I had never felt so restless in my life. I looked over at my three other band mates and could instantly tell they also felt this way. For the past half hour we had all been shuffling in our seats, possibly looking at our phones for no reason at all and staring aimlessly out the windows.
It was a beautiful cloudless day and I turned my thoughts to my family at home; my mum probably sun bathing in the garden, her boyfriend either mowing the lawn or chatting to one of our interfering neighbours and my little brother, almost certainly butt naked, playing with the hose. I wondered if they would be thinking about me, stationed among hundreds of other people, in a stuffy arena lobby waiting to find out the fate of my band. I doubted it.
When I first told my mum we were auditioning for the X Factor she seemed genuinely pleased and excited for me. She proudly told a few of her friends and promised she would drop us into London. When I called her to inform her we’d made it into Boot Camp she sounded over the moon.
“That’s brilliant Daisy!” she screamed down the phone.
Boot Camp came around really quickly but my mum appeared to lose interest. My brother was starting his first year of primary school in September which distracted her attention. I tried not to feel jealous. He was only my half brother but I loved him more than anything so I gave her the benefit of the doubt and forced a lot of excitable smiles.
I called her again last night when we were back in our hotel room to tell her how our Boot Camp audition had gone but Mark had answered and told me she was busy bathing my brother. I’d tried not to feel disheartened and diverted my thoughts to the excitement and anticipation of today.
“Dais! Are you still awake babe?” I suddenly snapped out of my daze as Blair whacked my arm and the sound of hundreds of other hopefuls chattering filled my ears again.
“What? Oh… yeah I am. Sorry I was miles away” I glanced over at Leila who looked up from her phone and she smiled at me.
“Shouldn’t be long now Dais, try not to fall asleep please because I am not attempting to wake you up. Go get some coffee or something”
“Good idea” I sighed whilst getting up and stretching out my aching muscles. It felt good to walk about for a bit. There was a small place that sold hot drinks near the entrance of the arena which was pretty packed with other contestants who obviously had the same idea as me. I ordered a large cappuccino for myself and three lattes for the others and then slumped into one of the seats outside so I could try and ring my mum again. As I took a big gulp of my coffee and pulled out my phone I felt someone sit next to me.
I looked up, instantly stunned at the beautiful boy that was angled towards me. His hair was a dark chestnut brown, curly in places and looked as though dozens of people had spent ages making it look so good. His smile was warm and friendly, perfect even and his eyes were a gorgeous array of blues and greens.
“Is it okay if I sit here?” he asked “Everywhere else is pretty full”. For some reason I had forgotten how to swallow and failed to notice the coffee dribbling out of my mouth and nose whilst I was busy oogling at him. Just as he was about to speak again I somehow managed to spit and snort (at the same time) my coffee all over the boy’s hot chocolate.
I sat there for a few moments, whilst the boy looked at me astonished, contemplating whether to just run, apologise or maybe wait for a bit in case life was feeling kind and the ground decided to swallow me up.
So, being the coward that I am, I grabbed my things and legged it, mumbling a pathetic sorry on the way past.
“What the hell is up with you?” Yasmin asked as I collapsed back into my chair at the lobby. Blair looked at me concerned.
“Seriously Daisy, what’s wrong? You look like you’ve just killed someone or something”
“I did something much, much worse… I…I spat coffee on someone” I stammered feeling even more horrified as I said it aloud.
My band mates gazed at me for a few seconds looking puzzled and then burst into fits of laughter.
“You… did… what?!” screeched Leila in between her surges of laughter. “Trust you Dais, that’s the funniest thing I’ve ever heard”
“Yes, please do explain Daisy. We’re all dying to hear how you managed this” giggled Yasmin.
So to the amusement of my friends I explained all about the boy sitting next to me and how I didn’t swallow my coffee in time. I decided to leave out that he looked like a God.
“It was really hot okay? Urgh this is so embarrassing” I whimpered “If we don’t get through to the judges houses this will officially be the worst day ever”.
So with nothing but the waiting to take my mind off my horrendous embarrassment I fell into another daze. I was in deep thought, thinking about how incredible it would be if our group did get through to the judges houses. We had been singing together since we were tiny and had decided that when we were in our final year of secondary school, we would audition for the X Factor. We couldn’t imagine doing anything else with our lives and more than anything, we wanted to do it together. I smiled to myself, glad that my incident from before had almost been put out of my mind when Blair whacked me again.
“That boy is staring at you Daisy”.
Sure enough, as I looked up, I caught eyes with a boy who grinned at me cheekily.
“OH MY GOD THAT’S HIM” I cried and dived behind Yasmin so that I was wedged between her and her seat. “Has he stopped looking yet?”
“Um Dais…he’s coming over” Leila laughed.
“CRAP CRAP CRAP”
“Get up you nutter, he’s smiling. It’s okay.”
I pulled myself up and walked shyly towards him.
“Hey, you left your phone outside the coffee place” he said, pulling it out of his pocket with a smirk.
“Thanks…” I murmured as I retrieved it. He carried on smirking at me. “Um…I’m really, really sorry for erm…”
“Don’t worry about it” he interrupted, chuckling. “It was funny. I’ve never seen anyone run away so fast”
“Huh.” was all I could say, feeling my cheeks turn beetroot red.
“I’m Harry by the way” he said confidently and held out his hand.
“Daisy” I said, flushing.
“I’m Blair!” I heard, and rolled my eyes as she came over to us. “Do you want to come and wait with us?” she asked suggestively. But as she spoke a pretty blonde girl appeared behind him.
“Harry, are you coming back?” She spoke in a sickly way that made me cringe and I noticed her look me up and down. “We can go and get a drink if you want”
“Sure, I’ll be there in a second. I’ll see you guys around then” he mused “No coffee allowed though” and then he smiled his perfect smile and walked away.
“You didn’t tell me your coffee guy was so hot Daisy?!” exclaimed Blair as I watched him go. “Lets hope he gets through huh?”
