25. Happier

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( Zayn's POV )

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( Zayn's POV )

If this is going to work, I have to plan something. There's a lake about an hour or so from here and I'm hoping to set up something nice for Isa, something to make her forget for about everything for a little while longer. I don't know how well this is going to work, hell, I don't know if she even likes the water. She's never mentioned not liking it so, hopefully, she does enjoy swimming, or at least, being by the water.

I'm not new to planning these kinds of things. I mean, usually, it's a date but this isn't really a date, it's just a night as some sort of sorry, I guess and, truthfully, just one to see if I can see that smiling girl again.

I come into the kitchen at about 6 am and I'm surprised to see my Mum awake.

"Why are you up so early?" My mother asks as she sits up at the island reading in her reading glasses with her coffee.

"I'm planning something for Isa later."

"Oh?" She looks up from her book, silently asking for more detail.

"I just felt like a night out might, you know, make her a little happier than she's been."

"Well, that's a very nice idea, Zayn." She says looking down at her book once again.

"You don't sound convinced..."

"No, I think it's a lovely idea. It's just surprising that you're actually... trying... you know, it wasn't that long ago that you were hung up on Alissa."

"I'm just doing this because I want her to be happier, that's all. Seeing her smiling in that dress the other day made me realize that this is going to suck when it's all over."

"How so?"

"Well, how long are we really going to stay married? Once everything is settled, we're going to part ways and Isa is going to be out in London on her own and things are going to be worse for her and... I'm going to be left here alone too."

"Well, I'm here Z." She smiles softly.

"That's not what I meant..." I smile back at her.

"You know, if you actually tried to get to know her, you two could actually be friends."

I hadn't really thought of an instance when this ended in us staying in contact. In the beginning, it all sounded really simple — a piece of paper is signed and then everything disappears. I'd marry her and then, after a certain amount of time, we'd divorce and go our separate ways. But now, after her being here, it feels like she's not supposed to leave.

"It's all just happening so fast..."

"There's still time, Z. If you don't want her to disappear after this all, you have to let her know. She needs to know that you want her to stay in your life. After that, it's up to her."

"I will..."

I just need to focus on tonight, if tonight goes well then I can decide how to bring it up without being weird about it.

After talking with my Mum, I left for my room, hoping to conjure up some sort of plan for tonight. But before I can get to my bedroom, I see Isa coming out of her room.

"Hey," she smiles on her way by but I stop her by continuing on with the barely started conversation.

"Hey, listen, I wanted to ask you something..."

"Yeah? What's that?" she stops and turns to me with the soft smile she usually puts on to speak.

"I was wondering if you wanted to go out and do something tonight? You know, to get out of the house for a bit."

That soft smile quickly turns to something more genuine.

"Sure, that sounds like fun! Where did you have in mind?"

"Somewhere nice." I grin. "It'll be a surprise."

Her smile grows and I shoot her a wink before she nods with an okay before leaving down the hallway.

Okay, Malik... time to figure this all out.

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