i just fixed the organized chapters page - go check it out if you haven’t already!
also, i’m still checking messages so feel free to send me anything, i love talking to ya’ll :) questions, comments, criticisms are all welcome!
love you! <3
i just fixed the organized chapters page - go check it out if you haven’t already!
also, i’m still checking messages so feel free to send me anything, i love talking to ya’ll :) questions, comments, criticisms are all welcome!
love you! <3
A few weeks after the phone call, and when I had finally gotten back on my feet, my mother flew into Heathrow and stayed for a while in the Malik home. She had lost her teary eyed demeanor and just ran into my arms and gave Zayn a big, tight hug and welcomed my new in laws.
When she laid eyes on her grandchild, she couldn’t control herself.
Family from all over the world called inquiring about baby Jawadd and how my married life was coming along. Telling that it was fun and enjoyable wasn’t even the tip of the iceberg.
Zayn and I had decided that it would be best for us and baby Jawadd that we move out of the Malik home into our own abode, especially after subsequent celebratory parent sex had impregnated me with twins. Twin boys.
“There’s no way we can have all the kids in here together, Zayn,” I said, plopped down on the ground, leaning against the wooden barriers of Jawadd’s baby crib. One hand was pushing Jawadd’s baby swing, while the other was lying limp on the dome protruding from my center.
Zayn groaned from where he was standing, near the window. “We’ll find a flat somewhere, babe, I know…” The last word lingered, a quiet moan against the cold November glass. A soft mist coated the frost decorated window.
“I’m 4 months pregnant, Zayn, and I can barely see the tips of my shoes,” I whimpered, sadly, heaving off of the floor with both hands on the wooden bars of the crib. My back ached, my head hurt. I wanted out and I wanted it soon. It wasn’t me being stubborn; it was me being worried that it would be too late.
Zayn hesitated at the window, his eyes drifting off into space.
I understood why Zayn was worried about leaving. It would mean actually putting his well earned money into an actual home, when in fact, he was ready to use it to splurge on his wife and his, now three, sons. I was okay with refusing another diamond ring; I wanted my kids to have a home where they were comfortable and could do what they wanted, especially without the prying eyes of the public. I knew that oh too well.
Zayn had just gotten a statement released to British paparazzi trying to get them off my back. I knew that being married to someone high profile as Zayn would be hard, but I thought a woman could at least buy some milk without being hounded by black clad photographers. I didn’t want this high profile life, nor did I want it for my kids. Moving out of London, or to a lower, lesser populated area of London, could solve this and still let Zayn be the dad he wanted to be.
I stood there, leaning backward, both my hands on my stomach and looked at Zayn. I was tired and wanted something better, and now, in the dead of November, Zayn had to do something. I wasn’t bringing these two kids back to the Malik home, and it was clear that I wouldn’t be returning to the US anytime soon. I wobbled up to him and gave him a pat on the shoulder, kissed his cheek and went to bed, hoping that he’d be able to make the right decision when the time came.
It was a rough pregnancy. Round 2 seemed to suck just as much as round 1 did.
The morning sickness was gone, but I still struggled to get out of bed like I did before. Considering the fact that I had been pregnant for most of the time after our wedding, it was inconceivable for me to go to work and try to keep myself occupied. I was restricted to the home and local library… just as soon as I successfully rolled my huge, rotund body out of bed and regained consciousness from my frequent fainting spells.
Zayn was out of the house most of the time, for what I thought were production sessions followed by house hunting adventures. My eyes burned from staring at Tumblr-esque homes and dream places complete with swimming pools and mini playgrounds. I kept in contact with my brother and cousins and Molly as I spent the long weeks between American Thanksgiving and the days preceding Christmas in front of the computer and at the doctor’s office.
Then it was Christmas.
To call me a miserable fool would not have been sufficient, considering the amount of bitchiness I was producing during my 4th and 5th months of pregnancy. Christmas, the smells, sounds and complete aura, made me smile and want to enjoy the gloomy snow drifts and frozen mistletoe hanging outside of stores.
The Malik home was decorated from top to bottom with Christmas lights, wreaths and scented holly leaves. The Christmas tree was completely decorated and there was a faint red glow to the room, beautiful complimented by the Christmas carols being sung out of our family radio.
Mama was in the kitchen cooking a Christmas Eve dinner that it looked like just us two would enjoy. We were both sitting quietly at the dinner table, my heart a little broken that all my decorating efforts had gone to waste, when Zayn busted through the door, a grin on his face and snow fluff in his hair.
“I have somewhere to take you all,” Zayn said, the white of his smile glistening in the dark room. He tucked his shawl into his coat and ran to the closet, yanking my coat out and pulling out my winter boots. He motioned to his mother –who was adorning a bewildered expression – to get her coat on, while he ran to me and heaved me off my chair. I was dumbstruck by how fast Zayn was moving; he was literally shoving my boots on and wrapping a warm scarf across my face. If he was in even more of a rush, I’m sure he would have carried my nearly 200 lb. body to the car.
The snow was roaring outside, a Christmas blizzard on the horizon. I trudged through the cold winter snow, Zayn’s hand protectively on my back, his other hand holding his mother, as she climbed the snow drifts to the black Jeep parked in the front.
“What… the… hell… are we doing, Zayn?” I said, reaching out to Mama, who had safely brought Jawadd with her out of the house. I was panting, my breath shallow. I could barely move in this state of pregnancy, so this was something new.
“I have something to show you,” he said, the same smile on his face, a determined hand driving us across town, through the heart of London. I had a feeling that he wouldn’t say any more, so I kept my mouth shut and saved my breath.
We whipped through the bright Christmas-lit city and stopped right outside a quiet apartment complex on the outskirts of town. My heart was beating in my chest.
“Is this…?” I ventured.
“Yes, it is,” he said, a smile on his face. “This is where we’re gonna be raising our kids.”
I stared at him, a weird tension tying us together.
I decided to break it by slapping him hard on the arm.
“Ow!” He whimpered, a dilapidated smile still on his face.
“You didn’t have to make this so damn dramatic, you idiot!” I was annoyed; Mama let out a laugh at my reaction.
“Aw come on babe,” he said, mid-laughter. “Let’s go see the flat.” He took my hand and led me all the way up to the fourth floor, where he handed me the key to open the door.
“Here, you can do the honors,” he said, sliding the cold silver key into my glove clad hand. I gave him a deep stare into his brown eyes and slid the key into the lock, unlocking the door and swinging it open into the dark blackness.
“Well this is anticlimactic,” I muttered, fumbling around with my hand against the wall, trying to find the light switch. In anger, I tossed the key on the ground and started feeling around on the wall for a light switch.
“MERRY CHRISTMAS!” The lights – more than I had expected – switched on in full blast, as the entire One Direction team jumped up, smiling.
My heart dropped as I looked from a beaming Zayn to Danielle, Liam, Eleanor, Louis, Molly, Niall, Harry, and all of the kids. Papa Malik was sipping some eggnog near the bar station and… well the whole place was done up in Christmas decorations like I’d never seen before.
I mean I’d seen…but never actually done.
It took me a few minutes to catch my breath.
“Breathe, Jess,” Molly said, clutching my hand and patting me on the back.
“Don’t wanna cut any of that circulation for the two buns in the oven, now do we,” Harry said cheekily.
“You guys knew about this?” I said, looking from all of the boys to Mama Malik. They all nodded yes.
“How do you think Zayn got a place like this? Obviously not his taste,” Danielle said, a smirk on her face
“Hey now,” Zayn said. He stopped swinging Jawadd in circles. “I picked out the… wood color.” I gave him a smile and he continued playing with Jawadd.
“Thanks guys,” I said, accepting my own cup of hot chocolate and sitting down with the crew.
“Anytime, big mama,” Niall said, playing with his own red-haired son Seamus. Liam and Danielle were chasing their two kids and Molly’s kids were already venturing over to the presents under the Christmas tree.
“And to a great Christmas, reunited again!” Liam said, raising his mug to the ceiling. We raised them hysterically and chugged them, remembering the nights of young love, sweaty concerts, and now, lives as parents.
Oh how time had changed.
i’m REALLY sick, guys. i have a fever and a headache and shivers, so i’m going to go to bed now. here’s part 1, i’ll finish tomorrow when i feel better.
i’m sorry for letting you all down again.
Jawadd was the best thing that had actually ever happened to me.
April 22nd was the date that my – correct that, our – baby was born. I had gone into labor nearly 9 hours before my hazelnut-eyed, black capped baby saw the light of the hospital room. Zayn had rushed me out of the room, squeezing my hand and telling me to breathe as I constantly drifted in and out of limbo, my eyelids dropping heavily and hardly opening until we got to the hospital.
The delivery was complicated, but all I knew and cared about was the fact that despite all the IV’s, tubing and pressure readers wrapped on my arms, my baby was born. My baby was living in this world.
Due to my stressful and complicated delivery, I was required to stay in the hospital until I was completely recovered. Zayn took Jawadd back home to his parents, but came back early that morning and slept in the hospital until I was successful discharged.
When I got home, I couldn’t spend a second away from him. The way his hair curled up reminded me of how Zayn’s quiff had once stood, tall and proud. Nowadays Zayn was wearing his hair cropped closer to his head, but it still had the attitude it had garnered attention for during the One Direction days. Baby Jawadd’s face was slightly tanned, even despite the cool, early spring temperatures of London.
And then there were the eyes.
I always remember sitting down with baby Jawadd and cradling him in my arms, my finger tightly clenched between his baby fingers. Then I would fall in love with the eyes I had fallen in love with nearly 5 years ago.
They were the same chocolatey brown hazelnut eyes that Zayn had, framed by the same long eyelashes. But, there was something even more beautiful that I couldn’t get over.
The way he laughed, the way he giggled, toothlessly, shamelessly, and the way his brown eyes would light up and shimmer.
There were flecks of gold and dark brown in his eyes that glittered in the sunlight.
They were flecks that made me feel like the most beautiful mother in the world.
Zayn spent most of his days trying to figure out how to be a better father. Doctor’s orders had restricted me to the bed and flavorless food, so he was on his own trying to figure out how to put on diapers and feed Jawadd pureed green peas. Mama Malik took time off from work and began to watch me and take care of Jawadd when Zayn had disappeared in a pile of onesies and baby socks. Grandpa would come by often and play with Jawadd, but would also sit by my side and tell me stupid stories about his life and Zayn baby stories. And he’d always know how to make me laugh and make me feel wonderful and warm.
What made me feel even better was the phone call from my mom, two weeks after Jawadd was born, and right when I had gotten back on my feet, telling me she loved me and that she wanted to be the best grandma in the world.
When we woke up, my arms were crossed over Zayn’s chest, and the light white linen cloth was softly draped across both of our bodies. A warm Santorini breeze blew across us both, through the improperly concealed window that overlooked the small fishing village that was gearing up for an early morning.
“Shit,” I whispered, my lips pressed and vibrating against his chest. “The windows were open.” I let out a soft giggle, still pushed up against him.
