I Love You, Anyway, No Matter What They Say

"Honey, I'm afraid I haven't been completely honest with you," Stevie's father said quietly. She raised her eyebrows, signalling for him to continue. "You know Maura?" "Your girlfriend?" she smiled. Maura was sweet, perfect for her father. "She has a son; Niall."


1. 1


Stevie sat in the sitting room, a brown acoustic guitar on her lap. She strummed, a few times, making sure each string was in tune, before starting. 

 "It's empty in the valley of your heart. The sun, it rises slowly as you walk. Away from all the fears and all the faults you've left behind. The harvest left no food for you to eat, you cannibal, you meat-eater, you see. But I have seen the same, I know the shame in your defeat. But I will hold on hope, and I won't let you choke on the noose around your neck. And I'll find strength in- Dad! Hi." She stood up, putting the guitar down, and flung herself into her father's arms.

 "Hi, honey. You're acting like you haven't seen me in ages," he chuckled, holding her tight. "What song was that?"

 "It's been three hours." She pretended to frown. "The Cave. God, dad, you should know Mumford & Sons now."

 "Sorry, sweetie. Most girls your age act like they're allergic to their parents."

 "I love both my parents. They just don't love each other."

 "I'm still friends with Alison, we're just not in love anymore. It happens, sweetie." He smiled, and, for the first time in months, it reached his eyes. "But I'm in love with someone else now."

 "Maura's lovely," Stevie grinned. "Is she coming for dinner? I can make pumpkin soup. I carved it today." She held up the pumpkin, which had a horse carved into it, with treble clefs surrounding it.

 "Stevie," he laughed, "it's supposed to have a face."

 "Gosh, dad, you're so conventional," she scoffed, smiling. "Did you get sweets?"

 "Yep. I'm going to call Maura. Will you start making the goodie bags?" 

 Stevie set to work, putting two of each thing. "You didn't get crisps?" she called.

 "They're in the other bag. We can give them a goodie bag and crisps. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, are you trying to kill them with an overload of sweets?" 

 "You know what the people are like on this road. Shit! I have to groom Knight. I'm going to have him in the garden as a decoration."

 "That poor horse." Her father laughed, sitting down to stuff sweets into the plastic bags.

 "You know he loves the attention."

 "Trick or treat!" The young kids grinned when Stevie's father opened the door. Knight snorted and stamped a hoof. The kids wheeled around, gasping. One even gave a little squeal, causing Stevie to grin. "A pony!" They rushed up, laughter lighting up their faces.

 "Can I pet him?" a little girl in a fairy costume asked shyly.

 "Of course. You can all take turn rubbing him, if you like." Knight lowered his head so they could touch his pitch black muzzle. Stevie shot her dad a mock smug look.

 Stevie's two horses, The Dark Knight, and Hopeless Wanderer, were the complete opposite, except for one thing: Their love for Stevie.

 "Honey, I'm afraid I haven't been completely honest with you," Stevie's father said quietly, while he cleared sweet packets.

 Stevie raised her eyebrows, signalling for him to continue. She felt worry gnaw at her stomach. 

 "You know Maura?"

 "Your girlfriend?" Stevie smiled. Maura was sweet; perfect for her father.

 "She has a son; Niall."

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