Fragile *Complete*

When Alex set out to find her long lost brother, she never guessed he'd be famous. But can she get him to remember her, that tiny blank in his childhood memory? Or will his life prove too much of a distraction?

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15. Father

We broke the hug after what seemed like a few seconds, but when I looked at my phone, it had really been four minutes. It wasn't long enough. I looked at the date and it was December 22, 2011. I looked back at her. "I need to go Christmas shopping. Do you want to go tomorrow?" I just wanted to spend the day with her. She nodded and we went down to the living room, where the others were. We sat on the couch and I pulled her onto my lap, wrapping my arms around her protectively. The boys noticed and gave us strange looks. "She remembers," I explained. They all jumped up and engulfed us in a group hug.

"Congrats, guys," Liam said when they all sat back down. 

"Yeah! It's about time," Niall proclaimed. Harry and Zayn just smiled at us. 

"So what are we watching," Alex asked.

"Batman," Liam exclaimed joyfully. Batman was another of his movie obsessions, next to Toy Story.

I settled back to watch the movie and Alex leaned into me. I was going to love being an older brother.

*****

Alex's POV

I put the finishing touches on my outfit. I was wearing a pair of skinny jeans, a loose white and blue stripped t-shirt with a black tank top underneath, and black toms. I didn't care about my scars as much anymore. They were a part of me and if people couldn't accept them, oh well. I tied off my fishtail braid, grabbed my purse, and went out to my room to meet Louis, grabbing my grey jacket on the way out of my bathroom. 

"You ready," he asked me.

"Yep!" I was practically jumping up and down. Louis just laughed at me. 

As we headed down the stairs, Zayn called up, "Alex, someone's at the door for you!" I looked at my brother, confusion the prominent emotion on my face. His face was the same. I shrugged and skipped down the stairs and over to the door, Louis laughing at me again. I stopped dead in my tracks when I saw who was at the door. How had my father found me? He had that expression he always had when he picked me up from a friend's house. I had to leave with him, make up some excuse to leave if I had to, say goodbye to my friends, get in the car with him, and he'd make up for what I missed in my absence.

I composed myself, just like every other time and said, "Dad! It's so good to see you! Oh my gosh, we should really catch up sometime!" I gave him a look that told him to play along, find some excuse to get me out of the house.

"Well, I'm only in town for tonight. Do you think we could grab some lunch? Catch up on old times?" 

I turned back to Louis, and ran up the stairs to give him a goodbye hug. "Do you think we could do this another day?" He nodded his head, appointment written all over his face. "Thanks." I hugged him and whispered in his ear, "Don't come after me. Don't come looking for me. He might take me home to America with him. I love him and haven't seen him in forever. Please, try to forget about me." I knew my father wasn't going to let me come back, if I even survived this time. 

When I left the hospital all those years ago, I was put up for adoption. I was adopted not long after by a family that was falling, well ripping, apart at the seams. When the couple got divorce, the mother received full custody of the children, but the father received custody of me. We moved to America so he could try and escape the pain and memories. When that wasn't enough, he took out his heartbreak, pain, and misery out on me. He'd beat me, lock me away, starve me, scream profanities at me, and call me every vial thing he could think of. When he'd miss a day due to being drunk or me being at a friend's house for the night, he'd make up for lost time when I got back. He never missed an opportunity to make it known he was in charge and I could do nothing about it. He'd done everything short of rape. He'd never cross that line. As soon as I turned 18, I was of legal age to leave, so I did. I could never escape the memories of him that haunted me though. I'd worked hard to bury them. My memory had even repressed that part when I was in the hospital. And now here the monster stood, to reclaim my life, to break me: the one thing he never accomplished. 

I slowly walked down the stairs, hating ever second of this. I walked out the door, quietly closing it behind me, and followed him to his black van. Fitting. He threw something at me without even taking his eyes off the road. I looked down at what landed in my lap. A bandanna. I caught on and tied it around my head, making sure I couldn't see anything. 

After a while of driving, my door opened and he pulled me out. I stood up and he forcefully shoved me forward, unlocked the front door, and lead me into what I assumed was a house. He turned me to the right, then to the left, stopping me immediately. I could hear him open a door, and before I could register anything, I was tumbling down a flight of steps. So the torture begins. Again.

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