“Yeah” I sighed “Lets hope he does”.
Leila’s dad drove us to the airport. It was a boiling hot day; we were all in our favourite pair of shorts with sunglasses perched on top of our heads. None of us spoke due to tiredness, it had been a long week of rehearsing and perfecting after we found out we were through Boot Camp and going on to the judges houses. I smiled, remembering how ecstatic we were when Louis and Simon read our group’s name out. Yasmin and Blair were crying, Leila was dancing around like a loony and I was utterly speechless. However my smile faded when I thought of the beautiful boy I met outside the coffee place. As we were leaving I spotted him sitting in a corner behind the stage with his head in his hands.
“Are you alright?” I asked parking next to him. He looked up at me with watery eyes. “Oh its you.” he said bluntly. “Yeah I’m fine. This whole thing just sucks, you know?”
“I take it you got bad news then. There’s always next year right?”
“Huh. No shit. And no what’s the point” he replied rudely. “I just want to be left alone”. I instinctively remained and squeezed his hand feeling awkward.
“Did you get through?” he asked pulling his hand away from mine.
“Um…Yeah. My group did”
“Huh. Well that’s great. Good luck and everything”
And before I could reply he lifted up his hood and walked away leaving me sat there feeling horrible and useless.
“Your not still moping about that boy, are you?” whispered Yasmin who was sat next to me in the car. I laughed. Typical Yaz always able to know exactly what I was thinking from just looking at my face.
“How do you do that?” I asked in wonder.
“Daisy, he was horrible to you. And you’re never going to see him again. Forget about it”
“In all fairness, I did spit coffee at him”
“Yes but you apologised. Please cheer up. We’re going to Marbella! We have a three in eight chance of going onto the live shows! How can you be worrying about him?!” “Your right” I agreed. “As from now he will be totally put out of my mind for good.” And we both laughed as I was interrupted by a loud snore from Blair.
When we arrived at Heathrow airport, late afternoon, a producer was there waiting at the front to tell us where to go. We checked in and he guided us to a lounge where some other groups had already arrived. Everyone looked really excited. Some, which had obviously travelled a long way, were already asleep on sofas.
We found a table surrounded by chairs in the corner and threw our stuff down, making ourselves comfy ready for the hour and a half wait we were about to endure. I felt my stomach rumble and prayed the food on the aeroplane wouldn’t taste like garbage as it had on my last flight coming home from a family holiday to Portugal.
“I’m starving” whined Leila, reading my thoughts.
“Just think!” exclaimed Blair, “when we get to Marbella we will most definitely be staying in some sort of huge mansion, the food will be amazing!”
“I hope we get Cheryl” mused Yasmin. “or Danni… just not Louis”
For an hour we sat there discussing the judges and what we hoped the house would be like. We were midway through talking about whether we brought enough clothes or not, when our attention suddenly turned to the five young guys who had just walked into the lounge. Our mouths dropped one by one as we got a closer look. They were all gorgeous. One of them I recognised from the 2008 shows, he was tallish and sweet looking with light brown, highlighted hair. Another had surfery blonde hair. He was much shorter than all the rest but his smile was cute and he looked the most excited. Behind him strolled two more of them. One very tanned, with an extremely chiselled jaw line and smouldering face, the other, quite muscular and older looking with dark brown hair. The last one was the tallest. As he took of his hat, and ruffled his hands through his messy, brown curly hair I suddenly realised…
“Isn’t that Harry?” asked Leila confused “The guy you spat coffee at?”
“Oh my god it is. What on earth is he doing here?” My stomach was filled with butterflies.
They sat down by a window, looking about eagerly so I hid behind one of Blair’s magazines.
“Maybe I should go over and apologise?” I thought aloud. Blair pulled the magazine away from my face.
“Don’t be stupid Daisy. He doesn’t deserve an apology. You’re too nice to be his friend” but as she was saying this I saw her trying to catch his eye.
“She’s right Dais” they all agreed.
I couldn’t sit and listen to their Harry related chatter any longer so I got up and headed towards the water dispenser as I was feeling thirsty due to heat. I quickened my pace as I walked past Harry and the other boys and tried to cover my face with my hair. I was pretty sure I had walked past them without being noticed but when I reached the dispenser I felt a hand tap my shoulder.
“Hey…Daisy right?” I turned around to see a smiling Harry inches away from me. I stuttered feeling myself becoming lost in his mystifying eyes.
“Hi” was all I could manage back, not noticing I was doing my gold fish impression at the same time.
“I just wanted to come over to say sorry for being a dick after the Boot camp auditions. Looks like you’ll be seeing a lot more of me” he said whilst smirking. And before I could respond he winked at me and walked off. I was in a complete trance as I walked back to my band mates and tried to figure out in my head what the hell just happened.
Boarding the plane was a bit chaotic. We were last to get on because Blair forgot her Dior lip gloss so it was a rush to try and board on time. We were walking down the plane aisle, checking our tickets to find out where we were sitting when it suddenly became apparent I wasn’t sitting with the others.
“Great, who knows who the hell I’m going to be stuck next to” I moaned. I walked off in a mood and as I arrived at my designated seat. I nearly had a fit at who was already sat by the window grinning up at me.
“Hey” they said surprised. “I guess I wasn’t joking when I said you’d be seeing a lot more of me”….
In all fairness I shouldn’t have really been surprised at the turn of events. It was quite typical I would be sitting next to the boy I’d humiliated myself in front of, for two hours on a cramped aeroplane. However I couldn’t help but smile as I took my seat.
“Hello again” I said shyly. “Funny how this worked out huh?”
“Yeah” he said looking annoyed “Of all the people I could have been sat next to on this plane, I get put next to the drink spitter”
I grimaced but then he laughed so I knew he was joking and I relaxed.
“I’m sorry again” he started “…about Boot Camp. Yes, you did ruin my hot chocolate. But I had no right to be so rude. You hardly know me and yet you were so nice”
I looked up to see him smiling a perfect crooked smile at me and I totally forgot where I even was. I had to say something back, he was waiting for me but I couldn’t think of anything.
