Don't tell me, just do it.
“Liv wake up”
“Liv come on, I’ve been calling you for half an hour. Wake up”
In a sudden movement my whole body rolled across the bed and landed on the floor with an epic thud. When I peered up Liam knelt in the middle of the bed laughing at my expense. I inhaled and exhaled a large capacity of air through my nostrils like a raging bull. But as my body adjusted more to being awake the mischievous glint in Liams eyes as he smiled so big brought me out of my grouchiness. Liam was happy.
“I’m sorry, I threw my pillows on the floor first.” He looked anything but sorry as he helped me to my feet, I didn’t notice the soft landing but now that he mentioned it I think they definitely did help. “My friends are meeting at the beach soon, you wanna come?”
“Not really.” I admitted because hanging out with his friends doesn’t sound like my idea of fun but then I got an idea. “Not unless I can invite Tia and Harris.” Liams body tensed instantly.
“I don’t like them.” He pointed out straight to the point.
“Not even Tia?” I ask as I watch him rub the back of his neck leaving small pink blotches on the surface of his skin.
“She makes me feel ... uncomfortable.” he admitted and I knew it was because she kept bringing up the time he hurt me by accident. “She asks a lot of questions.” He followed up with.
“Yeah, she does. But you don’t have to answer them. It’s none of her business. We’re dating now, you’re going to have to hang with my friends at some point.” I tried to throw it in there as casually as I could but just at the mere mention of the word I could see Liam loose some of his cool. This was going to be harder than I thought.
“Yeah.” He muttered really quietly, trying to push the darkness back down.
It was mid day, the sun was shining and the slight breeze was pleasantly warm. Tia and Harris were meeting us at the beach, they still haven’t had a conversation about their kiss and Tia kept texting me freaking out. Liams mood had dropped by a few degrees and I knew it was at the thought of hanging out with my friends. He really didn’t like letting new people in.
I gripped his chest as he rode through the streets of our town on his motorcycle, pulling up along the pier and climbing off. I tugged the inside of my cheek between my teeth, contemplating asking my next question or not.
“Do we tell our friends about us or not?” My voice announced I lacked confidence in his answer.
“I don’t know.” He said bluntly.
He’s really not giving me anything back, making it really hard to know how he really feels about us and it’s driving me a little bit crazy. I don’t think he’s as into the idea of us dating as much as I am, I just hope he wasn’t completely stringing me along.
“Can we hold hands?” I sheepishly ask, trying again to engage him.
He looked down at me and the slightest smile tugged at the corners of his lips. It made me full on smile in return. Within a beat he interlocked our fingers as we headed down the pier. We passed an older couple who sat on the bench looking out at sea, as we walked past them I heard the gentleman tell his lady ‘that used to be us’ and as sweet as that was I couldn’t help but think it was so far from being true.
“Liv?” Liam interrupted my thoughts.
“Yeah?” I replied, anticipating his next answer.
“Don’t ask me, just do it.”
My brow furrowed with confusion, was he talking about the hand holding? He has always told me not to do that, he doesn’t like unexpected touch. The mixed signals he was sending made my brain melt. One minute he seems to be changing his mind about dating, the next he is smiling at the thought of us holding hands. Then he says touch him unexpectedly, even when he’s been straight about not liking it.
“I can see your brain overthinking.” He announced, snapping me out of my self conscious yet again. “If we’re going to try this, for real, then I need to actually try. I need to experience the unexpected or I’ll never get over my fear of it.”
I remained mute thinking over his words. I wasn’t sure I was ready, or brave enough to make the first moves on him. Even if I was, I wasn’t sure he was ready to handle that and I don’t think my heart can handle the constant rejection.
“Just don’t try and touch me when I’m having a nightmare or I’m out of control.” He added as a quick warning. His face was dressed in self doubt, he will never forgive himself for that moment. I nodded letting him know I understood but my mind still questioned my ability to do as he asked.
We approached the beach and could see our friends standing up ahead. Tia and Harris stood close to the jocks, just not with them, it looked awkward. I tried to release my hand from Liams grasp to avoid any questions he wasn’t ready to answer but he squeezed it a little harder keeping me in place. I could see everyones eyes slowly fall towards our hands.
