“Do you have your lunch all packed?” my dad asked, hovering over me like I was a child.
“Yes Dad,” I shook the brown paper bag tiredly in front of his face, “It’s right here.”
“Sorry Kendall, it’s just that I’m no good at doing this stuff, you know that your-”
“Mom used to do it,” I sighed, “I know Dad.”
“Yes she did, she made you and your sister’s lunches every day.” He smiled. “She would always put little notes inside them telling you to have a good day-”
“I remember…” I interrupted, saddened at the memories flooding back into my consciousness. The smile that was always plastered on her face was still vivid in my mind.
She died a little over a year ago from breast cancer. It was by far the worst thing I’ve ever gone through, but no sorrow or grief that I felt compared to what my dad went through. On the day of her funeral, something inside him snapped. He vowed to never let anything bad happen to us, he would protect us with every fiber of his being, because he never wanted to lose someone the way he lost the love of his life.
Since then, every single ounce of energy that he has is dedicated to his baby girls. He hovers over our shoulders when we make our lunches, to make sure we pack enough vegetables. He has a timer on the TV that shuts off the cable after 9 o clock every night, because he says that watching TV turns our brains to mush. We have a very tight schedule, dinner is eaten together as a family every night at 7, and all homework has to be finished by 9:30 and we go to bed at 10:30.
I guess you could call him a little overprotective, but Lexi and I are really all my dad has. He means well, and wants the best for us, but just has a little trouble realizing that we aren’t kids anymore. I’m almost a senior in high school, Lexi is almost a junior, and yet he still has to make sure we brush our teeth for a full two minutes every morning and night. He doesn’t trust us enough to make our own decisions, and taking care of ourselves seems out of the question.
“Lexi, get down here! You’re going to make you and your sister late!” My dad called, not taking his eyes off of the newspaper in his hands.
“Coming!” Lexi called, trampling down the stairs happily. Her big green eyes a little brighter than most mornings, and her long blonde hair was perfectly combed and naturally wavy. She was wearing a tight jean skirt around her thin waist with a navy blue tank top and flip flops.
“Morning!” She said as she entered the kitchen, flashing the smile that reminded me of my mom every time I saw it.
Lexi was the one who got my mom’s genes, with the long blonde hair and big green eyes. I on the other hand looked just like my dad, with the light brown hair and bright blue eyes. The only difference between us is that my dad’s hair is straight and mine is long and curly. You wouldn’t guess that Lexi and I are sisters except for the fact that we both have our Mom’s smile. Every time either of us smiles you can just tell that it reminds my dad of her.
After eating a few more bites of toast, I handed her the lunch I packed for her and we started heading for the door, “Bye Daddy, see you tonight!”
“Bye girls, I love you both! Be safe, have a great last day of school!” He was barely able to finish his sentence before we were halfway down our front sidewalk.
“Poor Dad,” I mused, “I wonder what he does all day with us gone.”
“You know what today is right?” Lexi asked, ignoring my previous comment.
“Of course I do, it’s been on the calendar for months!”
Today wasn’t only the last day of my junior year. Today was the day that my best friend, Harry Styles, was coming home for the summer. He’s been on tour with his band, One Direction, for about 3 months now. I haven’t seen him in 6 months.
Despite the fact that he’s one of the most loved boys in all of England, he still texts me almost every single day. His busy schedule proves it hard to stay in touch, but Harry refuses to let us drift apart, which is one of the many reasons that he is my best friend.
“Gosh, I can’t wait to see him! I bet he looks even hotter than he did 6 months ago.” Lexi wasn’t shy about her feelings for Harry around me, but around everyone else, it was like there were no feelings at all.
“I just can’t wait to have him all to ourselves, like old times.” I agreed.
Lexi nodded and smiled as we walked into the doors of our school. “Does Harry know about Josh?” she asked.
“Yeah… why?” Josh was the boy I’ve been dating for 5 months now, we starting dating a month or so after Harry left to go on tour.
“Well was he upset when you told him?” she asked.
“No!” I laughed, “He was happy for me, why?”
“Well I don’t know…” she fumbled with her jean skirt, “It’s always seemed like Harry liked you.”
I couldn’t help but laugh at her. Nothing was more obvious than the fact that Harry and Lexi were both in love with each other. Everyone knew it except for the two of them.
“Lex, I’ve told you a million times that Harry and I are just friends, I promise!” I linked my arm with hers as we approached our lockers, “besides, I think that Harry likes you.”
“That’s such a lie!” she objected, “Why would Harry like me?”
“Why wouldn’t he? You’re the total package. You’re smart, funny, sweet and gorgeous… I think he likes you.” I didn’t think he liked her, I knew he did. I know Harry better than anyone, and it’s a fact that he likes Lexi just as much as she likes him, I just wish there was a way for her to see it.
“But you two have always been closer than me and him…” she said sadly.
“Look, Harry and I are closer in age remember? You’re two years younger than him, maybe we can relate about more things. But he still loves you, you know that.”
“Then stop freaking out, just be happy that he’s finally coming home!”
I looked up right away when I heard the door to the classroom open. My eyes lit up as soon as I saw the tall, blonde haired boy walking towards me. I still caught myself blushing whenever I looked into his gorgeous hazel eyes.
“Hey baby,” Josh plopped down in the seat next to me, “What’s goin’ on?”
“Hey,” I smiled and leaned across the desk to him, “Guess what?”
“What?” he asked, shaking out his light blonde hair and pushing it to the side.
“Harry comes home today!” I beamed.
He took a few strands of my curly brown hair and twirled it in his fingers, “Hmm, for how long this time?”
“He’s home for the whole summer.” I said.
“Well then I’m happy you get to see him, as long as you save some time for me too.” He winked.
“Of course I will,” I said, giving him a kiss on the cheek, “Besides, something is bound to happen between Harry and Lexi soon, so once that happens I’ll be like the third wheel.”
He laughed and took my hand, intertwining our fingers together happily with a smile on his face.
Right when the last bell of junior year filled the school, I jumped out of my seat. I quickly gave Josh a kiss goodbye and ran out of the room to find Lexi. Harry promised he would pick us up right after school, I swear if I had to wait 5 more minutes I would explode.
I found her running down the hallway towards me; we linked arms and fought our way through the sea of exiting students.
“Do you see him?” I asked, surveying the parking lot carefully.
“No,” she said sadly, “Do you?”
Both of our shoulders immediately lowered in disappointment, maybe he forgot.
“KENDALL, LEXI!” We immediately turned towards the husky voice calling after us.
There he was, leaning against his car with the world’s biggest smile plastered on his face. We mirrored his bright smile and took off towards him. He met us halfway and we dove into his open arms, happy to finally be with our best friend again. But this time it wasn’t only for a weekend, it was for three whole months. This was going to be the best summer ever.
“HARRRYYYYY!” I yelled as I wrapped my arms around him as tight as I could.
“Hello lovelies! How are my two favorite girls?” he pulled back, kissing us each on the cheek and holding us each at arm’s length.
“Better now that you’re finally here!” Lexi was practically bouncing on her toes with excitement; I can’t imagine that I looked much different.
“It’s so good to be home,” Harry started off towards his car and signaled for us to follow him, “I’ve missed you guys so much, this is going to be the best summer ever!”
We hopped into Harry’s newly painted and refurbished silver Mustang, still discussing our plans for the summer.
I flipped through the radio channels and landed on my favorite, just as What Makes You Beautiful started playing. “OH! Would you listen to that? Our little Harry is on the radio!” I exclaimed.
“Ha ha,” He mimicked sarcastically and turned the volume down, “Very funny.”
“You know that you’re ALL that people talk about at school right?” Lexi piped up from the backseat. “Not even just at school, you’re all people talk about anywhere!”
Harry smiled and put on a pair of aviator sunglasses, “I can’t help it, everybody wants some of this sexiness.” He drew circles loosely around his face with his right hand.
“Well I know one person who does.” I mumbled under my breath, earning a kick to the back of my chair from Lexi sitting behind me. “What? I was talking about Amber from History class… but now that you mention it I could think of a few more people-”
“So Harry,” Lexi interrupted, shooting me a warning glance out of the corner of her eye. “Where exactly are we going?”
“For now we’re just going back to my house, but just you wait, this weekend I’m introducing you to a real party.” He raised his eyebrows cheekily and stuck his tongue out at us.
“A party on your first week back? What have those other boys done to you…” I teased sarcastically, “You’re not a nerd anymore; remind me to thank them for that.”
He smacked my arm lightly and laughed, “Since when are you so cheeky?”
“Ever since she started dating Josh.” Lexi said quietly, but it was a small car, we both heard her.
“Excuse you!” I reached back and smacked her on the leg, “Rude.”
“Oh yeah Josh,” Harry continued, “How are you two doing?”
“We’re good.” I nodded.
Harry slightly nudged me with his elbow and raised his eyebrow at me, silently urging me to elaborate.
“Okay we’re really good… I’m really happy.” I smiled at him.
“Good, I’m happy for you, but if he ever causes you any trouble, you just let me know.” He joked, and glanced to Lexi in the rearview mirror, “How about you Lex? Got a boyfriend?”
“Me? No…” She shook her head and laughed, “Definitely not.”
“Why do you say it like that?”
“Because, I don’t know,” she shrugged, “Most boys are stupid anyways.”
“Hey now, not all of us are jerks.”
“I said most boys are.” Lexi answered.
“I’m not.” Harry stated matter-of-factly.
“Sure you’re not.” She joked.
Harry’s smile faded, “I’m not a jerk!” he directed towards me.
“Nope, don’t bring me into this.” I lifted my hands up in defense.
“Take it back Lexi!” Harry ordered.
“No.” she refused.
Harry reached his right hand to the backseat and grabbed Lexi’s ankles, “Take it back or I’m throwing you out of this car!”
“Okay!” Lexi peeled Harry’s hand off of her and pushed it away, “I take it back.”
“Good.” Harry smiled and returned his focus to the road ahead of us.
“Now will you please keep your eyes on the road before you kill us all?” I asked.
Thankfully Harry focused on the road for the rest of the ride home, humming and singing the whole way.
“Wow Harry! Bring enough stuff home for the summer?” Lexi asked as we pulled up in front of his house, there was a huge van with about 20 different suitcases piled up in the trunk.
“Not all of it is mine!” he defended.
“Who’s else would it b-” My question was cut short when I saw another teenage boy emerge from Harry’s house.
I immediately recognized him as Liam Payne, another one of the five members of One Direction. It’s safe to say that he is much more attractive in person, if that’s even possible. I’m guessing it would be the same way with the other three boys too.
“I thought I told you that the boys were coming too right?” Harry put a hand on each of our shoulders and guided us up to the house, “Didn’t I?”
“No!” I whispered. “You forgot to mention that part Harry.”
“Oh,” he shrugged, “Must have slipped my mind.”
“Liam!” Harry called as we were halfway up the sidewalk. “Look who I found on the side of the road, I decided to bring them home with me.”
“Good one Harry…” Lexi rolled her eyes.
I got a better look at Liam as he smiled and flawlessly maneuvered his way around the various bags on the porch to meet us at the bottom of the steps. His body was tall and lean, and he wore a pair of tan chinos and a blue plaid button up shirt. I noticed the adorable birth mark dotted on his neck, which made him 10 times more attractive, in my opinion. His dark brown eyes had a permanent sparkle that drew you in, in a way that I caught myself staring intently into the beautiful orbs.
“Kendall, Lexi, it’s really great to meet you both, I’ve heard so much about you.” He formally shook both of our hands and smiled warmly.
“Nice to meet you too.” We both replied shyly.
“Come on,” Harry grabbed a few duffle bags and gestured for us to follow him inside, “Let’s go meet the rest of the boys.”
“I don’t know if that’s such a good idea…” Liam said, “Louis stole Niall’s trousers and put them in the freezer and Niall’s having a fit because he can’t find them.”
Harry nodded his head as if this is something that happened on a daily basis, “Come on guys!”
Despite Liam’s warning, Lexi and I both followed Harry into the house. We immediately heard footsteps right above us running around. We could hear voices yelling up there but couldn’t quite make-out what they were saying.
We followed Harry into the kitchen and sat down at the high bar stools as he rummaged through the fridge. The ruckus from upstairs was still going on, and Harry was acting like it was nothing.
“Is everything okay up there?” I asked finally, since no one else seemed to be approaching the topic.
“Oh yeah it’s fine, Louis picks on Niall all the time.” Harry brushed it off, “You hungry? I’ll make you guys grilled cheese, just like old times!”
“Except there’s 4 extra teenage boys here this time.” I scoffed, I can’t lie and say that I’m not a little annoyed that Harry didn’t even bother to tell us that he was bringing his 4 band members home for the summer too. For some reason it’s hard for me to believe that a piece of information like that could just ‘slip his mind’.
“Grilled cheese sounds great, thanks Haz.” Lexi shot an accusatory glance my way. Obviously she thought my comment was unnecessary.
While Harry was making our sandwiches, a stampede of footsteps came stomping down the stairs, followed by a few cuss words. “LOUIS GIVE THEM BACK NOW!”
“And that would be Niall.” Harry informed us without looking up from skillfully flipping the sandwiches over with a spatula.
“Oh hey!” we heard from down the hallway, I turned to see a tall brown haired boy staring at me and smiling widely, Louis Tomlinson. “They’re here!”
He ran towards us and skidded to a stop right in front of me, making his Tom’s squeak on the hard-wood kitchen floor. He was dressed in a pair of red skinny jeans, and a plain black shirt with white suspenders. I admired his sense of style, I haven’t met many people who can rock suspenders as well as he did. His light brown hair was parted to the side and messy, and his blue eyes were twinkling mischievously.
“Kendall right?” he asked.
“Yep that’s me!” I nodded and smiled. “You’re Louis.” I stated matter-of-factly.
“Wow Hazza, your girlfriend knows my name, I’m impressed!” Louis pranced over to Harry and ruffled his head of curls playfully.
“She’s not my girlfriend!” Harry objected automatically, while shoving Louis’ hand away from his head.
“Yeah I’m not his girlfriend, not at all. We’re just friends.” I clarified. I saw Lexi flinch out of the corner of my eye and I shot her an apologetic glance.
“Well then you must be Harry’s girlfriend then.” He was now pointing at Lexi, “I knew it was one of you.”
“Ohh,” Lexi hesitated nervously, “Uh no…”
“Louis come on,” Harry smacked him with the spatula, “They just got here.”
“LOUIS!” Niall entered the room next, wearing nothing but a pair of basketball shorts. His light blonde hair was messy from chasing Louis all throughout the house, and his bare chest and neck were dotted with adorable freckles. His blue eyes were the brightest ones I had ever seen, I was a sucker for pretty eyes, especially blue ones. I tried not to stare at them for too long, but I ended up having to force myself to look away.
“Oh, hi!” he said when he saw us, glancing down at his bare chest and shrugging, “I’m Niall.” He gave us a small wave and a grin.
“Kendall.” I smiled, “Nice to meet you.”
Once the introductions were through, everyone proceeded to act normally. Liam returned into the room and poured himself a glass of milk while Louis and Niall talked back and forth.
“Really where are they?” Niall begged.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Louis said through a mouthful of potato chips.
“For God’s sakes Niall,” a new boy appeared in the doorway of the kitchen and I turned to find the fifth flawless member of One Direction. “They’re in the freezer.”
Zayn rubbed his eyes sleepily and walked to the freezer and chucked Niall’s trousers at him.
I watched him as he wandered around the kitchen, assuming that he was woken up with the loud ruckus that Louis and Niall caused. He was also dressed in nothing but a pair of baggy basketball shorts.
I studied Zayn curiously as the boys returned to their normal conversations. His eyelids were heavy and droopy, he looked as though he hadn’t slept in days. Under the heavy lids was a pair of stunning dark brown eyes, even more captivating than Liam’s. They popped out even more laid against his flawlessly tan skin. His hair was dark brown, almost black, and spiked up ever so slightly at the top.
I ran my eyes up and down his tan physique, carefully studying him as he smiled and laughed with the other boys. His smile was perfect. He is perhaps the most beautiful creature I have ever laid eyes on.
It’s really a shame that he’s probably stuck up like all other celebrities. Even Harry is, but I choose to ignore it because he’s my best friend, but the fame has definitely changed him.
“Hey sorry,” My daydream was interrupted when Zayn was looking at me and smiling, “I didn’t introduce myself, I’m Zayn.”
“Kendall.” I waved, “This is my sister Lexi.”
He smiled at us and took a few potato chips from the bag in Louis’ hand. “So what has Harry here told you about us?”
“Pretty much everything there is to know.” I said, “Niall’s the funny one, Liam is the smart one, Louis is the leader, and Zayn is vain.”
All of the boys immediately busted out laughing, along with Lexi who laughed uncomfortably at my side. Zayn on the other hand, did not look very pleased.
“I’ll still never forgive you guys for saying that.” He placed his empty cup in the sink and headed for the stairs. “It was very nice to meet you both, but I’m going back up to sleep. We’ve been traveling all night, so Niall, you better shut up otherwise me and Lou will lock you outside again.”
Louis and Harry busted out laughing as Niall frowned at Zayn’s figure retreating up the stairs.
“That was like a year ago!” Niall shouted at him, which was answered with a slam of Zayn’s bedroom door.
“Remember the time that we spilled tea on Niall’s crotch while he was sleeping?!” Harry said through laughs, to which Louis and Liam cracked up.
“Wow,” I rolled my eyes, “I can really see how much you guys love each other, locking each other out, stealing Niall’s trousers and putting them in the freezer, spilling tea on one another, such a great way to treat your friends.”
Harry and Liam laughed at my sarcastic comment and Louis just went along with it, “Thank you! You know, everyone seems to think I’m a jerk for doing all that, I’m glad I’ve finally met someone who understands me,” He mirrored my sarcasm, “Let’s be friends.”
“Great! Are you gonna lock me outside too?” I wondered.
Niall’s laugh echoed through the small kitchen as he put a hand on my shoulder, “This girl,” he turned to Harry, “I like her.”
I raised my eyebrow at Louis who just shrugged and smiled, “She’s alright.”
“Okaaaayyyy Kendall that’s enough,” Lexi interrupted just as I was about to say something else, “Not that this hasn’t been fun but we should really get going, our dad doesn’t know where we are.”
“Oh yeah,” Harry stood up, “I’ll walk you guys home.”
“Well that was fun.” I said as the three of us walked up the block. We only lived two houses away from him.
“Look Kendall, I’m sorry that I didn’t tell you the boys were coming. I wanted to surprise you! I didn’t think you would get mad,” Harry stuck out his bottom lip and folded his hands together, “Pleeease forgive me?”
I kept my gaze forward and ignored Harry’s apology. “Kendall!” Lexi elbowed me in the side accusingly.
“Okay fine, I forgive you.”
“Good,” Harry smiled, “I can’t have my best friend getting mad at me on my first day back. And I promise you’ll grow to love the boys, they just take a little getting used to, that’s all.”
“We’ll see.” I said.
“So how’s your dad?” Harry asked. I could see the sudden look of worry in Harry’s expression, it reminded me of how he looked when we first heard about my mom. He really helped us when she died, not only me and Lexi, but my dad too. He would bring over dinner and eat it with us, just to get our minds off of it. Harry is really the only boy that my dad trusted.
“Well….” Lexi drew out the word and glanced at me for help.
“He’s dealing with it as best he can.” I filled in.
“In other words, he’s still being way to overprotective and isn’t letting his teenage daughters have a life?” Harry said.
“Pretty much,” Lexi said, “But we’re all he has left.”
“I know,” Harry put a comforting hand on her shoulder, “I’m sorry.”
“We should go,” I said. “We’ll see you tomorrow?”
“Of course, just come down whenever, the boys and I don’t have anything planned yet. Maybe we can all catch a film or something?”
“Sounds like fun!” Lexi said, before I could object. “We’re in.”
“Great.” Harry smiled and gave us each another hug, “Love you guys.” He pointed at us and turned back to walk home.
“Love you too.” Lexi mumbled once he was out of ear shot.
I looked at her sympathetically, “Don’t worry, you’ve got a whole summer to build up the nerve to actually tell it to his face.”
“Harry and the boys are gonna be here in like 10 minutes.” Lexi said, “Do I look okay?”
I looked at my sister through the full length vanity mirror in our room, and smiled. She reminded me so much of my mom, more so every day. She was wearing a pair of short white shorts, and a pink V-neck with a black cardigan. Her long golden locks were cascaded down her back, looked wavier than usual. Her gorgeous green eyes were touched up lightly with makeup, and her cheeks were pained with a light shade of pink.
“You look great, just like Mom.” I said and she smiled at me. I looked at my own reflection in the mirror, somewhat satisfied. I had decided on a pair of high-waisted navy shorts, and a white V-neck with gladiator sandals. My curly brown hair was pulled into a long messy pony-tail, and my blue eyes were accented with a tiny bit of eyeliner and mascara.
Harry had called us about an hour ago expressing the boys desire to go to the amusement park, and they all wanted us to come along. I’ve finally accepted the fact that if I wanted to see Harry I had to see the other boys too, even though I didn’t like sharing him, I would be nice to them, for Harry’s sake.
Before Lexi and I are allowed to step foot out the front door, my dad has insisted that he meets all four boys before we go anywhere with them. Harry understood why, but the other boys were bound to ask questions. This made me nervous; everything with my dad was still somewhat of a sensitive subject.
Lexi trampled down the stairs when we heard a knock 10 minutes later, “I’ll get it Dad!”
I followed her to the front door and opened to find the 5 flawless boys standing on our doorstep. Each of them looking just as amazing as they did when I met them yesterday, maybe even more so.
“Hey beautiful.” Harry greeted Lexi.
I laughed at the obvious blush that was creeping onto her cheeks, and so did the other boys, but Harry didn’t look twice.
“How’s my other best friend?” Harry put hand on my shoulder.
“Good.” I said happily and popped my head into my Dad’s study. “Dad? Harry’s here.”
My dad took off his glasses and walked out into the hallway, “Harry.” He smiled and held out his hand.
“Hi Mr. Rhodes,” Harry shook his outstretched hand, “Great to see you again, it’s been a while.”
My Dad nodded and turned to the other boys; Liam was the first to speak.
“Hello sir, I’m Liam.” He shook my Dad’s hand, and the rest of the boys did the same.
My Dad nodded at each of their introductions and did his best to smile, even though I could tell he didn’t want his daughters anywhere near them. In his eyes, teenage boys are pure trouble, except for Harry of course, who my dad thought was perfect.
Zayn was the last to introduce himself, and I saw my dad cringe when he spotted the various tattoos and earrings on the tan boy. He shot me a look out of the corner of his eye, and I knew that he didn’t approve one bit. He didn’t seem to mind any of the other boys as much.
I felt bad but there was really nothing I could do, my Dad is the way he is. There’s a certain point where you learn to not fight it anymore, and just accept it.
“So,” Harry cleared his throat, “We’re heading to the amusement park today, we should have them back by dinner for you, if that’s alright.” He flashed his famous dimpled smile at my Dad, who agreed and nodded his head.
“That sounds fine.”
We said goodbye to our Dad and followed the boys out of the house, unsure of what this day would consist of, but interested to find out.
We all piled into Harry’s dad’s suburban, Lexi taking shotgun, Liam and Niall in the two middle seats, and I got stuck between Zayn and Louis in the very back.
“So why exactly did we have to meet your Dad?” Zayn asked as he buckled his seatbelt.
“He can be a little overprotective at times,” I said, “He has trust issues.”
“Has he always been like that?” Niall asked from the seat in front of me.
“Not exactly.” I was playing with my nails and keeping my eyes in my lap, this isn’t exactly the conversation I wanted to be having. None of these boys would understand.
Luckily the subject was dropped when Harry started pointing out buildings that we were driving past. “Remember when we sang there lads?”
