She Taught Me How To Love

"If anyone asked me what impact Leigh had on my life, I could easily tell them. She taught me how to love." After four long years of a highly successful career, news of his childhood sweetheart sends international pop sensation Harry Styles into a whirlwind of emotions he believed had been forgotten all those years ago. As he struggles to become the person she always believed he could be, he learns once more that it is possible to love with the entirety of his heart.
©Ohhipstaplease 2014


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4. A Modest! Confession

CHAPTER TWO

A Modest! Confession

The first days with Emma were filled with doubts and fears. I was afraid of hurting her, I was afraid that she wouldn't love me. I was afraid I'd do to her what I did to Leigh. It had gotten to the point that within the first week I had already deemed myself an unfit parent.

"Louis, what if I can’t do this " I say watching Emma play on the living room floor.

"What are you talking about Harry, don’t be ridiculous"

"I’m not. I’m being quite serious. What if, what if I find her a proper home and a proper family?”

Louis looks towards Emma who has curled up next to her ragdoll, his face darkens almost immediately “Are you mad? Is she a dog? Do you fancy to find her a proper owner? Get your head of your arse Harold! She's your daughter. She's your responsibility! Why would you do that after you brought her in already!?”

I feel myself pale at Louis' words and mumble “I was never given the option to give her up”

“You were you bloody twat, you didn’t want it then. Why do you want it now? I thought you loved her”

“It’s that very love that makes me want to give her a better life, how could I care for a child, Louis? I can barely care for myself”

“I’ll put her to bed”

“I’m sorry”

Louis shook his head “I know you’re scared, but you can’t do this. You did it to Leigh, you’re going to do it to her too?” He said looking at Emma. Harry shook his head and Louis kept looking at him. “Get it together Harry, I know you can do this. I’m pretty sure Leigh knew that as well”

“Thanks mate, i’ll put my baby to bed okay?” He hands her to me and I snuggle her to my chest. As I placed Emma onto my bed she looked up at me sleepily "Night night daddy" I sat down next to her and noted how she immediately came closer.

"Night night love" I kissed her on her forehead as she curled into me. Her pudgy arms rested on my chest. Emma still laid half-awake in my arms. "Go to sleep baby" she yawned. Her little hands intertwined in mine. It's only been a few hours, and she's already treating me as if she's known. As if she's known me her entire life.I felt her tiny heart beat next to mine and I whispered into the darkness, “I'm sorry Emma. I'll never say anything like that again. I swear” She shifts a bit and hugs me tighter to her "I promise baby, for you i'll be whole. I'll prove to you that I deserve you"

–❈–

I woke up the next morning to a tugging on my sleeves. I drowsily open my eyes to see little Emma already sitting up on her pillow, her hair sticking up, and her jumper askew. I chuckled "Good morning baby, how are you?"

"I hungry"

"Well how about we get you dressed and then we get some breakfast" She nods as I got up from the bed. I stretched and turned around to face Emma. She instantaneously held out her arms waiting to be picked up. I lifted her and felt her wrap her arms around my neck as I went to find her bag. When I found a suitable outfit for the day, I dressed her and then dressed myself. It was still rather early, around seven. I didn't want to wake Louis yet, and we weren’t due at the studio until eleven. As I walks into the kitchen I set Emma down at the table.

"Alright love, what do you want to eat?"

"I eats cereals and milk"

I pull out the three boxes of cereal we had in the covert and place them in front of her. "Which one?"

She puts a chubby finger to her chin, contemplating. "That one" she says pointing to the Cocoa Puffs.

"Ah, good choice my lady" I get her a bowl and milk and watch her happily eat her cereal, thinking it couldn’t be that bad after all to raise her. She was such a sweet child anyways.

"Morning, mate" Louis calls from the hallway.

"Mornin" I call out while clearing Emma's plate.  

"Morning Miss Emma, how are we today?"

"Good" she says lifting her rag doll and leaving the table.

“Look, Lou…about– “

“Save it” Louis says with a forgiving smile. “I’ll mark it up to you being a tosser as usual, but don’t think I’ll forget”

“Yeah, yeah”

“You know the lads and I are here. We'll help"

"I know” I close the faucet and turn to face Louis. My thoughts becoming more worried as I realized something “Mate, what about the public, what about management?"

Louis expression turned serious. "You may want to call a meeting at the studio"

I cringe internally already knowing the frenzy this story would cause. As of last year I was already on thin ice with management. Although our manager was our mentor, even he had begun to become frustrated with my antics.

