Graduation gives freedom, but too much freedom can be toxic. Ashley decides to run out of her house due to her neglectful parents abandoning her. When she discovers a home away from home, she realizes she's not alone.


4. chapter 3

Chapter three

It's been several minutes since he has left to let 'the others' know about my stay. I played with my fingers to pass time. I examined my nails until I heard faint voices around the corner.

"You're letting her stay?"

"She says she left home. Nowhere else to go."

"And you trust her?"

"I'm gonna keep an eye on her."

The voices entered the room and there stood the young man from earlier, who introduced himself as Harry Styles. He was followed by another young man, with an unfamiliar face. Hair golden blonde, eyes as blue as the morning sky. The freckles on his chest formed into constellations.

"You must be Ashley," he said as he let out his hand for me to shake. "I'm Niall." he stated with a slight smile.

I gave him a smile, and turned my head to see a girl in sweatpants and a loose pink t-shirt. Her hair was blonde like Niall's and wavy. "Who's this?" She asked looking into my direction. "Anna this is Ashley, she's going to be staying here with us from now on." Niall stated. She was confused, and gave Harry a glance. "I'm Anna, Niall's little sister."

The room was so quiet you could hear a pin drop. I didn't know what to do so I looked down at my feet. Harry balanced himself back up from where he was leaning on the wall, and raised up his arms.

"Who wants breakfast?" He asked waiting for our responses. Anna began walking into the kitchen, and Niall followed. I stood, but felt dizzy and had blurred vision. Niall noticed I paused, and turned to me. "Are you okay?" He asked with concern. "I'm fine, just dizzy." I responded. "You need breakfast.. cmon." He said while resting his hand on my lower back, guiding me to the kitchen. Niall seemed to be the first person that has actually cared about me in a long time.

Stepping into the kitchen I immediately smell the aroma of bacon and eggs. The sound of bacon sizzling on the pan calmed me, as if I were home. Harry flipped the eggs, and glanced over at Anna who was lying the bacon onto the pan. His eyes met hers, but they quickly looked away from each other.

Niall pulled out a chair for me to sit in and we both took a seat next to the granite countertop. "So what's your story?" He asked, hands folded and arms strung out onto the counter.

"Well.." I began. I let out a deep breath, and started again. "I was tired of living with my parents, so I came here." I don't know why I was so nervous. Niall didn't believe my response, and gave me a look of disbelief. "And why were you drunk?"

I didn't want to tell him how my parents treated me at home. I didn't want to have to explain that my mother repetitively commits adultery. That she brings men home when my father is too drunk out of his mind to notice that she's sleeping with other men.

I didn't want to have to explain that my father hit me, leaving purple bruises on my skin. It was too much to handle. It was too much for anyone to have to handle.

"I needed something to numb the pain.." I say ashamed. Niall gave me a look of sympathy, and traced circles onto my back with his fingers. "It's okay now, alright? You're safe here."

I felt someone staring and I turn to see Harry's eyes lock with mine. Once he realized I caught him looking he returned to placing the eggs on each plate. Something about Harry screamed mystery, and I wanted to know more.

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