“Yep, sold out the arena.” Liam shook his head, “Incredible.”
“Who’s ready to ride some rollercoasters?” Louis asked happily after a few more minutes of the car ride.
Harry whimpered a bit from the driver’s seat, he was always terrified of rollercoasters. I, on the other hand, loved them, I would always force him to go on them with me when we were younger.
The first 20 minutes of the car ride was fun, everyone was quite chatty. Once we got out the city, the scenery outside turned boring. I stared blankly out the window, beginning to get a little tired.
I closed my eyes and rested my head on the back of the seat, hoping to catch a few minutes of sleep before walking around with these crazy boys all day long.
“Kendall, wake up.” I felt a hand lightly shake me awake.
I opened my eyes to find my head leaning on Zayn’s shoulder, and everyone else was piling out of the car.
“Was I asleep on you the whole time?” I asked Zayn, feeling a blush start to form on my cheeks.
He nodded; “It’s alright, I don’t mind. I fell asleep for a while too.” He unbuckled his seatbelt and smiled, “But Louis may or may not have tweeted a picture of us.”
I threw my head back and sighed, I’m sure Josh will love that. “Of course he did.”
Zayn and I climbed out the car, well behind everyone else who was eagerly approaching the ticket stand. My legs were still a little numb from the car ride, causing me to limp slowly behind everyone else. Zayn didn’t seem to mind and kept his feet in sync with mine as we followed the group.
“So you and Harry have known each other a long time?” Zayn glanced at me quickly.
“Ever since I moved here when I was 7.” I answered, “We were neighbors and inseparable.”
“I bet it’s hard having him gone all the time.” He kicked a rock with his black boots.
“Yeah it is.” I turned to face him, “What about you? I’m sure you miss your friends and family.”
“It’s hard,” he agreed, “But I’m doing what I love. And I get to go home often enough.”
“What about now?” I wondered, “Don’t you want to go home for the summer?”
He shrugged, “It’s harder to be away from the boys. Besides, all Harry talks about is how amazing you are, I had to come and see for myself.” He smiled.
I smiled and tugged at the end of my shorts nervously. I bit my tongue from making any comments about how I originally didn’t want them here, Zayn’s being nice, I would be nice too. I was starting to warm up to the idea of the boys sticking around anyways.
“Let’s go on that one!” I pointed to the biggest roller coaster in the whole park, “It’ll be fun!”
“No,” Harry shook his head violently, “Absolutely not, you’re mental. I’ve gone on all of the rides you’ve wanted so far, now it’s my turn to choose.”
Since Harry was so scared of roller coasters, I agreed to wait with him while Niall, Louis, and Liam went on all of the big ones. Heaven knows where they are now, we lost them about an hour ago. I hadn’t seen Kendall or Zayn since we all got out of the car, we lost them before we even entered the park.
“But you always choose the baby rides…” I complained.
“Let’s just sit down then,” Harry started off towards a bench under the shade of a magnolia tree. “Cause I’m not going on that thing.” He pointed to the roller coaster I suggested earlier.
“Fine.” I sat down next to him on the bench and he casually threw his arm around me. I tried to hide how much that simple action did to me, everything Harry did had an effect on me.
“Ugh I’m a sweaty mess, my hair is disgusting.” I complained, pulling my hair out of my eyes and into a high pony tail.
“Oh stop,” Harry batted my hands away, “You look great.”
I laughed, “No I don’t, I bet my makeup is running all over the place.”
Harry glanced at me and smiled, he reached up with his thumb and rubbed right under my eye. “There, all better.”
I tried to stay calm when his thumb lingered an extra second on my face. “Thanks Harry.”
He kept his eyes locked with mine and studied my face. It was like he was searching in my eyes for a hidden emotion that he couldn’t seem to place. He grabbed my hand casually and opened his mouth to say something, but was interrupted with a few high pitched screams.
“HARRY STYLES!” A gorgeous girl with tan skin, long black hair and dark brown eyes was standing in front of us, about ready to pass out.
Harry smiled and withdrew his arm from around me, standing to greet the girl. “Hello love. What’s your name?”
“Christine.” She beamed, looking behind her at all of her friends that were waiting behind her and pointing at him.
I rolled my eyes and sighed, of course she would come up at the worst possible time. A sharp feeling of jealousy arose in my stomach as Harry flirted with Christine for a few minutes. Why did I even have a hope that Harry liked me? He has girls like Christine who are all over him all the time, he wouldn’t like me. No, I’m just his best friend.
“Lexi!” I looked into Harry’s green orbs as he sat down after Christine and all of her friends had left, “Are you okay? You looked upset.”
“Fine,” I stood up and straightened out my shorts, “I’m fine.”
I started to walk away, not really knowing where I was going or why I was leaving Harry sitting on the bench, I was just going wherever my feet took me.
“Whoa whoa,” Harry was on my tail, “Where are you going?”
I sharply turned to my left and started walking down a side path that went through the trees, ignoring Harry’s question.
“Why are you walking so fast?” he tried again, still a few feet behind me.
“And why are you ignoring me?” He asked hopelessly, “What did I do?”
I slowly came to a halt, but didn’t turn around to face him.
“I don’t really see why you’re ignoring me,” Harry caught up to me and tipped my chin up to meet his eyes, “What’s the matter?”
“Nothing.” I shook my head.
“You’re about to cry, Lexi.” Harry pointed out. My face was still captured in his hands, and he refused to break eye contact with me.
“No.” I shook my head and removed his hands, “I’m fine, go back to Christine.” I huffed and continued walking down the path. I don’t know why I’m acting so different, I’d seen Harry flirt with girls so many times before. It’s only the second day that he’s back and it’s already getting to me.
“What?” Harry was following me again, I wish he would just leave me alone. “That’s what this is about? Lexi, she wanted a picture, what was I supposed to say? Sorry I can’t take a picture with you, I’m here with my best friend? I can’t do that, I owe it to my fans to take pictures with them, it’s the least I can do since I wouldn’t be living my dream without them!”
“It’s not that you took a picture with her Harry!” I spun around and walked a few feet so I was standing right in front of him.
“Then what is it?” He was almost shouting, “Please enlighten me!”
I scoffed and shook my head, “Forget it. You wouldn’t understand anyways.”
“What the hell? One second you’re fine and the next you’re running away from me because I talked to a fan.” He furiously ran a hand through his curls.
“Well if I’m so annoying then why are you still following me?”
“Because I’m not going to let you wander around this huge park by yourself,” Harry said.
“Just go back to Christine, Harry.” I rolled my eyes and kept walking.
I never knew I could get jealous this easily. But all I knew was that watching Harry flirt with that girl made me feel worse than I had in a long time, probably because I had some false hope that he was actually going to say he liked me before she so rudely interrupted.
I just needed to get away from Harry, I needed to cool down without him asking my questions every 5 seconds.
“Lexi!” Harry shouted.
“What Harry?” I shouted back, turning around to find his face inches away from my own.
Before I could process exactly what was happening, Harry’s full pink lips were on mine. Immediately making butterflies jump to life in my stomach. One of his hands was placed on the small of my back, drawing me in closer, and the other one was tangled in my long blonde hair.
I kissed him back softly, relishing the way it felt to be in this moment, one that I had dreamt of for years now. I hesitated at first, but eventually melted into the kiss. His lips locked with mine and moved tenderly, causing everything around me to disappear, everything but Harry.
He pulled back and kept his hand lightly on my cheek and smiled. “I don’t want to go back to Christine.” He said, and added one more kiss on my lips, “I want you.”
“I’ve been trying to tell you, but I could figure out how to say it…” He continued and smiled sheepishly.
I tried to gather somewhat coherent thoughts from the initial shock of what just happened and the fact that Harry Styles actually wants me. He wants me.
“I… I’ve been trying to tell you too actually.” I silently cursed myself for not being able to think of anything better to say, but I could separate one thought from another; it was all just a big bundle of happiness.
Harry smiled and pushed a piece of blonde hair from my green eyes. “I wasn’t planning on it happening like this.” he quietly admitted.
“It’s okay,” I rested my forehead against his, “This was perfect.”
“Zayn?” I twisted and turned the map in my hands and studied it carefully, “Where are we?”
“Huh?” He looked up from his strawberry milkshake and glanced at the map, “I have no idea.”
“Great. We’re lost.” I sighed and tossed the map onto the wooden table we were sitting at.
Zayn and I had lost the others before we even made it inside the entrance of the park. I spent the whole day with him, and he’s actually funny and sweet, not anything like I expected him to be.
I had managed to stay fairly calm throughout the day, the rollercoasters and games temporarily distracting me from the fact that Zayn and I had both left our cell phones in the car and we had no way of getting ahold of the others.
But now it was starting to get late and I was beginning to worry that we wouldn’t be home in time for dinner. Dinner was at 7, every single night. No matter what. It was 5 o’clock and we still had to find everyone else, and make the hour and a half drive back home in time.
“Relax.” Zayn said, “Take a drink of my milkshake and a deep breath, we’ll find them soon enough.”
“I’m not going to relax and I don’t want any of your stupid milkshake!” I abruptly stood from the table and started pacing, “I want to find my sister and go home so that I’m not grounded for the rest of the summer!”
“Calm down,” Zayn placed his hands on my shoulders and sat me down, “Your dad will understand if you’re a few minutes late.”
I laughed out loud, “You don’t know my dad.” I sighed, “He’s gonna flip.”
Zayn stirred his straw in his milkshake slowly, “Why?”
“It’s complicated.” I shook my head and waved my hand dismissively.
“A lot of things are complicated,” Zayn continued, “I bet I can keep up.”
I glanced into Zayn’s big brown eyes and knew I probably shouldn’t be telling him anything, I didn’t know him that well. But yet there was something about him that told me I could trust him.
“He’s just really strict that’s all.” I shrugged.
“What about your mom?” He asked, slowly taking a swig of his sweating drink.
My stomach twisted inside of me, I still wasn’t used to talking about her, it still hurt to even think about her.
“She died a little over a year ago,” I sadly stared into my lap and played with my fingers, “from cancer.”
Zayn shifted uncomfortably next to me, I knew he wasn’t expecting this kind of an answer.
“Oh,” I could feel his eyes burning a hole into the side of my face, “I’m really sorry, Kendall.”
I nodded, “Ever since then my dad hasn’t let us out of his sight.”
Zayn hesitantly put a comforting hand on my shoulder, “He just doesn’t want to get hurt like he did when lost your mom.”
“I guess.” I sighed, standing up and holding out my hand to help him up, “Come on, let’s go find everyone else.”
He took my hand happily and stood up. I didn’t even realize until a few minutes later that he still hadn’t let it go. I quickly retracted my hand from his and stuffed it deep into the pocket of my navy shorts, his hand dropped limply to his side before he put it in his own pocket.
I snuck a few glances at him as he studied the map in his hands, his dark lashes slowly brushing his cheeks as he shut his eyes in frustration.
“I think we’re here.” I pointed my finger at the top right corner of the map.
“No,” Zayn pointed to the bottom left corner, “We’re here, see, right by the Scrambler.”
“NIALL HORAN! Oh my God, can I have a picture?” I heard from behind me.
I rolled my eyes and studied the map for a few more seconds, “Wait a second, Niall!”
Zayn seemed to have made the connection at the same time as me because we both took off at a run towards the screeching girl.
We both let out a sigh of relief when we spotted the blonde haired boy standing with Liam, Louis, Harry, and Lexi, who were in fact holding hands.
I shot my sister a glance and she nodded at me. She would be giving me every single detail at least 5 times.
“THANK GOD YOU’RE BACK!” Louis wrapped his arms around us in a hug and whipped his cell phone out, “People loved the picture I posted of you two this morning. They’ve been asking so many questions! Who’s Kendall? How did you meet her? Are you two dating?”
“Dating?!” I snatched the phone out of Louis’ hand and began scrolling through the tweets. “Oh god, this is NOT good.”
“Why did you post it in the first place?” I groaned, “Josh is gonna kill me!”
“Who’s Josh?” Liam and Niall had both joined our conversation now. I looked around the circle and noticed everyone’s eyes on me.
“Josh is my boyfriend,” I looked at Harry and cocked my head, “I thought you told them?”
“Boyfriend?” Louis mouth hit the floor, “You know, that’s going to be a major roadblock in my plan to have you fall in love with me.”
“Shut up Louis.” Zayn shoved his friend and looked at me; I tried to ignore the sad look that flashed in the back of his brown eyes, “Why didn’t you mention that you had a boyfriend?”
“I thought you knew!” I sat down on a nearby bench and buried my face into my hands, “And now Josh is gonna be pissed.”
“I’m sure he’ll understand,” Niall sat down next to me, “It was an accident, Lou didn’t know.”
“Here, give me Lou’s phone.” Zayn held out his hand at me and started typing on the phone, “I’ll just tell everyone it was a misunderstanding, no big deal.”
“Thanks Zayn.” I smiled at him; he glanced at me quickly and nodded without returning my smile.
“Where have you guys been?” Liam asked me while we all made our way to the car. “We were supposed to leave 45 minutes ago.”
I turned to Lexi and sighed, “We’re so dead.”
“We’re home Dad!” we barged through the front door at 7:02 and found my dad sitting at the dining room with his hands folded over his plate of food.
Zayn and Harry accompanied us in the house to explain why we were late and to apologize.
“We’re really sorry Mr. Rhodes, we got lost in the amusement park and got here as fast as we could.” Harry explained.
“Yeah Kendall and I got separated from the group and it took us forever to find them.” Zayn added, “We’re really really sorry.”
My dad stood up from the table and opened the front door, “You two run along now, thanks for bringing my girls home safely.”
Even though he was smiling, I could see it in his eyes that he wasn’t happy.
“Goodnight sir.” Harry and Zayn said and turned to us, “Night guys.”
We nodded at them before they left and we were left alone in the hallway with our dad. As soon as the boys were out the door his smile disappeared.
“Dinner is at 7 in this house.” He said quietly, “It always has been.”
“We’re sorry Dad,” Lexi said, “We got here as fast as we could.”
“Sit down, girls.” He ordered, and we obeyed him. Each of us taking our own seats at the dining room table and beginning to poke at the grilled chicken on our plates.
“I’m letting it go this once, since Harry had the manners to come in and apologize-”
“Zayn apologized too Dad.” I interrupted, still staring at my untouched plate of food.
“Well,” My dad let out a small laugh, “I might believe him if it wasn’t for all those tattoos on his arm.”
I rolled my eyes and stood up abruptly, suddenly I didn’t feel hungry anymore. “Can I please be excused?”
“No Kendall, sit down.” My dad answered. I reluctantly did so and crossed my arms over my chest. “So what else happened today?”
Lexi glanced at me as if to ask if it was ok to tell him about her and Harry. I silently nodded, it was better that he found out from her instead of someone else.
“Well Dad…” Lexi started off.
“Lexi and Harry are dating.” I blurted. It would have taken her an hour to tell him, and I didn’t want to sit here for that long.
My dad glanced in between the two of us a few times, “What?”
“I wanted to be the one to tell you,” Lexi glared at me, “Sorry Daddy.” She ducked her head, preparing for the fireworks that were about to follow.
“Well, I guess I don’t have a problem with that,” My dad shrugged and continued to work on his dinner. “Harry’s a nice boy.”
“What?” I practically spit my food out onto the table, “How come I got yelled at when I started dating Josh, but Lexi gets praised when she goes out with Harry?”
“Kendall, can we not discuss this at the table?”
“Fine.” I pushed out my chair and silently dismissed myself from dinner.
I dropped my plate into the sink and stomped upstairs, throwing myself onto my bed and stuffing my earphones in, turning Taylor Swift up high to enter a perfect world of melodies that always managed to calm me down.
I ripped the earphones out when I heard a fist hitting the hardwood of my door.
“Go away.” I mumbled, and shoved in my earphones again.
“No,” Lexi entered the room anyways, “This is my room too you know.”
I ignored her and cranked the volume on my iPod, pulling the covers over my head and closing my eyes, only to have the covers torn off of me seconds later. I opened one eye to see my sister raising her eyebrow at me.
“What?” I said coldly.
“Are you mad at me?” She asked sheepishly, “You don’t seem very happy for me.”
I sat up and rested my chin on her shoulder, “I’m sorry. I am happy for you, it’s just been a long day, and I know that Josh is gonna kill me if he sees that picture on Twitter.”
“Does he even follow the boys?” She pulled a few stray hairs away from my face and tucked them behind my ear.
“No.” I mumbled, “But what if someone at school sees it and shows him?”
“Listen,” she put both hands on my shoulders, “If Josh doesn’t understand that this was just an accident, then he’s not a good boyfriend and you shouldn’t be with him anyways, got it?”
“Okay.” I nodded, “Thanks Lex.”
She nodded and gave me a long hug, before exiting the room and going downstairs. I laid back down and closed my eyes, the soft voice of Taylor Swift causing me to doze off into a peaceful slumber.
I tiptoed around my room silently and tried to get dressed without waking up my sister. I threw on a pair of black shorts and a floral tank top and brushed through my curly brown hair. I took once last look at Lexi, who was still sleeping with a peaceful smile on her face, before slipping out my bedroom door and sneaking downstairs.
“Morning Dad.” I walked into the kitchen and poured myself a glass of orange juice.
“Morning, you’re awake a little early.” He briefly glanced at me from above his morning newspaper.
“Yeah, Josh has baseball conditioning all day long, and by nighttime he’s too tired to hangout, so the morning is the only time I get to see him.”
He raised his eyebrow disapprovingly but remained silent; with all of our past arguments my dad has learned to keep his opinions about Josh to himself. It’s been 5 months; obviously what he’s said so far hasn’t convinced me to break up with him, and it never will.
“Have a good day, be safe! And make sure you’re home in time for dinner!” He called before I walked out the front door, cutting his sentence short.
Usually my dad lets us see our friends during the day, because most days he goes to work. But when we miss dinner is when he really gets angry. I still don’t think he’s completely forgiven us for being 2 minutes late last night.
I took a few deep breaths as I knocked on Josh’s front door and waited for him to answer.
I couldn’t deny that I was a little nervous to see Josh today, he didn’t sound very happy when I talked to him on the phone last night. I just hoped and prayed that it wasn’t because he saw that stupid picture on Twitter, I convinced Louis to delete it eventually, but every single one of the girls in my class followed the boys, what if one of them showed it to him?
“Hey babe.” I looked up and saw a pair of gorgeous hazel eyes smiling at me from the other side of the door.
“Hey.” I stepped inside the house and accepted his quick kiss on the lips.
“You hungry?” He ruffled his blonde hair and grabbed my hand, “I can make us breakfast.”
“Sure.” I smiled as he led us into the kitchen and sat down at the table in the corner of the small room.
“So how’s Harry?” He asked, rummaging through the fridge for food.
“Better now that he and Lexi are finally a couple!” I laughed, “They have been since yesterday.”
“I heard that be brought his friends back with him?” He commented, trying to make his voice as casual as possible.
“Yeah he did.” I answered warily.
“I bet that’s fun, for you.” I still couldn’t detect any kind of anger or stiffness in his voice.
“Um, I guess so.” I answered. I started to fiddle with my nails, something that I did whenever I got nervous.
“How was the amusement park?” he asked.
“How did yo-” I looked up to see him holding his phone out to me, “Oh.”
I took his phone and winced at Louis’ tweet, ‘Hey look! Zayn and Kendall fell asleep on the way to the amusement park. :)’ and below it, sure enough, was the picture of my head on Zayn’s shoulder, and his head resting on top of mine, both of us fast asleep.
“Grant sent that to me this morning.” He said. Grant was his best friend. Both of them were co-captions of the varsity baseball team at school.
I set his phone down on the counter and sighed, “Are you mad?”
“No.” he said quietly, “I understand that things like this happen, it was an accident. Grant also sent me Zayn’s tweet that said it was all a misunderstanding,” He took my hand, tangled his fingers with my own and paused, “I just want to make sure that us being together is still what you want.”
“Of course it is.” I replied. He took my face in both of his hands and kissed me gently, leaving me slightly dizzy and light headed when he pulled away.
I spent the rest of the morning hanging out with Josh at his house, and then decided to go and watch him at baseball conditioning, since I didn’t have any other plans. I walked in my front door at 6:30 that night and wandered into the kitchen, where I heard the TV rumbling quietly.
“Hi Dad.” I smiled and grabbed a bottle of water, “Where’s Lexi?”
“At Harry’s. Would you mind going to get her? Dinner will be ready soon.” He asked.
“I’ll get it.” I lifted myself off of the basement couch where everyone was watching Bridesmaids, when I heard someone pounding on the front door.
As I turned into the hallway I ran right smack into Kendall, who took a step back and rubbed her head. “Ow, Hi Zayn.” A playful smile crept onto her perfectly pink lips as she pushed some of her long brown hair behind her ear.
“Hey Kendall,” I rubbed my own head and mirrored her smile, “Sorry I was just coming to get the door.”
“Oh that’s alright, I’m just here for my sister.”
I felt myself getting lost in her blue eyes, the way that you get lost when you look at the billions of stars that freckle the night sky. They were the brightest color of blue I had ever seen, the sparkle in the back of them never fading.
I jumped out of my trance when her eyes flicked away from mine and she cleared her throat uncomfortably.
“Sorry, she’s uh… downstairs.” I hitched my thumb over my shoulder towards the door to the basement.
“Okay,” she smiled, a dimple poking into the tan skin of her right cheek, “Thanks.”
Once I heard her footsteps on the stairs to the basement I pushed my back against the wall and slid all the way down so I was sitting on the floor, putting my head in between my knees. Stop being so stupid, she has a boyfriend. I thought to myself.
“Zayn?” I looked up at the sound of Lexi’s voice, “Are you okay? You look… stressed.”
She was standing over me cautiously; Kendall and Harry were standing behind her looking just as concerned.
“Oh yeah, yeah I’m fine.” I forced myself to stand up and smile, “Sorry, just thinking. You guys heading out already?”
“Yep, we’ve got dinner in 15 minutes.” Kendall informed me.
My eyes slipped away from hers and hit the floor, “Oh, okay.” I said and followed them to the door, “Well goodnight guys.”
While Lexi and Harry were still saying goodbye Kendall waited for them on the porch, she glanced at me quickly and smiled, “Night Zayn.”
Harry shut the door behind them and turned to me with a smirk on his face.
“What mate?” I asked.
“You think I don’t know that look?” He nodded his head towards the door that Kendall just walked out of, “You like her.”
“Who Kendall? Nah, she has a boyfriend, mate. I’m not that mental.”
Harry shrugged and stuck his hands in his pockets, “The heart wants what the heart wants.”
“So how was everyone’s day?” My dad asked as we all sat at the dinner table.
“Good.” I nodded.
“It was good,” Lexi said, “Hey Dad, is it okay if I sleepover at Harry’s tonight?”
“I don’t know if that’s appropriate.” My dad shook his head.
“Why? We used to have sleepovers all the time!” She defended.
“You weren’t dating him then, Lexi.” My dad said.
“Well what if Kendall comes with me?” She looked at me hopefully.
“What?” I looked at her in confusion. I had no interest in being the third wheel all night long; I would rather stay here and watch the news with my dad the whole night.
“Well…” my dad looked back and forth between us, “I guess that would be alright.”
“Yes!” Lexi smiled widely at me. I shook my head and her and mouthed ‘No’.
She nodded, folding her hands together and pushing her bottom lip out at me.
I sighed, “Alright fine.”
“Back already?” Louis smiled as the door swung open, “I knew you couldn’t stay away from me, Kendall.”
I rolled my eyes and passed him into the hallway, where I spotted the other 4 boys lounging on the couches.
“What are you doing here?” Harry jumped up and bounded over to us, eyeing the duffle bag over my shoulder.
