As Long As You're Here

Natalie was just a normal teenage girl trying to finish her Senior year without any drama, distractions or anything or the sort. She had finally found her true friend and who she was and what she was gong to do for the rest of her life she didn't want anything changing that. So far things are going good, but she's only about half way through the year, if that. But who knew winter break could change everything.

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10. Now You Know

Jay quietly knocks on my door and cracks it open before coming in.

"Supper's r- woah... Why do you have so much of your stuff aren't you just staying for a night or two?" Jay says as he glances around my new room.
"Oh, um... No... I'm... I just" I struggle to find reasoning
"Jay! Natalie! Supper's waiting on you!"
"Should we?" I say trying to change the topic
"Uh, yeah that's what I came up to tell you." He says in reply, seeming to forget what we were previously talking about. 

We both walk down the stairs and are seated at the table and eat out grilled cheese sandwiches and soup, my favourite, and commence in small talk. Mainly about how everyone's day was and what we were doing for the next few days. Towards the tail end of the meal Noah speaks up to me.
"Natalie, so what is the deal with your dad? One day he loves everyone and is totally fine. The next he is pushing you around and hurting you. What's wrong with him?" I simply shrug my shoulders then look down at the bit of soup at the bottom of my bowl and choke back the tears. I glance up and mum and daddy James who are looking at me with worry.
"May I be excused?"
"Of course" they both say. I push out my chair and walk quickly away to my room.
"Did I say something wrong?" Noah questions as I walk away. When I get to my room I don't even try to hold back the tears for much longer. I, in pure anger, whether it was anger at Noah for saying something or anger at my father for leaving me, slam my laptop closed and throw myself onto my bed and scream into my pillow which the anger soon passes and turns into sadness. And my screams turn into weeps. I hear my door creak open and I try to gain composure.
"Hey Nat, you okay?"
"Yeah, yeah totally fine" I tell Jay, avoiding eye contact.
"Don't try this with me Nat. I know something is wrong, please just tell me." I shake my head. He comes and sits on the edge of the bed and rubs my back. "Whatever it is, it's going to get better." I lay my head on his lap and silently cry. This is why he is my best friend; we could do this, without any question. It was normal, and it was okay.
"No it's not Jay"
"Come on Nat, don't be negative.  Everything can get better. You're always telling me that."
"Well this time it doesn't." There was a long moment of silence. "He's gone Jay, gone forever."
"What?" Jay replies shocked and confused.
"My dad, he's dead. Gone. Forever."
"Oh my goodness Nat! I'm so sorry! Why didn't you tell me sooner?!" I sit up and shrug my shoulders
"I didn't want to worry you so early after I found out. So I called your mum and she came and got me. She was first to know, after me"
"Oh Nat..." He says pulling me into a close side hug. We stay there for a while, until his mother comes in.
"Does he?" I nod my head. "Well today has had way too much excitement for one day so, how about we each get some rest and see each other in the morning. I nod my head agreeing and Jay gives me one last squeeze before getting up and heading off, past his mum to his room. His mum then approaches me, "I told Noah after Jay came up here, so everyone knows now. Now get some rest, I'll see you in the morning. Goodnight" I lie down and pull the covers up and over me. She kisses me and starts to walk out.
“Goodnight." I close my eyes then open them again before she’s out of the room "wait, mum..." She stops, hand on the door knob. "Thank you. I love you"
"I love you too baby and it's no problem at all" she says with a smile then walks out closing the door behind her but leaving it cracked just a bit. I close my eyes to get some sleep soon after, and my world fades to black and my thoughts start painting pictures. Goodnight reality, hello dreams.

I wake up the next morning and put sweats on over my shorts and walk down stairs.
"Morning" Noah says and I get into his line of view.
"Morning" I say with a smile
"I'm sorry for last night..." He says looking down
"It's totally fine" I tell him with a smile "you didn't know" I walk into the kitchen and past Noah and make myself a bowl of cereal.  I plop down on the couch and turn on the telly. After a bit I go downstairs and into the theatre room. I hear a movie playing so I open the door quietly. Jay is watching Batman. I just smile and go sit next to him. We spend most of the day downstairs watching movies or in the game room. When his dad gets home I run up to the main level and attack him with a hug and a smile.
"Someone's feeling a lot better" he says as he regains his balance and wraps him arms around me.
"Yes I am" I say letting go and smiling.
Is everything okay in your room? Feeling at home?"
"Yup, thank you."
"Okay, Sophia was talking about going over to your house early next week and getting the rest of your stuff or anything else from your house that you want to start to clear it out to rent it. That is what you want right?"
"Yeah... Thank you"

~~~~ 2 hours later at supper ~~~~

"Oh! Mum... Can I go to a friend’s house tomorrow or Saturday?"
"Tomorrow works, Saturday works too... So whichever one works"
"Okay! Thank you"
"Who are you going to see?" Jay asks
"Liam and probably the other boys... He called me two nights ago and asked me if I wanted to hang out with them on Friday or Saturday"
"Ooo" Jay says teasingly, I giggle
"How many boys are you going to be with tomorrow Nat?" Noah asks
"Uh... 5" I say quietly while playing with the last of the food on my plate. He laughs,
"Didn't you spend time with 5 boys on Wednesday too?" He asks
"Uh... Yeah... But it's the same 5" I tell him
"Geeze... They must be special since you want to spend so much time with them." Noah says. I look at Jay and mum for help; I didn't want everyone to know about me spending time with One Direction quite yet. Jay and mum were the only ones who knew.
"They're just some of Natalie's close friends that she hasn't spent time with in a while." Mum says backing me up.
"Thank you" I mouth to her
"Oh okay, makes sense" Noah says. We all finish our dinner and watch a movie together in the theatre room and later head up to our rooms. I take a shower before going to bed so I could have as much time as possible to get ready tomorrow. Before actually going to sleep I text Liam, 

To: Liam Payne
Is tomorrow still on?

From: Liam Payne
As long as you’re free, of course:)

To: Liam Payne
Alrightyy see you tomorrow… What time?

From: Liam Payne
Any time after noon, everyone will probably be up by then

To: Liam Payne
Awesome:) See you then, I’ll text you when I leave my house

From: Liam Payne
Okay, sounds good:) Goodnight love:)

To: Liam Payne
Goodnight:)

I plug in my phone and place it on the bed side table and craw into bed. Falling asleep with a smile on my face.

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