It’s 9:30 now and it’s only Penelope and I. I sent the others home at 4:00 to get some more sleep. We talked about what our roles were going to be and how mine is more important than the others. We’ve all changed Penelope at least once this morning and Liam was the one to put her asleep. He told me not to let her sleep long, but I don’t know what to do when she wakes up. I know I’ve been with Lou and Lux, but Lou would do most things, not me.
That’s it! I quietly walk to grab my blackberry. When I receive it, I already see a few messages.
HEY HONEY, WAS WONDERING IF YOU’D LIKE TO COME OVER FOR BREAKFAST. GEMMA SAID SHE’LL PICK YOU UP IF YOU’D LIKE. JUST LET US KNOW. I LOVE YOU
Oh damn. I don’t want to reject her invite, but what am I going to say? I quickly text back.
MESSAGE REPLY: MUM
OF COURSE! MISS YOUR COOKING? I DON’T THINK SO HAHA. I’LL BE THERE IN A BIT, LET ME SHOWER FIRST. TELL GEMMA I’LL DRIVE MYSELF. BESIDES I HAVE A SURPRISE FOR YOU. LOVE YOU TOO.
That’s done. Next!
HEY I’M COMING OVER IN A BIT; I NEED TO TALK TO YOU. THEN WE CAN HEAD TO MUM’S. SEE YOU SOON.
Shit! She sent that a couple minutes after Mum. What am I going to do?
JUST SEEING HOW YOU AND PENELOPE ARE DOING. NEED ANYTHING, WE’RE WELCOME TO HELP. SOPHIA SAID SHE’D BE HAPPY TO WATCH HER IF YOU NEED HER TOO.
I like Sophia, but I’ll have to tell Mum, Gemma, and Dad sometime.
MESSAGE REPLY: PAYNO
HEY, THANKS BRO, BUT I HAVE TO HEAD TO MY MUM’S FOR BREAKFAST, SO I THINK I’LL TELL THEM THERE. I CAN HANDLE THIS. TELL SOPHIA THANKS, BUT MAYBE ANOTHER TIME.
Now, to all.
MESSAGE TO: PAYNO, ZAYN, NIALLER, LOU T.
WISH ME LUCK WITH THE FAM! THANKS FOR THE HELP(:
As I put my phone in my back pocket, the door opens. I look up and listen quietly.
“Harry?” Gemma! My eyes quickly flash to Penelope and back to the corner. Don’t let her in! I run and meet Gemma as she closes the door.
“Whoa, hey.” She says as she stumbles back a bit.
“Hey, I told Mum I’d meet you there.” She nods her head and goes to put her bag on the table.
“I know, but I was already close, so I thought we could ride together.” I step in front of her, weirding her out a bit.
“Um, what’s wrong?” I shake my head and cross my arms.
“Nothing, what’s wrong with you?” She gives me a confused look, before a baby cry echoes through the apartment. She pushes past me and walks into the living room.
“Is that a baby?” She questions as she looks inside the basket. She turns to me and I slowly nod my head.
“Why is she with you?” I sigh and lean against the wall.
“She’s mine.” Her eyes go wide and she laughs.
“Nice one bro. Now, let’s go or we’ll be late.” When she looks at me again, I give her a serious look.
“You aren’t kidding are you?” I shake my head no and she runs her hand through her hair.
“How’d it happen?” I find the note and hand it to her. She reads over it; word by word probably.
When she’s finished, she looks between me and Penelope, “Damn. So, Penelope and Harry?” I sit next to her and she hugs me.
“I’ll help you if you need me too. I’ll do what I can, as much as I can. I can’t promise a lot, but I know you’ll get through this. You have a lot of people behind you, who are probably willing to help you.” She kisses my head like a big sister before pulling away.
“Now, I’m sure you don’t have things for her, so let’s go back to my apartment and ask Sam if she has some diapers and a car seat we can borrow for now.” I nod and she helps me stand. She puts her hands in mine and squeezes them.
“It’ll be fine.” She grabs Penelope and walks out of the apartment. I grab my sunglasses and my keys before locking up.
“Good luck mate.” The boys say and they each give me a high five. I nod as a thanks and follow Gemma to the car.
“Um, how are we supposed to put her in there?” She hands me the keys.
“You drive.” She gets in the passenger seat and buckles her and Penelope up. I get in the driver’s seat and fasten up.
