The Time of Our Lives

"I could love you forever," he said, and I stopped dancing.

Something about those words made me sad, because I knew it wasn't true in the way he meant it. It couldn't be forever, he knew that. But I thought, for a moment if it would be so bad to pretend it could. To pretend that we could live like this forever, dancing on beds in hotels that were in places who's names we couldn't pronounce, staying up all night looking at the stars and watching the sunrise. I knew it couldn't happen, but it was in that moment, as we stood on the bed and he looked at me with those blue eyes, that I believed it could.

"I could love you forever, too."


1. Chapter 1

It's crazy how you meet someone that you weren't even suppose to meet, like, if you hadn't walked the wrong direction down the street, or if you didn't spill that coffee at that exact moment, you would never have met that person. For me, it was being at the wrong place at the right time.

"We're going, Charlotte," Lana was looking at me, hands on her hips.

I sighed and stood up from the floor, "Alriight. But I'm wearing this," I gestured to my jeans and hoodie.

Lana sucked in her breathe like I had just told her that I was pregnant, "Absolutely not. It's New Year's Eve, we're going to a senior party, and we're going to fall in love with someone,"

Lana always had too high of expectations and some how her plans always fell through. Normally, I'd roll my eyes and play along but this time seemed different. I know it's cheesy and cliché, but New Year's Eve is so magical to me. Even though I usually spend it playing board games with Lana's family and watching the ball drop, I'd always hoped for something more. I wanted this year to be different, I wanted Lana's plan to work this time for real.

I tried to hide my smile as I followed Lana to her huge walk-in closet.

"God, Lana. For someone who's lived in Chicago their whole life you really do dress like you're a reality star from LA," she laughed but I just looked around in awe.

"Over here," Lana was running her hands through a rack of sequins. "We have to dress like we're important," she picked out a deep v neck, black and gold bodycon dress and handed it to me. I slipped out of my jeans and pulled the dress on over my head.

"Wow," Lana looked at me in the mirror as I examined my own reflection.

"I know," I bit my lip, unable to hide my smile anymore.

Lana picked out a burgundy dress for herself and we both sat at her vanity, fixing our hair and makeup. We shared a look in the mirror, like we knew that this time, this night, would be different. I felt like a child, believing in something magical, but I didn't mind. 
"Let's do this."

"I thought you said it was that way," I pointed back towards the direction we came from. Lana was walking ahead of me, obviously lost.

"No, no, I'm pretty sure it's this way"

My feet were killing me has the heels clicked on the sidewalk. We'd been walking for an hour trying to find this senior party that Lana's sister had told her about. As usual, the night wasn't turning out how we'd expected, I felt stupid for thinking it'd be different this time. 
I caught up with Lana who was stopped in front of a huge house that looked out of place among the other Chicago apartment buildings. 
"I think this is it," Lana stared up at the house then turned to me.

"You think? And if it isn't?"

She reached over and fixed my long brown curls, "then we party with some strangers, no big deal," she winked and took my hand.

When we walked inside, I sighed in relief as I saw tons of people dancing with Happy New Years hats and tiaras on.

"I'm gonna go get us some drinks," Lana shouted over the loud music.

I nodded as she disappeared into the crowd. 
Looking around, I realized I had never seen any of these people around campus at all. I guess the university of Chicago is pretty big so it made sense. I stood in the corner, waiting for Lana to come back. After twenty minutes, I decided to go look for her. I pushed through groups up elegantly dressed people, including someone that looked exactly like Ed Sheeran. I shook my head, trying to clear my mind and find Lana. I finally found her standing at the drinks table chugging the contents of her red solo cup.

"Woah Lana slow down," I took the cup from her and finished the rest of it, "I was waiting for you,"

She didn't say anything, just sort of stared off into the distance.

I frowned and waved my hand in front of her face, "Lana? You okay?"

