Flash forward two weeks.
I stood over her coffin. She was already in the ground. I was amazed by how many fans came out for her. For me. For us. I had so many hugs I lost count. And so many, “I’m sorry”. I felt so lost. She was gone. Then something felt different.
“You’re gonna catch a cold, mate.” Liam was standing beside me with Danielle holding an umbrella over me. Was it raining? I hadn’t even noticed. Danielle stood beside me and rubbed my back.
“She was my best friend. I’m going to miss her too.” I looked at her. Her face, normally so calm and flawless was pale. She looked as if she hadn’t slept for days. Her eyes and nose were red. I gave her a small smile. She nodded and looked back at her in the ground. I looked at Liam. He was still calm and strong. He really was our Daddy Direction. He always stayed strong for us. I sighed and gave her one last look. It’s strange thinking that her whole life ended with her in the ground wearing the dress that I loved. The ring I had planned on giving her was on her finger. I sighed, and Danielle turned me away from her. I saw Harry, Zayn and Niall standing around our cars with their umbrellas. A few fans were still here and giving hugs. It was amazing how much love these girls had for us. They were our best friends even though I didn’t even know their names. They gave me a hug said “I’m sorry. I love you.” and realized that we needed to be alone and left. Everyone looked so lifeless. No one was smiling, laughing, or breathing. It was like because she was gone, so were we.
I looked at Harry. I would normally feel better when I looked at him but this time, I didn’t feel better. Harry looked like someone else. He wasn’t smiling. He wouldn’t even look me in the eye. I always knew Harry and my girl had a special connection. They were best friends. He told her everything, and she told him. There was something about that connection that I would never understand. They were like siblings. No, they WERE brother and sister.
Niall looked so little. He was so small; I could tell his heart was broken. She had always taken care of him. She always made him laugh, made him feel good, and made him food even. It was like she was his mom.
Zayn, the normally calm, cool and collected man was reduced to a young, little, messy boy. He was pale and grief stricken. He looked as if he had been crying right up until I came over to the cars. He was staring at the ground sniffling. Zayn and she had always been close. They were like two peas in a pod. They were complete opposites. He was vain, and she was insecure. He was a strong, cool, collected sexy man, and she….she was an adorable, silly, mischievous girl who turned my world upside down.
Liam…..Liam was still strong. His jaw was locked, and his face was set. But his eyes. His eyes were slightly pink. I knew he was broken too; but he was trying so hard to stay strong for us. Liam was always there for her too. She had pointed out to us just how much of a father he was to us. She told me once, “Have you ever noticed how much Liam takes care of us? He’s always the strongest, even when we’re all breaking down; he’s there—strong and protective. He really, honestly and truly is Daddy Direction.” How very right she was.
Danielle was clinging to Liam’s arm and silently crying. Those two girls were joined from the moment they met. They were sisters. They were always together. They were perfect with each other. They finished their sentences, had conversations without speaking, and were always joking around.
I looked around and wondered how we would go on without her. And it struck me. I wouldn’t be able to go on without her. I WOULDN’T. “I’m going home.” I said to them as I figured out my next move.
“Need me to take you mate?” Harry asked. I shook my head.
“I’ll be fine. I just…..I just need to be alone for a bit.” Everyone nodded. Danielle gave me the tightest hug I’ve ever received. Almost like she knew. All my brothers hugged me and said that they would be around in the morning to check on me. I nodded absent mindedly. I had to figure what I would write. I got behind the wheel. I don’t even remember turning the ignition, but I looked up, and I was home. Our home. I walked to the door, and up the stairs. Opening the door, I was hit with her perfume and a longing that I could never understand. I threw my keys into our key bowl by the door. I didn’t bother turning the lights on. I just walked to the window and looked out. I smiled as I remembered her and I standing here on a day like this, clouded and windy. We pretended to be in Titanic. I could hear her laugh and voice. “I’ll never let go Lou!!!! I’ll never let go!!!” I gripped the railing, “I’ll never let go” I whispered.
I walked to the bathroom. I was terrified by the reflection I saw in the mirror. The man looking back at me wasn’t me. He was a broken, pale person with tears streaming down his face. His eyes were sunken in with huge bags under them. I opened the cabinet, looking for what I needed. All of her things were still there. Her tooth brush, perfume, earrings, and razor. But not what I needed. I knew it. Danielle must have taken them from here. “Fuck.” I whispered. Whispering seems to be all I can do now. I can’t talk, can’t sing, can’t scream.
I went into our room. Our bed was messy and there were piles of our clothes at the foot of our bed. That night before the riot was one of the best nights of my existence. I smiled at the memory. We were one person after that night. I grabbed the jump rope she got last month. She really wanted to teach Liam and I to jump rope. I haven’t learned yet, but I knew what I was doing. I grabbed the chair out from under her vanity and stopped. There was a picture of us. One I almost had forgotten about. It was on one of our first dates. We were sitting together, my arms wrapped around her. We were laughing about something. It was a perfect moment in time.
The perfect moment.
“I’ll be with you soon babe. I Love you.”
I stood on the chair and threw the rope around our ceiling fan. Perfect. It was just long enough. I tied the end into a noose, or what could pass as one any way. I was never good with making things like she was. I got off the chair and began to write my note. I couldn’t think what to put. I stared at the blank paper, and it hit me. I knew what to write. When I was finished, I grabbed the picture and held it as I stood on the chair. I grasped it as I slipped my neck into the noose. I remembered everything. When I was a kid playing football. When One Direction was put together. When we met Danielle. When we met her. All of our singings. Our performances. The dates I’ve had with her. All the time I’ve spent with her. Our first time. I started to sob. I missed her so much. I missed our jokes. I missed smiling. I tried to scream, but nothing came out. I looked up, and there she was.
She was smiling at me. “You ready for the biggest adventure of your life Louis?” I couldn’t breathe. She was in front of me. She was floating in front of me. She took the note and picture out of my hands and tossed it onto the bed. She took my hand, and was beside me. “I’ll never let go.” She whispered into my ear. And she kissed me on the cheek. I closed my eyes and jumped. Everything went black and numb.
I was banging on his door. I hear something crash. I knew it was too late. “LOUIS?!?! LET ME IN!!! LOUIS!!! LOU!!!!!!!!” I broke the door down and looked around. The window was open. I ran into his bedroom and there he was. Swaying back and forth. I pulled him down, but it was too late. He was gone. I looked around and saw the note on the bed. It was attached to the picture I took of them. I read the note. Over and over.
I knew it would be you who found me. I tried to make sense of it all. I tried to understand it. I tried. I really did. But she’s gone, and so is my voice. I can’t breathe without her. I can’t live without her. I can’t dream without her. She was my protection from the day. My everything. Danielle, you’ve got to stay strong. Keep Liam going. Tell Harry it wasn’t his fault. Take care of Niall and Zayn. They’re going to need you now more than ever. Especially Liam. He can’t stay strong forever.
You’ll be okay Danielle. We’ll watch over you.
Just promise you’ll live for us. You’re our voice now.
I looked at him and then back at the note. I smelled her perfume. I looked up, but I was alone. I looked back at the note, then back at Louis. I called Emergency and Liam. I told him we had to be their voice. I hung up when he said he was on his way over. I looked at the picture. “I’ll never let go.”