Strong | z.m

After a crucial accident that almost cost her life, Melanie Tomlinson was never the same, inside and out. Doctors found it hard to help her, and eventually they gave up on her when she refused to cooperate with them. To most people, she's a pathetic attention seeker wanting nothing but to be in the spotlight, but to the people who can actually see through her lies, they know that she's a strong-willed and brave young lady. The moment she walked in through the doors with her older brother, Zayn knew that she was the one girl he's been waiting for all along. However, Melanie is not as open and considerate as she used to be; she has boundaries and walls surrounding her, and refuses to let anyone in. But he knows that with a lot of effort and trust, he can get to the bottom of Melanie Tomlinson. And maybe, just maybe, bring her back down to earth again and show her what she's been missing all along.

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1. 1. Home

This is my first fanfic so I’m really sorry if it’s crap. Also, English is not my first language, so I’m really sorry if there are any mistakes – just point them out to me if you find any! The first person to comment will get a dedication on the next chapter – but ‘please update’ is not allowed if you want a dedication. Copyright: all rights reserved to @DesireHurts steal my idea and i'll steal your soul Chapter 1: I groaned as a blinding light flooded through the blinds, waking me up from my dreamless sleep. Shielding my eyes with my arms, I attempted to fall back asleep, but I couldn’t. “Morning Melanie,” Tanya, my nurse, chirped up as she walked into my room, pulling open the curtains to wake me up with the light. “Time to wake up darling, you’ve got a big day ahead of you.” “Why?” I whined, sitting up and rubbing my eyes when she yanked the blanket off me. I huffed and ran a hand through my knotted hair, staring at her as she made her way around the small bed. “You’ve been allowed to leave the hospital.” She chimed, taking my vitals and sending me a pearly white smile. “Why? I thought I wasn’t allowed to leave for another month?” I felt my brows furrow. “Well, we weren’t going to allow you to leave for another month, but the doctors have come to the conclusion that, since you’ve recovered massively, you’re allowed to leave a month early.” She smiled and slipped a piece of rubber onto my arm, taking my blood pressure. I smiled at the thought of finally going home and being allowed to see my sisters and family again. I haven’t seen them in at least six months, so it’s going to be special for me. Tanya took the rubber off my arm and scribbled down something onto a piece of paper attached to a clipboard. I pushed a strand of my brunette hair behind my ear whilst watching her, waiting for her to tell me that I was all good to go. “Is mum here?” I asked, biting my lip. My mum and I aren’t on particularly good terms, we never really got on together, and ever since I was put into hospital she’s been trying to avoid visiting me, but my dad usually comes instead so it doesn’t really bother me. “No sweetie, your father’s come instead.” She informed me, making me smile big as I nodded. “Don’t look so smug about it,” she chuckled, nudging my arm. “Stay there and don’t get up or move, I’m going to go get you some clothes to change into.” “Okay.” I nodded and watched her walk out the room, closing the door behind her. Letting out a sigh, I couldn’t help but smile. I’m finally getting out of here. I can finally see my baby sisters and sleep in my own bed. I twirled a strand of hair between my fingers as I waited for Tanya to come back with some clothes, just thinking about leaving the hospital for the first time in months. “Here you go,” Tanya came back into the room and placed a pile of clothes at the end of the bed before walking up to where I was sitting up and holding her hand out. She helped me stand up and climb out the bed, the floor was cold on my feet when I stood up fully witch made me scowl. After wobbling about for a moment, I managed to get some balance and Tanya cautiously let go of me. “Do you want me to help?” she asked, carefully eyeing me as I picked up the clothes at the end of the bed. Shaking my head, I slowly made my way over to the bathroom, trying not to walk to fast so I can avoid falling on my arse. Eventually, I made it to the bathroom and closed the door behind me. I took off the horrid hospital gown that they had made me wear and pulled on the underwear that Tanya had given me. As I stood back up straight, I caught sight of myself in the mirror that hung above the sink counter. I frowned, noticing how I could almost see my ribs. Had I really lost that much weight? I stretched out my arms and frowned even more, only just realising how bony they were. Reluctantly, I looked down and sighed, seeing that my legs were almost sticks. Sure, I