24. I Swear
I turn and hurry away toward the soccer field. If Zayn likes me, why would he kiss Emma? Does Emma like him? Did Zayn somehow know I would see and feel jealous? Why do I feel jealous, anyway? I like Niall. No. I love Niall. I've never felt the way I feel about Niall before. When I reach the soccer field, it's deserted. Good. I just want to be alone right now. I practice taking shots on goal for a while, until I decide to take a break. I plop down on the sideline, drained both physically and mentally. Suddenly, a pair of hands covers my eyes. "Guess who?" a voice asks. "Hmm," I say, mock considering it. "Niall, maybe?" I finally add, smiling. The hands uncover my face and he sits beside me. "What's up?" he says. I shrug. "Nothing. Just taking a break from playing." Niall is quiet for a minute. "You know what I realized?" he comments out of the blue. "What?" I reply. "We never did karaoke..." he trails off, his eyes twinkling. "And there's karaoke tomorrow," he finishes, looking proud. I pull up a handful of grass and throw it up in the air like it's confetti. "Um, I don't know," I mumble, suddenly feeling very insecure. "How many people will be there?" Niall shrugs, and tilts his head. "It really depends. And you can't chicken out now, Ally, you promised me." I know I did, and that's what hurts the most. I don't know if I have the confidence to sing in front of everyone. When I tell Niall that, he scoffs the idea away as if it makes no sense. "Ally, your voice is beautiful, and you're beautiful. Nobody will be able to take their eyes off of you." I sigh. "That's just the thing. I don't want everybody staring at me." Niall ponders this. "I could blindfold everyone in the audience before we perform," he says, completely serious for one second before we both burst out laughing at the thought. "I'm not sure that's a good idea," I reply, still laughing. Before I know what's happening, Niall is tickling me. "No...stop!" I gasp, trying to kick him away. It doesn't work. Eventually he stops and looks at me laying on the ground. He bends over me and kisses me. I close my eyes and kiss him back. He pulls me up until I'm in a sitting position, and I wrap my arms loosely around his neck. We're startled by a pair of footsteps coming our way. I look up and see Zayn. "How could you do this to me Ally?" he asks, face angry. I pull back from Niall. "What do you mean? Do what to you?" He points at Niall. "This. I thought you liked me back." I'm stunned. "I never said that or showed it either, Zayn," I point out. "Where are you getting that idea from?" He stubbornly crosses his arms over his chest. "I know you like me Ally. Not him. Now make sure you make the right choice. I'll be waiting." With that, he walks away, not looking back. I turn to look at Niall. He looks furious. "I don't like him!" I exclaim, dread filling me. "I swear!" Niall stands up and starts to walk away. "I don't know what you told him while I was in the hospital, but obviously I'm not going to be good enough for you. Why don't you go find him? He said he's waiting." I watch him go, tired of chasing something that might never truly be mine.