I sit here, waiting. Waiting for something, anything really. Edie's asleep, Niall and Emma gone. So I sit here and wait.
I knew that Emma and Niall would be here soon, Emma probably already having calmed down from earlier and Niall already having forgiven me, at least for the time being.
But it angers me to think that I could never be what Niall is to Emma.
I ran after Emma today, watching her blonde hair sway behind her as she watched Niall's car pull away. I watched her as she ran after him, as if she needed him to survive. And I watched as she clung to him, her tears disappearing with his touch.
Shouldn't that be me?
How is it that in such a short time I've let this happen? I've alienated Emma to the point that she no longer runs to me, she no longer looks for me. Even when I chase after her, it's someone else she's running to.
But how could I complain?
I look up to see Edie, drowsily staring at me.
"What is it, love?" I say getting up and coming closer to her.
"I know that look," she murmurs with a knowing smile "what happened?"
"Is it why Ems and Niall left?" I nod and she raises an eyebrow, "You had an argument?"
I pull up a chair to her bed and take her hand in mine, "I'm a proper failure of a father, Edie."
"No, I have a reason Edie. It's not simply because she's acting up or anything of the sort. It's my fault too. You know she's actually wondering how long it's going to take me to move on from her to the new baby, because of how fast she thinks I moved on from Leigh?"
"How do you know that?"
I avoid her gaze as I mumble, "I overheard her and Janice having a chat..." She simply shakes her head, "Love, she wouldn't have said this without thinking it through first, she's a sharp one. So how have I been acting to make her think that?"
"Harry, I don't think you've been acting any particular way...it's just that you kept telling her that nothing was going to change. You and her have been together practically her entire life, and within two years she suddenly gets a mum and a brother. It takes some adjusting."
"I know, I know I should have tried telling her the truth and telling her that things were really going to change. But how do I fix this? How do I make it so that..."
I think back to her blonde hair swaying in the wind as she sprints towards Niall, like magnets they were. He stood there, arms open, as she gravitated towards him; a magnetic pull.
"So that...she...treats me how she treats Niall...."
"Are you jealous of Niall, love?" Edie says with an amused smirk upon her tired face.
"Don't be ridiculous."
"Harry, you know it's because she proper fancies him."
"Mmmhmm." Edie says nodding gently.
"Did she tell you that?"
"No, call it mother's intuition."
"Are we already going to have to deal with boys?" I say leaning back and placing my hands over my eyes dramatically for Edie's amusement. Emma fancying Niall? That was ridiculous.
"Harry," she says taking my hand and pulling me towards her, "She knows that you love her Harry. You've never proved otherwise. But maybe it's time you start treating her like her own person."
"Like her own person?"
"She's not just your baby, love. She's starting to come into her own. And you know why she treats Niall the way she does?"
"Because he doesn't treat her as a baby or as a kid. He treats her like a person."
"Are you saying I don't?"
"Harry, in order for you to treat someone as a person you have to be able to tell them the truth. You have to be able to recognize that they are strong enough for it."
"But what if she's not? What if it breaks her?"
"Then you'll be there to put the pieces back together."
We walk back into the hospital, through the annoyingly bright corridors, with takeout in hand. Uncle Niall walks in front of me, walking rather slowly.
"Can we hurry up a bit?"
"What's your rush?" he says slowing down even more.
He comes to a complete halt, making me bump into him. He chuckles to himself as he turns around and fluffs my hair, "You alright?"
"Yeah..." I say avoiding his eyes.
We continue walking until we finally reach mum's room. Uncle Niall knocks on the door, before opening it loudly and walking in with a huge smile on his face.
"So, you finally woke up sleeping beauty?" Uncle Niall says bending down and hugging mum, being careful about the wires and tubes.
"About time, huh?" Mum says eyeing the food in our hands. "Please tell me some of that is for me?"
"Edie, what kind of a person do you think I am? The doctor specifically said you couldn't eat this kind of food." He pulls over the table she eats upon and fixes it so she can reach it. He opens the bag and continues his rant, "So why would I bring you any?" He places a take out bin before her, and hands her chop sticks.
Mum smiles widely and begins eating, we had guessed she would be craving orange chicken and we were right.
"I'll get you some water." I say grabbing the almost empty pitcher on the side table and heading out.
I walk down the corridor only a few steps before I hear, "Emma?"
I turn around to see dad at the door, his hands in his pockets.
He opens his arms and I smiled to myself.
I put the pitcher down on the ground beside me and run towards him. He picks me up and holds me tightly to him, "I'm sorry, baby."
"I promise you, I'll treat you like your own person."
I pull back to look at him, "What do you mean?"
He meets his nose with mine and smiles widely, "I'll stop treating you like a baby. I'll stop lying to you. And I'll stop being such a terrible dad."
"You're not a terrible dad."
He puts me down and smiles, "I'm not?"
"No. I mean, you're terrible at telling jokes and probably a bunch of other things but you're an amazing dad."
"Hey." he says pretending to be offended.
"I was just joking...kind of." I take a breath as I prepare myself to tell him what I wanted to say.
"I know you want to try to make this better, so I want to too."
"That's mature." Dad says with a smile.
"Um, I just...I'm sorry. I know I've been acting like a brat the past few months, it's just that...It's just that you know it was supposed to be the three of us. We never really got to have a family dad, we never really got to have a real home. And when we finally got the chance to be normal, mum gets pregnant. But that's not the only thing, she gets sick. She get's so sick that I don't really recognize her, you know?" He nods, and his eyes look kind of glassy. I really hope he doesn't cry. "My mind just goes to all these thoughts like, what if something really bad happens to her because of this baby. Or what if...what if you love the new baby more than me? I mean, I know you can fall in love again. Obviously, you fell in love with mum. You know? Doesn't that mean you forgot about my real mum? Dad, what if when you meet the baby...you just forget about me?" The words spill out quickly from my mouth as I start to lose my nerve.
Dad looks at me, kind of in shock, "Emma, I could never forget your mother. Never. But baby, just because I don't talk about her doesn't mean I don't love her. How could I forget her, she gave me you. You and your mum and your brother are the most important things in my life. I don't love you any less because I love them too. I love all of you, I promise there's enough love to go around." He hugs me to him, and my tears wet his gray t-shirt. "Look," he says rubbing my back gently to calm me down, "Things are really going to change Emma, not just because of the baby."
"Why else then?" I say, not quite ready to let go.
"Because, we're all changing, especially you. You are no longer the little baby girl that would have a fit if she couldn't sleep in my bed every night and would crawl into it every morning instead. You have somehow grown up into this sarcastic, intelligent, and beautiful girl and I'm not quite ready to let go of my baby."
"You don't have to."
"Just because I grow up, doesn't mean I don't need you." I look up at him, still clinging to his shirt, "I'll always need you, dad."
"And I'll always be here Ems." He leans down and kisses my forehead, "Always."