‹ Prequel: Love in Music

Love in Lights

You Were Slow To Heal

Purity member, Frankie Lavarda (22), was rushed into hospital two nights ago after a large drug overdose. Lavarda has had a long history of drug abuse and although her time in rehab seemed to have been working for the young singer, everyone assumed that she had given in. However, a media release sent out today by Purity’s manager Jen (fiancé of Simon Cowell) stated that Lavarda was actually drugged against her will, which almost killed her. Members of Purity and One Direction, plus family, have been piling in and out of the hospital at all times of day and night looking tired and ragged but more hopeful since Lavarda had been admitted. A large portion of social media has responded to this incident and many have sent their good wishes and support to Levarda, Purity and their families.

There was a rushed beeping, but it was still beeping and that in itself was comforting. We were jostled backwards. I stumbled against the wall. People were yelling, yelling codes and names I didn’t understand while Frankie just laid there, tubes coming out of her mouth, shirt pulled open while someone pressed clamps to her chest. The electricity arched her off the bed before they did it again, and again, and again.

The beeping had stopped; the room was silent, cold. People were stepping back and I couldn’t stop them, I couldn’t tell them to keep trying to keep going. Because she was strong, so strong and she had to be alive, she had to live. I needed to hear that constant beep to tell me that her heart was pounding. Someone was tugging on my arm. My name was called. I couldn’t look away from her, her features so pale and cold.

“Belle. Belle. You need to wake up.”

I gasped, flinging my eyes open and grabbing onto the person holding my arm.

“You were having a bad dream.”

“Lou?” I asked.

“I’m here, right here. You’re okay.” Louis said, running a hand through my hair.

I was confused, trying to orient myself with this world. “Frankie?”

“She’s fine, perfectly fine.” He continued in a soothing voice before helping me into a sitting position. I glanced around the area, remembering falling asleep on Louis’ couch to the sound of him talking to his mum on the phone. The morning seemed brighter and I blinked, blearily, down at Louis who was crouched next to the couch, his eyes concerned.

“Just a nightmare.” I said, pulling out of his grip and sitting up properly letting a blanket fall from my shoulders.

“Again.” Louis said.

I ignored him, reaching for my phone to see it was almost midday. “Are we going to Frankie’s now?”

Louis sighed, knowing that I wasn’t going to talk about it. “Do you want to get changed? I washed some of your clothes, they’re upstairs on your bed.”

I allowed myself to press a kiss to Louis’ cheek before numbly heading up the stairs. My mind was still confused, my heart still pounding. Frankie wasn’t dead, she was alive, and this was just another horrible dream that I seemed to have every time I closed my eyes.

I paused at the small pile of clothes that Louis had folded at the end of the guest bed I had been using. If I wasn’t here I was at the hotel with my parents and Annalisa. I felt almost homeless, unsure what exactly I called home anymore.

Lucinda had moved out of Kate’s apartment, Frankie was at the hospital and I hadn’t been able to sleep in the room we had shared. Gracie had offered to let me bunk with her but that wasn’t the place I needed to be. Wanted to be.

Louis was waiting for me by the door, shoes on his feet and keys and wallet in his hand. I slipped my own shoes on, noting how many pairs had wormed their way onto the shoe rack Louis kept underneath the table by the front door.

There were photographers outside, hadn’t left any of our places, or the hospital, since the whole world found out. They were constantly taking pictures and trying to create any story they could about us. Louis and I would be the easiest; we had barely left each other’s side since Frankie’s hospitalization. The only time I wasn’t at his house was when I was with my family and if I was with them, so was he.

I was too unstable and exhausted from caring about Frankie to make myself understand that there was no story to be had with Louis and I. Right now we were hanging in some weird limbo where we exchanged short kisses, cuddles and held hands but we slept in separate beds and refused to acknowledge whatever it is that we had been doing. It was something that was too big, too complicated to deal with right now.

There was a pile of people already in Frankie’s room when we got there. Everyone was seated on every surface they could find, Zayn had perched himself on top of a low cupboard, his feet dangling off the sides. I brushed a hand over Gracie’s shoulder when I jostled through the door and passed her to press a kiss to Frankie’s forehead. She shuffled over in the bed and I pulled myself up and on top of it. Louis greeted her before sitting on the armchair of Harry’s chair, receiving a short jab in the back and a charming smile from Harry.

I grabbed a handful of lollies that were sitting on Frankie’s bedside table. Louis and I hadn’t had lunch yet and I wasn’t in the mood to buy anything from the hospital cafeteria.

“Did you sleep?” Frankie asked, her shoulder nudging mine.

I nodded. “I’ve had a sleep and a nap before coming here.” I told her, ignoring the way she eyed the dark circles around my eyes. “Ask Louis if you don’t believe me.”

She didn’t but I knew that she would, later, when I wasn’t around. Just like I talked about her with everyone else and I chatted with Aiden when I was concerned about Lucinda. It’s what you do when you care about people; you talk to their loved ones.

“Hey are you going to the studio this week?” Niall asked, leaning over to rest his head on the bed near my thigh.

