Good Girl

They aren't the popular boys of the school that everyone is fascinated with. They aren't the star football players or the highest placing students. They're a band who is trying to prove to themselves and their parents that they should be allowed to leave school to pursue their dreams. I, however, am not like them. I am a high honor roll student, who only focuses on school work and my job. I don't have time for these boys, I'm a good girl. Though, as they might say, "Good girls are bad girls that haven't been caught.".

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7. Six;

"I wrote a song," Luke declares at lunch on Tuesday morning. "I had a little bit of inspiration, and I think we should give it a shot."

Mikey smiles, "I, too, wrote a song. Well, at least part of one, I'm thinking that I could use some help getting other lyrics. And it still doesn't have a title." He shuffles some papers around to Luke and Calum, and Luke gives his to Mikey. "Good Girl," Mikey reads aloud. "She can speak French.. But she sneaks out the window.. Good girls are bad girls that haven't been caught." 

My eyes widen as everyone looks at me, and Luke's smirk is as annoying to me as ever. "So that's what you've been up to?" Calum questions, his eyebrows wiggling at me. 

"I have no idea what you're talking about," I deadpan, before moving my cold stare to Luke, who just smiles at me, contently. 

"She's saved for Harvard.. Every night she studies hard in her room? There is literally no way this isn't about you, Lil." Calum says, before looking at Luke, as though he is asking him if it is. 

"So, you've been sneaking around with Luke while leading Ashton on?" Kara asks, her blue eyes becoming narrow slits. "I am so over this band, and over you, Liliana." She stands up and leaves the lunch table without looking back. 

"What's her problem?" Luke asks. "For the record, Princess isn't sneaking around with me."

"Well, we didn't think that," says Michael. "At least, I thought that it was about you catching her sneaking out with Ashton." 

Calum jumps in, "Me too. Which, I totally know that you are, now. That's why you're always so tired. But, seriously, what's wrong with Kara?" 

"Oh, she's still mad that Ashton likes me and she thinks that Luke likes me-"

"I do," Luke acknowledges, fully, but I ignore it. 

"But Calum doesn't like her, but she can't see that Mikey is totally into her," I conclude. 

Calum and Luke's heads snap toward Mikey. "You like Kara?" Calum asks, almost seeming jealous. 

Mikey looks at me, however. "How did you even know that?" I simply shrug in response. "Anyways, my song is called Out of My Limit." 

"Definitely about Kara." 

"Not about Kara," Mikey says, glancing over at Luke, with a harsh glare. 

"I don't care who it's about," I say. "I just care that we have two great songs prepared already. Well, maybe. You'll have to rehearse them and come up with another song, and dear god, it's so much work." 

"We'll be cool," Luke says, slinging his arm around my shoulder. "It's not like we're going to wait until we have two days left to write the third song."

And technically, he's right. Because they waited until they only had four days left. 

 

"We have to go to Ashton's house to do the recordings," Luke says, when I enter his garage on the morning of December twenty-fourth. "For the two songs that we have, at least." I roll my eyes at him, and look at the guitars sitting up against the wall, next to three old bicycles that look like they haven't been touched in years. "Look, Lil, I'm sorry. You got us this amazing opportunity and we're about to ruin it all." 

"You are, Luke," I cry out, exasperated. "We leave in less than 96 hours and the four of you haven't been able to come up with a song? But you're out swimming and drinking every single damned weekend for the last month! Do you know how irritating that is? I made this happen, and you're ruining it. You're right, Luke. For once." I feel bad saying this, because the other three should have been working on songs, too, but Luke's bad attitude lately has made me feel especially mad at him.

His eyes narrow at me, and I can tell he's just as upset with me as I am with him. He crosses the room and sits on the stool that Ashton normally sits in when his drum set is in here. "Well, at least I wrote a song," he says, quietly, placing emphasis only on the word 'I'.

Confused, I question, "I'm not supposed to write a song?" 

"No, but you're not yelling at Ashton, who I know you've still been seeing on a nightly basis. I live right next door in case you couldn't remember, because God knows you can't pay any attention to anyone except for him."

"Luke-" I try to speak to him, but he's very angry with me. His eyes are red, he's clearly on the verge of tears, and I don't even understand why. 

"So, it's okay for Loverboy to not have written anything, but God forbid I only write one of the three songs!" 

"Oh, so that's what this is about. Of course it doesn't actually have anything to do with the songs. You're simply jealous of me and Ashton," I exclaim, glowering at him.

