“When he opens his arms and holds you close tonight, it just won't feel right, ‘cause I can love you more than this. When he lays you down, I just might die inside, it just don't feel right, ‘cause I can love you more this, I can love you more than this.” - More Than This
FEBRUARY 14, 2012
The pencil was like an extension of Zayn's hand as he moved it smoothly across the paper. Music was cranked in the background and he was alternating between humming and singing along. Solitary confinement and a good vocal warm up was exactly what he needed.
“I'm broken, do you hear me? I'm blinded 'cause you are everything I see. I'm dancing, alone, I'm praying that your heart will just turn around. And as I walk up to your door, my head turns to face the floor, 'cause I can't look you in the eyes and say...”
Singing and sketching went hand in hand and under the right conditions, like today, he could really just let go. Before he could shade the portion of his paper that he wanted to, his phone went off, signaling a text. It was from Liam:
Guess who has a breakfast date? This guy. SOS, SOS! Phone off. SOS!
Zayn smiled. If Liam were there he'd have high fived him or slapped his shoulder, he'd have to remember to do both later. He continued to sketch as if it were second nature to him and thought about Valentine's Day. A day for love and lovers. And if you didn't have either of those two things, there wasn't much point to it, was there?
His biggest problem with the entire thing was that a guy could get away with being a total knob year round, do something nice on one day and a girl would fall for it, hook, line and sinker. Perfect example: Lily. Lifelong family friend, the most beautiful girl he'd ever laid eyes on, and a serial jerk dater. If there were a spot in the Guinness Book of Records for worst judge of character, Lily would hold the title.
Most recently he'd been watching her get treated like a doormat by her newest wrong choice, Alec. He treated Lily like she was property. Valentine's Day was an out for guys like Alec, one day where if you were romantic enough, past sins could be redeemed or forgotten entirely. There wasn't much in life he could be sure of, but Zayn knew without a shred of doubt that if Lily were his, he'd make sure he would never have anything to make up for.
He sat there and almost allowed his bitter thoughts to consume him until the door rang. Behind it, there Lily was. It was like his thinking about her had caused her to materialize. He blinked just to make sure he wasn't losing it. Her eyes were rimmed with tears.
“My sister isn't here,” he said.
Lily's shoulders slumped. “Are Ben and Jerry?”
Zayn knit his brows together in confusion, “Who?”
Lily pushed past him. “I need ice cream, Zayn, stat.”
Zayn chuckled to himself. He knew ice cream was a band-aid solution for a much bigger problem.
He led her to the kitchen and took out two bowls, two spoons and the only ice cream he could find which sadly wasn't the Ben and Jerry's she sought. He held the carton up to show her, “it's just plain vanilla.”
As he scooped the ice cream into the bowls he watched her. She was obsessively checking her cell phone and dabbing at her eyes with a tissue. “Are you okay?” He knew the risk his simple question posed. It was like when someone passed away, and you walked up to their loved ones and offered your condolences. Risky but necessary.