Feeling Numb

"When the world around me burns, all I can do is stop feeling. Feeling hurts. Like a bitch, actually. It's much easier to avoid it," Bell says as if she were talking about some pesky bug rather than her emotions.
"Doesn't that get lonely?" I ask.
"You get used to feeling numb."


1. Kara's POV: The Lost Chocolate Wars

Kara's POV: The Lost Chocolate Wars

I'm hanging out with my best friend Liam. Sitting on the couch as we watch cartoons, I feel like I'm five years old again. Actually, the way we talk, you might think we're five, considering a popular discussion is about asses.

"Yeah, Hey Kara?" Liam says, looking over at me.

"Yes?" I ask, batting my eyelashes at him in mock flirtation.

His cheeks turn red.

"How did we start talking about this?" he asks.

"I have no idea," I say, laughing.

Soon we're both laughing and I can't help but smile wider because nothing is the best thing to laugh about.

"Hey, Liam?" I say, through laughs.

"Huh?" he barely chokes out.

Somehow, I manage to stop laughing and keep my face straight (which is a killer on the intestines) as I say, "I think I'm a unicorn."

Liam laughs for a moment, then he sees my straight face and looks at me as if I have a third eye in the middle of my forehead.

"What makes you think that?" he asks, utterly confused.

My composure breaks and I laugh loudly, snorting against my will. "I don't, I just wanna be a unicorn," I say, barely audible between giggles and my hysteric tones. Liam laughs too, though not as much as I do. In fact, I laugh so hard I fall off the couch.

"Hold on, I got to go make a call," Liam says.

I nod through laughs as Liam pulls out his phone and walks into the kitchen. He's not in there long, however. When he returns, he has a jar of melted chocolate, chocolate graham crackers, and a fork.

"Really Liam?" I say, my laughter dying down to something a few notches below hysterics.

Liam smiles widely at me.

"I was hungry!" he says.

"I thought you had to make a call!" I say.

"I got distracted..."

Liam puts the fork inside the jar and stirs it around. Then, he takes the fork out of the jar and starts smearing the chocolate on a graham cracker which he then shoves in his mouth messily.

"Liam!" I laugh.

"Its too good!" he says, mouth filled with the brown food.

My ribs hurt from all the laughing I've done, but, clutching my side, I manage to stand and walk towards the kitchen. I pull a beer out of the expensive refrigerator and make my way back to the main room, still chuckling at out stupidity. I make it back just in time to hear the familiar voice of Woody from Toy Story.

"WOODY!" Liam yells, falling off the couch in his excitement. I laugh and sit down next to him.

"Dear Spongebob...I use you to wash my dishes...why are you such a fuck-tard...you can't even make me a damn Crabby Patty," I hear Liam mumbling.

"What?" I laugh.

"Well, once I threw the sponge on the stove..." Liam says as I giggle. "Then I yelled at it to cook me a Crabby Patty."

"Then?" I laugh, my insides exploding.

"Spongebob wouldn't cook," he says with mock disappointment.

I start laughing so hard I can't see through all the tears spilling down my cheeks.

"I think you've had enough chocolate," I manage to say.

"What? No such thing!" Liam says, holding the chocolate above his head.

I look back at the TV, still laughing.

"I'm bored," I say taking a sip of my beer.

"Hey, none of that. No drinking. I can't have you getting wasted in front of my friends. Harry is a little questionable around females who have consumed a bit too much alcohol," Liam says.

I glance at him and ask, "Who?"

I take another sip.

"My friends. Didn't I tell you they were coming over?" he asks, eying my drink.

"No. If you had I wouldn't currently be wearing pajamas," I say, slightly pissed.

Just then, Liam grabs my beer. Without my consent, a growl escapes my lips.

"Hey! No growling!" Liam says, shaking a finger at me.

Quickly, I bite his finger than tackle him. Liam screams a little, but I just laugh and pin him to the ground.

"Give me my beer bitch!" I scream, grabbing for the beer Liam is bound to spill.

"NO!" he says, trying to swat my hands away.

"Meanie," I say, sitting back on the floor and pouting like an actual five year old.

"Oh calm down," he says before giving me my drink reluctantly.

"Maybe I don't want it now. It has Liam germs all over it," I say.

Liam just shrugs and swallows the rest.

"Hey! I was kidding!" I say.

"Woops," he says, shooting me a toothy grin.

I make a wild grab for his chocolate and scramble to my feet so I'm too far away for Liam to grab.

"My chocolate!!!" he protests.

"Yummy!" I say, taking the fork out of the jar and licking it.

