As I was getting ready to go out with everyone, I was struggling to see how a series of events had led me to where I was now. It seemed like a life time ago, that I was just living with my brother, mourning the loss of my parents, and now I am in a house with boyfriend who I have nearly married, and a list of friends that I have had relations with.
I looked in the mirror and barely knew the girl I saw.
Harry had joined me not long ago, telling me he was already done. He wanted to sit with me, not talk, just be in my presence, and I was happy with that. He flicked helplessly through channels as I stood in my oversized jumper, still not settled on a dress.
“I like the blue one,” he told me, almost reading my mind, “It suits you best.”
Zayn had gone for a shower, and I wondered if he had seen Perrie on his travels, she had come back and I felt more vulnerable now. I wasn’t going to fight for Zayn though. We weren’t together, he had every right to go and kiss her, it would hurt me, but he could do it.
Moment’s later I was dressed, after telling Harry to not look, he gave me a seal of approval with his signature smile.
“So, what’s the deal with that Ash guy?” he spoke, picking at his fingernails. “What do you mean?” I asked him, and he shrugged, “You two seem to get on okay” he continued, “Yeah, I guess.” I finish my eyeliner off, and turn to face him.
“I am not sleeping with i’m if that is what you are asking?” I raised my eyebrows, a grin pulled up his lips, “Okay then”.
As we all got ready to leave, Hope had joined us. I was happy to see her, she looked happy, and though harry would steal glances from me every so often, he focused on her, hanging his arm low about her waist, and kissing her swiftly.
Louis and Liam had joined us now too. I hadn’t found a way to talk to Liam properly yet, I felt a tension between us, our secret was out, so Zayn would be watching us like a hawk. Speaking of Zayn, he emerged laughing with Niall about ten minutes later.
“Where’s Perrie?” I say a little bit too bitterly, “Just finding her shoes” Zayn told me, and I offered him half a smile, if she was the topic of conversation he wasn't getting a full one.
Perrie came down the stairs looking outstanding, I was a grey smudge compared to her. Bouncing curls dangled from her head, and red dress clung to her. Ashton wasn’t far behind her, in a simplistic white dress shirt, and black jeans.
“Let’s go then!” Harry exclaimed, saving me. I nodded him a thankful smile.
On arriving at the club, everyone made idle chit chat, until we had shot after shot, and then a couple more. I would look over to Zayn every so often, and he would offer me a kind smile, but his eyes were guilt ridden, still morbid over the loss of our relationship, but I forgot about that the more whiskey I consumed.
Harry had Hope on the dance floor, foolishly spinning her and purring in her ear, and it was like looking at a memory of how we used to be. Louis and Niall were talking to two pretty girls at the bar, Ashton had made his way to a group of guys who he seemed to get along with quiet well, Liam excused himself from the girl he was talking to and walked over to me.
“You alright?” he asked, I nodded “You should go back over there, she’ll be missing you” I try to put on a brave face, but everyone was here having a good time, and I just wasn’t. Liam pulled out a stool next to me, “I’m sure she will live.” he smirked and took a mouthful of his drink.
My eyes focused on Zayn and Perrie. They had excused themselves to a corner of the low lit room, and her eyes were glowing as she was absorbed by everything he was saying, he began showing tattoos on his arm to her, and she raised her eyebrows in amusement, I sighed, I couldn’t be mad, the feeling I could muster up now was self pity.
“It must be hard,” Liam spoke, seeing my gaze, “seeing him like that, with someone who isn’t you?” he asked, and I nodded. “It’s pretty brutal.” I chuckle lightly, a sad laugh. “I’m going to get going, I’m not in the party mood” I spoke, “I will come with you-.” I stop him, “I kind of just want to be alone, Liam.” he smiles sympathetically at me, and nods, understanding.
I leave. I find the nearest off-licence, grab a bottle of tequila, and go. I sit on a swing in a park, there isn’t much around, a couple of trees, and the rest is to dark to read.
I feel tears roll down my cheeks, consuming everything that had happened. The death of Josh, which was on my hands. I couldn’t process that the person that began it all, was gone. Or, that Ashton had sacrificed his brother for me, he was the second person to have done so. The more I drank, the more numb I felt to it all.
Maybe I had felt so much, that I couldn’t feel anything at all.
“You’re going to catch a cold out here.” I heard a voice, and I knew it was Harry’s. I took in a breath and shook my head, sniffling. “You shouldn’t of come looking for me.” I told him, “I saw you leave. I wasn’t going to let to do a disappearing act on us again” he now obtained the swing beside me, his hands deep in his pockets and his head bowed down.