“Like Louis said, I couldn’t stay away from him.” I shrugged.
“We’re sleeping over, for old time’s sake, is that okay?” Lexi looked at her boyfriend hopefully.
The twinkle in Harry’s eyes got a little brighter as he nodded, “Of course!”
“We can sleep out on the trampoline like we used to!” she said. Harry responded by kissing her nose and nodding excitedly.
Louis made a few gagging noises which resulted in a chorus of laughter from the rest of us.
“Kendall let’s go put your stuff upstairs.” Harry smiled and took the duffle bag from my shoulder.
“It’s getting late,” I looked at the clock, “Bed time.”
“It’s only 1:30!” Niall complained, followed by a long yawn.
Lexi giggled tiredly, “But I’m not even tired!”
“Yes you are baby,” Harry scooped my sister up in his arms and started carrying her towards the back door, “Coming Kendall?”
I nodded and picked myself up off of the boys living room floor. Zayn got up as well and accompanied me to the backdoor, “Well goodnight.” He smiled.
My eyes lingered on his flawless smile for an extra second before I nodded and pushed myself out the door, “Goodnight Zayn.”
I wasn’t sure why, but Zayn’s smile stayed plastered in my brain as I drifted off to sleep on the trampoline that night.
I woke up from a noise of snapping twigs under the trampoline. I sat up and looked at Lexi and Harry, who were still cuddling and sleeping peacefully.
“Harry, Lexi!” I shook their intertwined bodies violently, “I think I heard something!”
“It’s probably just the wind,” Lexi mumbled and leaned in closer to her boyfriend.
“First of all, there’s no wind out here and second I don’t think that wind can snap twigs!”
This time Harry heard it too, he sat up and looked around. Before any of us could say anything we were all being sprayed with freezing cold water. When I managed to open my eyes I could see Louis, Niall, Liam, and Zayn spraying us with water guns from outside the trampoline and laughing.
“Guys!” Lexi covered her eyes with her hands, “STOP!”
I knew it was no use telling them to stop, so I tried as best I could to gather my things and safely land on the ground without getting pelted with any more water.
“You guys suck!” I shouted as I started off towards the house. Liam and Louis followed me to the door, still not letting up with the water guns. I stupidly tripped over a large crack in the sidewalk, taking me and all my things to the ground.
Liam and Louis stopped spraying me with water and gathered around me, “Are you okay Kendall?” Zayn asked, reaching down to help me up off of the ground.
“No I’m not okay!” I shouted, “You just completely soaked me in water and now my pajamas are all dripping wet! How am I supposed to sleep now?”
I took Zayn’s outstretched and as he steadied me, I looked over to see Harry and Lexi just as soaked, Harry was ringing out his damp curls that were matted to his forehead.
I frowned at them and turned back to the boys, “I’m going home.”
“No Kendall, it’s 2:30 in the morning! It was just a joke, it was all Louis’ idea really!” Zayn said quickly.
“Hey!” Louis hit his friend on the arm, “You liked the idea.”
“Here, I’ll give you some dry clothes and you can sleep in the house for the rest of the night, okay?” Zayn insisted, not really giving me a choice as he secured his arm around me soaked body and led me inside.
“Fine.” I shot a death glare at Liam, Niall and Louis one more time before disappearing with Zayn into the house.
“Are you sure you’re okay?” Zayn asked as we entered his small bedroom, that I knew as one of Harry’s guestrooms.
“I’m fine,” I sighed, “If I’m gonna be friends with Louis I should expect these things to happen.”
“Here,” He tossed a bundle of clothes at my face, “You can wear these.”
“Thanks.” I left for the bathroom and changed into Zayn’s black basketball shorts and red t shirt that were pretty baggy on my slim body, but still comfortable.
I grabbed a towel from the rack and rubbed it in my hair, making my long brown curls even bouncier than normal.
I looked in the mirror one last time, before shutting the light off and returning down the hallway to Zayn’s room. To my surprise, he had stripped down to only his boxers and was making himself comfortable on the floor with a few blankets and pillows surrounding him.
“What are you doing?” I tried to keep the blush from surfacing on my cheeks as I stuffed my wet clothes into my duffle bag.
“I’m making myself comfortable.” He looked at me and smiled shyly.
“Aren’t you gonna sleep in your bed?”
“No, you can sleep in it. I figured it would be more comfortable for you.” He replied.
“That’s okay, it’s your bed.” I said, “I can take the floor.”
“Too bad,” Zayn shut his eyes and sighed, “I’m already comfortable.”
I rolled my eyes and reluctantly crawled into Zayn’s warm bed. I felt myself drifting off as soon as my head hit his fluffy pillow.
“Thanks Zayn.” I said quietly.
“Anytime, Kendall.” I could almost see his smile through the darkness, “Sleep tight.”
“Don’t let the bed bugs bite.” I answered, finally allowing myself to drift off to sleep with a peaceful smile on my face.
No matter how long I laid there with my eyes closed, no matter how many sheep I counted, I couldn’t manage to fall asleep. I couldn’t take my mind off of Kendall’s slow and steady breathing as she slept. Even being in the same room as her distracted me to the point where I couldn’t hold still for more than a minute.
I tossed and turned on the hardwood floor, unable to find a position remotely comfortable. I flipped over onto my stomach and buried my face into my pillow and sighed. Even when my eyes were closed, all I saw was Kendall’s adorable dimpled smile, her blue eyes shining like stars.
The worst part about it was the fact that I knew she didn’t look at me the way I looked at her. My face didn’t stay plastered in her brain the way hers did in mine. My smile didn’t make her heart skip a beat.
“Oh screw it.” I threw the covers off of myself and quietly crossed the room to my bed. Kendall was curled up in a ball at the far side of the bed, and I made sure to not wake her up when I climbed in next to her.
I sighed contently and closed my eyes, I silently listened to Kendall’s breathing, just to make sure I didn’t wake her up. It was as slow and steady as it was before, so I allowed myself to drift off peacefully.
Just as I was almost asleep I felt Kendall shift in her sleep, she scooted closer to me and leaned her head against my chest. I tried to keep my breathing steady, and instinctively put my arm around her. A peaceful smile arose on her sleeping face, and I smiled too. Holding her in my arms felt even better than I thought it would.
I woke up to the sun filtering into the small rectangular bedroom through the cracks between the blinds. I was suddenly aware that there was a pair of arms wrapped around me, and was conscious that Zayn was still fast asleep beside me.
The last thing I remember was drifting off alone in Zayn’s bed, with him comfortably on the floor. Now I was wrapped in his arms? It’s not a big deal, he probably just got uncomfortable. I thought to myself. It was troubling to me that something I knew was wrong, could feel so right. It felt I belonged in Zayn’s arms.
I laid there and tried to think of ways to get out of bed without waking him up. I glanced over to his angelic face, he looked so content and peaceful while he was sleeping, a small smile was present on perfectly pink lips.
His eyes started to flutter open and I closed mine, pretending to still be asleep. His arms kept their iron grip around me, as he lifted his head and sighed. I felt one of his hands lightly brush a strand of hair away from my eyes and linger on my face for an extra second. Goosebumps involuntarily arose up and down my arms and I ignored the small butterflies in my stomach.
Now I didn’t know whether or not to keep pretending that I was asleep or to wake up. I decided that if I didn’t wake up now I might not get a chance to, in case he falls back asleep.
I slowly opened my eyes and he pulled his arms away as soon as he realized that I was awake.
“Oh sorry,” he mumbled and sat up, “I uh… couldn’t fall asleep on the floor. I hope you don’t mind.”
“It’s alright,” I yawned and sat up too, “What time is it?”
Zayn checked the phone that was lying on his windowsill, “12:30.”
“Shit.” I mumbled, climbing out of bed and digging through the pocket of my bag for my cell phone.
I was supposed to see Josh this morning, just like every other morning, before he went to baseball conditioning. I had three missed texts and one missed call from him.
“What’s wrong?” Zayn’s voice was husky with sleepiness.
“Oh it’s nothing.” I threw my phone back in my bag and joined him on the bed. “Just Josh.”
“Uh oh, is the boyfriend mad?” A small smirk danced on his face.
“He will be when he finds out I was here.” I sighed.
“Do you need to leave?” He asked quietly and stood up, “I can walk you home.”
“No!” I involuntarily grabbed his hand and pulled him back down, “I don’t want to go home!”
We both looked down at our hands, and I caught a smile dance across his face, and then I realized that I was smiling too.
I dropped his hand like it was boiling hot and stuffed mine in the pocket of his basketball shorts that I was still wearing. “I mean, he’s at baseball now. I can deal with him later.”
As quick as I could, I gathered whatever dry clothes were left in my bag and escaped into the bathroom down the hall. I could hear everyone else awake and moving downstairs. I changed into a pair of high-waist; light wash, cutoff denim shorts and a navy blue button up shirt with a skinny brown belt.
I didn’t even want to start with my hair, I just pulled the tangled mess into a high ponytail and called it good. Then I moved to my face, I’m surprised Zayn didn’t fall out of bed from terror after seeing me this morning. All of my makeup was smudged and runny from my unexpected shower at two in the morning last night.
I dampened a wash cloth from the cabinet and rubbed off all of the excess mascara from my eyes until I was makeup free. Since I didn’t bring any makeup with me, this will have to do for today.
I gave myself one last look, to make sure I looked somewhat acceptable, and returned down the hall to Zayn’s room. He had changed into a pair of black chinos with a plain white t-shirt, a simple outfit, but yet Zayn made it look like he was being put on the front cover of a magazine.
His hair was still messy from sleep, but I had never had such an urge to run my hands through it. And his eyes, their cocoa brown color, did things to me that not even Josh’s hazel ones can compare to.
What is happening to me? I mentally scolded myself and tried my best to shake the dangerous thoughts about Zayn out of my head.
He smiled sweetly when he saw me appear in the doorway.
I tossed his dirty clothes at him to cover up for my staring, “Sorry I had to borrow these.”
“It’s alright, you looked good in them.” He shrugged. Once he noticed what he had said, his whole body stiffened, and a dark blush showed through his dark tan cheeks.
“I mean, you know, they didn’t look… bad?” He sighed in frustration, “Sorry.”
I imagine that my cheeks looked similar because I could feel my whole face burning a bright red. I giggled to hide my embarrassment, “Thanks Zayn.”
I felt like punching myself for being so stupid. I sunk my teeth into my lower lip nervously as I followed her downstairs. The things that this girl did to me were so much different than any other girl, I didn’t know what it is about her.
Maybe it was her adorable dimpled smile. Or maybe it was her starry blue eyes that I got lost in with just a single glance. Or maybe it was just the way that she looked at me, like there was a small sliver of hope that she could possible feel the same way. That small gleam of hope, that’s what’s kept me going. The small chance that I could possibly hold her one day, hold her the way I did last night, without feeling guilty about the fact that she has a boyfriend.
I would wait for her. Because there will be a day that she realizes she feels the same way about me, there just has to be.
“Earth to Zayn!” Niall’s fingers snapped in front of my face, bringing me back to the reality.
“What’s the craic man?” Niall’s blue eyes were right in front of mine and looking at me curiously, “Spacing out about Kendall again?”
“No!” I shoved his hand away from my face and walked past him into the kitchen, where everyone else was standing. I shot Niall a scornful warning glance.
Thankfully, when I casually glanced at Kendall, she was talking to Harry and Lexi, clueless to Niall’s comment. Lexi and Harry both kept glancing over to me, as Kendall carried on with their conversation. A stunning smile was dancing across her features as she spoke, and I didn’t even realize I was staring until Liam grabbed my shoulder and pushed me out of the room.
“Zayn.” He cocked an eyebrow at me, as if he was scolding me.
“Liam.” I mocked, raising my eyebrow the same way.
“You can’t keep doing this.” Liam scolded.
“Let’s see, you purposely got you and Kendall lost at the amusement park so that you could spend time with her-”
“That was not on purpose!” I denied, even though I hadn’t minded spending the day with Kendall on my own. I just wanted to get to know her. I didn’t know it would result in this kind of feelings for her.
“Yes it was Zayn.” Liam said, “And I wasn’t finished. What makes you think it’s okay to sleep with her when she has a boyfriend?”
“That’s the thing Liam,” I patted his back and smirked, “We technically did sleep. So I didn’t really sleep with her. We’re just two friends who casually slept in the same bed. And she cuddled up to me first!”
“That doesn’t matter Zayn, she has a boyfriend. It’s still not right.” He said. “You’ll just make yourself like her more.”
“So what do you want me to do? I can’t just stop hanging out with her, she’s Harry’s best friend.”
“You can’t or you won’t?” Liam asked, “I think there’s a difference.”
I sighed and took in what he was trying to tell me. It was loud and clear. Stop hanging out with Kendall all the time. Don’t talk to her as much, try not to look at her, involve myself with her as little as possible with hopes that these dangerous feelings would just eventually fade away. I just needed to act uninterested, I could do that right? As of right now, it seemed like the only realistic solution to the problem.
I shoved him lightly and smiled to cover up the hurt I was feeling, “I hate it when you’re right.”
I didn’t know how I was supposed to do this.
“We should go.” Lexi pulled me away from my game of Would You Rather with Louis.
“Aww,” Louis complained, “I was just gonna ask her if she would rather make out with Zayn or Niall.”
“That’s means that I should get out of here.” I laughed, “Later Lou.” I gave the tall boy a long hug before making my way to the kitchen to say goodbye to the rest of them.
I gave my farewell hugs to Liam, Niall and Harry and noticed that Zayn had barely even looked at me for the past hour. He propped himself against the granite counter and started typing on his phone.
I curiously made my way over to him and tapped his shoulder, “Bye Zayn, thanks again for letting me sleep in your room last night. I wouldn’t have gotten any sleep otherwise.”
“Yup.” He replied, without looking up from his phone.
“Is everything ok?” I asked warily.
“Just swell.” He hopped down from the counter and started for the stairs, “Later Kendall.” His goodbye was so inaudible I could barely understand what he said.
“What the hell was that about?” I thought out loud, trying my hardest to coat the hurt in my voice.
“Kendall!” Lexi was already halfway out the door. “Let’s go, now!”
I followed my sister out of the house. Both of us were unusually silent the whole way home. I couldn’t stop wondering why Zayn had suddenly become so distant. What had I done?
“I think Josh is pissed, Zayn too” I told Lexi, “Neither of them are answering my texts and Josh got out of baseball an hour ago.”
“Maybe he’s sleeping, I’m sure he’s tired.” She said half-heartedly, I didn’t even know who she was referring to. It was like she wasn’t even listening to me. She was smiling at whoever she was texting, who I already knew was Harry.
“Lex, are you even listening to me?” I weakly threw a pillow across the room to her bed.
“Ow!” She chucked the pillow back at me, “Yes! I am listening, you’re afraid that Josh is mad at you because you blew him off this morning because you were sleeping with Zayn.” She didn’t bother to hide the disapproval that she felt.
“You know what, I’m sorry that I fell asleep, okay? I’m sorry I didn’t want to spend the rest of the night out on the trampoline with you and Harry groping each other in your sleep!”
“Well at least he’s my boyfriend! I don’t go off flirting and cuddling with guys who aren’t my boyfriend! I thought you knew not to do that when you’re in a relationship! You can’t have both of them, Kendall!” She yelled.
“I know that, Lexi.” I stood up, grabbed my purse and started heading for the door. “You know, you could at least try to understand my side of all this. But I’m sorry; I guess now that you’re with Harry my feelings don’t matter anymore.” I yelled, slammed the door as hard as I could and stomped downstairs.
Thankfully, we had already eaten dinner so I could go see Josh. If he wasn’t answering my calls, he would have to answer me in person.
“What are you doing here?” Josh said, as soon as he opened the door. He didn’t bother to actually greet me.
“Trying to talk to my boyfriend, since he won’t answer any of my calls.” I said.
“Well you wouldn’t answer any of mine this morning.” He snapped.
“I told you, I overslept! I’m sorry that I missed this one time! Why do I constantly have to defend myself to everyone? It was one time!” My anger towards my sister was being directed at Josh too, I guess that was my way of defending myself.
“It’s not even that, Kendall. It’s the fact that these past few days that Harry’s been home I’ve seen you only once. I’m used to talking to you all day every day, that’s the way I like it. But now I’m lucky if I even get a text from you.” He scuffed his black converse on the worn wood of his front porch, “It feels like I’ve been replaced. And that’s exactly what I was afraid of.”
“You’re afraid of getting replaced? That’s ridiculous.” I denied and shook my head.
“Is it? Because they’re the only people you hang out with, and when you’re not with them they’re all you talk about!” Josh was trying to keep his voice calm. “And then I see a picture of you sleeping on Zayn’s shoulder-”
“I thought you weren’t mad about that…” I said quietly.
“Kendall, have I ever broken your trust, or done something to make you unsure about us?” He asked after a long pause, that he used to keep his composure.
“No.” I answered quietly.
“I didn’t think so. I’ve been nothing but good to you since we started dating. Things were going so well and now-”
“Now what?” I stopped him in mid-sentence.
“Now I’m not sure if I can trust you.” He finished, his face as cold as stone.
“Well what do you want me to? Stop hanging out with Harry and the rest of them?” I asked.
“I don’t know.” He answered blankly. His hands were shoved deep into the pockets of his grey hoodie, and his light hazel eyes that usually looked at me in adoration wouldn’t even look at me at all.
“Well, let me know when you figure it out.” I turned on my heel and stomped off of his porch before he could get another word in.
I forced the tears back until I was at least at the end of Josh’s block, and when I looked back I was expecting to see him chasing after me like he always did after a fight. But all I saw was a vacant street and Josh’s empty front porch.
“It feels weird without Zayn and Kendall here.” I complained. The boys had invited me and Kendall over for a movie day. When I got here they informed me that Zayn wouldn’t be joining us, and Kendall hadn’t come over to the boys since Zayn stopped talking to her. She hadn’t really done anything, since her and Josh had their fight.
“He’s barely left his room at all.” Liam said. I swear I saw a flash of guilt in his deep brown eyes. “I told him he should stop talking to Kendall but I didn’t know he would get this depressed.”
“Wait, you told him to stop talking to Kendall?” I asked, “Why?”
Everyone was looking at Liam curiously, which told me that they didn’t know about this either.
“Because Zayn’s feelings for Kendall are obviously stronger than Kendall’s feelings for Zayn.” Liam said, looking around and everyone guiltily, “I didn’t want him to get hurt.”
“Well maybe Kendall can talk to him!” I said hopefully, “That would make both of them feel better, right?”
Harry smiled and put his arm around my shoulder, “We can try! Text Kendall and tell her to come over.”
I shook my head as I removed my phone from the pocket of my navy cargo shorts, “She won’t want to come.”
You should come over to Harry’s! We all want you here, and the boys need you to talk to Zayn, he won’t leave his room.
The beginning chords of The Circle of Life, from The Lion King filled the small living room. “Ah not again.” Niall complained, “Liam, we watch this film every day.”
“Would you rather watch Toy Story?” Liam smirked.
“No! Not Toy Story again.” Louis cut in.
My phone lit up in my pocket and I opened the text from my sister.
Zayn won’t want to talk to me; he hasn’t talked to me all weekend. But tell everyone hi for me.
I rolled my eyes and showed Harry the text. He sighed and took my phone out of my hand.
Pleeeeeease Kendall? (:
He sent the message and kept it in his hand until she replied a few minutes later.
Ugh, fine. But I promise nothing I do will help.
He was smiling satisfactorily when he tossed the phone back onto my lap and pulled me closer to him. He kissed the top of my head and twirled his long fingers with mine, where they fit perfectly, before turning his attention to the film.
I took a deep breath before knocking on the front door. If Zayn refuses to talk to me, I swear I’m not trying to be friends with him anymore.
Louis swung Harry’s door open quickly, “Kendall!” he smiled and wrapped his arms around me in one of his bear hugs. “Where have you been? I’ve missed you.”
“It’s only been a few days, Louis. I haven’t really felt like going anywhere lately.” I shrugged and walked into the living room and plopped down between Harry and Liam.
“Because of your fight with Josh?” Louis took his spot on the floor by my feet and looked at me cautiously. Niall hit the mute button on the TV and suddenly everyone’s eyes were on me.
“You told them?” I turned to my sister who hit Harry on the arm.
“You weren’t supposed to tell anyone!” She whispered to him.
“Sorry!” Harry said, “I figured we could help!”
“No offense, but I don’t think there’s anything you guys can do.” I said, “Josh won’t even talk to me.” I stared sadly into my lap and slowly began to pick at the chipped pink polish on my nails.
“So dump him.” Louis shrugged as though it was nothing, “Dump him before he dumps you.”
“No, I think that you and Josh should try and work things out.” Liam said, Niall nodded his head in agreement.
“Yeah.” I agreed, “Oh well, let’s just not talk about this.”
Harry nodded and put an arm on my shoulder, “Kendall, Zayn’s been in his room the whole weekend, we can’t get him to come out.”
I shrugged, “Why do I have to talk to him? He hasn’t talked to me in days. I don’t think anything that I say is gonna help whatever his problem is. You all mean more to him than I do.”
All four of the boys exchanged glances with each other before looking back to me.
“You mean more to him than you think,” Liam said, “Please just try.”
I sighed and lifted myself off of the couch, straightening out my khaki shorts and pulling down my black V-neck as I went.
“Zayn?” I knocked on his door and cracked it open slightly. He was completely knocked out, sprawled across his bed in nothing but his boxers. I blushed slightly as I entered the room and shut the door behind me.
“Zayn wake up.” I shook his body lightly. When there was no sign of life I tried again, still no response. For a second I just sat there, admiring his angelic face as he slept. His long dark lashes were barely brushing his cheeks and his tan skin was shining in the light filtering in through the windows.
I reached out to run my index finger over a tattoo on his neck, it was something written in Arabic. I stopped myself just before I was about to touch it and stuffed my hand back in to my pocket.
“Zayn!!” I gave him a final shove that finally woke him up.
He barely opened his eyes before he practically fell off of the bed in shock. “Kendall!” For a split second I saw a smile sweep across his face, but was replaced with his creasing of his eyebrows and a frown.
“What are you doing?” he asked seriously.
“Why have you been ignoring me?” I inquired immediately, “Did I do something wrong? Or did you just decide that you didn’t like me anymore.”
Zayn sat for a moment, just staring at me. Then he let out a small laugh and smiled. “You didn’t do anything Kendall.”
“So you just decided that you didn’t like me anymore?” I asked. My question was answered with another laugh from Zayn.
“Why are you laughing?” I was almost offended, and I crossed my arms over my chest defensively.
“Because! What could you have possibly done to make menot like you?”
“Well that’s what I was asking! Because one minute we’re friends, and the next second you barely even look at me.” I said. He eyes were searching my face curiously, and then an even bigger smile appeared on his face.
“So you’re saying you missed me?” He asked playfully.
I rolled my eyes and stood up, “Jesus, Zayn. I’m leaving.”
“Noooo,” Zayn drew out the word in complaint and grabbed by hand, pulling me back down to sit next to him. “I’m sorry I ignored you, I’ve just been in a sour mood. I’m feeling better though.” He smiled reassuringly. “I’m done ignoring you.”
My eyes narrowed suspiciously at his apology, “You sure about that?”
“Positive.” He said with a confident nod of his head. “I guess I’m just missing my family a lot, sometimes I get nasty when I’m missing home.”
I nodded and smiled at him. “Shall we go downstairs?” I asked, “The boys will be happy to know you’re finally feeling better.”
Zayn’s gorgeous smile stayed plastered on his face as we walked downstairs, and looking at him smile made me smile too.
“Why does Mufasa have to die?” Harry sniffled and rubbed his eyes, where I swear I saw a few tears welling up, “I hate this movie.”
