I Wish – Chapter 17

Friday June 8, 2012
San Diego, CA

The next morning, everyone gathered in the hotel lobby. Their buses had arrived and were ready to take them all to their next stop in San Diego.

Niall shifted his weight anxiously as he looked around at the others. Harry and Brittany had yet to arrive, and he was terrified of what was going to happen when they did. He tried not to show his worry on his face, but it was difficult. Fortunately, it was early and everyone was either tired or too busy playing around on their phones to notice.

He couldn’t stop thinking about it. Now that he had actually kissed her, he only wanted to do it more.

That is, until Harry beat him so hard he wouldn’t be able to do much of anything.

He took a deep breath and pulled out his phone, scrolling through his twitter feed to see if there was anything interesting on it. There wasn’t – and he supposed he shouldn’t have been surprised. It wasn’t like Brittany was going to broadcast what had happened to the entire world, and Harry certainly wouldn’t announce that he was planning on punching his face in.

He typed out a quick update.

NiallOfficial: mad week in LA!! had a great time recording but can’t wait to get back on the road! See u tonight, san diego!!

He knew he was probably going to get a barrage of replies, but he didn’t care. He slipped his phone back in his pocket and gazed back up at the others.

“Excited to get back on the road?” he asked them.

“Yeah,” they mumbled, not really making any conversation. It was early, and everyone was tired.

But Niall was feeling chattier than ever. He needed something to take his mind off his impending doom, after all.

“I’m really hungry,” he tried again.

“You’re always hungry, Nialler,” Louis laughed, still looking down at his phone.

Niall just shrugged. So much for trying to distract himself. He looked up and saw Harry and Brittany walking towards him. They were holding hands and walking quickly.

Niall felt his heart speed up in his chest. For a moment he considered running away, but decided against it. If Harry was going to kill him, it was better that there were witnesses.

Brittany and Harry approached their little group, and what happened next baffled Niall. Brittany didn’t do anything. She didn’t kiss Harry, she didn’t greet any of them. Instead she broke away from his hand quickly and walked briskly towards her own bus without so much as a look in Niall’s direction. She had large sunglasses covering her face, so Niall couldn’t really tell what her expression was like.

“Morning lads,” Harry said with a yawn. “Ready for San Diego?”

They all nodded. Niall looked at Harry oddly. He looked tired, but he didn’t look enraged. And when he caught Niall looking at him, he just offered him a small smile.

Was it possible that Brittany hadn’t told him?

“Where’s she off to in such a hurry?” Zayn asked, motioning over towards Brittany, who was now leaving the hotel with her manager.

Harry shrugged. “She said she had some important things to go over with Jenn this morning. I didn’t question it, but she seemed very busy. She was texting most of the night.”

The others seemed to be fine with this but Niall couldn’t help but read into it. He wondered if Brittany actually did have work to do, or if she was texting one of her friends, telling them what happened. And again, he worried that she was completely grossed out by him, wanted nothing to do with him, and that she would never speak to him again.

Or maybe she actually did have work to do.

He simply didn’t know.

“Oh, Niall,” Harry said, interrupting his thoughts.

Niall looked at him, waiting for him to continue. His breath caught in his throat again. Maybe now Harry was going to tell him that he hated him, Brittany was his girlfriend, and that he was going to kill him.

But he didn’t. “You left some of your stuff in my room last night… but I gave it to security to pack on the bus for you, don’t worry,” he said instead.

Niall breathed a sigh of relief. In his haste to leave the scene of the crime the night before, he’d completely forgotten that his guitar and songbook were still in the room.

“Right,” Niall nodded. “Thanks.”

An awkward silence followed that, so once again Niall pulled out his phone and scrolled through twitter. There wasn’t much, a few replies to his tweet from earlier, an update from Zayn saying how he couldn’t wait to get to San Diego and an update from Liam stating he was tired.

However, one tweet in particular caught Niall’s eye.

