I carefully open my eyes, feeling my right hip being pushed down by the weight of Ashton’s arm. I look over my right shoulder, Ashton still soundly asleep. My eyes lock with his bare chest, remembering the time he told me he’s unable to sleep with a shirt on. I push the thought away and tiptoe to the bathroom, I’m not sure how loud the sounds are that I make, I’m not even sure if everything makes sounds, or what kind of sounds might wake Ashton up, but I decide to be extra careful. I let the cold water hit my lower back while washing my hair using the tiny hotel shampoo bottles.
“Good morning.” I sign when I sit down at breakfast, the only ones that are already up are Luke and Calum and they both greet me using words. “… saw you … Liam and Ashton. I want … ,please?” Calum asks me. “I don’t understand.” I sign. Calum has to repeat himself twice before I understand him, it’s too early to be trying to lip read. Of course I agree to his question and show the two lads the alphabet, teaching them how to fingerspell. I also start showing them different signs, signing “thank you/please”, “good morning”, “good night”, “how are you?” and “name”. However Calum struggled with signing “name”, showing him didn’t seem to do the trick so I grab his hand and bending his fingers in the correct way. Both Calum and Luke quickly whip their head around, with me still holding Calum’s hand.
Ashton takes the seat next to Luke, sitting opposite of me. I can feel Calum pulling his hand from mine, but I ignore it instead I smile widely at Ashton, I’ve been feeling very happy today, my heart flutters every time someone tries to communicate with me and all of the guys that I haven’t even met that long ago are trying their best to learn a few sign makes me happier than I’ve ever been. “Good morning!” I sign while smiling brighter than usually. Something softens in his face, but soon his jaw locks again, showing off its sharp edges. His eyes show nothing, it doesn’t even look like he’s looking at me, he’s looking through me and everything about this makes me feel cold. That look makes me think of that day in London where he was angrily drumming instead of talking to me about his feelings. Oh, but this time he’s going to tell me about his feelings.
“How are you?” I type on my phone, showing him the message. He doesn’t recognise me and just looks away while slightly huffing. My fingers twitch but I ignore it, I’m not going to lose my temper, I have to try to be a good friend to him. I start typing again “What’s wrong? Are you mad?”
And that hits home. He slams his fork down, standing up so fast that his chair tips over, digging his hands into the wooden table on either side of his plate. “What?” He spits the word out like it’s the most disgusting thing he has ever tastes “… asking … wrong?” By the way his throat vibrate I can tell he’s raising his voice. I frown at his sudden explosion “I’m sorry, but I didn’t think it was such a big deal to walk away this morning. You looked very tired.” I show him on my phone. I’m genuinely confused about this, I don’t feel like I did anything wrong. It’s not like we had sex and I sneaked out in the morning, treating him like a one night stand I don’t care about. He brushes his long, long fingers through his hair, slightly pulling on the curls. “Whatever.” He speaks and storms away, leaving his food mostly untouched. I turn to Calum, showing him my phone “What did I do wrong?” but instead of responding he points at Luke, who looks slightly flustered. “You should just go and ask him.” Luke types.
Why is no one ever giving me proper answers? Why did Ashton change again? How can he go from wiping away my tears to yelling at me when I don’t even know what I did wrong? I set a high pace, stamping my feet as I go. I don’t even know how loud I am. I see Ashton repeatedly pushing the lift button. I go up to him, but he gets into the lift before I can reach him. I’m having none of this, as I step into the lift right after him. I tap his shoulder a few times to get his attention, but he doesn’t turn around. I keep getting more and more angry, I’m on the brink of explosion as I take his shoulders and spin him around. “What is wrong with you?” I sign at him, not bothering with writing. “I did nothing wrong. Why do you have to be such a dickhead? At least tell me why you’re mad at me, please enlighten me of the crime I committed that makes you so incredibly upset with me.”
But he doesn’t respond, he just pushes past and walks down the hall and something inside me snaps as I see him fiddling with the lock to my room. I push him harshly against his shoulders “What is your problem?!”
I can tell he’s about to explode and somehow I want him to. I want him to show emotions, I want to be the cause for him losing his temper. But instead he takes a deep breath and unlocks the door and points inside. “You can’t tell me what to do!” I sign at him. Ashton points again, this time pairing it with yelling: “Fucking get inside!”
And I smile, feeling oddly happy and proud that I broke him and made him yell. I take a spot in the middle of the room, standing astride and watching Ashton scribble down something on the whiteboard he brought “Don’t act like you don’t know what’s wrong”.
Why can’t he just explain it to me? I grab my own board and hold it up “Fucking hell, Ashton why won’t you just tell me?”
He sighs and starts writing a long message, clenching his jaw after every few words. “You can’t just pretend to be interested in me and cuddle with me and then fuck off and hold my best friend’s hand.” His whiteboard reads.
My eyes widen in surprise. So that’s what this is about? He’s jealous of Calum? “I was just trying to show him signs. Why the fuck would you care? We’re not dating, you don’t even like me.” I write.
Ashton takes a few milliseconds too long to reply for it to be casual, but I don’t want to question it, this is enough drama as it is. “No, I don’t like you.”
“Then what is the fucking problem? I’m just as much friends with him as I am with you. Stop being so jealous!”
Instead of apologising or replying Ashton just huffs again and that’s the last straw “I want a different room.” I add onto my whiteboard as I start packing my suitcase, dragging it down the hall, ignoring Ashton as he tries ignoring me even more.
I start banging my fist onto a different door on the same floor, hoping that the sound would be loud enough for him to hear it. A very sleepy Louis opens the door, only wearing his boxers. “I need you to interpret for me, I need a new room. I can’t share with Ashton.” I sign at him. I can tell he’s confused and wants to ask me what happened, but I suppose the steam that’s still coming from my ears like in one of those cartoons, causes him to suppress the urge to ask me stupid questions. So instead he nods and puts some clothes on and gets me a new room, a few doors down from his.
After pushing my suitcase into the new room, I turn around to Louis who’s still standing in the hallway. “Thank you.” I sign, still too mad to be apologising to anyone. “It’s fine.” He signs back at me “Text me when you need someone to talk to.”
I nod and shut the door and throw myself onto the bed as I stare up to the ceiling. I can feel tears rolling down my face, threatening to enter my ears. I change into pyjama bottoms before crawling into bed with a book, angry hot tears still spilling from my eyes.