“Are you like together now?” Tia asked, directing her question at our fingers.
“No we’re not together.” I announced nervously, looking at Liam before I said something I shouldn’t but he remained quiet on the subject.
“Are you fucking?” Zak asked, a little taken aback by our stance.
“No!” I exclaimed, shocked at his crude suggestion.
“Liv and I are dating.” Liam spoke in a deep voice, the kind of voice his friends knew not to mess with or ask any further questions. But they didn’t need to because their expressions revealed all.
“Since when?” Tia asked, still focusing her attention on our interlocked hands.
I rolled my eyes knowing Liam wouldn’t be happy with her inquisitive mind.
“The lock in.” He replied, in the same tone he used with his friends. I knew that wouldn’t stop Tia and although his friends were not firing the questions anymore their interest was still massively peeked at this taboo topic.
“Where are you going on your first date?” She dug deeper.
“We haven’t discussed that yet.” I chimed in, saving her from the Liams wraph.
She gazed at me through dark brown eyes that were drenched in worry, she searched our faces like she was looking for some kind of miracle answer on whether or not Liam is going to break my heart. Then she finally spoke up, in acceptance of us.
“You should let me plan it” Excitement built up in Tias voice but her smile was ripped off her face when Liam scoffed at her suggestion.
“Why would we do that?” Liam said rudely.
“I know Olivia pretty well, we’ve been friends most of my life. I think I could throw together a great first date for her. One of your buddies can join forces with me, they know you pretty well. It will be great bonding for you both to be surprised, something to talk about. And hey, if it’s not a great first date then that can be a memory to laugh about with the grandkids.”
I chewed my lip nervously as I glanced towards the three idiots standing to the left of Liam. They all took a step back at Tias suggestion and shook their heads. They remind me of the three hyenas from the Lion King, like they would even be capable of planning a date. I knew Liam would never -
“Fine.” my eyes shot in his direction when he surprised me by agreeing to it. “Jordan you’ll help plan.” it wasn’t a question.
“So what’s happening with you and Tia?” I asked Harris as I sculpted a mermaid tail over him as he lay buried under the sand.
“We kissed at lock in, I’ve asked her out on a date but we haven’t arranged anything yet. We’re just seeing how things go. She’s still seeing John Paul so I don’t know what is happening there. I’m just giving it some time, there’s no rush. She knows how I feel so I won’t get friend zoned unless she just wants to be friends.”
“That’s a good way to look at it. What do you think she’ll plan for my first date?”
“Something epic. It’s not her you need to worry about, it’s Jordan.” He nodded his head in the direction of Jordan.
He was talking to a girl who lay sunbathing close by, he kept waving sun tan lotion at her and by the look of things he was asking if he could rub it over her. Cringe. She didn’t look impressed. Harris and I started laughing, maybe I should be worried about his plans.
“Jordan, Zak and Liam” Ben suggested to me like I didn’t already know this one was coming.
“Snog Zak, marry Liam and avoid Jordan - like the plague.” I answered, without even needing to think about it.
“I’ll take that snog now.” Zak jokes.
“Snog is such a disgusting word” Tia grimaced which had us all laughing.
“Boys camping trip next weekend whoop whoop!” All four boys fist bumped and I felt a little awkward for Harris who just sat there watching.
“Camping trip?” Tia asked.
“Yeah us lads, lost alone in the wilderness. Fighting for survival amongst deadly beasts.” Jordan spoke in a suspenseful manner and it honestly gave me chills.
I caught Liams eye and tried to gesture towards Harris but he didn’t take the hint. Or he did and just didn’t want to invite him. Either way he shook his head and shot me down.
We sat out on the beach until the sun started disappearing into the night and then we all broke off on our separate ways. Nausea bubbled up inside me knowing Liam was returning to the horrors of his own home today but he wouldn’t take up the option of staying with me so I couldn’t really do much about that. Tia and Jordan had plans to meet up in the diner tomorrow evening to arrange our first date and I was on edge to see what they get planned. My parents are also home tomorrow and somewhere deep down inside of me I really wanted Liam to officially meet them.