BrittCooperMusic: long night last night, lots of work to do before the show. Can’t wait to see you guys in the crowd again tonight! xoxo britt

Niall studied it for a minute. What did she mean by a “long night last night?” Had she been awake thinking about what had happened? Had she been so disgusted by it that she’d spent the entire night having sex with Harry? That would explain why Harry was so tired as well… No, Niall reminded himself, that couldn’t have been it. Harry had said Brittany had been on her phone the whole night. If he’d spent the entire night banging her, surely he would have brought it up.

Niall sighed to himself and put his phone away. Being overly analytical was doing him no good. He needed something to eat and he needed to forget about Brittany. If she was going to be avoiding him, that was perfectly fine. It would only serve to help in his mission to get over her.

***

They arrived in San Diego around the noon hour, and the boys wasted no time in getting off the bus and looking around for something to eat. As fans were already lining up outside the venue, catering seemed to be the only option. Security was tight on the boys, and told them that they could absolutely not go anywhere else to eat.

Niall considered hiding out on his bus, but he didn’t want to have to explain why. Though Liam knew that he had feelings for Brittany, he wasn’t yet ready to disclose his infidelity. It was better just to keep that to himself for the time being, he was sure of it. If he told Liam, nothing good would come from it.

Yes, Niall was sure it was just best to ignore it completely. No sense in harping on it, what was done was done. He just had to concentrate on getting over Brittany. So, since he now felt horribly awkward around her, that shouldn’t be such a difficult task, should it?

He sat backstage with a large plate of catering, watching the first Euro match with Louis and Liam. Harry and Zayn sat a little further off playing video games. Every so often he would look around to see if Brittany had shown up, but she hadn’t.

He tried his best to just concentrate on the match. Every so often Louis would make a little comment, and Niall and Liam would roll their eyes. He thanked God that he now had the sporting match to take his mind off of all the drama.

Self-created drama, he reminded himself, but drama nonetheless.

Eventually, Brittany did make her way backstage. She greeted Harry with a kiss, but he was too involved in his battle with Zayn to pay her much attention. So, she grabbed a plate of food and walked over to where the rest of the boys were watching football.

“Hey guys,” she said nonchalantly.

Niall kept his eyes fixated on the screen.

“Hey,” Louis said.

“Are you guys watching the game? Can I sit with you?” she asked.

“Sure,” Louis said, motioning towards one of the chairs that was near them.

Brittany didn’t actually do anything more. She sat down, ate her food and watched the game. It was all very innocent, but Niall felt his heart pounding as she sat behind him. She was acting like nothing was wrong, like nothing had happened. Like he hadn’t crossed the worst line possible.

So perhaps she hadn’t been avoiding him that morning after all. She wasn’t disgusted, she just didn’t seem to care, it didn’t seem to affect her at all.

Niall decided that this was much worse.

After about ten minutes, he couldn’t handle it. He got up quickly, suddenly deciding he didn’t care about the outcome of the match. He would find out the score later online. “I’m going back to the bus,” he announced as he walked off.

“What?” Louis asked, looking at him with a puzzled expression. “You’re joking! Ireland’s winning!”

Niall shrugged as he began to walk away. “No need for me to watch the rest of the match, then, is there?” he asked, waving his hand behind him as he made his was out of the area.

Louis raised his eyebrow and watched him oddly, but Liam and Brittany just continued to concentrate on the TV screen as though it wasn’t a big deal.

Once Niall was back on the bus, he laid down in his bunk. He contemplated playing guitar to relieve his tension as he always did, but he couldn’t bring himself to do so. Just looking over at the instrument sitting there brought it all back to him.

Instead he decided to waste time on twitter.

He scrolled through his mentions. That was always a nice little ego boost. Girls were always talking about how much they adored him, how cute he was and posting pictures of him with silly captions. His fans always managed to make his day better.

His phone buzzed at one point, indicating he had a mention from someone he followed. And his eyes widened at what he saw.

BrittCooperMusic: great match between Ireland and Poland! Ireland rocked it… @NiallOfficial, u should have stuck around! It was…brilliant! Haha! xoxo britt

Not only had she mentioned him as though nothing was wrong and nothing had happened, she’d also added her twitter kisses that she always managed to leave out whenever replying to one of his tweets. He shook his head. This wasn’t exactly a reply to him… it was just a message that happened to have him in it. The twitter kisses weren’t directed at him.

Right?

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