“I’ll comfort you Haz!” Louis jumped up from the floor and sat on top of Lexi, burying Harry in his hug. Then he turned to me sister and stuck his tongue out at her. She rolled her eyes and crawled out from under Louis and sat at the spot he previously abandoned at my feet.
My phone buzzed in my pocket during the most dramatic part of The Lion King, and lit up with a text from Josh. This is the first time he’s tried to talk to me since our fight that was 3 days ago.
I think we should talk. If you’re not still mad… meet me at the coffee shop?
I figured I should probably go talk to him, I was tired of fighting. Sure I was still annoyed that he lost his trust so easily in me, when I really didn’t even do anything wrong. But Josh is one of those people that I couldn’t stay mad at, no matter what he did.
“I have to go.” I said while standing and stretching my arms above my head.
“What, why?” Harry asked.
“I’m going to see Josh.” My sister and I had a second of eye contact that told her everything that was going through my mind, even though there were no words.
She nodded and stood up, following me to the door and giving me a long hug. “We talked about this, remember what I said?” I nodded silently. “Good. Josh will understand, now that he’s had a few days to calm down.”
“Let’s hope so.” I said.
Zayn appeared at my side, “Can I walk you?”
“Sure.” I smiled and said goodbye to the rest of the boys.
“So what’s going on?” Zayn asked as we started up my block, towards the coffee shop, “Why do you seem so nervous?”
“Josh and I got into a fight the other night.” I said quietly.
Zayn nodded, “I heard Harry say something about that. What was the fight about?”
I looked at Zayn cautiously out of the corner of my eye, unsure of whether or not to tell him that the fight was really about him.
I drew in a sharp breath, “Josh feels like he’s been replaced by you, Harry and the other boys too, but mostly you. He saw that picture on Twitter.”
“I figured that was it. I would get jealous too if I were your boyfriend.” He chuckled a little bit, “If a guy has a girl like you as he should be protective.”
“What do you mean?”
“I would be surprised he was stupid enough to let a girl like you slip through his fingers.” He said.
“What do you mean a girl like me?” I asked.
He shrugged, “I don’t know. You’re just different.” He paused shortly and added, “Different in a good way.”
I smiled and pushed him slightly with my elbow, causing him to hip bump me into a parked car on the street and making both of us laugh.
My light and happy mood turned into weariness as we turned the corner and were standing in front of the coffee shop.
“Well, good luck with the boyfriend.” He smiled and gave me a little push towards the door. “Let me know how it goes.”
I started for the door, and turned around one more time and watched Zayn as he walked back towards the direction of Harry’s house. “Zayn!” I called.
He stopped and turned around; I quickly walked over to him and wrapped my arms around him. “Thanks for walking me.” I wasn’t sure why I felt the need to hug Zayn, but it gave me the reassurance I needed.
He was a bit taken back, but soon hugged me back and I could feel him smiling. “Of course.”
I nervously let go and waved before turning around and walking into the coffee shop where I spotted Josh sitting by the window, watching Zayn walk away.
Josh was sitting at the table in the corner of the quaint coffee shop, staring out the window at the Zayn’s retreating back. My stomach sunk, looking at the pained expression wiped across his face. What was I thinking, letting Zayn walk me? He was the problem in the first place.
“Hi love.” His eyes painfully tore themselves away from the window, and looked at me while he tried his best to smile. “I got you your regular, is that okay?”
I nodded and took the cup of coffee from his hand, “Thanks. Sorry it took me so long to get here, I was-”
“With Zayn?” Josh interrupted and nodded, “I saw that. You two are pretty good friends now, huh?”
“Yes,” I crossed my arms over my chest defensively, “We’re just friends, Josh.”
“Just friends.” He nodded. “It doesn’t look that way.”
“Well it is that way, ok? We’re friends. If you had me come here just so you can lecture me about whom I can and can’t hang out then-”
“I don’t want to lecture you. I’m sorry.” He said, “I just want to talk.”
I took a long sip of my coffee and waited for him to continue. I could see the pain on his face; he didn’t look at me for more than a few seconds.
“I had everything planned out, everything that I wanted to say.” He chuckled lightly, “I can’t seem to remember any of it.”
“It’s alright.” I said and tried to study the expression on his face. His eyes weren’t the shiny hazel ones that I loved, they were dull and lifeless.
“Listen Kendall,” He reached across the table and intertwined his fingers with mine comfortably. After taking a long breath, he continued, “Since our fight, I’ve had some time to myself to think. I’ve been thinking a lot about us, I spent hours awake at night just wishing that we could go back to being happy. Just being two teenagers loving life, but lately, I haven’t felt like myself, and you haven’t been yourself either.”
I tried to interject to defend myself, but he held his hand up to stop me. “I didn’t finish.”
I nodded and let him continue, “I’ve tried to think of ways to fix it, Kendall. But then I realized, maybe it just can’t be fixed. These 6 months have been amazing, I’ve really never been happier. But I’m just not happy anymore.” He shrugged and through the tears forming at my eyelids, I could see a tear forming in his eyes too. “I don’t want to be away from you, but I’m holding you back, and it’s making both of us unhappy.”
A few hot tears escaped my eyes and rolled down my flushed tan cheeks, “You’re not even going to give me a chance to fix this?”
“There’s no problem to fix, I’m not mad and neither are you. I just think we’re both better off this way. You’ll be able to focus on Harry and your dad, he needs you. And I can focus on baseball so I can get a scholarship to play in America.”
I swallowed all of the words I wanted to say. All of the questions I still wanted to ask stayed stuck on the lump that was forming in my throat. My mind was racing, my blood was pulsing, my heart was hurting more with every word that escaped his lips.
“I don’t understand, we were so good and now-”
“That’s the point, we were good. All we do now is fight.”
“Okay.” I took a deep breath and composed myself, “If this is what you want.”
“You’re who I want,” Josh said, “But what you want isn’t always what’s best for you.”
I rubbed my tears weakly with the back of my hand, “I-I see.”
For the first time, Josh’s eyes looked into mine. I automatically looked away, those hazel eyes were no longer mine to look at. He cleared his throat and stood up, still not letting go of my hand.
“I’m sorry.” Pushing a strand of hair away from my eyes, his hand lingered for an extra second before he stuffed it into the pocket of his favorite grey hoodie. Without another word Josh half-jogged out of the coffee shop. As he passed the window, I could see a fresh coat of tears forming on the surface of his hazel eyes.
I sat back down at the table and buried my face into my hands; I couldn’t help but blame it all on myself. I should have seen it coming since I saw how he reacted when I told him Harry was coming home. ‘Just make sure you still have time for me.’ he had said. At the time I thought I would. At the time I thought nothing would ever be able to tear us apart.
He takes your hand, I die a little
I watch your eyes, and I’m in riddles
Why can’t you look at me like that?
When you walk by, I try to say it
But then I freeze, and never do it
My tongue gets tied, the words get trapped
I hear the beat of my heart getting louder whenever I’m near you
I scribbled the words rapidly across the blank page of my notebook, creasing my eyebrows in concentration.
“Hey mate.” Louis popped his head through the crack in the door, “Come and get drinks with us.”
I didn’t take my eyes off of the page as I jotted down more lyrics that came flooding into my mind. “You guys go ahead, I might come in a while.”
“What’s that?” He sat down on the bed next to me and looked at the page, “A song?”
I nodded, “I’m writing it for Kendall. It’s the only way I can put my feelings into words.”
“Are you gonna sing it for her?” His eyes scanned over the loopy handwriting repeatedly.
“Mate, are you mental?” I snatched the notebook from his hands and shut it. “Hell no. It’s just so I can get my feelings out, Kendall’s never gonna know about it.”
Louis chuckled and ruffled my hair, “Just making sure you haven’t gotten too into her, we are leaving at the end of the summer.”
I sighed and opened my notebook again, repeatedly running over the lyrics again and again in my head. I laid down and started once more to jot down lyrics that were inspired by the girl that I couldn’t seem to shake from my thoughts.
The door suddenly busted open and Louis and I both looked up to find Kendall standing there. Her hands hung limply at her side, and her face was stained with recently shed tears. She didn’t say a word, all she did was put her back against the door frame and slide down so she was sitting on the floor.
“Kendall what’s wrong?” Louis asked, immediately crossing the room and picking her up off of the floor.
As fast and sneakily as I could, I shut the notebook and shoved it under my bed before joining Louis on the floor after she refused to move.
She just shook her head and waved her hand dismissively. “Josh.”
“Did you guys have another fight?” Louis asked.
“More than a fight.” She turned and looked at us sadly, “He broke up with me.”
“Louis!” Harry appeared in the doorway, “We’re leavi-… Kendall what’s wrong?”
Harry too bent down and pulled her into his arms, he cradled her protectively as she explained what Josh had said.
“That asshole!” Louis exclaimed, “He’s not worth it Kendall.”
Kendall nodded and continued to let a tear fall every few minutes.
“You guys go out.” I said, “I’ll take care of her.”
“No.” Harry said, “I’m not leaving her like this, we can go out another time.”
“No Harry go out.” Kendall mumbled, “I’m fine, really.”
“Are you sure love?” Louis asked, “We can stay in.”
“I’m sure,” she snuck a glance at me, “Go ahead.”
Harry and Louis each gave Kendall a hug before they left to meet Liam and Niall at the restaurant. Kendall sat on the floor for a while longer, just staring at the blank white wall of my bedroom. I didn’t know what to say, how to comfort her, so I just sat down with her and sighed.
“You know, I know you probably don’t want to hear this, but Lou was right. If he’s leaving you after one bad fight, then he’s not worth the tears. If he wanted to stay with you, he would have figured out a way to fix it.” I said, hesitantly wiping away a tear strolling down her flushed cheek.
She said, “It still sucks though.”
“I know it does, feeling like the person you want doesn’t want you back. We’ve all been through that.” I said. I had never been through it before I met Kendall. Before I met her every single girl I liked jumped at the opportunity to date me. Maybe that’s why I liked Kendall so much, she was one girl that wasn’t all over me all the time.
By now she had stopped crying completely, and was laying her head silently on my shoulder. My arms were wrapped around her protectively as though she was mine. I snuck a glance under my bed, where I saw the shiny metal rings of my notebook sticking out into my view. I started to panic and shifted uncomfortably under Kendall.
“Come on love,” I said. I stood up and offered her my hand. “Let’s get you home.”
She stood up cautiously, her eyes warily searching mine. “Okay.”
A comfortable silence fell over us as we walked up the street to her house. I stopped at the end of her front sidewalk, “If you need anything, you know who to call.”
For the first time since this afternoon, I saw her smile. The butterflies jumped to life in my stomach as soon as the smile split across her face. “I know. Thanks Zayn.”
She started to walk up the sidewalk towards her house as I started walking back down to Harry’s. Just as I was about to cross the street I turned around, Kendall was standing on her front porch, watching me walk home. When I turned around she gave me a small wave and disappeared into her house.
I couldn’t help but smile to myself the whole rest of the walk back to Harry’s.Those blue eyes were branded into the back of my mind, forcing themselves upon every thought that crossed my mind, always turning my frown into a smile.
Two weeks later: Zayn’s POV
I sat up in my bed and rubbed my eyes sleepily, I hadn’t been getting any sleep lately. Every night Kendall and I would secretly talk on the phone for hours into the night. The boys didn’t care much but Kendall’s dad wouldn’t be okay with her staying up past 11. We would talk about anything and everything. Sometimes I would ask her about Josh, whom she still hadn’t talked to since the breakup.
The first few days were bad; she would lay in bed and refuse to come out. I had to physically carry her out of bed a few times, which didn’t bother me. Within a matter of the month that I had been here, I had spent practically every day with Kendall. Each morning waking up with a bigger smile on my face knowing that nothing bad could happen as long as I was with her. Every day I woke up to feel myself falling for her more than the day before.
I still had no idea how she felt about me. I had never met a more confusing girl. Sometimes she sent me signals that she felt the same way, but other times she would say things about how happy she is that we’re friends. It drove me absolutely crazy.
This morning was no different. We had talked on the phone until about 2 last night. I woke up to a good morning text from Kendall, telling me that she would be down as soon as she was back from having breakfast with Lexi and her dad.
I pulled a dark grey polo over my head and slipped on a pair of dark wash jeans that hung low on my hips. I took a quick 5 minute shower, and only got a few minutes to work on my hair before I heard the doorbell ring downstairs.
I took the stairs two at a time going downstairs and almost tripped over Niall running to the door. I swung the door open and found Lexi smiling on the front porch. I smiled and let her in, “Hey Lexi, how’s it goin’?”
She smiled warmly and walked into the house, “I know I’m not the one you were hoping to see, but Kendall’s still up at the house she told me to tell you to walk up there now. She needs to run to the library to get some books for her summer reading list.”
“Cool,” I waved goodbye to her and Harry who had shown up at her side and the rest of the boys in the kitchen, “See you lads later!”
I whistled my favorite tune on my way up to Kendall’s, with my hands stuck in the pockets of my jeans. I automatically smiled when I knocked three times on her front door, still getting butterflies when I thought about being with her.
My smile faded a little when her dad swung open the front door, his lips sealed in a tight line and his eyes cold from under his thin-rimmed glasses. Kendall’s dad was the only reason we didn’t spend every single minute together.
He said that spending too much time with one person could make her too attached, and I had to leave at the end of the summer. But I know that it was just because he didn’t like me, or my tattoos, or my ear piercings, or the fact that his daughter spent so much time with me.
“Err…hi Mr. Rhodes, is Kendall in?” I tried to be as polite as I could, but I wasn’t a fan of how strict her dad was. He needed to learn to trust his daughter a little bit, she’s going away to college in a year.
He looked behind him into the house, and slowly turned back to face me. “Yes.”
“Lexi told me to come up here and take her to the library.” I said.
“I see.” He said, “Well I think my daughter is perfectly capable of going on her own, but I’ll tell her you stopped by. Maybe you two can get together when she’s not busy doing school work.”
“Daddy, Zayn’s going with me.” I heard her soft and sweet voice from behind the door. Her dad hesitated before opening it all the way and letting his daughter walk past him.
She was dressed in white shorts and a green tank top, with her swimsuit on underneath. Any other girl would look good in this outfit, but Kendall looked more amazing than ever.
“Hey Zayn.” Kendall’s smile brightened the otherwise gloomy day outside.
“Hi love.” Partially to spite her dad, I threw me arm around her waist and started to guide her away, “Bye Mr. Rhodes, have a good one.”
He glared at me as Kendall and I walked down the sidewalk and up the street. “Why does your dad hate me so much?” I asked.
“He doesn’t hate you.” She denied, “He just doesn’t approve of your tattoos.”
She stopped and looked at me, “Or your piercings. Or the fact that you’re a famous rock star that has millions of girls in love with him.”
“I wouldn’t say millions.” I said, “But pretty close.”
She laughed and pushed me, “I can’t see why they would love you when you’re so full of yourself.”
“You love me.” I joked, and pushed her back.
She blushed and looked at me from the corner of her eye, “Only sometimes.”
“What book do you need to get?” I asked as we roamed through the aisles of the dusty public library.
She pulled a small white piece of paper from her pocket and scanned over it. “A Tale of Two Cities.”
“A Tale of Two Cities is a classic,” I said, “That’s probably my favorite book.”
“You read?” She said sarcastically, “Who knew?”
“Shut it.” I poked her in the stomach and continued to walk down the aisle.
She caught up to me and punched my arm, before smiling and running down the hallway and disappearing into a different aisle. I tried to be quiet as I ran after her, since the librarian had already shushed us twice already.
When I found her, she was looking through a pile of books sitting on a table in the middle of the room. I came up behind her and poked the sides of her stomach, where I had figured out was her most ticklish spot.
“Zayn,” She tried to sound stern between her happy giggles, “Stop, please.”
I mercilessly started to poke her more, causing her to drop the books in her hand on to the floor with a loud bang. She was laughing loudly and begging for me to stop, earning stares from the rest of the people trying to study in the library.
The young librarian shuffled over to us quickly, “I warned you two. I’m afraid you need to leave now.”
She was nice enough to still let Kendall checkout her books before making us leave.
“Way to go Zayn. You got us kicked out of the library.” She said.
“You started it,” I argued.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…
I had read the same sentence over 15 times. I couldn’t help my eyes from flicking away from the book in front of me and to the boy to my right. Zayn was lounged out on the lawn chair, admiring the way the sun reflected off of the water of the community pool.
His aviators were hiding the warmth of his cocoa brown eyes that I got lost in every time I looked at them. Even though he wasn’t even saying anything, simply Zayn’s presence left me unable to concentrate on anything but him.
“This book is so confusing.” I complained.
“Let’s see,” Zayn reached over and took the book from my hands, “Oh page one, I can see why you’re struggling.” He said sarcastically, “You see he’s explaining the background of story-”
“I know what he’s doing!” I said. “I just don’t want to read this. Can’t you just tell me what happens?”
“Well it’s a brilliant book.” He said, “It’s about the French Revolution, but it’s also a love story.” Zayn happily explained the whole book to me, going into detail about how much the character Sydney Carton loved Charles Darnay’s wife, Lucie Manette. When Charles is sentenced to death, Sydney Carton pretends to be him and sacrifices his own life so that Charles and Lucie can live happily, even if it means they lose a good friend. His love for Lucie takes his life, but it drives the overall courageous theme of the novel.
“Why does Sydney have to die?” I asked, “I get that he loves Lucie, but really?”
“Well I know it seems that way, but I think it’s amazing what he did. That’s the kind of unconditional love that I hope to feel someday. He loved her so much that he was willing to sacrifice himself for her happiness. He would rather die than see her crying everyday over husband’s death when he could have done something about it. Yeah, it’s a bit mental, but I would do the same thing for a girl that I loved.”
“You would?” I turned to him and squinted my eyes at the sun that was starting to peak out from behind the clouds, “I’m impressed, Malik.”
“What, you think that just because I’m famous that I’m a heartless person who doesn’t know about love?” he joked.
“Do you know about love?” I asked, suddenly shutting the book and turning to face him.
Zayn hesitated, before shifting his body towards me and smiling, “Maybe I do, maybe I don’t. What’s it to you?”
I laughed nervously and lay back down on the lawn chair. I opened the book and started reading again, “Nothing.”
A nervous feeling washed over me as I caught Zayn still looking at me while I was reading. I covered my face with the book in attempt to hide the crimson blush that was creeping onto my cheeks.
“Will you stop looking at me?” I asked, “I’m trying to read.”
Zayn laughed out loud, “Sorry I didn’t mean to distract you.” He grabbed his lawn chair and scooted it closer to mine, so that there was no space between our chairs. He put his arms over his head and sighed contently.
I rolled my eyes and turned my attention back to the book. I found myself glancing at Zayn again every few minutes, as if to make sure he hadn’t left. Every time I did look at him, I found myself less and less interested in reading the book. Finally I gave up and slammed the hardcover book shut.
“Will you walk with me to the snack bar?” I asked.
“Sure.” He smiled.
Zayn walked next to the edge of the pool with his hands in his pockets. He was looking in the water and smiling at a few of the little kids that were playing with each other. As his back was turned, I pushed him as hard as I could and sent him flying into the icy blue water. He made such a big splash that I ended up getting almost as wet as he did.
When Zayn resurfaced he wiped the black hair away from his brown eyes and glared at me, “What was that for?”
“Sorry, I was just getting you back for the time you lads decided to shower me in ice cold water at 2 in the morning.” I taunted.
“Will you help me out?” he begged. “Pleeeease?”
“Oh no, I’m not falling for that.” I said. “See ya, Malik. I’m going to get popcorn.”
Zayn lifted himself out of pool and much to my despair, was full on running after me. I tried to run away but he had too much of a head start, and before I knew it Zayn lifted me up with one arm and ran us towards the blue water.
We both landed in the water and I tried to swim away, but Zayn wouldn’t loosen his tight hold on waist. We both resurfaced and he smirked at me cockily.
“Serves you right.” He said.
I splashed water in his face and swam away. It didn’t take him long to catch up to me and splash me back. The people in the pool around us shot us annoyed looks, but we were caught up in our water fight to notice.
I didn’t really notice anyone else when Zayn was around. Those cocoa brown eyes had a way of erasing everything else from my mind. His laugh was my favorite thing to hear, his smile was my favorite thing to see, and his touch was my favorite thing to feel.
I didn’t care what my dad thought, Zayn was definitely someone that I wanted to keep around for a while.
“Breakfast time Kendall, Lexi! Get down here girls!”
“Coming daddy!” Lexi stuffed her phone into the pocket and turned off the radio on our desk, before heading downstairs.
I finished pulling my light grey tank top over my head and pulled on a pair of dark brown cargo shorts. After throwing my curly brown hair into a quick braid, I joined my dad and sister downstairs for breakfast.
I gratefully took the plate of bacon and eggs that my dad had prepared and sat down at the kitchen table.
Once Lexi and I had joined him, he cleared his throat and said, “Girls, I’ve been meaning to talk to you about something.”
“What is it?” I asked warily, I knew by his tone of voice that I wasn’t going to like what he was about to say.
“Well you two have been seeing those boys an awful lot. And I’m not quite sure how comfortable I am with that.” He said. My immediate instinct was to interrupt but he put up his hand to stop me, “I am okay with you seeing Harry. But those other boys seem like trouble to me. Especially that boy Zayn, Kendall, I don’t like the way he looks at you.”
A faint smile crept onto Lexi’s face and she looked at me. I sighed, here we go again. I constantly had to explain to my dad’s perception of Zayn was all wrong. “You can’t do that Dad! Zayn is one of my best friends.”
“Kendall you barely know the boy, and I don’t want you getting to know him anymore, he’s not a good influence on you. You understand me?”
“No Dad, I don’t understand. I don’t get why you can’t even try to get to know him, all you see is his tattoos and piercings.” I accused, “You don’t even know him, it’s not fair!”
“You don’t know him very well Kendall, you never know what kind of thoughts go through that boy’s mind… All I’m saying is that he might have other motives.” My dad said.
“I actually do know him, Dad. I’ve spent every day with him, and every day I like him more and more. He’s sweet, funny, genuine, and not some sleazy teenage boy like you think! And you would know that if you even tried to get to know him!” I was starting to yell, and I struggled to stay in my seat and speak calmly.
My dad was also struggling to keep his cool, while Lexi sat idly by and ate her breakfast calmly. She was used to my dad and me arguing most of the time, we didn’t agree of very much.
“Kendall, you are not to see him anymore, do you understand me?” He said firmly.
I silently started at my untouched breakfast and clenched my jaw tightly in anger.
“Do you understand me, Kendall?” My dad repeated, this time a little louder and clearer.
I didn’t make eye contact and held back all of the anger boiling inside of me. “Yes sir.” My voice was dripping with sarcasm but my dad didn’t seem to notice.
For the rest of breakfast the three of us ate silently. Lexi occasionally pulled out her phone to answer a text from Harry. My dad washed off our dishes and headed off to work for the day.
I couldn’t believe my dad. He didn’t even know Zayn, and he was telling me that I couldn’t see him, it wasn’t fair. Zayn was the only person that kept me from running back into Josh’s arms and begging for forgiveness.
I had a strong urge to go for a run, which was the only thing that could clear my head. Everything with my dad and Zayn had given me the worst headache ever. I dressed into a black sports bra and purple running shorts and pulled my hair into a high ponytail and put in a white headband.
Since it was pouring rain outside, I was forced to run on the ancient treadmill that we kept in our basement. I stuffed the small ear buds into my ear and played my workout playlist on my iPod. As I started to run, I could feel every ounce of my body starting to relax, and every worry about my dad slowly started to slip from my consciousness.
After about 20 minutes of running, my sister came trampling down the basement stairs and interrupted my workout, “What are you doing?”
“I’m clearing my head of all the angry thoughts I feel towards Dad. Why, what are you doing?” I put my arms over my head in attempt to breathe easier in the stuffy basement.
