20. Chapter 20
I wake up from being pushed to the side, I slowly open my eyes and see Ashton jumping up. He is all over the place, trying to pull a t-shirt over his head while searching for his glasses. He keeps speaking, telling me “I’m sorry” but mixing his apologies with cuss words and random words he yells towards the door. Once he’s dressed and is able to see objects further than six feet away from him again, he opens the door and Calum comes bursting in through the door and judging by his face and posture: he’s mad. He yells some words to Ashton that I can’t follow, his lips move too fast for me. As Ashton gets ushered into the bathroom Calum finally notices me still sitting on the bed, he looks rather surprised, I’m not quite sure how to place the look he has on his face right now. It’s somewhere in between shame and amusement? Like he knows something that makes him internally giggle. “Good morning, Beth” He signs to me. “Did you sleep alright?” “Didn’t really sleep that much.” My answer causes him to laugh and he seems to remind himself of why he was here in the first place and slams the bathroom door with his flat hand, trying to sign along with the things he’s currently yelling to Ashton who is hiding in the bathroom. “Ashton! I swear if you don’t hurry up we’re going to find a new drummer and I’ll personally put you on the first plane back to Australia!” That causes Ashton to run out of the bathroom, he quickly pecks me on my cheek. “See you later, Lizzy.” Calum quickly pushes him out of the room while grinning at me like the Cheshire cat, right after they leave I let the warm duvet and soft pillows pull me back to sleep again. --- Later that day I find myself hanging around in Liam’s hotel room, while Luke, Michael, Calum and Ashton have a busy day filled with interviews and promoting, One Direction are actually having a pretty relaxed day. I know Liam tries hard to understand my signs, but it doesn’t come as easily to him as it does to Ashton, I spend a lot more time with Ashton so he learns signs faster. In order for us to have a somewhat easy flowing conversation there’s a notepad laying in between us as we attempt to watch some shitty show on Netflix, it ends up in us joking about the stupid characters in it and laugh at how bad the acting is. But pretty soon Liam gets distracted by his phone. The smile on his face makes me curious. “Is it your girlfriend?” I write down to which he shyly nods. “She’s your soulmate, isn’t she?” To which, again, he nods. I start fiddling with my pen, not knowing how to word what I want to know, Liam picks up on it though. “… wrong? … something … with Ashton?” He asks “Yeah, I just, I don’t know what I’m feeling anymore. He makes me feel like shit, but on top of the world at the same time. How? How does he do that? I’m just so scared of falling for him, because things that fall break.” I sign to him and judging by his facial expression he got absolutely nothing from that. I quickly write it down for him, how could I just forget to explain myself to him? I didn’t even slow down my signs, damn it Beth, get your shit together. “Or you could fly.” Liam starts writing. “That’s exactly how she makes me feel, like I’m flying the whole time.” “Do you ever have to try to get along with her? Did you have to try to like her and love her?” Liam quickly shakes his head and for a split second I’m scared he might hurt his neck, but he seems fine as he nearly rips the pen out of my hand “Never. The only thing we have to try for is making this relationship work when I have to be away with the band so much. I loved her the second my timer stopped.” “I’m scared.” I sign. “Why?” Liam replies with using a sign and even though this is a pretty serious conversation his ever so small smile indicates that he feels slightly proud that he understood me and was able to reply using sign language. “I’m scared of falling and breaking instead of flying.” I write down. “I’m scared he won’t fly with me and he’ll just be here watching me as I shatter when I collide with the ground.” Somehow that makes Liam laugh and I feel almost offended until I read what he’s writing down: “Don’t be silly. I can tell by the way he looks at you that he’s already on cloud nine.” And that thought makes my insides all warm and fuzzy, but Liam hasn’t finished yet. “Don’t you think it’ll be worth it in the end?” He continues to write. “Won’t the flight be worth the pain in the end?” And that reminds me awfully much of this morning when we jumped off the swing set, feeling the freedom, the butterflies in my stomach and the wind comb through my hair made the painful collision with the grass so worth it. I didn’t even flinch, I just laughed even though it hurt, because it had been amazing. And that’s exactly what it can be like with Ashton, it’s scary, but exciting and I’m only now realising that I might already be flying. It feels like flying when we kiss at least. I get up and stand next to the bed just staring at Liam, not knowing what to do for my next move. “Go! They were supposed to go back to the tour bus after the interviews. Go find him and tell him.” He quickly jots down. And I don’t feel like I’m breathing quite right as I keep signing “thank you” to Liam, I sprint down to the lift and impatiently tap my foot to the carpet, waiting for the lift to arrive. For some reason the lift takes so much longer to go down this time, I speed walk out of the confined space and make my way to their tour bus. I just go in, not even bothering to knock, I’m too scared that every second that might slow me down in the process of finding him will be just enough for me to back out of telling me that I want to be more than friends. I finally let out a breath that I didn’t even know I was holding in as my eyes lock with his. “Ashton.” I sign. He seems confused, maybe scared even, he probably didn’t expect me down here, but I don’t care, I can’t hold it back anymore. “We need to talk.” I can see fear multiply in his eyes and his face harden in anger. What did I do wrong? “No, we don’t.” He simply signs and walks out. He just walks away. And leaves me standing here. What did I do wrong? My body starts filling up with a mix of anger and sadness and I don’t want either of those to take control of me right now. “What did I do wrong?” I sign to Luke, who seems to be the only one still holding eye contact with me, Michael and Calum have both averted their eyes, but Luke tells me nothing. I slowly sit down on the bench in their bus again slowly signing “What did I do wrong?”, but no reply comes.