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Chapter Twentytwo

Zayn's P.O.V

After Perrie and I calmed down, she fell asleep again. She seemed so exhausted. Today, or more like tonight, must have taken so much out of her. I know exactly how she feels, but there is no chance of me getting any sleep tonight.

It was around 11:30pm when we got home and now it's 4:30am. We stayed up late because after we finished clinging to each other she told me everything. Every little detail of the things Steve had done to her over the years.

It started when she was thirteen; a few months after her mother had died. She told me it wasn't the first night he had gotten blindly drunk, but it was the first night she was awake to witness it all. He had slapped her so hard that it ended up pushing her into a wooden table. He held her and cried about how sorry he was for hours, saying that it would never happen again, but of course it did.

It started off rare; maybe only once a month, but quickly escalated until it was almost a daily torture. She told me he tended to stay away from her face when she was younger, because it reminded him of her mother, but that also changed.

She told me about all the tortures of school. What my friends and others had done to her and made her feel. She said everything made her feel so isolated. She couldn't get away from school or home, even though she hated both with a passion. No one in this world has ever felt as unloved as she has the last few years.

But one of the worst things I've heard, something that makes me feel so sick I physically had to hold in vomit, was something that happened when she was nearly fourteen.

She had one friend whose name was Rebecca. She trusted her so much, but didn't want to burden her with her troubles at home. Rebecca, who also considered Perrie her best friend, had this weird, creepy boyfriend, who was sixteen named Justin. Perrie had always thought he was odd. What sixteen years old dates someone who's barely hit puberty? He would always hit on Perrie, and make innuendos. He would try to run his hands over her, but she would always push him away. She didn't like him, not one bit, but she never told Rebecca in fear that she would hate her.

He went as far as to follow her when Rebecca wasn't around. She started to avoid Rebecca, because Justin was always there, causing friction in their friendship. And it all escalated the night Justin followed her home. She was originally asked to hang out with Rebecca, but being suspicious that Justin would be their too, she politely declined, not knowing that he had done the same thing. When she was in her lounge room, he forced himself on her and Rebecca walked in, seeing the whole thing. She was so relieved. Rebecca could help her! She would finally see what a creep Justin was! But she was wrong. She took it completely the wrong way and stormed out crying. Oh young love, so naïve and stupid.

The next day when Rebecca's confidentialities had been spread, she automatically assumed it was the supposed friend who had kissed her boyfriend, but Justin knew all the things Perrie did too. Imagine how different things would have turned out if Rebecca had just listened to Perrie when she tried to explain.



***



After finally getting to sleep, I awoke at 9 o'clock. I could hear bustling around downstairs, meaning my early bird family was already awake. Good, I need their help. I untangled myself from the girl I love, and slowly crept out of the room. I didn't want to wake her up. God knows if anyone needs a sleep in it's her.

I went down the steps, rubbing sleep from my eyes as I did, and made my way into the dining area. Mum, Dad, Doniya, Safaa and Walihya all sat around the table, laughing and eating breakfast. When they saw me, my sister's mouths went slack with shock, whereas my parents looked worried. Although, I doubt there worried about the time and more about what they think may have happened last night.

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