“What are you doing here?” I eventually replied. I was sure he’d auditioned by himself. He explained about the life line him and the four other boys had been given; they were now in a group together and had a chance to compete against the others for a place on the live shows.
“I can’t believe I’m here” he sighed. “It’s mad.”
“I’m glad you got through” I replied feeling embarrassed.
“Me too” he smirked. “I guess we should be mortal enemies now”
I laughed and put my iPod in as we were taking off. I wasn’t a great flyer so I decided on blasting some Plain White T’s to calm my nerves.
“Why are you listening to them?” I heard Harry ask, raising an eyebrow. “No offence Daisy but they kind of suck” My tummy did a somersault as he said my name. “Are you serious?! I love the Plain White T’s!”
The conversation continued like that for the most part of the journey. We argued over our preferred bands, discussed our favourite films and talked about the books we’d read. He quizzed me about my family; I left out the complicated details and changed the subject back to music again.
I had never felt so comfortable talking to a guy before. I could have sat there all day, listening intently to everything he was telling me. I enjoyed learning the pointless bits of information about him that no one else would have found as remotely fascinating as I did. He was busy telling me all about his previous band, ‘The White Eskimos’ back at home, when an air hostess came past with a trolley.
“Would either of you like anything to drink?” she asked with a sickly smile “Tea, Coffee?”
“NO!” screeched Harry making me and the air hostess jump a little. “Sorry…I mean no coffee for us thanks. Coke will be fine” As he said this he looked over at me trying not to laugh and I let out a slight giggle.
“Harry you are so mean!” I exclaimed, playfully hitting him on the arm as the hostess walked away leaving our drinks “And embarrassing! The whole plane probably heard you scream that.” He returned my playful slap.
“Well I couldn’t take any chances could I, sitting next to you?” he teased. “And you better not spit that coke at me”
To his amusement, the remainder of the journey consisted of him largely mocking me. I didn’t mind though. It was fun messing around with him and to my delight he seemed just as comfortable around me as I did with him.
We landed around eleven, it was a clear starry night and as we flopped ourselves tiredly into the mini bus that was taking us to our judges house, you could still feel the anticipation in the air. My friends raised their eyebrows at me as I sat myself next to Harry again initiating they would want the gossip later.
When we pulled up to the enormous mansion everyone was in such a hurry to get off, me and Harry were left until last. He stood there in a gentlemanly fashion, holding the door open for me and as I gently stumbled onto the exquisitely paved driveway he unnecessarily caught me in his arms. As I gazed up surprised by his kind gesture, our eyes met and he smirked making me feel breathless…
When I opened my eyes the next morning the first thing I became aware of was the sheets stuck damply to my skin. I peeled them off me and dragged myself out of bed to the balcony leaving the others snoring soundly in there four-poster beds. The view was breathtaking. In the distance the sun was rising, peering over the ocean. The warm breeze blew my hair back as I held on to the railings, I felt like I was playing a role in a movie. As I was enjoying my moment I heard a stifled snigger coming from the balcony next to mine.
“Daisy? What are you doing?” I turned round to see Harry looking at me puzzled, half-naked in a pair of Jack Wills boxers. I flushed realising I was only wearing my skimpy cow patterned pyjama shorts and a tiny crop top. I could feel my face reddening even more as I tried to avert my eyes from his slightly toned yet perfect torso.
” Oooh you know, just having a look at the view” gesturing to what was in front of us and trying to sound casual, hoping that he hadn’t noticed my movie star impression.
” Riiiiiight…anyway did you sleep well?” he asked gazing at my odd pyjama combination. I felt the colour rise in my face again knowing that he’d obviously noticed my lack of clothing as well. “Yeah not too bad thanks. What are you doing up so early?”
“I could ask you the same question” he asked in a jokey manner. I yet again found myself doing my goldfish impression and accidentally let my eyes wander down south, feeling them widen as I was taken aback by his bulge. I quickly looked up becoming embarrassed once more, losing track at what he’d said to me. His face went from amused to smug and I stuttered trying to find words so I wouldn’t look like more of a freak than I already did.
“Ummm I’m not really used to this heat”
“Fair enough, I’ll see you later then” he said as he disappeared back into his room. I turned and went back inside to see if the girls were awake and saw Leila sat up, her eyes following me as I got back into my bed.
“Who were you talking to” she asked.
” No one of any interest” I replied laying back and sinking into my pillows glad to be back in my room, the feeling of embarrassment slowly ebbing away.
After a long day of rehearsals and meeting our mentor Simon, which we were all ecstatic about, I called my mum to tell her all about the beautiful place that I was staying in. After what felt like forever she finally answered the phone.
“Mum, it’s me”
“Oh hello darling, how’s Marbella? Who’s your mentor?”
“Oh my God Mum it’s amazing, it’s so hot and we got Simon” I exclaimed excitedly and just as I was about to tell her what I been doing all day I heard my brother in the background screaming for her attention.
“I’m sorry darling I have to go; Ben wants me, stay safe! And call your dad he’s had a bit of a turn and is asking after you, love you, speak soon”
Before I could reply the phone line went dead and I tried not to feel down. I walked out into the dining room from the garden feeling like utter crap. Yasmin and Leila came running up to me and hugged me asking what was wrong. I explained the whole story about my mum and as Yasmin embraced me again I saw Blair and Harry sitting together laughing flirtatiously. I caught Harry’s eye and he saw the distress in my face. The laughter was quickly replaced by a look of concern and as he strode over to me I could see Blair left alone with the biggest scowl on her face.
“Want to go for a walk?” Harry asked stealing my attention back from Blair.
“Yeah that would be nice” I replied.
He led me out the door and down the path towards the beach, our hands knocking awkwardly. “So then, I’m not stupid what’s got rid of that beautiful smile of yours?”
