As soon as I step back into the room, I climb onto mum's bed and snuggle next to her. Dad makes Uncle Niall leave with him so that we could have a few minutes alone.
"Are you finally going to tell me what's wrong, love?"
Mum wraps her arm around my waist and wrap mine over hers. But the bump kept getting in my way.
"Emma, I know you. You don't do these kinds of things."
"I'm not looking for an apology, baby. I just want to know how I can help."
I look at her and smile, "Well, a hug for starters."
She motions with her free hand for me to come towards her, so I unwrap myself from her and climb up higher onto the bed to be able to give her a full hug. Her sweet perfume hits me as soon as I lean in, and I feel calmer than before.
"Emma, are we okay?"
I pull back to look at her, confused that she would say that.
"What do you mean, mum?"
"I mean," she says patting the pillow next to her and motioning for me to lay down, "Are we okay? Do you still love your mum?"
"And you think something is wrong with me?"
She pokes my side and I burst out laughing.
"I'm serious Ems, I know that I haven't been there much lately and I'm sorry, but..."
"The baby comes first."
"No, it's fine." I say getting up and giving her a kiss on the cheek. "I'll see you tomorrow in the morning, okay?"
She looks at me blankly before blinking a few times and smiling, "I love you, baby."
"I love you too mum."
We left the hospital, without mum and in silence, after we had spent the evening with her.
I knew that what I had done had probably really bothered dad. But the thing was that dad never really said how much things bothered him. He would only be silent, that's the only way we knew something was off.
As I was getting ready for bed though, I could hear Uncle Niall and dad in the living room. I sat upon the stairs and peeked at them. They were having a pint and having a chat. Dad wasn't much of drinker, so when he did have a few pints with Uncle Niall it usually meant something was wrong.
"I just...I don't know what to do with her anymore Niall. How can I make her understand?"
"Harry, I don't think you can. I think this is one of those things you're going to have to let play out on its own."
Dad stayed silent for a moment, took a swig, and turned to look at Uncle Niall, "What if it gets worse?"
"She's always had a tantrum here and there, it's normal, mate."
"I'm bloody serious, Niall. What if this isn't just some tantrum that's going to blow over."
"Harry, she's wiser than you think. I think you should let her sort it out by herself."
"I don't want to."
"She's about to turn twelve, I think this something she has to do on her own."
"That doesn't mean she has to."
Uncle Niall sighs before putting down his pint and finally speaking, "Look mate, I know that you think things aren't going to change. I know you really want to believe that, but Harry do you know what having a baby is like?"
"No, you don't. You got Ems when she was three. You didn't get to see the crying or any of the other stuff, did you?"
Dad doesn't respond so Uncle Niall continues.
"Babies cry, they keep you up all night, they make you fucking crazy. Yes, they're warm and cute and cuddly, but Harry they're time consuming. Your life is now going to revolve around that baby. And you can't bullshit yourself and Emma into thinking things aren't going to change. It's not fucking fair to her!"
"Then what do I tell her Niall?" Dad's voice gets deeper, and I could already imagine his normally green eyes darkening, "Oh, Emma, I'm sorry. Maybe you should move out since you're not really going to be a part of this family anymore. There's no time to take care of you, it's all about the baby now."
"Don't twist my words, Harry."
"Then tell me, oh wise one. How do I raise my daughter? Since you're the bloody master, what do I say to make it all better?"
"If you're going to be a fucking twat, I'm leaving." I could hear Uncle Niall getting up and I quietly went up two steps to hide behind the wall.
"I'm serious Niall. You think you're so bloody good at this don't you?"
Dad gets up too, and when I peek from behind the wall I could see him face to face with Uncle Niall.
"Just because you take her to the zoo and hold her when she's sad doesn't make you a bloody parent."
"Do you run after her?"
The silence was killing me, I could imagine dad looking at Uncle Niall with pure anger.
"You don't do you? It's always been me. Tell me why that is?"
"Niall, get out."
"Oh, so you know why it is, but you don't want to fucking say it?"
"Get out of my house."
I jump as I hear dad's voice echo through the lounge and up the stairs.
"She trusts me Harry, she doesn't trust you!"
"She does trust me!"
"Then why hasn't she told you why she's acting this way!? Why do you keep saying the same thing everyday! 'What do I do, how do I make her understand?' You could start by being there! The past three fucking months you've barely paid any attention to her! How the fuck do you think she's going to believe you when you say nothing is going to change!"
"I'm trying!" Dad yells back at him.
"I know you are! But you just..." Uncle Niall takes a deep breath and lowers his voice, "You have to stop lying to her. She has to know that things aren't going to be the same okay? They just aren't. So get it through that thick mop of hair, Harry."
I could imagine dad smiling and Uncle Niall patting his shoulder, but I didn't dare peek at them yet.
"I just, I don't want things to change."
"That makes all of us, but you know, maybe this is for the bloody best."
I turn back to go to my room, quietly going up the steps.
This baby hasn't even been born yet, and it's already causing these many problems.
Mum is obviously sick, even though dad's been hiding it from me. Uncle Niall and Dad aren't getting along as well, even though they're trying really hard. And well, we just aren't the same family we used to be.
So please tell me why this change is supposed to be for 'the bloody best'.