Chapter 12

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I had the same dream from last night. Except this time, it was as if I was out of my body and watching the scene unfold. As the boy stepped in front of the car, I looked at the pitiful version of me struggling to push through the crowds. Why hadn’t I tried to catch up with him earlier? Why had I kept so much distance between him and I? I could have saved him. I could have saved him! So many little things I could have done differently, and the boy would still be alive.

“Breakfast is ready!”

I woke up with a start, falling off the couch. I groaned as my head hit the ground. I put my fingers to my forehead; a bruise was already starting to form.

“Finally; you’re awake!” Louis said, helping me up. “Darcy just finished making breakfast: omelets and bacon.”

I was still trying to recover from my nightmares, so I was short on enthusiasm.

“You alright?” he asked, studying my face in concern.

I nodded. “I guess I’m just hungry. You should go get your share of breakfast before Niall eats it all.”

He looked hesitant but said, “Alright,” and left for the kitchen.

I sunk back down onto the couch, putting my head in my hands. I felt like bursting into tears at this moment. Ever since Zayn told me about the accident, I’ve had a heavy burden weighing me down. What happened to him could only be deserved by someone like Hitler, not a sweet innocent twenty-year-old with a rising singing career. But I didn’t know what to do about. I would never be able to fill Lesley’s shoes.

And now I understand how he felt. If just the simplest of things had been different, the outcome would have been different. And just like I felt what happened to the boy was my fault, he probably felt responsible for what happened to Lesley and his son.

“Are you okay?” I heard someone say in a hushed whisper.

I looked up into Zayn’s dark eyes, framed by dark eyelashes. I wiped away a tear that I didn’t even notice I had shed. “I’m fine.” I looked around. I knew that Zayn would never talk to me in front of anyone. “Where are the others?”

“They’re all in the kitchen,” he said quietly. He crouched down in front of me and took my hand in his. “Are you sure you’re alright? Why were you crying?”

“It was just a dream,” I answered, partially truthful.

“Alright,” he said, not totally convinced. “But last time I remember, your stomach was begging for food. And Darcy’s made a perfect breakfast. Put two and two together and let’s go.” He took my hand and pulled me up to a standing position. He led me to the kitchen, dropping my hand before we entered. I didn’t understand why we couldn’t act like friends (or whatever we were) in front of anyone, but he had just opened up last night. I’d let it go. For now.

“Here you go,” Darcy said cheerfully, handing me a plate. I sat down at the small table that everyone was crowded at. Darcy gave a plate to Zayn also, and he sat down across from me. I looked down at my food. There was an omelet sprinkled in herbs and filled with different ingredients next to three strips of picture-perfect bacon. All of the boys were deep in their own conversations (also known as arguments). Zayn gave me a quick wink before digging into his food. I tried my best not to blush and smiled down at my lap. If he was trying to make me feel better, he was doing a good job of it. Louis, who was sitting next to me, gave me a confused glance. I pretended to be ignorant and focused on eating.

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