It hit me two days later why I had that dèja vu. Niall had finally worked up some courage to knock on my door. I had stopped the sobbing now and had opted for silence; pure silence. Like scary silence. I only opted for it because I had ran out of tears to shed.
I smiled when I saw who it was. Niall was the only person who could make me smile and laugh at a time like this.
“Hey, gorgeous” He said, smiling.
“Please, I probably look like a mess” I said, rubbing my face.
“Nah” He said, then shook his head. “Alright, fine. You look like a mess”
I looked at him, shocked and my jaw dropped.
“A beautiful mess” He beamed.
I blushed and looked down. And that’s when I remembered. The night me and… the night I got drunk. I had kissed Niall. Sure I was in a drunken haze but it had happened. And he had let it happen. And then I remembered what I had said and more importantly, what he had said when he was carrying me home.
“Ash?” He said, warily. He shook me gently. “Please don’t be dead” He muttered. He checked my pulse. He slumped and sighed in relief. “Come on, let’s take you home” He picked me up and carried me home.
I leant my head on his chest and smiled. I sighed.
“I love you, Niall” I mumbled.
Niall hesitated and he faltered a bit in his step. But then he sighed. “Yeah, I love you too Ash; too much for my own good. I don’t deserve you. Shit, Zayn’s going to kill me” He said. “Ash?”
“Yeah, you and me both, you and me both” He said.
*End of Brief Flashback*
“Niall?” I said.
“Do you love me?” I had to know for sure. I was about to do something and I wanted to make sure that I didn’t regret it.
Taken aback, he stammered. “Y-yes” He let out a sigh. Like he had been holding it in for a long time and maybe he had. “More than anything else in the world…besides food” I smiled.
“Looks like I will have to settle for second best then” And I kissed him. He responded within seconds. We broke apart and smiled.
“That night at the club, I said I loved you. But I was drunk” I said, linking my hands through his. “But I’m not drunk now so you have to know that when I say this I mean it; I love you, Niall James Horan”
Niall’s smile reached his ocean blue eyes and I smiled too. “You have no idea how long I’ve been waiting to hear that”
“But, you must know that I’m still weak. I’m still hurting. I have broken up with your best friend so…you’ll have to tell him eventually. But you shouldn’t tell him just yet. Let’s just see where things go, test the waters. If we like it, if we like where things are heading and we want to make it official then we’ll tell everyone and…” I still couldn’t say his name; it was like opening a freshly healed scar – which is kind of what it is.
Niall nodded, he knew who I meant. “I’m happy to just know that you love me”
I hugged him. “I’m sorry for hiding in my room; they must be horrible cooks if you came to me”
“It was horrible. Their food wasn’t even edible. I just didn’t have the heart to tell them”
I laughed. There was a tentative knock at the door. “Yeah?”
The girl’s peeked in. “Hey, you’re alright” It was a statement more than a question.
“Yeah, Niall finally made me realise that being here in a dark room wasn’t the smartest way to move on” I said. Then I said quickly. “And he hates your cooking!” Niall’s eyes widened.
“Hey, I do not!”
“You so do, you told me and said you didn’t have the heart to tell them”
“If that’s how you feel about our cooking then you won’t get any dinner tonight”
“If it is something cooked by you, thank you”
“Oh, it’s not cooked…by us at least. It’s cooked by a place called…Nandos” Sophia said, smiling slyly.
I laughed. “Ha, sucked in!”
“Awe, Soph, come on. How’d I know you had Nandos?”
“You didn’t that’s the point. Now you won’t get any unless you apologise – even if it’s the truth. The truth can hurt. It hurt our feelings”
“Sorry for what?”
“For telling the truth”
“Niall” Sophia warned.
“Fine, I’m sorry for saying you’re horrible cooks”
“Good, it’s waiting downstairs”
“I’ll be there in a second. Can you just give Ashley and I a minute?”
They eyed us suspiciously but left anyway. “Sure”
“Ashley, I want you to know something. I know that you’re weak and hurt but I want to know that I can make you strong, I can make you hurt less and I can take away your pain”
“Thank you Niall” I said, tears in my eyes.
Maybe this was the beginning of a new chapter in my life. I was turning a new leaf; starting over.
It was exactly what I needed; a getaway.