Someone Like You
Niall and I spent almost four hours in Sainsbury’s, filling two carts with food and booze. Neither of us had any idea just how many people were coming to this party Louis and Harry were throwing, but we did know that we were hungry and there were a lot of delicious looking things at the store that day.
We were stopped a few times by girls who wanted pictures with Niall. He graciously obliged them, though once I got a few glares thrown my way I was a bit annoyed, so made it my personal mission to photobomb each and every one of the pictures.
Once we hit the check out line, all of the small talk and catch up chat we could think of had been spent. Had it been Harry, Liam or Zayn, I might have been awkwardly silent until we got home, but since it was Niall, I felt fine asking some more personal questions.
“Have you got yourself a girl yet, Nialler?” I asked him, grabbing a Mars bar off the rack and tossing it onto the conveyer belt along with the rest of our goods.
He smiled, but shook his head. “No, not yet. Hard to meet someone, you know? Never sure anymore if their with you because of the band or because they actually fancy you.”
“Yeah, I guess it must be tough have thousands of girls begging for your to shag them,” I teased.
“It is a bit exhausting, to be completely honest,” he laughed. “Well what about you? Still with that Nathan?”
“Um, no,” I replied, taking a deep breath.
“Oh, bad subject?”
“Sort of,” I said, honestly. “Wasn’t interested in me…physically…apparently. Decided to shack up with another girl.”
Niall gave me a sympathetic smile. “Well, he’s got to be crazy, because you’re right gorgeous.”
“And you’re quite the flatterer,” I replied, rolling my eyes.
“What? You don’t believe me?” He asked with a smile.
“Not in the slightest.”
“Do you need me to do it?” He asked, looking mischievous all of a sudden.
Niall leaned forward, taking me by the shoulders. Then, to my complete horror, he started to sing.
“You’re insecure, don’t know what for. You’re turning heads when you walk through the – ow!”
I punched him in the shoulder and he jumped away, laughing.
“Sing that song to me again,” I warned, with a threatening finger, “and I will shave off your artificially colored hair in your sleep and glue it to your neck. No one likes a hairy neck.”
“No need for violence,” he chuckled, coming back and draping a loose arm over my shoulders. “Come on JJ, you know you love me.”
“Only for your money and hot body,” I replied dryly, reaching into my bag for my wallet. The cashier was waiting for us patiently.
“I’ll take what I can get, I suppose. Here, you don’t need to pay for that.” He made to reach for his own wallet but I waved him off.
“Who said I was paying?” I asked, handing the card to the cashier. “I nicked this from Louis before we left.”
We got home close to six, after stopping for some Wagamama’s take out for the boys, which they greatly enjoyed.
Zayn had headed back to his flat until the party, but Niall, Louis, Harry, and I enjoyed our noodles, eating straight out of the containers since none of the boys’ dishes were done.
“Do you ever clean?” I asked, drinking my soda out of a mug.
“We have a lady who comes twice a week,” Harry shrugged, before reaching over and grabbing some of my noodles with his chopsticks. I swatted him away, leaving him pouting.
“Have you heard from Liam?” asked Niall, who had gotten out a massive jar of Nutella for his dessert. These boys eat like horses.
“Yeah, where was he today?” I asked, slightly put out that I hadn’t seen him yet.
I may have been a bad liar, but somehow I had managed to keep it a complete secret that I somewhat fancied the lad from Wolverhampton. Louis, of course, would never let me live it down if he knew, so I did my utmost to seem completely indifferent. But ever since I met him, I had had a crush on him.
Liam was definitely the most mature of the bunch, something that really impressed me. Not to mention he was a complete and utter sweetheart. While all the others had their selfish streaks (and not in a bad way since, honestly, who doesn’t think of themselves every once in a while?), I had never once heard Liam say a negative thing about anyone. He was so dedicated to his fans, almost to a fault, and the boys called him Daddy Direction because of his steady, consistent, and caring presence over them all.
He was also incredibly fit.
That being said, I knew there was no way that we would be together. I mean, Louis didn’t want me involved with any of the boys, and there was no way that Liam would ever be interested in me.
“He’s with Danielle.” Oh. Right. And he had a fantastic girlfriend.
“She’s heading to Ireland for some dance thing,” Niall replied, before glancing at his watch. “They are probably Heathrow now, actually.”
“Oh, great,” I replied through a mouthful of food, trying to sound generally enthused. I liked Danielle, I did. And that was the problem. It would have been easier if she were a cold-hearted hoebag. But she was actually incredibly sweet.
“Your in charge of the music tonight, JJ,” Louis said, picking up his leftover and shoving them into the overflowing fridge.
Just then, the buzzer rang and Harry clapped his hands. “Let’s get this party started!”
By half ten the party was in full swing. There were dozens of people there, most of whom I didn’t know, though I definitely recognized Ed Sheeran and Cher Lloyd, each of whom made a brief but dramatic appearance. Stan and Eleanor arrived just as the it got crowded, having come down from Manchester after their last mid term exams. Louis was thrilled to have El there for a bit, and the two of them disappeared off to his room about halfway through the night. I thanked my lucky starts that my room wasn’t next to his.
My party playlist was going swimmingly, and I let myself let loose a bit, drinking just enough to get me buzzed, but not blackout. Despite not knowing many people, I was fully entertained watching Niall and Zayn table dance to Lady Gaga songs and by beating Harry soundly at beer pong.
“Again?” Harry cried in drunken dismay as I sunk my final shot. “How are you doing this? We’ve been playing for ages and you’re not even tipsy!”