He brought his arms around me and laughed. “Yeah, they were.”
I laughed and nuzzled even closer into his chest.
We stayed in Santorini for the rest of the week, and maybe that involved banging some more, but all I know was that it was well worth the wait. We eventually packed our bags and hopped onto another flight that was headed toward London, where we were scheduled to meet Mama and Daddy Malik.
Make that Grandmama and Grandaddy Malik.
It wasn’t evident that I was pregnant until, obviously, the final week we were living in London and when I was scheduled to leave off to America. It had been about 5 weeks, nearly a month, that I had arrived in London and had moved in with Zayn’s mom.
It began with the regular stuff – morning sickness, crankiness, and the one that sealed the deal, missing my period.
“Hon, you okay?” Mama Malik ran to my side as I knelt over the toilet and vomited everything I had eaten the night before. My face was strained and tired, my arms gripping the seat of the toilet like it would be the last thing I would ever hold.
I let out a quiet moan as tears began to mingle with the grossness that was pouring out of my mouth.
“Don’t cry baby, it’s gonna be okay,” she said, kneeling beside me and patting me on the back. She helped me get up and wiped away the tears on my face.
It had been the fifth day in a row where I had awoken to unfavorable grumblings in my stomach and had run to the bathroom, releasing the acidic contents of my stomach along with the hopes and dreams that I had had for the beginning of my marriage.
Each time I had vomited, Mama Malik was standing by my side. She was rubbing my shoulders, wiping the tears; I was honestly sick of waking up like this.
Zayn began his days early by going to the studio, where he and the boys were still working out final paperwork and final signings. The earlier he left in the morning, the earlier he got home.
But that always meant that I’d wake up, a tingly feeling in my stomach, nudge Zayn awake and swallow the acidic taste while making him breakfast. When he was off and on his way, avoiding a kiss to stifle the digustingness that was growing my stomach, I’d go back to bed and then run to the bathroom.
It was at breakfast that morning that Mama Malik had made me a cup of black honey coffee, sat me down, and asked me if I thought I was pregnant.
It had honestly not passed my mind. There I sat, a 20 something year old, totally intrigued by the banging and screwing process that I hadn’t really thought about being pregnant. About being a mom.
Sure, I had thought of it when I was younger, about how I’d love to have a pair of twin boys and a little girl, but now, now in this world of craziness and freedom, it had totally disappeared.
My black curls were popping out from every direction of my top knot bun, my face a bit sweaty from the previous bathroom situation, and all the blood and color completely drained from my face.
“There’s no chance, I must’ve just eaten something bad,” I muttered against the rim of my mug of tea, my hand on my cold but clammy face. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath, inhaling the black tea and honey scent through my sick nostrils.
Mama put a plate of toast and jam in front of me and went to pick up a blanket from the couch, draping it around my shoulders.
“Well, you have…”
“Yes, mom, we have,” I said, breathlessly, a little embarrassed and grossed out by how she knew that Zayn and I were having sex on almost a daily basis, or at least before the vomiting had begun.
“Jessica, it’s morning sickness,” she said reassuringly.
I guess I was in denial, because I replied, “No, I’m pretty sure it isn’t. It’s probably food poisoning from that wedding that we were at.”
Mama let out a sigh and tapped me on the shoulder. “Either way, we’re getting you to a doctor because five days is a little bit too much.”
After a long shower, I sat on my bed, the tips of my hair dripping cold water on my t-shirt. I stood in front of the mirror and looked at the short, petite, curved figure that reflected back to me. Then I pinched the rolls of my stomach.
Then I put my hand over my bellybutton and took a deep breath.
And if I told you that I didn’t feel anything, that nothing happened to me at that moment, I would be completely lying.
A wave of emotion flooded me, from the tips of my fingers all the way up my arms and rolled down my back. It was this weird warm emotion that made me feel like a different person.
Maybe there was a life in there. Maybe there was something that would soon be growing, living, moving, and breathing in 9 months time.
In minutes, there were tears puddled in my eyes and slowly trickling down my cheeks. I ran from my room and straight into Mama Malik’s arms.
She stood dumfounded but returned the hug in the most motherly way ever. “If you are, you are. I remember when I was pregnant for the first time. Did you just have that feeling? That one where you feel like you’re holding the most important thing in the world? Where everything is going to change?”
I stood there in her arms, refusing to let go. “Yes,” I mumbled, almost inaudibly. “Yes, and it was the most wonderful thing I have ever felt. Ever.”
The following afternoon, my face was lit up by excitement. But at the same time, I was nervous; what if this was a farce? What if this wasn’t real? What if it was actually food poisoning?
If I was going to be a mom…. What would happen? I didn’t think that Zayn and I had it in us to raise a child, even though it was something that we had been dreaming about ever since we had first started dating. Where would we have this baby?
What I did know, was that if, in fact, I was pregnant, that this was a blessing and not a curse. And even if s/he did come at an inopportune time, s/he would still hold such a strong place in my heart and never ever leave it.
The doctor, later that evening, confirmed my biggest fears when he said I was in fact pregnant.
My heart beat so much faster that moment. It raced at such a high speed, my knees shook, and I momentarily forgot how to breathe.
Mama was there, waiting for me, a massive smile on her face and a tight hug in her arms. We zipped home to Zayn, and ecstatically broke the news to him.
His face was not what I had expected.
“You’re what?” he said angrily.
The room turned cold immediately.
I whimpered. “I’m having your baby, Zayn. I’m pregnant.”
There was a frozen chill in the room. Silence. Dead quiet.
He stared at me with his cold black eyes. Mama Malik held my hand tightly as I stood face to face with the father of my unborn child.
“Zayn!” Mama hissed.
“Mom!” he replied. “I’m not ready for this! I never was! I never will be!” He shouted at her, but directed his anger toward me.
I felt my heart drop and sink lower and lower into my feet.
“We’ve been wanting this,” I whispered.
“You’ve been wanting this. I never said anything about having a kid right now,” he responded. His eyes flared in irritation.
“Well then when did you want it?” I mumbled, tears rolling down my cheek and my lip quivering. Mama had tried to tighten her grip on my hand, but I tugged away.
He glared at me and stomped away.
The fight would be too painful to document. And thus I am skipping that part in the story because I have the power to do so. What I can say, is that after several tears, nights on the couch, and teary calls to friends, was that the baby that was growing in my stomach was going to stay there, no matter what.
Mama Malik had eventually somewhat convinced Zayn that he was ready to have a child. She constantly told me that this reaction was primarily his fear – that he didn’t know if he had it in him to raise a family. I took the hug from Mama and always told her that I would never leave Zayn. That he would always be mine to support and love. That he didn’t have to worry about doing anything by himself.
Zayn and I didn’t talk for the first month of my pregnancy. His dad took me to my first sonogram.
The black and white image of the blob didn’t really get me at all. I didn’t really feel anything.
But Zayn must have seen something really powerful in that image, that he came to me and put his head in my knees and sobbed his life out and told me he was ready to take this next step and help me throughout the entire process.
Several late nights, cranky mornings and jars of pickles later, baby Jawadd was laying in my arms in the early hours of a brisk April morning.
i miss you all so much!
here’s an update on jessica’s life -
1) i’m at college! i have this picture that i might post so you guys know what i’m upto! tell me if you wanna see it, so i’m not randomly posting a pic of me…
2) i had my first day of classes today and am swamped with homework, but i will post the next chapter tomorrow! please remind me in case i forget!
3) the story should be over in 3 more chapters, and i’m hoping to get one chapter a week… being an engineer is already eating away at my free time.
as always, i send my love and hugs!
The sexual tension in the car Zayn and I were leaving in was so thick, you could almost see the steamy haze around us.
Louis and Eleanor had given us little pecks on our sweaty cheeks, and had shuffled us off to the car that was waiting to take us back to the hotel, where we were supposed to be picked up at 3 am for a ride to the airport.
“Now,” Louis said, his eyes on me as Eleanor helped heap my dress in the small car. Zayn held my hand tight and watched my head as I clambered into, a bit tizzy, the car. “I wouldn’t recommend screwing in the car, for the first time,” Louis continued, peering into the car and noticing the hand that Zayn had already put high on my thigh.
Zayn snickered. I let out a small laugh, my blush dissolving into my flustered face.
“There’s not enough room for moving, touching, and you know, the full experience,” he said, cheekily. I was waiting for a wink, but when I noticed he was dead serious, I pushed him aside and waved goodbye to Eleanor.
“Have fun babe!” she said, giving me a thumbs up. Molly and the other crowd was behind her, standing as a wall, waving and blowing kisses.
“Yes, have –“ Louis was cut off by Niall, who grabbed his arm, and consequently hauled his ass, behind him.
The driver shut the door closed and pressed his foot the pedal, closing the wall between us and him to grant us our own due privacy.
Zayn has somehow managed to unbutton his shirt to reveal his sweaty abs in the few moments that we were in the car. The curves of his abs were so scintillating to me that I involuntarily shifted my weight to one side and pulled his shirt aside, pulling it down his arms and crumpling it into a ball, tossing it down below my feet.
I stared at my hands, then at Zayn’s bare chest, and trailed my eyes up to his shocked face.
I held my hands in front me, and stared at them. “I don’t know what made me do that.”
It was quiet as I sat next to him, my hands still palm up in my lap, and my brain as blank as it could have been.
In a quick, fast motion, Zayn turned his body toward me and pulled off my veil, which Molly had rashly pinned into my hair as I made my way out of the venue. He tried to fold it as best as he could and threw it to the floor where his shirt lay. My hands were already on his chest and I just wanted his lips on mine, on my body, and anywhere it could possibly reach.
Except the damn dress was in the way.
Zayn had done a good job of pushing my head against the leather headrest and putting my hair on top of my head. He took his time kissing and leaving love bites along my neck – pulling strong gasps from my mouth – but he found trouble as the dress began to billow and interrupt our session. His hands got caught in the folds of the white dress, the tulle causing friction between his hands and my body.
“Ugh,” he said, his hand once again caught in a white, fabric trap.
“This isn’t working,” I said, giggling. He put a kiss on my neck and found my lips, where he left me gasping for air.
“Yeah, it isn’t,” he said, straightening up my dress for me, pulling it up tenderly at my chest.
I slapped his hands away and wiggled into the dress, sliding it up as best as I could. I was smiling the biggest smile in the world, and Zayn has his own goofy smile on his face.
“I’ll finish this at the hotel,” he said, sex dripping from his voice.
Well long story short, my hands were all over his chest and dangerously close to the zipper of his black dress trousers, and my lips were swollen all the ride to the hotel.
It was a weird transition for me. I was never the lustful type. Zayn and I had made out premarriage, but what made this even more special for me was that it was my first time.
And I had chosen to spend something so beautiful, freeing and glorious (hell yes, glorious) with someone I really loved and trusted.
The driver stopped the car in front of the hotel and gave us some time to tidy up, though it was difficult for me to hide the evident love that Zayn had made on my neck.
He gave us a knowing glance, followed by a quiet chuckle, and ushered us in, following close to Zayn.
