I woke up on the morning when Sandy phoned on my mobile. I answered quickly so that Niall wouldn't wake up.
"Are you ready!" she exclaimed. I gasped. Shit! I had forgotten that I had promised to go with them and skate.
I realized that I had to come up with an explanation.
"I'm busy." I said quickly. "I apologize but I had forgotten that I would be with you today."
She seemed disappointed.
"But can't you come down to us later?"
I frowned. I listened after sounds in the house, but it was quiet. Niall was in bed and I didn't just want to leave him like this, not yet.
Sandy wasn't happy, but she seemed to understand me.
"Promise to try. We are down on the ice and everyone will get there."
I swallowed and I nodded, though she didn't see the nod.
"Okay, I'll try."
I did no more than put down the cell phone in my handbag until the door opened and a happy Niall put his head inside the door.
"Your cell phone woke me up."
He smiled and he came into the room. He was wearing a tank top and a pair of night pants. He looked rested and I couldn't help but look at him.
"It's okay!" he said quickly. "What was it that you had promised your friend to do?"
I blushed. Had he heard the whole conversation? The walls were so thin in the house that he heard everything I said?
"Nothing." I mumbled but I saw at him that he wouldn't settle with a short answer. "We, or they, or,,, I have some friends that I should meet and skating in the park and she wanted me to be with them today, but I felt that I..."
I hesitated. Niall seemed almost amused and he raised an eyebrow.
"You thought you could come later, if I chose to say I'm busy today?"
"Something like that."
Niall sat down on the bed and I noted that he had plans.
"Then I hang with you to your friends."
I almost fainted.
He laughed a little bit and he ran his hand through his hair.
"Yes, that sounds fun to skate and I don't mind being with you today. I wouldn't prevent you from meeting your friends."
Okay, this was a dream or did this happen?
"You mean you'll go with me and you will be open with me?"
"Your fans? You can't even go outside the door..."
He stopped me quickly.
"Jenny, I can go out if I want to and I promise you that not many people recognize me. I'm at the wrong place for the fans to see that I'm Niall."
I don't know if I did the right thing. It felt right, but at the same time so wrong. We went home to me and I changed my clothes. We looked up the skates and then we went to the park. I felt that the whole I was about to scream no. But why I didn't I want to show Niall to my friends? Was I afraid that some of the girls would flirt with him? Was I afraid to openly show that I had gotten to know him? I wasn't wise, I was suspicious about everyone as we walked past. Okay, I realized that I ought to pull myself together.
"Just take it easy!" Niall whispered to me. I looked up at him and I blushed. He was so calm and he didn't mind being with me. He smiled wryly and I saw at him that he saw that I hesitated.
"I promise not to do anything crazy." he continued. "I'm your friend and that's all. You don't need to explain to a single person that we ate dinner only yesterday."
I nodded a little bit. His eyes calmed me down and I tried to smile. He had a hat that was pressed down over his ears and he had a thick scarf around his neck. I realized that many wouldn't recognize him, and he looked like a regular guy.
Sarah threw herself around my neck and she hugged me tightly.
"You did it, you came?" she said happily and then she saw Niall. Directly she seemed to understand that I had been busy. She giggled and she smiled at me again. "And you've got a boyfriend?"
I blushed and I shook my head. I was about to say that we were just friends, but Niall was fast. He stretched out his hand kindly to Sarah and he greeted politely at her.
"I'm Niall." he said cheerfully. "And yes, finally, Jenny has a boyfriend."
I gasped. Niall greeted at Amelia, Emma, Jon, Peter and all. It was like he just came in and everyone just liked him.
"I'm not your girlfriend." I sniffed cold. Niall just laughed and he smiled at me.
"I didn't want that she would flirt with me." he replied as an explanation. "Therefore, it's easier to say that I'm your boyfriend."
Did he meant that seriously? Was that his explanation?
"And what shall I say tomorrow?" I growled. "That it ended?"
He took his arm around my shoulders and he smiled, amused at me.
"No, tomorrow maybe we can eat at Nando?"
"Niall, I'm serious. Now the gossip will go around and eventually everyone at work think I'm with you."
He raised his eyebrows and he played hurt
"Is there something wrong with me?" he whispered happily. "Am I not good enough for you?"
I gasped. He joked, or did he mean seriously that my friends would talk about us as a couple. Was that normal?
"You will regret it." I growled. Niall just laughed and he took me away to the bench where we would switch to skate.
"Take it easy." he whispered. "You can always say I was an idiot or something. In a week they stop caring."
Although I was slightly annoyed at Niall, I forgot pretty soon the falsehood. I wasn't good at skating, but I held myself up on my feet and it was actually fun. Pretty soon the rink was filled with people in all ages and it was wonderful to hear Christmas music playing around our ears. Niall went much better than me around on the ice and he almost could do whatever he wanted to do. I laughed, I talked to everyone and I noticed that he looked at me more than what he saw on someone else.
"It's obvious that he loves you."
I gasped. Sarah and I sat down to rest, and she looked at me with big eyes.
"No, he doesn't love me."
She was grinning.
"Well, I see how he stares at you and he's really head over heels in love with you."
I didn't know what to think. I peered out onto the ice and immediately waved cheerfully Niall against us. I waved back and I felt small. Everything was a lie and he wasn't in love with me. Okay maybe he played theater, but wasn't it a little excessive to play in love?
