Those Blue Eyes
  • Chapter  1: August 2009, Mullingar, Westmeath, Ireland

  “Heads up!” I jerked my head up to the sky when suddenly a soccer ball hit me in the face. The immediate pain from the ball left my nose in serious pain and I found it hard to breathe through it. I leaned my head back and held my nose in case it started bleeding. A few seconds later, one of the boys that I was watching play soccer starts running toward me.

   When he gets closer, I get a better look at him. He was a rather small boy. He was wearing a green shirt, shorts and had blond hair. When he reached me, I noticed he had really blue eyes. Probably the best blue eyes I had ever seen on a boy.

   “Oh my god! I’m so sorry!” he said with an Irish accent. “Are you ok? Oh my, this is all my fault!”

   “It’s ok really, I’m fine.” I assured him.

   “Oh man but I hit your nose! That must have hurt! I’m so sor-“

   I cut him off, “Do you always ramble on like this?”

   “Only when I’m apologetic.” When he smiled, he revealed a set of crooked, white teeth. “I’m Niall”

   “I’m Adina.” I said as I stood up.

   “Well Adina, I’m glad you are alright. I am so sorry again.”

   “Don’t worry about it. I’m fine.” I turned away from him to pick up my bag. “Well Niall, it was nice chatting but, I should be getting back to my grandparent’s house.”

   “Wait you are leaving now?”

   “Well I don’t know about you, but I’m a bit embarrassed.”

   “You’re embarrassed? I just hit a girl in the head with a football!”
   “Yeah you should be embarrassed. That was a lousy kick. What’s the matter don’t know how to kick a soccer ball?”

   “I know how to kick a football! I just had one bad kick. And it’s football by the way. Emphasis on the foot. But I’m assuming you call it a soccer ball because you must be from America correct? I noticed you have an American accent.”

  “Well you’ve guessed correctly. I’m from Boston, I’m just visiting family here.”

  “Boston huh? I’ve got family there myself. But I’ve never been.”

  “Well you should go sometime. It’s not a bad place. Anyway Niall I really should get going.”

  “Oh come on I just kicked a football at your head, let me buy you something to eat.”

  “I don’t know…”

  “Oh it’ll be quick.” He smiled and as he did, his blue eyes lit up.

  “I guess a quick bite wouldn’t hurt.”

  “Great let me get my stuff. There’s a place down the street.” Niall ran to get his stuff and quickly came back. “After  you” he said and we started walking.

    ~A couple of hours later~

   “Yeah! I got so nervous that I accidently kicked the soccer ball right at my coach’s head! Oh it was so embarrassing!” said Niall. We were both laughing as we walked out of the small café.

   “So you were always a lousy soccer player weren’t you?”

   “I happen to be a great player thank you very much!”

   “Yeah sure. If you want to learn how to kick a ball properly give me a shout, I’ll teach you how it’s done!”

    “oh you’ll teach me?!” Niall sounded amused.

    “I’ll school you!!” I said. When he started laughing, it was rather contagious. It was such an adorable laugh.

    “Well, if you think you can school me, prove it. Lets go play some football right now. Maybe you can show me how to kick a ball properly.”

    I blushed. “Sounds great. But I have to go.”

    “Well okay, how bout tomorrow?” he asked.

    “I can’t. I’m actually going home to Boston….tonight.”

    All signs of happiness on his face disappeared. “Wait, so you’re leaving tonight? I just met you.”

    “I know, I know. I’m really sorry but I have to go back.”

    “Well when are you coming back to Mullingar?”

    “I’m not sure.” Disappointment spread across his face as well as mine. I couldn’t believe that after meeting a charming and funny guy, I had to go back to America. Talk about the worst timing.

   “It’s ok. How bout the next time you’re here, just find me. But for now, here’s my number.” He pulled out a piece of paper from his bag, wrote down his number and gave it to me. “We can talk while you’re in Boston. And when you come back, you can give me that private lesson.”

   “Yeah. I’d really like that.”

 Just then my grandparents pull up in their car and my grandpa yells at me to get a move on.

 “Well I have to go. I don’t wanna miss my flight. It was very nice meeting you Niall.”

 “Yeah it was very nice meeting you too, Adina.” I turned away and ran to the car. When I got in, I turned my head back to Niall. He was still standing there looking at me. Our eyes were locked on each other until the car pulled away. Then those blue eyes were gone.

  “Was that the Horan boy you were talking to Adina?” my grandma asked.

  “Yeah”

  “Sweet boy. Very nice family. Maybe the next time you visit we can invite the Horan’s over for dinner.” I got excited at the idea, but my excitement faded as I grew hopeless. I didn’t know when I was coming back. It could be a couple of years. And a lot can happen in a couple of years…

  •     Chapter 2: 2 years later, London.

   After months of being a waitress, I was absolutely sick of it. I want to quit. I want to so bad, but I need the job to pay the bills.

    Ever since I moved to London last year, things have been different. Back in Boston, I was surrounded by friends and family. I was home. Now, I am on my own.

   “Adina,” I turned to find my best friend Heather behind me. “Table 5 needs to be cleaned.”

   “What happened to the busboy?”

   “Just got fired. They found weed on him.” Heather said.

   “Seriously why is it always the busboy?”

   “Beats me. Now come on Adina. Table 5. Move it!”

   “Oh come on please do it for me. I’ve been running around all night. I need a break.” I looked at Heather with a puppy face. Lame but apparently it worked on her. She had tan skin, straight jet black hair and very light brown eyes that reminded you of chocolate.

  “Alright fine.”

  “Thank you. You’re the best!”

  “Yeah and don’t you forget it.” When she walked away, I turned to go to the bathroom. When I almost got there, the men’s room door suddenly opens and slams into my face. I fell backward onto the floor.

   “Oh! I’m so sorry! I didn’t see you there!” said the old man. When I looked up, all I could see were blurry figures surrounding me. I could hear lots of voices all asking if I was okay, but one particular voice stood out. Someone was calling my name. “Adina? Adina? Adina, are you alright?”

   When my vision started to get clearer, the source of the voice became visible. I looked up and recognized those blue eyes. It was Niall Horan.

