After 18 Years

Darcy Tanner ran away from home on her 18th birthday, in search of her father. A little over 18 years before, her mother- Ariel- found out that she was pregnant with Harry Styles' child. She fled to America, scared to end the career that he enjoyed so much. Now, when Darcy forces Harry and Ariel to reunite will they fall back into love? Will revisiting their youth be painful or the thing that makes them happiest? Will everything be the same again, even after 18 years apart?

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4. Letters

“Ariel we thought we'd never see you again!!” Louis exclaimed as they squished me in a giant hug. Niall watched from the doorway, an amused grin on his face. Soon they let me go, sitting beside me on my new bed.

“We missed you so much Ariel!!” Liam said. Zayn and Louis nodded, sharing equally delighted smiles

“I missed you guys too.” I said smiling, on the verge of crying again.

“Did Harry seem angry?” I asked. The three boys sitting on the bed looked at each other.

“He wasn't angry, exactly. Just, maybe, upset...” Louis worded his answer carefully. I sighed.

“I kinda knew that, but I can't just stay here forever, I built a life in America the past 18 years.” I was more talking to myself now.

“How long are you staying?” Zayn asked.

“One month.” I answered. Various celebrations filled the room.

“Can you take us to meet our niece?” Zayn asked quietly. I was confused for a second, but then realized, they meant Darcy. I guess she has 4 more uncles and aunts now, and a bunch more cousins...

“Sure.” I agreed, surprised. As I walked them to Darcy's room, I realized how much they had changed in the past 18 years. They just looked so.... Grown up. They were all just as attractive as they were in their teens... I knocked on the door to Darcy's room.

“Come in!” She shouted. I smiled as I opened the door and led Zayn, Liam, Louis, and Niall in. Niall had already met her, but he followed us anyway. Darcy seemed shocked when she noticed the extra boys.

“Uh, Hi.” She smiled faintly.

“This is Liam, Louis, and Zayn. The rest of One Direction, and your new uncles.” I smiled, motioning to each one as I said their name.

“Wow! Hello, I'm Darc-” She started, but they were all hugging her by now. Niall and I both chuckled. Once they let go of each other they all looked at me.

“We're gonna stay in here and get to know our niece.” Louis smiled. Niall walked over and joined them. I rolled my eyes.

“Okay, just don't break anything...” I said as I walked out the door and closed it behind me. I decided I should go to find Harry. I hadn't seen him for 18 years, and now after 10 minutes I already missed him. It was just so wrong. So, so, so wrong. I walked slowly around the huge house trying to find him. He was sitting in the kitchen, facing away from me when I entered.

“Hello Harry.” I said quietly. He turned to look at me, looking upset just like Lou said- a deep set frown, brow furrowed... He got up and walked over, leaning against the wall next to me.

“Will you go out with me?” He questioned. It was an understatement to say that I was taken aback at that.

“Huh?” I asked.

“Will you go out on a date with me?” He repeated.

“Harry, if we go out in public then people will take pictures. And I don't want Dan to see them. I don't want to break up with him that way.” I sighed.

“Come on! Just to dinner and a movie. Simple.” He pleaded. I looked down at the floor.

“Not now.” I said. He lifted my chin to look him in the eye again.

“I understand why you won't go out with me, but why won't you look at me?” He asked, his eyes confused, with a hint of pain.

“I didn't think that, I had no idea that...” I couldn't think of how to say it. He waited patiently for me to find the words. His eyes burned into mine

“I thought that you would have moved on. I left, I don't deserve for you to still, even tolerate me. I feel so selfish.” I said, ashamed, wishing I could look back at the floor, but his gaze held mine. The guilt of taking his daughter from him for 18 years was killing me.

“I forgive you Ariel. When you love someone you forgive them.” He replied softly. I pushed him away gently and looked back down. I held my face in my hands, and tried my best not to cry. I didn't succeed. I didn't hear Harry move closer, but suddenly there were a pair of arms wrapped around me.