“Probably.” I shrugged, tugging on a lock of his flat blonde hair.

“Ed s’working with me on Monday if you want to come in then? He said that you had been working on a song together.” Niall said.

“You are?” Frankie asked.

“Yeah, it’s uh an old song that I’ve been going over.” I said slowly, keeping my eyes on Niall. “Just let me know the time and I’ll see if I can make it.”

Lucinda cut in before Frankie could question me further.

“Hey now that we’re all here Jen wanted me to talk to you girls about touring next year.”

We all went quiet, eyes not quite meeting in the room while the boys stayed back.

“Well we had our year off.” Kate said slowly, her attention moving to Frankie before back to Lucinda. “That was the deal. One year off to figure our shit out then we had to tour again.”

I loved touring and performing and meeting fans and I even loved the exhaustion that came with it all but touring was what also made us go downhill. Touring while social media exploded around us bringing both good and bad, touring and partying and getting massive pay checks that none of us had dreamed possible. And we got side tracked; we forgot what we were doing and what was fun. We forgot about the singing and performing and the fans.

“I think we’re ready.” Frankie said softly. “Despite all this,” she gestured around her.

“That’s not your fault.” I said quickly.

She rolled her eyes in disagreement. “Despite my idiocy and falling back onto my pathetic ex who has access to drugs, I think we’re ready. I’m ready.”

“We’ve been hiding for a year now,” Frankie continued when we all stayed quiet. “We hid out in our homes and we got better and that was great but now it’s time to actually get back out there and do what we’ve been wanting to do since we all fell in love with singing.

“I fucked up, majorly and I am sitting in this hospital paying for it. I’m not saying that my recovery is going to be easy but I am saying that I don’t want to be the girl I was last year, I want to be the girl that I have been this year. We’ve worked better together and we’ve written amazing songs from our experience. Our album has hit number 1 in multiple countries and it’s double platinum. We’re going fucking great and it’s not time to step back and keep calm. We’re going to do this and we’re going to do it better this time.”

“Okay.” I replied without missing a beat, smiling widely at the look of determination on Frankie’s face. “Okay we do it, we do a world tour and we don’t fuck it up.”

Lucinda, Gracie and Kate took this as an opportunity to pile on the bed with smiles, laughter and pointy elbows being flung in each and every direction. The boys sat there and watched us contently, my eyes caught Louis and he winked confidently at me.

I felt light, as I held Gracie against my chest, burying my face into her hair. I felt free and happy and confident. And I didn’t actually feel like it was going to be fleeting or come crashing down at any moment.

I groaned when Niall’s knee smacked against mine as he decided to join the pile of hugging girls, sprawling across each of us. Frankie squished below everyone, her laugh loud and clear through the room. I couldn’t resist leaning over and smacking a loud kiss against her cheek.

Her eyes shone with a confidence I hadn’t seen from her in a long time. It settled easily in her sparkle and the square of her shoulders, filling in the chunks of her body that had been burned and cut away. She was looking whole again.

Later, when everyone was gone, and Louis had gone to the toilet, Frankie pulled out a notebook. I eyed the book curiously knowing that secrets were buried deep within its pages.

“I’ve been writing a song, while being in here.” Frankie said tentatively. She hadn’t written a song since our ‘Headlines!’ album had been released.

“Well it’s actually a song I played with a while ago but I finally found a reason to finish it. I wanted to finish it.”

“Noah.” I said quietly not even needing to frame it as a question.

She nodded. “We’re finished, I’m finished. It’s done. I can’t go back and I don’t want to. I’m finished.”

“Hey, you don’t have to convince me. I believe you.” I told her earnestly.

She opened the little book and skipped to a page before turning it to me, a little of her confidence had leaked from her posture and she watched me skim the pages, nervously.

“This is, this is really good Franks.” I said slowly, reading through the song.

“I don’t know if I can sing it but I would like you to.”

I shook my head and looked up at Frankie. “You worked with me until I was able to sing ‘Last Call’, we’ll work on this until you can sing it. Promise.” I smiled at her, squeezing her hand before turning back to the lyrics.

“If you wanted, I could get Ed to come and talk to you.” I said slowly, not wanting to take this song away from her. “He’s been helping me a lot and I think he would be a perfect person to collaborate with this.”

Frankie took her book back, her hands tight around the binding. “I’ll think about it.” She said honestly.

“So your song, Louis?” She asked, I flushed under her gaze and checked to make sure he wasn’t going to suddenly walk through the door.


“Good.” She nodded happily. “All your good ones are always about him.” She grinned when I slapped her arm.

“Have you forgotten that ‘Last Call’ has sold the most copies worldwide and stayed number one on the Billboard charts for two whole months, and it’s still in the Australian charts as number one.”

“Okay, okay.” I hushed her before Louis walked in.

“So what are you two doing tonight?” Frankie changed the conversation and smiled charmingly at Louis, he eyed the both of us curiously.

“Belle’s parents are having us for dinner.” He said, grabbing his keys and wallet from the bedside table.