“Are you coming over to Harry’s with me today?” She sat down on the couch and pulled out her phone.
“You heard Dad this morning, I’ll be dead if I ever step foot in that house again.” I said sadly. “I’ll just wait until things smooth over, then I’ll hang out with you guys.”
“Oh come on Kendall, Dad’s at work all day long, how will he know if you come over to Harry’s for a while?”
I pursed my lips and looked at my sister questionably, “I don’t know Lex, he was pretty mad this morning.”
“He’ll never know.” She stood up and started dragging me towards the stairs, “Please? I hate going over there alone, the boys won’t leave us alone. But if you come, they can talk to you and Harry and I can hangout.”
“Gee thanks! Now I know why you really invite me, so that you and Haz can make out in his room while I’m picked on by the rest of them.” I poked her sides and received a death glare from her.
“Shut up!” She argued.
“Whatever Lex.” I smiled and grabbed a bottle of water from the fridge.
“So are you coming or not?” She said in an annoyed voice.
I wanted really badly to see Zayn, I hadn’t seen him all weekend and I missed him. I missed his smile; his jokes that were beyond cheesy but made me laugh anyways, his brown eyes that never failed to amaze me.
I couldn’t let my dad win; I had to show him that Zayn wasn’t just another boy that I could easily forget about. Because whether I liked it or not, Zayn would be running through my mind long after he left at the end of the summer.
“Sure, I’ll come. Give me 10 minutes, okay?”
I sprinted up the stairs, taking them two at a time. I hopped into the shower for less than 5 minutes and changed back into my grey tank top and brown cargo shorts. I left my hair down so that it could dry faster, and applied a small amount of makeup before I joined my sister at the door and headed down to Harry’s.
“How about Toy Story?” Liam held the disk up in front of us.
“No!” We all chorused together.
“Tarzan?” He asked as he rummaged through more disks.
“Hell no.” Louis shook his head and kept his eyes glued on his phone.
“Well what do you guys want to watch?” Liam gave up and sighed, throwing the disks back into the cabinet and shutting it.
“Let’s let Kendall and Lexi pick.” I suggested.
Just as I said this I heard a soft knocking at the front door. My stomach did a flip and I jumped off of the couch towards the door with Harry by my side. We opened the door to two girls who were soaking wet, and their clothes dripping.
“Oh shit it’s raining!” Harry proclaimed to the rest of us.
“Yes, Harry.” Lexi smiled at him and patted his chest, “It is raining.”
Kendall clenched her jaw in annoyance and pushed past him into the house. “Can I have a towel please?”
“Come on love, let’s go get you one upstairs.” I barely touched my hand to her back as I followed her upstairs, rummaging in the hallway closet before pulling out a dark blue towel. “Here you are babe.”
“Thanks.” She took it and rubbed it in her hair, making her curls even bouncier than normal.
“Other than getting completely soaked, how has your day been?” I took the damp towel from her hand and threw it down the laundry shoot.
“Well, it’s been okay I guess. My dad’s being just as difficult as ever. I’m sort of not allowed to hang out with you guys anymore, except for Harry.” She said sheepishly. Once she saw the look of shock on my face she continued, “It’s stupid Zayn, please don’t make me explain it.”
“If you’re not allowed to see us anymore than what are you doing here?” I asked. “Are you trying to get in more trouble?”
“Calm down.” She hushed, “My dad’s at work. He won’t be home for hours. We’re fine to hangout as long as he never knows about it!”
“What happens if he does?”
“Then….” Kendall thought for a moment, “Then we’re both dead. Come on, let’s go downstairs.”
Part of me loved that Kendall was breaking the rules to hang out with me, but another part me of was thinking that sneaking behind her dads back wasn’t such a good idea.
“Let’s play truth or dare!” Louis suggested, “That’s better than watching Disney movies with Liam all day.”
“Hey!” Liam hit him, “Kendall likes them too.”
“Ok Harry you start.” I suggested, “Truth or dare?”
“Hmmm.” He thought for a moment, “Dare.”
Louis chuckled evilly and whispered with the rest of us. “Ok Harry, we dare you to go run around down the block nude and scream at the top of your lungs.”
Lexi and Kendall both shook their heads and chuckled lightly. “Oh boy.”
“Psh,” Harry scoffed and stood up, “Do you lads even know me at all?”
Harry stripped off his shirt and start undoing his belt before Kendall screamed and covered her eyes, “Hazza! Can you do that somewhere else please, no one needs to see that!”
“I’ll bet Lexi’s seen it plenty of times!” Louis snickered.
“Oh my god!” Kendall exclaimed, her hands still covering her eyes, “I’m leaving, I don’t want to hear the rest of this conversation!”
All of the boys chuckled as Kendall briskly walked out of the room until Harry was safely out of the house and sprinting down the street screaming. When he returned a few minutes later, He was soaking wet and graciously accepted the towel that Lexi handed him.
After Harry had dried himself and redressed, Kendall returned to the room and we all continued with our game.
“Alright Liam.” Kendall said, “Your turn.”
“Um truth.” He answered.
“If you could only sleep with one celebrity for the rest of your life who would it be?” Harry asked.
“Kim Kardashian, for sure.” Liam answered automatically.
“Truths are borrriiing.” Louis sang, “Who’s next?”
“Niall your turn.” Harry said, “Truth or dare?”
Niall contemplated the question before answering, “Truth.”
After what Harry had to do, my guess was that everyone would choose truth from now on.
“Pussy.” Louis mumbled, earning himself a punch from the younger blonde boy. “Ok Niall let’s see we need a good one for you.” Louis glanced to Kendall and grinned, “If Kendall came onto you would you make out with her?”
I felt a pang of jealousy shoot through my body as Kendall’s cheeks flushed a deep pick color. Everyone shot Louis an accusatory glace except for Kendall, who was looking at the floor.
“Um, pass.” Niall said quietly.
“Then you have to do a dare,” said Harry.
“Fine,” Niall shrugged, “What do you want me to do?”
“We’ll give you an easy one,” Louis said, “Kiss Kendall on the cheek.”
“What?” Harry said, “You make me run down the street naked but all you’re making Niall do is kiss Kendall on the cheek?”
Niall bit his lip; I could see the hesitation in his eyes when he sent me an apologetic glance before leaning over and barely pecking Kendall’s cheek. It seemed to have an immediate effect on her, because her cheeks turned an even deeper red right where his lips landed.
I felt my face turning red with anger, partly at Louis for daring Niall to kiss her, partly at Niall for doing it, but mostly from embarrassment. Everyone knew that I liked Kendall except for Kendall.
I caught Kendall’s eyes on me and I tried my best to hide the hurt I was feeling. She smiled weakly at me before averting her eyes to the floor.
“Who’s next?” Louis asked excitedly.
“Zayn.” Lexi said, “Truth or dare?”
“Truth.” I answered. I tried to keep my face as happy as I could.
“Blondes or brunettes?”
“You like blue eyes too, right Zayn?” Louis smirked.
I gulped nervously and felt a lump forming in my throat, “Yeah I like blue eyes.”
Louis turned to the rest of the group, “And curly hair too.” He informed them, but he was looking right at Kendall.
I loved Louis, but I never wanted him around the person that I liked, because he made sure to make it as awkward as possible, he loved awkward situations.
“Kendall’s turn.” said Liam.
“Truth.” She answered.
“Who do you fancy most out of us five?” Louis asked mischievously.
Kendall’s eyes hesitantly met mine for a brief second before she turned back to Louis, “Okay I choose dare.”
“You just don’t know when to stop do you, Lou?” Liam asked, “Ok, game over.”
Everyone else muttered in agreement except for Louis, who had gotten such enjoyment out of torturing the rest of us, especially Kendall and I, he started pouting.
I returned to my room and pulled out my phone, starting to reply to a few fans on twitter. I had been getting a lot of tweets about Kendall, and ‘Zayn and Kendall’ had trended world-wide twice already. Thank god Kendall didn’t have twitter or she would be getting harassed. When I clicked on the worldwide trend, there were pictures of Kendall and I walking together that I didn’t even know were taken, paparazzi could be very sneaky.
“Hey mate, can I come in?” Niall was standing in my doorway with his hands in the pockets of his tan chinos.
“Sure.” I hit the lock button on my phone and stuck it back in my pocket and looked at him expectantly.
“You’re not mad, right?” Niall asked hesitantly, “Cause that wasn’t my fault.”
“It’s fine,” I shrugged.
“You know I would never do that to you, mate.”
“I know you wouldn’t.”
“Ahem.” Niall and I both turned out heads toward the door of my room, where Kendall was standing warily.
“Am I interrupting?” She asked, “Sorry.”
“No not at all Kendall, come in.” I said.
She obliged and sat down next to me on my bed, leaning her head against the wall.
Niall stood there for a few seconds, rocking back and forth on his heels awkwardly, “I’m just gonna…” He hitched his thumb towards the door, “Yeah.”
Kendall blushed as Niall exited the room and shut the door behind him.
“I’m sorry if that upset you…” Kendall said.
“What do you mean? I’m not upset, why would I be? You and Niall can do whatever you want.” I put on my best smile and nudged her with my elbow.
The pain in my chest grew as the words left my mouth, but I kept a smile on my face for Kendall. She beautiful blue eyes glanced to mine curiously, and I saw a hint of sadness in them.
“Oh…” she said, “Okay just making sure.” She smiled but there was something different about it, like it was forced.
She checked her phone and gasped, “Shoot, my dad’s gonna be home from work any minute now. I really need to go; I’ll be here again tomorrow once he leaves for work. Bye Zayn!”
She shuffled out of my room and down that stairs where I heard her and her sister saying goodbye to everyone and running out the front door.
“Bye Kendall.” I mumbled to myself, and smiled numbly. “I love you.”
“Bye Daddy! Have a good day at work! We’ll see you tonight!” Lexi waved innocently from the back doorway as our dad headed off to work.
My dad and I hadn’t spoken more than a few words to each other the past few weeks, both of us were too stubborn to apologize. I shouldn’t have had to apologize anyway, I had done nothing wrong. He was the one that wasn’t letting me see Zayn. At least he thought I wasn’t seeing Zayn, but for the past week Lexi and I have been sneaking down to Harry’s while my dad is at work, and coming home in plenty of time to cook dinner.
I thought that giving him the silent treatment was a fair way to react. I had tried over and over to get my dad to give Zayn a chance but he wouldn’t, so I stopped trying and just started seeing Zayn and the rest of the boys behind my dad’s back. If he wasn’t going to listen to me, I wasn’t going to listen to him.
“Are you ready for Harry’s?” Lexi asked.
“Yep!” We started to head out the door but stopped when Lexi’s phone rang from inside her back pocket. She took out her phone and rolled her eyes before answering.
“Hi Lisa, what’s up?” Lisa was Lexi’s very intense cheer coach, who made them practice even during the summer.
“What, today? What time? Really? Okay I’ll be there soon.” Lexi pressed the end button on her phone and sighed, “We’re starting cheer practice two weeks early this summer, I have to go otherwise Lisa will get mad.”
“Alright, do you want me to come and watch?”
“No it’s fine, you should spend the day with Harry. He says he misses you.” She said, smiling, “You haven’t gotten a chance to have Harry and Kendall time.”
“That’s true.” I nodded. It might be good to spend a day with Harry just by myself; I hadn’t gotten to since he came home. Either we’re with Lexi or the boys. He was my best friend after all, and this summer was supposed to be him, Lexi, and me. Regardless of how much I loved the four other boys, I missed the times with just Harry.
“Hello love!” Harry swung the door open and greeted me with a beckoning hug. “Are you ready for a Kendall and Harry day?”
I laughed and pulled back from his hug, “Yes, I am for sure.”
“Kendall!!!! We didn’t know you were coming over!” Louis devoured me in a hug before I could even process who had said my name. “So what are we doing today?”
I looked at Harry who was awkwardly rocking on his heels, “Sorry Lou. Today is just me and Kendall, you can see her again tomorrow.”
“But… but I thought you loved me Kendall?” Louis started blubbering dramatically and wailing Zayn’s name.
“What is it mate?” Zayn came bouncing down the stairs and his brown eyes brightened when he saw me standing there, “Kendall! I didn’t know you were coming over, how are you?”
I blushed from simply being in his presence and nodded, “Harry and I are spending the day together while Lexi’s at cheer practice.”
Zayn nodded and put his arm over Louis, who was still pretending to cry. “It’s alright mate, you didn’t have a chance with her. She’s too good for us.”
I was about to make some sarcastic remark to Zayn before Harry put a hand on my shoulder and led me out the door, “Yes she is, she’s way too good for you lads.”
“I get a hug before you leave, right?” Zayn asked, making his way over and opening his arms beckoningly.
I laughed and opened my arms, “Of course.” My arms wrapped around Zayn’s and I smiled contently for the few seconds that I stood there, before Louis interrupted by throwing his arms around both of us suddenly.
“I want a hug too!” He wailed. “I just love you guys so much!!!!!”
I could hear Harry laugh as he coughed “Cockblocker!”
Zayn and I both instantly started blushing and it made me smile to see that he blushed when he was teased about me.
“You guys were leaving, right?” Louis said after an awkward pause.
“Yes we’re leaving now.” Harry said, “Come on Kendall, you can hug Zayn more later.”
Zayn started whispering angrily at Louis, followed by him punching Lou in the arm, “OW!” Louis shouted, “ZAYN YOU-”
“Alrighty then!” Harry cut off the rest of Louis’ tantrum with a shut of his front door and the sounds of summer around us.
“You boys will be the death of me, I swear.” I shoved Harry and laughed lightly.
“Oh I’m sure! Those boys are mental.” He smiled, “But not me, you love me.”
“I love all of you.” I said happily, “I’m really glad you brought them along this summer. This way I have people to talk to when you and Lex and ‘hanging out.’” I put air quotes around the words hanging out and received a bashful look from Harry.
“I’m happy they came too, but I miss just Kendall and Harry time, like today.” He admitted, “We used to be together all day every day, now I’m lucky if I get to see you more than twice a year.”
“Hey! You’re living the life you’ve always wanted, why are you complaining?” I said, “Harry, I remember you singing to Lex and I when we were 7 years old, and you told us that one day you would be famous and we would travel the world with you, and look at you now!”
“I know,” Harry smiled reminiscently, “I remember that.”
“Lexi and I can take care of each other, you know. We have our dad too.” The last part of my sentence had an edge of bitterness to it, and I hoped it had gone unnoticed.
“Why do you say it like that?” I guess it had been more noticeable than I thought.
I shrugged lightly, “You know my dad, he can be… difficult.”
“What did he do now?”
“Well, basically I’m not allowed to see any of the boys, except for you. He said that they’re a bad influence on me.” I kept walking at a normal pace until Harry came to a halt next to me, looking at me in shock.
“When did this happen, and why didn’t I hear about it?”
“I don’t know, a week ago?” I guessed, “It’s not a big deal. I’ll just see them when my dad’s at work.”
“No Kendall,” Harry shut his eyes in frustration, “You know that if you get caught your dad won’t even let you see me anymore right? He’s going to lock you in your room and only let you out so you can eat and go wee wee.”
“Go wee wee Haz? Are we still five?” I asked jokingly, “And I don’t care if I get caught, my dad has no right to do this, he doesn’t know them. I’m not gonna give up on my friendships just cause my dad thinks that Zayn’s too much of a badass.”
Harry suddenly busted out into laughter, “Is that what he thinks?”
I nodded and started to laugh along with him as he said, “Zayn is the nicest guy. Just cause he has tattoos doesn’t mean anything.”
“Tell that to my dad.” I said.
Harry smiled and pulled up the sleeve of his navy shirt to reveal a large tattoo of a black star on his arm. “I guess I shouldn’t show him this then?”
“Haz! When did you get this?”
“I got it with Zayn a few weeks before I came. Each of the points represents a member of One Direction.” He stated proudly.
“That’s awesome, but don’t let my dad see it. You and Lexi will be done for sure.” I said.
The smile on Harry’s face faded when he considered my statement, “I won’t let him see it.”
“Race you to the ice cream shop?” Harry suggested, as we turned the corner of the street.
“You’re on!” I shouted, “3..2..1.. GO!”
Without looking back, I took off straight towards the ice cream shop as fast as I could, weaving in and out of the clumps of people standing on the sidewalk. At one point, there was only room for one person on the sidewalk, and I got a head start on Harry. When I finally reached the end of the block, I looked back and saw Harry run smack into a tall blonde boy standing on the edge of the street, knocking both of them to the ground.
I busted out laughing as hard as I could as I saw Harry stuttering an apology and holding back his own laugh. But I stopped immediately when I saw the look on Harry’s face when he recognized the boy, and when I saw a familiar shake of his blonde hair.
The smile instantly fled from my face and was replaced with a look of complete horror. I took a deep breath in order to calm myself, I wasn’t ready to see him. I hadn’t come in contact with him at all since the day we broke up, and I liked it that way, out of sight out of mind.
Luckily, Josh was smart enough to keep his distance, so he simply smiled at me when he caught me looking. My eyes instinctively found the ground and stayed there until Harry had returned to my side.
“That was bad…” Harry said, “Sorry.”
“It’s fine.” I said quietly, “I can’t avoid him forever.”
I tried to erase the last 5 minutes from my memory while I sat at the ice cream parlor as Harry ordered for us. “Here I got you mint chip!” Harry handed me a waffle cone and took a seat next to me.
“Thanks.” I said, averting my eyes to the floor and sighing.
“Cheer up! Pretend like you didn’t just see you ex-boyfriend of 6 months that obviously still has feelings for you… just don’t think about it.” He supplied.
I laughed, “Okay I’ll try.”
“Kendall?” Harry asked, I could detect a small hint of sadness in his voice.
I looked up, and studied his face, “What?”
His facial expression suddenly changed, and a smile split across his face as he reached forward and stuffed his waffle cone right onto my nose.
“HARRY!” I screamed, abruptly standing up and disturbing the rest of the people trying to enjoy their ice cream in peace. “YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME.”
It was hard to stay mad when I heard Harry’s adorable laugh filling the room. I couldn’t help but start to laugh along with him, and sneakily grabbed my own cone, and stuffed it right on top of his mop of curly hair.
His laugh ceased and he glared at me from under the mint chip ice cream dripping from his hair. I chuckled and pointed at him, “This is what you get, Hazza.”
“Damn it, if I were you I would start running now.” He said.
By the time I processed what he had said, he was already up and running towards me. I took off, out of the ice cream shop, and down the street as fast as I could. I could hear his feet gaining on me, but I just kept running.
Finally Harry caught up to me and grabbed my arm, “Okay I give up.”
“Good,” I said, smiling. “I win.”
“Whatever.” He shoved me right into a tree on the side of the road, and kept walking.
“Ow.” I said, rubbing the part of my cheek that hit the tree, “That hurt.”
“I spy with my little eye, something blue…” Harry said, with a smug look on his face.
“It’s the sky.” I said automatically.
Harry’s smile faded and he frowned, “How did you know that?”
“Harry look around us, there is nothing but green trees and the blue sky, it’s not rocket science.”
“Fine. You win again.”
I smiled smugly and pushed him, “I knew I would, I always do.”
As I lay on my bed, an interesting idea came to my mind. I got up and walked over to my closet, making my way to the back, where I kept my box of my uncle’s possessions that he gave me before he died a few months back.
I opened the box and sat on the floor of my closet with my back resting against the wall and my feet out in front of me.
I read through a few letters that he wrote, and looked at a few old photos, before finding what I had been looking for. I pulled out my personal favorite gift that my uncle had ever given me. My uncle used to tell me that this bracelet was the first gift he ever gave my aunt, and it was a symbol of his love for her. It wasn’t made of gold or diamonds. It was simple blue beads strung together on black string, each bead meaning something different.
He told me that I was to save it for a girl that I really loved, and that’s exactly what I had done. I had now realized that Kendall is the girl I wanted to have this bracelet, even if she never knew the significance of it. Just something for her to remember me by, so that I know she will think of me just as much as I think of her.
I specifically put the bracelet in the top left drawer of my dresser, so that I knew exactly where to find it. There might not be a right time to tell Kendall how I really feel, but I know that my uncle would want me to give it to her. Because in all honesty, I knew that I would never find a girl like her again in my life.
“Ok everyone, you all probably know this but tomorrow is Lexi’s birthday, and I want to make her 17th birthday the best one she’s ever had! Got it?” Harry had a pencil and a notepad in front of his face, and had ordered all of us to meet in the kitchen to plan Lexi’s birthday while she was at cheer practice today.
“I’m putting you on teams of two, alright?” Harry said, “Niall and Louis, you guys are in charge of blowing up balloons. Zayn and Kendall, you two are in charge of making the cake. Liam and I will go out and buy party supplies, okay?”
“Whatever you say, boss.” Louis saluted Harry and left with Niall towards the living room to start on the balloons.
“Just don’t make a mess in the kitchen, okay?” Harry asked Zayn and I right as him and Liam were walking out the door.
“We won’t! Don’t you trust me?” Zayn said.
Harry gave Zayn a stern look before turning his eyes to me, “I trust you, Kendall, but not this one.” He pointed at Zayn and smirked, “You better watch him.”
“I’ll handle the baking; you’re in charge of the ingredients.” I ordered Zayn, “Will you get me the flour please?”
“Why do you get to do the baking? You know that I won a pie contest at my grade school, I’m a great baker.” Zayn said, “I’ll bake, you get me the flour.”
I rolled my eyes, taking off the oven mitts and throwing them at Zayn’s face, “Fine, since you’re the professional, I’ll let you bake.”
“Thank you,” Zayn put the mitts on as I retrieved the flour from the cabinet and measured out 4 cups.
The tip of Zayn’s tongue poked out of his lips and his brows were creased in concentration as he read the recipe. He took this so seriously.
“Hey Zayn?” I said.
“What?” he looked up from the bowl of cake batter for a split second before I flicked him in the face with a handful of flour.
His normally tan skin had a layer of white over his face and the look on it made me bust in laugher. Without a word he wiped off the flour with his forearm so that his arms and hands were covered in it, and set down the mixing spoon.
He grabbed a handful of flour and started walking toward me with a mischievous twinkle in his dark brown eyes. “Kendall, can I have a hug?”
“Oh no,” I said, “You stay away from me.”
“I just want a hug!” he took a few steps closer.
I reached my arm out to stop him and begged, “Don’t come any closer, or I’ll run!”
“I’m a faster runner than you are…” Zayn said, the mischievous grin never leaving his face.
I took a few steps backward, watching Zayn warily, before taking off down the hallway. I didn’t know where I was going, just going where my feet took me. I ended up running right out the front door with Zayn at my heels and receiving curious looks from Louis and Niall, who were still blowing up balloons in the living room.
I could hear Zayn’s adorable laugh as he chased me out into the front yard. Just as I thought I was pulling ahead of him I felt myself tumble to the ground as Zayn tackled me. We both hit the ground and Zayn automatically flicked his handful of flour onto my face.
“Gotcha.” He smiled while breathing heavily.
I wiped all of the flour off of my face and rubbed it onto my black shorts. “That wasn’t fair. I didn’t tackle you…”
“Sorry,” Zayn laughed lightly and brought his hand to my face, wiping some powder off of my cheekbone under my eyes. “There we go, all gone.” He smiled.
“Thanks.” I said bashfully. Zayn’s eyes stayed on my face, searching every expression that crossed it. I smiled and admired the way I saw his brown eyes brightened when he looked at me. No words were needed for this moment, it was perfect just looking into the cocoa eyes that made me speechless every time I looked into them.
“Ahem…” Our moment was interrupted by Harry clearing his throat, and Liam by his side, “So I take it the baking didn’t go well?”
Zayn and I looked at each and shook our heads, “It wasn’t my fault, Zayn wanted to bake.”