“I was just getting some air, wasn’t really up for any party” I explain, “This was your idea,” he reminded me, “A stupid one, I could of seen you happy with Hope at home, Zayn all over Perrie, Niall and Louis could of brought girls around, Liam could of spoke to me. All of this could of been done at home.” I spoke.
I rose the bottle to my lips, and took three large gulps, “I thought you weren’t drinking anymore?” he asked, hearing the sadness in his voice, “I’m not.” I say, and tip the bottle upside down, and a few drops leave, I drop the empty bottle on the floor.
After a couple more moments of silence, I stood up, “Come on, might as well go back to the club, there isn’t anything fun to do here” I turned to leave, but Harry’s warm fingers curled around my arm, and turned me to face him, and in the darkness a hand touched my cheek, and lifted me up so I had to look into his tempting eyes. “I don’t like seeing you like this, turning to drink for some kind of feeling?” he frowned.
“I feel plenty, its just of the same emotion,” I defend myself, “I drink at hope of feeling something different, maybe you should try it some time, try and drink and feel differently about me” I bitterly snapped, he sighed, letting me go, knowing it was the alcohol talking, but I saw how my brutal words hurt him, “Sorry” I mutter, “Yeah, me too.” he turned and led the way back to the club.
As we got the club, I asked Louis where Zayn was, and he told me he left with Perrie, and in his drunkenly honest way, he spoke of how they kissed, her whispered something to her, and then they left. I ached all over.
So it was at that moment, I decided to reinvent myself, if everyone thought I was this helpless girl, who I had lost any redeeming quality, then that is what I would become. I was going to be the girl, that I hated, and that was easy, because that’s the girl I already was.
I woke the next morning, on a brown couch, in a white room, with thick smoke clouding the ceiling, and the stench of pot everywhere. I sat up, throwing the dusty grey blanket of myself, I was wearing a dark green shirt, and no shorts, only panties. Into the room came a tall figure, and I was wide eyed when I realised who it was. Douglas.
Memories of last night filled my mind, fragmented images, and torn up words, but all I knew was I had took one happy little pill, smoked a couple joints, and my down ward spiral had began.
I woke up in my own bed. Alone. Perrie had gone to her room I had gone to mine, I had felt bad about her drunken move on me, and agreed to take her home. I had searched for Brook after I put Perrie in bed, but I couldn’t find her when I went back to the club.
She had left earlier, and then returned.
I went down stairs to find Niall with his head in his hands from one too many drinks, and louis doing the same but groaning over a cup of coffee. Liam wasn’t anywhere to seen, which left me to worry if he’d been with Brook all night, I had seen him trying to talk to her in the club, but I was going to jump to conclusions.
“Perrie is still in bed if that is who you are looking for,” I heard a voice, and it was that Ashton boy, he walked over to the coffee pot and sat down beside Louis, offering him a cigarette, which he politely refused.
“Brook, actually.” I correct him, and he shook his head telling me he hadn’t seen her.
I did the only thing I thought was right, banged on Liam’s door until he greeted me with tired eyes. “What?” he frowned, “Have you seen Brook?” I asked him, and he left his door open for me to walk in, and shook his head sitting back down on the bed, “She said she was coming home last night, she left early.” he explained, “And you just let her go on her own?” disbelief ringing in my voice, and he nodded.
“She is a grown up, Zayn, now get the fuck out of my room” he growled, and crawled back under the covers, clearly trying to recover from last night.
A pretty girl like Brook out at that time on her own. No good would of come from it. No good at all.
“When the fuck did get here?” I asked frowning as I stood up, “Last night, I called you, asking if you knew any hotels, and you offered to show me where it was.” he shrugged, and walked over to the small brown kitchen, and flicked on the coffee pot.
What happened then? Why hadn’t I gone home? “We didn’t fuck if that is what you are wondering” he smirked, “I wasn’t wondering that at all.” I throw him a sarcastic smile, “but, what did we do?” I ask.
“You met me at the airport, you were wasted in the taxi, told me about this place, you wanted to walk home, but I said you could stay here, we had a few to drink, a couple of laughed, a joint or two, and then you slept here, and I slept in there” he gestured to a door, that led to the bedroom.
“I did pot with you?” I covered my mouth, and nodded, “You were great with it surprisingly.” he shrugged, “I brought some clothes you left, they are in my case, just grab them, and take a shower, then we can grab some food or shit” he told me, and I smiled at the familiar tone in his voice, he reminded me of Zayn too much, the way he tried to be caring but would follow it up with a rude remark.
