Zayn pulls back after a few seconds. "I hope you're not doing this out of pity for me," he says, looking down at his hands. I study his face, trying to read his expression. "It's not out of pity, Zayn. Trust me," I reply, hoping he'll believe me. Surprisingly, it's not out of pity, it's because I have some genuine feelings for him. His eyes meet mine and this time I lean forward and touch my lips to his.
"Thanks for everything, Zayn," I say, hesitating to get out of his car. "Sure, Ally," he responds. "Do you, uh, wanna come in and meet my sister?" I ask suddenly before I chicken out. Zayn smiles. "If you're sure that's okay, I'd love to." I lead him up to the front door. I don't have a chance to knock before Ansley opens the door. "How do you feel?" she asks, embracing me. "I would have taken care of you myself, but I was as drunk as you." I smooth Zayn's gray sweatshirt before answering. "I feel pretty good," I say carefully. I don't want to accidentally give anything away about what happened while I was with Zayn. My head pounds a little bit still, but I don't really feel it because all I can think about is kissing Zayn. "Zayn, right?" Ansley says, turning to him. "That's me," Zayn says amiably, holding out his hand. Ansley shakes it, then says, "This is silly. You guys are just standing outside. Come in." Zayn reaches for my hand, and I let him take it. We walk to the living room like that. "I thought you were dating Niall?" Ansley asks, looking pointedly at me. "That...um, didn't really work out so well," I begin. I hope Ansley doesn't want a full explanation now. Thankfully, she drops the subject. I know she's not satisfied with my answer, but I can tell her later. After a while, Zayn says he has to go. I walk out to his car with him. "Thanks again," I stall. He smiles and nods. "You don't have to thank me Ally. Anyone would have done it." He's about to slide into his car when I hurry over to him and throw my arms around him. He's startled, but he hugs me back. "See yah," I say when we pull away. "Bye, Ally," Zayn replies. It's not until I'm back in my room that I realize I'm still wearing his sweatshirt.
"Tell me everything," Ansley demands, sitting down on the edge of my bed. "There's nothing to tell," I sigh, putting my book away. "Obviously there is, because one second you and Niall are all lovey dovey and the next, you and Zayn are holding hands. What happened between you and Niall?" she says. I groan and roll over so I'm facing the wall and not her. "Ally, come on. You used to tell me everything without hesitation," Ansley says sadly. She knows she's making me feel bad. I hate to admit that it works on me every time. "Fine," I say sourly. "Kat told me that every summer Niall had a fling with a girl and made her think it was serious, and then he would unexpectedly break up with them..." The whole story pours out before I can stop it. Ansley just listens quietly, not saying anything, which makes me equal parts relieved and worried. When I'm done, Ansley says, "Do you really believe Kat?" I pause. Yes, I do. Plus, Niall admitted it. Didn't he? If it wasn't true, he would have disputed it in an instant. But he didn't. When I tell Ansley this, she sighs. "But you two were so cute together," she whines. "That was apparently just a summer fling for him," I reply. "Was it just a summer fling for you?" Ansley asks. The question catches me off guard. Did I want a summer fling, or did I want something serious? For all I know, I could never have seen Niall again after this summer. How would our relationship work if we never saw each other? We both have one more year of high school and then we're graduating and going our separate ways. Maybe I did just want a summer fling. Maybe I'm no better than him.