‹ Prequel: Love in Music

Love in Lights

We're Just A Box Of Souvenirs

“I’m sorry I should have called. You’re clearly busy with uh…” I trailed off, unable to say the word girlfriend.

I took a step back, the rain still pouring down heavily behind me. Louis’ girlfriend’s smile fell, her posture concerned, eyes moving between the both of us before she too took a step back, unhooking herself from Louis.

“I might just leave you both to it.” She quirked a corner of her mouth up in half a smile before turning her back and practically running up the stairs. I tried not to think about where she was heading.

“I’m really sorry Lou, I didn’t know and I shouldn’t have just barged in.” I turned to Louis who was standing there, frozen. I felt terrible, forcing Louis to be around me when he had moved on and I couldn’t hate him for that. He deserved to be happy if that is what she did for him.

“Wait. She uh, we um, well…” Louis struggled a hand reaching up to rub furiously through his already messy hair. He was in sweats and a baggy shirt with a wide hole showing tanned skin at the top of his hip. His feet were bare and as I stood there shivering he seemed like a bright beacon of warmth.

“You can come in? We should probably talk about everything.” Louis took a step back gesturing inside his house. I hesitated before taking a deep breath and stepping into the warmth. Louis guided me towards a living room, his hand not quite touching my back but his warmth still radiating through my wet clothes.

Louis’ girlfriend popped back up, towels in hand. “You looked cold.” She offered the towel before disappearing again.

“She’s nice.” I forced out, grabbing a towel and dabbing it through my wet hair. I laid a towel out across Louis’ couch before sitting down on it.

“Do you want clothes or something?” Louis asked, standing in front of me, he looked awkward in his own home.

“It’s fine Lou. Sit.” I insisted and he fell into the seat across from me, separated by a coffee table.

“How was home?” Louis asked, his hands clasped tightly together resting on his knees. I wanted to reach out and touch them, calm him, but I held back.

“Good, it uh clarified a few things.” I murmured, wiping the excess water of my arms as well. “I realised that we never really talked after what happened last time at the cabin. And there’s some things I’ve been wanting to tell you for a while Louis, things that you really need to hear and I think will help before you jump into another relationship.” I waved my hand vaguely to the rest of the house, not focusing too much on what ‘relationship’ exactly meant. Louis’ eyes followed my hand before shrugging, he leant back on the couch but his eyes never met mine.

I took a deep breath and decided to just jump in. “The other day when you said you hated me, it hurt a lot but I don’t blame you…”

Louis cut in. “I don’t hate you, I never hated you.” He moved forward on his seat and I smiled at him sympathetically.

“It’s okay, I hated me. I hated myself and I didn’t know how to stop doing that for a long time. Teenage girls don’t really get how to love themselves and that’s what I was for a long time and especially when all this started, I was still a teenager Lou.” I took a deep breath, I had practiced this a thousand times in front of the mirror since I walked away from Louis that day and I needed him to understand that I was so unbelievably sorry about that day.

“It was never about not loving you Louis, I never said I didn’t. But I was eighteen, only just turned eighteen when I met you and I was young even for my age. I was still a virgin, barely been kissed and it was my first time out of the country without my parents and on top of all that someone had promised me they could make my dream come true. I was so innocent and naïve that it was almost pathetic.”

Louis stayed silent; thankfully, I needed to get this off my chest.

“At the time I didn’t know what love was, I like you a lot. I liked you more then I have ever like anyone else and I wanted that to be enough. Because I had no freaking clue what love was supposed to feel like. Before you, I had dated two guys. Two! That’s all. My family wasn’t exactly the most loving and supportive family that you can find and a lot of the time I would question what their love for me even was. I was drunk on the idea of my dream coming true and meeting four other amazingly beautiful girls who wanted what I wanted and we got along. We got along so great and it was this entire dream.” My voice was rising and I held my hands down stopping them from flailing around in the air trying to tell Louis, to explain that I never wanted to hurt him.

“Then for some unknown reason you liked me, you wanted to date me and I could not understand how someone like you could ever want to date me, but you did and it was amazing. But, I never knew if I loved you because I didn’t know what it was and I definitely didn’t understand. I eventually realised that liking you more than I’ve ever like anyone else would never have been enough for you and that was unfair.”

“That was your opinion.” Louis said grumpily. His arms crossed over his chest, face pointedly looking away from me. “I never asked for you to love me.”

“Lou.” I gasped out, my hands shaking and clutching the towel resting on my lap. “Lou you told me you loved me in the pouring rain and- and I had nothing to give you. I’m admitting that you scared the fuck out of me Louis and I reacted in the worst possible way and I am so sorry and not a day goes by that I don’t regret leaving you in the rain without saying a damn word. But you deserved someone who could actually love you Lou. Not a teenage girl who has fucked up a lot of shit over the last few years.” I finished talking, looking away from Louis.

I could hear him shift on the seat in front of me, his feet twisting and untwisting as a silence spread across the room. I could hear movement in the kitchen and it was just a constant painful reminder that Louis had moved on and I was still sitting here, heart beating painfully loud hoping. Hoping for what? That Louis and I could still be something after all these years? I didn’t honestly believe that.

Louis stood from the chair, his eyes focused on the large window facing the front of the house. The rain had stopped now, the glass holding the remnants of the storm.

“You should have talked to me, we could have talked this out.” Louis murmured, his eyes gazing out at the rain washed grounds of his front yard.

I stood up from the lounge, taking steps closer to Louis my eyes briefly glancing around at the decorations of the house. The house looked lived in; a feeling that was missing from his old apartment during his constant touring days. Now that the boys had calmed down and actually took breaks it was like Louis had decided to make a home. This house felt like the type of home that you made to live with someone, someone you loved.

Louis was 24 and he would be 25 by the end of the year and despite the fact that I wanted to have a life with Louis now, he was ready to have a life with me a long time ago and I blew it. And it’s not fair to stop him from having a life with someone who was probably more deserving of Louis then I ever would be.

“I don’t know if I have a right to ask you this Louis but I was kinda hoping that we could still maybe be friends? Even after everything?” My heart dropped as I saw the way Louis’ shoulder’s slumped, his posture tightened. I was asking too much again.

I bit my lip and took a step back, wondering if I should just leave, maybe offer to stay out of his life. Promise to stop hurting him now. It was like a hot knife twisting through my skin and burning up my insides every time I saw how I hurt him.

“We don’t have to.” I breathed out, wrapping myself up in my arms, trying to find some type of warmth.

“No we can.” Louis turned quickly, startling me. His expression neutral, his posture more relaxed then it was seconds ago. “It would be good, to be friends, just friends.” Louis nodded, his hands clenching and unclenching at his side like he wasn’t sure what to do with them.

“Friends that have like lunch and still text each other and go to movies and stuff?” I asked hopefully because even if Louis didn’t want me as anything more then a friend I was just relieved that he was still going to be in my life.
Because living in a world without Louis for the past two years made everything seem exceptionally bleak and less amazing.

“Yeah, those types of friends.” Louis grinned, his wide mouthed, teeth showing grin that pulled an answering smile from me despite the stabbing and squeezing attack against my heart.
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So yes procrastination and writer's block is the death of me. Sorry guys, I've been trying but I've got a killer cold and when Uni starts to get stressful I loose motivation to write for fun.
I tried to get this out as I got to Sydney tomorrow for a week holidays and a break from everything so hopefully after having a week holidays I will come back all relaxed and tan and ready to get back to this writing business! Sorry guys, hope you're still enjoying the story!

Song Title: Panic Cord by Gabrielle Aplin (one of the songs that was major inspiration for both stories)