“It wasn’t my fault, Kendall’s the one who threw the flour first.” Zayn added.
At this moment, we all heard multiple balloons pop at once from inside the house, followed by a cry from Niall.
“For God’s sake Niall!” Louis shouted.
“Oh lord, why did I put those two together?” Harry asked Liam, who just shrugged. They both hurried inside and left Zayn and I alone in the front yard again.
“It’s still your fault.” Zayn laughed, he pulled a few pieces of grass and threw them at me, before getting up and walking inside. He stopped on the front porch and looked back at me, “You coming?”
“Yeah,” I smiled and stood up, wiping the grass off of my black shorts, “I’m coming.”
“Can I show you guys what I got Lexi? I want to make sure it’s alright.” Harry asked nervously. We all followed him upstairs to his room where he retrieved a small red box from his nightstand drawer.
He opened the small box to reveal a beautiful silver necklace with a diamond heart as the pendent. Kendall automatically took the box from his hand and examined it more closely, the sparkle in the diamond reflecting in her blue eyes.
“It’s gorgeous Harry!” Kendall complimented, “It really is, Lexi will love it!”
“Really?” Harry’s smile spread from ear to ear, “Good, I just want her to know how much I care about her.”
I felt my shoulders sink, and I winced as a feeling of internal pain shot through my body. The bracelet that I wanted to give Kendall was still sitting in the top left drawer of my dresser. I wish it was easy for me like it was for Harry. Granted, he had been waiting years to tell Lexi how he really felt, but I didn’t have years. I had less than two months.
“That’s great mate, she’ll love it.” I smiled to hide the panic that was rising inside of me.
“I’ll take her out to dinner tonight and give it to her.” Said Harry, “And then we’ll back here and have cake, and then this weekend is her party.”
“You sure know how to treat a girl, Haz. Especially one you’ve only been dating for a month.” Kendall joked.
“But we’ve liked each other for years.” Harry said, “This necklace isn’t just for my girlfriend, it’s for my best friend.”
“Hey! I thought I was your best friend?” Kendall gasped.
“Sorry Kendall,” Louis put his hand on her shoulder and shrugged, “We’re his best mates, right Harry?”
“You’re all my best mates!” Harry said, before returning the necklace to his nightstand. “Everyone better keep quiet about the necklace. I want it to be a surprise!”
“I should go…” Kendall checked her watch and stood up, “Lexi’s getting out of practice soon. Then we have to pick up dinner for our dad so it looks like we actually cooked.”
The rest of the boys said their goodbyes to Kendall and hugged her. Louis ruffled her hair a bit and earned himself a slap on the arm. Besides Harry and I, Louis and Kendall were the two that got along best, although all of the boys loved her. She’s just a loveable person.
Harry said that he thought Kendall liked me even more than she liked him, which brought a smile to my face. It made me happy to know that she enjoyed me just as much as I enjoyed her.
I stood from the couch and followed Kendall to the front door, where she lingered for a few seconds. I opened my arms for a hug which she gladly accepted with a smile. I smiled too, unable to be unhappy when a girl like her was in my life, let alone one of my best friends.
“Bye Zayn.” She mumbled, but didn’t move.
“Bye Kendall.” I replied. After a few more seconds she pulled away and stepped out the front door, and waving once more before disappearing up the street.
When I turned away from the window all four of the boys were standing there, smirking at me.
“What?” I asked.
Louis shook his head and chuckled, “You’ve got it bad, man. That’s all I’ve got to say.”
“I know.” Denying it to the boys would be pointless, they knew me inside and out. If they knew what I felt, maybe they could help me decide what to do.
I asked each of the four boys separately what they thought I should do. I thought it would help, but each of them told me something different, in the end I was more confused that I was at the start.
“Tell her!” said Harry, “Tell her now, because you’ll regret it later. I’m telling you mate, I wish I would have told Lexi as soon as I started liking her. I wasted two years being afraid that she didn’t like me back.”
“I wouldn’t tell her if I were you…” said Niall, “You’re leaving at the end of the summer, really what’s the point? Plus if she doesn’t like you back mate, that makes it weird between you two. Do you really want to risk the friendship you have?”
Liam’s thoughts were basically a confusing and unhelpful combination of Harry and Niall’s thoughts, unfortunately.
Louis was just about the least helpful of all, “What if you tell her you like her, but she’s still in love with the blondie kid-”
“Josh.” I corrected.
“Right, whatever his name is. Then you’re pretty much screwed.” Louis said, “But if you tell her and she likes you back, you’re leaving at the end of the summer, so you’re screwed then too. But you know-”
“You know, I think I got it.” I interrupted, “Thanks for the help man.”
“You got it mate, that’s what I’m here for.” Louis patted my back and smiled.
For what I thought would help me make up my mind, it left my head swimming even more than it was before. All of the boys, even Louis, brought up good points. All that I knew was that I had no idea what I was doing. I had never gone through this before, I didn’t know what to say, how to act.
One more thing that I knew was that if I didn’t do something fast, Kendall would slowly but surely start slipping through my fingers, and I would lose her the same way Josh did.
“I have a surprise for you.” I told Kendall, pulling her off of the couch and guiding her upstairs to my room.
“I don’t like surprises.” She frowned and limply followed as I pulled her hand, “Just tell me what it is.”
“Then it’s not a surprise.” I opened the door to my small rectangular room with nothing but my bed, a dresser, and a full length vanity mirror. I sat Kendall down carefully on the bed and started to rummage through the top left drawer of my dresser.
I retrieved the small beaded bracelet and enclosed it in the palm of my hand. I walked across the room to Kendall and opened my hand, her eyes looked at the bracelet curiously. She took it out of my hand to examine it.
“It’s so pretty Zayn!” She said, while putting it on herself happily. “Thank you!”
“Anytime babe.” I said.
She smiled happily and admired the small beaded bracelet, and the way it looked on her small wrist, while I admired her blue eyes gleamed with pure contentment.
I took a deep breath and made an attempt to remember the words I had rehearsed so many times in my head. “Kendall, I have something to tell you-”….
“Zayn.” I heard Niall’s voice and felt him shaking me violently. “Zayn wake the hell up. It’s past noon.”
“Niall!” I weakly tried to hit him on the arm and rolled over, “Mate, I was in the middle of a dream!”
“Sorry man, we’re going out to lunch with Kendall and Lexi, so I figured I should wake you up.”
“Kendall’s going?” I asked, suddenly alert and crawling out of bed, “Alright I guess I’ll come.”
Niall smirked, “I knew that would get you up.”
I dressed into a pair of black jeans and wore a dark blue V-neck with it, and a pair of white Supras. After I was finished getting ready, I made my way over to my dresser and opened the top left drawer.
I took out the small bracelet, with turquoise beads and turned it over in my palm. I had been waiting for the right time to give it to Kendall, and to tell her how I really felt, but I couldn’t find the guts to do it. I was leaving at the end of summer, and even if she had felt the same way, we would both end up hurt anyways. I had tried long distance before, and it doesn’t work, it’s as simple as that. It hurt a lot to know that there wasn’t even a chance for us. I guess friends are just what we were meant to be.
“Sorry we’re late!” Lexi barged through the front door 20 minutes later, “My dad took an extra-long time to leave for work today.”
“You could’ve stayed at home, babe!” Harry said. He stood up to greet her with a kiss on the cheek and a hug for Kendall.
Kendall made her way to the couch and plopped down on the couch between Liam and I.
“Hi love.” I said. I couldn’t help myself from smiling down at her, “How are you?”
“Tired, I haven’t gotten any sleep lately.” She complained.
Louis wolf-whistled and raised his eyebrows at us, “You’re too busy with Zayn to sleep, huh?”
“What?” Harry stopped talking to Lexi suddenly, turning to us.
Kendall blushed uncomfortably next to me and cleared her throat. “No, Lou’s just joking around Hazza.”
“Not true.” Liam added, “I could hear Zayn on the phone until 3 last night.”
I could feel my cheeks burning red as Louis made more comments and everyone chorused in laughter. Kendall and I sat there silently and rolled our eyes at the cracks that Louis made about us falling in love and getting married by the end of the summer.
“Shut up mate.” I hit Louis on the arm and stood up, “Are we going to lunch or not?”
“Well shit.” I mumbled as Harry pulled his dad’s suburban into the parking lot of the restaurant. There were dozens of screaming fans blocking the entrance, waving their posters and Larry Stylinson signs.
“Fuck.” Niall said, “I shouldn’t have tweeted where we were going, should I?”
“Niall!” Harry turned around from the driver’s seat and glared at him. “I thought we talked about that!”
“Come on guys,” said Liam, “It’s only a few fans! Once we sign their CD’s they’ll let us go.”
Liam was the first to climb out of the car and I could hear the screams erupting as Louis, Niall and Harry followed him. I maneuvered through the seats of the truck and eventually popped my head out the door, greeted with more high pitched screams. We all waved and smiled at the screaming girls that were calling our names.
I helped Kendall and Lexi out of the car and walked with them as we approached the girls blocking our way into the restaurant. I happily greeted each girl and signed their CD’s and posed for their pictures.
“ZAYN! Zayn, can you sign my CD?” a small, red-haired girl with big green eyes looked at me pleadingly, it looked like she was about to start crying.
“Of course love! What’s your name?” I asked.
“Elise.” She squealed excitedly.
“Alright.” I chuckled and scribbled a few words and signed my name before returning her the CD, “Thanks Elise.”
I turned around and put my hand on Kendall’s back, slowly guiding her towards the door of the restaurant.
“Zayn, are you and Kendall dating?” They all asked.
I blushed deeply and shook my head no, continuing to walk away.
“How do they know me?” Kendall mumbled in my ear, unaffected by the questions about me and her.
“You know how Louis said he deleted that picture of us?” she nodded, “He didn’t.” I said laughing.
Kendall rolled her eyes and continued to smile and wave at the fans.
“Kendall can we get a picture?” They asked again.
Kendall looked at me confused, then turned to the girls. “You want a picture with me?”
They all shouted yes and a happy smile split across Kendall’s face. I smiled and admired how happy she looked, talking to the fans and answering whatever questions they had.
“What’s it like to spend every day with the boys?” One girl asked.
Kendall chuckled, “They’re the most mental boys I’ve ever met,” she laughed out loud and looked right at me, “But I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
“Do you love Zayn?” the girl asked, noticing the eye contact that Kendall and I were still holding.
Kendall’s smile faded a tiny bit, and her cheeks got significantly redder. She looked at me for an answer, but my eyes quickly flicked to the ground, in anticipation to her answer.
“Of course I do.” She said, her eyes stayed on me for a few more seconds before she looked back to the girl, “What’s not to love about him?”
I felt my whole stomach do a flip. A smile quickly appeared on my face and I couldn’t help but laugh to myself a little bit. Kendall had no idea how much those words meant to me, she would never know how much she meant to me.
I didn’t even fully understand it, I’ve never been in love before. All I knew was that whenever I wasn’t with her, she was the only person I could think about it. Whenever I was with her, I couldn’t take my eyes off of her eyes and smile, and my heart melted a little more every time she said my name.
Being so lost in my thoughts, I didn’t even notice that Kendall had finished up with the girls and was walking next to me into the restaurant. I smiled widely at her, happy to see that it was returned with her breathtaking smile.
“You did great.” I mumbled in her ear.
She giggled adorably, “I learn from the best.”
“Can I show you something?” Zayn asked quietly, as we all piled out of the car and into Harry’s house.
Shivers traveled up and down my spine as I felt Zayn’s hot breath hit my skin. I tried not to let it show and followed him into the house. “Sure.”
I climbed the all too familiar stairs of Harry’s house, but it felt different this time. Zayn was acting different, almost like he was nervous. I’ve never seen Zayn nervous before, either that or he does a great job at hiding it.
His shaky hand opened the door to his room that I had been in plenty of times before, but it felt so peculiar this time.
“You know, I never thought I would see the day when you actually cleaned your room!” I joked.
Zayn chuckled nervously and fiddled with the drawer of his dresser.
“Zayn, what are you doing?” I laughed.
He didn’t reply, just continued to fiddle around in the drawer. At last, he must have found what he was looking for. He crossed the room with his right hand cupped into a fist.
“I.. uh, have something for you?” he said it like a question, followed by a nervous laugh, “It’s nothing really, but…” he opened his palm to reveal a small, turquoise beaded bracelet. Each bead had a different Arabic symbol on it, and each of them was strung on a thin black string.
“It’s beautiful!” I gasped, “Where did you get it?”
“My uncle gave it to me a few months back, before he passed.” Zayn said, a small trace of sadness in his voice. His eyes were studying me thoroughly as I looked at the small beads one by one.
“What do these symbols mean?” I asked.
“Well,” Zayn took the bracelet and pointed to the beads one by one, “This one means family, this one is friendship, this one is compassion, this one is faith, and this one is my personal favorite.” He paused and locked his eyes with mine, “It means love.”
I paused when the butterflies jumped to life in my stomach, “Wow, it’s so pretty. Why did your uncle give it to you?”
“He said that it’s a symbol of…” he paused for a split second and hesitated, “Friendship.”
“Friendship.” I felt my shoulders sink a little bit but tried my best not to show it, “That’s so sweet, thanks Zayn!”
“ZAYN!” We heard Liam’s booming voice from downstairs, “Can you come down here?”
“I’ll be right back.” Zayn mumbled and exited the room.
I smiled down at the bracelet and turned it over in my palm. Zayn would never know how much that bracelet meant to me. To him, it was a token of our friendship. To me, it was just another thing that reminded me that I was falling dangerously fast for a boy that wouldn’t be around much longer.
There were so many things wrong with the way I felt for Zayn. I wasn’t sure if he felt the same way, he was leaving at the end of the summer, I just got out of a relationship with Josh, and most of all, my dad would never, ever, approve of Zayn. No matter what I did, my father would never be able to look past Zayn’s tattoos and piercings.
The worst thing of all, is that I knew in my head that it was the wrong decision to let myself have these feelings, but in my heart, it felt so right.
I sat down on Zayn’s bed and continued to look at the bracelet. As I switched it from bead to bead, it slipped out of my fingers and landed on the floor, sliding under Zayn’s bed.
“Whoops.” I mumbled and got down on my knees to find it. I stuck my arm under the bed and fished for the bracelet, finding it along with another item. I pulled them both out and set the bracelet aside as I studied the plain red notebook.
I opened the cover to a few pictures drawn on a blank white page; I turned a few more pages and stopped immediately when I saw lyrics written down the lined paper, and my name scribbled at the top.
He takes your hand, I die a little
I watch your eyes, and I’m in riddles
Why can’t you look at me like that?
When you walk by, I try to say it
But then I freeze, and never do it
My tongue gets tied, the words get trapped
I hear the beat of my heart getting louder whenever I’m near you
But I see you with him, slow dancing
Tearing me apart cause’ you don’t see
Whenever you kiss him, I’m breaking
Oh how I wish that was me…
“What is this?” I whispered. I read over the lyrics multiple times. Each time making my heart beat faster.
I looked down at my bracelet and studied it more. It meant something different now, everything was different now. I caught myself smiling while twisting it in my fingers, and an overwhelming feeling of happiness washed over me.
“Kendall? The lads want to watch a movie.” I heard Zayn’s feet rapidly approaching.
I quickly shut the notebook and shoved it back under the bed. I swung the door open and met him halfway down the hallway, still smiling ear to ear.
“Why are you so happy?” Zayn mirrored my smile and poked the dimple in my left cheek.
I shrugged, “Today’s just a good day. Don’t you think so?”
Zayn’s smile faltered a little before he nodded. “It is a good day.”
I tried my best to smile along with Kendall in her suddenly happy mood. But the fact that I had just ruined my chance to ever tell Kendall how I felt kept gnawing at the back of my mind. She would never know what she meant to me.
To Kendall, when I gave her the bracelet, it was be a token of our friendship. But what she didn’t know was that it meant so much more than that to me. To me, the bracelet is a symbol of my heart, and how it forever belonged to her.
“HAPPPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!” I jumped on top of my sister’s bed and screamed at the top of my lungs. “You’re 17! We’re now officially the same age! Well, until I turn 18 in December… but whatever it’s your birthday, yaaay!!”
“Kendall…” she groaned tiredly and rolled over, “We’re not 5 anymore, go back to sleep and wake me when the birds start chirping, it’s like 4am.”
“Lexi it’s 11 o’clock. Trust me I would not be awake if it was 4 am. I didn’t sleep at all last night.” I said. I gave up on the jumping and sat at the end of her bed, bringing my legs up to my chest.
“How come?” she finally sat up and rubbed her eyes sleepily.
I smiled shyly and shook my head. “I don’t know.”
“Kendall! You can’t just say that and not tell me why, what happened?” She was fully awake now, and scooted closer to me, crossing her legs while her big green eyes looked at me intently.
“Ok so yesterday, Zayn gave me this…” I stuck out my wrist and took off the small beaded bracelet, dropping it into her hand so she could look at it. “He said his uncle gave it to him and it’s a symbol of friendship.”
“Wow! That’s sweet, aren’t you sad though? I thought you liked him.” She said, handing the bracelet back to me.
“But then when he went downstairs, I found a notebook under his bed that had a song written in it.” I said.
Lexi looked confused and shook her head, “Okaaaay…?” She drug out the word.
“A song that he wrote for me, it had my name on it.” I finished.
“What?” She gasped, “What was the song about?”
“It was something about seeing me with another boy, and how he wished it was him that I would love, or something like that.” I mused, “I don’t really know what it means.”
“He must have wrote it when you were still with Josh…” She said, and a smile crept onto her face, “Kendall, you need to tell him how you feel! Now you know that he likes you back!”
I smiled too and shook my head, “But I can’t!”
“What about Dad?” I whispered, “He would ship me off to America before he’d let me date Zayn.”
Lexi rolled her eyes and hushed her voice too, “Dad doesn’t have to know! You’ve been seeing the boys behind his back for the past few weeks haven’t you? What’s the difference?”
I looked down at my wrist and admired the bracelet for a few seconds before looking at my sister and wrapping my arms around her in a hug. “You’re right. I’m gonna tell him, tonight at your birthday party! I’ll take him outside on the front porch and just tell him how I feel.”
“That’s my sister.” She giggled.
“Morning Daddy.” Lexi smiled at our dad who was sitting at the kitchen table reading the paper. Since it was Saturday, he took the day off work to celebrate Lexi’s birthday.
“Morning sweet pea, how’s the birthday girl?” His eyes shined and a happy smile illuminated onto his face.
“Good.” She answered.
“And how’s the birthday girl’s sister?” He turned to me and smiled.
“I’m fine.” I said coldly. My dad and I still hadn’t spoken very much to each other since he forbid to me see the boys. I couldn’t forgive him for judging Zayn the way that he did.
My dad sighed and sat back down, “You know Kendall, I’m not trying to be a terrible father, I’m trying to protect you from someone who I think doesn’t have your best interests in mind.”
“Can I remind you that you have no proof of that because you haven’t even tried to get to know him?” I snapped.
My dad shook his head calmly and replied, “Look, I don’t want to pick a fight. I just appreciate that you’ve stayed away from the boys like I asked. It really shows me how much you respect me.”
A small feeling of guilt rushed through me. My dad had way too much faith in me.
“Harry was up here yesterday.” My dad continued. “He told me that they’re throwing Lexi a birthday party tonight.”
“Since you’ve been so good at not seeing them the past few weeks, I’m allowing you to go to this… party tonight.” He said.
I looked up from my breakfast plate in complete shock, “Really daddy?”
I had planned on going anyway, sneaking out the backdoor or something, but I would feel much more comfortable going knowing that my dad was letting me.
He nodded and smiled. “But there are conditions.”
“What conditions?” Lexi asked.
“You need to be home by midnight, both of you. Understood?” He said, “And there will be no drinking, and no drugs.”
“Yes dad, that’s fair.” Lexi said.
“And Kendall…” he said.
“You don’t let Zayn lay a finger on you, you understand? And if he does, you let me know, I’ll take care of it.”
I rolled my eyes and stood up, “And I thought we were over this. Whatever Dad.”
“Kendall I’m letting you go to this party! I thought I was being reasonable!” He called as I stomped out of the kitchen and up the stairs like I did after every one of our arguments.
“You don’t know the meaning of reasonable Dad!” I shouted, before slamming my door as loud as I could.
I cleared every trace of anger from inside of me as I started to get ready for the party. I wasn’t about to let my dad ruin this important night. I was going to tell Zayn, I had to. I knew how he felt, and I felt the same way. Why wouldn’t I?
“What do you think?” I asked my sister, holding up a white, eyelet dress in one hand and a skin tight black dress in the other.
“Definitely the black,” she smirked, “The black is way sexier.”
I laughed out loud and nodded, returning the white dress to my closet. “What are you wearing?”
“Does this work?” She pulled a white tank top and a tight, pink, floral printed skirt.
“Oh yeah, Harry won’t be able to take his eyes off you.” I giggled and nudged her, “Or his hands.”
“Shut up!” She smacked me and took the clothes in her hands, “I’m going to shower, then we need to go! Be ready in 20 minutes!”
Shit. I only had 20 minutes to make myself look presentable. More than presentable, I had to look absolutely perfect.
I experimented dozens of different ways to do my hair. After 15 minutes, I decided to just pull half of it back into a pony tail, and leave the other half down. The long brown curls cascaded down my back perfectly. I applied eye liner and mascara, making my blue eyes pop even more than usual, and a little cover up. With three minutes left to get ready, I slipped on the tight black dress and followed Lexi out the front door, barely muttering a goodbye to my dad.
Tonight wasn’t about my dad, it was about Zayn. It was all about Zayn.
“Holy shit, there are so many people here!” Lexi exclaimed. “I thought Harry said a few friends were coming? Not our whole school!”
People were filing out of Harry’s house, standing in the front yard, on the porch, in the house. They were everywhere. Some of the people there I had never even seen before.
“Hey Kendall!” called Amber. She was a girl from my history class that was obsessed with all of the boys, but had barely ever spoken more than a few words to me. She was one of the most popular girls in school. She was tall with wavy, strawberry blonde hair, and blue eyes, like mine.
“Oh hey Amber.” I smiled, “Enjoying the party?”
“It’s wild! I can’t believe I’m at a party with One Direction! You know… before I met them, Harry was my favorite.” I saw Lexi flinch with hatred at my side, and I smiled. “But now that I see them in person, Zayn is definitely the hottest one!” She finished. “I wish I could get my hands on him, my god.”
I could feel my face growing red with jealousy, I hadn’t gotten this jealous over Zayn before. Maybe it was because I just now realized how many girls are in love with him, it would be so easy for someone like Amber to steal him before I really even got him.
Lexi scoffed and rolled her eyes, “We have to get going, nice chatting.”
We searched in and out of Harry’s house, until I finally found Zayn and Liam standing in the driveway, shooting the basketball. I smiled automatically and quickly made my way through the crowd and out the back door.
Zayn was dribbling the ball slowly, not paying attention while he was talking to Liam. I snuck up behind him and snatched the ball from his hand and shot it right into the basket.
“She shoots! And she scores!” Liam shouted and nodded, “Not bad.”
“Kendall!” Zayn’s eyes drank me in and a smile appeared on his face, “You look beautiful! I figured your dad wouldn’t let you come tonight!”
“He let me come because he thinks I’ve been obeying him and not seeing you guys.” I shrugged and shot the basketball again, “Whatever. What he doesn’t know won’t hurt him.”
“Shall we go get a drink?” Zayn held his arm out, which I accepted happily. I could already tell this night was going to be great, I could just feel it.
“Alright do you want punch?” Zayn said, “Or we have soda too, in case you don’t drink.”
I smiled at him and took the Coke out of his hand, “No, I don’t drink.”