  •     Chapter 3:

    “Niall?” I couldn’t believe my eyes.

    “Are we gonna keep meeting like this?” he asked.

    “Well I sure hope not. Don’t wanna end up brain dead.” I started to laugh. He pulled me up. When I came to a standing position, I started feeling dizzy.

    “Are you ok?”

    “Yeah I’ll be fine.” I told him.

    “I can’t believe this. Come sit.” We both sat at the nearest booth.

    “Are you here alone?”

    “No, I’m here with my boys.” As he turned his head, we both looked over at four gorgeous looking boys sitting at a table farther away. He turned back to me. “Adina, how’ve ya been?”

   “I’ve been good. And you?”

   “Ah, I’m doing alright. What are ya doing in London?”

   “I’m living here now.”

   “Really? That’s great!” His eyes lit up as he smiled. When I looked into his eyes, I saw that boy I met two years ago. He was still the same. Well, almost the same.

   “I’m just so surprised to see you. I mean of all places!”

   “Yeah and under these conditions yet again.” He lightly tapped on my forehead where I got hit. When he touched me, a chill went down my spine.

   “So, Niall, things have…certainly changed since we last talked.”

   “Yeah, a little.” He said with absolute modesty.

   “A little?” I found myself amused. “If I’m not mistaken someone has been rather busy lately.”

   “It’s nothing really.”

   “Nothing? You call girls screaming their heads off at you nothing?”

   “Well yeah it’s big, but I mean, you don’t need to hear about my life. My life is everywhere.” He looked longingly into my eyes. “I’d much rather hear about you. Considering I haven’t talked to you in more than a year now.” I had sort of felt this coming. I talked to Niall on the phone for almost a year after I left Ireland. I spoke to him at least three times a week, right up until he auditioned for X Factor. Then, the amount of phone calls between each other waned. It was mostly my fault. I just stopped calling him.

  “So, why did you stop calling?” Niall asked.

  “I just got busy. When  school started I decided I really needed to focus on school.”

  Niall looked unconvinced. “School? I’ve talked to you long enough to know that you’d look for any excuse to not do schoolwork.”

  “I jus-“ I was cut-off by my boss, Gloria, who appeared behind Niall

  “Adina, your break is over. Chop chop! There’s more people arriving.” She said. Her voice always annoyed me. She almost reminded me of Cruella every time she spoke. She always forced her accent.

  “Do you mind if she stayed for five more minutes?” Niall looked up to a dumbfounded Gloria.

  “Why Mr. Horan, I did not see you there. I apologize, but I’m afraid Adina must get back to work.”

  “I’m sorry Niall. I should get back to work” Gloria walked away as I got up.

  “ I understand. I think I’m just gonna go now.”

  “So soon?” I asked.

  “The boys and I were going to leave anyway, before you got knocked down.”

  “I see.” I looked over to find his four buddies staring. “Well, I’ll see you around Niall.”

  “See me around? You aren’t planning on just leaving me again are you?”

  “Look Niall, I’m sorry I stop-“

  “Hold that thought. You can tell me when you let me take you out to dinner. How bout this Friday?”

  “Are you asking me on a date?”

  “No I was just inviting you to come watch me eat. Of course I’m asking you out silly!” His grin was so wide. He seemed so… happy, which killed me even more to say these words, “I’m sorry Niall, but no.”

  And then his perfectly crooked teeth disappeared and were replaced by a frown. I turned from Niall and walked away as his sad face burned on the back of my mind. My rejection shocked Niall and it managed to shock me as well.

  •     Chapter 4: The next day

   ”I can’t believe it!” Heather said as we were setting up tables. It was nearly noon and more people started to arrive. I told her what had happened last night. “Why the hell would you turn down Niall Horan?”

  “Exactly! Because he’s Niall Horan!”

  “So? If you’ve known him for what, two years, I think that’s long enough time. It’s time to see what could happen Adina. Unless you do things the old fashioned way and wait ‘til you’re married to have your hand hold.”

  “Oh like your grandmother?” I said jokingly.

  “Exactly. And after ten years of marriage, you guys can finally kiss.”

  “I don’t know. Ten years isn’t really worthy of some lip action. I’d make it fifteen years.”

  “Oh stop! Now I can barely wait to get married now!” We both started to laugh. “But seriously, why’d you turn him down?”

  “It’s complicated.”

  “Complicated? Oh I get it, you’re a lesbian!”

  “I am not a lesbian and would you keep your voice down?!” I looked around to see if anyone was staring. Heather had a tendency to talk loudly. “Look it’s just, when I met him, he was Niall. Just Niall. Now he’s…..”

  “Niall? Look, he’s probably still the same guy.”

  “Yeah but look at him. He’s in a band, he’s got an album coming out and he’s got screaming fans around every corner.”

  “And? Your point?”

  “To him, I’m Adina. But to everyone else, I’m just-“

  “A gold-digger?”

  “Heather!” I gasped.

  “Look I’m not calling you one, but is that how you feel?”

  “No! That’s not at all what I was thinking! It’s just-“

  “Just what?” Those words scared me when I realized it wasn’t Heather who cut me off. I turned around to find Niall standing there waiting for me to finish. “It’s just what?”

   Heather walked away. “Niall, what are you doing here?”

  “Well last night I got brutally rejected and now I’m here to find out why.”

  “Listen I know I owe you an explanation-“

  “Oh you owe me more than an explanation, Adina.”

  “I’m so sorry.”

  “Look, you can explain everything when you let me take you out tomorrow night.” Niall paused and waited for my response. I smiled as I looked at him.

  “You’re just not going to give up are you?”

  “I’m not one to give up.”

  My smile grew even wider. “Alright, you can take me out tomorrow night. I get off work at seven.”

  He smiled, “Great, I’ll pick you up then.”

  “Now I have to get back to work.”

  “Yeah, I should be getting back to the boys. I’ll see you tomorrow then.”

  “See ya tomorrow.” Niall walked toward the door when he turned back to me.

  “Oh and Adina, try not to hit your head again. I don’t want my date to have a concussion.” He laughed.

  “You’re such a joker Horan.”

