Without a Trace (Niall Horan)

If I cry, would you wipe away my tears? If I'm lonely, will you come and comfort me? If I'm broken, would you put the shattered pieces back together? Or would you leave without a word, without a trace.


4. Arguing

My heart rate quickens as I attempt to quietly sneak into the door of the apartment without being caught by my parents. A small part of me hoped that they wouldn't even notice that I had been gone, though I knew that was an impossibility. They had trained their ears so they would be able to hear even the slightest disturbance. I was surprised that they didn't catch me the moment I had climbed out the window. 
I take a deep breath and reluctantly walk into the living room. They were both sitting on the couch, worried looks on both of their faces. It was almost as if they hadn't heard me come in, which was surprising. I quietly walk behind the couch, still going unnoticed. That was, until I tripped over the rug and fell onto the floor.

Curse my clumsiness. 

I quickly stand up. They were both turned towards me. It was obvious that mom had been crying. My dad shakes his head disapprovingly and I take a cautious step back. I wasn't afraid that he would hurt me, but I knew that there would be yelling involved- which I hated more than anything. When people yell at me, it makes me feel like I had done something bad. Which I had, but that wasn't the point.

"Hi Mom. Hi Dad." I say awkwardly.

"Alyson Renee Brooks, where the hell have you been?!"

I flinch at my dad's outburst. This was what I was afraid of. He was beyond pissed at me, and I knew that.

"I- I was out." I respond, stuttering slightly.

My mom's face changes from worried, to slightly angry like my dad.

"By yourself?" she questions.

"No, I was... I was with a friend."

I smile brightly at them, earning one back from my mom. She of course would be happy that I had made friends. She knew how hard it was for me to do it. And there's the fact that if both of them disapproved of someone, then I couldn't be friends with them because 'it wasn't safe.' If she saw that I was happy, then she knew that I was fine. She knew that I was smart enough to choose good people to talk to. But dad didn't trust me a bit.

"That's great, honey." she says, still smiling.

Dad however, was a different story. He seemed to get even more angry, if that was possible.

"And did you ask if you could go out, Alyson?"

This was far from over. I take another step back, preparing for either more yelling or the two of them to start arguing. 

"N- no sir."

"Alyson, you know you can't hang around just anyone. I am very disappointed in you."

I sigh. He wasn't the only one disappointed.

"I know dad, and I'm sorry."

"Sorry doesn't cut, I'm afraid. You know you can't just walk out on us like that. What if something would've happened to you?"

I look back at my mom, who's face had turned as red as a tomato. This meant that she was about to blow. I could tell she was angry with my dad now, instead of me. She always took my side when this sort of thing happened. 

"James, she's eighteen. Don't you think we should lighten up a little? She's an adult now, and she can make her own decisions. The only thing I'm disappointed about was that she didn't tell us she was going."

"I understand that, Karen. But what if she started having a spell?"

"She was with someone! I'm sure they would have been smart enough to call a damn ambulance!"

I put my hands over my ears and run to my room and close the door. I knew that they would be at it for a while. Both of them were under stress, and they had short tempers. Their quieter arguing would quickly escalate into full blown screaming at each other.

And it was all my fault. Somehow, I always manage to screw everything up. Somehow I always ruin everybody's life. Was doing things to side them against each other worth it? No, no it wasn't. How am I so stupid that I do it all the time? Every time they fought, it was because of me. It was hard to deal with it sometimes. I felt so guilty. 

I assume I must be being too hard on myself, but I was scared by my dad's reaction. He hasn't yelled at me like that in well, four years. The last time I snuck out was the day I met Niall.....

I remember it clearly, still. Just like every other detail of that day. My dad got mad at me sometimes, sure. But it was never this bad. 

"She deserves some freedom. She's not a little kid anymore!"

I jerk as I hear mom's voice through the thin walls. 

"You know it's dangerous for her to be by herself!"

"She wasn't alone! Why did you block that part out, huh James? Did you just want something to be mad about?"

I groan and sit down on my bed. I grabbed one of the pillows sitting on it and pulled it down over my ears. What I really wanted to do was sleep, but I knew that wasn't going to happen until they were quiet. And That would be a while, as I already pointed out.

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