A month later, and that’s when everything went downhill.
I walked down the stairs, hand in hand with Zayn. We were laughing at one of his jokes.
“I’m impressed Zayn, you’re jokes have gotten considerably better” I said, smiling.
“Ha-ha, well I must admit, I did look some of them up on Google”
“Well duh, not even you can come up with something as original as that” I teased.
“That’s mean!” Zayn said, pouting.
“You know I’m joking” I said, poking him in the chest. We unlinked our hands and walked to our friends. “Hey guys, what’s up?”
“Niall’s hungry again” Eleanor said, rolling her eyes. I laughed.
“What! It’s not my fault that I have a fast metabolism. Besides, you are all jealous that I can eat as much as I want and not get fat”
“Who said we were jealous?” Liam said, flexing his muscles.
“Hey, put the guns away man. We aren’t all as buff as you are” Zayn said, grinning.
“And maybe if Niall had started going to the gym like he keeps saying he does then the world would be a better place”
“Hey, I’m a busy man thank you. My schedule is full every day”
“Oh yeah, what’s today’s schedule?” I challenged him.
“Eat, eat, eat, mooch, x-box, PlayStation, eat, eat, eat, sleep, muck around, laugh with Louis, eat, eat and then go to bed”
“Oh wow, your schedule really is full. Considering the fact that 70% of that schedule is the same thing”
“Told ya, you’re jealous”
“Puh-lease, only thing I’m jealous of is your accent. Man, I want your accent” I said, shaking my head in longing.
“Well, sadly, you can’t have it unless you stay in Ireland for a year or two but even then it would be faint. So sucks to be you” He said, shrugging.
I smiled and laughed but stopped abruptly. “Oh you’re so funny, Niall. I had no idea that anyone could be this funny” I said, sarcastically.
“Are you sure you’re not jealous of my luscious blonde locks? After all, your hair was blonde, before you became a vampire. Then it turned a dirty blonde”
I repeated what I did before; smile and laugh sarcastically. “Oh wow, Niall. You seem to know everything about me. And you know what? If I was a vampire, your blood would be long gone”
I saw a flicker of an emotion in his eyes. “Why? Because I’m tasty” He said, putting on a sultry look.
“No because I like to save the good stuff for last and your blood would certainly not be at the top of my list” I said, smiling maliciously. And like that, the flicker of emotion disappeared before I could figure out what it was.
Niall was silent after that. I sighed. That was harsh. “Sorry hun, I don’t know what came over me. Look, I’ll make it up to you, okay?”
Niall nodded, still not talking. I smiled. I knew what to say. “How about we go out for lunch?”
Another nod. “I was thinking maybe, Nandos…”
Niall beamed and gave me a massive hug. “I forgive you, Ash!” He said. I hugged him back and ruffled his hair.
“Hey” I said. “No problem. Anything for my Nialler” I squeezed his shoulder. “Now come on, it’s on me. After all, I earn the most money”
As we walked out, Eleanor pulled me aside and Sophia waited for us.
“Do you want to tell us what is going on?” She whispered.
“What do you mean?” I asked, confused.
“Between you and Niall!” Sophia whispelled.
“What do you mean? There is nothing going on between us” I said.
“Are you sure? What was with the hug and the Nando’s and the ruffle of the hair?”
“Those are all friendly gestures, Elle!” I sighed, exasperated.
“If you say so, but I think Niall thought it was something more” Sophia said warily. My mind went to when I saw that flicker of emotion and I considered if maybe Eleanor and Sophia were right. What if Niall did have feelings for me? And I was just fuelling the fire by giving him friendly gestures like hugs and ruffling his hair? No I thought. We were just friends.
“Sophia, we’re just friends” I said. I’m pretty sure I was saying it to reassure myself more than them. Eleanor and Sophia shrugged. I guess they figured that it was my fault if Niall made a move. And maybe it was. Maybe I was leading him on? Once again, I quickly brushed aside the thought as I told myself firmly that I had a boyfriend and Niall would respect that and wait his turn if it came.
“Are you girls coming or are you just gonna stand there gossiping about other girls choices behind their backs?”
“Coming!” I shouted. “Boys” I said and they nodded. We hopped into the Mercedes and went to Nando’s.
A week later…
And that was only the beginning of a downward spiral.
“He’s just a friend, Zayn!” I said, frustrated. Zayn and I were fighting. And it hurt me. Each time I yelled at him, my heart felt like it was being ripped apart and being put together – repeatedly. I didn’t want to fight and argue with him but I had no choice. He thought I was cheating on him with my friend, Andrew.