  “Oh no, I’m not the joker, that’s Louis.” He winked. Then he turned and left.

  •      Chapter 5: The date

   As I played with my pen at hostess podium, I started getting butterflies in my stomach. All I could think of was my date tonight. Minutes, hours passed and it was getting closer to seven.

  “He’ll show” Heather said as she came up behind me.

  “I’m not worried that he’ll stand me up. I know he will show.”

  “What is it then? You nervous?”

  “No……maybe”

  “What’s there to be worried about? He’s obviously really into you.”

  “That can change tonight”

  “Why?” Heather asked.

  “It’s our first date and well….. I’m afraid that it might not go well.”

  “Oh come on Adina that’s crazy talk. You’re just nervous…..Or unless you don’t want him to find out about Luke.”

  “Do you really think I wanna talk about this now?”

  “You’re right I’m sorry. Talking about your ex isn’t exactly something you should do on your first date.”

  “Exactly. Luke is in my past.”

  “That’s the spirit mate. Forget about Luke.”

  Just as Heather said that, Niall walked in. He was dressed modestly, wearing a pink polo and jeans. I couldn’t help but smile. When I first hung out with Niall back in Ireland, I told him I didn’t like fancy first dates. I actually didn’t like fancy dates at all. He must have remembered. “Oh, I’m already starting to forget about him.”

  Niall walked over to me, “You ready?”

  “Of course.”

  “Are you going to tell me where we’re going?” I asked.

  “Nope.”

  “Not even a hint?”

   “A hint?”

  “Yes a hint.”

  “It’s a surprise Adina.”

  “Oh alright.”

  Niall and I continued walking. We passed cafes, we passed shops. We passed almost everything, which left me wondering where we were heading even more. Then as we turned a corner, he stopped in front of a door to a building that seemed empty. He knocked on the door. All of a sudden, a man came out.

  “Hey Niall. Right on time.” The man said.

  “Hey thanks man.” Niall grabbed my hand and led me inside, passing the man who let us in. We walked down a hall to a big, dark room. Niall walked inside, turned to what appeared to be a switch and turned on the lights. Suddenly, an indoor soccer field appeared.

   I was in disbelief. “What are we doing here?”

  “Well if I’m not mistaken, I believe you  once told me you could ‘school’ me in football.”

  “Yeah I believe I said that. And I’m right, I know I can.”

  “Oh really? Prove it.”

  Niall grabbed a soccer ball from a rack. We took our shoes off and walked over to one of the nets.

  “Ok so here’s how it’s gonna go. I want you to try to get the ball into the other goal down there.”

  “But?”

  “But, you have to try and get it past me.”

  “That’ll be easy.” I started running down the field, kicking the ball. Niall kept trying to kick it away from me but I pushed him away. Suddenly Niall came up behind me and picked me up. “Niall!” He turned around and started kicking the ball toward the other net, still carrying me. When he reached the other net, he kicked the ball in.

  “GOAL!” Niall yelled. He put me down.

  I slapped him on the arm. “That’s not fair Horan, you cheated.”

  “Where in the rule book does it say I can’t pick you up?”  

  “I say you can’t pick me up.”

  “Oh so we’re going by your rule book?”

  “That’s right, and I say you’re a cheater.”

  “A cheater huh?” Niall picked me up and spun me around.

  “Niall put me down!” We both started laughing. He eventually put me down when suddenly our eyes met. We stood still, holding our gaze. Niall’s eyes were so gorgeous. I could look into his eyes all day.

When our faces were just inches from each other, I broke the silence, “Listen I haven’t really eaten at all today, mind if we could go get something to eat?”

  “Sure. Come one let’s go. Don’t want you to pass out.”    

  “Yeah, because it would be so weird to pass out from anything other than a head injury.”

  “I know. It just, wouldn’t be Adina.” He laughed.

  •   Chapter 6:

When we left the building, we started walking toward a small café.

  “Niall, I’ve been wondering, how come no one has spotted you? I mean like paparazzi or fans, no one has come up to you.”

  “I guess I’m lucky tonight. Besides no one is looking for me.”

  “Who wouldn’t wanna look for you?” I smiled.

  I looked toward him to find a doubtful smile on his face. He then started talking again,“So, I’ve been meaning to ask you, why did you move to London?”

  “I don’t know, I guess I wanted a change in scenery. You know, something….different.”

  “Something different?”

  “Something better. A fresh start.”

  “I see. A fresh start.”

  “Yeah. I mean, don’t you get tired of the same thing? You know like waking up in the same city, doing the same thing.”

  “Well it all depends on what you’re there for. If you love what you do, things like that don’t bother you.”

  “That’s easy for you to say. You’ve got a pretty exciting life.”

  “And you don’t?”

  “No, not really.”

  “I highly doubt that.”

  “And what makes you doubt that?”

  “Have you ever talked to yourself?”

  “That’s a weird question.”

  “No I meant, you always seem so exciting.”

  “What do you mean?”

  “Whenever we would talk on the phone, you were always so…lively. You would talk about anything and everything. I could sit for hours just listening to everything you had to say and never get bored.”

  “Those were just conversations, Niall. Doesn’t mean my life is exciting.”

  “Well it seemed exciting to me.” Niall’s tone suddenly built the tension between us. Niall stopped in front of a bench and he turned to me. “You stopped calling me during a time I needed you. I was doing something that meant so much to me. Going on stage every week, singing. And every week  looked forward to your call. I looked to you for support. Your support meant everything to me.”

  “I know Niall.”

  “Then why’d you stop?”

  “Truth is, I found myself falling for you.” Niall turned to me. He seemed rather surprised. “I loved our conversations. I always looked forward to calling you. When you told me you were auditioning for X Factor, I was so happy for you. When you’d put me on the phone just so I could hear you practice, I couldn’t help but think…wow. When you sang, you sang to me.” I paused. “Then after you were put into One Direction, I was so proud of you. You’d talk to me for hours about how exciting it all and it made me feel like I was going through it all too. But then I realized, you were so far away and I was stuck in Boston. I started thinking you’d probably forget about me. That you might find someone else. I just thought it couldn’t work……. I only stopped because I was afraid.”