“I fucked her full on in the car after my wedding,” he said quietly, giving Zayn a pat on the back. “Make it worth it,” he said, waving to me, my face completely flushed.
Molly had told me that apparently marriage sex is the best sex you’ve ever had. There’s something so different and refreshing about it. And the fact that I hadn’t invited Zayn into me ever before, man that was to make things even better.
“Just let it happen, Jess, I’m sure he fucks really really well,” Molly had said. We were at my apartment and I could just see her dipping her finger into the Nutella jar and raunchily licking it in Zayn’s direction. “Unf, you’re so lucky you’re gonna have that in bed.”
I had blushed then, and I had blushed now, in the cool summer wind. My heart thumped wildly in my heart as Zayn gently took my hand and led me up to the honeymoon suite, where we would stay for only another hour and a half.
It didn’t work out as well as I had wanted it to. By the time Zayn had finished stripping me into my lace bra and panties, I choked.
My body went rigid and Zayn’s lips stopped right at my breasts. The lace was shivering against my chest; my hands had gripped Zayn’s shoulder as tightly as possible.
Zayn got the message and led me by the waist to our room, where my clothes were set out. My heart sunk in my chest as I thought, Wow, why can’t I do this?
I felt bad to disappoint Zayn. It was something both of us had wanted to do and Zayn even more than me. It felt horrible to cheat him out of this.
“I’m gonna take a shower,” he said, smoothing out my hair and putting a kiss on my forehead. His chest was bare and sweaty, and his black trousers hung loose against his hips, lower than I had ever seen. My eyes traced from his crotch all the way up to his eyes. He gave me a smile and walked into the shower.
I sat there, in my warm clothes, knees bent up and my head in the crook of my knees.
I damn wanted that boy so bad, but it just wouldn’t happen. There was something that kept me from loving him with my body.
Of course I had fantasized so much – so SO much – with what I could do with him. And I knew he’d lead me through it, help me along the way.
But why, why the hell, couldn’t I get myself to do it? Was it fear?
I shuddered as I thought of walking into Zayn’s shower. Shower sex. Shower love.
I threw my head back and looked at the ceiling, my heart pounding in my chest.
I took my shower and waddled back into the room, just to see Zayn lying in bed, shirtless, the blanket drawn up right below his bellybutton.
I wanted to spin around in circles and grab my hair and scream “WHY” into the air.
Conon O’Brien was cracking dry jokes on the television and I crawled into bed right next to Zayn. A quick peek told me that he had his boxers on and that it wasn’t as dire as I thought it would be.
Zayn motioned to me to lay down and I put my head down on his chest, tracing circles on his abs and just letting my hand rest against his skin.
I was drifting off when I heard Zayn whisper in my ear and say, “It’ll happen, babe. It’ll happen when it happens. I promise I’ll help you along the way.”
And with that, he put a kiss on my cheek.
Our flight to Santorini was a little long but we kept each other busy, joking around and secretly making out in airport bathrooms and stealing kisses in first class seats.
“Ugh I should’ve booked us the private jet,” Zayn said, when a flight attendant interrupted us, just to offer us drinks.
We had booked a room at Pegasus suites, where we had a beautiful view of the ice blue water and the white-washed stone walls of Grecian homes. It was a massive suite with a pool that was situated outside and received constant breezes from the sea and mountain air. The balcony overlooked small homes and a quiet fishing village, where young fit men would go out and fish, tan and look gorgeous all day long.
It was the night that we arrived that Zayn and I made love for the first time.
We had gone out for dinner and returned back to our suite early. The windows were drawn open, and one could see and almost feel the caramel orange rays of sunlight melting into the blue sea. The sky was hazy, and the young men were returning from this fishing trips, shirtless and sunburnt.
Zayn pinned me against the blue wall and kissed me, grabbing onto my hips to hold me tight as he took me as far as he could. I sent my hands into his black hair and moved suavely with him, clutching him, my body crashed into the wall.
Slowly but steadily, keeping the motion in his lips, Zayn walked closer and closer to me, pinning me even harder against the wall, and parting his legs so that he could grind his crotch into me.
I took a sharp breath as he grinded even harder.
Zayn calmed me by holding my butt and bringing his lips down my neck and into my chest. I gasped for air as I did my best to unbutton his shirt.
He kept going, kissing me tenderly, until my hands went down to the top of his jeans. I undid the button and zip in one fast motion and Zayn stopped to look at me. I shook my head “yes” and he took that as his cue to lift me up and onto the bed.
I watched his jeans slip slowly off his hips as he carried me to the bed. He started slowly but aggressively, positioning his self on top of me and kissing me. His jeans hug limply from his position, almost inviting me.
He began by taking off my clothes, piece by piece. He left me sweaty and breathless as I reached for his jeans, yanking them down, along with his boxers.
“Please.” I gasped. A smile was on my face, but I tried my hardest to hide the want and desperation.
He gave it to me, most graciously, just the way I had ever wanted. No fear was left in my body as I became one with him, his body entwined with mine like it had never been before.
We were left sweaty and gasping for more, taking turns and rocking the bed into the early morning.
When we were too tired to be done, I put my body against Zayn’s, laying on him totally.
“Damn, that felt so good,” I said, combing the hair out of his face. He took his hand and stroked my cheek softly.
“I don’t even know what to say,” Zayn said, his voice raspy and tired. He had a massive smile on his face and was heaving below me.
“Mmmm,” I said, sucking on his lips. “Thank you babe.”
I slid off his chest and pulled the blanket up against my naked body, my curly hair frazzled and matted against my bare back. I curled up against Zayn and fell asleep, satisfied to the point of no return.
Or every return in the world.
The reception went just the way I had planned it, unfortunately without my mother, but otherwise quite flawlessly. We returned from the Church to the reception venue early enough for us to go back and freshen up with Jolly Ranchers and ice cream sundaes that were waiting for us in our hotel rooms.
It was probably 5 when we took our whole entourage to the lobby of the Gaylord National Hotel and walked out onto the back lawn, where the hotel had graciously set up our outside reception venue magically, in a matter of hours. There was a massive tent set up along the edge of the Potomac River, big enough that it spanned the entire length of the hotel’s grassy area along the river. Hanging from the tent were several pink and green drapes, illuminated by Christmas lights that glittered as if tiny diamonds were lying in the folds and were being reflected by the slowly dimming sun.
We had spent the next few hours just roaming the edge of the Potomac River and taking pictures, often ones where I stood by Zayn, his hands lost in my hair. Later, on our honeymoon, I’d come to know that we both felt as if we were the only people on those rocks, on the water.
Our little flower girls and, of course, our bridesmaids were beside us in all the pictures, standing in front of the picturesque background of rolling water and the Washington Monument in the way distance. One could see the bridge, as well as several tourist boats, over the water.
People had begun to settle in in the tent, feasting on tiny appetizers that had actually cost us an arm and a leg. I had wanted something very elegant and fancy, something that wouldn’t make a mess on my dress considering the fact that my stress eating would be a big part of this night. Zayn on the other hand wanted to have the messiest, grossest, and manliest appetizers at the bar.
So of course we went with an open, free bar filled with beer, all you can eat meatballs and vegetarian pastry shells.
Everyone seemed to be enjoying it splendidly, even Zayn, who tried to get me to kiss off some meatball sauce off of his lips.
“Aw come on, babe, you don’t want me looking like this when I walk into the venue, do you?” he said pitifully, begging me to press my lips against his saucy ones.
“No, I don’t, but I’m not putting my lips there,” I said, poking him the ribs.
Our emcee for the night was someone I had fangirled over right when One Direction had come out and hit the big screen: Olly Murs.
As cheesy as it was, the big lug had begged the boys to be a part of someone’s wedding, and Danielle hadn’t been as forgiving toward the beer belly man as I had. He was going to sing our first song together (being very considerate of the fact that I didn’t have a father to do the father-daughter dance with), and I had picked it to be “Dance With Me Tonight.”
It reminded me of my father’s favorite song, which was Michael Buble’s version of “Save the Last Dance For Me”.
And for Michael Buble? As I tumbled into the hall tent, my hands gripping Zayn’s and my platforms clicking back behind me, I peered out all the people there.
Michael Buble was standing inches away from me, beaming at Zayn and me.
Justin Bieber was with Selena in a corner, giving Zayn sup nod. My knees went weak as I thought of how his posters once adorned my teenage bedroom.
Alex Pettyfer was leaning against a pillar, waving to Zayn.
The wedding march blared as our entourage entered the massive tent. We were enclosed by a wall of people, but the fame was never ending as I looked behind more and more people, seeing Uncle Simon, Demi Lovato, and even Katy Perry.
Olly went up on the makeshift stage, which was completely adorned with pink and green lilies. The drapes were billowing in the summer wind, and I could see the afternoon sun setting beneath the waves of the Potomac River. There was an eerie, but beautiful, orange light flowing through the drapes, mixing beautifully with the pink and green of the evening.
“Well, they’re finally married!” He yelled into the microphone, one too many beers already evident in his system. “Let’s give it up for the couple!”
The crowd burst out into cheers and whoops, putting up their champagne glasses as we all raised them up after the toast.
Eventually, it was 8 o’clock and Olly had sobered up enough to sing our song, slow and deep, with his band behind him. Zayn had protectively put his arm on the small of my back and led me slowly, my head falling into his chest and grazing his chin as often as it could.
My body melded with his as we swayed for the beginning of the song, and then, as Olly picked up the speed, there we were, swinging back and forth, making complete fools of ourselves, laughing and cheering, switching between Louis, Liam, and the other boys as they made their way on the dance floor.
We danced and danced as Olly went through his usual one hour set, singing and swinging his microphone here and there until I finally landed in Zayn’s arms. He cradled me as we danced under the pink and green heavens, until the fireworks cracked over the river.
Olly grabbed my hand and I held on tightly to Zayn’s. He walked me over to the edge of the water, the moon quietly reflected in the deep, blue water. Zayn propped himself up on a rock and held me steady as we stood on the rocks and watched the white firecrackers burst over the black water.
It was as if it was raining fire, little sparks falling from the heavens and dissolving in the water below us. Diamonds, emeralds, and rubies were falling from the sky and into the ocean.
Zayn leaned in and kissed me.
“And we’re not even done yet,” he said, when he took a breath and eventually lunged in for another.
I pulled his face off of mine. “I know, I know,” I said, clutching his face with my hands. Then I gave him another kiss, one that I eventually lost myself in.
The rest of the night was just the way I had envisioned it: filled with drunk people dancing and laughing and having a good time. We had hired a live band that played amazing music, so there were times when Myelin, Molly, and often Harry would go up and take their turns on the microphone. Zayn and I had lost each other sometime during the reception, after he had introduced me to all the famous people who had made it to the reception.
To say the least, I was a nervous wreck. Every famous person was greeted with a kiss on the cheek and a shaky smile. These were people that were once my computer background, I had reblogged on my Tumblr… and now I was here, kissing them, close by, breathing the same air as them.
