Jess is just starting her second semester of being a Junior in high school. To start the semester off, she volunteers to show the new kid around the school. Mainly because she gets to skip gym class, but also because she is intrigued by the idea of meeting someone new. Over the first month of school, Jess becomes really close friend with the new student, but who wouldn't become best friends with Louis Tomlinson. He's funny, entertaining, and not to mention cute, but Jess would never admit to thinking that. Louis is always there for Jess, especially when she gets heart shattering news that changes everything.


8. Seven.

Sitting with Louis made my heart feel lighter. We were just sat on the couch in his living room, watching television, but being next to him helped. He helped my mind feel at ease, my heart beat at a regular pace, my muscles relax, and my smiles feel less forced. He helped me feel like me again. He cleared the clouds that hung over my head and shined a light on me that made my life seem brighter and less dull.

“Louis, I'm home!” Johannah called throughout the house.

“We're in the living room!” Louis called back.

“Ow, that was right in my ear,” I pushed him.

“Sorry,” he laughed, pulling me close to his side.

“Hi, Jess! How are you feeling?” Johannah asked as she walked into the room.

“Better,” I smiled slightly, leaning close to Louis.

“Well, that's just great,” she smiled back. “Louis, your dad should be home soon. Do you guys want to help make dinner?”

Louis looked at me with his eyebrows raised. I nodded back.

“Sure,” he stood up. He held his hand out to me and helped me up. Louis had his arm around my shoulders as we walked to the kitchen.

Johannah was pulling a cookbook out of one of the cabinets when we walked in. She smiled at the two of us when we walked in and instructed us on how we could help. She told me to start cooking the chicken on stove, while Louis cut the vegetables that went with the dish. When the dish was cooking, Louis and I started to wash some dishes while Johannah watched over the chicken. I washed and Louis rinsed and set the dishes down to dry. A great system, until you think about Louis handling the faucet.

“Hey, Jess.”

“Yeah,” I looked at him.

He sprayed me in the face with the faucet.

“Louis!” I screamed. “What the heck!”

“You seemed a little dry,” he laughed.

I grabbed a handful of soap and slapped him on the top of his head. “You need to wash your hair more often.”

“Touche, Jess,” he laughed. I shook my head as I wiped my face with a hand towel, tossing it to Louis when I was done.

“I'm hungry,” I said as we continued to wash the dishes.

“How are you still hungry? You ate like six bags of popcorn.”

“I don't know, I like food,” I said.

“You are one crazy girl,” Louis laughed.

Once Louis and I finished with the dishes, Louis called Johannah back into the kitchen to see if she needed anymore help. She told us that we were okay, that she would finish up, but to not snack while we waited for Louis' dad to get home because it would ruin our supper. Louis saluted his mom, lunging towards me and wrapping his arms around my waist to throw me over his shoulder. Then he took off for his room in a terrifyingly quick motion. As he climbed the stairs he jokingly leaned back to pretend like he was going to fall backwards, causing me to scream and kick my legs around. He laughed as we continued up the stairs, to his room, and dropped me onto his bed.

When I looked up at Louis, he was staring back at me with a small smile on his face and bright eyes. Bright eyes that you could see at the end of a dark tunnel, that could guide you to safety.

“What?” I asked, sitting up onto my elbows.

“Nothing,” he chuckled, flopping onto his bed.

I scooted over to him and laid my head on his stomach. It moved with his breath in way that felt like I was laying on boat being rocked by waves. It calmed me, in a sense, like being rocked as a baby.

“Louis?” I whispered.


“Thank you for making me smile.”

“It's nothing, really. I like seeing you smile.”

I turned my head to look at him. “I don't know where I would be without you.”

He opened his mouth, then closed it. His eyes left mine before he said, “It's what friends are for. But, you know--”

Louis was interrupted by his mom calling us down for dinner.

“What were you going to say?” I sat up.

“It doesn't matter,” he smiled. He stood up and held his hand out for me. “Come on, my darling. Dinner awaits.”

As he helped me stand up, he pulled me into a hug. A cozy hug, a warm hug, a homely hug.

“So, is your dad here?” I asked as we walked downstairs.

“Yep,” he looked at me. He put his arm around my shoulders as we walked into the kitchen, where his mom and dad were chatting.

“Hi there. I'm Louis' dad, Daniel,” he said, holding his hand out to me.

“Hi, I'm Jess.”

“Are you Louis' girlfriend?” He asked, looking between Louis and me, Louis' arm still around me.

“Oh, no. We're just friends,” I smiled politely.

“Best friends!” Louis exclaimed, squeezing me close to him. I giggled and pushed him away from me, turning back to Louis' dad, who apologized for his mistake and gave his son a pat on the back.

“Does your dad know that I've been staying here?” I turned to Louis.

“Yeah, that's why he thinks you're my girlfriend,” he laughed, putting his arm back around me.

“Maybe if you kept your hands to yourself, Mr. Touchy-Feely, he wouldn't have thought that.”

“But you're so cuddly!” He fought back.

“Good point. And you make me feel warm, so I guess it's not really a problem.”

“Yay!” He cheered, lifting me off the ground and spinning around.

“Louis! Put me down!” I laughed.

“Never!” He squeezed me tighter.

“I can't breathe,” I laughed harder.