  “Afraid of what?” Niall asked.

  “Afraid of getting hurt.”

  “Adina you could have talked to me about this.”

  “But that’s the thing. I didn’t. I chose to keep you out of my life and I’m sorry for that. You didn’t deserve it.” I sat down on the bench. “I regretted shutting you out every day. It was so hard for me. I wanted to pick up the phone every time you tried calling me. But I just sat there, listening to your voice messages until you finally stopped calling. Then it got a bit easier after, but it still haunted  me.”

  Niall sighed. “You know I don’t usually give up. I never give up. But when I kept calling you, something inside of me told me to just stop. I really didn’t wanna stop, but I was afraid i would end up even more heart broken if I kept trying.” He took a long pause before he continued. “I forgive you.”

  I looked up, “You do?”

  “Of course. I mean forgive and forget. You’re here now. We’re in the same city together. Let’s…start fresh.”

  “Yeah I’d really like that.” Just then Niall leaned into me, and we kissed. His lips were so warm. He put his hand on my face and I felt like I was being touched by an angel. Then we stopped and just looked into each other’s eyes. We both smiled. Then he got up.

  “You coming Adina?” He smiled big and his eyes lit up.

  I couldn’t help but stare at him. Then I got up as well. He was so…beautiful.

  •        Chapter 7: Two weeks later

  “So you hate New York?” Niall asked. The clouds were hiding the sun as Niall and I stepped out of Nando’s. It was only early in the afternoon but it felt like it was later.

  “For the last time, I do not hate New York, I hate New York based sports teams.”

  “Why?” Niall seemed amused asking. He knew all this, he was just trying to push my buttons.

  “You know exactly why!”

  “I know, I know. I’m only teasing ya. How could I not know all this? I mean you used to watch hockey games while we were on the phone. Always screaming your head off, you nut.”

  “Don’t act like you haven’t yelled at a sport before.”

  “Me?” Niall gave me a puppy face, “But I’m Niall Horan.” I playfully pushed him. Niall and I have been together almost every day for the past two weeks.  If we weren’t going to lunch or dinner, it was a movie. And if it wasn’t that, we’d hang at my place watching TV. Niall swiped my hand and held it tight as we continued walking. It was safe to say we were a couple.

   “You know I should be getting back to the studio.” He said.

   “And I have to get back to work.”

  “You do?”

  “Yes I do.”

  “You know we’ve been together for over two weeks, and you have yet to meet the boys.”

  “And you have yet to watch a Bruins game.” I laughed.

  “Adina-“

  “No I’m sorry, I was just kidding. I know it means a lot to you that I meet them.” The way Niall always talked about the boys was rather, sweet. He’d talk about them so often, which made me wonder if he’d talk about me with the boys. “So how about tomorrow?”

  “That’s great! We have to work in the studio but how about after? We’ll all go out.”

  “Sounds like a plan.”

  “Great.” Niall’s smile grew wider. He turned and gazed at me with those blue eyes. It was so hard to not get lost in them. Then he looked down. “Are you gonna finish that?” Niall was pointing to my drink.

  “Here, finish it.” I gave it to him and he kissed me on the cheek.

  •       Chapter 8: The next day

  I held Niall’s hand tightly as we waited outside a restaurant in North London. “Relax”, Niall said “They’ll love you.”

  He gave me a reassuring smile. I was a bit nervous. I felt like I was meeting Niall’s family. Well, I guess I was actually. I was never nervous meeting new people, but this time it was different. And it wasn’t because they were famous. Fame had nothing to do with this. It was all a matter of being accepted.

  I wanted the boys to like me. I mean, if I was going to be with Niall, I was going to see them often. But what if they didn’t like me? Or what if just one of them didn’t like me? In Niall’s eyes, I was the girl he’d been dying to know after two years. In their eyes, well, what if I was just some random girl to them. Maybe they thought of me as nothing considering Niall and I have only been going out for two weeks. I tried telling myself that their opinion didn’t matter, that Niall’s was the only one I should care about. Niall obviously must have thought of me as more than just some girl, because here I was, two weeks into our relationship and I was already meeting his best friends.

  “Here they come” said Niall. We turned around to find four boys walking in our direction. Zayn was wearing a red, white letterman jacket and his hair was down. His face looked rather sad and cold yet his eyes were so warm, inviting. Louis was wearing a blue button-up shirt and his hair was a bit messy. His smile was rather adorable. Harry was wearing a dark purple sweater and a huge smile. When he smiled, he showed his dimples. Liam was wearing a jacket and a plain white tee. His hair was nearly as curly was Harry’s.

   When I put all the observations I made in my head together, I realized they were all so….so, beautiful. As the four boys came closer, I got even more butterflies in my stomach. Niall let go of my hand to hug the boys upon their arrival. “Boys, this is my girl, Adina.” The way Niall said my name, ‘my girl’, made me blush. His accent was flawless. I could listen to him say my name all day. “Adina, this is Harry, Liam, Louis and Zayn.”

   Louis came closer to shake my hand,” It’s nice to meet you Adina.”

  “Yeah it’s great to meet you”, Zayn said as he came up behind Louis.

   Harry walked over and gave me a big, unexpected hug. “It’s so nice to finally meet you.”

   After Harry finished hugging me, Liam shook my hand. “Definitely, we’ve heard so much about you.”

  “Well it’s so nice to meet you all as well. Niall just couldn’t stop talking about you.”

  “Oh no, I stopped after a while.” He tried to sound tough, as if he hardly talked about the boys.

  “Yeah, to take a breath.” I teased. The boys laughed.

  “So let’s head in.” Liam opened the door and we all started to walk into the restaurant, one by one.

    Two hours later:

   “Ok guys I get it. Very funny” Niall said sarcastically.

  “Oh I can picture Niall wearing a dress.” I turned to see Niall’s straight face.

  “Oh I think we all can.” Louis winked at Niall.

  “Actually I think we can all picture you wearing a dress, Louis.” Zayn was cracking himself up.

  “Well, I’m not going to lie, I have the hair for it.” Louis flipped his hair in, what seemed like, a seductive way. We all started laughing.