knew that I had lost some weight. But this is ridiculous. Sighing, I picked up the pair of skinny jeans and tugged them up my legs. I then grasped the shirt and smiled at what it said on the front; ‘I’m not weird, you’re just too normal’. Grinning, I pulled the shirt over my head and straightened it out, tucking it into my jeans and pulling my hair out the collar. I let my hair drape over my shoulders and bit my lip. People say that they’d do anything to be skinny, but right now I’d rather be chubby. It’s not as great as people think. “Melanie dear, are you alright in there?” Tanya called from the other side of the door. “Yeah!” I yelled back, leaning on the wall for support whilst I made my way back over to the door. I pulled it open and she smiled at me, looping her arm through mine and helping me walk. “Your dad is waiting outside for you,” she grinned, walking us over to the door. I smiled at the thought of seeing my dad after so long and watched Tanya open the door. We walked out together and dad almost instantly got up from his chair across from the door. I smiled and Tanya let go of my arm, letting me walk to my dad and hug him. “I’ve missed you, moo.” I rolled my eyes at the nickname he gave me when I was younger and nodded in agreement. “I missed you too daddy.” I felt him smile and he pulled away, cupping my cheeks with his hands and inspecting me. “It might be just me, but you’ve gotten a lot more beautiful than the last time I saw you.” he commented and I giggled, playfully pushing his shoulder. “Alright, we just need you to fill out some forms and you’re all good to go,” Tanya smiled, passing my dad a clipboard and pen. “Okay.” Dad smiled. “Can I go get something to eat?” I asked, feeling my stomach grumble. “Course,” dad gave me a few pound coins, “Just don’t be too long darling.” Nodding, I walked down the small corridor and pushed open the doors, walking into the small café. I bought myself a muffin and made my way back to dad. He passed the clipboard back to Tanya just as I reached them. “I’ll see you later sweetie,” Tanya pulled me in for a small hug and kissed the top of my head, “Take it easy.” “I’m going to miss you,” I told her and grabbed dad’s hand and threw away the half-eaten muffin I had brought, “Thanks for everything.” “It was my pleasure,” she smiled and waved as dad and I walked out the entrance doors. A gush of fresh air hit me as soon as the doors opened and I couldn’t help but smile and sniff the air. I hadn’t been outside in months, so it was pretty refreshing. We walked over to dad’s car and he opened the passenger’s door for me. I climbed in and he closed the door when I was fully in before walking around to the other side and climbing in. I rolled down the window when the engine was turned on and watched the hospital disappear from sight as we drove away from it. Leaning back into the chair, I watched the buildings fly by, smiling as we passed a park with loads of little kids running around it. “Louis is home,” dad broke the silence, smiling to himself. “Really?” I grinned at the thought of seeing Louis again. It’s got to have been little over two years that I haven’t seen him. Last time I saw him, he was getting ready to go on his first tour. “Really.” he sighed, pulling up at a red light. “Came home to see you as soon as he got back to the UK. I managed to persuade him to stay at home whilst I came.” “Where’s he been?” I asked, smiling when we turned onto a familiar road. “He’s just got back from his second tour I think,” dad replied. “Wow, second tour.” I mumbled. “Yeah, I couldn’t believe it either.” He chuckled and pulled up outside the familiar house. “Welcome home.” I grinned, seeing Lottie and Fizzy appear in the front window, both yelling something. I climbed out the car and closed the door just as the door flung open and the two girls came running out. “Mellie!” Fizzy yelled, tackling me in a hug. “We missed you!” Lottie yelled, joining the hug also. “I missed you too.” I smiled, “You’ve grown up so much.” They both giggled and pulled me up the front porch steps, into the warm house that I had missed. “Melanie! So nice to see you again!” mum smiled weakly, pulling me in for a hug. I merely hugged her back, still feeling mad at her for not visiting me at all whilst I was at the hospital. But I’m not one to hold grudges, so I knew that I wouldn’t stay mad at her for long. Even if she didn’t want hardly anything to do with me anymore. “Missed you, mum.” I pulled away from her hug and she kissed the top of my head, nodding and walking into the living room where Lottie and Fizzy had disappeared to. “Moo!” Louis’ voice yelled as I was tackled into a hug. I giggled and grabbed onto him, feeling myself fall. He managed to get some balance but didn’t let me go. “Hey Lou,” I smiled to myself, standing on my tiptoes to hug him back. He had grown since I last saw him, and