“Oh hey!” Lou greets us at the door. Gemma says hello and rushes to find Sam. Lou takes a look at me with Penelope and laughs.
“Who’s the cutie?” She places Penelope on her shoulder and kisses her.
“She’s mine.” She takes my hand and smiles.
“Lux gets a friend.” I chuckle and follow her in to see Gemma putting diapers, wipes, formula, bottles, and a binky that you could put your finger in into a black and blue bag.
“We’ll get a pink one when we can.” She assures me and I nod. Lou places her in Lux’s old car seat and fastens her in.
“She should fall asleep on the way because she is tired and she’s still a new born. Gemma knows how to fill the bottles, so don’t worry.” I hug Lou and Sam before Gemma rushes us out.
When we get to the car, Mum’s ringtone goes off. (M- Mum H- Harry)
M- Are you coming?
H- Yeah, Gemma picked me up, but she forgot her bag at home, but we’re on our way.
M- Okay. Well, breakfast is almost done.
H- Alright, see you in a bit. Love you.
M- Love you too honey.
Gemma looks at me when I get in the car and start to drive, “You going to be alright?” I put one hand on the window and the other on the wheel.
“Yeah. It will take a while to get use too, but I’m sure it’ll get easy as I do more things.” It’s silent for a moment before she speaks.
“Hey, at least you won’t run out of money to buy what you need for her.” We both laugh and play some music as we drive home.
I pull into the parking space and turn Gem’s car off. We both watch as we see movement inside our Mum’s house.
“Ready?” We both then look at Penelope’s car seat then back at each other.
“Let’s do this.” We high five each other before we leave the car. Gemma waits for me as I grab Penelope and the diaper bag.
“You worried?” She asks as we walk up to the door.
“Not really. Mum’s very understanding, but she may be a little upset.” She shrugs and opens the door.
“We’re home!” She yells and I glance at Penelope to see her twitch. I stop walking and when Penelope settles, I hit Gemma in the arm.
“Sorry.” She whispers as she leaves me at the front door. I close it slowly and look around for Dad. When I don’t see him, I walk slowly to the kitchen with Penelope in one hand and the diaper bag on my other shoulder.
I peer into the kitchen to see Gemma sitting at the island and Mum at the stove. I quickly walk to Gemma. Just as Mum turns to me, I place everything on the floor carefully.
“Hey you.” She says happily. I walk around and hug her from the side. She kisses my cheek and hands me plates.
“Set them up will you.” I nod and place three plates on the table. Gemma hands me the silverware and I put them by the plates. Gemma points to the pink car seat and then at Mum.
“Mum, I have to tell you something.”
“Okay. Sit down first and we’ll talk.” Gemma quickly puts Penelope on the other side of the table by my chair and she sits on the end of the table. I take my seat and we both look at Penelope, but she’s still sleeping.
“What are you two looking at?” Mum asks and we both look at her.
“Nothing.” Gemma says smoothly.
Mum puts bacon, sausage, potatoes, toast, biscuits, cups, and a jug of orange juice on the table before settling in her chair.
“Dig in.” I get my food quickly and wait till she has gotten some for herself.
“Oh he went to get something from the store.” I nod and see movement out of the corner of my eye. Gemma catches it too and she bites her lip. She does that when she’s nervous.
“What’s going on? Gemma’s biting her lip. Why is she nervous?” She asks me.
“Go ahead Harry.” Gemma whispers and Mum leans back in her chair.
“Mum, I want you to meet someone.” She nods and I notice Penelope looking at me with a smile. I unbuckle her and slowly lift her up.
Mum’s silent as I place Penelope in my arms. I just stare at Penelope as she stares at me, afraid of looking at Mum.
“Can I see her?” I nod and walk around the table to her. I take my seat again when she’s secure in Mum’s arms.
“What’s her name?”
“Penelope,” She smiles at Penelope.
“Hi Penelope, I’m Nan.” I let out a breath; I didn’t know I was holding.
“Are you angry?” She looks at me with no expression.
“No, I’m just shocked and a bit disappointed, but nothing can change it now. She’s beautiful and I know you’ll be great parents.” I rub my neck at this.
“Read this.” I hand her the note and she holds Penelope with one arm. She reads it carefully and she looks upset when she puts it down.