Frankie turned to me with a wide, toothy smile. “Really? Dinner with the parents. Aren’t you both just having a wild Saturday night.” I didn’t need the nudge in my arm to know that Frankie found this news exciting.

“Say hi to the parents and send them my love.” Frankie yelled after I began ushering Louis out the door before anything else was blurted from Frankie.

“Am I missing something?” Louis asked, shooting an amused look over his shoulder while I continued to push him along, my hands on his lower back.

“You’re always missing something.” I teased back.

Louis turned, feet glued to the spot. I face implanted into his chest, my hands now pressed tight against his lower stomach. I stood back quickly, my face reddening.

“What?” I whispered, ducking my eyes underneath the gaze that Louis had fixed on me. It was full of heat and the ability to constantly see through me. It was unnerving.

“Come on.” Louis sighed, grabbing my hand and tugging me against his side, leading the way to the car. I followed blindly not questioning his weirdness in case he wanted to question mine.


I laid comfortably, my head on a pillow in my father’s lap, his fingers running gently through my hair. My feet were sprawled over Louis on the other end of the couch; he was tapping a rhythm against them while we watched ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’. Annalisa was sprawled across the floor in front of us, her eyes glued on the screen while my mother tapped away on her laptop on one of the armchairs. The clacking of the keys brought a nostalgic feeling of home when the time spent with family always included work.

It didn’t bother me now like it did when I was younger. My parents were here with me and it didn’t matter what they were doing, they were still here. I pulled myself up into a sitting position, nudging my shoulder against Louis, before pulling the pillow into my lap, hugging it against my stomach.

It wasn’t weird to have Louis here, in my space, it was comfortable, wanted and I smiled childishly into the pillow. I wanted to keep this moment forever.

Louis nudged my shoulder, pulling my attention to him, just so he could wink before he focused back on the movie. I hid my snort and nudged him back, poking my tongue when he turned his head.

He nudged me again, crossing his eyes together.

I nudged him, blowing my cheeks out ridiculously.

He nudged me, moving his eyebrows up and down at different times.

I winked at opposite times to each eye.

He wiggled his nose.

“What on Earth are you two doing?” Annalisa broke through our world. “You are both weirdos.” She added before turning back to the movie.

I snorted and leant my head against Louis shoulder, the smile not leaving my face. His arm lifted and settled over my shoulder, allowing me to sink further against him.

I glanced over to my parents to see them both staring at us, my mothers’ hands paused hovering over her keys.

“So Louis,” my father began, gruffly. I felt Louis stiffen from underneath me.

“How is the music going?”

I could tell my father didn’t know what else to ask Louis about. It’s not like he knew much about the music business or Louis himself.

“Good, sir.” Louis nodded at my father over my head. He was still stiff beneath my head. “The boys and I are just finished working on the latest album. Should be out in time for Christmas.”

That surprised me; I hadn’t known the boys had been making a new album, let alone releasing it next month. But then again, the last time I had been on social media or anywhere where I could listen or see an Ad had been a long time ago. This was the first time I had watched a movie in months.

“Can I listen to it?” I asked, pushing off of Louis’ chest to get a better look at him.

He grinned, “You can listen to it when everyone else gets to.”

I frowned, glaring at him before resting my head back on his chest. I was disappointed but I was still comfortable.

“Would that mean another tour?” My mother asked.

“Yes ma’am.” Louis answered politely. I tried not to laugh at all the ‘sirs’ and ‘ma’ams’ that were coming from Louis. Dad flicked my ankle, letting me know I was failing at hiding my amusement.

“So you will be gone again for a long period of time?” My Mum continued.

I sat up, glaring at her now I realised what she was getting at.

“Yeah but I’m going on tour next year as well, so I’ll be gone a lot two, we’ll figure it out.” I said defiantly before blushing darkly, realising what I had implied.

Mum and Dad both seemed to have gotten what they wanted, understanding of what the two of us were doing at this point. But this wasn’t an understanding. This was my foolish want and I had no idea what Louis wanted.

I turned to him, when he didn’t say anything further, his eyes were downcast and he wouldn’t meet my eyes.

“Lou, I…” I trailed off, unsure what to say.

He stood up before I could find the words. His smile strained, eyes still not meeting mine. “I better go, it’s getting late. I’ll see you tomorrow.” Louis pressed the smallest kiss to my head before nodding at my parents, ruffling Annalisa’s hair and heading straight out of the hotel room.

I sat there, stunned at his sudden exit. All I could think about was that this was the first time I had been without him since the accident and how on Earth was I supposed to sleep tonight if he wasn’t in the same house as me.

“Honey,” my mother began, gently.

“I know.” I cut in. I knew I stuffed up. I had stuffed up two years ago when I left Louis standing in the rain with a broken heart.
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Happy New Year and Merry Christmas my lovelies! Busy time I've had these last couple of weeks, relatives and friends in every nook and cranny of my house, I swear! And so much drinking, so much drinking and hangovers and heaps of food! But I am back and finally detoxed from all the bad foods and drinks and bring you this chapter! I shall be back to regular updates now that the festive season is over! Hope you all had a lovely couple of weeks! xx

Song title: Song for Someone by U2