Superstitious

I am not superstitious.

The last time I remember my birthday falling on a Friday, I think I was nine years old. Even then, I never thought it was that bad. Sure, some of my mates from school had a laugh with it, telling me all about how it was bad luck. But my mum made a cake and Sean slept over, so how bad could it have been?

It wasn’t that bad at all! Friday the 13th, it’s absolute rubbish if you ask me!

So when I was about to turn 20, I didn’t even think about the fact that it was on a Friday. In fact, the only thing I thought about was that it’d be easier to go out with my mates for my birthday.

For the second year in a row I was able to get home to Mullingar on my birthday and I couldn’t have been happier about it! I was only going to be there for the weekend, of course. There was always work to be done in London. But the Thursday to Sunday was good enough for me!

My flight got in late on the Thursday night. I had just enough time to give my mum a hug before falling into bed.

Naturally, the next morning I fell right out of it and onto the hardwood floor.

“Fuck,” I muttered, rubbing the top of my head as I opened my eyes. Not my most mature first act as a twenty-year-old! Still, worse things have happened. Like the time I rolled out of my bunk on the tour bus. That was a much worse fall, and I still maintain that Louis was behind it. Though I’ll never be able to prove it – the one thing those camera guys didn’t get on film!

I pulled a t-shirt on over my head (Harry’s Hard Rock Cafe one, to be exact), grabbed my phone off the nightstand and walked into the kitchen in search of breakfast.

Ever the cook, my mum was standing over the stove making crepes.

I smiled, forgetting all about my stupid fall. I hugged her from behind, resting my head on top of hers, like she’d done to me when I was small.

“Was that you I heard a minute ago?” she asked with a laugh. Dammit, mum!

“No,” I lied, but she caught on straight away and turned her head to give me a look.

I shrugged sheepishly, because what could I say? Mothers see through everything. Even when you’re twenty years old.

“Happy birthday, love,” she said, giving me a hug before returning to the crepes. “There’s tea on the table.”

I grinned, pulling out one of the old wooden chairs and sitting down at the old kitchen table my mum had had for ages. She had a new teapot, which I looked at while pouring myself a cup. I scrolled through my text messages for a moment. I had a few, which was nice.

Liam Payne: good morning nialler! Enjoy ur first day of being an adult!

Louis Tomlinson: another year older and you still can’t drink in america!

Zayn Malik: happy birthday, mate

I frowned a bit, given that there wasn’t one from Harry. That was odd, considering I was far closer with him than I was with the other three. And by closer I mean that we were naked around each other a lot lately.

I suppose that’s typical of Harry, but whenever I’m around the other lads I at least have boxers on. Boxers would make what Harry and I do difficult so…

I stopped thinking about it (given that my mother was in the kitchen with me) and took a sip of my tea. Mistake. It was far too hot, which was absolutely terrible because it burned the roof of my mouth. But at least it distracted me from my fantasy.

“Fuck!” I exclaimed, causing my mum to look at me.

“Niall,” she warned in that way she always did when I cussed. You’d think she was a prim and proper Brit with the way she hated swearing.

“Sorry,” I said all the same, because I was in her house after all. Even though I was twenty, and I think it’s quite all right for twenty-year-olds to swear when their tea is far too hot. “Burned my mouth on the tea,” I explained pointing at the teapot.

She just smirked. “Be careful, it’s hot.”

Yeah, thanks, mum.

***

The thing about Ireland is that it’s rarely what Americans would call “nice weather.” It has its moments, but like London, the sky is almost always grey. Unlike in America, where the sky is blue literally all the time.
Even thought it’s grey a lot of the time, it doesn’t usually rain. That day it was raining buckets! I was walking down the street on my way to lunch with Holly and our friends from school, and it was absolutely pouring.

I didn’t mind so much, I had an umbrella and all. The only part of it that was bad was when a car drove by and splashed me. The umbrella didn’t do much use after that.

“Nialler!” Holly shrieked, jumping up as I walked into The Bakery. It was this little place that we used to go when we were teenagers. (Which I wasn’t anymore – being twenty and all.) As soon as Holly had heard I was going to be back for my birthday she’d insisted we go there.

I’d have been fine with Nando’s but I wasn’t about to complain.

“Yeah, hi,” I smiled at her, walking over to the table where everyone was sitting and running a hand through my hair to try and fix it.

I pulled my cell phone out of my pocket to make sure the rain hadn’t damaged it. It seemed fine – apart from the fact that there were no new messages on it. I frowned a little bit – I’d still been expecting one from Harry. But I supposed it was possible he wasn’t awake yet. Sometimes he slept away entire days when we had time off.

She gave me a hug, but quickly pulled away as she gave me the once over. “What happened to you?” she laughed.

“Got splashed by a car,” I shrugged. Fucking car!

She just laughed as sat down. I laughed too, because it really was sort of funny. I supposed, anyway. I was sure I’d feel better once I was dry.

***

As it turned out, I did. It had even stopped raining! For the duration of lunch, anyway. By the time I was on my way back home, the rain was back in full force. This time, I made sure to avoid being near the edge of the sidewalk when any cars drove by.
My phone buzzed in my pocket with a text message, and I sped up my pace.

I rushed in the door, pulling off my sweater and throwing it in the corner.

“Niall!” I heard my mum call from the front room. “Greg and your Dad are here.”

I nodded, even thought she couldn’t see me, and pulled out my phone as I walked into the room.

The message was from Josh.

Happy birthday nialler! U old man! Haha!