Zayn shook his head and nodded, “Didn’t think so.”
“What about you?” I asked.
“I would, but it’s my turn to stay sober tonight.”
“We have a routine, you see, each time we go out or party two of us have to stay sober so that we can handle the other three. Liam is one of the two sober ones most of the time, so Harry, Niall and I take turns.” He explained.
“What about Louis, doesn’t he ever have to stay sober?” I laughed a little, realizing how stupid my question was.
Zayn laughed too and rolled his eyes, “Do you know Lou at all? Of course not.”
Most of the night Zayn and I stayed by each other’s side. Talking to everyone and laughing more than I had in a long time. I didn’t realize how much I missed my school friends until I saw them tonight.
With every minute that passed by I felt like my chance to talk to Zayn was slipping more and more out of reach. As the night passed, I felt myself losing my nerve completely. Zayn might be interested in me, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t interested in other girls too. I saw him eyeing Amber Thomas from across the room, and we all know she would be willing to do anything with him.
“I’m gonna go get another coke, I’ll be right back.” I told Zayn, he nodded and watched me walk to the kitchen. I stuck my hand in the ice cold cooler and started digging around for a coke, but couldn’t seem to find one.
“Looking for one of these?” I heard suddenly. I looked up to see Josh standing above me, holding a can of Coke and smiling down at me. “I got the last one.”
“Yeah, thanks.” I took it, “How did you know that’s what I wanted?”
“Well it’s your favorite, isn’t it?” He smiled.
I was surprised by how good it felt to see Josh, smiling and happy. Just because we were over didn’t mean I wanted him out of my life.
“Yeah.” I smiled shyly and looked down, “Yeah I guess it is.”
“So how have you been? I feel like I haven’t seen you at all.” He asked, leaning against the counter, one corner of his mouth slightly poking upward in a half smile.
“I’ve been good.” I snuck a glance towards the living room and saw Zayn and smiled, “Great, actually.”
“Glad to hear that. We should hangout soon, alright? I miss just talking with you, you know?” He said, carefully searching my face for any type of negative reaction.
“Yes, we definitely should. I miss you too.” I admitted shyly.
“Cool, see you later, babe.”
I smiled happily, making my way back to the living room, and scanned the room for Zayn. My smile slowly started to fade away when I didn’t see him there, he had been there literally 30 seconds ago. I walked through the house, upstairs and downstairs, but couldn’t find him anywhere.
I made my way through all of the clumps of people, some dancing to the pounding bass, some just standing in circles and talking. Finally I made it to the backyard and took a deep breath. I needed to find Zayn now so that I didn’t lose my nerve to talk to him altogether.
I smiled when I saw the boys and Lexi, along with a few of her friends, playing a pickup game of basketball. But Zayn wasn’t with them. The smile disappeared from my face immediately when I spotted him. He was sitting on the grass, laughing, with Amber sitting on his lap and she was playing with his thick black hair.
She tipped her head back and laughed, then leaned her head onto Zayn’s shoulder. Her hand lightly rested on his chest and she smiled contently as she pulled herself as close to him as she possibly could.
I shook my head and blinked a few times, hoping that I could possibly forget what I had just seen. I suddenly felt sicker than I ever had before, my stomach had turned into a giant knot, and I couldn’t hold back the tears that immediately started rolling down my cheeks freely.
I felt betrayal, anger, sadness, disappointment, regret. Every single negative emotion that there is, was running through my head and I couldn’t separate one thought from another. My head was pounding, my heart felt like it had just been completely shattered.
“Kendall!” Niall noticed me standing there, still looking at Zayn. “What’s the matter, here sit down!”
Zayn automatically looked up when he heard Niall say my name, and a look of complete horror overtook his face. He shuffled to get up, gently setting Amber down on the grass before running over to me.
“Kendall what is it?” He laid a hand on my shoulder and stroked it calmingly. “What is it babe?”
“Get away from me!” I shouted at them, attracting the attention of everyone else who was in the back yard, but I didn’t care. “Don’t touch me!” I shouted at Zayn, before taking off as fast I could around Harry’s house, up the driveway, and down the street.
I started crying even more when I saw the broken look on Zayn’s face after I had yelled at him, his deep brown eyes even darker after being overtaken by sadness.
“Kendall!” I could tell by Zayn’s voice that he wasn’t too far behind me, I could hear him running after me, but I didn’t stop. I kept running and only paid attention to the pavement in front of me.
I had to get away from Zayn, from everyone. I didn’t want to deal with him, seeing Zayn with Amber felt a thousand times worse than it felt after Josh had ended it. My broken heart was pounding out of my chest more rapidly with every step that I took.
I could feel myself slowing down, and I could hear Zayn still running after me and calling my name. I finally stopped running, and a few seconds later Zayn’s rapid footsteps come to a halt behind me.
I ripped Zayn’s bracelet off of my wrist and clutched it in my palm, ready to return it to him before he had another chance to break my heart even more than he already had.
It felt like an eternity that Zayn and I stood there, motionless on the cold concrete. Zayn didn’t dare come any closer, and I don’t dare take another step away from him. My fist was tightly enclosed around the bracelet that Zayn had given me only yesterday. My face was red with anger and heartbreak, unsteady breaths slowly escaping my lips.
“When were you going to tell me about the song?” I interrupted.
Zayn’s body stiffened immediately and he narrowed his eyes at me, “What song?”
“The song, Zayn. The song that you wrote in the red notebook hidden under your bed… When were you going to tell me about it?” I said bluntly.
“How did you find that?” Zayn asked, his face turning almost as red as mine.
I ignored his question and repeated, “When were you going to tell me about it?”
Zayn still stared at me in completely shock. His mouth was hanging wide open and no words could seem to escape his lips. After a few more seconds he shook his head and chuckled a little bit. He tipped his head back and ran his hand roughly through his thick black hair.
“You were never supposed to see that.” He whispered almost inaudibly.
“Why?” I took a few steps closer.
He shrugged and glanced up at me, “You had Josh.”
“Josh broke up with me a month ago, I’ve been over that for a while now. Why haven’t you shown it to me sooner?”
“Well what was I supposed to say? It’s not that easy! Especially with a girl like you.”
“What are you talking about?” I threw my arms in the air and sighed in frustration. “A girl like me?”
“Kendall.” Zayn stood up from the curb and put his hands on my shoulders, “You are funniest, smartest, prettiest, and most confusing girl I have ever met. Before you I thought I had girls all figured out, but you’ve changed all that, changed everything. You turned my whole world upside down the day I met you, and I’ve only grown to like you more since then. Why do you think I didn’t tell you how I felt?”
He continued before I could get a word in, “Because this is the first time in my life that I haven’t been able to tell exactly what a girl is feeling. I had no idea if you liked me back, and that’s scary as hell. You literally… make me crazy. I can never get you out of my head.”
Part of me was really happy to finally hear Zayn admit what I had wanted to hear practically since we’d met. Even if I would have never admitted it while I still had Josh. The other part of me questioned whether or not I could trust what he was saying.
“So 5 minutes ago, when Amber Thomas was straddling you, you were thinking about me?” I asked, “That’s so flattering Zayn, really, I’m touched.”
“Amber doesn’t matter to me Kendall, she’s just a girl, and you’re not. I’d like to think you’re just another girl that I could get over just as easily as all the others, but you’re just not.” He took a few steps closer and shrugged, “I’m already in too deep.”
I drew in a calming breath as Zayn took another step closer to me, and I took a step back. “If you really liked me that much you wouldn’t have been flirting with Amber. Maybe you do like me, but you like other girls too.”
“What makes you think that?” Zayn asked, sounding almost offended.
“Zayn! One minute you’re waiting in the living room while I get a drink and the next you’re in the back yard two seconds away from making out with a girl you don’t even know! Does that answer your question?”
Zayn sighed heavily. “Okay I’m sorry! I didn’t mean for anything to happen with Amber, I didn’t want anything to happen. But Kendall, if you only knew how little she matters to me compared to how much you matter. She can’t even compare!”
“How can I believe that? How do I know that once you walk back up to Harry’s you’ll forget everything you just told me?” I shouted. “I know how you guys work, you say one thing and do another.”
“How can I convince you that I’m telling the truth?” He asked, hopelessly throwing his hands in the air.
“I guess you’ll have to figure that out on your own. Right now, I’m done arguing… enjoy the rest of the party.”
I barely even got to finish my sentence before Zayn interrupted me by forcing his lips onto mine. By the time I realized what was actually happening, I had already melted into his arms. Amber quickly became the farthest person from my thoughts.
I wasn’t thinking about how much trouble I was going to be in with my dad. I wasn’t thinking about how Zayn was leaving in a month and a half. I wasn’t thinking about anything other than the boy in front of me, whose kiss made my heart start to beat out of my chest.
He cupped his right hand on my cheek and ran his left hand through my curly brown hair, while both of my hands were gently placed at the back of his neck. My stomach erupted with butterflies that traveled all up and down my body, sending shivers up my spine. I could feel Zayn smiling into the kiss, making me to smile too.
When Zayn finally pulled away he smiled and rested his forehead against mine, “How much more proof do you need that you’re the only one that I want?”
“I think that’s good enough, for now.” I smiled happily and wrapped my fingers with his, where they seemed to fit perfectly.
“But you do trust me, right?” He asked.
I pursed my lips and nodded silently.
“Good. Because everything I told you was true, you know.”
“I know.” I nodded and started to walk back up the hill towards Harry’s. After a pause, I said, “I’m sort of afraid for people to find out about us, what if it gets around to my dad?”
“Look Kendall, I just got you. I’m not going to let anyone take you away from me now. Not even your dad.” Zayn said, lightly resting his forehead against mine and whispering softly, “I promise.”
I wish I had a picture to savor the look on all of the boy’s faces when Zayn and I strolled up to the house hand in hand. All of them looked at each other in pure confusion before their curious frowns turned into smiles as they offered us congratulations.
“Finally!” Harry shouted, “I knew that you would tell her how you felt mate, I told you it was the right thing to do!”
“As long as you’re not as annoying as Lexi and Harry, I’m happy for you!” Niall added, to which Louis and Liam grunted in agreement.
Lexi just looked at me smugly and shook her head, she knew all along that this was bound to happen eventually, just like I knew with her and Harry. She walked over to me and opened her arms and I accepted her hug gladly.
“Don’t worry about dad okay? He won’t find out about you guys… not under my watch.” She mumbled.
“Thank you.” I smiled, and hugged her tighter.
As for the rest of the people at the party, no one of them seemed to even notice a difference between the way Zayn and I acted around each other. Except people like Amber Thomas, who was scowling at me from across the room.
Home is the last place I wanted to go after the most perfect night of my entire life. Even though I would be seeing Zayn in the morning I found it hard to say goodbye to him for 12 hours.
“I’ll call you in the morning.” I mumbled into his chest, while he hugged me goodbye.
“Okay babe, sleep tight.” He kissed me softly one last time before I started up the street with my sister.
Just the simple kiss goodnight left me feeling like I was on top of the world.
“How was the party?” Asked my dad, as soon as we stepped foot into the house.
“Good.” We answered in unison.
“Anything exciting happen?”
Lexi and I looked at each other and smiled, “Nope!”
The butterflies were still in my stomach as I laid down to sleep that night. I couldn’t shake the giddy feeling away. For the first night in a while, I fell asleep with a smile on my face. I felt completely untouchable, for the very first time.
Two Weeks Later.
“Can I borrow your pink mini skirt? I can’t find anything good to wear tonight.” I rummaged through my clothes for a few more seconds, then shut my closet door and sat heavily on my bed with a sigh.
Lexi tossed the cotton skirt at me and smiled, “What’s tonight?”
I smiled bashfully, “Zayn’s taking me out to dinner. Saturday night is our date night.”
I slipped on my outfit that consisted of Lexi’s pink mini skirt, with a loose white tank top and complimented with a black skinny belt.
“Why don’t you and Harry come?” I swung around and smiled at my sister. “Please? It’ll be fun; we haven’t been on a double date yet!”
“You’re sure you don’t want it to be just the two of you?” She asked.
“Positive. Zayn and I are always together. I want you guys to come, please?” I begged, kneeling at the foot of her bed and folding my hands together pleadingly.
“Alright, I’ll talk to Harry and see if he wants to go.” She laughed and took out her phone.
“Go where?” Out of nowhere my dad appeared in the doorway and was smiling at us.
“Dad! How long have you been standing there?” I asked. “We’re just going to see Harry tonight, that’s all.”
“No Zayn?” His eyes flicked to me as he raised his eyebrow.
“No father, Zayn won’t be there. Does that make you happy?” I snapped.
“Very.” He answered. “Not too late tonight, alright?”
“Okay.” We answered.
Once he had gone, Harry called and told us to meet him and Zayn at the Paxton Street Café in an hour, and after dinner we would catch a movie.
My stomach did a flip when I thought about seeing Zayn again, even though I had seen him every day since the party. But every time I thought about him I couldn’t help but feel like a giddy school girl in love.
We did each other’s hair and makeup, and I helped Lexi pick out what she was going to wear. She decided on a navy blue romper with a plain white cardigan. Her wavy blonde hair didn’t need much touching up; it always cascaded down her back almost perfectly.
I, on the other hand, wasn’t always so lucky. I was blessed with a head of messy, wavy, light brown hair that always needed work. I applied minimal eyeliner to my blue eyes, and almost no foundation.
I mumbled a few parting words to my dad, and was out the door with Lexi right behind me.
Zayn and Harry were already seated and waiting for us when we walked into the café. I smiled immediately when I saw the expression on Zayn’s face brighten at my entrance.
“Hey babe, you look nice.” He complimented, before giving me a long hug and a kiss on the cheek.
“Thanks. I had to lie to my dad and tell him that it was just Harry we were coming to see tonight.” I chuckled a little bit, picking up the menu and looking over it. It was debating between the chicken parmesan and the Caesar salad when Zayn interrupted my train of thought.
“Kendall, I don’t like how you have to lie to your dad every time you come to see me.”
“I don’t like lying to him either, but I have to.”
“You don’t have to, we could just tell him, you know.” Zayn said casually.
“Are you kidding?” Lexi interrupted, “No offense Zayn. But my dad finding out about you guys is just about the worst thing that could happen. Kendall would be sent off to boarding school in Iceland or something.”
Zayn sighed and turned to me, “Kendall. Even if we did tell your dad, I wouldn’t let him do anything to take you away from me. I would bloody follow you to Iceland, if I had to.”
I smiled and gave him a kiss on the cheek. “Thanks babe.”
Harry looked at Lexi and smiled, “You know that I would follow you to Iceland too, right babe?”
Lexi laughed and squeezed his hand, “I know you would Haz.”
“Lexi, Kendall!” My sister and I looked up from our conversation with Zayn and Harry to see our dad’s best friend, Dave Miller, smiling down at us. “Fancy seeing you two out here!”
“Hey Dave!” I said, “These are our….” I looked at Lexi and hesitated, “This is our friend Zayn and you know Harry of course.”
Harry waved politely and smiled while Zayn shook Dave’s hand. “Nice to meet you.”
“I was just about to ring your dad, to see if he wanted to come have a few drinks with us!” Dave said.
“Oh…” Lexi said, “Well we were just leaving, we’ve got to be in early tonight.”
“Well I’m sure happy I ran into you girls, tell her dad I said hello.”
“Thanks, we’ll tell him! Bye Dave, I’m sure we’ll see you soon!” I said.
We collected our belongings at the table and shuffled out of the restaurant as fast as our feet could go.
“Kendall why are you walking so fast?” Zayn was a few paces behind me, struggling to walk next to me, “What’s the matter?”
“Nothing is the matter!” I lied, “I’ve just got to make sure I’m home by curfew. Otherwise I’ll be grounded again.”
Zayn obviously knew I was lying, but didn’t push the subject any further. He knew me well enough to know that he should just let me be, and that I would tell him on my own time.
“I don’t understand what the big fuss is about,” said Harry, “He seemed like a nice enough lad.”
“He is, he’s our dad’s best mate!” Lexi said. “He was the best man at our parents wedding, they’ve been mates since their teens.”
“Then what’s the big deal?” Zayn asked.
“I just can’t explain now, okay? I’ve got to get home. I’ll call you, okay babe?” I gave him a short kiss on the lips and waited for Harry and Lexi to say their goodbye. I took one last look behind me as I trudged up the block with my sister, Zayn stood there, looking more confused than ever.
It’s for the best that he didn’t know what was about to happen. But as for me, I knew exactly what I was about to walk into.
Lexi and I barged through the front door, and to no one’s surprise, my father was standing in the hallway, with his cell phone help to his ear.
“Thanks Dave, bye now.” He flipped his phone shut and placed his hands on his hips, and sighed.
“Lexi, go get ready for bed.” He ordered. She silently did as she was told, but not before shooting me an apologetic glance over her shoulder.
“Dad I already know what you’re going to say.” I started. He put his hand up to cut my sentence short.
“I thought we agreed that you weren’t to see that boy anymore. Now Kendall I was being reasonable, I let you go to that party when I could’ve made you stay home. You told me that you were going to see Harry, and that Zayn wouldn’t be there. Then I get a call from Dave, telling me that he ran into you two at Paxton’s, and that he met a fellow named Zayn with you.”
He sighed and continued, “Why would you lie to me, Kendall?”
“Because that’s the only way I could see Zayn.”
“But why? Are you… together?” He cringed at the thought.
“No.” I lied.
“Good, because I will have no more sneaking around behind my back. I will have no more, you hear me? If I hear one more thing about you seeing this boy, you will not be leaving this house for the rest of the summer.” After a short silence he added, “Not even to see Harry.”
I stood motionless in the hallway of my house, unable to find the words to fight back. I had no energy to retaliate. The anger building up inside of me practically made my blood start boiling.
“This is your last chance, Kendall.” He said. I nodded my head shortly and avoided eye contact with him at all costs. “Get to bed. Now.”
“Oh whatever! Dad’s all talk, he won’t actually ground you for the rest of the summer, we all know that! Just give him a few days he’ll come around, he always does!” Lexi was trying her best to make me feel better.
“I don’t know Lex, he was pretty mad at me.”
“He’s always mad at you.” She said, “No offense but you two fighting isn’t really a new issue. Once Zayn’s gone he’ll find something new to blame on you, that’s just the way he is.”
“It’s just not fair,” I whispered. “Why should I have to keep my relationship a secret from my own father?” I fiddled with the string hanging off my shirt and sighed. “I’ll just have to be extra super careful that dad doesn’t see or hear anything else about me seeing Zayn.”
For the first night since Zayn had kissed me, I couldn’t seem to sleep a blink. I laid awake all night thinking about what would happen to us if my dad ever found us out. I wouldn’t be able to see Zayn again, my dad would make sure of that.
The times like these are the ones that I especially wish my mom was around. She would adore Zayn. She would tell my dad that he’s being ridiculous and overprotective. He doesn’t understand me the way my mom did.
What my dad didn’t realize was that by keeping me so close, he was really pushing me farther and farther away.
“Look Kendall, I still think that telling your dad will be a better solution than this!” I waved my arms around us.
We were surrounded by trees at a park a few blocks away from her house. It was almost midnight and she had resorted to sneaking out of the house every night to see me, making sure that Lexi would cover for her if her dad checked in on them. Nothing felt worse than knowing that if she was caught I would never see her again and she would be grounded for ever, and it would all be my fault. I had never felt more guilty, or selfish.
“Zayn I don’t know how many times I have to tell you this!” She got frustrated with me every time I brought up telling her dad, it was the basis of most of the arguments we had. “I can’t tell him, I just can’t okay? Let’s drop this. I didn’t sneak out and risk the wrath of my dad to hear you lecture me.”
“I just feel selfish that’s all.”
“Well don’t feel selfish.” She wrapped her arms tightly around my waist and rested her chin on my chest, lightly pecking me on the lips. “This was my idea, remember?”
“But I agreed to it, even though I know it’s not what’s best for you. The best thing for you is to stay far away from me.” I said sadly, but pulled her body even closer to mine and kissed her forehead.
“You’re what’s best for me, I love who I am when I’m with you. My dad never sees me with you so he can’t see how happy I am. If he just spent one hour with us he would see that I’m completely crazy about you.” She said, her blue eyes dancing across my face in adoration.
I chuckled and rested our foreheads together, placing my fingers in between hers where they fit so comfortably and perfectly. “He would see the smile you bring to my face every time I see you and the spark in both of our eyes when we touch. I wish I could show him how much I care about you, that I’m not just a stuck up bad boy like he thinks. I’m just a normal lad who is in love with his daughter, who I’ve fallen for in the two shorts months that I’ve known her, but yet it feels like a lifetime.”
The smile that illuminated across Kendall’s face reminded me why all of this was worth it. I was in love with the girl standing in front of me and no one, not even her dad, could change that. We were both happier than we had ever been, but it wasn’t good enough. No matter how perfect things seemed to be between us, there always had to be something standing in the way.
“Sometimes… instead of making shapes of clouds into animals, I look at the stars and try to make out objects from them.” Kendall said, she ran her finger loosely above her face and pointed to the sky, “See? Those stars look like a spoon.”
I rolled over on the picnic table that we were laying down on and smiled down at her, “That’s the big dipper Kendall, it’s a well-known constellation.”
She giggled and turned to face me, “I knew that. I was just making sure you did.”
I kissed her nose and laid back down, sighing tiredly, “It’s getting late, the boys are probably wondering where I am.”
“You didn’t tell them you were coming?”
“You’re not the only one who sneaks out at night.” I smiled and sat up, “Get up buttercup, it’s time to get you home and into bed.”
Kendall sat up and cupped her right hand on my cheek, kissing me quickly before hopping off the table. We walked the few blocks back to our street slowly and surely, both of us were more than exhausted. We stayed out at the park until 3 almost every night; it was the only time we got to spend with each other.
Ever since Kendall’s dad found out she had still been seeing me, he started working from home so he can keep a more watchful eye on her. It was to the point that we couldn’t even talk on the phone anymore unless it was once he was asleep.
We parted at the bottom of our block, promising to meet tomorrow night at the same time and same place.
“Tomorrow?” I said.
“Tomorrow.” She agreed. She pressed her full pink lips to mine and pulled me as close as she possibly could. She kissed me like this might be the last time she ever sees me, which in a way, could be possible.
“Goodnight.” She smiled and let go of my hand, and I watched her walk up the block until she had disappeared into the backdoor of her house.
As I was sneaking in the back door of my own house, my phone beeped from my back pocket. ‘I’m safe in my room, dad’s fast asleep! See you tomorrow babe, I love you. Xx’
I was just typing a quick reply when the kitchen lights flicked on, Niall was standing there with his arms crossed and a smug look on his face.
“Where you been, mate?” He questioned.
“Niall, what are you doing up?” I ignored his question completely.
“I was hungry so I got up to get food, and I noticed you bedroom door was open and you never sleep with it open so I knew you weren’t here.” He said.
“I never knew you were that observant, Niall.” I admitted, slightly impressed.
He snickered, opening the fridge door and ruffling through the shelves for food. He pulled out a pot of leftover spaghetti that Harry had made us a few nights before, and held it up.
“And now, Kendall refuses to even consider the idea of just telling her dad about us.” I said, before taking a sip of milk and continuing, “But I think that if we just told him, he might respect us for being honest and maybe be okay with it.”
Niall shook his head and sighed, “I don’t think you should tell him mate, we all know what he’s like. Sure, he might respect you more but it wouldn’t make things perfect. He still wouldn’t let Kendall see you, that’s for sure.”
“You think it’s a bad idea too?”
Niall nodded silently and put a hand on my shoulder, “It’ll turn out alright, just have confidence in what you have with Kendall.”
“I’ve never been more sure of anything in my life, I know I’m supposed to be with her.” I paused and sighed, “But I don’t know mate, something… something just really doesn’t feel right.”
