5. Saturday, September 29th


That was when I woke up on Saturday.

And it was brilliant. No interviews, no photoshoots, no fans to avoid. Just me, my pillow, my quilt and the low hum of the fan on the other side of the room.

I rolled over a little, hoping to catch another couple hours of sleep before I truly had to get up, but I heard a weird noise coming from my living room.

I frowned a little, wondering what Liam was doing. I figured I should probably get up and see what he was up to. I probably wasn’t going to do a very good job of cheering him up if I spent the whole day sleeping.

I pulled a t-shirt over my head and walked out into the living room. Liam was sitting on the couch and nodding as he held his phone to his ear.

I nodded a quick good morning to him (well, I guess good afternoon) and went over to the kitchen to find something to eat. Ah! Cereal! That was the nice thing about having Liam in the house – he’d bought all this food. I poured myself a bowl and leaned over the counter to eat it.

Then I made a face and spit it into the sink.

“You used the expired milk, didn’t you?” Liam asked with a slight laugh, walking into the kitchen.

I didn’t answer him, I just stuck my mouth under the tap to try and wash the dreadful taste out of my mouth. Blech! That’ll teach me to not throw the milk away.

He just shook his head and went to dump my useless cereal in the trash.

“Let me try that again,” I said, pulling out another bowl and dumping more cereal into it, mindful to use the good milk this time. “You want some?” I asked, holding out the cardboard box to him.

“Huh?” he asked, looking as though he was off in space. “Oh, no thanks. I had some earlier. Thanks though.”

I frowned at him a little. He seemed really out of it. “You alright?” I asked, leaning over and attempting to eat my cereal again. Ah, much better this time.

He just shrugged.

Maybe it was because of his phonecall earlier? “Who was on the phone?”


Ah. One point for me! I assumed she hadn’t called him to try and patch things up because he looked so distraught and east rushing out of my place to go meet her. “Oh.” Yeah, that was all I could come up with.

“She said she’s almost done moving and that she’ll be out tonight. So I suppose I could go back home.”

Oh, Liam. He was looking at the ground all sadly, like he was going to start crying at any moment. My mouth just hung open because I didn’t know what to say or do to make him feel better. After all, no girl had ever called me and said she was moving out of my house.

Not that it could have ever happened because no girl had ever lived with me. So I didn’t really know what it was like.

I suppose my dad had moved out of my house when I was small, but I didn’t really remember too much about that. I just remember that it was bad, and that my mum was upset a lot.

“Sorry to hear that,” I said, sort of like you do when you hear that someone has died. Because I remembered him telling me that it was like a death and that his relationship with Danielle was in heaven.

We talked about some weird shit when we were drunk!

“Yeah,” he shrugged, giving me a little smile. “Thanks.”

I walked over and patted him on the back a bit, as good friends do. “Hey don’t worry,” I said. “We’re gonna go to Tommo’s house tonight for X Factor and then we can come back here,” I shrugged. “Maybe we can all go out for a pint after!’

A pint with the lads would be brilliant! It was rare that the five of us went out together to the pub, but I bet after X Factor they’d be up for it. Especially when they saw how sad Liam looked.

Plus, if we were drunk we could just come back to my place afterwards without really thinking about it. We could deal with having to go back to his empty house tomorrow.


I hadn’t been watching X Factor at all, so I had no idea what was going on as we sat in Louis’ living room watching the show.

“That was rubbish,” Louis said, shaking his head. “I’m sorry, I know we all love Cheryl, but she’s completely wrong.”

Niall nodded enthusiastically in agreement with Louis. I had to laugh a little at how invested they were in this show. It was weird to watch it, knowing everything that had gone on behind the scenes with how the show was produced and whatnot.

It was funny to watch the two of them stare at the screen and get as into the show as they would a football match. Harry and Zayn were actually there too, but they were far less interested in X Factor than Niall and Louis were. Harry was playing around on his phone and Zayn was sitting lazily on the sofa with his head resting in his arm, looking as though he was about to fall asleep at any moment.

“You been keeping up with X Factor?” Louis asked, glancing over at me when the show went to commercials.

I shrugged. “No, not really.”

He just shook his head. “Ah, it’s brilliant this season! There are some really great contestants.”

I just nodded. It wasn’t that I didn’t care… actually, that was exactly what it was. I couldn’t be bothered to think about X Factor when I had my empty house on my mind. I wondered what it would look like without all of Danielle’s things in it. She’d probably taken most of the decorations, because they were all hers, after all.

My living room was going to look empty and unfurnished, my bedroom was going to have loads more closet space, but that didn’t really mean much to me, since I was rarely there anyway.

“You alright, Liam?” Zayn asked me when Louis turned his attention back to the programme.

“Yeah, I’m alright.”

“I’m gonna go out for a cigarette,” he said, standing up and stretching a little. “You want to join me?”

