15. First Impression
Another day,another flight. Before this, I've always wanted to travel the world. I still do. Just not consecutively. My emotions were all jumbled up. On one hand, I was wrecked, dead tired. All I wanted to do was to curl up on a bed somewhere,with Niall sleeping soundly beside me. On the other hand, there were butterflies in my stomach. I was on my way to meet Niall's family. I've briefly met his brother,Greg,who seems like a nice bloke,and his wonderful mum,Maura. But I haven't met his father yet. And first impressions always count.
At least Niall would be here with me, holding my hand and comforting me,like he is now. But I was afraid that with the lack of sleep I'd make a fool out of myself.
''Are you alright,Jamie? You look a little green,'' Liam commented.
''Gee,thanks,'' I replied sarcastically and Liam put his hands up,backing off.
''I'm sorry,Leeyum,'' I apologized. ''I tend to be a tad grumpy when I'm tired,'' I told him, as he nods in understanding. The boys were seeing Niall and I off before our flight and before they went off to visit their own families. It was actually very kind of them. They truly were like my brothers, and I couldn't imagine a life without them. Without Niall.
''You'll be alright,'' he comforted,sensing my anxiety, gripping his hand tighter. Although he probably thought it was the anxiety of another flight, I felt like something was going to go horribly wrong. As if something bad was about to happen. I hate this feeling.
''Bollocks,'' I muttered to myself,feeling the unease rise in my chest. The anxiety was annoying me. And what irked me even more was that I didn't know why.
''I'll be right here with you,'' Niall whispered into my ear,his warm breath sending tingles down my spine. Must be the jetlag, I concluded. Eventually, we all said our goodbyes and exchanged hugs and well wishes until Niall and I were on the plane. Management allowed us to use the private jet since the distance to Ireland from London was much more compared to that from London to New Yorkshire-where majority of the boys' family was.
"I miss my Impala," I whined, longing to hear the beautiful purr of her engine. I still haven't quite decided on a name for her yet. Amy?...Ella?...
"We're here," Niall said, giving me a gentle nudge. When did I fall asleep? I could barely stand on my own two feet without tipping over. I let Niall drag me all the way into a car. The journey there was a blur. My mind was whizzing and I was wrecked but I was too exhausted to sleep. I didn't even know who was driving until he commented on my appearance.
"What did you do to her? She looks like she hasn't slept for days. She looks terrible."
"Oi!" Niall warned. The heat radiating from the car heaters were making my eyelids droopy.
"Do you have any food?" I blubbered.
Greg chuckled a deep, throaty laugh. ''She's just like you,'' he commented, as he reached over to open his dashboard and pass me a chocolate bar.
''Mmm...chocolate!'' I yelled, with a sudden burst of energy. Strangely, I tend to become more animated when I'm exhausted.
''I wonder what Dad will think of her,'' Greg mumbled, causing Niall to laugh nervously.
''He's a nice lad,'' Niall comforted as he saw the look on my face. ''Don't worry''.
Eventually, we reached our destination. I have to say, Mullingar is incredible. The scenery is magnificent and the weather is brilliant. Niall tells me it usually isn't as sunny as it is today.
''Mullingar seems to like you,'' Greg teases, smiling at me from the rearview mirror.
''I hope,'' I gulp, thinking of how meeting Niall's father would be like.
''Stop biting your fingernails-it's a bad habit,'' Niall tells me, showing his nails which have been chewed on as well. I smile weakly, my palms getting sweaty.
''Besides,we're here,'' he continues, grinning boyishly. He hops out of the car and helps me out, just as a middle-aged man stepped out of a nice and simple house to greet us. He leaned over to give Niall a big hug,a beer in hand.
''Jamie, this is me Dad, Bobby Horan,'' Niall told me, smiling encouragingly. His dad looked like a nice chap.
As I opened my mouth to greet him, I felt a gas bubble rising from inside my chest. And when that gas bubble popped, the sound that came from my mouth was horrid. I wanted to run away and hide in a corner as Mr.Horan's eyes glared into mine. Bollocks.
Mr.Horan took a swig of his beer. As he swallowed it down, he peered at me from under his eyebrows. A smile played on his lips, until he was chortling. He didn't have a deep, resonating voice but it was great to hear him laughing rather than making disgruntled noises of disgust. He thumped his son's back loudly and ruffled his hair.
