13. Find A Place

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(Zayn's POV)

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(Zayn's POV)

She's not so bad. I mean, yeah, she's still clearly not being fully herself to me but I don't really expect that at this point.

She's cute, pretty even. It's okay to admit that. Her brown curls make her look less pretentious when they're messier. She's got wide brown eyes that at one point probably held a lot of light but you can tell now, just by the way she speaks and looks around the world that whatever did happen, really effected her.

I feel bad, really bad for her. She's a nice girl from what I've gathered and she didn't deserve whatever crap she's been through. But I guess being here will help that... somehow.

We went back to the hotel after the coffee only to find that it was abandoned.

"Went back to The Malik's for the night. Thought this would be a good time for you two to get to know one another. See you both in the morning, Mom. Yeah, so they aren't coming back soon..." Isabelle says, tossing the note back onto the table.

"So, were meant to stay here together... just us?"

"I guess so... I'm sure you could call your mom and ask her to pick you up... I'll stay here."

I know she is probably genuinely offering but she knows I won't leave her here. If I'm a decent man at all, I won't abandon here in this hotel all alone.

"No it's—" I start, but I'm cut off by my phone buzzing in my pocket.

Alissa.

A: really? staying in a hotel room with her for the night, yeah good luck malik

She must have come by my house and my mum probably told her where I was. It's not like my mother would put it in terms that would make it sound like I wasn't cheating on her. She probably said something like, 'oh they're staying in a hotel for the night... getting to know each other'. This will be a fun one to explain.

Z: my mum left me here, its not like anything's gonna happen

A: and im meant to just be okay with this?

Z: no i understand this is concerning but im just assuring you that nothing will happen

A: maybe you should make sure she knows that

Z: she does

A: not an exchange
A: its a relationship

Z: im not gonna fight you on this. nothings happened, nothings happening and nothing will happen. That's it

A: night z, dont be an idiot

I nearly drop my phone and take a deep sigh, forgetting that Isabelle was here.

"Is this causing problems?" She questions, clearly already knowing the answer.

"Obviously, yeah."

I know I shouldn't be angry with her about this, I mean, it's not really just about her. Alissa and I have always had our problems, ones not made better by her actions, mind you. Still she makes me happy — sometimes. I like knowing I have her around. I need someone, I want her. Even if Mum doesn't like her, something won't let me let her go.

In all fairness, I understand that this is a lot to ask of any relationship. Marrying someone else is not normal and definitely a bump in the road but I mean, she's done much worse. I'm simply helping someone who needs it, I'm not going to do anything with her. I know Alissa can't trust me, but I hope we can look back on this years from now and say how stupid it was to fight over this.

"I'll call my mom, this clearly isn't good for you." Isabelle says grabbing for her phone.

"No, please, just leave it be. I'm fine... I'll be fine."

"Listen I don't want to be a burden I just—"

"I get it!! Okay! Leave it be! You can't take someone showing you an inch of kindness." I snap.

I can immediately tell that that was the wrong thing to say as her face turns red and she looks away.

"I need to go to the bathroom..."

Her voice is low and barely there, she's clearly holding back tears... great.

"Isabelle... I'm sorry... please don't... cry."

I'm the worst at comforting people. I never know what to say or what to do. Maybe it's better if I leave her or would it be better if I stopped her from leaving?

She rushed off to the bathroom and I mentally kick myself.

What an idiot.

A hurt girl asks you for help and you criticize her trying to be kind to you. Wow, good one Malik.

I come over closer to the door to hear her very quiet muffled cries. She's in there hoping I can't hear here. Probably remembering whatever it is that took the light out of her.

I feel awful.

"Isabelle?"

"Just a minute." She makes her voice sound somewhat clear, trying to seem okay.

After two minutes, her cries stop but she doesn't come out. So, I sit outside of the door, waiting for her to come out.

If only I knew what hurt her so badly.

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