A/N: Yo so this is the longest chapter I've written and I hope you all like it so PLEASE vote and comment it would mean the world to me :) And there's a gif of Zayn to the side as well. Enjoy!

CARTER'S POV

Thursday, the day before my birthday, consisted of me waking up at an ungodly hour I previously didn't know existed, emailing all of my professors and begging them to let me turn in my late work, and then actually doing said late work. To say the least, it was most probably the worst Thursday in the history of Thursdays. However, I prevailed because I knew that Friday had much more in store for me.

Turning 21 didn't seem like such a milestone for me at first, to be completely honest. My birthdays have never really held significance for me, especially when I was growing up since Harry and I always celebrated together. I made it all about him instead of myself. Because celebrating my own birthday meant examining who I was. And that wasn't something I was fond of doing, which still holds true today.

But I digress. Now it is Friday, February 1st. The 21st anniversary of my escape from my mother's womb. And for once, I'm honestly happy about it. Not so much about the growing older, gaining more responsibilities, and inching closer and closer to my unavoidable death with each passing second, but happy that I get to spend the day with Liam. And that's a pretty good birthday, if you ask me.

As I lay in bed staring at the ceiling, trying to figure out what all Liam may have planned for me, I hear a knocking at the door. An incessant knocking, to be more specific. Checking my clock, I groaned. I told that little shit not to be here before 10 am, and it's 9. 

"Oh shutup already, I'm coming!" I yell from my bedroom, lazily throwing on some sweatpants and trudging to my door. "I said not to be here until - "

My voice catches in my throat as I look up at Zayn standing outside my front door. He's smirking, his arm leaned up on the doorframe.

"Goodmorning birthday girl." He says in a chipper tone.

I look behind and around me, then back to him with a quizzical expression. "Am I being punk'd? Why the hell are you here at 9 in the freaking morning?"

Zayn laughed, stepping past me and into my apartment without so much as an invitation. "Oh c'mon, it's your birthday! I just wanted to stop by and wish you well. You only turn 21 once."

I rolled my eyes and shut the door behind him, leaning back against it as he perused my apartment unabashedly.

"Well alright then. Weird, but whatever. How have you been?"

"Oh just fine." He responded without looking at me, choosing instead to fake observe my cabinets. "Y'know, the girl I've liked for the past few months is running off to London and making major life choices and sharing secrets with another guy she basically just met, but yeah I'm good."

I groaned, knowing this was coming. I ran my fingers through my hair to try and tame it, walking into the kitchen and sitting down at my table.

"For fuck's sake Zayn, we've been over this. I'm sorry I don't reciprocate your feelings, I wish I could because you're a really great guy, but I just can't."

Zayn kicked at the floor with the toe of his heel, glancing at me sheepishly for just a second. 

"You think I'm a great guy?"

"Of course I do, Zayn." I assured him. "Why else would I have put up with your shit every time you came into the restaurant with your little sidekick Tomlinson?"

He laughed at that one, taking a deep breath and sitting across from me. He leaned back in the chair, scratching the back of his head. "Yeah, you've got a point. Sorry I've been so weird about all of this. I just...I really liked you, yeah? And I've never really liked someone before. I dunno, I just wish it could have worked out. Liking someone is...nice."

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