Today was our granddad's 99th birthday. He was perfectly healthy for his age, he needed no walker or cane…he still danced to old tunes that popped up every once in a while on the radio. It was a huge deal for our family so we had a giant party and the whole family (from both sides) was invited. There had to be at least 50 people gathered in our backyard and 20 in our house.
I laughed in joy as my granddad was doing some old dance with my grandma in the garden while some people laughed and clapped along.
I grabbed a coke and sat down on the arm of the couch in the living area, partially listening in to my uncle's fantasy story he was telling the little ones. I sighed as I realized there wasn't really anyone here around my age I could talk to other than my cousin who hasn't shown and there's a likely chance he won't.
Allow me to take this chance to introduce myself. My name's Bethany Tomlinson, but everyone calls me Beth. If you call me by my full name, I swear I'll karate chop you into next week. That's right, I'm 3rd degree black belt!
You also may be distracted by my last name. Yes, I am related to Louis Tomlinson in that boy band 'One Direction'. Our father's are brothers so officially, we are cousins. When we were younger, he was my best friend. I told him everything and he told me all his secrets and we did everything together. I was the first one he told that he wanted to sign up for X-Factor, but he kept getting nervous, I almost had to push him on stage. Ever since he was put in the boy band, I haven't spoken to him, only once has he texted me. It was like I was completely vanished from his life.
I knew he took his career seriously and was truly sorry for not contacting his family much, but I was still a little hurt by him. But no matter how mad I could get at him for not keeping contact with me, I'm still very proud of him. Every time the doorbell rang today to signal that another family member arrived, I always hoped it was him. But, my hopes were always thrown to the ground, stopped on, picked back up, thrown in a blender and was being chopped at puree when I found out it wasn't him.
I was torn out of my thoughts when I heard the doorbell ring again. My hopes were raging again, but this time, I put them down before they were blended again. I still got up and made my way to the door.
I opened it and smiled a fake smile to whomever I was greeting. I did this way too many times today for me to still be happy-looking when opening a door. My eyes grew wide as saucers as I realized who was standing before me.
"LOUIS!" I screamed and jumped into his arms. He laughed whole-heartedly as he returned the giant hug.
"Bethany!" He cried. I immediately let go of him and punched him in the arm. "Ow!" He whined.
"Don't call me Bethany." I warned, but still cracked a smile. I couldn't help it so I hugged him again. "I missed you so much!"
"I missed you too Beth!" He said my name sarcastically. I just rolled my eyes.
"That honestly did hurt though," He said, rubbing his arm where I punched it. "Last time I saw you, you were just starting karate! What are you now? Yellow belt? Brown belt?"
"3rd degree black belt." I said proudly.
"What? Now you can beat me up! That's never good…" Louis said.
I laughed. "Lou, I could always beat you up." I stated.
I heard someone clear their throat behind me. I turned around and was face to face with a cute, curly haired boy with a nervous smile. My face went blank as I realized it was one of his band mates, Harry.
I guess I had to be nice. "Hi. I'm Beth." I said, holding out my hand for him to shake. "Call me Bethany and I swear I'll flip you like penny in a coin toss." He gulped but still shook my hand.
"Hi Beth. I'm Harry. Nice to finally meet you. Louis has told the band a lot about you." I blushed and looked at Louis who also found interest in his shoes.
"Thanks." I mumbled to Harry. I looked up and tried to change the topic. "Come on Lou, the whole family would be ecstatic about you being here!" I grabbed his arm and gently led him through the house to the backyard.
Everyone, like I said, was ecstatic to see him. Granddad made him sit down and tell us everything.
"But Granddad! It's your birthday! I don't want to take the spotlight away from you!" Louis exclaimed.
"It'll be my birthday present!" He insisted and Louis finally caved and started tell his story from the last we heard of, which was right after the finals. I stood at the back of the crowd that was sitting down, circling Louis as they listened intently to his stories. Whether they were adults or kids, they all just were intrigued by his story.
I noticed Harry was standing right beside me, listening to Louis as well. I looked up at him and asked,
"Does he really talk about me?"
He looked at me and smiled. He was about 2 inches taller than me and had to be around my age. "All the time, like everything little event we did could remind him of something you two did together." I was truthfully, slightly shocked. "Niall once asked if you were his girlfriend, 'cause it sounded like it, and all Louis did was laugh and explain how you were his cousin. That shut Niall right up." He chuckled. I just stared blankly off into space.
"Well, I haven't seen or talked to him ever since the finals." I sighed.
"Really?" He asked shocked. Then it looked like he remembered something. "He once said he was nervous to call or Skype you because it was 5 months after the finals and he was worried that you had forgotten about him or found new friends. I guess he was just scared that you'd be mad at him for leaving."
"Truthfully, at first I was mad, but then I felt guilty, then I started feeling proud of him, but I just really wanted to talk to him." He just nodded and we watched Louis continue his story.
Louis and I made I contact and he smiled at me. I laughed to myself and smiled warmly back. I could feel Harry's eyes on me so I looked up to his deep brown eyes that half the girl population has fallen for. I blushed and looked back at Louis and his entranced audience.
The party finished at midnight and our family members drifted off as they went home with their kids asleep in their arms. Soon, all that was left was my grandma and granddad dancing under the stars with my mum and dad and Harry, Louis and I were catching up on each other's stories on the back patio.
"So you guys are staying here for 3 days?" I asked hopefully. They nodded happily. I heard a new slow song start from the playlist and Louis got up and offered his hand to me.
"Dance Beth?" He asked formally.
I laughed and took his hand as he took me to the patio walkway where the adults were dancing. I laughed at his failed dance moves and then I became serious again.
"Why didn't you contact me?"
He sighed. "I totally forgot until 5 months after the finals and I felt bad. I really wanted to call you, but I was worried that you'd be mad at me for basically ditching you, I mean, we were best friends." I nodded. "But I didn't want you to be mad, so I thought that if I didn't talk to you, I wouldn't know if you were mad or not and I just pretended that you weren't. But if I did call you and you were mad, I'd be scared, 'cause, you know how you are when you're mad." I rolled my eyes. "I was scared that if I came alone, you'd still be mad and I'd feel terrible, so I brought Harry along."
I rested my head of my cousin's and my best friends shoulder. "It's alright. I whispered. "Just don't do it ever again." I felt him nod.
A tap on the shoulder soon interrupted us and we looked up at Harry. He looked at me and asked,
"Could I steal you from this charming man?"
I laughed and nodded and I unwrapped my arms around Louis neck and put them around Harry's.
"Just don't hurt her, otherwise I'll sick her on you with her karate." Louis whispered in his ear. Harry looked nervous but instantly covered it up. I just laughed and Louis announced he was going to bed.
There was a small pause as Harry and I swayed to the music. "I like it when you laugh." He randomly stated. I blushed. "It's like you capture the world's glance when you do."
I looked at him sadly. "You know that at the finals, he told his sisters that they shouldn't fall in love with you because they were too good for you." He disappointedly looked down but I don't think he realized what I said, so I leaned close to his ear as I whispered, "But he said nothing to his cousins."
With that, I drifted away from him and went into the house to my bedroom. I looked out my window to see Harry still standing there with a giant smile plastered on his face, his head turned in the direction I left.