What? Why was he asking me that? He knew I didn’t smoke. “No, that’s fine.” I waved my hand a little.

He gave me a look. “Come on, you don’t have to smoke anything, just keep me company.”

“Oh, just go with him,” Louis said, glaring at the two of us. “That way you can keep yapping outside.”

I rolled my eyes. Boy, he was snippy during X Factor! No wonder Eleanor had gone out for the evening. Well, that, and she probably hadn’t wanted to spend the evening around the five of us having a guys night. Not that it was truly much of a guys night, you know, since we were eating crisps and watching the X Factor.

Niall glanced up at me and just giggled a little, putting his finger to his lips indicating for us to be quiet. I smiled a little and followed Zayn to the front step of Louis’ place.

“So,” he said, pulling out a cigarette and lighting it up. “How’re things at Nialler’s place?”

I shrugged. Things at Niall’s place were fine, it was my own place that I was worried about. “Good.”

“Yeah?” Zayn asked, giving me a little look like he didn’t believe it and taking a thoughtful drag from his cigarette. “Sometimes I’m a little worried about him.”

About Niall? What in the world would make anyone worry about him? He was the most carefree boy on the planet. As far as I’d seen, he didn’t do anything but work, sleep, eat and… no, that was about it. I supposed he probably watched football too, but he hadn’t had much of a chance to do that lately.

“Why?” I asked.

Zayn just shrugged his shoulders a little. “I don’t know. Just being all by himself in his flat. He’s the only one of us who hasn’t moved out of the complex yet, you know? He hasn’t found a girlfriend, he doesn’t really do anything.”

“I think you’re reading too much into it, Zayn.”

“Maybe,” he nodded, taking another drag and blowing the smoke out of his mouth slowly. “I just worry about him. He depends on the four of us a lot.”

“Well, he could be like Harry, going out and ending up with a different girl every night,” I laughed. The mental image I got of Niall in the bar trying to smoothly pick up women was a funny one – and not something I could picture happening in a million years. True, he liked to go out to the pub and mess about, but I don’t think he’d ever succeeded, or even tried, to take a girl home with him.

Zayn laughed a little. “Yeah, that’s true. But it’s nice that you’re staying with him.”

“I think I need him more than he needs me,” I said truthfully.

But Zayn shook his head. “Maybe it seems that way to you because you’ve got the more obvious problem, but I don’t think that’s the case.” He finished off his cigarette and walked down to the road to flick the filter onto the ground. “Louis would flip out if I left the butt on his sidewalk,” he explained, walking back into the house.

I shook my head and followed behind him. For the rest of the time we spent at Louis’ place watching X Factor, I tried to focus on Niall. It wasn’t that I was overly worried about him as Zayn seemed to be, but it did give me something to think about other than the fact that my ex-girlfriend had just made my house only half a home.

There wasn’t much to focus on when it came to Niall, though. He was just watching the TV like normal, occasionally laughing, uttering a remark to Louis, or biting his nails. It was all very boring.

I really didn’t think there was much to Zayn’s theory until we got to the pub.

“Yes boys!” Niall laughed, putting his hands on Zayn’s and Harry’s backs as he looked around at the table. “Shall I get us another round?”

He’d already had five.

“I think we’re good, Nialler,” Louis said, lifting his half-finished beer a little, as if to prove to Niall that he really wasn’t in need of another drink.

“Zayn, Hazza?” he asked quickly, turning his head to Zayn, and then to Harry in swift motions that made me dizzy just watching him.

“No, we’re good,” Zayn said, shaking his head.

“Payne?” he asked, lowering his head at me.

I actually could have used another one. I typically tried not to drink, but this week hadn’t exactly been a walk in the park, and indulging a little couldn’t cause much harm, could it? “Sure,” I said, smiling at him.

“Yes!” he laughed, standing up and walking over to me. I thought he was going to get another round! But evidently, he couldn’t do so without draping his arms around me and hugging me tightly.

“You’re the best,” he slurred. Oh, he was so pissed. Maybe he didn’t need another round after all, but I supposed it was too late to call that off now.

“Thanks,” I said, patting him on the back a little and half returning his hug,

“I mean it,” he said, still draped all over me. I glanced around at the other guys and they all just laughed, because this wasn’t so out of the ordinary. As soon as Niall got drunk he was everyone’s girlfriend. Or at least, he liked to act like it. “You’re really awesome for coming to stay with me. This week has been such a laugh.”

I didn’t think it had been such a laugh, but what did I know? I’d only just broken up with the love of my life. “Thanks, Nialler,” he said, forcing a smile on my face. “It’s been fun.”

“I mean it,” he said, pulling away from me a little. “It’s so nice to have someone else there.” he wandered off in search of more pints and just watched him go.

Zayn leaned over the table and gave me a knowing look as he whispered in my ear. “See what I meant?”

I just nodded sightly. Yes, I was beginning to.


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