I wandered back home on my own, happy for the peace. I had spent the night at Riley’s. He apologised so everything was back to normal now.
I had already decided my agenda for the day. I was going to cook a meal for everyone. I was using the pretence that it was a welcome home for the boys but secretly I wanted to try and get Riley and Liam to be friends. This action was sparked by the look on Liam’s face when I left him last night.
I took a detour on the way home to the supermarket and filled a basket with everything I needed.
I lugged the heavy bags back to the flat, the plastic handles digging into my palms.
‘I’m homeeee!’ I announced, kicking the door shut with my foot.
Neither of them answered and so, dropping my bags in the kitchen, went on a search for them. Chances are, they were in someone else’s flat.
I started with Niall. They weren’t there but I took the opportunity to tell him about dinner tonight.
‘Yeah buddie!’ He grinned, rubbing his hands together.
I walked down the hallway to Zayn’s. There, Liam was, watching TV with Zayn.
‘Hello boys,’ I smiled. ‘Tonight, our place, I’m cooking,’
They both nodded. Liam seemed a little off with me still but I ignored it and went upstairs to Lou and Harry’s on the advice of Zayn who said I’d find Lex there.
I knocked on the door and I was let in by Harry.
‘You alright?’ I asked as he turned away and walked through the flat, me following.
‘Yeah. Bit bored. Lou and Lex went out last night, left poor old me all alone!’
‘Poor ickle Haz!’ I put on a baby voice.
‘There they are!’ He pointed to Lou and Lex lounging on the sofa.
‘Morning,’ I smiled.
They both turned around and greeted me, and Lex stood up, announcing she’d better go home now.
On the way back down to our flat, I asked her what she’s been up to.
‘Oh, nothing much really. ‘I was bored and lonely and so Lou took me out,’ a smile crossed her lips that I hadn’t seen for a while.
‘Oh, nice! Where did you go?’ I asked, intrigued.
‘We just went Nando’s, nothing special,’ She shrugged, though I could tell she had enjoyed herself.
‘Poor old Harry was left on his Larry!’ I smiled to myself at the unintentional rhyme.
‘That’s a lie! He went out clubbing with some of his mates!’ Lex laughed.
‘Typical,’ I rolled my eyes. ‘How was Liam when he got home last night?’ I asked, remembering his mood.
‘He was a bit off, but I dunno,’ she sighed. ‘He gave me my bracelet!’ she waved her arm in front of my face, displaying the metallic grey and purple beads that I had threaded on yesterday.
‘Do you like it,’ I grinned.
‘Very artistic. I especially like Liam’s pink one,’ She giggled, her blonde hair falling from where it rested on her shoulder, down her back.
‘Oh yes. I made a conscious stylistic choice to make it pink, so he can be super fashionable. It’s very versatile,’ I joined her laughter.
I set to work cooking. I banned everyone from the kitchen as I started the laborious task. I was cooking a full on roast with chocolate fudge cake for desert.
I organised all of the timings to a T so everything was due to finish at the precisely the right time. I hardly left the kitchen all afternoon but I had a 20 minute gap in which nothing needed doing. I seized the opportunity to get changed.
I was determined to make tonight a good night. All my boys together, getting along.
I grabbed the navy blue shift dress off its hanger and pulled it on quickly. Having showered at Riley’s this morning I straightened my hair and pinned my fringe back and did my makeup as quick as possible; finally smoothing red lipstick onto my lips.
I finally primped my hair before rushing back to the kitchen to check on the food. I found Lex standing over the hob, stirring the sauce; an ominous sight.
‘Lex… what are you doing?’ I asked, moving to immediately take the whisk from her hand.
‘Helping,’ She grinned.
‘Ok…’ I drifted, checking everything was ok. Lex wasn’t known for her cooking skills and she could be heavy handed at times. ‘Thanks…’
‘Lex, why don’t you go get ready. Make sure the boys are ready too, ok? Riley should be here soon,’
‘Okay,’ she sing-songed and left the room.
‘Hey Hi,’ A husky Liverpool accent drifted through the doorway.
‘Riley,’ I smiled, kissing him quickly on the lips. He was dressed in jeans and a baggy dark tshirt which clung to his abs and wearing his black converse. I turned back to the oven. ‘Do you wanna go through, I’m sure Lex and the boys are in the living room,’
‘Ok,’ he shrugged before exiting.
‘Jee,’ another accent entered the room; a mixture of Wolverhampton and other places I couldn’t quite put my finger on. Lex and I have never really picked up the Wolverhampton accent; we had both moved there when we were about 5 and never really picked it up.