“Just family stuff, nothing important”
“No spill, I’m worried about you”
Without being able to stop myself my whole life story came pouring out; the fact that my Dad has schizophrenia, and that my Mum favours my brother over me.
“I’ve never told anyone that before”
“Ha, I feel honoured” he smiled.
I stared daggers at him, what a cock. I just told him my family story and that’s all he can say!
“I’m joking Dais” Again the way he said my name made me unnecessarily happy “Don’t worry about it, you know if you ever want to talk ill be here for you”
“Thanks, that means a lot”
“Any time. By the way there’s something I’ve been meaning to ask you too”
My heart fluttered as I thought of all the different things that it could be.
“Go for it” I said hoping I wouldn’t regret saying this.
“Well, there’s someone that I kind of like, but I don’t know what to do about it”
“Oh” I said, sitting down on a nearby log staring at my feet, trying not to make it obvious that I was rejoicing inside.
“Yeah” he carried on “I get on really well with her, and she’s not too bad on the eyes either”
My chest swelled as I knew what was coming.
“I reckon you should tell her then” I said beaming.
“Thanks Daisy your amazing” he exclaimed, kissing my forehead whilst getting up “You’re such a good friend”
‘Friend’ I repeated in my head realising I had been wrong all along. He walked off in the direction of the house leaving me sitting on the log feeling more deflated than I did this morning…
I awoke with a start. I was startled at first by the unfamiliar surroundings; our lives had been non-stop since Simon put us through to the X Factor house, and as I remembered where we were my excitment swelled. Our room wasn’t as magnificent as the one in Marbella. Instead of four poster beds we were in bunkbeds, I was stuck above Blair who snores everynight like a beast. I climbed down from my bed and left the others sleeping whilst I decided to explore the new kitchen and make myself a cup of tea. I was wary as I creeped through the maze of corridors, hoping I wouldn’t bump into any curly haired creatures. Me and Harry had hardly spoken since our walk on the beach, I had put all my efforts into avoiding him so he wouldn’t notice my shame and disappointment.
There was someone already sat in the kitchen when I got there. He was engrossed in his newspaper and didn’t look up as I bustled round looking for teabags.
“If you’re looking for teabags, they’re in the second draw over there’ the boy stated, smiling up from his paper.
“Teabags in a draw?” I laughed, and grinned back at him. His smile was infectious.
“Yeah I know, pretty silly huh. Im Aiden by the way. It’s a shame none of us got to introduce ourselves last night, getting here so late and that…” he paused closing his paper and gave me a look that reminded me of how I sometimes looked at Harry. I blushed and carried on making my tea.
“I’m Daisy” I said with my back to him.
“That’s a pretty name”
I couldn’t help but smile at his subtle compliment. I turned to thank him but before I could someone else walking into the kitchen stole my attention.
“Morning guys” Harry exclaimed. I whipped back round, spilling my tea in the process. I swore, annoyed at my clumsiness and heard a muffled snort.
“You and hot drinks really dont get on, do you Dais?” he joked, winking causing me to spill even more tea. I angrily told him to shut up and stormed out the room with only half a cup left. As I got to the bottom of the stairs I heard Harry ask:
“What the hell is wrong with her today?”
“I dunno mate, she seemed alright when I was talking to her” replied Aiden
I could hear them both laughing in unison as I stomped upstairs.
Rehearsals were particularly hard. The first show was only five days away so we were working especially hard on our performance to make sure we stood out on Saturday. When we arrived back at the house we spent time meeting all the other acts and getting to know them. When I saw Aiden he gave me a huge smile and an awkward one armed hug. I gestured the other girls to come over, who were busy chatting to Harry’s other band mates and Yasmin immediatley captured his attention by questioning him. I took this opportunity to slip away outside; I was in need of some peace and quiet.
I found a bench at the end of the huge garden. I sat there and relaxed with my eyes closed for a few moments contemplating whether to try and call my mum again. I heard a rustle but didn’t think anything of it until I suddenly felt a warm pair of arms envelope me in a tight bear hug.
“Hey you” they whispered in my ear, sending shivers down my spine.
“Harry!” I exclaimed startled as he brought his face round to the side of mine “you made me jump”.
“Sorry beautiful, I didn’t mean to” he said in a sultry manner sitting down next to me. Any mood I was in before melted away at his words. How anyone could stay annoyed at him I didnt know.
“What was wrong this morning?” he continued sounding concerned “I’m sorry if it was my fault”
“No, it wasn’t your fault. I was just really tired”
“Thats good” he smirked “So where have you been hiding? I hardly saw you for the rest of the time in Marbella”
“Oh…yeah sorry. It was probably because of rehersals and that” I said, trying to sound convincing but I dont think he quite believed me.
“Fair enough. Are you looking forward to tonight then?” he asked referring to the house warming party.
“Yeah” I said relaxing a little, smiling “It’s a good excuse to get dressed up a bit”
“Very true. I look forward to seeing that!”
I sat there for a moment, knocked off guard unable to find a decent reply.
“We’ll have to get really drunk together, yeah?”
“Okay” I mumbled feeling elated as he got up and strolled away, shouting over his shoulder:
“I’ll definitely see you later then!”
The rest of the afternoon flew by as me and the girls spent it excitedly getting ready in our room. Blairs outfit was slightly on the skimpy side. She chose a croptop with hotpants accompanied by military boots and straightened her long blonde hair so it fell perfectly down her back. Yasmin, the more conservative type wore a black bodycon skirt with a pretty blouse that complimented her dark eyes and skin tone. Leila looked gorgeous in a topshop playsuit and studded heels; she plaited her hair to one side so it fell messily over her shoulder. I decided on a white lace dress, black tights and my favourite heeled shoe boots. I left my hair wavy and down but felt plain in comparison to the other girls.