Anyway, Zayn and I eventually found each other at dinner, where we snuck away and fed ourselves beside the water. We had found a cozy spot right outside the tent that had a beautiful view of the river, and nighttime Washington, DC, which lay right behind it.
If we turned back, we could see the wedding-goers enjoying themselves, dancing and singing and making merry with their champagne, sodas, and apple juice (Andrew was toting his around like he was the Prince of Wales or something).
I plopped down in my white dress on the rocks, right next to Zayn, his bowtie hanging and the top of his shirt undone. The white tulle overflowed on his knees. He put down his plate of food and wrinkled his hands in the white fluff, playing around till I couldn’t see his hands anymore.
“It’s a big dress, I know,” I said, putting a spoon of mashed potatoes in my mouth, a smile on my face.
He sighed and looked up at me. A mischievous grin came across his face.
“If you’re thinking you’re gonna get your hand up my dress, right now, at this wedding reception, you are thinking wrong, babe,” I said, poking my fork of steak into his mouth. He bit down on the fork and didn’t let go.
I shrugged and got back to my food, pulling the fork out from his teeth and starting again on my pile of food.
We quietly ate, sitting close by each other and away from the crowd of people that was growing near the food line. It was getting close to 10, but people were still going strong. A cool, night breeze issued forth from the river, throwing my hair behind me and making Zayn’s quiff dance.
“It feels so nice to be done, doesn’t it?” Zayn asked, fingering the white gold ring that was on his left finger.
I laughed, looking at my own ring. “I don’t think it’s being done that’s exciting,” I said. “It’s starting this, that’s the best part.” A big smile appeared on my face as I began to think about everything that a married life meant: love, family, children, and a completely new way of living.
“Come on you love birds, we’ve got this place rented for a few more hours, get your butts to the dancefloor!” Louis yelled, sauntering over to us and hooking my arm with his. I pulled my dress and bunched it around me, trying to keep up with the pace that Louis had set, his long legs making its way through the tent ever so quickly.
Liam had followed Louis and had grabbed Zayn, pushing him into Danielle and Eleanor, who were paired up with Molly and some of Zayn’s cousins. Zayn was swished around from girl to girl, shimmying and shaking and dancing his life away.
I was pushed into a crowd that included Justin (who eventually walked away to attend to his whiny, now-wife Selena), Olly, Tom Daley (please don’t ask me how that happened, Molly had even taken the opportunity to reacquaint herself with him, to Niall’s dislike), the One Direction boys, and Nathan. Other celebrities that I don’t have the time to list or fangirl over, were also there.
I was pushed from side to side, a smile on my face as I grabbed onto random men, dancing with them, running into them, twirling from one hand to the other. I felt my dress rise up against me, the tulle floating in the air as Olly flipped me here and there and as Liam spun me around in big circles. Niall brought his drunk Irish body next to me and did a shimmy that left me in tears and laughter. Louis got down like I’d never seen before and Nathan shyly grabbed my waist and danced with me like a normal lad would.
The air was electrified with tears, screams and laughter, people living life and celebrating one that Zayn and I were just about to begin.
It was 1 when the wedding finally died down, and Zayn found his way back to me and cradled me in his arms under the starry black sky.
Molly, Myelin, my two cousins, and Zayn’s two youngest sisters were my bridesmaids. I didn’t have a maid of honor, because I didn’t like the idea of a hierarchy, but I knew that they were going to handle me, my dress, and my bouquet of flowers as best as they could, as a team. I had three little flower girls, family friends I barely knew, but had bonded with a couple weekends ago. They were dressed in small, frilly pink dresses, complete with a green sash and bow in the back. They carried little baskets filled with pink and white rose petals.
Zayn’s family was abounding with girls: sisters, cousins, aunts, etc. There were not as many boys, except for the little one that Zayn’s eldest sister had successfully popped out four years ago. He wobbled in, his feet covered in shiny, black dress shoes, and expertly dressed in a penguin tuxedo. What he had of hair was poufed up in a special quiff, one very similar to his uncle’s.
He was the epitome of adorableness.
When he saw me, he ran up and tried to jump up into my arms, accidentally grabbing onto my dress and falling into the pile of tulle that was around me. Confused as he was, he got up, checked his hair (just like his uncle would) and walked away, a little dazed by the wall of white had just run into.
We all burst into laughter as we watched his penguin body totter off toward his mother, and eventually, into her arms.
The rain had cleared and everything looked a lot drier than it did earlier that morning. The sun was out, and a cool, rainy wind was blowing, a breeze that tickles you just the right way. The sky was bright, and the clouds were spread out like sticky clumps of white cotton candy.
Right when we were processing out of the hotel room, gown, flowers, and all, Mrs. Malik stopped me.
She was wearing a beautiful, lavender gown, one that swished and swayed when she walked. Silently, she put a simple, diamond necklace around my neck.
“I know that this is a tradition that the mom and dad usually do, but I’m doing it for you,” she said, clasping the necklace in place. She gave me a warm smile and hug.
I had to try hard not to let my eyes well up in tears.
Our troop descended down the elevator in a very timely fashion; all 12 of us crammed into the elevator and scared a visiting, tourist family as we exploded out of the elevator in pink, green and a mass of white.
Outside of the hotel, three metallic gray Mercedes Benz’s were waiting for us, complete with flowers and ribbons all over them. Zayn had called in for a single limo, but had asked the representative that if limos were unavailable, to provide Benz’s. I liked the Benz’s better, and was utterly over the world when we all climbed in and zoomed through DC to the church, where Zayn was hopefully waiting.
Molly and Myelin chose to sit with me in our car, and Mrs. Horan took the front seat. Mrs. Malik and the other moms were in charge of shuffling around the other, younger bridesmaids and flower girls, while Andrew was in the protective care of his mother, who was also taking care of our wedding bands.
The nerves were once again starting to build as we rolled along the quiet highway that connected Maryland to DC. Eastern Market and the Waterfront came ever closer into view. My stomach was doing backflips as we got closer and closer, and I saw the clock in the car tick ever closer to 1:30.
When we arrived in DC, Molly and Myelin had turned their eyes to me and had seen me shaking a tad bit, clasping my hands together and wringing them out in desperation. My eyes were focused outside of the window, but my mind was in a completely different place.
Molly nudged one side of me, while Myelin poked the other. I was sandwiched between them, my dress overflowing onto either of their legs.
“WHAT?” I practically screamed at them.
“You need to, this isn’t new, calm down,” Myelin said to me.
“Look, it’s the Jefferson Memorial!” Molly exclaimed. She was being too excited about it, because I knew for a fact, after over 20 years of living near DC, she (and me, too) was sick of the capital city.
She rolled down the window and pointed out at the reflecting pool, where cherry blossom trees were green in the sunlight. “And the Washington monument!” she shrieked even louder.
This time she caught the attention of tourists who were walking, biking, and segueing their way through the famous, historic city in the late afternoon. One enthusiastic mother began waving at us as our Benz dawdled at a red light, off of 14th Street Bridge.
Myelin rolled her window all the way down, and motioned for Mrs. Horan to do the same.
“Yes, yes, she’s getting married today, yes, Jessica!” Molly screeched at the woman on the sidewalk. I tried covering my face and looking out the other window, but that was impossible considering the fact Myelin was doing the same from the other window. Mrs. Horan was smiling at the growing crowd that was accumulating on the sidewalk parallel to our Benz.
Gosh darn it why won’t this light change?! I thought, bopping my knees up and down in impatience.
Then I looked out the window and heard the cheers, laughs, claps and kisses that were being blown in my direction. And smiled.
Molly took it upon herself to stick her head out the window, for the last 10 minutes of the ride, and scream loudly and bring all attention our wedding caravan. The girls and the moms in the cars following us also did their job of directing attention toward me as we rambled down through downtown DC.
Within three minutes, most of my anxiety was gone as I found myself waving and smiling and muttering “thank you”s to all of the people on the sidewalk. They maybe didn’t know who I was, but they knew I was taking a big step in my life and they were proud of me because of it.
When we finally reached the church, I wasn’t nervous. I was ready to get it over with. I was ready. So damn ready.
My dress was smoothed, my train had been detached. My veil was adjusted to cover my face and my gloves were secured at my elbows. The bouquet in my hands was properly organized, all of the lilies sticking straight up and curled in the right way. My shoes were on and I had convinced myself that I wouldn’t fall.
The orchestra had begun with the soft, entrance music.
Andrew had just started his walk down the aisle, teetering and doing a zigzag to reach the front of the church, where he was positioned in a pew to wait for the rest of us. The priest gave a bright smile to Andrew when one of the tails of his tuxedo was sticking up and Andrew was trying to figure out what to do with it, poking it and embarrassingly falling down on his soft bottom.
The flower girls descended onto the audience, each of them walking methodically alongside their male counterparts, throwing flowers about and ending their walk with giving the “flower boys” (trust me, Zayn didn’t approve of this) a peck on the cheek.
But still my brother wasn’t there. No, I wasn’t nervous. I was full out freaking out. Internally, of course.
Then I caught a glimpse – and more – of the One Direction boys as they started pairing up with my bridesmaids.
The moms were doing a good job of keeping the bride’s troupe and the groom’s troupe separate. The boys entered through a different door and paired up with my cousins, Zayn’s sisters, Molly, and Myelin.
My cousins and Zayn’s sisters went first. My cousins joined hands with two of Zayn’s friends, kids who were close in age to my teenage crazy kids. Molly followed with Niall, who gave me a crazed look (to throw off my nerves even more) and a throaty laugh, before he clenched Molly’s hand and pulled her with him down the aisle. Myelin followed, wobbling a bit on her 6 inch heels, still shorter than her partner Harry, who protectively hooked his arm with hers and gave me a cheeky smile, and mouthed something I’m sure was meant to be dirty. Liam gave me a big smile and hooked his arm with Zayn’s sister. Louis raised his eyebrows at me, mouthed “wow” and kept his head turned toward me as he walked down the aisle with Walihya, until he nearly stepped on Walihya’s foot.
That was that. Now it was my turn.
“I’m… HERE!” my brother said loudly, panting and running up the steps, knocking into Mrs. Horan with such force, I was sure she’d kill him.
His tie was crooked, but otherwise he was dressed in dapper fashion: a black suit, white shirt (that he was quickly tucking in) and the dark blue Rolex watch I had recently gifted him for his 21st birthday. His hair was combed back and he was wearing a diamond earring in his left ear.
“Mom isn’t here so whatever, right?” he grinned at me, hooking his arm with mine.
My baby brother was all grown up. Here he was, towering above me, his once skinny figure now padded with muscle he had developed after playing soccer in college. He had lost his dorky glasses and was now wearing contacts. The ear piercing gave him a bad boy image in the Indian community, but we both knew he was the kind of guy who would run away from a house fly thinking it was a bee.
Then we started walking down the aisle.
The church was decorated exquisitely. The sky high ceiling of the church had pink and green banners floating above us, looped and hanging in such an elegant fashion. There were pink and green lilies with bows attached to each pew, and I even caught a glimpse of the glitter kissed programs that had the same emblem (the intertwined Z and J) that Zayn had tattooed on his arm.