  “So Adina,” Harry started off, “enough about us, lets’ hear about you. What brings you to London?”

  “Well, I just really wanted to live here. I had always wanted to live somewhere else besides Boston my whole life so I figured, why not London?”

  “Why not London?” asked Liam.

  “No, Liam, it was a rhetorical question” said Zayn.

  “Ohhh.”

  “So what’s Boston like?” Zayn looked at me with curious eyes.

  “It’s like London, I guess. Except it’s in America and it’s much smaller than London. But other than that it’s a pretty fun city. They’re very big on sports there.”

  “Sports? Like football?” Louis looked rather hopeful.

  “If by football you mean American football, then yes. Other than that not really. Boston is also big with basketball, baseball and hockey.”

  “Well do you prefer a certain sport?”

  “I love soccer. Always cheered on the New England Revolution growing up, but I’m also really into hockey. The professional hockey team from Boston, the Bruins, is like my guilty pleasure. I hate to miss a game.”

  Niall intervened, “Yeah whenever we hang out at her house, she always has a Bruins game on. I’ve actually been getting into the sport myself. Well, considering it’s practically the only thing we watch.”

  “Oh hush, you know you enjoy watching it.”

  “Yeah, because I’m with you.” I could feel my cheeks turn red, which wasn’t exactly what I wanted to happen in front of the boys.

  “Well, if Niall can get into hockey, then I’m sure we all could. We should all watch these Bruins together. You know, it’d be fun to hang out again” said Louis.

  “Yeah, tonight’s been fun. So Adina, what do ya say? Think you can put up with us again?” Louis, Zayn, Harry and Liam made the goofiest faces.

  I couldn’t help but laugh, “Of course, I’d love to. Just try not to make such a mess.” I pointed to the table we were at. Plates, stains and drinks were everywhere.

  Then Harry pushed the mess toward Niall. “Niall did it, not us.”

  “Oh, I know Niall did it.” I said as I gave Niall a smirk.

  Twenty minutes later:

  After we left the restaurant, the boys had each given me a hug and had told me they loved meeting me. Then Niall started to say goodbye to them. They all exchanged hugs, smiles and jokes. As I watched them, I realized something. I realized that they weren’t those boys you see all over magazines and teenage girls’ walls. They were just, boys. Five gorgeous boys that, when you really looked at them, seemed to fit. Now I noticed while Niall spoke so highly of them. They weren’t just his band mates, they were more.

  The boys left. They kept looking back and waving, all smiles. “So, ready for me to take you home?” asked Niall.

  “Yeah. Let’s go.” He grabbed my hand and he called a cab. Once we got in, it felt like five minutes later when we reached my apartment.

  “I had fun tonight Niall. I really like the boys.”

  “And they really liked you. I told you they would.” Niall kissed me and for a minute, we were the only ones in the cab, aside from the driver who seemed rather annoyed. I backed away from Niall and opened the car door.

  “Thank you for tonight. Goodnight Niall.”

  “Goodnight Adina” he said. I closed the door and walked into my building. I climbed the stairs, entered my apartment and immediately closed the door behind me. I couldn’t stop smiling, thinking about the incredible evening I had. My dog, Starbux ran over to greet me. The reason behind the odd name was because when I first got him, I accidently spilt Starbucks coffee all over the poor pup. I am such a klutz.

   I walked over to my coffee table to realize that I had left my cell phone here. I picked it up to see three unread messages, all from Heather, asking how it went. I also noticed one missed call from an unknown number. When I looked I recognized the number. Any signs of happiness were wiped from my face when I realized exactly who called me. It was Luke.

  •   Chapter 9: 1 month later…

  My smile grew wider as I stared at him. In a sea of craziness, screams and tears, he remained the same. He was flawless, standing there and signing autographs. He hadn’t changed since we first met. Still friendly.  Still funny.  Still charming. The only thing that changed was everything around us.

  Since the release of ‘What Makes You Beautiful’, things started to happen so fast. Promotions, signings, small gigs. I had already began popping up on the internet. Pictures of Niall and I were everywhere. I was trying to get used to it all, but it wasn’t sinking in. I started to get overwhelmed and Niall constantly worried about me:

  “What if I got on tour? What if it spreads beyond the UK or Ireland?”

  “So? Niall, that would be amazing.”

  “But Adina, that means I see you less.”  He looked toward me with sad blue eyes, “Things are gonna be different now. I mean, I wouldn’t be surprised if you left.”

   I ran my left hand through his hair. I leaned down to kiss him softly. I backed away, “No matter what happens, I don’t wanna lose what we’ve got. I’m not leaving you Niall Horan.”

   “And I don’t want you to.” Niall kissed me back. After that, I knew Niall and I could be great. Neither of us had intentions to leave. And why would we?

  As I looked over at the crowd of people, Niall waved at me to jump in the car. As I tried making my way over, Niall continued to talk to fans. His smile, his laugh, his way with people, it was hard to believe a guy could be this perfect. It was even harder to believe that a guy this perfect was mine. And I didn’t intend on losing him.

     A couple hours later:

   “Can you make my hair as curly as Harry’s?” asked Louis as I was curling his hair.

   “Babe, no one’s hair can be as curly as Harry’s” I told him.

   “It’s true. I’m one of a kind” Harry said confidently.

   “Harry, you’re about as one of a kind as…. Ooooh” Niall lost his train of thought as Harry brought out a batch of cookies.

   The boys tagged along every time Niall came to my house. I couldn’t say that I didn’t mind, but the boys are so sweet. I found them rather brother-like.

    “Aww Lou! Your hair!” I gave Louis a mirror.

   “Whoa! Talk about some sexy curls!” Louis started making kissy faces in the mirror.

   “First Liam, now Lou? Does everyone want my hair?” Harry’s hands were on his hips.

   “Gosh Harry, I didn’t copy you!” said Liam.

   “Well then. No cookies for you.” Harry snatched the plate of cookies.

   “Styles, you bring that back right now!” Niall had a mouth full of cookies.

   As Niall gave Harry the evil look, Zayn walked in, “You know Adina, that mirror in your room, gives such good reflection.”

   “Well Zayn, that’s what mirrors do….. wait, why were you in my room?”

