Irish Exchange Students & Pretty Boys
“The glasses make him look a bit dorky, don’t you think?” Louis asks Christine as he turns towards her with a grin. His fringe falls in front of eyes from the movement, having grown out again after being cut only a week ago. His parents must be very frustrated with his hair.
Christine has told Louis multiple times that he should style his hair the way the teddy boys do, but he always tells her that he isn’t a teddy boy and that he isn’t going to cut his hair like one either. It will only cause misunderstanding.
And he’s probably right. Teddy boys may look cool, and Louis would look good as one, but you don’t want people to think you’re one when in reality you’re not. People tend to be either hostile or agressive towards Teddy boys and there just some people you don’t want a barney with.
“Who?” Christine asks. She didn’t see who Louis was staring at only a few second ago, so she doesn’t know who he was talking about.
“The one who sits between the new kid and the bird with the red hair.” Louis points with his finger, like always not understanding that he’s doing something inappropriate.
This inability to understand that he insults people with some of the things he does, has landed him in trouble much too often, causing him to have more canings then he can count on two hands. Christine always feels sorry for him when he’s send to the headmaster’s office, even though he doesn’t seem to mind himself.
“I guess you could call him dorky…” Christine trails off because she don’t really like talking bad about people, even when they’re mean themselves. Louis has less of a problem with it, however, he never says something really hurtful about someone. He’s a sweetheart, he just has a big mouth on him.
Her and Louis have been friends ever since they started at the Art Academy. They had their first class together and because they were seated next to each other, they started talking to each other. Louis and Chistine had found out they lived near each other and because they clicked, they decided from then on out they would walk to school together. They have been friends ever since.
“You should really not talk about people like that,” Christine admonishes Louis, not for the first time. She’s been trying to get him to break the bad habit for a long time. She hasn’t been successful up till now.
“Why not?” Louis asks, shrugging his shoulder. “It’s not like I’d say something like that to their faces. By the way, what do you think of the new guy?”
Louis is talking about Niall Horan, a Irish exchange student who has joined the class today. It doesn’t happen often that there’s an exchange student because it costs the student a lot of money to make the trip to Liverpool. That’s why if it happens, they’re always from Ireland, Liverpool being dubbed as the English capital of North-Ireland and all.
“He looks happy to be here,” Christine replies, while looking at Niall, who’s sitting three seats in front of her. His blonde hair is quite long and probably not his natural color; she can see brown hair between his blonde locks.
As if he knows they’re talking about him, Niall suddenly turns around and smiles at both Christine and Louis. Christine immediately can feel herself blush, ashamed at being caught staring. It’s quite rude, her mother has taught her not to stare.
It’s than that their teacher announces the students need to work in groups for their next assignment. Niall immediately begins gesturing between himself and Christine, conveying that he wants to work with her. She nods her head because working with him is the least she can do to make up for being impolite to him. She’s just going to have to ask him if he minds working with Louis as well.
“What are you doing?” Louis hisses as Christine gesture for Niall to come over. He begins to tug at her sleeve when she doesn’t answer right away. “I want to work with you.”
“And you will. Niall is just going to join us.” She lowers her voice as Niall makes his way over to them. She doesn’t want him to find out she’s talking about him. “Mrs. Sabia never said we couldn’t work in a group of three.”
Louis isn’t able to reply before the Irish blonde has reached their table, so he doesn’t say anything and just smiles at Niall.
“Do you mind if we work with Louis as well?”
Niall smiles at Chistine’s question as he sits down on the chair he has brought with him. His blue eyes look like sapphires as they sparkle in the lights of the classroom. “Of course not. The more the merrier.”
And it is merry because Niall is a very nice and energetic boy who cracks jokes almost as frequently as Louis. That’s probably why Louis takes to him like a fish to water. He doesn’t really get on well with people who take themselves too seriously, that’s why he gets into trouble with teachers so often.
Before they know it, they have finished their assignment and they’re the first of the class. It appears, they work well as a team. It’s a shame Chistine and Louis don’t have all their classes with Niall.
“Do you guys mind if I sit with you in the canteen? I don’t know anybody else and I don’t want to sit alone.” Niall ask when the class is over. He looks really adorable because he’s blushing. His pale skin makes his embarrassment clearly visible.
