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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17. The Day of Reckoning: Part Two

CHAPTER FIFTEEN

The Day of Reckoning: Part Two

It went as expected. Simon's testimony was indeed a spectacular show, going through the instances in which I had totally and completely blown it. But then using them to reiterate that I had indeed changed and had gone from rock bottom to decent human being.

But when I thought I would finally go upon the stand, Edie surprised me with one more witness. 

"I call to the stand Ms. Veronica Fisher." 

My head whipped around as I surely saw Veronica walking down to the stand. She was sworn in and smilingly sat on the stand. 

"Ms. Fisher, you were the primary agent on this case. Can you tell us anything we haven't heard about Emma."

"Well, as Richard, ahem, the psychiatrist stated, we did indeed find Ms. Emma in quite a state. But what he did not mention, was that after we found the letters and read through them and had realized young Emma had known of her father, we put it to the test." 

Murmurs were heard throughout the court as she continued. "You see" she turns slightly to look at the judge, "There were a box of letter Ms. Cunningham had left behind, postmarked to Mr. Styles. They were never sent. Being our only lead, we read through them. In these letters Ms. Cunningham had written how the child would go to sleep listening to her father's music, how she had shown the child pictures of him. And how the child already recognized Mr. Styles as her father without meeting him. It was quite uncanny! So being as desperate as I was to have the child return to normality, I tried out this theory."

"What?" The judge said with a furrowed brow.

"I'm quite serious. I put on a video of Mr. Styles speaking at an interview and the child responded to it. She walked up to the screen and started saying "Daddy!" It was remarkable. Ms. Cunningham had indeed made Mr. Styles very present in the child's life. He was the reason she was able to heal. Perhaps it is not apparent because she is so young, but losing a parent at such a young age is traumatic. And the fact that she still had her father made her whole again." 

She pauses and takes a breath, "I know that we want what is best for the child." Veronica continues whilst fixing her glasses, "But I believe that what is best for her is to be with her father. We cannot separate them once more. Whether it be for an hour or for a year, this child does not deserve anymore heartache. I have seen the struggle Mr. Styles has been through to be a father to this child, and I know he could not bear to be without her. Nor would she. I know Richard and I have very opposing opinions," she nods towards the bald psychiatrist who was rolling his eyes with a slight smile, "But I personally believe young Emma should be allowed to go on tour with Mr. Styles."

"Thank You." Edie says as Veronica steps off the stand. Veronica winks at her and walks back to sit on the same bench as the boys. 

"Mr. Styles, if you would please." Edie says while motioning to the stand. 

Here goes nothing. 

–❈–

"Mr. Styles. What exactly would you say spurred the change in you Mr. Tomlinson previously mentioned?" Edie asks while making sure to  make eye contact. 

"There were so many people depending on me, believing in me, even after I had stopped believing in myself. I thought I owed it to them not to let them down again."

"How long has it been since you last consumed drugs or alcohol? Please remember you are under oath."

"A year and a few days."

"And tell me honestly, do you think that Emma leaving with you on tour is ideal? The court has heard how much of a different man you are now, how you are a wonderful father, brother, and friend. But Mr. Styles, please tell us, what do you think of this entire situation."

"Before I came into this courtroom I was determined to do whatever was right for my daughter. For the longest time, I had known within my heart that perhaps the best thing would be to leave her here with my mother, so that she could have a stable life." I took a breath before continuing. "Perhaps this may sound selfish, but after hearing what Ms. Fisher stated I realized that leaving Emma here is not the right thing to do. My daughter needs me, and I don't want her to ever say "Daddy's gone.". Perhaps you think she won't notice that I'm gone if you replace me with a picture or a video," I say looking at the psychiatrist "But I think she will. She'll miss climbing into my bed at dawn, and waiting for me to dress her. She'll miss my hugs and my knock knock jokes. She'll miss her uncles spoiling her with trips to the zoo, and ridiculous amounts of ice cream. She'll know that we're no longer here. And knowing that her heart will break from the fact that we left her, just like her mother did, kills me. I can't do that to my daughter." 

I stop and take another breath before speaking once more. "What I believe is in the best interest of my daughter, is to allow her to be with her father and her family."

"Thank you Mr. Styles."

I nod and walk off the stand to a smiling Louis, nervously sitting and looking up at the judge.

"Court will reconvene at noon. Please be on time."

–❈–

We all shuffle back into the courtroom nervously awaiting the judge's verdict. The seconds passed by slowly, and I could feel myself shaking.

Edie slipped her hand discretely in mine as the bailiff called "All rise for the verdict."

The judge looked at me through her glasses as she began to speak, "Mr. Styles, I have heard about you. I know who you are, I believe everyone in this room does? My granddaughter is a great fan of your band. So when we both heard about your actions, we were disappointed that such a promising young man was letting himself down. But seeing you here today, having seen the tremendous journey you have been on, has made me very pleased. I'm glad that you've changed, if not only for your sake but for the sake of your daughter. I commend you Mr. Styles." she pauses and lifts the papers in front of her. "Nonetheless, we must think of what is best for your daughter. And so, considering all I have heard today, I have ruled that..."

My heart beats wildly as she takes her time finally saying her decision, "Emma may be allowed to go on tour with you Mr. Styles. But there are conditions. If we are to here of any changes in your behavior, the child returns to England immediately to stay with her grandmother and grandfather until you have returned. And another case will be opened to decide whether or not you are a fit parent. Secondly, whenever you are here in England on your days off, you are to report to social services so they may conduct a small check up. Just to ensure that the traveling isn't putting any strain on the child. Other than that Mr. Styles, I think this case is adjourned." 

She hits the gavel and smiles at me, as I feel myself about to explode with happiness. I turn to I hug Edie and then Louis. Smiles all around as the boys leave their seats and come to the front to celebrate with us. 

It seemed as if the stars were finally aligning in my favor. 

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