I Wish – Chapter 35

Tuesday, June 26 2012
Atlanta, GA

Brittany closed her eyes as the plane descended into the Atlanta airport. She wasn’t a very good flyer, and it was especially worse when she was on her own. She found herself able to sleep on the plane when she was around other people she knew, but when she was alone she was always a ball of nerves.

It didn’t help that she was on her way back to a tour filled with drama. She kept going back and forth between being excited to see Niall and dreading it. Obviously she was still in love with him, so naturally she wanted to see him. She wanted to make sure he was handling everything okay.

On the other hand, she knew that when she saw him, and he smiled, and he made it seem as though he was doing just fine, her heart would surely break in half. Out of everything the loved about him, his smile and the way it seemed to light up the room was definitely one of the things she loved the most.

As the plane touched down, she gulped and looked out the window at the ground beneath her. She really hated flying. Once the wheels hit the ground and the plane began to slow down, she breathed a little sigh of relief. Now, the only worry on her mind was getting to the venue and seeing the others.

Perhaps it would be better if she just avoided them. She had no idea what she would say to Niall if she ran into him. Or worse, one of the others. At least Niall would understand where she was coming from, but the other boys didn’t quite get it. They had no idea the struggle that she’d gone through and she was certain that they just thought she was a troublemaker.

Finally, it was time for her to deboard the plane. She stood up and watched as the other patrons walked off, and filed out in orderly fashion. She had to admit, it was nice to be able to walk through the airport without loads of security rushing her through the VIP doors. She hoped that she would be at that level of fame one day, but for now she was relishing in the moment.

“Brittany?” she heard a voice speak behind her as she walked through the terminal. She bit her lip. Perhaps she was too quick in thinking that she’d be able to get out of the airport easily.

For a minute she considered pretending she was someone else, but decided that probably wouldn’t be the best approach. So, she turned around to face the girl, who seemed to be around sixteen years old. Only a couple years younger than herself. “Hi,” she said, almost wearily.

‘Wow, it really is you,” she smiled. “I thought you were here already with the boys.”

Brittany shook her head. “No, I decided to stay in Houston for an extra day to visit with some friends since we had the day off yesterday.” She wasn’t entirely sure why she was explaining things to this stranger, but she figured it was because she was stalling for time in going back to the venue.

“Oh…” the girl trailed off, still looking slightly starstruck. “I’m going to see the show tonight… I bought your album, but I don’t have it with me.” The girl rummaged through her backpack as Brittany just stood and watched her. She didn’t really know what to do, though she was happy the girl seemed to be a fan of hers and not a crazy Directioner who was out for her blood.

“Could you sign this?” she asked, holding out a magazine that was flipped to a page with Brittany’s picture on it.

“Oh, yeah, sure,” Brittany said dumbly, pulling a pen out of her purse and taking the magazine from the girl. “What’s your name?” she asked.

“Mel,” the girl smiled, and Brittany smiled back at her, feeling a little more at ease. It was nice to have sane fans. She signed the magazine with a small message and handed it back to Mel.

“Thanks,” she said, clutching it to her chest. “Um, I hope you don’t mind me asking you this…” the girl trailed off, and Brittany felt her heart speed up a little. Maybe she wasn’t a fan, and maybe she was out for blood. “But… are you really dating Niall Horan?”

Brittany figured she must have had a dumb and confused look on her face. In reality she was trying to figure out the best way to answer that question without the lump that was rising in her throat spilling over.

“You know, from One Direction?” Mel explained.

That made Brittany smile. Had that girl actually assumed she may not have recognized his name? Even if she hadn’t been on tour with them, she definitely would have known who he was. Every girl her age did!

“No,” she replied, careful to keep the smile still plastered on her face. “We’re just friends.”

She was still lying. It was just a different lie than before – she didn’t think she’d ever be able to be just friends with Niall. At least, not while her heart still sped up at the very thought of him.

“Oh,” Mel looked down at her feet, then back up at Brittany. “Well, I actually thought you guys would have been really cute together.”