"So how did you meet?" she asked. I realized that I had to still stick to the truth.
"Niall came into the store one evening." I answered. "We talked a bit over the net."
"I understand that you haven't told me about him. He's handsome and he's funny. I had taken him if he wasn't yours."
It was dark when Niall and I started to walk home again. I was tired in the whole body and I felt in my legs that I had been skating. We were quiet and it felt like we were both tired.
"Sorry I was angry." I mumbled just to say something. "But it felt wrong to say that we were together."
Niall looked at me and I almost felt the way he stared at my profile.
"I understand that you became angry." he whispered gently. "But I certainly didn't want that any other girl would start hanging over me. I saw how Sarah almost drilled in the eyes in me and I almost had a panic."
I smiled a little bit and I gave him a small gaze.
"Can you get panic?"
Niall laughed a little bit and he nodded.
"When I'm Niall Horan, that big star, it's easier to think about what to say. I feel almost impoverished when I am just myself."
Okay I understood him.
"I suppose you have reason then." I mumbled anyway. I smiled at the thought and actually, I wasn't mad at him anymore. In a way it had felt in the stomach when he convinced all that he was my boyfriend. I had maybe seen blindly on the lie? Maybe I should understand that he wanted to feel safer?
"But it was actually fun on the ice rink." Niall continued. "You did well."
I laughed a little bit.
"It's years since I went skating. At home in Sweden I go more skiing."
Niall looked at me long and I realized that I had caught his interest.
"When it's winter in Sweden we have a lot of snow and there are plenty of ski slopes. You can do it in all the way."
Niall seemed to like it.
"One day maybe we can go skiing?" he asked. I was startled and I looked at him. Did he mean that we would continue to meet? Okay, I was on it.
"Yes,,," I whispered sweet. "I promise that I'm better at that."
Niall looked at me. He had such a look that made my heart jump and he got my legs to become weak. It felt throughout the body that he looked at me and I couldn't stop staring at him. I had to tear myself away and I quickly looked down at the ground.
"What are you doing in Ireland when it's winter?"
He smiled awry.
"We have no snow, but we might do what everyone does. Socialize and in fact we are often at the pub."
I just nodded. He seemed still not fond of telling things about him. I suspected that he was afraid that I would talk on the sidelines and tell the newspapers what he had said. I wondered how I would win his confidence, but for the moment I was happy with what little I knew.
We stopped outside my apartment and it was as if the tension existed between us. Niall smiled at me and none of us wanted to end the day. Yet I felt that I was tired and I didn't want him to spend the night with me. I had neither the guest room or an extra bed.
"Can I see you tomorrow?" Niall asked. I nodded and I smiled. I wanted to see him again and I liked his company.
"You have my number." I said kindly. Niall smiled and he nodded. Then he took a quick step toward me and in a matter of a second, he hugged me. I felt his arms around my neck and I took my arms around his back.
"It was a fun day." he whispered in my ear. "I like to hang out with you Jenny and I know we don't know each other very well, but I want to get to know you."
I felt my heart jumped.
"Gladly!" I whispered back. He finished the hug and he smiled at me. I saw that he blushed slightly and he looked almost shyly at me.
"When do you wake up in the morning?"
I laughed a little bit.
"Honestly, it feels like I will sleep away all day, but you can call around ten o'clock, I'm certainly up then."
He nodded with satisfaction.
"Okay, then I call?"
I nodded and I saw how he pulled himself away from me. I knew that he would leave me and a side of me didn't want him to go.
"I'm going home now!" he said, as if I couldn't understand that. I laughed a little bit and I nodded.
He blinked a few more steps and he still had his eyes fixed on me.
"And I'll see you tomorrow?"
I nodded and I saw how he backed right into a lamppost. Directly he was startled and I couldn't help but laugh. Niall blushed and then he hesitated. Eventually he turned his back to me and he started to walk normally away.
"See you!" he shouted, and then he disappeared around a street corner.
"Mom how's at home."
I sat in front of skype and I talked in Swedish with her.
"Well it's cold, but we haven't had any snow yet." she said happily. "How's the job and you still all right with your salary?"
I smiled and I nodded.
She smiled and I saw that she missed me. My mother couldn't lie with her eyes and she looked almost tearful.
"What are you doing over Christmas, what your plans? Have you decided yet?"
I shook my head.
"I don't know." I answered quickly. "I might not even afford to go home, but if I have, I will."
"Nothing that has happened over there?"
I blushed. I didn't want to tell her about Niall, not yet.
"The usual." I answered. "We skated today and I'm tired legs."
"Yes it's a long time since you were out on an ice rink."
I missed my home town, my childhood home and all that was Swedish. I almost felt like crying when I no longer talked to mom. I was so close to them, yet so far away.
Okay, I had Niall in my head all the time. When I went to sleep in bed, I felt how much I missed him. Strange that I can miss someone I just met? I shouldn't even have feelings for him. My last boyfriend Lucas, I had been involved with for six months before I felt something for him. He had finally convinced me that we were a couple, although I never loved him directly. With Niall it was different. I already felt feelings for him and just the thought of him made me smile big. Talk about that I should learn not to release any feelings too quickly. I fell asleep with a smile. I fell asleep with Niall in my head and the last person I thought about before I fell asleep was him.