Down we walked. And smiled.
And I looked up to see Zayn gazing at me from afar.
My heart dropped and leapt up again as my feet began to drag. Jason pulled me, holding me tight and smiling at everyone. Zayn looked at me, gorgeous as ever.
He was dressed in a black wedding suit, a white bow tie at his neck.
“But I hate bowties, they’re so uncomfortable!” Zayn complained as I adjusted it against his neck. “I don’t want to wear it at our wedding.”
I smiled and tucked the fabric of the tie under the button, out of sight. “Well then don’t. But guys who wear bow ties are absolutely adorable.” I said, giving him a peck on the cheek.
He shrugged. “You like bowties?”
I just smiled.
The suit fit him in all the right places. He has his hands in his pockets, as if he was waiting for me next to his car, ready to take me to dinner. His hair was up in his signature quiff, tall but not too tall. He left a bit of day old scruff on his face, just the way I liked him. But my favorite thing?
The way he was waiting patiently, smiling at me, and taking in the whole moment calmly and happily.
When we finally made it to the altar amidst smiles, tears, and points, Jason gave me a kiss on the cheek and walked up to Zayn. Traditionally, he would have just shook his hand and walked away, generously giving me to my to-be husband, but he did nothing of the sort. Instead, he gave an almost embarrassing bro-hug that Zayn gladly reciprocated.
It wasn’t hard for us to sit quietly. Zayn kept his hands folded in his lap and I kept my hands in my own lap, in a very ladylike fashion. Every now and then, though, Zayn would turn and look at me, gaze for a few seconds, and flash me a smile.
And my heart would beat and jump and make me feel like I was falling in love all over again.
“I now ask for Jessica and Zayn to come forward and be fully received in our Church as husband and wife.”
Zayn grabbed my hand helped me steady myself. Molly and Myelin pulled my train from around me and followed me to the front of the altar.
It literally felt like it was just me, Zayn, and the priest at that moment. The entire Church, filled with over 200 people, was dead silent.
“It is now time for the exchange of vows,” the young priest said.
Zayn and I were lost in each other’s eyes. Or at least I was, considering the fact that Zayn snapped me out of my delusion by pinching my hand and pointing at the priest.
“Jessica, it is time that you recite your vows.”
I gulped and turned to look out at the audience.
4 feet below us were 200 people that we dearly loved. My aunts and uncles were in the front row. The Direction moms were sitting in the row next to them. My brother was smiling at us. Zayn’s family was crowded in another section, his dad boasting a massive grin. Nathan was sitting in the middle section with his girlfriend Amanda, smiling at me. All of my college friends were moving about in their seats trying to get a better view.
“I, Jessica, take you, Zayn, to be my husband. I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.” I stopped to mark the end of the traditional wedding vows. “I will love you with every part of my soul, my heart and my being. Forever and till the years to come thereafter.” I gave a big smile and looked into Zayn’s eyes.
Now it was Zayn’s turn.
“I, Zayn, take you, Jessica, to be my wife. I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.” He also paused here. “I promise to treat you like the princess you deserve to be, for all the days of my life. I promise to love you. I promise to be yours, just as you promise to be mine.” He smiled at me and held my hands tight.
The congregation burst out into applause, while Zayn and I widened our ever-growing smiles.
The priest continued. “Now, for the blessing of the rings.”
Zayn’s eldest sister handed Andrew the ring, who in turn handed it to me, with a small charge of a kiss. After a few laughs, I placed the ring on Zayn’s left ring finger, saying: “Zayn, take this ring as a sign of my love and fidelity.”
Zayn looked over at Andrew and received my ring, in return for a tickle. With a smile on his face, Zayn placed the ring on my left ring finger, saying: “Jessica, take this ring as a sign of my love and fidelity.”
We stood there, holding each other’s hands and smiling, turning our heads to look at everyone who was standing, cheering and whooping in the congregation. There were some wet eyes in the church, but most were smiling and clapping, happy to see a divinely bound Mr. and Mrs. Malik.
When everyone was to be settled, Zayn looked unsettled.
“Wait –“ he said abruptly, tapping the priest on the shoulder . “I didn’t get to kiss her!”
I felt my face get hot, considering the fact that in my church, there was no “you may kiss the bride”. Everyone in the congregation, however, found it hysterical.
The priest smiled and shrugged, looking at everyone who was standing and egging on the kiss. “Okay, fine, go ahead and kiss her.”
Zayn walked back to me, triumphantly, and cupped my face with his hands, leaving a happy, sweet, and delirious kiss on my lips.
“We’re married,” he whispered against my lips, pulling me into a tight hug and leaving the church in hysterics.
The worst thoughts were running through my mind as I sat in the chair, the dress poofed up around me and the curls in my hair being remade.
What if they did something super idiotic last night at the bachelor party?
What if he’s in the hospital and he won’t be at the altar?
What if he isn’t at the altar?
What I arrive and nobody’s there with me?
I was going crazy. My heart was pounding and the nerves were going, piece by piece. Molly, Danielle, and Eleanor had planned a rather quiet bachelorette party the night before, which was basically doing a night tour of Washington, DC via tour bus and having champagnes with bobbing raspberries as we turned off of Wisconsin Avenue and delved deeper into the nation’s capital.
I didn’t sleep well at all that night. We came back to my hotel room at around 12:30, after a three hour bus ride, and I tried to knock myself out at around 1, using sleeping pills, warm glasses of milk, and other things that I thought would somehow make me fall asleep.
I lay in bed twisting and turning and thinking of everything that could go wrong. I could trip and fall down the aisle. I could be attacked by a swarm of bees. I could accidentally arrive late and everyone would be staring at me. I could forget my vows. I could not fit in my dress. I could spill something on my dress. I could be the laughingstock of the whole wedding.
Zayn and I had made the joint decision to invite several fans and family. Zayn had found it only fit that the people who had changed his life and taken it in a completely different direction, also be invited to the wedding.
It took us a while to figure out how to invite over a million Directioners, especially leave those out who just didn’t want to launch themselves at my to-be husband. In the end, we compromised with the guy who was going to videotape the wedding to also twitcast it. Liam had wanted to twitcam the wedding…but that proposal was almost immediately shut down by Danielle, who wanted a really private wedding.
“You know, we don’t have to have a million and a few more people watching our wedding if you don’t want to,” Zayn had said to me.
“No, it’s okay, I think they deserve it.” I didn’t want to admit that I was feeling a bit reluctant about having such a large audience physically and emotionally present. But the fans… they were always so supportive of mine and Zayn’s relationship. They needed to be a part of the wedding; leaving them out would be as bad as leaving out my own siblings.
My cousin had agreed to take the wheel in inviting several Directioners via Tumblr and Twitter. She had informed me, about a week before the wedding, that the Tumblr invitation (a simple post saying “Reblog if you are attending the wedding”) had over 5 million reblogs and the Twittion had over 5 million signatures.
She had come over to me during one of my nervous attacks, trying to calm me down. “It’s okay, I’m sure all of the 5,600,000 people who are going to be a part of the wedding will love you all the same.” She then realized what she had done, swallowed her words, rubbed my shoulder and walked away.
And that was probably when the nerves got even worse.
The rehearsal dinner was crazy. It wasn’t a mess, per se, but it was too chaotic for me to handle. The hotel had delayed security and almost fortunately, Zayn and I were caught right behind the President’s motorcade (of all the DC coincidences). We walked in late, dressed in Indian garb, right when Zayn’s bodyguard and other security personnel leapt out of their own private black escalades.
We had planned a traditional Indian rehearsal dinner, something to keep in line with my Indian culture and to honor the small part of Pakistani heritage that Zayn had been gifted from his father.
I had gotten caught up in the final wedding details and arrangements the afternoon before the dinner, and thus had started getting ready late. Zayn and I were literally wobbling out of our apartment, still fastening buttons, pinning up hair, and applying makeup on the way to our own dinner.
I hated being late. Zayn knew that. He tried to calm me as we stopped behind police cars and a black mass that was most definitely the president. Nerve explosion, number 1.
Either way, when we got there, everyone was ready and waiting for us. Zayn looked spiffy in his kurta and I had gone with a dark, midnight blue saree that Zayn had bought me from a boutique in the Indian part of London. My hair was down in waves and honestly, we both looked like we walked out of a Bollywood film.
We had chosen to host the rehearsal dinner in the same hotel where we were both staying - Zayn was in the west wing and I was in the south wing. The wedding would be held at the Church about 20 minutes from the hotel, and the reception would be outside of the hotel. It was all very convenient. The room had been decorated as instructed, red and orange pieces of cloth were hanging from side to side, and I could smell the spice of the tandoori chicken wafting about in the hall. Bollywood fusion music was blaring in the background, and people were looking absolutely gorgeous in their Indian outfits, sipping drinks and having exciting conversation. Everyone has having a great time.
It didn’t help that the saree kept falling off and that I wished I was wearing sweatpants and a t-shirt.
Molly and the other girls had decked out in their own Indian outfits, waiting around and stuffing their faces with delicious Indian food.
“You need to calm down, Jessica,” Molly said, giving me a hug and handing me a mango lassi.
“Why?” I said, taking a sip of the cold, yogurt drink.
Zayn ran his hand through my hair, waving to his friends and family. “She’s freaking out, Molly, I don’t know what to do,” he said, turning to look at Molly.
“I am not!” I said, my voice cracking.
They looked at me, and I shrugged, sipping my drink again and waving to my cousin Sarah.
“Oh fine,” I said, walking away from them and swinging the blue, glittery “pallu” over my shoulder. “I’ll try to relax a bit.”
Molly gave me a thumbs up and Zayn scanned the crowd for his friends, eager to grab a beer and chat for a while.
I milled about the food area, talking to guests and friends and having drinks, but the nerves got even worse as I saw that the hotel staff was delivering food way too early and that the napkins weren’t the right color and that the centerpieces were three inches off the center.
I was going crazy. My brain was going into overdrive as I started to organize things and move things around and telling the DJ to play different music.
“You aren’t supposed to be running this party!” Louis said, grabbing my hand as I had just begun to organize the utensils at the appetizer table. Louis was getting himself another beer.
“I, but, this, mess,” I mumbled, moving the forks to their respective places.
Louis grabbed both of my hands and pulled me to the dance floor. He held both my hands and danced with me, twirling me about and swinging me around. “You need to calm the heck down, babe,” he said, sending me across the dance floor.
I stood looking at him, a giggly mess.
“See?!” he said, picking up his beer and patting me on the back. “Loosen up,” Louis said, taking a swig of the beer and pulling a rhinestone clad Eleanor on the dance floor.
It was said that I didn’t really enjoy the party until it was almost over. And when it did end? The only thing that kept nagging at my heart was the fact that I was getting married in two days. And I had consented to it. And hopefully I was still going to go through with it.