I hadn’t really grown that much, so I was tiny compared to him. “I missed you!” he exclaimed, letting me go and looking me up and down. I did the same for him and noticed how much muscle he had on him. Don’t get me wrong, Louis was always at the gym when we were younger and had muscle, but he’s a lot more robust now and not so lanky. His hair was tousled and everywhere, but it was still the same brunette mess. “God, you’ve changed so much…” “Oh yeah? Well, you can’t say anything,” I said and grabbed his arm, “These weren’t here the last time I saw you,” I gestured to his many tattoos. “That’s different,” he grinned, gently pushing my hand off his arm. “I’m sure it is,” I rolled my eyes and nudged his arm. “Mellie! Come look what we made you!” Fizzy grabbed my hand and pulled me into the kitchen where they had set out a variety of food. “Wow, that’s a lot of food.” I muttered, picking up a frazzle and munching down on it. “That isn’t the best bit,” Louis grinned, helping Lottie pick up a cake. “Aww, guys,” I cooed with a smile, looking at the cake they had made. It was a small cake, with tons of icing and sprinkles on top of it, with the words; ‘welcome home Mellie Moo, we missed you!’ scribbled across the middle in icing. “We spent all day making it for you,” Fizzy grinned as Louis gently passed it to me. “Is it all for me?” I asked, shovelling some icing onto my finger and tasting it. “No, you’ve got to share, greedy guts.” Lottie giggled, sticking her finger in the icing and tasting it, “Wow, we actually made the icing edible.” I lowered the cake a little so that Fizzy could stick her finger into the icing as well. “Cut it up, then.” I passed it back to Louis and he rolled his eyes, setting the cake on the counter and reaching into the drawer, pulling out a knife. I picked up another frazzle and nibbled on it, watching Louis cut the cake into four pieces. “What about mum, dad or Mark?” I asked, raising a brow. “Uh, I don’t think so. We put all our sweat and blood into making this cake and no one else bothered to help, so we’re not sharing with anyone else.” Lottie placed her hands on her hips and I couldn’t help but chuckle at how cute she looked. “Fair enough,” I shrugged, taking four plates from the cupboard and holding them out so that Lou could place a slice of plate on each. I took mine and walked into the living room, plopping down on the sofa and breaking bits off. “Darling, I’ve got to go,” dad said as he came into the room, holding something in his hand. “Tanya gave me this for you,” he handed me a small navy coloured bag and kissed the top of my head. “What is it?” I asked, placing it on the arm of the sofa. “I believe it’s to check your blood pressure and cholesterol, there’s some pills and some information about what tablets to get when you’ve used them all.” He explained. “Okay, thanks.” I smiled, reaching up and kissing his cheek. “Call me whenever you can, I want to know how you’re doing.” He patted my head and walked out the living room, saying his goodbyes to Louis before waving and walking out. “What did he give you?” Louis asked, sitting down beside me. “Just something my nurse gave me, s’all.” I sighed and he nodded, taking a bite from his cake. “So, how’s your band going, then? I hear you’ve been on two tours since the last time I saw you.” I tried to make a conversation since I didn’t like the silence between us. “Yeah, it’s really taken off since the X Factor. We’ve just finished our Where We Are tour and have our fourth album on the way.” he smiled. “What are your bandmates like?” I took a bite from my piece of cake and was surprised at how nicely it tasted. Knowing Louis and the girls, they’d probably brought a mix from the store down the road, because they can’t cook to save their lives. “They’re amazing, more like my brothers. It’s amazing how close we’ve gotten over the space of two and a half years.” He shrugged, still smiling. “Okay, last question,” I got comfortable in my seat and grinned at him. “How’s Eleanor? Are you still together?” “Yes, we’re still together,” he rolled his eyes. I knew he hated it when I asked him about his love life; he’s never been one to talk about girls he dated. “El’s fine, asks about you all the time.” “Good.” I grinned and finished off my cake. “And what about you? How have you been?” I felt my smile drop slightly and I let out a sigh. “I mean, it’s been almost two years, a lot must’ve happened.” “Yeah, a lot has happened.” I bit my lip. “Are you and Derek still together?” he teased and I felt my smile drop completely. “Mel?” “No,” I shook my head. “We’re not together.” “Oh, when did you break up? I thought he was the love of your life?” he leant over and placed his now empty plate on the coffee table, then sat back down facing me with his brow raised. “We broke up a little while after you left, actually.” I pushed back any thoughts of Derek and forced