''You've got a great mot there,boy,'' he said to Niall, as Niall laughed as well.
''Aye,'' Niall agreed, as he returned to my side. He wrapped his arm around my waist and led me inside the warm confines of Mr.Horan's house(since Niall told me when we met that his parents were divorced), Greg following us behind, helping to bring my suitcase in.
As we came in, the scent of freshly cooked turkey was in the air and I swear I could hear my stomach growling. Or maybe it was Niall's. Either way, my mouth salivated at the sight of food on the table and it took me everything not to pounce on the table and gobble up all the food. The chocolate bar raised my energy level but I was still starving. I could eat a horse, literally. Well, I would'nt really because horses are too nice to eat but, you get the idea.
''Take a seat,kids,'' Mr.Horan invited, gently placing a hand behind my back. The crinkles by his eyes when he smiled reminded me of Smith. Or Dad.
Anyway, he passed Niall a pint and offered me some but I declined. Irishmen and their liquor. Mr.Horan sat at the head of the table, Niall and I sitting opposite each other,by his side.
''Well, what're ya waiting for? Go on,'' he invited, taking a bite himself. Daintily, I took a small bite and chewed quietly. The turkey was a tad burnt but it was still delicious. Niall was clearly enjoying his food-his plate was overloaded.
''So,Jamie, where are ye from?'' Mr.Horan asked, smiling at me.
''Oh,I'm from London,sir,'' I answered politely.
''I like her,'' Mr.Horan said to his son.
''Me too,'' Niall replied,winking at me.
''You don't have to call me 'sir',love,'' Mr.Horan told me. I nodded in understanding. ''You can just call me Bobby.''
''Has me son been good to ye?'' he asked in an awfully Irish accent that was much thicker than Niall's.
''Yes, he's been wonderful,'' I replied, smiling shyly at Niall. My throat was parched so I picked up my glass of water.
''Is he any good in bed?''
I choked on my water, covering my mouth with my hand to prevent myself from contaminating all the food.
''Dad!'' Niall whined, although he was laughing. I composed myself but I couldn't help myself from smiling.
''Oh,come on,boy. It's not like you're a virgin,'' he joked, roughly shoving his son's shoulder. I briefly glimpsed at Niall whose lips were parted slightly,as if he was about to say something, but before he could,I quickly looked down at my plate, pushing some peas around the plate with my fork. These would be great with mashed potato.
Just then, the doorbell rang.
''I'll get it,'' Mr.Horan announced,rising from his seat. I deliberately didn't look at Niall as Mr.Horan went to open the door.
''Ah,here she is,'' Mr.Horan said,sounding happy. ''Come on in,'' he invited.
''Thanks,'' a female voice answered. We all stood up out of courtesy and Niall went to greet his guest.
''No,'' he gasped out of shock. ''Amy?'' he asked,flabbergasted.
''Hello Niall,'' Amy answered, smiling sweetly. She was very pretty and had gorgeous hair. She giggled as Niall enveloped her in one of his hugs-his hugs were the best because he would bury his face in your neck and it always made me giggle because his breath made my neck tickle- and kissed her on her cheek.
''Go on then,take a seat,'' Mr.Horan told Amy,gesturing to the dining table after they exchanged a hug.
''Alright. Thanks,'' she replied, in an Irish accent. Niall escorted her to the seat beside me where he then stood beside me.
''Amy,this is Jamie,'' he introduced. She smiled at me and extended her hand,her eyes flickering between Niall and I. I smiled at her as well and shook her hand, greeting her warmly.
''Jamie,this is Amy Green, a family friend,'' he told me.
''It's a pleasure to meet you,'' I said.
''Same here. Are you from England?'' she asked curiously as we all took our seats.
''London,'' I replied, passing her a plate.
''Oh, very nice.Thanks,'' she said. Her brilliant blue eyes were shining under the dim light.
As she took her own serving, she pursed her lips and looked around the table.
''Is there any mashed potato?''
''Here we are,'' Greg announced, setting a big bowl of freshly mashed mashed potato in the centre of the table, not realising the new guest. Greg took a seat, and took some for himself after putting a few scoops on my plate.
''Thanks,'' I said, briefly glancing up at him.
''Did I miss anything?''