  “What? I wasn’t.”

  “But you just said-“

  Louis jumped up, “Who wants to play Mario Kart?”

  Zayn ran to the TV, “ME!”

  Just then Niall got up and went to the kitchen, and Liam sat closer to me, “What’s up Liam?”

  Liam lowered his voice as if he was telling a secret, “I’ve been meaning to ask you something. The other day, you’re phone started ringing and well, I took a peak. And I was wondering, who’s Luke?”

  I immediately felt tongue tied, “It’s no one.”

  “No one? So you just get twenty calls from no one?”

  “It’s really just nothing, Liam”

  “As long as you’re not cheating-“

  “Liam!” I whispered loudly.

  “Ok, ok! I’m sorry, I don’t know why I said that. Just care about him is all.”

  “Liam I do too. I could never do something like that to Niall.”

   “Alright, I believe you. I’m sorry again.”

  “It’s ok Liam.” Suddenly my stomach turned. I did nothing wrong, but now that Liam knows, I feel like shit. I’m keeping a secret from Niall, the guy I care so much about. I mean, was it even that big of a deal? So what if I don’t wanna tell him about Luke. Luke is in my past, and definitely didn’t want to bring him up again, but he kept popping up. And I grew afraid Niall would find out about him. But I was afraid that if Niall doesn’t find out about him, I’d feel like I’m keeping a bigger secret. One that could damage our relationship, even after we promised not to lie to each other.

  • Chapter 10

  ”You saved Luke’s number in your contacts?” Heather asked as we left Starbucks. “How are stupid are you?”

  “I already had it saved. I didn’t intend on Liam seeing it.” Heather and I opened our umbrellas as it began to rain.

  “Well Adina, no one ever intends for something like that to happen, but guess what? It happened! It always happens. And can you blame Liam for being suspicious? Twenty calls, and counting, from a guy. A guy!”

  “Yeha, yeah I know. I shouldn’t have saved it. It’s my fault.”

  “Damn right it’s your fault. Besides, who hits up a bitch that many times? Poor bastard is probably so frustrated and desperate. No wonder the douche won’t stop bothering you!”

  “I highly doubt that, seeing as he is in Boston and I’m here in London.” The rain started to pick up as we crossed the street.

  “Well, why does he keep calling you then?”

  “I don’t know.”

  “You don’t know?”

  “Yes Heather, that’s what I just said.”

  “Hold on, your ex won’t stop calling you, and you don’t even know why?” Heather seemed amused. “Silly American. Just call the bastard and find out why!”

  “I highly doubt it’s anything important.”

  “Ok, so if it isn’t important, block his calls.”

  I hesitated to answer,”I….hadn’t thought of it.”

  Heather stopped right in front of me. “Oh my god… please don’t tell me you may stilll have feelings for Luke.”

  “Absolutely not!”

  “Well there is a reason you have not blocked him. My guess is that you’re curious to know why he is calling. You know, what he has to stay.”

  Heather is annoying when she is right. “How do you come up with all this? Do you just pull it out of your ass?”

  Heather shrugged, “It’s the truth isn’t it?”

  We continued walking. “He’s probably just calling to be an ass.”

  “Ah, American boy charm”, Heather said sarcastically. “Or it could be something else.”

  “What could it possibly be?” I thought about it. What if it was something else? Could he be trying to tell me something? I immediately stopped wondering as I thought of Niall. “You know what, it doesn’t matter. It’s all about Niall now.”

  ”Yeah. I mean besides, he’s probably just calling to get back together or something. He probably saw pictures of you and Niall and got jealous. Serves him right if that’s why he’s calling. He’s proper cuntish. Let him be jealous.”

  “Could that really be why he’s calling?”

  “Why else? He’s probably pissed about it all. I mean, I’d be pissed if my ex started dating another guy, let alone Niall Horan just a couple weeks after hooking up for the last time.”

  “Heather!” I raised my voice. I looked around to find people staring. I leaned in closer to Heather, as if people were trying to listen in on us. I started getting paranoid as paparazzi knew who I was now, even though paparazzi only followed me when I was with Niall. ”I told you to never talk about that.”

  “Ok I’m sorry. I honestly didn’t think it was that big a deal if Niall found out or not.”

  “Well it is. I can’t tell Niall i hooked up with Luke just a couple weeks before I ran into him.”

  “But shouldn’t you? You have to be honest with him Adina.” It killed me to realize the truth. Niall hates when people aren’t honest with him.

  “I know. I have to tell him. I was just hoping I never had to.”

  “Well better he hears it from you before he hears it from someone else. If you want things to work out, you need to be honest with him.” As Heather kept spitting out words I didn’t want to hear, I started to imagine Niall’s reaction. He’ll either be upset, mad, or both.

  I couldn’t come to terms with the right thing to do “Do I have to?” I started to pout.

  “Adina” Heather shot me a stern look.

  I knew I had to tell Niall. I have to tell him everything, and everything scared me. “Oh boy…”

  • Chapter 11: a few days later

  “You look handsome” I said to Niall. Niall was wearing a black tux and bow tie, as were the rest of the boys.

  “Well you look beautiful, as always.” I looked down at the ice green dress I was wearing. Niall invited me to a charity ball the boys were attending. I wasn’t one to tag along to evnts the boys were going to, but Niall really wanted me to tag along.

  We had just arrived in the limo when I looked out at the sea of people. We stopped and Paul opened to door, “Alright kids let’s go.” The boys all stepped out one by one. When I exited, Paul pulled me to the side for a minute. He held me up, discreetly, because I had nearly lost my balance. Camera flashes and screams were shot in my direction. The word, ‘girlfriend’ rang in my ear. My eyes became unfocused as i felt Niall’s hand lead me through the crowd. Everything happened so fast. It was all a blur really as I realized I was already inside the building.

  “Hey, you ok?” Niall asked.

  “Yeah. I am now anyway.”

  “It takes some getting use to, I know.”

  “Alright, our table is over there.” Paul pointed to a table on the other side of the room, in the corner.

  “Oh. A corner. How lovely” said Harry sarcastically.

~~

  I started panting, “Niall there’s too many stairs!”