“Aw Dais you look lovely” commented Yasmin raising her eyebrows “I’m sure Harry will agree too”
“Thanks Yas” I replied with a small smile.”You look stunning as usual”
“Do you reckon my arse looks alright in this?” Blair threw in, knowing that she looked better than all of us put together “I want people to notice”
I tutted at her loudly and said ” You know you look good Blair so shut up”
“You know I’ve really taken a liking to Louis” said Leila changing the subject “He’s so funny”
“Don’t be stupid” Blair retorted “He’s got a girlfriend, but dont worry i caught Zayn looking at you earlier”
“Oo really, I might accidently land of his face tonight then” Leila joked back.
We carried on giggling like this while we waited for the party to start. Blair opened a sneeky bottle of wine and we all started to get in the mood for a good night.
Leila, Yasmin and myself went down first whilst Blair was still messing about with her already perfect hair. As we came down the stairs we noticed the One Direction boys gathered at the bottom, beers cans in hand. My eyes automatically found Harry’s and he did a double take as he noticed what I was wearing. I got to the bottom and he embraced me in a hug, whilst the other girls went off to say hello to the boys.
“You look….” he said, his sentence faltering
I never got to find out the rest, as at that particular moment Blair chose to come downstairs. The boys jaws dropped one by one at her lack of clothing and perfect figure, with their eyes coming to a rest on her clevage.
“Hey Harry” Blair said as she sauntered past him into the kitchen where the other contestants were. His eyes followed her the whole way until they eventually landed back on me.
“I’ll catch you later” he said as he hugged me quickly and followed her in with the other boys. I looked at Yasmin and Leila and raised my eyebrows as we continued into the kitchen after them feeling disheartened…
I poured myself another glass of wine; I’d lost count how many I’d had after the fourth. It was late and the party was in full swing, I was unaware of how quickly I was knocking them back.
“Daisy slow down” said Yasmin, coming up behind me.
“I’m fine” I slurred back, laughing “Stop being a party pooper”
“You’re so drunk Daisy, come back and sit with us and the boys”
“Okay Yazzy” I said throwing my arms round her neck to support me “I love you SO much”
“Yeah, okay Daisy. I love you too. Now can you please start walking”
I tried to follow her, but managed to trip over my own foot resulting in me sprawled on the floor.
“Get up Daisy!” exclaimed Yasmin angrily. “Everyone is laughing at you”
I looked up to see Harry and the others in fits of laughter and felt mortified.
“Is she alright” I heard someone ask. Aiden suddenly appeared over me and gave me his hand to help me up.
“No not really” replied Yasmin “She’s had a bit too much to drink”
“Ah I see, want me to sit with her for a bit?”
“Nooooooo” I protested, looking over at Harry longingly who was suspiciously close to Blair. I tried to walk back over to him but stumbled back into Aiden, who guided me over to a nearby chair.
“Here have some of this” he said looking sneaky. I downed the unknown drink thinking that it was water, but ended up nearly spitting it out as I realised it was straight vodka. He laughed at my reaction and I drunkenly hit him round the head.
“Why did you give me that crap?” I said sourly.
“Cos I knew you would drink it” he replied still laughing.
I couldn’t help but laugh back as he pulled me up so we could dance. I was having a really good time with Aiden but I couldn’t help but look over at Harry every few minutes who had his arm round Blair’s waist.
“Why are you pulling that face?” asked Aiden, following my gaze.
“Um, I’m not pulling a face” I replied trying to distract him with a ‘big fish, little fish, cardboard box’ dance move. He chuckled and pulled me closer so I could feel his hot, alcoholic breath on my face.
“You make me laugh Daisy”
I looked up at him and the room span; I could see four of his face.
“I need some air” I gagged and he led me outside to the patio where we sat round a table.
I inhaled the fresh air feeling better and he lit a cigarette.
“Do you smoke Daisy” he questioned, seeing me look at it curiously
“No, never” I answered closing my eyes “It’s bad for you”
“Do you think I’d be bad for you”
I opened my eyes looking at him confused. He leant closer to me and rested his hand on my leg.
“Aiden…” I started but he stopped me from finishing and brought his face millimeters away from mine. I could sense what was coming so I hastily got up and ran inside leaving him looking disappointed and hurt as Harry had left me.
I scurried through the party, feeling like rubbish and decided to hide for a few minutes incase Aiden had followed me in. I yanked open the cupboard door for under the stairs and threw myself down, my stomach churning a little; thankfully I noticed a bucket in the corner. I placed my hands over my face, upset at the way the evening had turned out.
When I opened my eyes, everything was silent. I tried to squint so I could see where I was but my head thumped loudly and I shivered, suddenly realising how cold I felt. There was a noise nearby and I heard someone whisper my name.
“Hello” I croaked, tasting the stale alcohol on my breath.
“Daisy?” the voice said. “Where the hell are you?”
“In here” I retorted, trying to kick open the cupboard door with my foot. It unexpectedly swung open and the silhouette of a boy stood above me. My eyes objected as the light came on and Harry bent down looking at me amused.
“I’ve been looking for you for hours Daisy. Why are you in a cupboard?”
“I don’t know” I whimpered feeling stupid and still slightly drunk.
“Get up, we’re going to bed”
“We are?” I asked confused, raising my eyebrows.
“Well…you are. I’m taking you up”
“Oh” I replied, disappointed.
He lifted me up with ease and carried me up to my room, laying me gently on Blair’s bed as she had taken over mine, our chests pressed against eachother. The moment was too perfect, the butterflies in my stomach were making me feel sick again. I was nervous and unsure what to do next.
“Do you want to take my dress off or shall I?” I whispered in his ear so not to wake the other girls up.
“Um…What?” he murmured back.
“Am I not supposed to take my clothes off?” I asked, sitting up and squashing myself closer to him.
“Only to put your pajamas on Dais” he said louder and pulled himself away from me. I was glad it was dark as I’d never blushed so much before.
“Oh…can you pass me them then please” I said, trying to pull my dress over my head “They’re next to you”
In my haste to get it off so I could quickly cover myself back up, I got tangled with my arms stuck above my head.
