Chapter 9 // Louis

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My blood turned cold as I saw Niall's wrists. Scars. There were scars- pink and white- everywhere.

"Oh my god . . . ." Someone whispered, and maybe it was me. I felt frozen. Everything felt frozen.

My mouth was hanging open, tears were dripping from my eyes, my heart was pounding. In that moment, I felt paralyzed.

Someone spoke again, but I didn't hear it. My ears were filled with the sound of my heart pounding.

Someone pressed a hand to my back, but I didn't turn to see who it was. My eyes were glued to Niall's wrist.

How can someone so beautiful do something like this? He was always so happy, it didn't make any sense.

My thoughts were racing, my body was beginning to numb, and my heart began to beat a little bit harder.

This can't be happening. Has Niall been trying to kill himself? How long has this been going on? Why hasn't he said anything? Why didn't I notice?

No, I thought. Niall couldn't be trying to kill himself. He wouldn't just leave me like that, would he? No. No. No. No. No. No.

If Niall died . . . oh god. What would I do without Niall? I thiught about that for a moment. What would I do without Niall?

Would I try ti move on? Would I die with him? I don't know what I would do. Probably the latter. I can't live in this world without Niall. I just wouldn't be able to do it.

I stopped thinking, focusing back in on what was happening. The boys were mumbling, and a hand was still pressed to my back, but I still didn't turn to see who it was.

Right now, as I began zoning out again, everything was silent- frozen. It was just me looking at Niall's violently sliced wrist.

It took me a few minutes, but when I finally had the strength, I stood on my numb legs (the hand slipping off my back), and gently grabbed Niall's other hand, turning it over to look at his other wrist.

I found more scars. Of course I found more scars. I wasn't sure what I had been expecting. Maybe I was hoping I'd imagined the whole thing and Liam and Zayn were muttering about how crazy I was being rather than the scars on Niall's wrists.

I dropped Niall's arms back to where they had been, on top of the blanket, which was up to his armpits.

I plopped back into my seat, staring at Niall's pale face. I was thinking about how badly I wanted to know what was wrong with it. I began imagining helping him, kissing his nose and lips and cheeks and accompanying him to therapy. I imagined how, months later, he would come running into my arms; happy and better and in love with me.

Then I sort of just . . . lost it.

"Wake up." I whispered suddenly, leaning forward and grabbing onto his shoulders, trying to shake him awake.

"Louis, Louis stop shaking him." Harry whispered next to me, pulling me away from Niall.

"No! He has to wake up! I have to talk to him!" I shouted, fighting against Harry. Someone else grabbed my right arm, helping Harry to pull me away from Niall.

Liam, who was holding me, gestured to the door. Zayn opened it, and Liam and Harry dragging me out.

"No! Let go of me! I have to talk to him!" I shouted, flailing against the boys. "I have to help him! He has to love me!"

Liam and Zayn dragged me out of the hospital and sat me in the car, strapping me in. They got in as well, buckling up and leaning back, sitting as if they were frozen. Statues.

We all just sat in silence for a while, tears streaming down our faces.

"I think . . . I think we need to tell the nurses about that tomorrow." Liam whispered, his voice cracking. Harry and Zayn nodded in agreement.

I couldn't find the strength to move. I felt paralyzed again. I felt how Harry and Liam and Zayn looked- statues.

Someone gripped my hand, giving it a small squeeze. I looked over to see Harry with a small smile on his face, though tears were streaming down his face as well.

"I don't know what to do, Harry." I whispered, finally breaking. "I don't know what I would do without him."

"He's gonna wake up. He's gonna be fine. He's gonna stop cutting. He's going to love you. I promise."

I smiled a small smile that didn't quite reach my tear-stained eyes and nodded.

"Let's just . . . I wanna go home." I whispered, because I know if I didn't go home right now, I would run back into that hospital and start trying to shake Niall out if a coma again.

-•-

I slept in Niall's bed tonight, breathing deeply through my nose to catch his scent.

I clutched onto his giant 'blonde' teddy bear, pretending it was him. I knew wouldn't be the same as it would if he was actually here, but it was small and cute and it was okay enough for now.

I snuggled into his bed, wearing his pajamas, and cried into his pillow, clutching his favorite teddy bear.

I know, I sound like a creep, but I can't help it. If Niall's not here, well, I pretty much just lose it.

And if I'm already going insane, just on the first day, I can't imagine what's it's gonna be like in a few months.

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