‹ Prequel: Love in Music

Love in Lights

There'll Be Beauty From Pain

Two Years Ago

“I’m being romantic.” He grinned, all teeth and pushed his face closer to mine. I was confused for a moment before I registered that he was trying to kiss me, in the rain, like a cheap romantic comedy.

Laughing loudly, I pushed forward and met him halfway, happy to live out his silly romantic notion. The kiss was awful; all teeth and smiles as we both laughed into each other’s mouth trying to turn the kiss into something that actually made the definition. Shaking my head, I pulled back from Louis and smiled fondly at his rain dark hair flattened to his head. The rain almost felt lighter and I glanced upwards, noticing the sun had began peering out from behind the clouds.

I looked back at Louis hoping that we could head into the bus, now that he was done, when the expression on his face made me freeze. His eyes were staring intensely into mine and a small, hopeful and vulnerable smile played on his lips. My heartbeat sped up and the panic that swept through me was almost immediate. Louis was looking at me like no one else ever had before. He was looking at me like I was ‘it’ and when he opened his mouth and the rain stopped, I could feel the walls suddenly come crashing down on me.

“I love you.”

I pushed back out of his arms, the cold rain seeping through my hair and down my chin. I stared at him, shocked.

“Belle?” He reached out but I took another step out of his reach.

I felt trapped, caught in the rain and I needed to run, to get out because Louis loved me, he loved me and his eyes shone and his hands reached to grab mine and I didn’t want it. I didn’t know how to want this.

The car horn beeped, startling us both. Louis’ eyes were becoming guarded, his hands dropping to his side. I could see the rejection stinging him from the inside.

I felt like I couldn’t breathe, something pushed on me from all sides; I didn’t want to look at him anymore, so I ran. I grabbed my bag and I hurried past him into the car, into the back. Ignoring the eyes that watched the water run down my body to make a puddle on the ground.

“What did you do?” Someone asked but I was already too lost, spiraling into a dark pit of self-loathing, his face a constant image burned into the back of my mind but his words, his words made my heart beat and my breathing rattle. I was shaking and I wanted to get out, to get away. I didn’t want this.

Present (November 2016)

I stared into Frankie’s tired and darkly shadowed eyes. My eyes kept automatically flickering down to her chest as if checking that breath was still going into her lungs. The beeping of the heart monitor was a warm comfort in the silence of the room.

I smiled, gently, when Frankie blinked her eyes open. Her face already angled towards me. I squeezed the hand I was holding.

“What are you still doing here?” She croaked out.

I grabbed a cup of water and brought the straw to her lips. She sipped greedily before resting her head back against the bed.

“Go home Belle. I’m fine now.” Frankie said. “Let him take you home.” She nodded towards Louis, who sat curled up on another chair, his head resting against the back of the chair at an awkward angle; his breathing was deep and undisturbed.

“Go home with him Belle, let him heal you while the Doctors heal me.”

“I don’t wan to leave you alone.” I replied, grabbing her hand again.

She smiled weakly, her eyes already beginning to droop again. “I’m tired, I’m only going to sleep for the next ten hours and I know that one of the other girls will be back soon.” Frankie said knowingly. “Go home.”

She pulled her hand away and nudged my elbow as if pushing me away. She was not nearly strong enough to even move my arm yet.

“And by home, I mean, Louis’ house.” She added on, a wicked smile splitting across her face despite the paleness of her skin and the tiredness in her bones.

I snorted and rolled my eyes at her. “Okay, fine. Get someone to call me if you need to talk okay? Any time.” I placed a kiss against her comfortingly warm forehead and took a step back. Her eyes were closed and if she wasn’t already asleep, she was close to it.

I turned back to Louis, staring fondly at the boy who hadn’t left my side since we got here, over twenty-four hours ago. Everyone had begun to leave in the last couple of hours but he was adamant in staying with me.

“Louis.” I said, crouching down so I was eye-level with his face. “Lou.” I said again, grabbing onto his shoulder.

He blinked, his eyes pulling in the room around him before he tried to sit up. I winced with him, imagining the pain that would be shooting through his joints because of the way he had been sitting. He rubbed a hand down his neck and shot a look over to Frankie as if checking that she was still okay.

“You alright?” He asked, his voice croaky from sleep.