“Erm…Harry. I’m not being funny but I’m actually stuck”
He sniggered and pulled the dress up the rest of the way so our hands met. He dropped the dress behind me and pulled my hands down slowly. I could hear my heart beating in my chest as our faces inched closer and closer until I could feel his breath on my face. Just as I went to lean in Blair snorted in her sleep and he pulled away abruptly.
“Night Daisy” he whispered, kissing me on the forehead again and leaving the room, shutting the door lightly behind him….
To describe the last few days as manic was an understatement. The first show inched closer and closer, Simon spent a fair few hours with us every afternoon during our rehearsals until we had perfected our version of ‘Take A Bow’ by Rihanna. When Friday night arrived our nerves were high and everyone in the house seemed quieter than usual.
I was slouched on a sofa with Leila in the living room, trying to concentrate on the television but my eyes kept flickering to the clock on the wall. Midnight was only four hours away and that meant it would then be Saturday…and that meant the live show. I fidgeted anxiously and diverted my eyes back to the TV unaware that Aiden had just strolled in and taken the seat next to me.
“Hey Daisy” he said, startling me a little.
“Oh, hey” I said bashfully, not able to look him in the eye as we hadn’t properly spoken since the party “How are you?”
“I’m great thanks. Tired from rehearsals and that” he answered fiddling nervously with his hands. “And you?”
There was a long awkward pause. I felt my palms sweating and I wished to God Leila would notice my uncomfortable conversation and help me out but she had her nose in a magazine and did not look up.
“I just quickly wanted to ask you something” he went on. “And I wanted to say sorry if I acted drunk and inappropriately” he said with a friendly grin on his face making the awkwardness disappear.
“It’s fine” I giggled; glad we were talking again. “At least you didn’t fall over”
“Yeah, I suppose that is a lot worse”
“Ha, thanks Aiden” I said sarcastically, hitting him on the arm. “What did you want to ask me by the way?”
His face changed, he looked nervous again and I instantly regretted asking.
“Erm…I have tickets to see this new film next week. I bought them for me and Matt…you know the guy in my group and erm yeah he can’t come now. So um…I was wondering if you wanted to come instead”
I knew what it would mean to him if I went, I could tell by the way he was staring at me, looking hopeful. All I could think of was how much I wished it was someone else asking me, someone in particular, and I felt sick with myself for being such a terrible person. I was quickly trying to decide which excuse to use when to my sudden pleasure, Harry popped his head round the door.
“Dais!” he yelled, grinning at me. “Come and play doubles tennis on the Wii. Me, Liam and Blair are playing and we need a fourth”
“Sure!” I replied instantly, forgetting about everyone else in the room. I got up and bounded over to him, oblivious to Aiden’s let down face, and threw myself onto his back making him chuckle.
“You are not having a piggy back Daisy. You can get off right now”
“Pleeease Harry” I whined tactically, trying not to laugh and increasing my squeeze around his neck.
“Fine” he said sincerely. “But only half way. And then you’re giving me one”
I beamed, delighted to be so close to him and couldn’t help but notice how wonderful he smelt; like an aftershave but not too strong and his hair smelt faintly of shampoo. As he carried me into the other room, tomorrows worry was completely put out of my mind.
Saturday night came round in a blink of an eye. I squeezed Yasmin’s hand as the doors onto the main stage opened revealing the gigantic audience and bright lights. The music began to blare and I realised there was no going back now. As we walked onto the stage and Leila started singing, I became more comfortable.
“You look so dumb right now” I carried on, suddenly feeling elated. The rest of the song went amazingly. The comments from the judges were better than we expected and as we got back to the dressing rooms Harry and the boys were there to greet us.
“You were brilliant Daisy, I didn’t know your voice was that good” he said excitedly, giving me a quick hug but when I looked up at him I could tell there was something wrong.
“Thanks…what’s up with you?” I asked feeling alarmed at his not so usual self.
“Nothing really. My cat died today”
“Oh erm…I’m really sorry” I replied patting him on the shoulder.
“It’s okay. I did love Stella. But it’s alright, I have another two still. I love cats”
“Right. Um…me too. I know I would be devastated if I had a cat…and it died”
He smiled at me and gave me another hug.
“Thanks for cheering me up Daisy. I’ll see you later then. We can have a celebration drink when we get home. Wish me luck”
“Good luck” I grinned. “See you later. Sorry again about your cat”
When we got in, there was a table of drinks and party food to greet us that had been left by the producers. We all gathered in the living room and congratulated each other on our performances, trying to avoid Wagner where possible.
The girls and I sat with One Direction; Aiden, Matt and Cher joined us later on. We were all in hysterics as Louis decided to put on a wig and do an impression of Wagner’s performance. I was aware of Harry’s leg against mine as he shook with laughter next to me. I was also very conscious of Aiden, who kept glancing over at me in an obvious manner. It was uncomfortable to say the least. A few moments later Harry stood up.
“Does anyone want another drink?”
“Yeah, please mate. I’ll have another beer” Louis replied.
“No I’m okay thanks” said Blair, standing up as well “My wine is upstairs”
I suddenly remembered my sneaky bottle of alcohol I had hidden in an empty suitcase.
“Can you get my bottle of Sambucca whilst you’re up there please” I asked.
“Sure, I think I know where it is” she called out, leaving the room, Harry following.
Twenty minutes passed and Blair still hadn’t returned with my drink. I was starting to sober up and Aiden’s glances were beginning to infuriate me.
I went upstairs to find out what was taking so long and as I approached our room I could hear Blair’s voice. I burst through the door ready to have a go.
“Blair what are you do…”
I was unable to finish my sentence. I stood there dumbstruck at what was in front of me. Harry’s legs were either side of Blair, who was laying on the bed. Her dress was laid crumpled on the floor next to Harry’s shirt. Harry turned to look at me, quickly pulling away from Blair’s face.
