noticing he did not have a British accent, but an American accent, I realized he was probably homesick and without friends.
“My mom and I just moved in two weeks ago” I continued to remember that moment. “My mom’s job transferred her here, and my brother is away at college. So I’m alone without my friends.”
“I’m sorry to hear you’re lonely.”
“Thanks, but I have to get used to it. It’s not easy making new friends, especially in a country where you don’t know anyone, or are even familiar with.”
“Cheer up” I smiled. “I think I know what’ll cheer you up.”
“What?” I asked curiously.
“Come with me.”
“But I don’t know you. And mi mamá told me to not talk to strangers.”
I remember how I almost wanted to laugh. The boy was smarter than I gave him credit for. But somehow I managed to convince him. Then I asked him a question that made him think. “I agree that you should not talk to strangers, but do you think I would hurt you?”
He looked at me for a long time, assessing my face. “I guess not. You look like a nice person.”
“I can assure you that you can trust me” I smiled.
He looked at me with curious eyes. “Ok fine, I can imagine you’re like seventeen maybe?”
“Yes” I remember thinking that he was very observant.
“Well I’m thirteen years old, and my mamá said for me to go and make some new friends. So I guess we’re close enough in age. Then again we’re both teenagers.”
I chuckled. “That’s true. And you should listen to your mamá” I tried imitating his Spanish pronunciation.
“I try to, but I’m…I’m called El Indomable back home.”
“Hmm?” I wondered.
“El Indomable…it means The Untamed One in Spanish.”
“Why do people call you that?” I asked and he laughed.
“Because I’m a little bit of a handful sometimes. I’m not a rebel or anything like that. I’m just not easily swayed and people can’t make me do things that I don’t want.”
“So you’re unmovable?”
“Pretty much. Even my mom has told me that I have an Untamed Heart…Un Corazón Indomable…”
Un Corazón Indomable. I never forgot the phrase or what it meant in English. It was burned into my head, as the first thing I learned about Mehmet, when he was just thirteen years old.
I remember taking him to the mall, wanting to cheer him up. He first thought that I was going to take him to get some ice cream, or something like that. Then I took him to a skateboard shop, and told him to pick any board he wanted. He looked so psyched, and told me that I did not have to go through the trouble. But I insisted on using my allowance money. I felt the need to cheer him up, and let him know that he was not alone in a foreign country he knew nothing of. I was only imagining how lonesome it was for him, to be away from home, away from his brother, his friends even. It was the least I could do for him.
He was so excited I remember. I even took him to get an ice cream, then something to eat. I felt the need to get to know him, and then soon after I met his mom, who then thanked me for having been there for her son when he needed someone. From that point forward, Mehmet and I became best friends. He got along well with all of my mates, with Niall, Harry, and Liam. But Louis of course was not very nice to him, even then assuming the worst of him. I remember Mehmet being heartbroken that he could not get through to Louis, but told him that he still had me and the rest of us. That was enough for him, so he cheered up again and went on with his life.
Yeah, that was the story of how Mehmet and I met, and how we became close friends. It was something that I remembered to the detail. I could not forget it. I could not even forget how badly Louis treated him and the things he said to him. There were times when I had to tell him to stop being such a knob. He in turn would try and tell me that I was being an idiot for being friends with him because he felt that he was after something. Then the more we grew into being a band and then getting accepted into the X Factor, that paranoia got even more annoying.
Mehmet was still sleeping soundly. I closed my eyes and tried to get some sleep. I was still really tired and sleepy. I was also wondering if I should take Mehmet tonight to the premier of our new music video. The song was a single that would not be included in our upcoming album entitled Four. It was a song I had written. I had written it a long time ago, and had kept the poem hidden in my college binder from when I was in school. I showed it to the boys, and they loved it so much that they decided to make something out of it. I agreed to it because it seemed like a good idea.
I looked over at Mehmet. Just looking at him asleep, I decided I did not want to ditch him and not include him in my plans. If Louis had a problem with him being there, then too bad. It was his problem and his alone. Mehmet was part of my life, and I was not going to ditch him.
My iPhone started to buzz. I was tempted to not look at it, but decided to still check it just in case there was something that needed my attention. It was a text from an unidentified number. I was almost tempted to delete it, but something pulled me into it. I had to see who it was.
The text looked a bit suspicious. It read: We need to meet up Zayn!!!
“Who’s this?” I texted back.
A few seconds later it buzzed with a new message: Do it if you want Mehmet to be safe!
This felt like some kind of threat. Who was this mysterious person behind these texts? It didn’t make any sense to me.
Another new message popped up. It said: I know you care about him, and I know you and everyone else were fooled into believing a lie that broke your friendship. It was Lulú! She framed an innocent boy!
“Who the hell is this?!” I demanded.
“Just meet me at Garfield Park on Mission Road. You’ll find instructions on Bathroom three under the sink taped. Come alone!”
“Listen, if you threaten to hurt my boy, you will regret it for the rest of your life!” I texted back.
“I would never harm a hair on that boy’s head. And for good reason too, a reason you will immediately see once you see me. But if you want to keep him safe and out of harm’s way, you’ll come alone and with no one else! No one else can know about this! So be there at six sharp!”
“Who are you?”
Whoever it was, didn’t text me back. I didn’t know how he managed to block his number, but my instincts told me that I had to go. I had to see whoever this was. But I also had to hide myself from the world around me. I could not be followed by fans. I had to conceal my identity.
I got up and looked at Mehmet once more. I leaned over and gave him a peck on the side of his head. I was suddenly scared that something was going to happen to him. This person claimed that I had to maintain this a secret to keep Mehmet safe. I wasn’t sure what this person was up to or what intentions he or she had. I just knew I had to go and see for myself. I had to make sure that if there was something endangering Mehmet in some way, I had to make sure no harm came to him.
I grabbed my sweatshirt hoodie and threw my hoodie over my head. I threw on my sunglasses to further hide my identity. It was fifteen minutes until six, and Garfield Park was just a couple blocks up north. I stepped out of the house, and looked to make sure that no photographers were around taking photos of me. It seemed quiet, and there were no paparazzi around to make my life a living hell like they usually did.
I made my way to the park, wondering what I was going to do when I came face to face with this guy. Whoever he was. I was scared.