  Niall held my hand tighter as he continued dragging me up more flights of stairs. He hadn’t said a word as we kept climbing.

  “Ok Niall, please tell me where we’re going sweetheart.”

  We finally reached the top and stopped in front of a door that read, ‘Roof Access’. “Why are we on the roof?”

  Niall opened the door and we stepped out onto the roof. I was instantly overwhelmed by the beauty of the London skyline. The lights from the skyscrapers filled the black sky with life, almost, and completely surrounded us.

  “Niall…”

  “I thought we could just stay up here for a bit. Get away from all the commotion.” Just as he said that, he gently grabbed the back of my neck and kissed me. It was rather spontaneous really, something I hadn’t witnessed with Niall.

  Niall backed away, “I’ve been meaning to tell ya something.”

  “Yeah? I actually have been meaning to tell you something as well.”

  “Really?” He sounded pleasantly surprised.

  “But you first.”

  “Ok. Well, I know we’ve only been dating for over a month, but I’ve known for over two years. I mean, you’ve become like my best friend. I can tell you anything, and when I’m around you, I don’t have to pretend to be someone I’m not.” Niall started to look nervous.

  I gently brushed my hand against Niall’s cheek, “Niall, since when did you pretend to be someone you’re not? You are the most down-to-earth boy I’ve ever met. Why would you ever have to pretend?”

  “I didn’t mean it like that. I just meant that, with all these things happening so fast….it’s just….easy to lose yourself.” He grabbed my hand that was carefully brushing his cheek. “But when I’m with you, I remember who I am.” He took a long pause before saying three words that nearly knocked me over, “I love you. And I know it seems early to say that, but you’re not just any girl. I’ve known you long enough for me to fall in love with you.” I stared at the pools of blue in his eyes as he looked longingly into mine.

  “Oh Niall”, I breathed, “I love you too.” My heart started to beat faster as he pulled me in and kissed me, but I immediately pushed him away.

  “What’s wrong, Adina?”

  “Niall, there’s something that I have been meaning to tell you. Something that I haven’t been honest about.

  “What is it? You can tell me anything.”

  “When we were talking on the phone, you know after I went back home to Boston, I met someone.”

  Niall looked confused, “What do you mean?”

  “I mean, I met a guy. While you and I were talking, I started going out with him.” It killed me top say every word I had said. To tell this to a boy who had intially put more effort into our relationship than I ever did. “That’s why I stopped calling you.”

  Niall said nothing. He stood there speechless, which was scary. I hadn’t the guts to even look up at his face. I was too afraid of his reaction. I shed a tear as I thought I could lose him this way. That he wouldn’t think I was the person he thought I was. The person who endlessly talked to him on the phone. The accident-prone girl he fell for.

  Suddenly I felt his hand under my chin. He slowly moved my head up. I expected a sad or angry face, but when I looked up, I had seen the same expression I had seen all night.

  “Adina, that doesn’t matter.”

  I was caught off guard, “It doesn’t?”

  “No”, Niall laughed. “There was no way of us being together then. I actually figured that’s why you stopped calling. You found another guy, so why would you need this one?”

  I put my hand on the back of his neck and ran my fingers through his hair. “Well, that other guy turned out to be a jackass.”

  “And that’s just one of the many things I love about you. You swear like you’re Irish.”

  “Well, I do have grandparents who live in Mullingar and I also come from the rough streets of Boston.” We both laughed.

  “Seriously, it doesn’t matter. What matters is now.”

  “You have no idea how relieved I am to hear you say that.” I hugged him. I held him tight, as if I was going to lose him, but I wasn’t. He had made it clear that he doesn’t care about my past, just about our future. As we were embracing, my past rang again, but I immediately turned off my phone and embraced my future a bit more.