A painful lump rose in my throat as I saw her hand still entwined in his hair with his still on her leg. I suddenly felt suffocated and the aching feeling in my chest was too much to bare. I ran out the room, not even looking back as Harry shouted my name.
“Just leave her Harry” I heard Blair retort “She’ll be fine”
I burst through the patio doors; tears began to stream down my face. I collapsed onto the cold stone floor and pressed my head against the wall.
“Daisy?” I heard, my heart skipping a beat as I thought it was Harry. Disappointment flooded me as I realised it was Aiden.
“Are you okay?” he continued sitting down and putting his arm around me.
“Yeah I’m great” I sarcastically replied.
He tightened his grip on my shoulder and pulled me closer.
“I’m sure it’s not that bad” he stated making cry again. I felt a finger on my chin pulling my head up and he proceeded to wipe my eyes. I was taken aback by his kindness and felt bad for ignoring him the day before.
“I’m sor..” I started but was cut off by lips crushing against mine. At first it felt wrong and uncomfortable but I surprised myself as I kissed him back and put my arm around his neck to pull him closer to me…
It was three days after the results show. We and the two other remaining bands were gathered in a studio, waiting for the rehearsals to start for our second live show performance. Me and the girls automatically scattered ourselves in a circle with the One Direction boys, who we now classed as our best friends in the house. I was sat in between Liam and Leila, trying to concentrate on their chatter, but my attention kept wondering over to the playful couple on the other side of the studio.
“Get a room!” Louis shouted, laughing as Blair locked her arms around Harry’s neck and kissed him passionately in front of everyone.
“Yeah Harry” agreed Zayn, with a mouth full of crisps. “I’m eating”
“Shut up and eat then” suggested Harry, kissing Blair lightly on the mouth again and brought her over to sit with us.
“Ergh” groaned Liam next to me.
I stared at my phone, trying to ignore their perfect love scene, and the miserable aching feeling that rose in my chest once more.
I was grateful when Brian Friedman came through the door encouraging us to separate and get ready to warm up for our practice.
When we walked out of rehearsals and into the breezy October evening, droplets of rain began to fall and the wind nipped at my already rosy cheeks.
“Crap, my umbrella is inside still” I said to Yasmin, who was busy putting hers up.
“Wait for me please”
I hurried back inside, happy to see my umbrella still sat on the radiator where I left it. Just as I turned to leave a pair of hands came from behind and covered my eyes, startling me.
“Aiden?” I laughed, pulling them away and whipping round to tell him off for making me jump. My face fell as I realised who it was.
“Hey Dais” said Harry, his hands now perched on my shoulders.
“Oh…H-hey” I stammered.
“Where have you been hiding?”
“What do you mean?” I asked innocently, unable to look him in the eyes.
He brought a finger under my chin and lifted up my face, examining it. He looked worried.
“I haven’t seen you in days Daisy…and don’t give me the Rehearsals excuse”
“I’m a workaholic” I replied matter-of-factly.
“It’s pretty bad that I have to jump on you after rehearsals just to see how you are”
“I’m fine Harry” I said, forcing a smile. There was a long pause.
“Let’s go grab a coffee!” he suddenly suggested with a big grin on his face. “I’m willing to take the risk”
“Ha, very funny” I answered sarcastically, incapable of stopping myself from smiling. We walked out together laughing, his arm wrapped casually around my shoulder and just as we were about to head into the rain Yasmin appeared with…
“Aiden?!” I exclaimed, shocked to see him. Yasmin looked at me and Harry warily.
“Hey Daisy” he said bashfully. “I came to um…see if you wanted to hang out?”
I shrugged out of Harry’s grip, my eyes flicking between the two of them.
“Sure” I smiled, making him beam and then looked at Harry apologetically “We’ll get a coffee tomorrow or something?”
His face fell and he stared daggers at Aiden.
“Right…Yeah. I better go and find Blair anyway”
“Okay” I replied desolately, the aching feeling making an appearance yet again.
“Seeya Dais” he said without smiling and kissed me on the forehead quickly before turning round and leaving.
“What’s up?” Aiden asked me whilst we were watching Mean Girls in one of the TV lounges back at the house. “This film is a-mazing. And you haven’t even cracked a smile at it”
“Nothing” I lied. “I’m just tired”
“It’s funny isn’t it” he said laughing and changing the subject back to the film “That you girls can just flutter your eyelashes and you get whatever you want”
“I wish it was that simple for me” I replied sourly.
“You sound like you need cheering up Daisy” he said staring at me with a sneaky look on his face. I stared back confused, wondering what on earth he was planning but before I could ask he threw me over his right shoulder and spun me round until I felt positively sick.
“AIDEN!” I yelped between fits of laughter “PUT ME DOWN!”
I hammered my fists on his back as I started to feel the blood rush to my head from being upside down for too long. He tripped backwards and landed on the sofa with me on his lap. We carried on laughing for a few moments and for the first time in days I felt happier.
His face then suddenly turned serious again.
“I really like you Daisy” he told me, tucking a strand of hair behind my ear.
“Aiden…” I started but he cut me off again and pressed his lips against mine.
I was not prepared for my response. I brought my hand round his neck and clutched onto his hair, bringing him closer to me. My lips separated and I breathed in his scent and just as his hand began to trail down my spine, the door flew open and Harry stood there; the look on his face showing no sign he expected this.
“Dais…” he said worriedly, not taking his eyes of Aiden. “Your mum just called Yaz. Your brother’s in hospital”
I was tired as I left the hospital and boarded my train back to London. My brother had caught pneumonia but was recovering quickly and I was needed back at the house for rehearsals; the next live show only days away.
I yawned as I took my seat next to the window and closed my eyes, settling down for the long journey ahead. I thought back to when I last saw Harry and grimaced as I remembered the shocked look on his face. I took out my phone and decided to text him, hoping it would ease the awkwardness when I arrived home.
Blair leaned on my shoulder as we sat in the lounge on the sofa together. She was forcing to me to watch Americas Next Top Model much to my dismay. Just as she snuggled closer to my chest I heard my phone vibrate next to me and couldn’t help but smile as I saw Daisy’s name appear on my screen.