“How can someone be so cruel? She is not a curse, but a blessing. I know you’ll be a great dad Harry. I’ve raised you to know what you can and cannot do.” She looks at Penelope and laughs when she’s staring at me.
“I think she wants you.” I smile wide and take her back. Again, she watches me the whole time I eat and talk.
Once, Gemma and Mum are done with cleaning up a bit, we all sit in the living room to talk some more. Mum sits on the couch with Gemma and I sit on the floor with Penelope in her car seat.
“Is she asleep again?” Gemma asks and I laugh.
“She will be sleeping a lot for a while.” Mum answers.
“What are you thinking baby?” She questions me and I lean against the fire place.
“Honestly, the first time I saw her, I didn’t think she was mine. I didn’t want to believe it even when she kept looking at me with the green eyes she has. Liam asked me if I wanted to hold her and I just said no. I went to my room to cry. Mum, I didn’t want to believe that I was a dad at 19. I know it’s bad that I was thinking to give her up, but now I don’t want anyone to have her besides me. Liam said that they’ll be there for me. The lads said that they’ll spoil her till they can’t anymore. Niall was really happy to call himself another uncle and tried to say that Theo and she would be together.” She nods her head and smiles at Penelope.
“Well, I’m glad you are keeping her. Honestly, I don’t think anyone could give her a better life than I know you can. It will be hard because of tour and other things, but you’ll just have to figure it out and I know you will.” She says with a tear. Talking about tour is hard for her and I know she meant what she said.
“What ARE you going to do about tour, by the way?” Gemma asks. I look at my jeans and then at them.
“I don’t know. I can’t let her be here because then she won’t get use to me or the lads. And if I bring her on tour, I won’t be around to take care of her because I’ll be working.” Gemma looks at Mum and then at me.
“I could come back on tour with you for a while. But, when I come back; you’ll need to watch her and when you have break before a concert and you get to chill, spend it with her. Take her out so she can see the world, not just the inside of the bus or the dressing room.”
The rest of the time, we just talk and laugh. We tell memories and we tell each other what’s been happening up to this point. We even watch a bit of telly before my phone goes off.
Liam. I hit answer and laugh.
H- What’s up mate?
L- Just checking in. How’s it going?
H- Great. She’s sleeping, so we’re just talking.
L- Mum alright?
H- She’s fine.
L- Alright, well we’re about to head to Lunch. You want to catch up with us?
I think about it for a minute before answering.
H- Yeah. Just text me where and I can have Gemma drop me off, so I can get my car.
L- Alright mate. Later
I end it and notice Gemma and Mum looking at me.
“The boys want to get some lunch.” Mum stands and opens her arms.
“Will you be back for dinner?” I hug her and nod.
“If you don’t mind.” She playfully hits my arm.
“Of course I don’t. Robin can see her too.” Gemma hugs Mum as I get Penelope ready.
“Want to join us Gem?”
“Sure, I’m not hungry, but I’ll come.” Mum walks us to the door and kisses us one last time.
“Be good! Don’t fight and be careful!” She yells as we get closer to the car.
We wave goodbye and drive off to my apartment. Gemma checks her phone and chuckles.
“We’ve been at home for 2 hours.” I look at her in disbelief.
“Is it really 11:30?” I question.
“It’s barely turning 12:30 right now, but you were close.”
As we stop at a red light, near the flats, a fan looks at us.
“Hi Harry!” She yells and other girls stop walking to look.
I wave and quickly lock the doors. I don’t want to be rude if I roll my window up. Girls run at both directions, so when the light turns green, I step on it and take a different way to the flat.
I slowly drive by the flat, when Gemma assures me that they haven’t followed us. I quickly back her car up in the space beside mine and we transfer cars quickly.
“Lads must be gone already.” Liam hasn’t texted me where we’re eating, but I got a pretty good idea.
I park next to Louis’ car at Nando’s. I put my sunglasses on and place Penelope’s blanket on top to cover her up. Gemma grabs her bag and I carry her inside.
The people behind the counter wave at us and point to the booth in the corner. I wave back and we make our way back there.
“Afternoon lads.” They all scoot in and the waitress gets a high chair to place Penelope in.
“Thanks Sarah.” Gemma says and she nods. Sarah is one of Gemma’s friends, she’s really nice, and so I know I can trust her.
I fix the car seat, so everyone can see Penelope. Liam and Zayn close the blinds for me. I smile at them.