Sometimes, when I was younger, I couldn’t fall asleep at night. I used to be so afraid of the dark, so I would always end up sleeping with my parents in their bed. My mom would rub my back in circles and tell me that everything would be just fine. Her calming voice and touch always put me right to sleep.
There are still times that I can’t fall asleep at night, when I wish that I had her to tell me everything would be alright. Without her here, I wasn’t so sure that everything would be okay.
I’ve always been a worry wart. I’ve never been totally carefree and happy, without a thought in my mind. My worries still kept me up at night, and I had no one to calm me down but myself.
Zayn couldn’t say anything. Lexi couldn’t say anything. Harry couldn’t say anything. And I was god damn sure my father couldn’t say anything to put my mind at ease.
At times like these, where I’m wide awake in the middle of the night, I sit on my windowsill and look up into the starry, darkened sky. I wondered if my mom was up there, looking right back down at me.
“I need your help.” I whispered softly, careful not to wake my sleeping sister. “I don’t know what to do. I need you to tell me everything will be okay…” I chuckled softly, “Can’t you give me some sort of sign? Anything.”
I sat up, curiously looking around to see where the curious noise came from.
I sat at my window and looked out, seeing a dark figure on the ground, tossing small pebbles at my window.
I opened my window and stuck my head out, “Zayn! What the hell are you doing? Are you trying to get me sent to boarding school? My dad’s sleeping right across the hall!”
Zayn’s laugh seemed so loud in the quiet of the night, but still adorable nonetheless. “I couldn’t sleep.” He said.
I smiled softly, “I can’t sleep either.” I sighed and leaned out the window a little more, “You really shouldn’t be here, my dad will kill you if he hears us.”
I saw Zayn’s shadowy figure shrug it off, “Then we’ll be quiet, I just wanted to hear your voice again.”
“You could’ve called.”
He leaned his back against the tree and smirked, “Now where’s the fun in that?”
I laughed and tossed one of the pebbles back down at him. “Too much fun can get you into trouble.”
He shrugged, “Plus, I wanted to see your pretty face too. I guess I can’t get enough of you.”
I threw a few more pebbles at him, “Nice try.”
“You think I’m joking don’t you?” He chuckled, “Kendall you have no idea.”
“Trust me, I do.” I smiled slightly, “You should really go now, Zayn. You’re going to get us both into trouble.”
Zayn sighed and I could see his smile even through the darkness. “Alright alright, sleep tight babe. I love you.”
“Love you.” I whispered back.
I watched his shadowy figure walk back down the block and quietly shut my window again.
“Who, who are you talking to?” Lexi asked quietly, while rubbing her eyes tiredly.
“Nobody…” I said slowly, and giggled, “I think you were dreaming, Lex.”
“Oh.” She shrugged and rolled onto her stomach, quickly falling back asleep.
My dad shook Lexi and me awake at 8:30, telling us to go get a few groceries and coffee while he got started on his work for the day. I dressed myself in a pair of light wash jean shorts, and a purple plaid shirt, pulling my hair into a low ponytail.
“Got the carrots?”
“Macaroni and cheese?”
“Yes, Lexi. I know how to read the grocery list, thank you.” I snatched the paper out of her hand as we headed toward the café.
“Hi, we’ll take 2 medium mochas, with nonfat milk please, and one regular coffee.” I smiled at the barista as she started to make our drinks.
“Kendall!!!” Lexi whispered from the magazine stand a few feet away.
“Why are you whispering?” I whispered loudly and laughed.
She hurriedly shoved a magazine in front of my face, with the headline reading ‘Is Zayn Malik’s mystery girl more than just a summer fling? Find out all the latest gossip on the teen heartthrob and his latest squeeze! Page 57.’
My breath caught in my throat as I stared at a picture of myself kissing Zayn on the front cover of a tabloid.
“What the hell?” I found page 57 without any further hesitation and skimmed the brief article.
One Direction’s Zayn Malik has captured the hearts of thousands of teenage girls across the world with his amazing voice, ravishing good looks, and of course, that bad boy edge that no girl can resist. Although it seems that one lucky girl has captured the heart of our lovely Zayn. Kendall Rhodes, who is a close childhood friend of Zayn’s band mate and best friend Harry Styles, seems to have the bad boy smitten. According to a close friend of the band, “He’s really fell for her.” It was only a few months ago that 1D fans were devastated that the beloved Harry Styles was dating Kendall’s younger sister, Lexi Rhodes. Two sisters in one family, it just doesn’t seem fair does it?! Well girls, better get out the ice cream and tissues, it seems our bad boy Zayn has already been snatched up.
There were a series of pictures below the articles. One of the pictures was of me kissing Zayn’s cheek outside of Harry’s house. Another few were of us holding hands and laughing. The largest one was of us kissing outside of the Paxton Café, this must have been taken when we were on our double date with Harry and Lexi.
Nevertheless, this article was my biggest problem so far. If I thought I had stuff to worry about last night, I won’t sleep a blink tonight.
“Damn.” Lexi said, “This is really bad, isn’t it?”
“Hurry, grab all of the copies of the tabloid that you find, we need to buy all of them and hide them!” I said.
“Are you kidding?” Lexi scoffed.
“Do it now, Lex.”
“Ok here’s the 7 copies that were in all the aisles, is that all?” She said.
“Excuse me?” I called to the barista. “I’d like to get all of these please.”
She looked at me and scoffed, pinching her nose is annoyance, “All of them?”
“Yes, all of them.” I said, turning to Lexi sighing, “This is really bad.”
“How are we going to sneak them in the house so dad doesn’t see them?” Lexi asked me.
“How about I run upstairs and shove them all under my bed, okay? You distract Dad with his coffee and the groceries.”
“I hope this works Kendall…” She said wearily.
“Me too.” I sighed and held back the tears welling up at my eyes, “I have to tell Zayn about this.”
“I’m sure he already knows.” Lexi mumbled.
“You mean there are pictures of us on the front cover of a tabloid?” Zayn asked.
“Yes!” I whispered frantically into my cell phone, “We’re all over the cover and there’s even an article about us.”
“Damn, how the hell did they get those pictures? We were so careful.” Zayn said, “I’m sorry Kendall, this is all my fault.”
“It’s my fault too… I should’ve known something like this would happen.”
“What happens if your dad finds this?” He asked.
“We’re both dead.”
“Alright, that’s what I thought. The boys and I will go round up the rest of them that we can find, I’ll call you later babe.”
After I hung up the phone with Zayn, I made sure that every tabloid was hidden safely under my bed, where my dad would never find it. If he did, I was sure that phone call would be the last time I ever heard Zayn Malik’s voice.
“I think we got all of them!” My sister said brightly, followed by a happy smile in attempt to cheer me up.
I nodded solemnly and set the magazines on the counter at the coffee shop. Today counts the sixth day in a row that we’ve had to run all over town and buy every single tabloid that had my face on the cover.
I had barely spoken a word to anyone, even Zayn, since that first day we found them. I had gotten multiple calls and texts from him every day. Voicemails begging for me to call him back and just talk to him. He promised me everything would be okay, but I had heard that so many times before, and everything did not feel okay at all. In fact, it felt the complete opposite.
“Ma’am!” I was snapped back into reality when the male barista was staring at me warily, “That’ll be 26.42 please.”
I sighed, “Right.” I pulled out my wallet and handed him my debit card. After the purchase was through Lexi and I left the coffee shop and started to walk home.
“Want to have a movie night tonight?” Lexi asked, “We could watch your favorite!”
After she received no response but silence she tried again, “There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home!” She started to poke me in the stomach and giggle.
Usually this method would work and put me in a good mood, but today I just pushed her hand away, “No thanks.”
“Come on Kendall, can’t we just make the best of this?”
“We? We what?! This has nothing to do with you. I’m the one that’s forbidden to see my own boyfriend! You have no idea how I’m feeling.” I hitched my purse a little higher on my shoulder and kept walking. “Just go home Lexi.”
I ignored the small feeling of guilt as I abandoned my sister on the rainy street corner. I couldn’t turn around; I didn’t want to see the look on her face. I walked straight past our house and trudged my way down the wet sidewalk up until my feet were standing on Harry’s porch.
I pushed the doorbell constantly until a very confused and slightly irritated Louis opened the door. “Kendall! What are you doing here?”
I barely stopped to smile at Louis, I walked past him and started up the stairs, “I’ve got to see Zayn, now.”
I swung Zayn’s bedroom door open and didn’t even stop to admire his beautifully sleeping form, I just slammed the pile of magazines down on his desk. His body jerked awake and he sat up suddenly, rubbing his eyes and looking around the dimmed room.
“Zayn I need to put these here, I’ve run out of places to hide them at my house.” I said flatly.
“Well,” Zayn’s voice was low, groggy from just being woke up, but for some reason I found it more endearing than ever before. “Why haven’t you called me?”
“Dad takes my phone every night.” I explained.
Zayn sighed and ruffled his hair, sitting up a little more and throwing his legs over the side of his bed. “Of course he does.”
A small audience of Niall and Harry gathered in the hallway. “What’s the craic Kendall?” Niall smiled warmly. I smiled at him and looked back at my boyfriend, who hadn’t taken his eyes off of me.
“Kendall! How are you?” Liam had appeared outside the doorway too, “It’s been a while!”
I turned to them again slowly and smiled, “Hi Liam.”
“Come on guys let’s go.” Harry grabbed them and led them downstairs, after winking in our direction with a smile.
“Are you okay?” Zayn stood and started rubbing my forearms calmingly.
I shrugged, while at last I allowed a few needed tears to spill over my eyelids, burying my face into Zayn’s protective figure and sighing, “What do we do?”
“I’ll tell you what we should do.” He tipped my chin upward and softly kissed my lips, “We should worry about us, enjoy the little time we do spend together. Right now, your dad has no idea about us, so until he does, worrying is useless.”
I nodded, the longer I was with Zayn the more I felt myself calming down. His soft brown eyes looked at me adoringly and I remembered why I had gone through all this trouble in the first place. Because I knew that there was no place that I would rather be in the world than in his arms.
“It’s just you and me, babe.” He said softly, before gently pushing all of my hair from my face, and kissing me again.
I walked into my house and started walking straight up to my room. I ignored my father who was sitting on the couch reading a magazine. I was just past the living room doorway when I realized I had seen that magazine before.
“Kendall Rhodes, who is a close childhood friend of Zayn’s band mate and best friend Harry Styles, seems to have the bad boy smitten. According to a close friend of the band, “He’s really fell for her.”” My dad read out loud. His piercing blue eyes looked at me angrily from above his thin-rimmed glasses. “Have you seen this? Of course you have, you’ve hidden about 20 copies of it under your bed, haven’t you?”
My breath was caught in a lump at the bottom of my throat, and it felt like my heart had skipped a thousand beats. I slowly gulped the lump in my throat and gathered the nerve to speak, “How did you find that?”
“You see, I was vacuuming your room and it got caught on a little piece of paper sticking out from under your bed. I pulled it out, and this is what I saw.” He pointed to the picture of Zayn and I kissing on the front page. He shrugged, “Do you have anything to say?”
I shook my head, “No.”
“Not even, ‘I’m sorry’?” he said, “’I’m sorry Dad, for lying to you all this time and sneaking around behind your back, while secretly dating at international pop star?’”
“I’m not sorry for any of that.” I said nervously, sometimes I wish I could put a filter on my own mouth. “Zayn is the best thing that’s ever happened to me.”
“God damn it Kendall!” My dad slammed the magazine down on the couch and stood up, “You don’t know what you’re talking about! You’re only 17. You have no idea what love is!”
“Is this even about me? Or is it about you? It’s always been what you want, what you think is best for me! Shouldn’t I be the one who decides what’s best for me?” I snapped.
“This is what your mother wanted!” My dad shouted. “She told me to make sure nothing bad ever happened to you!”
“And you’ve done a spectacular job! But this isn’t what Mom wanted, this is what you want. If Mom were here she would want me to be happy! Didn’t she always used to tell us that as long as we’re all happy and safe, that nothing else mattered?”
“Happy and safe.” My dad agreed with a nod, “That means not hanging around Zayn. I thought I had made the rules in this house clear, I guess they haven’t been clear enough!”
“The rules were perfectly clear Dad, I just chose to ignore them.” I said coldly.
“I wish I could have raised my daughters to respect their father more, no other teenage girl speak to their father this way!” He shouted loudly.
“No other teenage girls have ridiculously overprotective fathers, either!” I shouted back.
“I was trying to protect you.” He said, through gritted teeth.
“From being happy?” I snapped.
My dad’s face turned bright red, “I thought that your mother had taught you better. I can’t even say what she would think if she saw you now.”
“And what about you, Dad? Would she really be happy with how you’ve been treating me, and even more importantly, Zayn? You never even gave him a chance.” I started to walk upstairs but stopped halfway up, “You know I may have lied to you, but you’ve done some stupid things too. You should be just as ashamed in yourself as you are in me.”
I had never seen my dad so angry in my entire life. He shakily pointed his finger up the stairs and sighed, “Get upstairs. Now.”
My sister was laying on her bed, reading Wuthering Heights when I walked into the room.
“Dad knows.” I said.
“What?!” She sat up quickly and slammed her book shut.
“Didn’t you hear us yelling downstairs?” I opened my closet and pulled out my pink and black duffle bag, set it on my bed and started throwing random clothes in it. I ran to the bathroom and got my makeup, toothbrush, and my hairbrush, throwing those in there too.
“Kendall what are you doing?” Lexi asked curiously.
“I’m packing.” I said, while throwing a few more pairs of jean shorts in my bag.
“Packing for what?”
“Look Lex, if Dad can’t understand me then I have no reason to stay here, I’ll stay at Harry’s for a few days until I figure out what I want to do.” I said.
“What, but, wait, no!” Lexi started taking my clothes out of my duffle bag and shoving them back into my drawer, “You can’t leave! Where are you going to go? You think that Harry’s isn’t the first place dad will go look for you?”
I sighed, “I have to go. Zayn and I will get a train to Liverpool or somewhere and stay there until things cool down, can’t you see, I’m all out of options.”
My sister stood in the middle of our room and watched me while I packed the rest of my clothes, small tears just barely prickling at her eyelids. As soon as I was finished I gave her a big hug and kissed her forehead, “I’m sorry I snapped at you, you didn’t deserve it. You’ve been there for me through it all. You’re the best little sister and best friend I could ask for. I’ll call you once I know exactly what’s happening.”
I tiptoed down the stairs and heard my dad chopping vegetables in the kitchen. As quietly as I could, I slipped out the back door and headed for Harry’s. I knew my father well enough to know that he would come straight to Harry’s as soon as he realized I wasn’t home. This meant that Zayn and I only had approximately half an hour to get out of the house and go somewhere that we could just stay for a few days. Like Zayn said, we wouldn’t worry about anyone else. It could finally just be about me and him.
I sat back down on my bed and buried my face into my hands. The constant pounding in my head seemed to get worse with every silent minute that passed. I sat there for who knows how long, just staring at the hardwood floor and thinking. I casually eyed that stack of magazines sitting on my dresser, and picked the pile up. I carried them outside to Harry’s recycling in the garage, and tossed them in one by one.
When I got to the last magazine I looked at it closely. I almost smiled at the picture on the cover. Regardless of what happens now, I will never forget the night that I first met her. The night that we first kissed stuck in my memory like it was yesterday. I couldn’t help but smile when I thought about the first time that she said ‘I love you.’ So many times I’ve wished we could just go back to when we didn’t worry about anyone else. Her father, the boys, the fans, none of them existed when we were together.
I looked up suddenly to find Kendall standing in the driveway, smiling at me warily.
I mirrored her smile, “Hello love.”
She shook her head and took the magazine from my hand, “Did you finally read it?”
I nodded and cleared my throat, “Yeah I did.”
She sighed and tossed it into the bin with the dozens of others, “There. Out of sight, out of mind, right? Let’s just forget about it.”
I waited for a moment and looked at her curiously. “Right. Good thinking.”
I watched her pick up a large pick duffle bag up off of the cement and walk into the backdoor of Harry’s house.
I followed her up the stairs and into my room. After securely shutting the door behind me, I turned to Kendall, who had taken a seat on my bed.
I sat down next to her and took her hand, intertwining our fingers together perfectly.
“Aren’t you wondering why I’m here?” She asked.
“Well, yes. But I figured since you’re here, I wouldn’t ask any questions and just enjoy it.” I said quietly, kissing her softly on her neck, right where she was ticklish.
Surprisingly, she didn’t start giggling like usual. At first she didn’t react, and a slight look of hesitation crossed her gorgeous blue eyes.
I sighed and pushed her curly brown bangs from her eyes, “What is it?”
She curiously eyed the clock on my dresser, then looked to her pink duffle bag on the floor, then back to me and shrugged.
“Kendall…” I got up and opened the zipper to her bag, “What are these for?” After her silence I dug through the bag a little more. I pulled out two train tickets to Liverpool, they read that the train was leaving tonight at 8pm.
“What the hell are these?” I asked, holding them up.
Kendall sighed and cleared her throat quickly, “When I got home tonight, my dad was sitting in the living room reading the magazine. He was beyond mad and told me that I was disrespecting him blah blah, so we got into a fight. So then I decided to pack my bags and buy us a few train tickets, we can just get away for a few days!”
She got up and started to pick some clothes out of my drawers, “I saved a little room in my bag for some of your clothes so that we wouldn’t have to waste time packing, so if we want to get there in time we have to-”
“Kendall.” I said slowly.
“-leave in right about 20 minutes-”
“-we can just take a cab there don’t you think?”
“KENDALL!” She stopped talking and looked at me. I shook my head and pressed my palm to my forehead, “Slow down. You bought us train tickets to Liverpool without telling me? We can’t just get up and leave!”
“Why not?” She asked me. “I thought you wanted time for just us?”
“I do.” I started to put my clothes back into my drawers. “But not like this.”
“So you… don’t want to go with me?” She asked sadly.
“Of course I do,” I said, “There’s nothing I want more. But I still can’t let you do this, it doesn’t feel right.”
“I’m not going back home!” She shouted, “My dad’s already pissed at me, then once he finds out I tried to run away?” Her eyes widened at the thought and she shook her head, “I’m not going back, I’ll just live here!”
She sat on my bed and crossed her legs, motioning to zip her lips and throw away the key, “You won’t even know I’m here, I swear.”
“No babe, that’s not going to work. This will be the first place your dad looks when he figures out that you’re not home.” I looked at my watch and knew that her father would be knocking at our door any minute now.
“I thought you would want this Zayn.” Her big blue eyes looked at me pleadingly, “It would be just the two of us…”
She wrapped her arms around the back of my neck and smiled, whispering, “Completely alone.”
I thought about it for a moment, but then shook my head, “Kendall stop! Don’t get me wrong, I really want to go. But you’re not going to change my mind.”
“Now pack up your things, I’m taking you home.” I ordered, kissing the very tip of her nose. “I’ll be downstairs.”
She frowned at me angrily and I laughed, “You’re cute when you try to be mad.”
“Ugh.” She shoved me out of the room playfully and I walked downstairs.
The boys were sitting in a circle in the living room, a movie was playing in the background but they were all too concentrated on Harry’s voice.
“Lexi just told me that her dad’s going mad looking for Kendall.” Harry said worriedly, “Lexi knows she’s here but doesn’t know what to tell him.”
Liam turned to look at me, “Zayn, you better not be planning on running away with Kendall, it’ll only make things wor-”
“I’m not going with her Liam, I’m taking her home.” I interrupted, Liam and the boys looked pleasantly surprised, “But thanks for having faith in me, lads, means a lot!”
A few seconds later Kendall stomped down the stairs, a little too dramatically, with a frown on her face. She looked at the boys and said, “Well it was nice knowing all of you, I’ll never see you again once I get home, so I love you all.”
They each got their turn to hug Kendall, saving Harry for last, who kissed her forehead and smiled.
As she was leaving she turned to smile at the boys once more, who waved back at her.
“Well here we are, our last walk together as a couple.” Kendall complained, “Cause I’m so dead, and you are too.”
I laughed and threw my arm around her shoulder, “You don’t think you’re being a little overdramatic?”
“No, Zayn really, we’re both in so much trouble.”
“I understand that,” I nodded, “But just act calm, don’t get too defensive or it will make it worse.”
I only started feeling nervous I actually knocked on Kendall’s front door. How would her dad react when he found out she was with me?
The door swung open not 5 seconds later and Kendall’s dad was standing there, staring at us in shock. His eyes were red from recently shed tears and his whole body flooded with relief when he saw his daughter standing there.
“Kendall!” He threw his big arms around his daughter’s petite figure and even more tears started strolling down his face. “Don’t you ever do that to me again.” As he hugged his daughter tighter, his eyes wandered to the duffle bag sitting on the front porch, and the two train tickets resting on top of it, then up to me.
“Dad…” Kendall said from under his tight grasp.
Her dad let her go but held her shoulders at arm length, “Thank God you’re home. You can’t ever do that to me again, I mean it.” He looked at me again and said, “Now go take your stuff upstairs love, I want to talk with Zayn here.”
Kendall looked back at me and furrowed her brows, “It’s okay,” I told her, “Go tell your sister you’re home.”
“So Zayn.” Mr. Rhodes shut the front door behind him walked out onto the front porch. “Before we get ahead of ourselves I’m going to tell you that I don’t like you very much, at all.”
I gulped nervously and nodded, “I know.”
“Frankly, I think my daughter can do much better.” He said.
“Me too.” I agreed. “She can do much better.”
“I don’t appreciate that you both went behind my back, that’s not the way to get on my good side.” He scolded.
“No disrespect sir, but I was on your bad side long before Kendall and I started dating.” I said quietly.
“You’re right, you were.” He said, “But regardless, I appreciate you bringing Kendall home. I saw the train tickets, and I want to thank you. Thank you for taking care of her, and doing what’s best for her, and not what’s best for yourself.”
He stuck out his hand for me to shake, and I gratefully shook it.
“It really showed me a lot about your character.” He said, “I still don’t like you, Zayn, but I like you more now knowing that I can trust your judgment. And as much as I hate to admit it, you seem to make Kendall happy, and I’m thankful for that too. It hasn’t quite been the same since, you know, her mother passed.”
I nodded and smiled, “Thank you.”
“I give you permission to take me daughter out on one date.” He said, standing up. “Then we’ll see where things go.”
“Uhh…” I scratched my head and stood up with him, “Well thanks.”
Kendall came rushing downstairs as soon as we walked inside the house, looking back forth between her dad and me.
“Well I’ve had quite a day, I think I’ll go read a bit in my room before I go to sleep. Goodnight sweetheart.” Kendall’s dad kissed her head, and gave me a short nod, barely smiling, before he walked upstairs and left us alone.
“So?” Kendall said sadly, “Is this it then?”
“Yes. We’re starting completely over.” I said.
“What do you mean?” She asked.
“It’s time for us to only worry about us.” I said, taking her hands. “Now that our relationship is out in the open, we can just focus on that.”
She smiled brightly, “So the talk went well then?”
I nodded happily, “In fact, I would like to formally ask you out to dinner.”
“Ask me out?” She laughed.
“For our first real date, as a couple that everyone knows about, even your dad.” I said proudly.
“Well in that case, dinner would be great. Maybe if you’re lucky, you can even get a kiss afterwards.” She said.
“Kendall, you know I never kiss on the first date.”
She smiled and inched her face closer to mine, tempting me with every second she got closer.
“Maybe I can make an exception.” I whispered.
She nodded and giggled, before lightly pressing her lips on mine.
“I think I like the new us.” I mumbled into her lips.
She pulled back and looked right into my eyes, more adoringly than she ever had before, “I think I do too.”
THE END! ;)
I have no idea if anyone even read this anymore, but if you do, thank you! i love you :)