Trapped // Louis Tomlinson AU
"My hair gets all frizzy in this car, Elizabeth. Every time I put the top down, my hair looks like I've walked through a tornado," I say to my best friend as I drive on Aspect Creek toward Nora Heights High in my new red convertible.
"Outward appearances mean everything." My parents taught me the motto that rules my life. It's the sole reason I didn't comment about the BMW when my dad gave me the extravagant birthday present two weeks ago.
"We live a half hour from the Windy City," Elizabeth says, holding her hand in the wind as we drive. "Chicago isn't exactly known for its calm weather. Besides, you look like, Grecian goddess with wild hair, Ally. You're just nervous about seeing Lachlan again."
My gaze wanders to the heart-shaped picture of me and Lachlan taped to my dashboard. "A summer apart changes people."
"Distance makes the heart grow fonder," Elizabeth throws back. "You're the captain of the cheerleader squad and he's captain of the varsity football team. You two have to date or the solar system would go out of alignment."
Lachlan called a few times during the summer from his family's cabin, where he was hanging out with his buddies, but I don't know where our relationship stands now. He just got back last night.
"I love those jeans," Elizabeth says, eyeing my faded Brazilian pants. "I'll be borrowing them before you know it."
"My mom hates them," I tell her, smoothing my hair at a stoplight, trying to tame my brunette frizzies. "She says it looks like I got them at a used clothing store."
"Did you tell her vintage is in?"
"Yeah, like she'd even listen. She was hardly paying attention when I asked her about the new babysitter."
No one understands what it's like at my house. Luckily, I have Elizabeth. She might not understand, but she knows enough to listen and keep my home life confidential. Besides Lachlan, Elizabeth is the only one who's met my dog.
Elizabeth flips open my CD case. "What happened to the last babysitter?"
"Marsha got her sticky hands stuck in her hair; Marsha freaked out and ripped a chunk of her hair out... And bit her."
I drive into the high school parking lot with my mind more on my dog than on the road. My wheels screech to a stop when I almost hit a guy and girl on a motorcycle. I thought it was an empty parking space.
"Watch it, bitch," Carly Walter, the girl on the back of the motorcycle, says as she flips me the finger.
She obviously missed the Road Rage lecture in Driver's Ed.
"Sorry," I say loudly so I can be heard over the roar of the motorcycle. "It didn't look like anyone was in this spot."
Then I realize whose motorcycle I almost hit. The driver turns around. Angry blue eyes. Red and black bandanna. I sink down into the driver's seat as far as I can.
"Oh, shit. It's Louis Tomlinson," I say, wincing.
"Jesus, Ally," Elizabeth says, her voice low. "I'd like to live to see graduation. Get outta here before he decides to kill us both."
Louis is staring at me with his devil eyes while putting the kickstand down on his motorcycle. Is he going to confront me?
I search for reverse, frantically moving the stick back and forth. Of course it's no surprise my dad bought me a car with a stick shift without taking the time to teach me how to master driving the thing.
Louis takes a step toward my car. My instincts tell me to abandon the car and flee, as if I was stuck on railroad tracks with a train heading straight for me. I glance at Elizabeth, who's desperately searching through her purse for something. Is she kidding me?
"I can't get this damn car in reverse. I need help. What are you looking for?" I ask.
"Like... nothing. I'm trying not to make eye contact with those Francais Gang. Get a move on, will ya?" Elizabeth responds through gritted teeth. "Besides, I only know how to drive an automatic."
Finally grinding into reverse, my wheels screech loud and hard as I manoeuvre backward and search for another parking spot.
After parking in the west lot, far from a certain gang member with a reputation that could scare off even the toughest Nora Heights football players, Elizabeth and I walk up the front steps of Nora Heights High. Unfortunately, Louis Tomlinson and the rest of his gang friends are hanging by the front doors.
"Walk right past them," Elizabeth mutters. "Whatever you do, don't look in their eyes."
It's pretty hard not to when Louis Tomlinson steps right in front of me and blocks my path.
What's that prayer you're supposed to say right before you know you're going to die?
"You're a lousy driver," Louis says with his slight French accent and full-blown ‘I-AM-THE-MAN’ stance.
The guy might look like a model with his ripped body and flawless face, but his picture is more likely to be taken for a mug shot.