After our final dance complete with a kiss and “swept me off my feet” closing, Zayn and I parted ways to our respective hotel rooms, just to see each other in two days waiting at the altar, reading to make this finally official.
My heart was pounding with anxiety when I saw Zayn blow me a kiss and walk out of the door with his own troupe, the boys following him out. His bachelor party was the next night, but I was sure that Harry and Niall would take care of him tonight; the night was forever young, anyway.
Molly and my best friend Myelin rattled off to me on our ride back to the hotel room. Both of them were fidgeting in their outfits but were ready for the next night and the actual wedding.
Molly – “I don’t understand why you have to not see Zayn, when Niall and I get married we’re gonna keep going until the morning, I can’t even tell you, and by going, you know what I mean…”
Myelin – “I don’t know if I’ll fit in the dress, you okay, Jess? Jess? Jess, you okay? Well it didn’t fit me before so I don’t know what it’ll be like tomorrow…”
They kept going and going and then there were my other friends in the back of the limo who couldn’t wait either.
The bachelorette party was in between the wedding. I counted 34 hours until I was due to be in the dress and in the limo. The buildings flew by, and so did all the memories.
The coffeeshop. The courtyard. The bike. The fainting. The party. The dinner. The breakup. The lake. Valentine’s Day. The bracelet. Venice Beach. The ring.
I leaned my head on the window and saw DC fly by, the lights still up at 1 am in the morning, drunk summer college-goers wobbling back to their apartments in Dupont Circle. My friends were giggling, softly snoring, and ooh-ing as I sat thinking. Thinking that 4 years later, at the age of 24, I was getting married to someone I had loved so, so much.
It drove me crazy that I was freaking out, that I couldn’t stand up and be that big girl, to be that wonderfully smart and brave girl who was getting married with the love and support of everyone around her.
It took a gust of early summer, evening June wind to touch that same sore part of my heart. My mom wasn’t coming to the wedding. My aunts and uncles were being smuggled in. My brother had had a major fight with my mom and was adamant on walking me down the aisle, though that was not completely confirmed. He may or may not be able to make it.
It drove me nuts. My OCD-ness had not died down, but instead was subjugated to Zayn’s and One Direction’s management, who had most generously taken the reins of financially planning the event. It was kind of them, but I wasn’t in control of the one thing I had ever wanted to be in control of.
Like Zayn didn’t even text me a kiss goodnight. I couldn’t control that.
And this van was taking me somewhere I didn’t know. I couldn’t control that.
My hair may be a mess the next morning. There’s no way I can control that.
I had lost any possible control, and my mind was slowly starting to follow.
So that night, when I tried to fall asleep, cozy in my white fuzzy pajamas and French manicured toes glittering in the moonlight, I just couldn’t. Too many things. Too many thoughts.
Eventually, at around 4 in the morning, I shoved my head in the feather pillow, tightly closed the curtains that boasted a beautiful view of the Potomac River, and fell asleep.
When I woke up, Molly was standing next to me, trying to wake me up, pushing me, pulling me, slapping me. Myelin was outside in the living room talking rapidly on the phone, rambling about getting a taxi to the hospital. My cousin was grabbing clothes from my closet and throwing my poofy white dress into a suitcase.
“Wake up, wake up, wake up,” they were all muttering.
It was as if I was drugged. My lids were heavy, my head pounding. Colors were blurred, the lights hurt. Molly pulled my arm, lugged me into the living room and put me on the couch.
My ears hurt. They were flooded by some kind of air, some kind of weird, heavy air. My hair was sticking out everywhere, my eyes half shut.
“We need to… get… car… hospital…Zayn”
Everything still hurt but I reached out – to who, I didn’t know – and grabbed onto fabric. Pulled hard. Yanked. Asked to stop.
“What happened to Zayn?” I vomited the words; they came out in a horrible, garbled mess.
What’s wrong with me? I thought. I felt as I if was floating in some kind of nonexistence, as if my soul was detached from my body and no longer could make contact with it.
Molly apparently hadn’t heard me but put my arm around her and picked me up with the help of my cousin, pushing me to the elevator and pushing a button.
My head hurt. It was spinning. The world was moving faster than I was. I felt like the world was pushed onto me as we descended to what I thought was hell.
I blacked out when the girls shoved me in the van and told the driver to go to Washington Hospital Center.
The colors were brighter.
The scars were deeper.
The blood was redder.
The bandages were whiter.
The gown was almost glittering.
Zayn was lying in a hospital bed, head bandaged, arm in a sling.
Something about a motorcycle accident; drunk truck driver hit Zayn as he was getting back from the bachelor party. Something about Harry pulling over and screaming in the street for an ambulance. Something about making it right in time.
I fell to my knees, the pain of the hard hospital floor numbed by the pain I was feeling in my heart, and put my hands to my mouth.
No, I screamed. No.
I was awoken by screams and thuds on my hotel room door. Mrs. Malik and Mrs. Tomlinson were knocking and banging on my door, screaming my name. They were trying the door, but were eventually pushed aside by apparently Molly, who had run down to the lobby and gotten a master key to my room.
They barged into my room, running in their pajamas, just to see me sitting on my white bed, sweating and crying. My hands were balled up in the sheets, my hair was disheveled, and my eyes were sore. Tears were dry against my cheeks and my heartbeat was so fast, I thought I’d leave it behind. My breathing was shallow and it hurt to swallow.
“Jessica!” Mrs. Malik said, descending on my bed, where I sat criss-cross applesauce, scared out of my wits, shaking. She grabbed my hands and looked at me, patting my head and stroking my arm, trying to calm me down.
“Oh my god, babe, what the hell happened?!” Molly was yelling but I put my head down in the sheets to block out all sound. I’m sure I looked like some kind of demented animal.
Mrs. Tomlinson ran and got me some water. She splashed some on my face and gave me a bit to drink.
My heartbeat was beginning to slow and I could now feel my tongue in my mouth.
Mrs. Malik bore her eyes into mine.
I looked at her, tears almost coming out of my eyes.
I shook my head yes.
“And you had a nightmare.”
I shook my head yes.
“Oh, love,” she said, pulling me into her, where I cried and cried until I couldn’t anymore. “You can’t be nervous because you’re perfect in every way, hon. You can’t. Zayn’s going to marry you even if you look like the hedgehog you are.”
I gave a throaty, weird laugh into her chest.
“Yeah, you do look a bit like a squirrel, a crazy schizo squirrel,” Molly said, nodding at me. She gave a smile. “Now, you’re gonna wash up, I’m gonna bring breakfast, and basically all of us are gonna invade your room and you’re gonna get married,” she clapped.
I nodded and smiled.
Fuck all this, I was going to get married and it was going to be awesome.
After a shower and a deep brushing of the teeth, I entered my girl infested hotel room and got ready for a bunch of hugs and kisses. The curtains were drawn to show a drizzly June morning, but the weather report boasted of a warm evening complete with a sky filled with stars. Molly was passing around coffee, and Myelin was sending around little breakfast burritos filled with steaming eggs, sausage and peppers.
After a good two solid cups of coffee, I was buzzed with caffeine and filled up with lunch.
Mrs. Horan, along with the other mothers, especially Mrs. Payne, helped me get into my massive dress with the most professional and delicate temperament. It took me a while to stop shaking as I stepped into the pool of white lace and pulled it up to my bust. Mama Malik did the honors of pulling the zip all the way up, securing the dress in place and smoothing out any wrinkles. I sat in the chair, as Lou started teasing my hair and pulling it into my usual, normal waves. She loosened the waves and gave them a bit of sheen, expertly getting rid of the frizz. My hair hung down to the middle of my back, most of it up in a half up, and the other bits coming down the front of my dress.
It was a beautiful, strapless white gown, full but not overflowing. It had a basic bodice, with a sweetheart neckline embroidered with perfect lace and with a small belt of tiny diamond rhinestones. It hugged my chest and flowed out to the floor in buckets of tulle, overlaid with even more old-fashioned lace.
When Lou was done with my hair, she began with my face, quietly putting on a light bit of foundation and touching up my eyes with black mascara and eyeliner.
Then I slipped on my white pumps, my perfectly manicured white, glittery nails peeping out at the top.
There was a quiet gasp in the room as Lou put on the lace veil that completed the outfit.
Then I walked, hands covered in simple, sheer wedding gloves, the three stoned engagement ring sparkling in the sunlight, to the massive window overlooking the river. The diamond earrings my grandma had gifted me when I was 10 were in their respective holes, and every piece of hair was tucked and where it needed to be.
“You. Look. Amazing,” my cousin said.
Everyone in the room nodded their approval.
Ignore that feeling in your stomach, that weird pit, dying feeling, I thought to myself.
And so, quietly, I stood with my beautiful, pink clad bridesmaids and looked at the camera, thinking of the picture that I would be showing my kids, my grandkids, and future generations to come.
Danielle’s and Liam’s wedding went swimmingly. They chose to have it after the boys were all settled and retiring, in a way, to new and different business ventures. Danielle was from London itself, while Liam was from Wolverhampton, a short 2 hours from the main city. Thus, they decided to have the ceremony and reception in London, in the middle of the Christmas season, in a massive and utterly rambunctious fashion.
I hadn’t expected a grand wedding from Danielle and Liam; rather, I was looking forward to a small chapel, family guests and a quiet reception.
“She invited 600 people?!” I had gasped into the phone when Molly had called to check on me and Zayn when we had not yet arrived at the reception venue.
“Yes, and they’re all here, flooding the place, except for you two,” she sneered at me. “Get your butts here!”
I turned to look at Zayn, who was still fidgeting with the bowtie that I had convinced him into wearing to the wedding ceremony and eventually to the wedding reception. He angrily ripped it off his neck and unbuttoned the two top buttons.
“Hon, Molly and Niall are already at the reception, we have to hurry up!” I said to him, covering the receiver with my hand.
He grumbled out loud. “It’s amazing they got there considering all the boning they were doing the night before,” he said across the room with a smirk on his face.
“Oh my god Zayn, shut up,” I said, trying to shut him up before he said something that crossed the line. I removed my hand from the receiver.
“You’re fiancée’s an idiot,” Molly said to me. “At least Niall and I can bone and still make it to the reception, hmph. Now get your butts here!” She hung up the phone and left me and Zayn to our own hilarities, i.e. me tripping in my heels, getting my bracelet stuck in Zayn’s coat, and losing the keys to Zayn’s bike.
When Zayn and I had eventually made it to the party, people were hanging around in the lobby because the massive hotel they had rented out apparently couldn’t accommodate that many people.
“Damn,” I said, clutching Zayn’s arm as we pushed through people and finally made into the reception.
“I know,” he said to me, tugging me along until we bumped into Molly’s little, blonde petite figure.
Molly had saved us seats at the main guest table. Dinner had already been served, but Danielle and Liam were making rounds before they were to cut the towering, white cake that stood in a corner amidst colorful rays of light that were billowing through the room like gusts of colorful wind.
Danielle came around to our table in her white, skin tight, simple wedding dress, a massive smile on her face, to deliver hugs and laughs as we dined on steak and potatoes. Liam looked less nervous than he did at the ceremony, and now everyone was relaxed enough to have a good time.
