Finally we got to the house. He pushed me in front of him saying "you go first, warn him I'm here."
I nodded, leaving him on the doorstep and going inside, pulling off my shoes. "Dad" I called out, but there was no reply. "Dad, where are you?" Again there was no reply, but I wasn't worried.
I padded across the hall to the kitchen looking in to see beer bottles spread across the table, and a note laying in the midst of them. I sighed, dad always drunk lots of alcohol when he got extra angry. He'd seemed to be doing it a lot over the last few years.
I stepped over to the table, picking up the note and reading the message in his untidy scrawl.
Gone out. Be back 2night. Be good. Dad.
I sighed again at the note. He always seemed to go out, saying he'd be back later, and I was often left on my own until late in the evening when he would come home either drunk, or grumpy, which to be honest is the same thing for him. I dropped the note back to the table, turning back to the hall and opening the door to tell Harry "he's not here."
Harry seemed to relax at this news, smiling at me and saying "can I come in then?"
I nodded, stepping back and allowing him to enter the house. He looked around the small hall, and chuckled to himself. "Hasn't changed much" he remarked, and I smiled looking around to. I suppose it hasn't.
"Do you want something to eat?" I asked the only question that had popped into my head which wasn't anything to do with him leaving me etc.
"Er yeah" he said looking round. "What is there?"
"I don't know" I replied truthfully and gestured for him to come with me to the kitchen.
He followed as I entered the kitchen again, and I watched his brow furrow as he looked at the beer bottle on the table. "He never used to drink so much" he commented, as I walked over to the fridge. I didn't reply because I think if I did I'd blame it on him.
I instead opened the fridge and looked in to it to find it practically bare. I rolled my eyes to myself, dad always forgot about buying food. I always seemed to have to deal with that. There was only a couple of mouldy looking carrots, a block of cheese, a pack of ham, a ready meal which was past it's sell by date and several beer bottles.
"The food's off" I told him shutting the fridge again, "how about just a drink?"
"Yeah, whatever" he replied, as he sat down at the table reading the note and pushing some of the bottles aside.
I nodded going over to the cupboard which I knew was home to the tea and coffee bags, and asking "what do you want?"
"Er, anything" he answered shrugging.
"Tea, coffee, hot chocolate?" I asked him going through the things in cupboard.
"I don't mind" he replied unhelpfully and I gave him a look. He just smiled back, and I turned back to the cupboard rolling my eyes.
I decided to make hot chocolate as I remember that being one of his favourites, getting out two mugs and boiling the kettle. As I was putting the powder into the mugs Harry asked "so when's dad going to be back?"
"Er I don't know" I replied. He would usually come back late, but it was unpredictable.
"Well I have to be gone when he get's back" he mumbled, and I looked back at him and his suddenly moody face.
"He doesn't hate you, you know" I told him, quietly looking at the floor.
"Pfft, don't try to be nice" he replied, and I looked at him. He looked at me, and continued saying "you were always too nice."
"Were" I repeated the word picking up on his use of past tense, then smirked jokingly "you mean I'm not anymore?"
He smirked too and replied "nope, not exactly." Then he turned serious and said a lot more quietly "nice people would forgive someone."
I sighed, picking up the drinks and putting them down on the table. "I'm sorry" I muttered "I just can't forgive you. Not yet anyway."
Harry sighed, taking his hot chocolate with a mumble of thanks, before looking at me across the table. I looked back at him, sipping my drink and putting down the mug. "Something wrong?" I asked feeling awkward.
He shook is head, blowing on his drink before slurping some up, and leaning his elbows on the table. "So you got a job then?" he asked.
"Nope" I replied sighing.
"Hmm well, you got one more year of six form, then you're out to do whatever you want" he replied.
I nodded but told him sadly "there's the problem. I can't do whatever I want, you need the right grades for the right jobs, and I just don't have them. I'm failing everything."
"I'm sure that's not true" he soothed, looking disbelieving. "And plus, for some jobs it doesn't matter what qualifications you have, it's whether you're good at it."
"Like being a famous person" I snapped. I hadn't meant to say my thought out loud, but it happened. He started back and me, and then sighed, leaning back in his chair looking moody again.