“Of course you can!” Christine exclaims. She doesn’t like it when people sit alone. Breaks are meant for chatting with your friends, not eating alone. “You’re a nice guy, so why not, right Louis?”
“Right,” Louis answers her question, a friendly smile gracing his lips.
While the three students walk to the canteen, they talk about the rest of the lessons they have today. Luckily for Niall, two of his classes are the same as Louis and Christine’s, something he seems to be really glad about. And Christine doesn’t blame him, she used to hate the classes she didn’t have with Louis when they were still in their first year and everything was still so new.
“I’m looking forward to the landscape class,” Niall announces. He has pulled his cap from his head and is twirling it around with his fingers. The grin on his face makes him look even cuter. “I’m rather good with painting trees, if I do say so myself. I had a lot of practice back in Ireland.”
“How that’s then?” Louis eyebrows are furrowed in confusion as he looks at Niall. Chrsitine’s face probably looks the same.
“We live at a farm,” Niall explains.
And that sort of makes sense. You have a lot more trees or landscapes for that matter in the country then in the city that you can paint. The only things Christine can paint are the houses, stores or the ships in the harbor. She has gone to the harbor a couple of times to draw the ships coming in from America and it has always given her a calm feeling. It really is her favorite place to go, it’s just a shame she has to watch out for some people that go there.
When they reach the canteen, the three friends discover it’s rather crowded, so Louis decides it’s better that they eat outside and both Christine and Niall agree. She doesn’t really feel like sitting in an overcrowded room right now.
The sun is out and about when they go outside as it’s summer and even in England the sun shines during hottest season. The weather isn’t dreary all of the time, just most of it.
There are other people who apparently have had the same idea as Louis. There is a large number of them sitting on benches around the school as well as on the ground. There are couples making out to their heartscontent and groups of friends who are enjoying the sun.
Louis picks one of the few empty benches and sits down on it. Niall and Christine follow his example and join him on the wooden structure. The sun has already warmed it up for them, it appears; the bench feels hot to the touch.
“I don’t get why nobody was sitting here,” Christine wonders aloud as she begins to soak in the rays of the sun. It has been a long times since she’s felt the warm sun on her skin, she’s going to make the most of the situation.
“It’s because I was sitting here a few minutes ago,” a deep voice next to her suddenly replies, making her heart jump in her chest. Christine bets it was their goal to startle her, why else would someone talk to someone who has their eyes closed?
“Shit sorry, we didn’t know,” Louis quickly starts to apologize, before Chrsitine even has the time to open her eyes to see who has addressed her. He must be boy with a lot of muscles to make Louis sounds scared because he’s afraid of almost nothing.
But it isn’t someone with bulging arms who Christine sees when she opens her eyes. There is almost no muscles on the boy with the dark hair and brown eyes that are trained on Louis in an intimidating way. But the boy doesn’t need to be buff to scare the shit out of Louis because he knows who the dark-haired boy is. It’s Zayn Malik, a boy with a dark skin who has a bad reputation that everybody at the Academy knows about. He’s bad news.
Zayn piercing, brown eyes go from Louis, who keeps apologizing, to Christine, making her heart kickstart in her chest. His eyes are paralizing.
“It’s alright.” Christine can feel a faintness coming on as he smiles at her, his cheekbones becoming even more pronounced than before. They can probably cut glass. The smoothness of his voice isn’t helping either. “You’re a cute bird, I don’t mind giving my seat up to you.”
Chrsitine doesn’t really know how to react to this because Zayn Malik – the boy almost every girl secretly swoons over – just called her cute, she’s never been called cute before. All that her boyfriends called her was nice, she was always the nice girl, nothing more.
It seems Zayn doesn’t want to wait for a reaction because he just walks away, sending a wink in Christine’s direction.
“Who was that?” Niall suddenly asks. As he’s new at the school, he doesn’t know who Zayn is.
“That was Zayn,” Louis answers before Christine can. “As you may have noticed, he’s one of those Teddy boys. There are Teddy boys in Ireland as well, right?”
“Maybe in the city but not in the country. I’ve only heard of them.”
“Then you’re lucky. They’re bad, all of them. You better stay away from boys with quiffed hair and drainpipe trousers.”
