Chapter Four:

            “Zayn,” Liam huffs as soon as I get through the flat’s door, he’s in the classic you’re-in-big-trouble-mister stance with one legs over the other whilst cradling the newspaper from earlier today in his hand. Crap. Before Liam can pressure me with his big brown puppy dog eyes I clamp a hand over my own pupils.

            “Ha! Li you can’t see me if I can’t see you!” I exclaim pathetically, it didn’t take a rocket scientist to guess he rolled his eyes like spokes on a wagon.

            “Zayn why did you disobey me?” Liam questioned with a steely tone, you couldn’t just simply storm off to your room like you could do with your parents, Liam was the kind of person that wanted a straight answer and didn’t like “I’ll tell you later”.

            I shrugged pulling one of the cheap wooden chairs management had bought for us to make our “short” stay a little more manageable. I hated the idea of being stuck in the outskirts of civilization since we were getting negative attention from the fans. Well at least Penelope was a bright spot although she was a bit . . . strange? Yeah strange was a good word for her. “I wanted to meet up with the girl I had met earlier.” I felt a strange feeling of Déjà vu as Liam grilled me with a series of question just like Simon had done over two years ago during the X-Factor when I had snuck away from the dance number.

            Liam nodded as if he somewhat understood, “Okay, but I had specifically told you not to since that kid . . .” He choked up causing my heart to ache, I understood completely but I had to meet up with this girl. I don’t know why but I just felt pulled to her, maybe it was her magical laugh or her brilliant smile that caused me to risk my life to get to know her. “Alright I understand you’ve fallen.” Liam huffed as always reading my emotions to a tee.

            I rolled my eyes causing Li to chuckle slightly. “So since its past two in the morning and I know not a thing about the girl you fancy I’m going to stay up since there’s no point in sleeping now and let you tell me about her.” I smiled, Liam could get agitated every once in a while but he always forgave in the long run, he was just a forgive-and-forget person.

            Hesitantly I smiled letting the images of Penelope flood my memories. “She’s like super model beautiful with light blonde hair that runs in spirals, her eyes are a murky blue-green-brown, and she has a brilliant smile.” I exhaled, Liam nodded showing that he could picture her in his mind. “She has a fabulous personality and laughs at nearly everything like Niall, she’s a bit peculiar which makes her absolutely adorable, she has a small town feel.” I continued not bothering to mention that she seemed to hiding. Liam smiled.

            “You really fancy the bird!” He exclaimed causing me to blush like mad, the lads lived to embarrass me due to the fact I’m the only one who doesn’t want to be viewed of as mental. “What’s her name again?” He eagerly called out quite loudly to be honest; I don’t know how the lads didn’t wake up although I’m sure it was because Harry’s obnoxiously loud snores drowned out all other noises.

            “Penelope.” I answered embarrassedly causing Li to smirk; I swear Liam guilt tripping me would be better than this. It was like telling your mum about going on a date!

            “Zayn and Penelope.” He said trying our names together for taste after grinning like a madman; it didn’t sound half-bad. “Your couple name would be my last name, Payne” I laughed realizing he was right. The “P” and the ending “E” would be from Penelope whilst the “A”, “Y”, and “N” would be from me. “It’s perfect!” He claimed.

            “Liam it was our first date, calm down.” I said through laughs, he was really taking this whole ordeal out of proportion. Anxiously I got up from my chair and sloppily placed it back where it belonged while Liam bombarded me with various questions about Penelope, most of them I didn’t know or didn’t feel comfortable answering and after the quick-fire of question Mr Payne gave me the sex talk. Yes, my younger band mate gave me the talk about the birds and the bees.

            “Oh God, Li! Look at the time!” I exclaimed suddenly feeling very sleepy, it was ten past seven in the morning. I hadn’t even realised the sun had started to rise through the opaque rain clouds; angrily I muttered a couple swear words gaining a disapproving look from Daddy Directioner.

            “I told you we would pull an all-nighter to talk about Miss Penelope,” Liam smirked as I heard Louis release a loud groan like he did every morning. Huh, it was way too early for Mr Tomlinson to be up and about I thought as Lou groggily stomped into the cramped kitchenette/living room.

            “Whoa, why is he up? Did something happen that I didn’t know about to cause Mr I’m-going-to-sleep-all-day to wake up this early?” Louis bantered looking at me curiously, I rolled my eyes crossing my arms until I realised I probably looked terrible. Nervously I ran to the mirror in the washroom inspecting my dark hair, it looked like it hasn’t been combed in years! With experienced finger I styled it to perfection in a matter of thirty minutes, which was a time most definitely going into the record books!

            Feeling all fly again I strutted into the living room to see Niall and Louis sitting on the leather couch in front of the television eating . . . a cheese burger for breakfast? “Liam why are Lou and Nialler eating burgers for breakfast? I ask to see Liam eating half a grapefruit with a brown stick whilst drinking some sort of citrus juice.

            Liam shrugged. “They didn’t want anything we had to eat so Niall decided to go to some McDonalds on the outskirts of the village.” He answered as if it was rather obvious, feeling my stomach rumbled I searched the cabinets for something edible and appetizing only to be disappointed. Guess I’ll skip breakfast today, I reckoned grabbing the citrus juice from the icebox and pouring the orange-pink fluid in a clear glass cup.

            “We’ve got nothing worth eating.” I exclaim to the world loud enough that Harry’s snores are stopped. Lou and Niall laughed.

            “Aye, that’s why we picked up the McDonalds!” Niall exclaimed through a mouthful of chips, ugh. I’d rather burgers and chips than nothing at all.

            “Hey they’re having a memorial service for the lad that died yesterday at the cemetery in about an hour; I’d like to go to show our condolences and to meet the people of the town.” Liam says looking up from today’s newspaper. Lou and Niall and I nodded in agreement feeling that was the least we could do, it said on the front page that his younger sister was struggling with the news and having One Direction there might make her feel a bit better. Coming to agreement Liam ordered Louis to wake up Harry and I decided to change into something nice than a varsity jacket and chinos.

The memorial service was depressing at best, it was full of weeping mothers and teens that were too miserable to even produce more than a smile towards us. It was sad; the boy was only sixteen and would be turning seventeen in a month. I even noticed that Harry and Niall were silently weeping as well even though didn’t know the lad.

Needing a smoke desperately I walked over to the older side of the cemetery where nobody was and pulled out my pack of cigarettes standing next to a rather large ivory coloured stone that appeared in better condition than all the others in that area. Something about the stone made me read it.

Here lies what appears to a victim of suicide,

Here lays Penelope Grayson God protect her soul

June 14th 1822 – December 30th 1841

I held my breath, no. That was impossible. Right?


Two updates in one day I'm on a roll! I literally felt pretty bad leaving you off like that but I'm going to have to get over it. For some malicious reason I liked writing that chapter . . . please vote and comment how you feel about that last chapter!

Ashley Joy <3

I Can't Breathe *A Zayn Malik Love Story (On Hold!)Read this story for FREE!