"I though you of all people would be able to look past that" he murmured looking slightly angry. "That's all I ever get. People just think of me as a famous boy in a boy band, they never think that there's more to that, that I actually have brains, and an actual life."
I looked at him saying in a voice that I hoped was encouraging "that's not true. What about the other boys in your band, surely they know you better than that?"
He nodded and replied "well yeah, I guess they do, but the fans, I don't think they do, and dad certainly doesn't." He then looked up at me. "I don't know about you."
"I grew up with you Harry" I said as though that was all he needed to hear. He still looked moody. "I know there's more to you. And I know..." I broke off sighing.
He looked at me, looking ever so slightly happier as he urged "go on."
"When you got into the band your idea wasn't to become famous, it never was, but dad led me to believe that's what you wanted, to become famous so you didn't have to deal with us, and you could get loads of money for it." I paused slightly before carrying on. "And I'm sorry. I'm sorry, you were right, I did think things like him, maybe not so strongly, but I still thought it." I was starting to get emotional now, my hands shaking on the mug of hot chocolate. I finally looked at him and muttered quietly "I thought you didn't care anymore. I thought you forgot me. That's what made me think like dad because I thought you never even cared at all. I... I just got wound up in it and forgot who the real you was; the real Harry I know."
Harry seemed to not be able to say anything to what I'd said at first but then he cracked a weak smile and sighed. "It's not your fault. I'm sorry too. I should have kept in contact with you but I didn't and I'm truly sorry. I suppose that all added to it to, because you would have started to hate me, and you would have started to believe what dad was saying was true. But I'm here now, and I'm really sorry, and I guess." He broke of looking extremely awkward and struggling with his words. He never was good at really emotional, true talks, he always seemed to be joking about and being stupid all the time.
I laughed awkwardly and he nervously chuckled too before sighing, straightening up in his chair and saying "what I'm trying to say is... do you forgive me?"
I stared at him, his words sinking into my head. I cleared my throat and nodded as I replied "of course I do, but really I need to ask you to, do you forgive me?"
Harry looked back at me and replied almost laughing "of course I do silly, you shouldn't even be asking that question. It was me, not you Annie."
"It wasn't" I argued. "It was me to."
He shook his head, sighing and chuckling as he said to me "I'm not going persuade you it was just me am I?"
I shook my head, and smiled at him. He smiled back, but that soon disappeared as the sound of the front door bursting open echoed through the house. Harry swore getting to his feet and looking towards the hall. I stood to, biting my lip and grabbing Harry's arm pulling him towards the window. I lifted the latch throwing open the window.
"Annie" yelled dad's voice, and I heard his staggering footsteps getting closer.
I motioned to the window quickly whispering to Harry "get a move on."
Harry did as I said, climbing up onto the counter and through the window. Once he was safely on the other side, he turned giving me a look and saying "I'll call you later, okay?"
I nodded, nervously checking over my shoulder as dad shouted my name again. I then looked back to Harry, and told him urgently "go".
He nodded, stepping back saying "bye".
"Bye" I quickly replied, slamming the window as I heard dad's footsteps nearly to the kitchen, and spinning around.
Dad came lumbering into the kitchen, beer bottles in hands, a moody look on his face as he took a glance at me and headed for the table. He slumped down in a chair, and I instantly caught site of the mugs of hot chocolate. Oh no, I thought to myself, stepping closer, checking out the window to see that Harry had gone, and taking the cups.
"Why'd you have the window open?" he asked, taking a swing of alcohol, and wiping his mouth with the back of his hand.
"I was hot" I replied quickly back, taking the mugs and emptying them down the sink. Luckily he hadn't really spotted them, he was probably to drunk to.
"Who was that you were talking to then?" queried dad, as I heard him take another swing of drink.
I couldn't turn around, I'd frozen to the spot. Oh no, oh no, oh no.
"Annie" he snapped, and I blinked clearing my throat.
"I was talking to myself" I lied. "I do that some times."
"Stupid girl" dad muttered and I ignored his comment, still not able to turn around and face him. "You think I'd believe that. Who was here?"
