“Okay grandma. You can’t just stop there. I want more. I mean what kind of ending is ‘that was the first of many dances I shared with my Niall’?” Ella widened her bright blue eyes waiting for an explanation.
“I can tell you lots about him. What would you like to know my dear?” I replied quickly to the attentive girl.
“Everything. Please I want to know everything. I feel like I didn’t really get to know much about him while he was with us.”
“Now you do realize that everything is quite a lot of stories for me to tell you right?” I asked her.
She smiled real big, “Oh grandma of course I know. You guys are perfect and I want to know everything.”
“You do realize that we weren’t perfect together all of the time? Look at all the envelopes and you can see that there are multiple years missing near the beginning. You know Niall was quite the musician in his days. He sold out stadiums with his band within seconds…”
“Grandma I want you to tell me about it then okay?”
“Of course my dear.”
“Okay can you start back where you met him? Do you remember what your first conversation was?”
“I remember it like it was yesterday my dear.”
She smiled and pulled out a photograph, the first one Niall and I had together. It was just after we had finished dancing and the photographer got us spontaneously; you could see the pure elation in both of our faces. Ella waited for me to continue along with my story.
He took my hand in his and it just felt so right. It was a different kind of feeling that I don’t think I have ever experienced before in my life. He led me to the main dance floor where he smiled and placed his hands on my waist. And I placed my hands around his neck.
"I’ve never really done this before.” I whispered in his ear.
I saw him smile from the corner of my eye and he whispered back, “Then just follow my lead.”
And that was exactly what I did. The music was slow enough to where I didn’t look like a colossal idiot whenever I stepped out of place. He was definitely patient with me and he never let his smile fade.
“This is one of my favorite songs.” I heard him just above the music.
"And why’s that?”
“Because its so real. It’s a raw and emotional song. Ed has such powerful lyrics and such a soft voice it just works. He’s a lyrical and vocal genius.”
I nodded in agreement. I heard him singing along quietly just so I could hear as we danced around the floor. He had such a gentle voice that didn’t match Ed’s voice but it was the soft voice that made him sound so incredible.
“When I’m away, I will remember how you kissed me. Under the lamppost back on Sixth street hearing you whisper through the phone, ‘Wait for me to come home.’” He finished the song when Ed did.
“Wow,” I looked back up at him, “That was beautiful.” I said as I unwrapped my arms from his neck. Just then someone took a picture of us, neither of us really noticed.
He let go of my waist took my hand again and led me off the dance floor. “I sure hope I sounded good. Its kind of what I do for a living.” He smiled some more.
“Oh my God that’s why you look so familiar! You’re in that band uhh… I can’t remember the name. Sorry.” I started laughing.
He chuckled, “Yes I am. One Direction”
I threw my hands up in the air, “That’s right! My little sister is obsessed with you guys. Wow what a small world.”
He was just about to keep talking when what looked to be more rich people interrupted him. “I’ll be right back Charlie,” He had a sad look in his eyes, “I have to go talk to them. Wait for me.”
“I will. I might go sit back down over there so I don’t look awkward.”
He smiled and nodded then started walking away with the nameless people. I started to make my way back to the table where I was sitting before. I almost made it before Jenna stepped right in front of me.
“You kind of just danced with Niall Horan.” She gaped at me, “Do you realize who he is or what kind of power he has or how much money...”
I placed my hand in front of her mouth, “Yes I know who he is Jenna.”
“Well what was he like?” She eyed me.
“Wonderful. Quite the gentleman.”
“Charlie it’s like pulling teeth from you trying to get you to talk about boys much less Niall Horan.” She started whining.
“I’ve known him for a grand total of five minutes Jenna. That’s all I really know about him.” I snapped back at her.
“Ugh fine. But you have to give me details later okay?”
“Okay.” I smiled at her, “Now go run along and do your party thing.”
She patted me on the shoulder before she disappeared into the crowd. Jenna was something else.
“I am so incredibly sorry,” I heard the thick Irish accent again close to my ear, “I am obligated to talk to so many people here and sometimes it’s hard to get away. Let alone they don’t care what you are in the middle of doing.”
“Oh it’s perfectly fine.” I smiled at him. He pulled out a chair and sat next to me.
“So Charlie. Tell me about yourself.”
“Hmm, well I think I’m quite ordinary. I’m a student with little to nothing next to my name. I live in the boring state of Ohio where the only excitement comes from sports teams that tend to let you down more than they give you something to cheer for. I have a dog and a best friend and I’m studying to be an engineer.” I leaned back in my chair to get a good look at him.
