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Pen Your Pride

Pic of Jamison to the side---------------------------------->>>>>>

I walked through the hotel until I reached a balcony on the tenth floor. I don't live here, but I spend enough time in this hotel that I know where my favorite spots are. I knew Liam would be able to find it, too because i'd left a note on the doormat outside the conference room letting him know where I would be.

 I looked over the railing and took in the scene before me. L.A at night is one of my favorite sights. There's just so much going on, and so many lights flashing everywhere that I feel like I'm really a part of something big.

 If I started walking down the street, 9 out of 10 people would recognize me. If I called a random radio station and started talking, all of them would know it was Jamison Clarke. I'd been on the cover of 57 magazines...this month.

 And standing there, wearing my sparkely, black dress, especially after the performance i'd just given...I felt like it was my town.

 I'd been pretty impressed with everyone's singing abilities. I still think KOTL has One Direction beat in terms of overall talent, but I have to say, Harry Styles and Liam Payne were good. I think Liam thought he was mediocre compared to Harry and myself, I mean we had been pretty spectacular, if I do say so myself, but I think he was just as good.

 When Liam started singing "It Girl" this funny sensation started bubbling up inside of me and I felt more alive than I had in ages. He was a real singer, there was absolutely no doubt about that.

 A light breeze blew past my neck and I shivered slightly, pulling my arms around my waist. I was 300 feet above the ground, and it sure was cold.

 "Hey, James." I heard a familiar, british voice say. Liam came to stand next to me on the railing. "I can see why you come up here," he said after a long pause. "It's beautiful."

 I didn't say anything. I knew at some point, in the next ten minutes, he was going to ask me why I hadn't called him in the last five years, and I still didn't know what I would tell him. I guess I was bracing myself for the ultimate falling out.

 "So earlier, when you said you didn't have a choice in coming on tour with us," Liam began, taking the conversation in a direction I had not expected at all, "what did you mean?"

 I looked at him in surprise. I'd mumbed that sarcastic response to Aria, and I didn't know he'd heard me.

 Well, this is awkward, I thought to myself. I tried to brush it off with a shrug. "My dad just really wanted all of us to do the show, and he kind of told Oprah we would do it before he asked us."

 "I see." Liam leaned sideways on the railing so he was turned towards me. "And what would you have said if he had asked you?"

 I looked away from him, and that was a response in and of itself. Truthfully, I didn't want to do the show with One Direction. There were other things I'd much rather be doing, and I think Liam was starting to get that.

 And that gave him the perfect opportunity to ask that question I'd been dreading ever since he'd first asked to talk to me. "Would you have wanted to do it if I weren't in One Direction?"

 I touched my hair and licked my lips. There was no going back now. "Look, Liam-" I started to say, but he cut me off.

 "No, Jamison," he said, using my full name. "It's fine. Don't answer that. Just like you haven't answered any of my calls or letters for the last five years. I'll just go down there and tell the boys KOTL can't do the tour with us, and I'll have four other people to spend the rest of my life wondering 'why' with."

 I let him walk away from me. I waited until he was almost at the door leading inside before I called out, "Karen Adams. Summer going into year seven."

 He stopped walking and faced me. "What's that supposed to mean?" His tone was cool and biting. I could tell he was mad at me.

 "You tell me," I answered, leaning my back against the railing of the balcony. "You do remember Karen, don't you, Liam?"

 He folded his arms across his chest. "Sure. She was my first girlfriend. That was the summer you moved away."

I closed my eyes. He didn't seem to be getting it and I really didn't want to explain it to him. That was the same summer he started going out with her. The same summer even, that my mother had had an affair with some coworker and asked for a divorce from my dad.

It was also the same summer I started noticing boys. Liam knew all of that - but he didn't know that he was the first person i'd ever had a crush on. He didn't know I was there when he told Karen he'd rather spend his time with her than with me.

He didn't know what all of that looked like to me. But I knew. And I knew what it would mean if I told him any of it.

After I didn't say anything else, Liam just stared at me, trying to discern what I was thinking. He'd always been so good at reading my mind, and when I saw his angry eyes relax into a look of understanding, I knew he realized what i'd meant. He understood what it was I hadn't said.  

 "You thought that was the end of our friendship," he said, his chocolate-eyes staring into mine. "You thought my being with Karen was me leaving you, just like your mom and everyone else had."

"You picked her," I heard myself say, in a voice filled with emotion. "That didn't exactly give me a reason to call."

Liam shook his head and walked over to where I was standing. He put his hands on my shoulders and looked directly at me. "Looking back on it," he told me, "You're right. If our roles were reversed that's what it would look like to me too, I guess. I'm so sorry, Jamison, that I never realized that's what it looked like to you. But the truth is, you were always my number one girl. Always have been, always will be. I'm sorry that my stupid, pre-teen self was horrible at articulating that."

I almost smiled. My crush on him had long since disappeared, but it felt good to hear his apology. "I guess I should say I'm sorry too. Five years is a long time to get the silent treatment."

Liam laughed and pulled me into one of his bear hugs. "I should get that on record. Jamison Clarke apologizing."

I hugged him back. Liam always used to give the best hugs, still does, apparrently. "I'm not a total bitch all the time, contrary to what the media might make you believe. Haters gonna hate." I moved away from him and looked out over the balcony again. It's really the perfect place because we could see the city, but the city couldn't see us.

Liam slung his arm around my shoulder and lost himself in the scenery with me. "So about the tour..."

I was still thinking about that. Now that Liam and I were back to being friends, was there really a reason I couldn't do the tour? Other than the opporunity cost of staying in L.A?

"Well?" Liam was looking at me expectantly. It was the same look that made girls swoon. Every girl, that is, except me. I bit my lip as I considered his offer, thinking about what it would mean if I said yes.

And then, even though I knew I would regret it later, I opened my mouth and said, "I'm in. The girls and I will do the show with you."

That was really when I got used to the idea of going on tour with One Direction, because after I told that to Liam, I couldn't take it back.

----------------------------------------------------Author's Note__________________________

They finally had the conversation!!!!


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