“I’m ready to go home.” I told him. I watched the relief that loosened his shoulder and I stood up with him. He stretched, his back cracking in multiple places before going over to press a kiss to Frankie’s forehead.

“Let’s get you home then.” Louis turned to me, pressing a hand against my back and leading me out of the hospital.

We had to wait for security outside of Frankie’s room to ensure there was a car waiting for us. Then one of the men escorted us down the elevator where a woman greeted us. She led us along corridors that grew emptier as we walked and finally paused at a double door with a shiny EXIT sigh highlighted in green above it.

She pushed through the doors and Louis rushed me forward out the hospital doors and into the doors of a black car. I was too tired to even notice the brief amount of flashes and the noise level that rose from near a barricade set up meters from the door.

“Where am I taking you?” The driver asked, expertly pulling out between the barricades and straight onto a main road.

“Louis’ house.” I mumbled, resting my head against the back of the car chair. My spine relaxed against the cushion, happy to have something other then a hard hospital chair supporting my posture.

Louis didn’t say anything. He thanked the driver and led me inside his house, flicking on lights as we moved. He took me straight towards the stairs and into a bedroom I hadn’t seen before.

“Sleep. I’ll wake you up if we hear anything.” Louis pressed a kiss to the top of my hairline. I was grateful that he didn’t ask questions or demand answers that I didn’t have the energy to give. I wasn’t even positive if I did have the answers he wanted.

I climbed onto the bed and settled in, letting my bones relax and the exhaustion hit me in one large tidal wave. I was out before I could even decide if the quilt was red or pink.


It was dark when I woke up. I stared tiredly at the blinds blocking half of my view to the outside world. The streetlights were on and the sky was as dark as ever. I sat up slowly, and fumbled for the light switch on the bedside table.

Light flooded one corner of the room and I realised that the covers had been thrown over my body even though I had fallen asleep on top of them. My shoes had been taken off as well.

There was a spare set of clothes on the chair next to the bathroom door. I took them gratefully and climbed into the shower, closing my eyes against the boiling water scorching through my scalp and down my back. I always found showers to be better when the water was hotter.

The clothes that were left for me were too big and too comfortable for me to ever give back to Louis. I tightened the pants up around my hipbones and snuggled myself further into his sweater, pulling the ends of them over my fingers. I was wishing for the sweater I had at home with thumbholes on the sleeves. It always made me feel better, safer.

My stomach grumbled and coaxed me down the stairs. There was a light coming from the living room and I wormed my way through the dark until I was standing in it.

Louis looked away from the TV and blinked at me tiredly.

“Hey.” He murmured, muting whatever he was watching and sat up properly.
“How are you feeling?”

“Hungry.” I told him honestly.

He smiled and stood, grabbing my hand to lead me to the kitchen.

It felt so good and right but now that I had slept my head was clearer, my thoughts more coherent and everything that had happened within the last forty-eight hour was clearer then ever before.

I watched Louis with a weariness that I didn’t have yesterday.

We hadn’t been talking before this happened. I had promised to stay out of his life and yet here I was standing in his kitchen, in his clothes, using him as comfort.

And here he was, giving me his clothes, holding my hand and finding food for me to eat.

“I have some leftover soup Mum made me?” Louis asked over his shoulder.

I nodded and sat carefully on a stool at his counter while he pressed buttons on the microwave.

I felt like I was sober after a painful night out. I understood that the moment Louis thought I was fine, when he realised I didn’t need him to look after me, we would go back to who we were before. We would go back to not being in each other’s lives. It hurt to even consider leaving his house, or even moving from the same room as him by this point.

“Lucinda called.” Louis said, after the silence had settled around the dark kitchen. I hadn’t even checked to see what the time was.

“Frankie was awake and got to eat some food. The Doctor’s are happy with her recovery.”

I nodded. This was good news, great news but I also understood that this wasn’t going to be easy for Frankie. There were still drugs in her system that she needed to be weaned off of while they broke down.

“Lucinda also said that Frankie doesn’t want us to tell the police about Noah.” Louis added on, his face screwing up in disagreement.

“It’s not our choice.” I said blankly, recalling the brief conversation we had had about this yesterday.

“How do you do this?” Louis broke down, finally asking a question that had been working on his tongue since we had left the hospital. “How do you sit there and-and just let it be. Or whatever. How are you not going on a rampage and I don’t know, attacking Noah yourself. I was there when you saw it was Noah, I saw the way you reacted to him. You would have ripped him limb from limb if I hadn’t stopped you.”