‘You look nice,’ I smiled at him. He was wearing a blue plaid shirt and fitted chinos. He had made and effort.
‘As do you,’ He smiled back. ‘Smells good!’
‘I saw you invited Riley,’ his tone changed.
‘Yeah, of course. I want all my boys together!’
‘Of course…’ He mumbled.
‘Oh come on Liam! Please be good, just for today!’ I stood in front of him as he rested against the counter and adjusted his collar, widening my eyes in the pleading face I knew he couldn’t resist.
‘Ok. I promise!’ He offered up his little finger childishly.
I took it and shook. ‘Good,’ I grinned. ‘Now go through and sit with the others,’
‘Ok!’ He grinned and left.
‘Dinner is served!’ I declared as I placed the last dish on the table.
‘Looks amazing!’ Niall grinned.
‘Indeed!’ Harry reiterated, adjusting his bow tie.
It was nice to see all the boys had made an effort. Suited and booted, kind of. Apart from Riley, but I suppose he didn’t really get the dress code.
‘Red?’ Lex asked, holding the wine bottle near my glass.
I nodded, thanking her.
‘Bon appetite!’ I cried, encouraging everyone to dig in.
People began to pile food onto their plates, digging in eagerly.
It was just as I was about to eat when I noticed I had forgotten the sauce.
‘What’s up?’ Louis asked.
‘Forgotten the gravy thingy!’ I groaned, standing up, working out the best way out of the corner I was situated in.
‘Don’t worry, I’ll get it,’ Liam stood up immediately.
‘No, no, it’s ok, I’ve got it,’ Riley stood up too.
‘No. I’ve got it. It’s fine,’ Liam gritted his teeth, staring at Riley.
‘No mate. I have.’ Riley said, stepping away from the table, but not towards the door, towards Liam.
Liam did the same, standing away from his seat too.
The both squared up to each other.
‘I’ve got it,’ Liam growled.
‘You haven’t got anything, Liam.’ Riley bit back.
I had had enough. ‘Boys!’ I cried, standing back up.
They both turned to me and then stepped down from their confrontation.
‘For god’s sake.’ I spat, sliding past the chairs and leaving the flat, slamming the door loudly behind me.
My feet moved quickly down the steps, I needed some fresh air.
I sighed, leaning backwards against a wall in the car park. I allowed to lungs to suck in the cool, fresh air, trying to calm myself. I wasn’t there alone for long, a familiar voice mumbled.
‘Ite,’ Zayn said.
I shrugged, not wanting to talk. I heard him slip a box out of his pocket and then the click of the lighter.
We didn’t talk as he took a drag. I reached out my hand to take it from him. ‘You don’t smoke?’ Zayn questioned.
‘I do now,’ I replied, taking it from his hand. I took a drag, before realising it was a bad move. I coughed violently, expelling the smoke from my lungs.
Zayn smirked lightly before taking the cigarette back. ‘Not your thing,’
I half smiled before falling back against the wall.
‘You know he’s just jealous,’ Zayn tried.
‘About what?!’ I questioned angrily.
‘Of Riley,’ He sighed.
‘What?’ My head snapped to face him.
‘You don’t know?’
‘Hey guys,’ Lex said softly, peeking round the corner to see us.
‘Hey,’ I grumbled.
‘Please come back upstairs. They boys have agreed not to fight,’
I sighed, pushing myself upright. ‘I don’t really want to talk to them right now,’
‘At least come upstairs!’
‘Ok,’ I gave in, following her. I gestured for Zayn to do the same but he signalled to his cigarette and said he’d be up in a minute.
As we entered the flat, Liam and Riley stood up.
‘Heidi,’ Liam breathed.
‘I think it’s best if you all go now,’ I stated before walking into my bedroom, shutting the door.
I lay back on my best and tended to the thought spinning through my mind. Jealous. Why was he jealous. What was Zayn going to say? Maybe it was the same as what Liam was gunna say at the beach. Zayn said it like I was missing the obvious but I couldn’t work it out. Why was Liam jealous of Riley? He couldn’t be- No, he couldn’t. What if- No, he’s my friend. And with that I dispelled the niggling thought from my brain, trying to think of something else. The argument earlier was so petty, I wish I hadn’t walked off. My dinner had been ruined and I suppose I only had myself to blame. With that I rolled my eyes and fell back onto my bed, stuffing my headphones in and ignoring the world.