The kids from the north side don't really mix with kids from the south side. It's not that we think we're better than them, we're just different. We've grown up in the same town, but on totally opposite sides. We live in big houses on Bindrich Hill and they live next to the train tracks. We look, talk, act, and dress different. I'm not saying it's good or bad; it's just the way it is in Nora Heights. And, to be honest, most of the south side girls treat me like Carly Walter does... They hate me because of who I am.
Or, rather, who they think I am.
Louis’ gaze slowly moves down my body, travelling the length of me before moving back up. It's not the first time a guy has checked me out; it's just that I never had a guy like Louis do it so blatantly... And so up-close, I can feel my face getting hot.
"Next time, watch where you're going," he says, his voice cool and controlled.
He's trying to bully me. He's a pro at this. I won't let him get to me and win his little game of intimidation, even if my stomach feels like I'm doing one hundred cartwheels in a row. I square my shoulders and sneer at him, the same sneer I use to push people away. "Thanks for the tip."
"If you ever need a real man to teach you how to drive, I can give you lessons."
Catcalls and whistles from his buddies set my blood boiling.
"If you were a real man, you'd open the door for me instead of blocking my way," I say, admiring my own comeback even as my knees threaten to buckle.
Louis steps back, pulls the door open, and bows like he's my butler. He's totally mocking me, he knows it and I know it. Everyone knows it. I catch a glimpse of Elizabeth, still desperately searching for nothing in her purse. She's clueless.
"Get a life," I tell him.
"Like yours? Chienne, let me tell you something," Louis says harshly. "Your life isn't reality, it's fake. Just like you."
"It's better than living my life as a loser," I lash out, hoping my words sting as much as his words did. "Just like you."
Grabbing Elizabeth's arm, I pull her toward the open door. Catcalls and comments follow us as we walk into the school.
I finally let out the breath I must have been holding, then turn to Elizabeth.
My best friend is staring at me, all bug-eyed. "Holy shit, Ally! You got a death wish or something?"
"What gives Louis Tomlinson the right to bully everyone in his path?"
"Uh, maybe the gun he has hidden in his pants or the gang colours he wears," Elizabeth says, sarcasm dripping from every word.
"He's not stupid enough to carry a gun to school," I reason. "And I refuse to be bullied, by him or anyone else." At school, at least. School is the one place I can keep up my "perfect" facade; everyone at school buys it. Suddenly pumped about starting my last year at Nora Heights, I shake Elizabeth's shoulders. "We're seniors now," I say with the same enthusiasm I use for cheerleader routines during football games.
"So, starting right now everything is going to be perfect."
The bell rings, signally the start of classes. Elizabeth starts walking down the hall. "I'll make sure you have a perfect funeral. With flowers and everything."
"Who died?" a voice from behind me asks.
I turn around. It's Lachlan, blond hair bleached from the summer sun and a grin so large it takes up almost his whole face. I wish I had a mirror to see if my makeup is smudged. But surely Lachlan will date me even if it is, won't he? I run up and give him the biggest hug.
He holds me tight, kisses me lightly on the lips, and pulls back. "Who died?" he asks again.
"Nobody," I answer. "Forget about it. Forget everything except being with me."
"It's easy when you look so damn hot." Lachlan kisses me again. "Sorry I haven't called. It's been so crazy unpacking and everything." I smile up at him, glad our summer apart hasn't changed our relationship. The solar system is safe, at least for now.
Lachlan drapes his arm around my shoulders as the front doors to the school open. Louis and his friends burst through as if they're here to hijack the school.
"Why do they even come to school?" Lachlan mutters low so only I can hear. "Half of them will probably drop out before the year is over, anyway."
My gaze briefly meets Louis’ and a shiver runs down my spine.
"I almost hit Louis Tomlinson's motorcycle this morning," I tell Lachlan once Louis is out of hearing range.
"You should have."
"Lockie," I chide.
"At least it would have been an exciting first day. This school is boring as shit."
Boring? I almost got in a car accident, was flipped off by a girl from the south side, and was harassed by a dangerous gang member outside the school's front doors. If that was any indication of the rest of senior year, this school will be anything but boring.
NotesTranslations for this chapter:
Chienne = Bitch
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