The subject of Zayn is avoided the rest of the day, but that doesn’t mean he leaves Christine’s head. At the most inopportune moments, his face as well as his soft voice keeps popping up in her thoughts. It’s just that she’s never seen him op close before and his face up close isn’t an image you can get forget easily.
Zayn has always fascinated Christine. There’s always an air of mystery surrounding him even when he does something as normal as leaning against the wall of the school, a cigarette tugged between his lips and his leather jacket hugging his skinny torso. He looks exotic and graceful, like a movie star from America. You want to know more about him, even though it may be dangerous to want to.
After they’re done with school, Christine says goodbye to Niall, his house isn’t on the way to hers, like Louis’s is. The three friends agree to meet up the next day in front of the school before going their separate ways.
The walk back home isn’t long and before Christine knows it, she has arrived at the house, having parted ways with Louis three minutes ago. The boy practically lives ‘round the corner.
“Mom, I’m home,” she shouts as she walks into the house. Normally, her mother would still be at work right now but because she is ill, she didn’t go the hospital today. Luckily, it’s nothing serious, she just needs to rest.
“How was your day?” the raspy voice of Christine’s mother shouts back from the bedroom. She isn’t healthy enough to walk around, so she has been spending her days and nights in her bed.
Christine walks to the bedroom while she answers her mother’s question. She hopes her mother looks better than she did this morning, she had been white as a ghost and had been coughing non-stop. It looked bad even though she knew it wasn’t. “It went quite well. There was a new student from Ireland.”
When Christine enters the room, her mother looks at her with a smile, her face looking a little better than it did when she left for the Academy. There’s more color on her cheeks and her eyes look more alive.
“You probably took him under your wing,” her mother assumes, pride shining through in her eyes. “You’re good like that.”
Christine’s mother really has a too good of an image of her. It’s true she never gets into trouble and she always listens to her parents but she’s not as perfect as her mother thinks. She slacks off from her homework more than she should and she listens to the kind of music her parents don’t really want her to listen to – it’s just that listen to rock’n’roll music is such a thrill, she just can’t stop.
“Are you feeling a little better?” Christine asks, changing the subject. She doesn’t really like her mother talking about her in that way, it’s a bit embarrassing even without friends around. “Did you take the pills the doctor gave you?”
“Of course, Christine, I know it’s important I take them. I’m a nurse meself.” Her mother’s voice is soft, not rough with annoyance because she knows Christine means well. “I even send Gemma out to buy vegetables.”
That’s why she didn’t hear any sounds coming from the living room when she walked into the house. Normally, her step-sister is already at home when Christine comes back from the Academy. She has been looking after their mother all week long, whenever either her or Harry are unable. The whole family really appreciates this because Gemma no longer lives at home.
“That’s good. It’s important for you to get well soon.”
“But mom…” Christine trails off. She don’t really know how to start. She’s never asked her mother this kind of question before, she doesn’t really know what the best way is to breach the subject. She really wants her mother to say yes.
“What is it, sweetie?” There is a light frown on her mother’s face, probably because Christine’s never been nervous when she asked her something.
“Is it alright if me and Louis go to a talent show in two days? It’s after school but not late at night. I’ll probably be home around six.”
Louis invited Chistine to go with him during the break. The talent show is a battle of the bands and he had heard that The Beatles may participate. They both love the Beatles and that’s why he invited her along.
Christine looks at her mother with what she hopes are puppy dog eyes. She’s never tried make her eyes look like that of a small canine, so she doesn’t know if she’s doing it correctly.
However, they seem to work because her mother sighs and replies, “I guess you can go. Just come home before six and let Harry go with you. Louis is a nice guy but you won’t be safer with him then if you would go on your own.”
Christine’s mother is right of course. Louis is a good friend but doesn’t do well in fights, he’s small which makes him an easy target as well as lousy at defending himself, least of all her.
“I’ll ask Harry if he wants to come,” she promise her mother reluctantly.
Well tomorrow is going to be a nightmare. Harry and Louis don’t get along at all. For some reason, Christine’s step-brother hates her best friend. Thankfully, Harry likes ock’n’roll as much as Christine and Louis do. The music might distract him from picking a fight with Louis.
She’s finally going to see the Beatles.
Please, let me know your thoughts