We spent the rest of the night enjoying each other’s company. The Brat Pack had grown up and was getting married and sealing the deal like nothing else. Vanilla dulce de leche cake and several Shirley Temples got all of us on the dance floor, clacking away in our sky high Steve Maddens and shimmying in our wispy gowns.
Zayn and I left the wedding quite late, around 1, after most the people had returned back home and were saying their farewells.
Paparazzi were outside waiting for Zayn and me as we clambered onto the bike and got ready to ride back to his apartment.
As I pulled the skirt of my dress over to cover my legs, and hooked my heels so I wouldn’t fly off, a paparazzo yelled at me, “You’re next, aren’t you, Jessica?”
And my heart dropped.
Because in 6 months Jessica and Zayn were going to do the same thing. They were going to put rings on each other’s fingers and promise their lives to each other. They were going to kiss each other in front of friends, family, and others and tell the world that they loved each other. They were going to become husband and wife in front of the world.
The pressure began to build as I put my head on Zayn’s shoulder and he grabbed my hand, massaging it softly with his thumb.
Then we sputtered off into the distance, wondering and waiting for what would happen in 6 months.
Zayn and I had decided to have the wedding in DC, instead of London because a large amount of my family and friends were already in America, and it would allow for some family and friends in India to come and visit in a decent and proper fashion. Zayn’s family was perfectly fine with coming over to the United States for a couple weeks, especially knowing that my mother was still being ignorant about my engagement and eventual marriage. Mama Malik was doing her best to take the position of mother and mother-in-law during the entire preparation process.
It’s just that there were things that a daughter and a mother should do together when planning a wedding. Especially dress shopping.
I had left several messages for my mom the days leading up to when Molly and my bridesmaids would go to pick out my dress and do the fittings. None of the messages were returned and it was with a heavy heart that I went to the boutique with Mama Malik, my cousin, and my best friends, Molly, Myelin and Gina.
They would later tell me that I wasn’t myself as I tried on different dresses and shrugged each one off because it had some small detail that my mom wouldn’t like or approve of. They’d later tell me that if I loved a dress, and they loved it too, I’d find an excuse to hate it, one that usually involved my mother.
It was after my 6th dress fitting that Mama Malik stopped me as I began to undo a massive princess dress and get into a slinky, lace dress that would hug every part of my body.
“Jessica, honey,” she said, holding my hand as I jumped out of the cloud of tulle and glitter and stepped into the seventh dress.
“Hmm?” I said, pulling the zip as high as I could, letting her take over and pull the rest of it up for me.
She sighed quietly as she looked at me. “You look gorgeous in this dress.”
I smiled into the mirror and saw how the lace evened out my hips and accentuated my butt. The veil added a beautiful etherealness that I found extremely fitting for the church ceremony and outside celebration.
Then I frowned into the mirror.
“My mom would hate how tight this is on me.” I began to quickly unzip the dress, using Mama Malik’s shoulder as a source of stability.
“No, Jessica,” she said to me, “this is beautiful on you.”
“It’s hideous,” I replied, climbing out of the dress and scanning the dress rack for another option.
“Do you like this one?”
“Nah, I don’t like how shiny –“
“JESSICA!” Mama Malik yelled at me, stopping me dead in my tracks and stopping my heartbeat for a few seconds. Her eyes were focused on me, filled with anger and pity.
I stood emotionless, a bit hurt by her force.
“Jessica,” she said, walking up to me and holding my hands. “I know your mom is such a big part of your life. And with this wedding… I know, I know, no matter how angry I am, I will always love Zayn. She loves you. She will love you. It doesn’t matter what dress you go down the aisle in, you’re always going to be her baby girl. You need to realize that. She may not be at the wedding, but she’ll be in your heart, and that’s really the only place you need her to be.” She poured her chocolate eyes into mine and gave me a small kiss on the forehead. “Now go try on a dress for yourself. For Zayn. For everyone.”
So then, after a few more trials and a couple sparkling fruit punches, I had found the dress that I would get married in.
It was a beautiful, full, lace dress, with a sweetheart neckline and lace overlay. It was poofy just the way I liked it, but had this wonderful classiness that I knew would work at the church and outside next to the river.
The best part? All of my bridesmaids loved it and so did Mama Malik.
I’m even sure my mother would have approved.
Then the day came.
The dress was ready. The pink and green lilies were ready for the reception, the hotel had called us to tell us that the tent was set up. The church was decorated with the pink and green. The little flower girls were loaded with flower petals, the bridesmaids had their steps memorized. Everyone was in their hotel room(s), everyone was fed and ready.
Or so we thought.
I was dying of nervousness, and who knows what Zayn was feeling, especially after he had left me hanging on our text messages.
I hadn’t received a message from Zayn since the night of the rehearsal dinner. And it was making my stomach churn.
Either way, I stepped into my shoes, that quiet drizzly afternoon and pinned my hair up, waiting in my poofy dress for my bridesmaids to come in and have a photoshoot in front of the Potomac River.
But that stupid feeling wouldn’t leave my stomach.
i’m super bored.
and i’m still staring at my word document and trying to write.
i was thinking…
how about you guys tell me what you see the wedding like?
you can send me wedding dress pictures, cakes, themes, ideas, what not, i don’t care, anything wedding related. who the bridesmaids are, etc.
just thought i’d like to get you involved. if i like something, i might include it and have you cited in the story!
love you all, and have fun with it!
It was really hard for me to hide the engagement ring, especially as we walked through LAX and paparazzi pounced on us. Several pictures of my left hand ended up on the internet in minutes, Tumblr directioners getting the first looks and reblogging everywhere, as per Molly’s texts.
It’s absolutely gorgeous, love Molly texted me right when I landed on American soil. She kept giving me updates on how fans were taking the change in our relationship status up until we landed at Reagan National.
Zayn had held my hand the whole ride back, my left hand on top of his right, his fingers curled with mine and the diamond ring glittering in the light flooding through our first class window. He had his own smile on his face, proud that he had taken that big step in our relationship. I was smiling because I was getting married to my best friend, and I didn’t regret one bit of it.
Fans were happy, for the most part. I had checked Molly’s tumblr on the plane and it seemed that they were excited for two weddings and one big, official, One Direction family.
“I better get invited to the wedding”
“I wish I was her”
“She’s the luckiest girl in the world”
“But why are they so cute together”
All of these comments made me smile so hard that even after Zayn dropped me at my mom’s house and she saw my engagement ring, my mom’s anger and irritation could not have made me want to call this wedding off.
“Thanks for dropping Jessica off,” she said to Zayn, keeping him outside of the house and denying the hug that he had wanted to give his future mother-in-law. My mother had been cold about me taking a second vacation with Zayn and the boys, but I didn’t think she was that cold about all of it.
She was about to shut the door when she saw the band on my left ring finger.
“Is that ring…”
She stopped midsentence and stared at me, angry, looking for a response.
Zayn stepped up to the plate and answered for me, his tall figure towering over my petite mother. “I know I should have asked you for permission first, but I proposed to Jessica and I wish that she be my life partner, my wife.” Zayn grabbed my hand and massaged it gently with his thumb; he knew I was getting nervous.
My mother didn’t say anything. She just took my arm and pulled me out of the house, gave me a final look, and shut the door in my face, leaving me and Zayn standing outside of my childhood house, completely dumbfounded.
I stood there, broken and hurt. My knees were going to buckle under me, as if the entire weight of the world was on my head and I was going to fall through the cement and into the earth. Zayn held onto me tightly as we walked down our pathway and back to the car.
But I stopped midway. I didn’t walk anymore. My heart was hurt and torn.
My mom, who had stood by me all of my life, the mom that was hurt when I was hurt, the mom that celebrated my scholarship to college, the one who helped me up on my feet after I was bullied through middle school. She… was the biggest part of my life, especially after my dad died. If she didn’t approve, I don’t know what I could have done.
I turned from Zayn’s grip and ran as fast as I could back to the door of my house, banging on the door and crying, apologizing, asking for a second chance.
“Mom, mom mom mom,” I screamed, punching the door with my fists. “Mom please, mom, let me in let me tell you, mom, no,” I pleaded, hitting the door with my forehead, tears coming down my cheeks and hair in my face.
Zayn stood next to the car with a sad face, one that almost exuded pity.
“Mom, I love him, I love you, please, I…give me a chance to tell you,” I continued to yell at the door, begging for another opportunity to make things right. “You can’t do this to me, mom, please.” I was muttering, whimpering, and sobbing.
My chest heaved and my face was covered in tears. I collapsed next to the door when there was no response, my fists still beating the door and tears pouring down my face.
Zayn came and collected me when I started shaking, his strong arms wrapping around me and guiding my fragile body toward our car.
As we drove away, I took a last look at the house I had spent 16 years of my life and saw my teary mother looking out the window.
I lay my head in Zayn’s chest and cried long and hard. He rubbed my shoulder consolingly and smoothed my hair, occasionally kissing my hand and letting me know that everything would be alright.
But, you see, that was the problem. My mother was as stubborn as me, and knowing her, everything would not be alright. She had her own dreams for me, for my husband, for what my life would be like. I’m sure she had picked out several, well to do Indian men for me to marry and to continue my life with. And when I didn’t go with what she had dreamed for me, she admonished me and sent me away.
Okay sure, that’s what she believed and that she’s being a bitch about it. But she wasn’t. I knew that that was what she wanted for me, and I should have told her earlier that I was taking these relationships with David and Zayn so seriously that a wedding was imminent. I should have told her that I had no intention of marrying an Indian banker or accountant, but that I was ready to settle down with Zayn.
And, thus, after my thorough analysis, I concluded that the reason she was mad at me was because I hadn’t told her everything. That I hadn’t communicated with her well enough. That I hadn’t made her that important part of my life.
It was my fault.
Zayn didn’t say anything to me on the way back to my apartment; my plan to stay at my family house until my mother left for India was no longer a viable option, so back to my apartment it was. He gathered me and my belongings and took my emotionally unstable self back to my room, where he tucked me into bed and settled in on the living room couch.
When I woke up, my eyes were swollen and my face was sore. My hair was a mess and my chest hurt from the sobs. I could hear Zayn’s voice in the living room.
“Her mom said no,” he was saying.
“Well so?” Molly was on speakerphone.
“What do you mean ‘so’?!”
“Zayn, Jessica’s going through this rough point, but it doesn’t mean she’s gonna give you up for her mom,” Molly said soothingly.
“Molly, it’s her mother.”
Molly sighed into the phone. “You don’t know Jessica well enough, do you? When Jessica loves someone, she loves someone with her whole heart. Trust me, I’ve had to pull her out of a couple of those and it’s been rough. She’s going to stick by you because she’ll consider that the right thing to do.”
I had stood up and moved to the door, holding onto the doorframe and looking at Zayn’s bedraggled figure hunched over a cup of coffee. He ran his hand through his hair, continuing the conversation with Molly.