“Why are you looking at me like that?” he looked at me directly in the eyes, I shrugged and smirked, “You remind me of someone I know, that’s all.” I say, and turn around to walk to his case, I feel his eyes rake over me, and it’s another familiar feeling, the danger.
After getting dressed and calling Harry to let him know that I was alright, asking him to tell the others the same, I went out with Douglas. Showing him the little we had in the city. “It’s quiet a sweet place, I might stick around.” he spoke, sunglasses hanging low over his eyes.
We spent most of the day together, just talking about everything that had happened, and I found myself almost completely intoxicated by him, he told more everything about himself as we sat down for dinner in Gino’s, a small Italian restaurant Zayn had taken me too once. “My dad died when I was about seven, I don’t really remember much of him, he was a good guy from what my mom told me” he spoke, and I was fascinated by every word he spoke to me.
“Hey, why don’t we go back to the hotel and grab your things, you can come and stay with me, I mean we bought such a big house, and two girl just moved out there is plenty of space?” I suggest, and he nodded at me.
Within an hour we were back at my house. It was around five o’clock, and as we walked in, I heard everyone in the kitchen, and told him him to put his bags down, and follow me.
“Brook” I heard Louis say, as he was walking over to the table with two beer glasses in his hands, “Hey, Louis” I smile, “Brought another new friend?” Louis grinned at Douglas, and handed him a beer, “Welcome to the mad house” they clinked glasses, and everyone then noticed us.
“Doug? Man, when did you get here?” Ashton walked over, and hugged Douglas, I smiled at the connection they had, it was much like Niall’s and Zayn’s.
Everyone happily introduced themselves, even Zayn. “We just ordered food, but there is enough for everyone” Perrie smiled at me, and then I remember what Louis had told me, her and Zayn had kissed. I frown but smile falsely at her, “We’ve already eaten” I say, and she turns back to Ashton.
Douglas, Liam and Louis seem happy enough talking, and they laugh over beers. Harry and Hope gaze upon each other, and he pecks her lips every so often, Perrie and Ashton also seem to be enjoying each other’s company. And Zayn leaves Perrie and Ashton and walks over to me, and smiles, “Hey” there is something sad behind him smile, but I ignore it.
“Hi” I say, and turn my back from everyone and lean against the side, “Where did you disappear to last night?” he nudged me, and I like how he tries to keep the mood light, knowing that he isn’t going to like my answer.
“At a hotel, I was drunk, and Doug just came to town, so we grabbed a hotel” I say, and he stiffens beside me, and I turn to look at him, knowing he is thinking the worst. “Well, everyone looked like they were having a good time, I just wasn’t” I shrug, and raise the glass of lime vodka and coke to my lips, “You could of come and sat with me” he told me, and I shook my head, trying now to keep my own mood light.
“You and Perrie were together, you looked happy enough, I wasn’t going to come and kill the mood” I try and joke but my head falls to look at my drink, “How are things going anyway, with you and Perrie?” I try not to pry, but I hope he says poorly.
“Okay, I guess.” his head falls now, and he coughs a little, “Good” I try and smile again, luckily, there is a knock at the door and the food’s arrival, allows Zayn to leave me and answer it, I sigh a breath of relief.
We stay down stairs, whilst everyone eats and indulges in conversation. I excuse myself to outside, taking my drink and some cigarettes.
I am soon enough joined by Zayn again, and I close my eyes and take a breath as he sits beside me on the steps. “Are you okay?” he asked me, and I hum a yes, “Just wanted some air” I try and smile at him.
We sit in silence for a moment, “Why are things so weird with us?” Zayn sighs, lighting his own cigarette, I shrug. “I don’t know” I tell him.
“I want to ask you why you left last night, what you did with that Douglas, why you called Harry and not me, but I know I don’t have the right too, we aren’t together, and you can see and do what you want.” he spoke, and took a long drag from his cigarette.
I just looked over at him, and grabbed his hand, lacing his fingers in mine. “We said we should see what it’s like with other people, and we agreed to be friends, that’s why its weird, because we have only ever known each other” I tell him, he lets out a small laugh, “Us, friends?” he shook his head, “That can’t be right,” he spoke, “It isn’t supposed to be right” I sigh.
“You two should come inside, we are about to play some drinking games” Niall poked his head, and Zayn waved his hand in dismissal.
I stood up to go inside, not liking this feeling with Zayn. He stopped me, “How much have been drinking?” he asked me, “Don’t do this now” I beg him, “I might not be your boyfriend, but I still care. How much have you been drinking?” he repeats, “Enough to get me through the day” I reply, and he shakes his head.