He rubs at his jaw, something I've noticed he does when he's angry. "Oh, shut up, Liliana," he says, his voice cracking. "You know what?" he asks, his face red and his eyes filled with tears. 

"What?" 

"You're fired from being our manager," he says, simply. Before he could say anything else, though, I turn and exit the garage, running into my house. I quickly go up the stairs and flop myself onto my bed, crying over the boy who was supposed to be my best friend. 

It's not very surprising to me when about an hour later my mom knocks on my bedroom door, saying that someone is here for me. What is surprising is that it's not Ashton, which is who I was expecting to see, but Luke. I see his puffy eyes, and know that he has been crying. "Why are you crying?" I ask, my voice tight. 

"Lil, please come outside and talk to me. I'm sorry, just come talk to me." 

I hold my hard face, but step outside and pull the door closed behind me. "What?" 

"I'm sorry, is all. And you know I can't fire you." 

"Well, it sure seemed like you could," I shoot back, venomously. "You act like we're best friends but anytime we're out or Ashton comes up, you freak out." 

"Well, Lil, I've been the one who has had a thing for you for years! Of course I'm jealous that he waltzes in and you're suddenly in love."

I sigh, "Luke, I'm not in love with Ashton. I like him, quite a lot, though. And obviously I need you to be okay with that." 

"I'm in love with you, Liliana. I've always tried to get on with you, and you always just blew me off. But I always have been." His voice is cracking again, and he's stepped closer to me. "I love you, Lil."

My eyes widen, and I feel tears coming to my eyes. I like Ashton so much that Luke liking- no, loving! - me is a huge problem, because I don't want to hurt him at all. The worst part is that he actually tried to be okay with me and Ashton. I watch as rain begins to fall around us, the sky gloomy. Luke casually begins to lean in toward me, his blue eyes growing closer and closer. I don't know how to react, and thankfully I don't have to, because I begin to hear the low hum of the 5SOS van, and I can tell that Luke hears it, too.

 

Things are awkward, which is about the best that I can put the entire situation. The original plan was for me and Ashton to have a room to ourselves, but I'm honestly so confused right now that I asked to room with Calum and Mikey instead. And all that did was upset Ashton, who has been quiet the entire trip so far, because he doesn’t know what’s happening at all.

"What's going on?" Cal asks, taking a seat next to me on the windowsill. The hotel we're in is beautiful, unsurprisingly. Simon Cowell had personally paid for everything. Also, we're meeting One Direction. And, though Kara is hardly speaking to me right now, I did promise her an autograph from Niall Horan. So, we'll see if she forgives me after that. Honestly, the only time that we even talked this week was in English, but even then, she wasn't her normal self. Of course, our group included Calum. 

"In general, or with Ash?" I ask, my cheeks heating up from embarrassment. I truthfully never wanted to hurt Ashton. But I don't want to hurt Luke, either. 

"With Ash. He's not himself now. Did he do something? We're just all trying to understand. Is it about Luke?" 

I laugh at him a little. "You're talking way too much right now, Calum." His face remains hard, and I sigh. "It's about Luke, yeah." I look around the room, avoiding his face, and finally settle my eyes on a generic painting of the vase. "He loves me, or he thinks he does or something. I don't want to hurt anyone." 

"You're hurting Ashton," Calum says, his eyes solemn. "Do you have feelings for Luke?" 

I shake my head, "No, not at all. I just don't want to hurt him, you know?" I focus my eyes on the portrait. "But I guess I'm hurting both of them now, huh? I just don't want to be that girl that breaks up the band." 

"I guess it's a bad time to tell you that I have a thing for you, too, then?" 

My eyes widen and my mouth drops. But when I look at Calum, he's laughing. "I'm kidding. But, Luke has to get over it. You three need to talk this out. And I suggest you do it now." 

I look at the clock, noting that we have to leave in just a few minutes. Looking back at Calum, I sigh. "I'll talk to them after we go meet Simon. I'm sure they're both already pissed enough, who knows how our talk will go over. Don't want anything to go wrong at this meeting."

He nods and I hear a knock on the door. It's Luke and Ashton, obviously. Luke gives me a small smile, and I know in that moment that whatever happens, Luke will still be my best friend in the end of this all. I stare at Ashton, willing him to look my way. He doesn't.

"The car Simon sent is here," he says, looking directly at Calum. I sigh, silently saying, over and over again, "LOOK AT ME!" But he doesn't. 

We all stand and Luke waits back to talk to me. "Lil, I'm screwing everything up. I just need to know that you don't want me. I'd really like to kiss you." 