I smiled, even though a little part of me was disappointed that it wasn’t Harry. I wasn’t one to get too worried about that sort of thing though – so I shoved my phone back into my pocket and went to greet my Dad and brother.

“Happy birthday,” Greg said, giving me a hug. In fact, they all took turns giving me a hug, just as they always did when I was home after being away from a long time. Which was basically every time I was at home lately.

“Someone else wants to give you a hug,” Denise said, gently handing me Theo.

I still couldn’t quite get over the fact that my brother had a child of his own, and that my mum and dad were grandparents. Even more that I was an uncle. It was so easy for me to get lost whenever I looked at him, because he was so small and –

Yeah, and then he threw up on me.

“Sorry,” Denise said, jumping up to take him from me. “Sorry, sorry,” she kept apologizing, even though I laughed it off. Because really, what else could I have done?

“Right,” I said, forcing a grin on my face even though all of those little things were beginning to add up. I caught myself actually starting to wonder if this was the universe’s way of showing me that Friday the 13th was actually real, which was absolute rubbish because it’s not.

Still, I pouted a bit when I went to change my shirt and snuck another glance at my cell phone and there was still no message from Harry.

Because that really would have made my day a whole lot better.

***

Wallace’s is really the best pub in Mullingar. I’ve been going there since… well, since I was younger than I was supposed to be! But it’s still the best pub, and it was the obvious choice to go for pints with the lads on my birthday.

The lads being Sean and the rest of our friends. Three pints in, and I was already feeling great! I’ll admit, I’m a bit of a lightweight, which shouldn’t be the case because I’m Irish and all, and it’s something that my friends will tease me about until my dying day.

But I’m a lightweight who can keep drinking, even if it only takes me two beers to get a good buzz going. Which is really the best kind of drinker you can be, in my opinion.

“Hey Niall,” Sean laughed, slinging his arm around my shoulder. “How’s that song of yours go?”

“Which song, Sean?”

“You know,” he said, snapping his fingers to no rhythm whatsoever. “That one. The one that goes… you know. The best one.”

Then he laughed, because he’d managed to drink more pints than I had already. Then he motioned to this man controlling the music. Then Best Song Ever started blaring through the speakers of the pub.

It was sort of predictable. I rolled my eyes a bit because truthfully, I hate that song. I think it’s absolute crap, which is part of the reason the video is the way it is.

Still, I laughed, because I knew Sean didn’t know any of that. It was just a bit of fun. So I got up on stage and sang it, because that was the type of thing I knew they were all expecting from me.

As I was singing the ridiculous lyrics and dancing along, I couldn’t help but think that at least I’d be able to tell Harry about this.

Which reminded me that he hadn’t sent me a text yet, which made me feel far more upset than I cared to admit.

***

It was late when I stumbled back into my mum’s house. I tried my best to be quiet, given that she was probably asleep and all, but it was difficult when I was totally smashed. I’m pretty sure I dropped my keys on the floor three times before they actually made it to the table.
I tiptoed back to my room, pulled my shirt and trousers off and crawled into my bed. My eyes drifted closed and I didn’t even noticed there was someone else there until I heard his slow, rough voice in my ear.

“Welcome home, love,”

“Jesus!” I nearly shouted before nearly falling out of bed again. My heart was pounding and my eyes shot open, adjusting to the darkness a little bit.

There, lying in my bed was Harry Fucking Styles.

“Harry?!” I whispered, facing him. “What’re you doing here?”

He shrugged and gave me that half smile which is what I found so charming about him in the first place. I’d never even thought about and boys in that way before until I’d focused on that. I reckon it was because he was just so… well, so Harry.

I couldn’t really explain it, I just knew that I liked it.

“I wanted to come say happy birthday in person,” he shrugged, like it was no big deal that he’d just shown up in my bed at my mum’s place unannounced.

“Does my mum know you’re here?” I asked, which was probably the least pressing thing at the moment. In fact, the most pressing thing was the bulge in my boxers on account of the boy breathing into my skin.

Harry just laughed. “Of course she does,” he said. “She’s known for a while. Was happy to be in on it.”

I gave him a look. “What’s my birthday present, then?”

Obviously I asked because I already knew, and my cock throbbed in my boxers as he crawled on top of me.

Harry might’ve been a few months younger than I was, but you’d never know it. His frame was larger and he was always the one who was in control. Which was fine with me, even though I tried I was terrible at being any sort of dominant preferred to just be told what to do.

I was pretty rubbish in bed when it came to girls, which was probably another reason I found Harry so appealing.

He didn’t stay on top of me for very long – just enough time to nip at my neck like he always did. He kissed his way down my chest and over my stomach, causing me to buck my hips upward, because I was still drunk and I just wanted him to suck my cock already.

“Easy, Nialler,” Harry laughed, but he pulled my boxers down all the same.

His mouth was fucking sinful – it always was, and every time his lips were around me I was pretty sure I’d never felt anything like it before. He always knew exactly what to do, exactly when to flick his tongue and exactly when to toss a pillow to my face to I didn’t alert the entire hotel (or in this case, house) as to what was going on.

“Ugh, Harry,” I moaned, muffled by the pillow as I thrust into his mouth. Maybe we needed to get drunk and fuck more often, because I was usually more reserved than this.

He didn’t stop, and I tugged on his curls as I came into his mouth.

“Fuck,” I sighed, coming down from my high as he curled up beside me and kissed my cheek. “You’re fucking incredible, you know that?”

He simply gave me that same half grin. “Happy Birthday, Nialler.”

Friday the 13th, bad luck? Rubbish.

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