“Please don't cry.” He begged. I forced myself to stop. I was making myself look so weak, and vulnerable. I wiped away the tears with my sleeve.

“I'm fine.” I lied, looking up again, waiting for Harry to let me go. He didn't.

“No you're not. No matter how long we've been apart, I still know you.” He said. I rested my head on his shoulder, wishing time would just stop right there, in that moment. But it couldn't, so I broke away from Harry's embrace.

“What time is it?” I asked.

“Almost 9.” He answered, not trying to hug me again. He knew that this was sudden. I needed a little time to think about everything.

“Darcy should eat dinner.” I said.

“I'll go get her.” Harry offered quickly.

“Okay, take your time, I'll whip up something.” I said. He left swiftly, leaving me to my own thoughts. I hummed as I looked in the fridge and cupboards for the ingredients for Harry's favorite dish that I used to make. I didn't stop myself from humming the song this time.

The dinner was a rice and chicken bake. I threw all the ingredients into a pot and put it in the oven. It felt natural, even though I hadn't made it since I left Harry. The whole process took about a half an hour, then another half an hour to cook. I decided to look around the house a bit while it was in the oven.

I walked down the hall a bit farther and opened doors as I came to them. Bathroom, Guest room, Library, Pantry. I left that hall and walked through the living room that all the halls connected to. There were two halls, two staircases (one going up and one going down) and the front door connected to that living room. The second hall had 3 doors, Guest room, guest room, and.... Whoa.

I opened the door to the last room, and my jaw dropped. I quickly went in and closed the door. The room was filled with just the most random things- to anyone else. But everyone of these things... Some were mine, that I must have forgotten here when I left. Some were gift boxes, never opened. There was one box full of envelopes. And some were awards. There were so many awards... And they don't even let the people keep all of the statues. I'm sure that Harry only had a fraction of them either way, the 5 split all those... I walked up to the gift boxes, there were 37 gift boxes, if I counted correctly. I read the tag on one.

'To. Ariel From. Harry – Happy Christmas <3' 'To. Ariel From. Harry – Happy Birthday <3'.

About half of them were birthday presents, and half were Christmas presents. Harry had bought me presents for holidays while I was gone... Tears welled up in my eyes, and spilled over silently as I walked to the box of letters. As I looked around a bit more, I realized that there were HUNDREDS of envelopes. 3 boxes. I picked up the top one. On the outside it read '18yr 9m'. It wasn't sealed, so I opened it and pulled the letter out.

'Hello Ariel, I feel like I got a lot done this week. I cleaned the whole house, which took a couple days, but it was really getting dirty. Now it's clean as a whistle! I did laundry, like I do every other week. My washing machine broke though, so I had to hire a man to come and fix it... But that didn't take long. Niall's youngest daughter, Michelle, turned 9 on Wednesday, I've told you about her, right? She looks and acts so much like him. It's hilarious! I got her a teddy bear taller than her dad. I think I'm her new favorite uncle! Over all, this week wasn't too exciting, no interview, I didn't really leave the house much, but it was a good week. Talk to you next week, Love Harry.'

I put the letter back in the envelope and in the box where it was. I felt numb. He wrote me letters... I walked over the the dresser at the end of the room. It had a few of my things on top. Two necklaces, various earrings that had no match, my hair dryer, a pile of jeans, and two shirts. When I opened the dresser, there were pictures in it. The top drawers held a few framed pictures each, and the bottom ones held pictures without frames. All of the pictures were of me and Harry, or places we had gone together. I closed all the drawers and left the room, overwhelmed with emotion.

Louis was coming out of the guest room next door as I left the room that held the letters. I froze, knowing that I probably looked like I was about to explode. Louis turned and saw me, and the state I was in. His face filled with sadness and understanding. He walked over to me.

“Were you just in that room?” He asked.

“No.” I lied- badly.

“What did you think?” He asked, continuing before I could answer, “He didn't do it to be obsessive or anything, it was just his way of dealing with the fact that you were gone.” He didn't want me to be scared away by it. He shouldn't worry. I wasn't....

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