I stand silent, wondering what harm it could do. I'll kiss him, feel nothing, and hopefully he won't think that it's anything either. "Sure, yeah, okay." 

He leans in, and kisses me full on the lips, and as I expected, I feel nothing. I don't feel inclined to kiss him again. Unfortunately, Ashton bursts in at that moment. "Sorry to interrupt whatever this is, but we're all waiting." And even if I shouldn't, I smile, because I know that Ashton only came back in to make sure that nothing romantic was happening between Luke and I.

 

The five of us sit in a surprisingly small office. Most of it is silver and black, and it's very disorganized. Simon Cowell sits across from us, behind a desk, with pictures of some of his famed artists, such as West Life and One Direction. 

"The boys and I really like your demo," he says, a quirky smile on his face. "Would you like to meet them?" I nod excitedly as I think about the poster of Niall in my backpack, hoping that I can salvage at least one of my friendships in this whirlwind of drama that I've somehow managed to get into this year. 

Simon laughs a little. "Are you a fan?"

"No, my best friend is. She asked me to get her an autograph," I explain, feeling like he probably doesn't believe me. 

"I'm sure the boys will be more than happy to give one out. Or, two, for your best friend also." 

Five boys saunter into the room, all of whom I've studied for the last few hours to ensure that I don't make a fool of myself in front of the most famous boy band in the world. They all give some form of "Hello" as they take seats on the small couch sat by Simon's desk, probably placed there beforehand for the convenience of this meeting. 

I give a small wave back to them, and we all introduce ourselves. "We love your sound. It's a little too punk for our kind of tour, but if you just do covers, we could use you as an opening act," the boy called Liam says, a warm smile present on his face.

"Wait, opening act?" Calum inquires, his eyes wide.

But Mikey is quick to counteract his awe. "Too punk? Do you want us to be pop?" I watch as all five of them take in Mikey's appearance, which is the clearest distinction among the four of them. "We don't want to change into something we're not." 

Simon takes this time to interrupt. "Of course not. No one does, but you must understand that to sell records, we need more of a pop sound from you. Your fan base will likely be a lot of teenage females." No one speaks for a moment, the boys look back and forth between one another. Just as Ashton begins to open his mouth, Simon speaks again. "We'll revisit the idea tomorrow, okay? You can come in, see what our recording studio looks like, and decide then." 

We all say our goodbyes, and I have a small, awkward encounter with Niall Horan where I stumble to explain that this autograph is not for me. He laughs but signs the picture anyways.

We arrive back at the hotel not too long later. I grab Ashton's sleeve to pull him back to me. "Can we talk?" I ask, hopefully. I can tell that he wants to say no, and for a second, I'm sure that he will, but he surprises me by saying, "Okay." 

The three boys in front of us turn around, standing at the elevator. "We'll be up in a minute." Various nods come our way as they step onto the elevator. Luke gives me a smile that I return. 

"Ash," I say, quietly. "I'm sorry about how I've been acting." 

"Is it because Luke likes you?" he asks, his voice cracking slightly. "Because I like you, too, Lil." 

"I didn't want to hurt his feelings, but then I realized that all I was doing was hurting yours. And mine. Because, I just want to be with you. I don't like Luke. I like you." I say, realizing that this isn't something that he or I have said aloud before. We sort of just skirted around the pronouncement, allowing ourselves to feel freely without labeling or defining anything. But I guess there's a point where you have to make solid lines of definition.

"You do?" he questions, a small smile appearing on his face. 

I can't help but to smile back. "These last two months haven't been nothing to me, Ash. And I really hope they haven't been nothing to you." 

He doesn't say anything, but I know they haven't. And for the second time in about two hours, I am kissed by a member of Five Seconds of Summer. But, unlike the first time, I can tell that there is so much more that will come from this kiss. We take the stairs up to the rooms and I tell Ash that I'm going to stay in Calum and Mikey's room still, because I don't want to be rude. Also, I've actually had a lot of fun with them the last twenty-four hours. 

"Hey," Luke says, after I've said goodbye to Ashton but before I entered my own room. "Did you tell Ashton that you only want to be friends?" 

I smile, relieved that he feels this way, too. "Yeah, I did. And I'm so glad that you feel the same way, Luke." 

"He's taking it really well," Luke says, a puzzled look on his face. "I suppose knowing that there is no hope is better than hoping."

"What?"

"I'm just glad that Ashton knows that you want to be with me," he says, smiling confidently before entering the open door to my room. 

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