Liam re-entered the boxy room we were enclosed in, about two hours after he had left.
I couldn’t bring myself to leave Lex on her own and so I couldn’t call him to see where he had gone. I shied away from his being as he approached, knowing he knew what had happened to me. He would hate me now.
It was only when I allowed my eyes to finally focus on him that I realized that something was wrong. Though his face was tranquil and calm, his knuckles on his right hand were swollen, small cuts dotted along them. His lip was slightly swollen too, hardly noticeable though.
‘Liam?’ I asked, my voice cautious.
He knew what I was asking but he just shook his head. ‘I went to the gym quickly, did some boxing practice,’
I could tell he was lying. Firstly because if he had boxed he would’ve been wearing gloves and his knuckles wouldn’t be like that. Secondly because I had known him too long to fall for ill thought out lies like this. Despite this, I nodded, preferring to swallow the lie than to find out where he had really been.
‘I’m gunna go check on the other boys. I think Lou is gunna be discharged soon. Niall and Zayn are with him now too- they’re fine,’ Liam said quietly, turning and leaving.
His behaviour was odd. He had entered the room, walked over to me, just to tell me he was leaving again.
Louis was discharged a bit later than expected, at about 10am. We hat sat through the night in the plastic chairs by Lex and his sides, keeping them company. Lex was going to be discharged this evening.
‘Heidi,’ She murmured quietly, just after Louis had been discharged.
‘Yeah?’ My vision shifted from the magazine in my hands to her face.
‘Can you get Lou. I want to tell him now.’ She swallowed, blinking a few times before staring into my eyes earnestly.
‘Ok,’ I nodded slowly, moving to stand up.
‘Will you stand outside. Just in case I need you?’
‘Of course Lex,’ I smiled gently before turning to leave and find Lou.
He was all too happy to oblige when I told him that Lex wanted to talk to him and obediently followed me back to her room.
I let him in, shaking off the confused look he gave me when he realized I wasn’t following him.
I watched through the glass as the exchange took place.
Lex had been moved this morning to a smaller, private room off the A&E ward. The glass was clear this time and I only had to peek through the blinds to see what was happening.
Lou walked over, sighing in relief before kissing her on the lips. Lex welcomed this. It was evident she liked him, a lot.
I then watched his face turn, his brow furrowing as she bought up the subject that something wasn’t right.
I knew which sentence delivered the news because Lex’s face fell, a glaze of pain appearing over her eyes. Louis face contorted for a moment, his face falling in a kind of agony. It was hard to watch.
Drops of moisture pooled around Lex’s bottom eyelid as she babbled, her mouth moving too fast for any words to make coherent sense. It seemed like she was apologising.
Louis shook his head, his unharmed hand reaching to stroke her cheek. He fell into the chair next to the bed and leaned to Lex. Their foreheads touched whilst his mouth moved, uttering quiet words. And then his lips met hers and I knew everything was ok.
But that was a stupid thing to say. Of course nothing was ok.
But at least Lex had Louis now. At least that was ok.
We all waited around the hospital that afternoon, waiting for Lex to be discharged before we faced the media frenzy we were sure were waiting for us.
Despite the fact that several of us had tweeted earlier that we were all fine, we were still being bombarded with frantic tweets.
Guys, I know the news probably blew this outta proportion but everyone is ok! Just a few cuts and bruises! No need to worry:) I had tweeted earlier to try and calm the nervous fans but it had little effect.
Lex was discharged at about 7 and we all congregated, waiting for security to come and get us. It was going to be crazy.
All the boys had small signs of the accident left on them, though none would be lasting.
Louis had stiches, now covered by gauze, and a brace on his sprained wrist, along with a few minor cuts and bruises.
Niall, Harry and Zayn had got away but just a few cuts and whiplash; Niall was the only one of the three that had to have stitches.
Lex was covered in small cuts and bruises, her leg bandaged too, but her real pain was private; the miscarriage.
There was one small problem. Liam’s swollen knuckles would cause a problem and so, instead of supporting Lex to the car like he wanted to, he had to put his hands in his pocket and keep them there until the press went away.
I readied myself though I had no real job to do. Lex and Louis were holding hands, ready to face the cameras. Louis squeezed her hand reassuringly and looking into her eyes, smiling at her and telling her that everything was going to be ok.
The boys had each other’s backs and I stood behind them, useless.
We were surrounded by security before we dashed out of the hospital. Louis helped Lex hop along, supporting most of her weight, and we all ran towards the cars.
Cameras clicked feverishly, blinding my eyes. They were stuffed in our faces, people yelling our names.
We were near the car when I got caught up. Security were herding around the boys and in a moment of confusion I was pulled out of the formation. I was being swarmed. Though the photographers were mostly interested in the boys, they were already piling into the car and they were losing their chance of a photo. But they had me, right here, with no security. I couldn’t move.
My shouts for help were nothing against the clamour. I couldn’t get out of this rut.