Brittany could have hugged her right then and there, but she refrained. Was it possible that not all of Niall’s fans wanted her dead? She just laughed a little. “Thanks, I guess. It was really nice to meet you.”

“You too.”

Brittany smiled to herself as she walked off. She had begun to feel slightly better, but it didn’t exactly matter now. She and Niall weren’t dating, so who cared what the fans thought of their relationship?

She sighed as she got into a cab to go to the venue. There was less than a week to go of the tour. Then she would never have to worry about One Direction again.

***

Niall silently strummed his guitar as he sat backstage with the rest of the boys. It was nearly time for their soundcheck, and though he would have much preferred to have stayed on the bus, he was very firmly reminded that fans paid a lot of money to come to these things, that he had to be there, and that he had to put on a happy face.

The happy face, he figured, could wait until they were actually in front of fans.

“Cheer up, Nialler,” Liam said, sitting down beside him. “I know she’s back today, but you won’t really have to see her. We’ll do the soundcheck, she’ll do her show, we’ll do ours and we’ll be back on our bus.”

Niall didn’t say anything. He just started strumming the opening chords to Hallelujah, just as he always did when he was depressed.

Liam just shook his head, knowing Niall’s quirks all too well. Now was the time to leave the boy alone. It wasn’t often that Niall was this gloomy, but when he was, it was best to just let him wallow in his own self-pity.

Unfortunately for Niall, the time to do that wasn’t long. Soon enough, they were out on the stage, singing a few songs for soundcheck to the lucky fans that had managed to get a VIP pass.

He looked out to the few rows of girls as he sang, and couldn’t help but feel a little bit better about everything. Despite all the drama, he still had his career, he still had his fans, and he was definitely still adored.

He was even still adored by Brittany, even if they couldn’t be together because of Harry and his massive ego. Niall glanced over at the younger boy, who was grinning and making all sorts of passes at the girls in the audience during the songs. What did he even need Brittany for anyway? Niall was certain Harry would be able to have any girl he wanted.

It annoyed him to no end how easy life was for him, and just because one thing had gone wrong, now he had to go and make it so Niall couldn’t be happy either. Nevermind the fact that Niall had gone completely behind Harry’s back. He really couldn’t care less what he’d done to his bandmate now – he was far too depressed to really care.

Besides, Harry seemed to be living it up. He obviously wasn’t that broken up about the whole situation.

Even still, Niall kept a fake grin plastered on his face as he shook hands with fans and took pictures. The back of his mind still held the image of Brittany, and every so often he wondered what she was doing. He figured she had to be back by now – she was probably on her bus getting ready for the show.

When soundcheck was over, it took everything Niall had to retreat to his own bus instead of walking over to Brittany’s and welcoming her back. That didn’t stop him from looking at it longingly for a couple of moments before sighing and retreating to his own.

There were still a few hours before he had to go on stage, so instead of hanging around where he would probably have to interact with the others, instead he laid down in his bunk, closed his eyes and tried his best to nap a little before the show.

It was a fairly dreamless sleep, and for that Niall was grateful. When it was time to go perform, he dragged himself out of bed and had the fastest shower of his life before getting dressed to go on stage.

He sighed to himself as he looked out at the sea of people. During the concert he was able to forget. He was able to lose himself in his performance and forget about the drama that was his life.

But once they were back on their bus and heading towards North Carolina, his mind was once again filled with anguish. He laid back down in his bunk. The nap he’d had earlier, coupled with his adrenaline from the show, made it difficult to fall asleep. Instead, he lurked on twitter, took a look around SugarScape and watched some random YouTube videos.

Gloom didn’t suit his bright personality, but at the moment he found it hard to stay positive. He hoped that soon enough he would forget about Brittany and be able to move on. At least he’d done a good job of avoiding her for the day, and he only had less than a week to go until he wouldn’t have to deal with her any longer.

Even though he had little choice in the matter, Niall still wasn’t sure if he was happy or sad about it.

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