“Just a friend? I didn’t know friends kissed each other on the cheek! If I knew that, we would have been dating the moment we met!” He said. He wasn’t facing me but a wall. He had his fists clenched and I could see the tension in his back. It hurt him too, to fight with me. We both hated it but desperate times cause for desperate measures.
“Zayn! We’ve been friends since we were born! Literally, we were born in the same hospital, right next to each other! Our freaking mums and dads are best friends too! And it’s not like we were making out!”
“It might as well have been! You know what? Why don’t you go and fucking make out with him right now! See if I fucking care!”
I looked at him astonished. But it quickly turned into rage and I decided to play the blame game. Childish I know, but this whole fight was childish and stupid and I didn’t really care anymore. “Well, maybe if you stopped being so fucking clingy, then I wouldn’t have to hang around my friend!”
“Oh, so now it’s my fault?!”
“Yes, Zayn, it’s your fault! It’s your fault that I don’t spend more time with Andrew, my family and every other freaking person I know!”
“Oh, I’m sorry. Well, maybe if you hadn’t gone to fucking see Andrew today then we wouldn’t have a problem!”
“He texted me Zayn! What was I supposed to say? Sorry Andrew, I can’t hang out with you because my boyfriend is being an over protective jerk and doesn’t want me to hang out with anyone on the outside world but him!” I yelled. The word ‘jerk’ dripping with venom. I wanted to hurt something or someone…badly.
“Yes, that would have been the better choice” Zayn said, turning around. His neck was strained and his eyes were red. He had been crying. I softened a bit but then I realised why we were fighting. I was furious. I can’t believe that he would think I was cheating on him. What happened to him? I death glared.
“Well, I’m sorry Zayn. It’s too little, too late. It’s already done. I can’t fucking believe you! NOTHING HAPPENED!”
“I don’t believe you” He said. I felt like I was going to explode. He didn’t believe me!
“You don’t believe me?”
“Not a single word”
I took a deep breath and forced a sickly sweet smile on my face. I hoped I looked like an avenging fucking angel because I felt like one.
“Fine, don’t” I said. I grabbed my handbag and coat. I needed to get out of here. And fast. Zayn looked at me.
“Where are you going?” He asked.
“Oh please, like you fucking care!” I sneered at him.
“Well, maybe I do! You’re my girlfriend!”
“Exactly, you’re not my parent!”
He grabbed my arm. “Tell me where you are going!”
I tried to yank my arm away but his grip was strong and vice-like. “Let me go” I said.
“Tell me where you are going” He repeated. I glared and tried to yank my arm away again.
“Let me go, Zayn” I said.
“I will, if you tell me where the hell you are going”
“Zayn! LET. ME. GO!!!” I yelled. He let go at the fierceness of my voice. I spun on my heel, with tears in my eyes. My arm hurt where he had held me. I took a shaky breath and turned to him one last time. “I’m going out, Zayn. I don’t know where I am exactly going. So I can’t give you the exact location or coordinates. And I don’t know when I will be back so don’t wait for me. You can have dinner without me. I will have something while I am out. Dinner is in the freezer, defrost it then cook it in the oven for 20 minutes at 180 degrees. There is plenty enough for you to have seconds and Niall’s thirds and fourths. Goodbye, Zayn”
I walked down the hall and down the stairs. “Wait!” I heard him call out but I kept walking, not looking back. I felt the tears fall down my face and I tasted the saltiness of them in my mouth. The boys looked at me worried. “Are you okay?” Niall asked me. I looked at him, like really looked at him and I saw that he actually really cared about me. He wasn’t like the others who tried to care. I forced another smile on my face and made it as reassuring as I could.
“Yeah, I just need to get some fresh air. I’ll be okay” I said. I could tell he didn’t believe me but he let it go, thinking it was better to just give me some space. Eleanor and Sophia pulled me off to the side.
“Are you sure you’re okay?” Sophia asked. I shook my head and sobbed. I put my head on Eleanor’s chest and soaked her shirt with my tears.
“You and Zayn have a fight?” She asked. I nodded. I took a step back and sniffed.
“I just need to get out of here for a while. I’ll be back. I, just, I need to get some space. I need to be away from him for a while”
They nodded in understanding. They knew what I was going through. “You have our number if you need us. Call us if you want something or if you want to talk”
I nodded and held up my phone with a sad smile on my face. I hugged them both and walked away.
I didn’t know where I was going. That much was true but I needed to just forget about everything, just for a night. I wiped at my tears angrily. I will not shed any more tears over boys and stupid things.
I needed to just let go and relax. So I went to the only place I could think of at the moment, which would allow me to do just that…