Chapter 20 - Happy birthday
„Emma?” a voice silently whispered. „Just five more minutes,” Emma answered and turned in bed. „Like that’s gonna happen! Happy birthday babe!” Esme squealed. Then the whole room broke into song - a birthday song. Emma reluctantly opened her eyes and she was greeted by huge smiles and lots of gifts. It was Friday morning and the girls had started school again, but Esme and Audrey had crashed at Emma’s last night so they could celebrate her all day. Her father and Louis were there as well - they just didn’t sing as loud and horrific as her beloved girlfriends, and thank god for that. At this moment felt Emma happy, a bit tired, but happy. She was surrounded by family and friends. This day could only be good.
The girls handed Emma their gifts and they looked at her with expectant eyes. Louis just threw the presents from Ross and him on the bed. Emma carefully opened them and she smiled at the gifts she had gotten, both her favorite perfume Chanel Mademoiselle, clothes and money. She thanked them gratefully and pulled the girls down on the bed and into a group hug. „I want to hug too,” Louis fake-pouted and threw himself on top of them. Ross watched them grinning. „There's breakfast when you’re ready,” he said and left the teenagers sprawled across the bed. „I'd better go - it's going to take some time if you need to get ready for school,” Louis said cheekily. „Jerk,” Audrey stated with a teasingly smile. Emma threw a pillow at him but he managed to duck and laughed at them.
„Are you almost ready? We need to leave now if you don’t want to be late for school,” Louis said, as they were all gathered at the kitchen table. Ross had made scrambled eggs and bacon for the special occasion. The girls grabbed their school bags and hurried to the car. Louis had promised to drive them to school. „We’ll just meet here after your cheer practice,” he yelled after the girls when they ran out of the car just as the bell rang. The school day passed quickly, and Emma, who was a very well-liked girl, was congratulated several times. Her closest friends texted her while her acquaintances just posted something on her Facebook wall, even Harry had wished her a happy birthday - and her fellow students all greeted her in the hallway between classes. Emma loved having birthday. Not because of the presents or the attention but because of the atmosphere that was just slightly better than usual. In addition, everyone was just more smiling and friendlier when it was someone’s birthday and Emma enjoyed it to its fullest.
A simple greeting she still could have done without was her run in with Adrian. During lunch break Emma was standing at her locker as Adrian approached her carefully - and Emma forced a fake smile. „Happy Birthday Emma,” Adrian said and surprised her with a quick hug. Emma’s body automatically stiffened but she was relieved when she discovered her feelings for him no longer existed - both the longing and hate, which to both of their surprise made her hug him back. „Thank you,” she whispered sending him a sincere smile. Then she took her books and left him wondering, standing alone in the middle of the hall way. Finally, she felt free. She was just herself and her heart belonged to neither Harry nor Adrian. She was no longer crushed and somehow she felt that she owed Zayn a thank you. Although he may not view her as more than a friend, he had helped her more than he would ever know.
Louis picked up the girls after school as promised - and in honor of the occasion he had been by the Star-bucks on his way there, where he had bought hot chocolate to the girls. It was not the only surprise which he had brought along. „Shotgun,” Emma cried, as all the girls ran to the passenger seat in the front. Emma sprinted and made her way to the car door first, so she made a small victory dance before opening the door, which made her stop dancing - the seat was taken which was somewhat of a surprise. The front seat was preoccupied by a handsome dark haired guy with the most charming smile.
„Zayn,” Emma exclaimed surprised and suddenly felt very self-conscious. She hadn’t noticed him when all the girls were goofing around. „Em, the happiest birthday to you love!” He smiled and hugged her as he got out of the car. For a brief moment she forgot all about Louis and the girls who sat in the car and relaxed into Zayn’s chest. She allowed herself to stay in his arms a little longer than usual, and when they pull apart, Emma could feel her smile widen. „You are more than welcome to get shotgun, but only because it's your birthday,” Zayn offered and winked at his best friends’ little sister. „No thank you, I’ll just sit in the back with the girls,” she replied shyly and thanked as Zayn opened the car door for her. Esme handed Emma the hot chocolate and sent her a what-did-I-say look. Emma shook her head but smiled to herself. What a day.