“I don’t have to drink if you don’t hit any of my cups, you twat,” I laughed as he looked dejectedly at the perfect triangle of red cups in front of me.
I wasn’t drunk, I knew that because I could still feel my face and most of my extremities, but I was certainly buzzed. I just played better after a half dozen drinks in me…not that Harry needed to know that though.
“That’s what she said!” Zayn screamed, before falling over after stepping on a beer bottle. We all looked down at him, where he lay giggling on the floor.
“That doesn’t even make sense, mate,” Harry laughed.
“But I’ve been trying to so hard!”
“I know you have, Zaynie. Come on, let’s get you on the couch, yeah?” Harry and another bloke who’s name I didn’t know each grabbed one of Zayn’s arms and hoisted him up.
“I’ll get him some water,” I chuckled, heading for the kitchen. “And don’t think you get out of chugging that last beer, Styles!” I called over my shoulder, laughing as he flipped me the bird.
The kitchen was a bit of a disaster area, even more so (if it was possible) than when I had arrived earlier in the day. I sincerely pitied the poor cleaning woman. I pulled a bottle of water from the fridge, grabbed some Wheetabix from the cabinet, along with another beer for myself with the lift doors opened revealing the long lost member of One Direction.
“Liam!” I greeted happily (maybe a bit too happily, but to be fair, I had been drinking quiet a bit). I went to hug him, but the Wheetabix box got caught between our chests and a corner poked me savagely in the boob. “Ouch,” I whined, dropping the box to the floor and rubbing the sore spot tenderly.
“Oh, ugh, hi, JJ,” Liam chuckled, picking up the box from the floor and looking away respectfully. Had I been completely sober, I would have been utterly embarrassed. As it was, I took it all in stride.
“Always the gentleman, aren’t you, Liam?” I grinned, and he laughed again. I liked the way he laughed. His eyes closed all the way and his cheeks puffed out quite a bit. It reminded me of a Buddha statue - minus the bald head and plump belly, of course.
“That’s what they say,” he replied. “What are you doing here, if you don’t mind me asking?”
“At the moment, I’m trying to keep Curry from vomiting all over Louis and Harry’s nice carpet.”
“Yeah, The Ethnic One.”
“You mean Zayn,” Liam clarified, looking amused. I waved my hand dismissively.
“And what brought you to London in the first place?” He pressed gently, clearly sensing my focus wasn’t on the conversation, but rather on getting my beer open. “Here, let me get that for you,” he said, grabbing a bottle opener from the counter.
“Cheers. Oh yeah, you weren’t here earlier. I’m pleased to present to you…One Direction’s new personal ass!” I bowed, spilling some of my beer in the process, before whispering dramatically, “ass is short for assistant.”
“Good, because I was worried there for a minute,” he laughed.
“Beer?” I asked, offering him one.
“No, I don’t drink beer too much, actually. Thanks though.”
“Oh, right…missing liver or something?”
“Kidney, but you were close.”
“Right, sorry, I knew it was something in this general area,” I replied, waving my hand in front of his abdomen.
“No worries, JJ,” he chuckled again. “Need help caring for Zayn?”
“Come along then, good sir,” I said, looping my arm through his and practically skipping out into the living room.
Liam was greeted by shouts and waves, but when we reached Zayn it seemed he was already being taken care of.
“Who’s that?” I asked loudly, pointing at the blonde girl who Zayn was currently cuddled up against, both of them giggling and whispering drunkenly to one another.
“That’s Perrie, JJ,” Harry laughed, before grabbing my hands and pulling me down onto the couch next to him. Liam joined us on my other side, scooting away from Zayn and Perrie who had begun to snog.
The three of us sat there contently, watching Niall attempt to Dougie and other people make complete fools of themselves. Always entertaining.
“So, how did this come about?” Liam asked, after awhile, looking over at me. “I mean, how did you get stuck with being our assistant?”
“I didn’t get stuck with it, really. I volunteered.”
“Why does everyone sound so surprised by that?” I asked, exasperated. Liam merely laughed.
“But don’t you have school or something.”
“Nope,” I replied, taking a swig of my beer. “Graduated early.”
“Really? Why is that?”
I grinned proudly. “I, Mr. Payne, was signed to the Doncaster Rovers ladies side.”
“Really?” Liam asked again, seeming very impressed. “Good on ya, JJ.”
“Yep,” I replied, feeling my mood decrease suddenly. “But then I blew my knee out halfway through the season. And now I’m here.”
Liam was silent for a moment, seeming like he wanted to say something comforting, but Harry, who I hadn’t realized with still conscious, spoke up first.
“She also didn’t apply to university, the lazy bum,” he chuckled, poking me in the side. I smacked him on the chest.
“Not interested in school then?” Liam asked conversationally, but I wasn’t in the mood to talk anymore.
Louis had told Harry about my situation, without my knowledge or permission, and even in my haze I was annoyed. I certainly did not want to talk about this with Harry, and definitely not Liam, who I already knew I wasn’t good enough for. So, I made a move to escape.
Downing the rest of my drink, I stood up. “I want to dance,” I declared, glancing between the two of them.
Liam shook his head. “I’ve not had enough to drink.”
“And I’ve had too much to drink,” Harry added.
“Fine,” I said, reaching out and grabbing Niall by the collar. “Come on Irish,” I said, before pulling him into the crowd.
Tonight was about good music and letting go. Tomorrow, I could deal with Louis.