“I don’t think that’s ordinary.” He said quickly, “I actually think it’s quite unique. It might seem simple to you but that sounds like something you should enjoy before you get older.”
“So your philosophical?” I questioned.
He started laughing, “No, the opposite. But I’d hate to see such a beautiful girl think her life is anything but extraordinary.”
“I like you. You’re different than the rest of the guys that I know.”
“Well that’s good. It makes it easier for me to ask you if you’d like to do something with me tomorrow afternoon?” He looked nervous, very nervous asking that.
“Of course. I’d love to.”
His face lit up, “Oh thank goodness. Okay I can pick you up around one? It’ll have to be something low key because people can get kind of crazy.”
“Sounds like a plan.”
“Okay. Wow you look beautiful by the way, did I mention that?” He looked down at his watch and panic spread across his face, “I am so sorry. I don’t mean to keep doing this to you but I have go… leave the party go.”
“Yes you did and it’s no problem. I will see you tomorrow at one.” He handed me his phone so I could put my number in it.
“I will see you then. Dress casual.” He kissed me on the cheek and walked away quickly.
I could already tell that he was going to be someone special. There was this feeling that I just couldn’t shake. We had barely known each other for an hour and he had already made an impression to last a lifetime. Whether it was his piercing blue eyes or his thick Irish accent there was something about him that drew me to him. I could already tell that he was a laid back kind of guy and that was something that was so key. Little did I know that he was going to take my world by absolute storm.
“Okay, okay, okay.” I said cracking up, “But can you do this?” I took a cherry ate it and then tied the stem in my mouth.
“How in the hell.” He started laughing some more. “You beat me there.”
We were at his place in London having lunch when we started trying to one up each other with our hidden talents. It seems as though I had stumped him because he couldn’t come up with anything.
“Not many people can beat that. It takes a special kind of person to be able to do that.” I winked at him.
“Oh I don’t doubt that.” He grinned and scooted closer to me. “Would it be weird if I said that I feel like I understand you?”
I shook my head, “No, but how so? I’m curious.”
He ran his fingers through his hair, a habit that I quickly picked up on. “I don’t really know how to explain it.” He chuckled then picked up my hand. He started tracing patterns on my palm, “You’re just so different. Different than the type of girls that I’ve been with in the past.”
“Surely you mean a good different?”
“The best kind of different.” He grinned at me and kissed my hand.
"Grandma that is so romantic.”
“Oh it was. I will never forget meeting him. I will never forget any of him.”
“What’s this picture?” She pulled out one where Niall and I were posing and it was incredibly dark all around us.
I laughed softly to myself when I saw this one. We were so young it was incredible to see how far we had come. “That my dear is the first concert that Niall took me too. We were backstage; he was just about to go on. This was just a couple days after we met.” I smiled while I continued looking at it.
“Did you go to a lot of concerts with him?”
“Sort of. I didn’t really want to invade his space though. I never travelled with him. I just went when he invited me.”
“That must have been a blast.”
I nodded my head, “It was one of the best times of my life. I wouldn’t do anything over if I had to.”
“Did his band mates like you?”
“I sure think they did. I still keep in contact with a couple of them.” I smiled at her.
She pulled out another picture. The last from 2017. It was a picture of the Horan family plus me with Niall’s arm around my shoulder. “Is this?”
I nodded my head, “Yes. Niall’s family. There is your great grandmother Maura and your great grand stepfather Chris they are the two hugging each other. Greg, Nialls brother is right there with his son Theo and his wife. And that is me and Niall.”
“Now did they like you?”
“At first it was a little rocky.” I admitted laughing quietly. “I don’t think they really trusted me too much. This was taken around Christmas time. Niall and I had only been together for about a month and a half. There were lots of girls who just used Niall for his money and the Horan’s thought that was the case for me at first.”
“That wasn’t the case though?”
“Of course not my dear. I did know Niall made more money in a year than I would my whole life but that didn’t make me love him and more or less.
She nodded, “Good. Is that all there is for 2017?”
“Yes. We had only met in the middle of November. Not too much happened.” I chuckled.
“Did you see him a lot?”
“Not all the time. Luckily he wasn’t on tour then so I saw him quite a bit when we first started dating. When tour hit though, I was lucky to see him once a month.”
“It was definitely hard on us. You’ll see that when we get into the next couple of years.”
“I can’t wait to hear about it."
“Neither can I my dear Ella.”