"All I'm saying is, that was not the best movie made, Edie. We both know it was Grease, hands down." Uncle Niall says, stuffing orange chicken into his mouth.
Mum simply shakes her head and continues eating from her take out box. We had all heard this discussion before, and Uncle Niall was still a firm believer that Grease was a way better movie than Love, Actually.
I personally had a thing for Toy Story, but I think that was Uncle Liam's doing.
"Alright, alright." Mum says putting the take out box down, "Let's talk about something else, then?"
"Have you found out the sex of the baby?" Uncle Niall says with a smile.
"Yes." Dad says from his chair in the corner of the room.
Dad looks at mum, as if for permission. She nods with a shy smile.
"It's a boy!"
A boy. Great.
"Wow! Congratulations!" Uncle Niall pats mum on the shoulder and continues talking, "Now, then Eddie. You have to get better so we can celebrate." He winks at me and I smile wearily in return.
Mum giggles and turns to look at me. She lays a small hand upon mine and intertwines her fingers into my own.
"A baby brother, princess." Uncle Niall says to me.
All three of them turn to look at me, waiting for me to say something. Anything.
"Um, yeah. A baby brother." I say trying to smile, but kind of failing.
Mum turns to look at me with a worried look, "Aren't you happy, baby?"
"Yeah, of course. It's brilliant."
Dad gets up from his seat and wraps an arm around me. "Baby, you know this is a good thing right?"
"Emma, you can tell us if you're not happy." He says quietly in my ear.
I try to edge away from him and shake my head, "I don't know why you think I'm not happy."
"Ems." He pulls me closer and I pull back again, getting up from my seat and heading out the door.
"I'm getting some water." I say not waiting for a response.
I take a right down the corridor and start to walk very quickly. I knew that I would only have til five.
And there he was.
As always my Uncle Niall was the one who chased after me when I stormed out.
He always had.
I always knew to count to five, and turn around. Because there I'd find him, with a furrowed brow and his arms wide open.
But this time I really didn't want to turn around. Instead, I kept walking. I could hear his steps catching up to mine, so I ran.
"Princess, don't run!"
But I did. I ran down corridors, not sure where I was going. All that mattered was that I was getting farther and farther.
"You can't run in the corridors!" An orderly yelled after me. But I didn't stop.
I turned to look at him, and felt myself slowing down.
He was inevitable.
I remember when dad told me what that word meant, it became my favorite word for a while. It was the year I turned nine, and I was having a proper fit because mum still didn't live with us. She wasn't married to dad yet, and we hadn't seen her as often as I would have like.
I remember telling dad that she would find another family if he didn't marry her. That she would leave us.
I was so scared of her leaving us.
But dad told me that he and Edie were inevitable, it didn't matter how long they waited, how long we were apart, they would be together in their own time.
They were inevitable.
No matter how far away we were from her, no matter how long we were apart, we would be together again.
It was fate.
And when I think of inevitable, I think of Uncle Niall. Weird as it is, he is the definition of that word for me.
Because at times like this, when I wanted to run away from the entire bloody world, I knew that he would run after me. No matter where I went, he'd be five seconds behind me.
I crumbled onto the ground, out of breath and drenched in tears, only to feel Uncle Niall's arms around me.
"It's okay, baby. I'm here." He whispers, wiping the tears off my face, "It's okay, Emma."
If only it was.
"Alright, enough of the crap Emma. It's time we have a real talk."
Uncle Niall hands me a cup of water and wraps an arm around me. I look at the lights on the ceiling and try to avoid him.
"Ems, you have to say something. Every bloody time we mention the baby you have a fit. Something is obviously wrong."
I didn't want to tell him.
I didn't want him to think I was being a jealous brat.
"I just, I just don't want things to change."
He turns my chair to face him and looks at me head on, "We've been over this princess. Things are going to change, they are. But that doesn't mean the way we treat you is going to change."
I sigh and look away, "I'm being a proper brat aren't I?"
He chuckles, and I know that for now he won't make me say anything else, "You'd think that the older you get the less cute it would be when you throw a tantrum." He ruffles my hair and pulls me into his arms.
"Thanks, Uncle Niall."
"It's my job, Emma." He pulls back and gives me a serious look, "Now I think it's time you go back and put on a happy face for Harry and Edie, yeah?"