a weak smile. “What happened?” he asked, fiddling with my small fingers. I bit into my bottom lip more and restrained myself from telling him or saying anything. The only people who knew about what happened are mum, dad and Derek, of course From the moment I ended up in that hospital, I promised myself that I wouldn’t tell anyone else and I’d keep it to myself, to keep everyone’s sympathy off my back. That included Louis. “It didn’t work out, really.” I lied with a shrug to cover it up. He nodded and smiled weakly. “Aw, that’s too bad. I’m sure you’ll be able to work something out one day.” he assured. I mentally shook my head at him, if only he knew. “Yeah,” I mumbled. “I’m going to go have a lie down.” I told him and stood up, grabbing the little bag before walking out the living room and up the stairs to my bedroom. I pushed open my door and smiled, seeing that nothing had changed. Closing the door behind me, I walked over to my bed that I had missed and sat down on the edge, feeling the soft material underneath me. Placing the bag on the bed beside me, I stood up and walked over to my door-to-ceiling mirror that hung on my wardrobe door, cringing at all the photos of Derek and I stuck onto it. I ripped the photos off one by one, throwing them onto the floor into a pile. There was one left that made the tears threaten to fall, it was me and Derek at the prom a few years ago. Pushing back the tears, I snatched it and threw it onto the floor, leaving the mirror barren. I scooped up all the photos and ripped them all up, leaving the shreds on the floor. I walked over to the side of my room and grabbed a plastic bag. Walking back to the pile of shreds, I pushed them all into the plastic bag and ran a hand through my hair, sighing. When I had picked up all the little shreds of paper, I walked out my room and ran down the stairs into the living room. No one was knocking about in the living room, so I took it as an opportunity to walk over to the fireplace. I turned the gas on and watched the flames come to life. Sighing, I threw handfuls of the shreds into the fire and watched them burn to ashes. I sat back onto my knees when I had finished throwing the shreds into the fire and pushed the plastic bag out the way. “What’s the fire doing on?” mum asked, walking into the room and sitting herself down on the sofa. “It’s not winter, we don’t need it on.” Ignoring her, I stood up and walked out the living room. I made my way up the stairs to my room slowly and effortlessly pushed the door open. Feeling tired, I flopped onto my bed head first and sighed. It was about half eight at night, so I couldn’t go to sleep just yet. Although I felt like all the energy had drained from my body, I managed to push myself off my bed. I walked over to the dressing table beside my wardrobe and pulled out a pair of pyjama bottoms and a tank top before walking out my room. Louis was walking down the hall opposite me and looked like he was going to have a shower too, but didn’t notice me since his eyes were glued to his phone in his hands. I ran towards the bathroom and managed to get there before him, giggling when I saw him look up and notice me run through the door. Shutting the door behind me, I leant back on it and locked it so that he couldn’t get in. “Oi, that’s not fair.” Louis groaned. “Ladies first!” I called, placing my pyjamas on the toilet seat and turning the shower faucet on. I slipped out the clothes I had on and stepped into the warmth of the shower, instantly relaxing when the water hit my skin for the first time. Picking up the shampoo, I squirted it onto my hand and scrubbed my hair with it, doing the same with the conditioner. Finally, I grasped the bodywash and scrubbed myself clean, making sure to wash away every ounce of dirt and tiredness that the hospital had given me. When I was finished, I turned the water off and grabbed a towel, wrapping it around my small figure and stepping out the shower. I shivered as soon as I stepped out and instantly regretted getting out the shower. Sighing, I hand-dried myself with the towel and tugged the shorts and tank top on. I dried my hair with the hair dryer and tied it back into a pony tail. Ignoring the mirror, I walked over to the door and unlocked it, smiling sweetly at Louis who was leaning on the wall opposite the door. He shook his head and kissed my cheek, walking in through the bathroom door and closing it. “Night!” I yelled and walked away, hearing him yell ‘night’ back. I closed my bedroom door behind me and climbed into my soft bed. Pulling up the silky duvet, I snuggled up underneath the covers and reached up to the bedside table lamp, switching it off. Lying down fully and curling up to get comfortable, I closed my eyes and felt myself drifting off. And let me tell you, it was the best sleep I’ve had in a long time.
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