I looked down at my sweater-covered hands. I didn’t disagree with him.

“I-I feel like I’m useless, just standing around not knowing what to do and I want to shake Frankie and ask why she was so stupid to go back to him, to trust him. And I don’t understand how you can sit here, hungry and calmly as if everything is going to work out. You don’t know that.” The microwave beeped behind Louis, making him jump.

“Do you know how hard it is?” I began,” to have you best friend, your family hate you? The demons inside their heads are telling them that I’m an evil person, that I don’t want them to be happy. But, you still keep pushing them, because what you’re doing is going to make them better, you know it is. So you sit there through the drug withdrawal, the mirror issues and the yelling, screaming ‘I hate you’. And it gets to you, it really freaking gets to you okay? It cuts through and scars are left and no matter how much we love each other and pretend that our world is okay, it’s not.

“Our world is crushed and damaged and crumpled. We’ve beaten each other literally and mentally. I have scars etched into my memory of watching Kate cut herself and bleeding out on her bedroom sheets. Scars of Lucinda passed out in her own vomit on the side of the road, Frankie’s numerous trips to the hospital in the back of a fucking ambulance so she could get her stomach pumped and the image of Gracie’s hips bones jutting out and the way clothes just slid off her body because she refused to eat. And God know the amount of scars I’ve given them. We’ve broken each other to the point that our jagged puzzle pieces don’t quite fit brilliantly anymore.”

Louis’ eyes were glassy, his hands shaking.

“I do this, we handle this, because we have to. Because people make shitty choices and you don’t give up on them for that. You stay by their side and hope that eventually the next choice they make won’t be so shitty.

“Do you think my heart doesn’t pound and rip through my chest the whole time that she’s in that hospital bed? I’m not calm and collected about this, far from it. But I do have to be numb, I do have to pull back before I freak out and forget how to breathe.” I stopped short, feeling the creeping sensation of losing control at the back of my mind.

“I Googled it.” Louis cut in, his eyes focused on me. “When you had a panic attack after the horrid crowd at the airport in Australia. I Googled how to help someone with a panic attack. It scared me to see you struggling to breathe, looking so lost and confused. I wanted to help you next time that happened, I didn’t want to leave you by yourself without any help. I wanted to ground you.”

I smiled at Louis’ words, too afraid to speak without chocking on the tears that were blurring my vision.

Louis turned away, distracting himself with pouring my soup into a bowl and grabbing a spoon for me.

“Do you want to get settled in the living room? I’ll make some tea.” Louis handed me the bowl and began to boil some water.

I settled on the couch that Louis had been sitting on, I glanced to the TV and saw that he had been watching re-runs of Friends. I settled further into the couch, pulling the throw rug over my toes and blew on a spoonful of soup.

Louis sat down at my feet, my tea on the ground while he nursed his in his hands. He didn’t talk any further, just pressed play on the remote and I fell into an easy stance of soup, tea and Friends.

When my stomach was full and the tea was empty, I moved to settle myself against Louis’ side, his hand came up and ran through my hair once before settling around my shoulders.

“Thank you,” I murmured into his chest.

“For what?”

“For always being who I need. For trying to understand.”

“I don’t think us boys have ever really understood until tonight.” Louis pressed his lips to my head.

I leant against him, closing my eyes and soaking up his warmth. I had no idea what this was and I was too afraid to ask. I wanted this so bad, this house, this atmosphere, this life and this boy. I wanted it more then I ever wanted a singing career, or my parents’ approval or my sisters’ happiness.

My hand grabbed a tight hold of his sweater and I buried in closer while tears leaked out of the corner of my closed eyes. I wanted this to be possible, again.
♠ ♠ ♠
Hey guys!
​Hope you liked the chapter. I finally clued you in on exactly what happened at the end of the last story so now you all kind of get an idea on how Louis would feel, also how much Annabelle has grown over the last two years as well!
​Just let you all know that this story only has a couple more chapters left and then it should be finished!
​Also with Christmas coming up I don't know how on time I will be with posting - you might get a Christmas treat or maybe not, I have no idea how busy I am going to be over the next couple of days so sorry if I don't get to post again and Merry Christmas! xx​​​​​​