"NOOOOOO!" Liam cries, but I just giggle and take off running with Liam hot on my trail.

Of course, he runs after me and I am forced to run into a random room (I'm too busy running to notice which) and close the door in his face.

"Give me the chocolate...and nobody gets hurt..." Liam huffs on the other side of the door, out of breath from chasing me.

"Really, Liam? How are you out of breath so fast? You've done a bajillion shows and danced your butt off for screaming teen girls everywhere. I'm pretty sure you've even outrun them on more than one occasion and you can't even catch me. You needa step up your game," I call, through the door.

I hear a lock turn on the door and suddenly it's open and Liam is standing in front of me.

"Now, about the chocolate..."

I laugh at his attempt to be threatening and slowly lick more chocolate off of the fork.

"Liam?" someone with a deep, slow English accent calls from downstairs.

"Up here!" Liam calls, still glaring at me.

I lick more chocolate and I know Liam is imagining all the ways he can attack me and not spill his precious food. Suddenly, a tall boy appears next to Liam in the doorway. His hair is a bit wild but his eyes look at me suggestively, which makes me uncomfortable on several levels.

"Hey, don't do that. He probably enjoys watching you lick all over that thing," he says, his voice slow.

Liam swipes the chocolate out of my hands and laughs triumphantly.

I very maturely stick my tongue out at him.

"I'm Harry," the boy says. "What's your name?"

"Kara," I say, curtly. "And Liam just stole meh food."

Harry just gives me a look that says, Well that'll happen, and walks back downstairs.

"Friendly guy, that Harold," I comment.

"Harry's a good guy. He's just trying too hard to be mysterious like Zayn," Liam says, happily eating his liquid chocolate.

Liam and I walk back downstairs but I have to stop on the last step to control the small heart attack I'm having from an overdose on sexy. There are three other boys in the room and each is equally sexy.

There's a guy with black hair and piercing brown eyes, a guy with dark brown hair and suspenders, and then there's the last one...

Holy shit, he's perfect with blonde hair, brown roots barely showing, and big blue eyes I find myself drowning in.

"This is Kara," Liam introduces.

Stricken mute by the blonde one's beauty, I simply look down and wave.

Within minutes, all the boys are grouped together on the couch, joking about nonsense and I can't help but feel antsy under the blonde one's stares so, eventually, I leave and go to the kitchen, unnoticed by the friends catching up. Or, at least I thought it was unnoticed.

"Hi," a distinctly un-English accent says in the doorway as I sit at the table.

I stare at my hands and mumble a courtesy "hello".

"I'm Niall," he says, sitting across from me. His accent is definitely Irish.

"Kara," I say nervously, as if the word was a bomb and therefore had to be handled carefully.

I glance at Niall, only to be met by eyes that give me another mini heart attack. I look back at the table.

For some reason, I have the overwhelming urge to be alone with this boy, away from everyone else.

"So, Niall. Would you like to go for a walk?" I ask, putting on a smile filled with fake confidence.

"Sure," he says, smiling at me as he stands and waits for me to follow suit. We take the back door out, as not to interrupt everyone else.

As we walk away from the dimming light of Liam's massive house, Niall puts one hand into his pocket and runs his fingers through his hair with the other as I look glare intensely at the ground as if it was to blame for this awkward situation. I count my steps.

Suddenly, in the darkness, I can just make out shapes that resemble a slide, some swings, and a miniature castle for five-year-olds. It occurs to me that it's actually a slide, some swings, and a miniature castle.

A squeal escapes my lips and Niall jumps, startled.

"What is it?" he asks, eyes wide and nervous.

"It's a playground!" I giggle excitedly.

In the dim light, I think Niall's cheeks turn red but I immediately dismiss it as a trick of the light.

Before Niall can say anything in protest, I start sprinting towards the playground at top speed. I haven't run that fast in a long time.

It's about time to be five again!" I say to myself.

Niall yells my name after me, clearly not used to the way I react to playgrounds and the idea of being young again, but he quickly gets over the surprise and catches up to me.

"Damn, you're fast!" he huffs, keeping my pace.

I giggle and then trip ever so gracefully on my own two feet, nearly tackling the swing set. Niall laughs, but says nothing about my unplanned gymnastics.

I pick up my pride and sit on the swing, trying to be calm. There's something wrong with me and the way I suddenly cannot regain my breath. I've never been asthmatic before.

"So, who is Niall?" I ask, referring to him in the third person as if I were a reporter and he was the breaking news.

"What do you wanna know?"


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