  •    Chapter 12: a week later
  While sitting in Starbucks I started to space out while Heather bombarded with questions about the night of the charity ball, until she snapped me out of it. “Earth to Adina”
  “Sorry Heather. What did you say?”
  “Well Dolly Daydream, I asked what happened after he said ‘I love you’” Heather had just gotten back from Spain visiting her grandparents.
  “Oh right. We just went back downstairs.”
  “And?”
  “And Liam accidently elbowed a woman in the boob.”
  “And…” Heather waited for me to conclude.
  “And Liam kept apologizing. I thought he was about to buy her a car with the look on his face it was priceless.”
  “Adina!”
  “And then Niall slept over my house.”
  Heather looked as though the light bulb in her head went off. “‘Slept’ over, or sex-over?” Heather winked.
  “Heather! That’s none of your business.”
  “Yeah saying that basically means it did happen.”
  “Let’s just say all assumptions aren’t being denied.”
  “I knew it you cheeky bastard.” We both laughed. “So Adina, did you tell him?”
  “Yes I told him.”
  “All of it?”
  “Eh…”
  “You didn’t tell him about Luke?!”
  “Of course I did! Just may have left out a few details…”
  “Oh like you hooked up with him a few weeks before you ran into Niall?”
  “Yes. But why would I tell him that? The moment wasn’t right and quite frankly I dont think any moment will be right.” I took a sip of my coffee. When I looked past Heather I’d seen a small blonde boy. I let out a sigh. “Niall said he doesn’t care about my past anway. So I’m just gonna forget it all.”
  “But…” Heather started.
  “But it’s always on my mind. I don’t even know why. It’s like a ghost. Like I feel if I don’t tell Niall, I’ll regret it.”
  “If he said he doesn’t care then just leave it.”
  “I wish I could.” I looked back at the small blonde boy and felt butterflies in my stomach.
  “Are you okay?” Heather asked.
  “Yeah why?”
  “You look a bit pale.”
  My stomach started feeling worse and I felt something in my throat. I rushed to the bathroom and find my way to an empty stall. I started throwing up. I felt Heather behind me, holding my hair back while my face was buried in the toilet.
~
  “Food poisining,” I began “or just something my stomach didn’t agree with.” I was lounging on the couch at Harry and Louis’ apartment. Starbucks was close to their place so Heather and I went there. They had let us in right before they left.
  “Well as long as youre feeling better.” Niall said over the phone.
  “Yeah I’m feeling better.” The boys had all left London for Dublin to their label’s offices.
  “We’ll be back in a few days. You rest up.”
  Harry had cut in, “Don’t leave your girl products all over our apartment.”
  “I’m sorry Harry I’m afraid I didn’t catch that. Speak up.”
  Harry let out a sarcastic laugh. “Relax Harold we’re leaving soon. We’ll take our tampons with us.”
  “Not all of them. Louis ran out.”
  I laughed. Niall got back on the phone, “We gotta go. I’ll call you tonight.”
  “Alright.”
  “I love you” he said sweetly.
  “I love you too.” The call ended. I looked down at my phone and rolled my eyes.
  “Oh look another voice message. I wonder who it could be.” Heather chuckled.
  I don’t if it was the fact that the voice message icon was annoying me or what, but I dialed my voice mail.
  “What are you doing?”
  “There’s a reason he won’t stop calling. Might as well find out why.”
  It rang. When the messages started to play, a hole in my heart that was recently filled began to fester. His voice pained my ears. He droned on and on about how he was sorry. It was all said before. Nothing new. Until I heard his voice breathe three words I only wish to hear Niall say or one day hear my dog bark for amusement and a hit on YouTube.
  He said he still loved me, but I didnt buy it. He must have loved me so much that he left. But i have to be thankful for his departure. I considered it a favor he’d done for me, indirectly.
  The messages continued and I blanklessly listened to every word marked bullshit. Luke had finally shut up  until there was one more message apparently. This time his voice was strong. He said his father was going to retire soon and that Luke had to drop out of school to get the know the business.
  Then I remembered the reason I came to London. Luke was to spend a semester abroad at a business school and I had tagged along. Luke’s family was wealthy so he had bought an apartment for me to stay in, while Luke lived on campus. Luke’s large funds never impressed me and that’s what he admired about me.
  To keep me occupied and to earn money I got a job at the restaurant, where I met Heather. When school started, Luke quickly began to change. A couple of new friends and too many beers later, he became a whole different person. I grew sick of it all and he gave up. He left London and I stayed.
  I figured staying in London with all those bad memories was a good reminder of Luke. Going back to Boston with  with all those good memories would only eventually make me weak-kneed and possiby crawl back. I stayed in London to be strong. To move on with a new life. And now, it’s a new life with Niall.
  Luke continued talking about his father’s retirement. He mentioned he was going to travel to get to know the business more. Then I froze. My head started to spin with confusion and shock.
  Heather was listening too. “A few days?! Luke will be in London in a few days?!”
  I was speechless. 
  “When did you get that message?” Heather grabbed my phone. “Adina, it says you got this message three days ago.”
  Three days ago. That meant he was already here. He was already in London. He came back to haunt me. Suddenly my phone began to vibrate. My ghost had rung.
 
  •   Chapter 13: few days later
  Niall buried his head in my neck as we embraced. We were standing in the middle of Heathrow. The boys’ plane back to London had just landed. I squeezed Niall tighter.
  “Hey easy.” We backed away.
  “Sorry. I just missed you.”
  “I missed you too, but I was only gone a few days silly.”
  “It seemed like forever.” Forever indeed.
  “Well I’m back now. Come on let’s get out of here I’m starving!” He started walking until he realized I hadn’t moved an inch.
  “Niall we should go this way.”
  “But there’s tons of fans out that way.”
  “I know.” I extended my arm. He smiled and grabbed my hand as we walked toward the illustrious exit.
~
  “Hey you’re really cool with the fans.” Niall said. The two of us were curled up on the couch,watching TV.
  “Well I know it’s important to them to see you guys. I wouldn’t want to deprive them of that, even if you’re trying to protect me.
  “Well it’s great to know you love the fans. So what happened while I was gone? Were you laying in bed miserable from missing me?”
  I pinched Niall “Hey I’m only teasing.”
  He might have been teasing, but he was sort of right. I was miserable. My past had arrived in London and I was terrified I’d see him. Niall looked at me as if he could tell something was wrong. “Are you ok?” He pushed my hair behind my ear.
  “What? Yeah I’m fine.”
  He looked unconvinced “Adina.”
  “Niall.”
  “I’m serious. Something’s wrong. What is it?”
  The words I’d wish to tell him tasted sour on the tip of my tongue. I hadn’t wanted to tell him, but simply couldn’t. “Nothing. Everything is fine. I’m just still feeling a little sick.”
  “Oh you wanna take a nap?”
  “No I’m good. I’d rather sit here with you.”
  Niall bent down and kissed me. His lips were soft and tasted like Nandos. Then my dog Starbux jumped up the couch and barked at Niall. We both started laughing.
~
later that day:
  “Another opportunity come and gone. You’re on a roll Adina.” Heather said sarcastically. The both of us were taking a break from waiting tables out in the alley.
  “Well Heather what was I supposed to tell Niall? I can’t just randomly tell him my ex is in town.”
  “Why afraid he’ll wanna meet Luke?”
  “No. And I hope he never does. Knowing the both of them, it wouldn’t end well. Niall being protective and all.”
  “And that’s a bad thing?”
  “Yeah kinda. I know he hurt me and Niall isn’t one to fight, but I can just picture it ending with a bang, literally.”
  “Still don’t see the bad in two guys fighting over you.”
  “It’s wrong. I’m not saying Niall would punch him, but that’s all I can picture him doing.”
  The cool night air brushed up against my cheeks. It was nine o’clock and the street connected to the alley was packed.
  “Look just stop worrying about it.”
  “I can’t Heather.”
  “What are the chances of you running into Luke huh? London is huge. And Niall doesnt even know the bloke. It’s gonna be fine.”
  I dont know why I’m worrying. I’m just so anxious moody lately. I know I probably won’t see Luke. The chances of running into him were slim.
  “I’m just feeling so stressed out about it. It’s all that’s on my mind.” I started feeling queesy again. I put my hand on my stomach and fear had struck me.
  “Adina you still feel sick?”
  “No. Stress always made me nauseous.” I paused for a moment. “…I hope it’s why I’m late…”
 
 
 
 
 
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    I actually love it SO MUCH.!
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