“Louis, put that poor girl down before you break her,” Johannah told Louis. Louis sighed before putting me back on my feet. I took a breath in and smiled at Johannah in thanks.

“I'm glad to see you smiling again, Jess,” she winked before announcing that dinner was ready.

“Food!” Louis practically screeched, grabbing my hand and yanking me, rather harshly, into the dining room. When we sat down, I scolded Louis for not putting his napkin in his lap and told him to sit up at the dinner table. He rolled his eyes like a child, but followed my instructions.

“I like having you around, Jess,” Daniel laughed. “I have never seen Louis even use a napkin, let alone put one in his lap.”

“He's a very dirty boy,” I laughed along with him.

“I can hear everything you're saying,” Louis said.

“It's just everyday that you see Louis acting like a gentleman, you know. It must be because of you, Jess, I know much you--”

Louis dropped his hand on the table with a bang, “Thank you, dad, but that will be enough of that,” Louis gave him a pointed look.

When Johannah sat down next to her husband, dinner began. Everyone served themselves and complemented Johannah on the meal, digging into the feast that was in front of us. It was the first home cooked meal that I've eaten in days. It hit me in a place that didn't need to be hit, a place in my heart that I had been ignoring since I found out about Jared. Eating with Louis' family, having those family conversations, caused me to miss my family, but the thought was gone when Louis placed his hand on my arm.

“Are you okay?” He whispered into my ear. I looked up at him and shrugged.

“I guess. I just kind of miss my family.”

“You don't need them, you have me,” Louis smiled. I leaned my head onto his shoulder and laughed, instantly feeling better. Louis rubbed my back and smiled at me as I sat up again, continuing with out meal.

After a while, Johannah asked, “Jess, how's your brother doing?”

I dropped my fork onto my plate with a loud clank, causing Louis and his dad to look up at me with wide eyes. “Sorry... Um... I don't actually know how he's doing. I haven't talked to my family since I came here.”

“Oh. Well. I'm sorry to hear that,” Johannah smiled sympathetically.

I placed my hands in my lap, not feeling hungry anymore, and cleared my throat. I politely excused myself from the table, cleared my plate, and went up to Louis' room. I sat down on his bed and sighed, finding myself crying at the thought of cutting out my family for so long.

“Jess?” Louis poked his head into the room. “Are you okay? I'm sorry about that, my parent's didn't know.”

“It's okay,” I sighed, wiping my nose on my sleeve as Louis sat down next to me. “I just really miss my family.”

“I'm sorry, Jess,” Louis put his arm around me.

“I think I need to go home,” I looked at him.

He smiled at me with eyes so warming and welcoming, they reminded me of warm soup after playing in the snow and the warmth in a hug from someone you hadn't seen in a long time. They were so inviting I felt like I could dive right in and never return. He nodded and pulled me close to him, holding me in his arms like I was a fragile doll that needed to be fixed. His breath his my ear and sent shivers down my back, as I leaned into his embrace and melted into his arms.

“I don't know what I would do with you,” I sighed into his chest.

Louis kissed the top of my head as he stood up, pulling me with him. He took my hand in his as we walked downstairs so I could say goodbye to his parents. I thanked them for letting me stay and hugged them goodbye, promising Johannah that I would update her on how Jared is doing as soon as I find out. Then, Louis was driving me home and the need to be with my family was even stronger than before. I yearned to hear their voices and to be with them again.

“If you need anything, just call me,” Louis told me as he stopped his car in my driveway.

“Thank you so much, Louis,” I hugged him. “I'll come by to pick up my car tomorrow. Thanks so much for driving me.”

“It's no problem,” he smiled. “Tell your parents I said hi.”

“I will,” I hugged him one last time before I got out of his car. I turned to wave at Louis as he drove away, taking a breath as I started towards the front door. As soon as I unlock the door and step in, my nose if hit with the smell of my home and I'm instantly filled with relief and comfort.

“Jess?” I hear my mom say as she comes from the kitchen.

“Mommy,” my eyes instantly water as I run into her embrace.

When my dad walks into the room, I throw myself into his arms and collapse as the tears overtake my body. He hugs me tighter, kissing the top of my head, as I cry into his shoulder. I felt so broken, yet being with my parents made me feel complete. They filled an empty part of my heart that had been missing for the past few days.

When I calmed down enough to talk, my parents and I settle onto the living room couch to talk. I started out by explaining to my parents what my thought process was behind me leaving and cutting contact with them. I told them how it felt to be on the outside of Jared's life, to live without knowing what was going on, and then to have it sprung onto me by a total stranger. I told them that being with Louis helped level everything out and helped clear my mind so I could make sense of everything. I told them that I stayed there, in my safe haven, until it became too much to be away from them, that I needed to be with my family.

“I was so angry, I didn't know what to do besides stay away for a little bit,” I told them. I was laying my head down on my mother's lap while she rubbed my temples, my father sitting on a chair across from us.

He leaned over and rubbed my shoulder, smiling apologetically at me. “I'm sorry that you had to feel that way. We just didn't thought it would be for the best that you didn't know, but I guess we were wrong.”

“Can I go see him?” It was late, almost nine o'clock, but I asked with the hope that I would be able to see him. I need my little brother.

“Of course. We can leave as soon as you're ready.”

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