But a moment later I felt a reassuring arm around my waist. It dragged my through the crowd and then threw me into the car before it swiftly pulled away. It was only when I turned around to see who had jumped in behind me that I realized it was Liam.
‘Are you ok,’ He breathed, his brown eyes wide.
I nodded breathlessly, unable to talk quite yet.
Liam said no more but glared violently at the members of security that sat with us in the car.
The further we got away from the hospital and the paparazzi, the happier everyone got, like the distance was directly correlated with their mood.
The police had talked to Louis in the hospital and were happy to treat it as an accident. That was a weight off their shoulders.
We had received calls from all of the boy’s parents, frantic to know whether their children were involved and/or alright. Karen had called, concerned not only for Liam but Lex and me.
Getting out of the car, Liam hung back from the group as we walked to the flat. I was at the back of the crowd and the words he uttered to them caught in my ears.
‘You don’t ever let that happen to her again. You hear? She is one of us. If she gets hurt- you will regret the day you signed up to be our security.’ His voice was a low growl, hardly audible to anyone but security and me. It was uncharacteristic for him to be angry like that. But what did I know now anyway? I had left them; I was out of the picture.
My stomach throbbed as we entered the corridor, the memories of rejection fluttering violently.
Stepping into the flat, I felt like a stranger. I felt out of place; like I was stepping into the wrong flat.
Nothing had changed yet everything was different. It was over a month since I had turned my back on this place. I no longer belonged here.
Liam and Lex looked at home, even the other boys looked happy and in place. I felt like an outsider, looking in.
But something made me feel a little better. The way Lex smiled at me, as if to say ‘welcome home’.
There was some conversation between the boys, finally reaching an agreement on something and they left the flat.
‘PJ’s on, we’re watching a film,’ Lexi grinned at me.
I nodded, only then realizing my belongings were in suitcases in the back of Liam’s car.
‘Not so fast!’ Lex said quickly to Liam who was just about to go and get changed in his room. ‘Wait one sec,’ She added. We did as we were told, watching her hobble towards her room. She emerged moments later, clutching a pile of fabric. I immediately knew what they were. Three sets of matching pyjamas.
One day, Lex and I decided that we wanted to show Liam our old life again. Before all his fame. We went to Oxford Street and we banned all shops that were classified as designer labels. We basically raided primark and Liam picked up these pyjamas. They had three different colours, red, blue and green. They were silly but, for some reason, we decided to buy them and we wore them that evening. It was one of the funniest nights of my life that night and we all held fond memories of it. So to see her holding up the discarded garments now and offering them to us, made me smile. We obliged, taking the clothes, trying to keep her smile considering what she had been through today.
I went to the bathroom, pulling on the baggy red trousers and top. Then we emerged, almost all at the same time.
We looked ridiculous; we all knew it. We stood, staring at each other for a moment before we broke into laughter. It felt good to laugh. I hadn’t laughed in a while.
Soon after, the rest of the boys came back to the flat, dressed in their onesies. They all laughed at us in our silly get ups and we all settled down to a film.
Lex went into her room a little before the boys left which Liam took as his cue to interrogate Louis.
‘How long has it been going on then?’ He asked.
‘What do you mean? How long have I been seeing her or how long have I been in love with her?’ Louis replied calmly.
‘Both.’ Liam gritted his jaw slightly.
‘In love with her- since I met her I guess. Seeing her? I dunno. When you and Heidi went to the sea side; that was the first time we…’ he trailed off but we knew what he meant.
Liam nodded slowly. ‘Lou, you’re like my brother but I swear to god that if you hurt her, I will treat you like any other scum that hurts the girls.’
‘I know,’ Louis said understandingly, not hateful for the threat.
After that they were as tight as usual; the best of friends again.
‘Night night Lex,’ I sighed quietly, popping my head around her bedroom door, but she was already asleep. I was glad she was asleep because in dreams there comes an escape and she certainly deserved one. She was so strong. Stronger than anyone I’d ever known. I said no more and quietly shut her door. She needed rest because with the harsh light of morning bought the reality of the troubles she had to face.
There was no delaying it any longer. I had to go to my room now.
Standing in the centre of the room, it felt bare. Hardly any of my belongings remained. The photos of smiling people on my walls seemed like distant memories now, strangers.
I was back to the beginning. Back to where I started.
Everything was different now.
I was different.
I didn’t want to think about what had happened to me. I didn’t want to think about how my life was spiralling out of control.
I just wanted to restart. I wanted to accept Liam’s pursuit; I wanted someone to love me for me. If that was even possible.
But I couldn’t and so I had lost my options. I had nothing and I had to deal with that. It was my fault.
My silent spiral of depression was interrupted by a light knock of my door.
‘Jee,’ he said quietly.
‘I’m glad your back,’ he said quietly.
‘I missed you,’ I tried to sound strong.
‘Yeah,’ he muttered and without any more words he walked over and tied his arms around me.
I breathed in deeply and his scent filled my nose, intoxicating my senses until all I could know was him. And for just one moment, I felt like I belonged.
But then he let go and excited the room, leaving me to my outcast solitude.