"No one" I replied quickly. Too quickly.
Dad laughed drunkenly, slurping up some more drink again. "I bet it was a boy. What you doing sneaking boys in here?"
I felt my hands shaking, as I pretended to be wiping up something on the side with the cloth. I didn't reply and he laughed again.
"Was it your boyfriend?" he asked, leering.
"I don't have one" I told him, finally turning around to see him looking at me with a face full of disgust and moodiness.
He laughed. "So who was that that you let out of the window then?"
He saw. Oh no, he saw Harry, but still he didn't recognise him. I couldn't;t reply, my voice wouldn't work, and I didn't know what to say anyway.
"Who was it?" he demanded more sternly, and he got up from the chair. I suddenly felt scared, inching towards the door. "Who was it?"
I didn't want to tell him, but what else was I meant to say apart from the truth. I opened my mouth to reply, chickening out half way but then getting my strength back again. "H-Harry" I stuttered quietly.
Dad looked outraged, positively bursting with anger, as he came closer. "What was he doing here?"
"S-seeing me" I explained my voice shaking, as I actually feared he was going to start hurting me.
Dad started to swear loudly, yelling "why the hell did you let him in?"
I felt tears sting in my eyes, as I cowered back, trying to get to the door. "Who the hell doe's he think he is? What the hell were you even thinking? Don't you ever let him in again! Understand?"
He was now shouting in my face, as tears glided down my face, and I shook so violently that I thought I would fall over in a second. "Understand?" he roared, and I quickly nodded too frightened to say anything.
He then looked suddenly fierce again, and I flinched thinking he was going to punch me but he didn't. "I bet he's been visiting you ever since I chucked him out. I bet the little blighter's been fooling you into thinking he's all innocent. He's not!"
I cowered further back more towards the door, but he just followed yelling in my face. "I bet you're on his side. I bet you've always been on his side. You're going against me. You dare to go against me!"
I shook my head, stuttering in fright "n-no, no t-that's n-not t-true."
"It is!" he roared, and I stumbled back. "You're on his side! You're on his effing side! You hate me don't you? YOU HATE ME!"
"N-no" I mumbled, trying to stop my tears from falling but not being able to in my fear.
He laughed a drunken laugh, and then started stepping back. I thought that this would be the end of it, that I could just slink off to my room, he'd clam down and forget it all by the morning.
I was wrong though because he suddenly roared "GET OUT! GET OUT OF MY HOUSE! GO AND LIVE WITH HIM! GET OUT! NOW!"
I nearly screamed, stumbling my way back, tears streaming down my face. "GET OUT! YOU'RE NOT MY DAUGHTER!"
His words stung me like a punch in the chest, and more tears leaked down my face. I rushed further into the hall, grabbing my phone, and watching as dad came out of the kitchen following me. "GET OUT!" he shrieked, calling me something that I never thought he'd ever call me in his life. I cowered towards the door, crying so hard I could hardly see anything let alone think straight.
I finally got to the door, wrenching it open and stumbling out of it. "GET OUT OF MY LIFE!" was the last thing I heard him yell before he slammed the door on me.
I started running away, tears streaming, my breaths coming out short and sharp and my chest burning painfully. I didn't know where I was going, I didn't care. I just wanted to run, to never stop. To get away, and never look back. Never ever stop again.
I couldn't see, my tears were overloading my eyes too much, my vision blurry and my senses numb. I pushed my way through the crowds not caring about the angry retorts I was getting, not caring who I bumped into. I didn't care what they were saying, I didn't care that they were talking to me.
But then I heard a yell which did penetrate through to me. "Annie. Stop!"
I knew that voice. It was Harry. He had found me.
I heard his footsteps running after me, his voice shouting at me and then finally his hands on my arms trying to stop me. I wouldn't stop, I tried to struggle free but he was too strong for me. He was pulling me into a hug, trying to comfort me. I tried to get away but I couldn't.
His face blurred before my eyes and his warm arms were round me. He was saying something but I couldn't hear him any more.
Everything was suddenly swirling fast. Everything was spinning. I stopped struggling, too weak. Then finally black. Everything went dark.