“We just ate, so I’m just getting something to go for later and a drink.” Gemma puts her bag on the table and gets out her wallet.
“I’m going next door to get a coffee. Anyone want one?” The lads shake their heads and I shrug.
“A shake.” She nods and walks to the counter for Sarah. They exchange a few words before Sarah hops over the counter and leaves the place.
“How was her reaction?” Louis refers to Gemma.
“Well, I tried to keep her away from the living room. That didn’t go so well.” They look at me and I shake my head.
“She pushed me and I fell against the wall.” They started laughing, but it quickly died down.
“She thought it was a joke and then she hugged me telling me she would help and all.” They all nod in understanding before a waiter takes their orders.
“I’ll be right back with your food.” As he leaves, Gemma walks in with Sarah. She hands me my shake and Sarah hugs me.
“You’ll be a great father.” She whispers before returning to the back of the counter.
Everyone digs in when the waiter brings the food while Gemma and I just sip our drinks. Penelope starts to cry, so I pick her up and she just stares at me again.
“You got a fan mate.” Zayn says and I smile at her causing her to smile back.
“She’s just happy to know that THE Gemma Styles is her aunt.” Gemma jokes and I roll my eyes.
“She’s getting attached.” She says after. Penelope and I have a staring contest and she giggles when I blink and make a face.
“She’s very cute Haz.” Louis states.
“She’s got your eyes.” Niall says as he peers over my shoulder.
Penelope looks at him and smiles big. Niall laughs and begins to make faces at her. She just starts giggling like mad and showing us her toothless grin.
Later that day
“What clothes will she wear?” Niall questions. We’re currently at the store in the baby section.
We went to other stores, but we kept getting recognized. We’re at the Baby R Us store in Doncaster. I put my hands in my jacket pocket and watch Gemma look around and show things to Penelope. I turn my attention back to Niall when he snaps his fingers in my face.
“She’s a baby. She’ll wear anything.” Liam puts some clothes in the cart and I pick each up to look.
“A dress? Really Liam?” He gives me a look before turning back to the socks.
“It’s hot outside Harry. She can wear a dress or put her in a baby onesie.” He grabs a few pairs of socks and some pink baby slippers.
Gemma hands me her and she falls right to sleep on my shoulder. Gemma and Liam walk away to get more while Zayn, Niall, Louis, and I look at strollers. Louis puts his hand on my shoulder and points.
“You want to carry her or have her sit in a stroller?” I look at her and then the stroller.
“I’ll carry her till she is able to be in the stroller.” He laughs and stops when we hear Niall talking.
“Yeah.” Niall takes a picture with a fan and signs her white phone case.
“Zayn, may I?” She asks quietly and he laughs. He takes a picture with her and signs her phone.
Louis then takes a picture with her and signs her case. She turns to me and quietly mutters, “Can I have a picture please?” I hand Nel to Louis (He picked her nickname).
I take a picture with her and instead of signing her phone she asks me a question that completely blows me off guard.
“Can I have one with her too?” Louis looks at me and nods before handing her back to me.
“But, please. Don’t show or tell anyone. We aren’t ready for anyone to know yet.” She makes an ‘x’ on her heart.
“Cross my heart, hope to die.” I thank her with a peck to the cheek and Louis snaps a picture quickly before I pull away for her. She thanks us again before walking back to her cart.
I notice the little bump she has and I tap her on the shoulder.
“Oh hi.” I hug her carefully due to Nel still on my shoulder.
“You’ll be a great Mum. Don’t give it a thought to give your baby up. Someone I know had that thought and even though he’s only known his baby for 14 hours, he regrets ever thinking that.” I pull from her and she rubs Nel’s back.
“Thank you. She’s precious and I’m glad you pushed that thought from your mind.” I hand her paper and her marker.
“We’ll talk on twitter sometime.” She smiles wide and writes her name before leaving to check out. I get my phone out and quickly follow her.
‘It was lovely to meet you Alex! That baby will be proud to call you their mother. Have a good one! @alex1d’ I tweet her before finding the boys and Gemma.
“I’ll see you lads later.” I tell them as I place Nel in the car. Gemma hugs each of them before getting in the car.
“We’ll watch movies later, if you get home early.” Zayn suggests and we all agree.
“My place then.” We agree to his flat as well. We say our final goodbyes and we drive home.