"Would you mind watching her for a few? I'll go give them a ring"

Louis nods and walks over to sit on the carpeted floor with Emma. "Hello Emma, do you want to play with your dolly?" He coos to her.

I chuckle as I walk to my room and pull out my phone. I sit on the edge of my bed sifting through the contacts, and as I land on Simon Cowell I cringe internally.

"Jesus" I mumble as I hear the phone ring in my ear.

"This is Simon"

"Simon, its Harry"

"Oh Harry!  how have you been? It’s been ages"

"Well….I….I have a problem"

"Not again Harry"

"I promise, it's nothing like before"

A long pause comes before he finally speaks "Harry, what did you do?"

"Look, I just wanted to know if I could call a meeting with management and everyone today at noon, it's urgent"

"Harry, I don't like surprises"

“I promise if I could tell you right now I would. But honestly, I can't”

"Alright Harry, Don't disappoint me" Simon hung up, leaving Harry with a bad feeling

"Damn it" I mumble. I could already tell this wasn't going to be simple. So many factors weighed in on the situation. I lay back on my bed and close my eyes. Only for a moment. I thinks back to the grassy slope and see Leigh's eyes twinkling, her blonde hair twirling behind her. Then I see Emma with her mother's eyes, with my dimples, and I feel sadness consume me once more. I wished that Leigh had told me ‘why couldn't she have told me? Even if I were leaving, even if we weren't on the best terms, she had a right to tell me I had a daughter. Didn't she even feel guilty for not telling me?

“Daddy” I jump as I hear Emma call me, and see her struggle to climb onto the bed

“Hello, love” I pull her up and set her next to me.

“She came straight here, left me with the tea set. Rude little girl she is” Louis says smiling from the doorway. “We should get going”

“Yeah”

“You nervous?”

I simply sighed in response as I twirled Emma’s pigtails around my finger.

“Let’s get it over with” Louis says grabbing Emma’s bag from the floor and heading out towards the hallway.

“Yeah, what’s the worst that could happen?”

–❈–

We arrived to the studio, the boys in tow, twenty minutes early. As we made our way to the conference room Simon  had set up, I  felt anxiety building within me once more. Modest! signs along the corridors intimidated me, making me feel lightheaded as I came to the realization my career was very much on the line. 

"Daddy" Emma says, breaking me from my negative thoughts.

“What is it love?" I looked down at Emma and noticed she was extending her arms and scrunching her nose a bit. I gaped wordlessly for a moment. It was the exact same look Leigh would give me whenever she wanted me to do something. I swooped Emma into my embrace and kissed her warm cheek.

"Mate" Liam called.

"What is it"

"Hand me Emma while you go in there, we'll take care of her while you explain the situation"

I  nodded and unwillingly handed them my daughter.

Liam looked at her utter joy "Hi baby, I'm Uncle Liam"

She looked at him steadily "Uncle Leeeyum" Everyone chuckled, breaking through the tense atmosphere.

"Yes baby" he said to her.

"Good luck Harry" Niall said putting a hand on my shoulder. Louis simply smiled, already having given his peace.

"You'll be alright mate" Liam said looking up from Emma.

I take a deep breath and walk down the hallway into the conference room. I turned the handle on the door and walked in. Ten faces turned to follow me as I  made my  way to the center seat. Simon sat at the head of the long table, and watched me tentatively.

"Good morning Harry"

"Good morning everyone. I bet you're wondering why I’ve asked to see you all today"

–❈–

No one was pleased to hear the situation. It was a major hit to our reputation, it was going to lead to a bigger problem overall. But they had no other choice, they couldn’t fire me because I had a child. And I would not renounce my child for fame. And as much as I had thought Simon would be aghast at the situation, it turns out, he was quite the opposite.

When the conference was over and the people were starting to flow out of the room, Simon sat staring out the large window in the extravagant room.

“Harry” Simon said waving me to the head of the table.

“Yes?”

"Harry, as much as it pains me to say this, I'm quite proud of you" Simon arose from his cushioned leather seat and clapped me on the shoulder.

"What, why?"  

"Because, you've come a long way. The Harry I knew was only trying to find the next best thing. Whether it was women or your next high, nothing was ever good enough for you. Now I understand why"

"Why?"

"Because you already had what you wanted, but you lost it" He looked at me sadly "Now Harry, I hope you realize fatherhood won't be easy. But I think that your little girl is going to teach you something you need so badly to learn"

"What is that?"

"How to love"

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