“I don’t want to be the reason that she breaks up her relationship with her mom, Molly.” Zayn was honestly concerned, the wrinkles on his forehead reflective of his emotion.
“You won’t be, Zayn. Jessica will not break that relationship with her mom. It’s still going to exist. Now for her mom, it may not be…what I’m trying to say, Jessica’s going to get married to you and she’ll live with the hope that her mom is going to be at the wedding.”
Zayn coughed on his coffee. “What?! Speak English, woman!”
“Ugh, Zayn,” Molly said in an aggravated voice. “Jessica loves her mom. She’ll do everything like normal, she’ll act like nothing ever happened. If momma aint at the wedding, she’ll still be that good daughter. Because that’s Jessica. One day, she knows, that one day, her mom will come back to her.”
The stupid tickle in my nose became a full fledged sneeze, directing Zayn’s eyes toward me.
“Molly, I’ll talk to you later. Tell Niall I say hi, hope you had fun in the Keys,” he said, completing his sentence and pushing his finger on the red “End Call” button.
“How you feeling, babe?” Zayn pushed his chair in and came to me, putting a kiss on my forehead.
“I’d never leave you, Zayn. I’m going to marry you, I promise,” I told him, looking into his eyes and fixing his hair. “You mean the world to me.”
He gave a bright smile and said, “Cup of coffee? You must be starved.”
Zayn stayed the night and let me cuddle with him in my bed. He told me the story about how his mom approved of me becoming his wife, and how he went ring shopping with his sisters.
“Not for a moment did I have a second thought about buying you a ring,” he said.
“You can quit with the gushingness, we’re engaged already, I’ve promised I’m not leaving you, so you can cut the crap,” I said, tickling him.
“Never,” he sniveled.
He left the next afternoon with all of his stuff onto his flight bound for Heathrow. It hurt to see him go away, but now I was by myself and ready to do wedding shopping.
Nope, we hadn’t decided a date or anything, but a girl’s gotta be prepared, right?
Molly kept me entertained with texts and messages about how much fun she had in the Keys with Niall and how they both got so drunk off of beer and kisses in their private pool. Danielle and Eleanor sent me congratulatory texts and tweets, making me more and more excited about this crazy wedding. My best friend Myelin even made an appearance, skyping me for a while and begging to be a bridesmaid in the wedding.
My cousins, aunts, and uncles started getting the news from my brother about my engagement. They started calling, congratulating me and asking about when and where the wedding was, and if I needed any help, they were there for me. My brother stopped by that evening and congratulated me in person. I hadn’t seen him in so long, and now that I was getting married, I was glad that it was with someone that Jason could totally get along with.
My best friends from high school and college also quickly got the news, especially after I dug up my facebook account and uploaded a picture of the diamond ring. Comments flooded in and my phone began to blow up with congratulations and “I hope I’m invited”s.
For the most part, people were very supportive of the fact that I was getting married to a British, half Pakistani, travelling, 26 year old international pop star. As long as I was in love and I was sure that I was making the right choice, they were okay with it.
But of course, there was that tiny piece of my heart that hurt because my mother wasn’t as excited as the rest of my friends, family, and relatives from all over the world.
Either way, everyone’s messages and thoughts kept me distracted as I began to sort through details like location, time, and guests. I put off the dress and veil until later, mainly because my budget wasn’t as big as I hoped, and I wanted to see how much money Zayn wanted to put into it.
Goodness knows he wasn’t thinking about it as much as I was.
I started sorting through the big questions: Would the wedding be here in the United States? Or would we be doing it closer to Zayn’s family in London? And when exactly would we do it? Danielle and Liam had planned for a holiday wedding in December, which was immediately after the boys’ final concert and retirement celebration. I had always wanted a late spring and early summer wedding…and that was coming up soon. And I had never ever wanted a long engagement.
So if this all planned out all right, Zayn and I would be married within nine months.
I ran to my phone and texted Zayn quickly. Can we get married in June?
I had to wait patiently for the rest of the day – Lemme check with my mum, but babe it’s fine with me – and then I got the yes and sure and let’s do it.
So I found the calendar and circled the date we’d get married.
Saturday, June 6th, 2020 was the day that Jessica would become Mrs. Jessica Malik.
la di da di da
screw all of this i’m gonna have the wedding march up soon
zayn and jessica, saturday june 6th, 2020 <3
Zayn and I spent the first couple of days just lounging about in the hut and enjoying our wonderful view of the ocean. We sometimes made it to the main island for lunch and dinner, staying close to the older more focused scene and trying to avoid the young, family area so to prevent possible fangirling. Paparazzi were more evident as we hung out on the island, most especially on the second day, my 24th birthday, when Zayn took me out for dinner and treated me to ice cream on the beach.
Each day was like something out of a romance novel. For example, take day four. We sat on the hammock, just the two of us, my head against his chest, my legs tangled in his, the white sand underneath us and the cool fall breeze tickling as we hung, just the two of us on the beach. I had packed a picnic earlier that morning, and there we were, lying in each other’s arms, drinking a coconut smoothie and munching on sandwiches.
Then day 6. Zayn took me jetskiing after we had some crazy tumbles and jumps off of the balcony into the clear, sparkling water. I put on my black bikini and climbed on behind him, and off we went, skidding on top of the ocean, hopping up and down, leaving white bubbles of foam behind us. I hugged him tightly as he took me under a couple of low hanging trees and through a hidden cove. Bora Bora was absolutely gorgeous; there was so much to see and do, and even if I didn’t want to go swimming or hiking, I still could and would lie in Zayn’s arms forever.
Day 7. It was hard for me to say goodbye to the place where I had gotten so much closer to Zayn. Every night we’d talk about something new and I knew that going back home would mean losing him to his work and his other family. After this, he wouldn’t be mine; after this, he’d be going back to what he did on a normal and daily basis.
I struggled with the idea that life would go back to the way that it was before this trip. I wouldn’t wake up next to Zayn anymore. I wouldn’t have my hands in his hair or have his arms around me when I woke up every morning. I’d have to go to work without a kiss on my lips and I’d have to sit there at my desk, staring at the calendar and waiting for that day, that day I had circled on the calendar, when Zayn was coming back to be with me.
“Don’t be so grumpy, babe,” Zayn said as he came behind me and wrapped his arms around me. “We’ll be back, I promise.”
“It’s not that,” I said, rocking gently in his arms and folding a t-shirt that I was just going to shove in my suitcase. “I just… I just don’t want to go back to my normal life.”
Zayn squeezed me tightly and put a kiss on top of my head. “Now, now, there isn’t anything bad about your normal life!”
I elbowed him in the stomach and turned to him. “Shut up Zayn, you know my office life sucks.”
He had a smile on his face. “Ugh fine Jessica,” he groaned, still a little happy. “I’m never gonna leave you and you know that,” he said, coming closer to me and hugging me tightly.
“Mahhh…” I whimpered into his chest.
He stepped back and said, “Well we should make this night the best night of them all then, hm?”
I kept folding my clothes and eventually zipped the suitcase tightly. “What’s your plan for tonight?”
“Mmm, nothing much,” he said, lifting his own bag up and walking over to the door, where he put it down gently. “Just dinner and sit and talk?”
“Okey dokey,” I said, tossing my bag to him. That might be the last time I talk to him for months, anyway,I thought.
We had a quiet dinner of lasagna and beer on the balcony, looking at the lights in the water and how they danced quietly around the little fish who were taking strolls through the coral reef. Zayn and I shared a tub of strawberry ice cream, complete with whipped cream (which we may or may not have sprayed into each other’s mouths) and real strawberries. When we were done, we leaned against the pole, once again in each other’s arms and looked up at the stars.
I chuckled. “Remember in the Lion King when Pumbaa and Simba and Timon are out in the field looking at the stars?”
Zayn laughed. “You’re weird.” He twirled a piece of my hair.
“I’m just kidding,” he said, tickling me.
“I know you are,” I said, rubbing my nose with his.
“Hmm?” he mumbled questioningly against my head.
It was quiet, and we could hear the waves crashing against the wooden poles of our balcony.
“My mom’s going to India in December.”
“Yeah. Jason’s staying back. Well I mean he’s at university anyway so….”
“You’re gonna move back into your family home, aren’t you?” Zayn patted me gently.
“Well I mean nobody’s going to be there… it’ll be harder to get to work…but I mean –“
“It means you won’t run into David any more, I know, I know.”
I just looked back up at him, dumbfounded about how he read my mind.
“I know everything,” he sang, smiling down on me.
I sighed into the quiet silence that had developed around us. “When are you guys finishing your contract?”
Zayn sat up a bit and looked at me. “After Liam gets married I think. So after December? I don’t know babe, why do you ask?”
I began to play with the buttons on his shirt. “I… well…” I stumbled a bit.
“I just wanted to know when I’m going to see you again.” I kept my eyes away from his, just to hide my obvious insecurity.
“I’m going to miss the hell out of you, Zayn.”
“I’ll be –“
“I love you too much to let you go back to London.” I spat it out. He needed to know it.
“Jessica.” Zayn replied with such kind force that I stopped for a moment. “I’m not going anywhere, I promise.”
I sat there, fumbling with my hands and looking over the ocean, that I didn’t even realize, within minutes, that Zayn was on one knee and looking straight at me.
“We’ve been together for nearly four years, Jessica,” he said, his brown eyes buried into my own dark, chocolate eyes.
My mouth was gaping and my heart was beating. Way to catch me off guard, Zayn! This wasn’t the way it was supposed to happen. What? Here? Now? There were too many emotions.
“Jessica, you’re freaking out,” Zayn said, a smile on his face, still on his knee. “This is supposed to be harder for me than it is for you,” he chuckled.
I waved my hand for him to continue because words were just not forming in my mouth.
He laughed. “Anyway, so, erm… I’ve been thinking of the way to ask you this for such a long time now.”
At this point I was gripping the balcony rails for dear life. I couldn’t believe that this was happening.
“Jessica I love you so much. You’ve made me who I am today. You’ve made me stronger, smarter. When I met you in the coffeeshop… I knew you were something special, but I didn’t think I would be here, asking this question. When you fainted in my arms, I didn’t know that I’d be here, wanting to carry you home. But when you took me back, that night at the concert, I knew. I knew that I wanted to spend the rest of my life, all of eternity and everything that comes after that with you.”
My breathing became shallow as I stared, with a longing, at Zayn’s figure kneeling before me.
“Jessica, will you do me the honor of marrying me?”
Those last words were like a whisper. They floated in the cool, fall wind and over the rolling waters. The stars glittered even brighter and everything stopped. It was as if the world had paused and was waiting for me and my response.
“Yes,” I whispered back. The answer left my heart and my lips at the same time. “Yes, Zayn, yes I will.” Then I tumbled into his arms and hugged him tightly. He lifted me off the ground and kissed me, twirling me about in a circle under the stars and over the ocean.
And when he put me down?
“This,” he said, opening the red velvet box, “is for you.”
Then he slid the three stoned diamond ring on my left ring finger, making me the happiest girl in the entire world.