"Char..." I almost didn't hear her. "This isn't the right party,"

I rolled my eyes, "Oh great. Let's go then,"

She seemed to snap out it and grabbed my hand, taking deep breath, "We happen to be at a house full of celebrities," she nodded towards the living room where I saw the guy that I thought was Ed Sheeran- who actually was him- talking to Harry Styles. I slowly scanned the house, trying to process what I was seeing. Luke Hemmings and Calum Hood were chatting in the kitchen, and even Jason Siegel was leaning against the counter laughing with Joseph Levitt. I couldn't believe my eyes.

"Lana!" I squeaked. 

"I know!" She smiled big. "I'm gonna go introduce my self to Mr. Franco over there, I'll catch up with you later Char, best night of our lives!" The end of her sentence faded off as she hurried to the kitchen.

I stood there for what seemed like an hour but was probably only minutes. I was excited and nervous and afraid they'd figure out we weren't famous. I scanned the room again, trying to figure out how Lana had the confidence to just go up and say hello to these people. I decided to look around the dining room but when I turned around, I ran right into someone, my drink sloshing onto him.

"Oh god, I'm sorry," and of course, as I looked up at who I'd spilled on, I realized I had just dumped punch onto a member of one direction.

"It's alright, I ran into you," he grinned.

I laughed, "True but I still spilled my drink on your nice shirt," I grabbed a napkin from the table and handed it to him.

"it's really not that nice, I think this new pink stain actually makes it look nicer,"

"Hmm I can see that, it's like some sort of abstract art," we both laughed.

"I'm Niall, let me get you another drink,"

I nodded and let him take my cup to the punch bowl, "Charlotte, it's nice to meet you,"

He smiled back and handed me my cup, "So, Charlotte, how did you manage to sneak in?" He smirked and I panicked for a second untill I realized he was joking.

"Sneak in? Oh I was invited of course," he raised his eyebrows as if to ask who invited me.

"... By the host of course,"

He narrowed his eyes jokingly, "Hm, interesting. Well why don't I go get him and we can all have a chat, eh?"

He started to leave but I grabbed his arm, "No, no okay. My best friend and I just walked right in thinking we were at a New Years party hosted by seniors from the university," I bit my lip as I smiled shyly.

"I see," he chuckled, "i figured that was the case considering I'm the host,"

I felt my face flush a little pink, "oh, you have a house in Chicago?"

He nodded, "I'm staying here for the majority of our hiatus, love this city,"

I traced the rim of my cup with my finger as he spoke about all of his favorite places in Chicago and I told him mine. It was hard to believe who I was talking to, though it felt so natural with him. We sat on the couch in the living room and talked for a long time, about his music and tours and about my school and studies. I had completely forgotten about Lana until I looked into the kitchen and saw her making out with Luke Hemmings. I laughed to myself and turned back to Niall who was looking at me.

"Would you like to dance?" He asked. "It's almost midnight so it'll be the last dance of the year,"

My heart jumped at the idea of my possible New Year's Eve kiss, "I would be honored to share the last dance of 2015 with you," he laughed and took my hand, helping me up from the couch.

Right as the song started, a beautiful skinny brunette came up to Niall and took his arm, "Niall! Come on it's almost midnight, we need champagne,"

"oh, Selena, I-" she pulled him away and he looked back at me through the sea of dancing celebrities. I craned my neck to watch as he left with Selena Gomez to the dining room.

I sighed and took my spot again on the couch. I couldn't believe how cruel the universe had been to give me such strong hope to be kissed by Niall Horan on New Years Eve and then snatched it all away by the prettiest girl in probably the whole world.

As everyone else counted down from ten, I sat on the couch, wondering where all the magic had gone from my life. Maybe it was back at home in Portland where my family was, or somewhere I hadn't been yet. Wherever it was, it wasn't here, on this night, in Niall's house. So, when the clock hit midnight and everyone cheered, I slid past the kissing couples and out the door. My Cinderella moment was over.

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