“Daisy’s home today!” I exclaimed excitedly to Blair.
She raised her eyebrows at me.
“Um great…why is she texting you anyway?”
“She’s my friend? You know we’re friends Blair”
“Nice of her to text me”
I sighed, feeling uneasy at the uncomfortable silence.
“Why don’t we go and meet her from the station?”
“I’m sure she’s capable of coming back by herself Harry” she replied sourly
“But she’s our mate. Shouldn’t we be there for her?”
“Are you sure you just want to be there for her?” she said, getting up with an angered look on her face. “You seem a tad obsessed to me”
“Grow up Blair. Stop being so self-centred for once”
“Just fuck off Harry. You can be a right dick sometimes”
“Same to you” I shouted as she stormed out the room.
I stirred as the train pulled into the platform, trying to remember the blissful dream that was quickly leaving my mind.
I gathered my things and made my way towards the barriers hoping I wouldn’t get lost in the crowds of people that were bustling around me.
As I pulled my suitcase along the platform and I thought longingly of my bed back at the house, my stomach suddenly dropped when I saw a tall curly haired boy facing away from the barriers with his hands in his pockets.
“It’s not Harry” I said to myself trying to reassure my racing mind. But as I got nearer, he turned around and smiled a smile that was so breathtaking I stopped dead in my tracks.
“What are you doing here Harry?” I asked him as I pulled my suitcase through the gate.
“I thought I would be a nice surprise” he said winking cockily, grabbing my suitcase from me.
“Um, well it’s definitely a surprise” I mumbled into his chest as he pulled me into a bear hug, my dream rushing back to me.
“I’ve missed you Dais”
“I missed you too” I said, forcing a smile.
There was an awkward pause, broken by his arm sliding around me.
“There’s a car waiting for us outside” he said steering us towards the exit. I walked next to him in a daze, trying to make up my mind if I was pleased by his sudden appearance.
As we got into the back of the car, I slid as close to the window as I could feeling wary of his arm draped behind me as he took his seat.
“It’s good to be back” I said smiling awkwardly.
“Yeah” he replied “I’m glad you’re back. How is your brother then?”
“He’s much better. It was horrible seeing him like that though”
“I can imagine” he stated, squeezing my hand.
There was another long pause and I yawned loudly staring out the window.
“Aiden seems nice” he pursued.
“Yeah” I answered confused by his sudden interest “He is”
“Are you two like a thing then?”
“That’s none of your business Harry” I replied turning to face the window putting any hope straight out of my mind.
We hadn’t spoken again after I asked about Aiden. She seemed annoyed by my questions so I left her to sleep.
After half an hour she rolled over towards me, deep in slumber and her head fell delicately on my shoulder. I pulled her towards me and rested my chin on her head suddenly aware of how wonderful and familiar she smelt.
She stirred suddenly, a small smile spreading across her face as she nestled into my chest. I increased my grip around her, surprised by my need to protect her.
I nearly drifted off as well but soon enough we were approaching the gates to the house and I struggled to let her go…
When I woke up in the car, Harry was already strolling across the drive into the house, so I miserably picked up my bags and followed, irritated by his rudeness. He didn’t turn around or acknowledge me as he wandered up the stairs, leaving me feeling stung and hurt, trying to work out what I’d done wrong.
I threw my suitcase on the floor and slumped onto the bottom step, tears pricking in my eyes.
“DAISY” I suddenly heard as Yasmin and Leila appeared in the hallway, arms outstretched with big grins on their faces.
“What’s wrong Dais?” asked Leila, grin fading as she noticed my watery eyes.
“Nothing!” I lied casually “I’m just so happy to be back”
“Aw Daisy we missed you” exclaimed Yasmin throwing her arms around me. Just as we were embracing in a group hug Liam and Niall bounced over excitably.
“Daisy, you’re back!”
“Yeah!” I said laughing and gave them both a friendly squeeze.
“Where’s Harry?” questioned Liam, making my face fall again.
“I don’t know” I stated quickly, trying to hide the pain in my voice “I think he went upstairs”
“Probably gone to see Blair” winked Niall.
I tried to ignore the ache in my throat as the image of them from the night of the after party flooded my mind again.
“Dais, you’re needed in the lounge” said Leila, stealing back my attention.
“What?” I asked, confused by her sneaky facial expression.
“Just follow” replied Yasmin, grabbing my arm and leading me towards the back of the house.
Just as I was about to freak out at them for their strange behaviour, they pushed me into a darkened room and closed the door before I could protest.
I gasped as I took in what was in front of me. The room was filled with an assortment of tiny candles. There was a small rug laid out on the floor accompanied by two bags of what looked like take-away Chinese food. And then I saw Aiden, perched on a sofa smiling up at me making me unable to stop myself from grinning back.
“Aiden you soppy twat” I said, giggling as he came towards me.
“I missed you Daisy” he replied, kissing me hungrily on the lips. I happily kissed him back, overwhelmed by the feeling of comfort.
“I missed you Daisy” he replied, kissing me hungrily on the lips. I happily kissed him back, overwhelmed by the feeling of comfort.
“You didn’t need to do all this” I mumbled bashfully as we broke apart.
“I wanted to… Well to be honest it’s because of all this healthy food we keep getting, you know?” he answered, chuckling nervously.
“Very funny” I said, hitting him on the arm.
“Matt helped me out” he admitted “I’m not very good at all this kind of stuff”
“Well I think it’s nice” I smiled, taking a seat on the rug.
Before I could reach over to help myself to some food, he was next to me again, his face inches away from mine.
“Can I take you out properly tomorrow?” he whispered, sliding his hand up my back.
“Sure” I sighed, shivering as he slowly fingered my spine.
“We’ll go out after my rehearsals. You can come with me to those if you like”
“That sounds good” I smirked, pleased I would have something to take my mind off things.