March 2016. This is the month that the other lads and I have been waiting for. Though we only came up with the idea about eight months ago, and announced it to the fans about six ago, it's something that each of us has been looking forward to.
Harry's going into acting. He's got himself lined up to be on the second season of a horror-comedy called Scream Queens. We had all heard of it before he told us about it, but he made us watch the first few episodes of the show anyways. I kept up watching, finding that the dialogue was hilarious and the characters were cast perfectly. Needless to say, I'm excited to watch one of my best mates star in the second installment.
Louis is mostly spending time with Briana and the baby during the break. Briana had given birth toward the end of January, and to be truthful, we haven't seen much of Louis since then, not that we have expected to. I mean, he just had a child, who I'm insanely excited to be able to spend some time with, being her uncle, and all.
Liam has expressed planning to do some solo work, and also some work with Zayn, which isn't very surprising. They used to discuss doing something like this back when we were all together still, when the idea of us not being in a band was hardly even an option. Honestly, Liam and Louis released some sort of duet song back at the end of last year, so his eagerness to get started on doing his own thing isn't surprising.
I'm the only one who hasn't been acting like our break had already started for the past several months. Lately, I had become the responsible one of the group. More often than not I would find that Harry was too hungover to come to our morning meetings. Louis has been in and out- mostly out- of the group since December, tending to Briana before their baby was due, and never made it to any meetings physically, only occasionally answering my FaceTime calls to join in. And while Liam was nearly always present, he would rarely actually speak any input or be paying much attention. He spent a lot of time on his phone, yet still denies that he's met a girl. So maybe it's solo business. At this point, I had become too hurt by him to actually care about what he's doing.
It would always be Liam and I who went to interviews, which had become more sparse. Luckily, I had always been the most talkative of the group, and the one who was best with the details, so it wasn't too out of the ordinary when I was the one who continually showed up at radio shows and at interviews. Mostly accompanied by Liam, occasionally by Harry, never by Louis, but the entire fanbase had expected that.
Though it's felt like we've been on a break since mid-December, the hiatus officially begins today, with One Direction having played their last gig last night. This morning, I awoke to the empty hotel room, Louis already having left. I remember that we had been told that checkout would be at eleven, and that Paul would gladly take us all back to the airport. We had already checked in with Julie, who has always been in charge of our travel, to book flights to wherever it is that we need to be. I know that mostly the guys are traveling back to the U.K. to spend some much needed time with family, but I requested to stay in the States for a few more days, and Julie booked me a ticket for a flight back to Mullingar, Ireland on Wednesday of next week. Today is Sunday, so I have about a week and a half here in LA.
I also had to check with Paul that he could get me a ride to a rental car shop so that I can have a way of travelling for the next couple of days. Though, I don't know if I'll leave the hotel, which reminds me that I should go wake up Liam and Harry, who both had a lot to drink last night, because it was nearing 10:30, and they would likely want to shower before leaving. I walk to the door next my my own and knock on it sort of loudly. I stand outside for a few moments before a sleepy Liam appears before me, opening the door wide as to say, "Come on in."
"Mornin', Ni," he says, rubbing his eyes and laying back down in the plush white comforter on the hotel bed.
I jump into the bed beside him, cuddling up to him. As much as I've been disappointed in the gang lately, they're still my best friends in the world. "It's nearly 10:30," I tell Liam, who just groans. "Checkout is at eleven, so why don't you go use my shower, and I'll wake up Harry. I'm sure he'll want one, too."
He smiles at me as I give him the key for my hotel room, which I will be having to myself for the next ten days. No security, per my request, no fans, no Paul, and no One Direction. "You're the best, Ni." He jumps up- despite what you may have heard about Zayn, Liam no doubt spends the longest time in the bathroom in the morning- and grabs some clothes from his suitcase, then leaves the room.
I jump onto Harry's bed, but he only stirs a little. I begin to sing the infamous lines, "It's time to get up in the morning," at a quiet level. I see that he smiles, clearly awake, but he turns away from me. I begin to sing slightly louder and he buries himself in the duvet further. We go until I'm screaming, "It's time to get up in the morning!" at the top of my lungs. Finally, he sits up and says, "It's time to get up!" with his smiling, dimply face obviously very happy.
"It's after ten-thirty," I tell him, and he groans.
"I'm not getting ready. After all, I'm just going to see mum and Gemma. Plus, the fans think we're leaving tomorrow, so no one is going to be at the airport," he explains, justifying the fact that he's simply too tired to get up and become presentable enough to go out.
I nod at him, but stay silent, realizing that this is the last time in a long time that I'm going to be huddled up in a bed with Harry. He's undoubtedly become the closest to me in the band. I used to be incredibly close with Zayn, but when he first started to become distant from me, and then quit the band with next to no warning, I found myself hurting, as though I had just lost a family member. Because, to me at least, these boys have been my family since day one. I had honestly thought that he would have told me about what was going on in his mind at the time, or tried to keep contact with me after he left. After all, before, we did everything together. But, he hasn't picked up any of my phone calls (but apparently has talked to Liam quite often, as he mentioned in a magazine article, which hurts nearly every part of me) and unfollowed me on twitter.
The rest of the lads understood that this change had impacted me in more of a way than it had affected them. Except for maybe Louis, who is nearly sure that Zayn leaving is his fault, especially after all of the shade Zayn has thrown to Louis via social media and interviews. In the process, Louis had become moody because of both this and the baby, and began to isolate himself. Harry found himself hurting in the same way that I had, and our bond has become stronger than ever before.
He must notice the sadness showing on my face, because he slings an arm around me and says, "You know that you're free to visit anytime you like. And I'm sure my lonely ass will be popping over to Ireland so we can do pubbing the right way!" He laughs when he finishes saying this and I join him, hoping that he means all of this truthfully.
"You should probably get packing," I say, nodding at the mess of clothes lying about the room. I'm honestly not sure what's his and what's Liam's stuff. It's all a jumbled mess, to be completely honest.
"Are you going to be alright here by yourself? I can push going home for a few days and stay here with you," Harry offers, his smile tight but honest.
I shake my head, "No, man," I reply, hesitantly, though. Because I'm honestly not sure if I will be okay all alone. For five years, I found myself surrounded by my best friends at nearly all times. Tour, write, record, repeat. Nonstop. The quiet may be unsettling for me. "I'll be fine. I mean, I just want to check out some of the hot spots around here, you know? Plus, there's that party tonight that the girls from Fifth Harmony are having and I'm stoked about that, mate."
He finally shuffles his way out of bed and begins to pack as Liam knocks on the door because he forgot his room key. "You didn't leave mine, did you?"
Panic takes over his face as he says, "Oh shit."
I roll my eyes, "Seriosuly-" but Liam cuts me off by telling me that he's just kidding around with me. I jump and tackle him, and we begin to wrestle with one another, until Harry says that we need to be out of the room in a few short minutes.
As Liam hurriedly throws his clothes into his suitcases, which he swears he hates but I guarantee that he'll have a strange longing to have one near him in a few short weeks, I go and hug Harry tightly. Tears form in my eyes as we pull apart and he laughs at me, though I see water brimming his eyes as well. "I love you, man," he says and pats my back.
"Stop being a softie," I say, laughing. "I love you, too."
Liam walks over to join in on our hug and I think about how I am truly going to miss these boys. All too soon Paul is knocking on the door saying that we all need to be out of the room ("Now, please!") and we eventually listen. I wave to the boys as they step into the elevator to check out. My eyes start to water again.
These past few months I've felt alone, but now I'll truly be alone. I'm not sure which is worse, but I'm surely about to find out.