I walk up to Janice's front steps while Uncle Niall's SUV waits at the end of her driveway. I turn back to look at him, and he waves. I roll my eyes and ring her doorbell.
It's been about a month since mum was admitted to the hospital. She's been looking better everyday though. Dad on the other hand, not so much. I think sleeping in those hard chairs was getting to him.
But of course both mum and dad wanted me to go back to school on time, and had really tried to show me that every thing would be fine. So I was sent home, with Uncle Niall as my "guardian". And of course it was fun, even though that weird feeling wouldn't go away. I still can't really look him in the eyes.
School though, would be a whole different story. Since the news broke that mum was pregnant and dad was in the hospital with her, I knew that today I wouldn't be able to lay low like I usually did during the first day. But as always, Janice somehow found a reason to be much more nervous than I already was.
And its name was Niall.
"Janice you just need to take a deep breath okay?"
I stand in front of Janice's house as she struggles to keep calm. Uncle Niall had insisted we carpool since we lived so near to each other, and Janice's mum happily agreed.
I other hand knew this was going to get old very quickly.
"He's just a normal person. You can do this." I say leading her to the black SUV at the end of her drive way.
"Okay." she says shakily.
I start feeling increasingly annoyed as Janice steps into the car and is greeted by Uncle Niall's irish accented, "Hello there, love. It's nice to see you again."
"Yeah." Janice replies turning five shades of red.
At least she doesn't pass out this time, though.
"Alright, who's ready for the first day!"
It had only been a few hours and already this day was going downhill. Janice had been placed in a different first period than me, my name had been uttered by every body in the corridors, and to top it off my new knapsack had a bloody rip in it causing all of my books to topple out and fall down the staircase as the bell rang.
What a wonderful day this was, bloody brilliant!
Bubbling with anger, I collected my books and sped down the corridor to my classroom. If I could make it through this class, I would get to go home in one piece. I sighed thinking that today was only a half day, tomorrow I'd have to do this all over again, but for longer.
I took a deep breath and opened the wooden door to the unappealing classroom. The teacher of course gave me a look, but with the mood I was in it didn't affect me. I opened my book to the page that was written on the board and stared straight ahead, willing the clock to tick faster.
I looked up at the teacher, her eerie voice calling me out of my trance. There was a girl next to her, extending a note.
The teacher grabs the notes and signals me towards her, giving it to me, "You may go."
She furrows her brow at me, "Read the note Miss Styles. Miss George if you would be so kind as to lead Miss Styles to headmistress' office?"
"Yes, of course." The girl says. I'm pretty sure she's a year younger than me and got to work the office aide shift because her mother was the secretary. I follow her out the doorway, wondering how exactly she got to skip her last period and got to run errands instead. "Right this way." She says opening the large doors and nodding.
I step into the headmistress' office, not quite sure what to think.
Oh, right. The note. I open up my clenched fist to find the crumpled piece of paper.
Miss Emma Styles is to report to the headmistresses office.
Yeah, grand help that was. I re-crumple it into a ball and throw it into the waste basket next to the large wooden desk. The headmistress had called me here, yet she wasn't here to talk to me? Really?
And so she appeared. I looked at her, and unlike most opinions I thought she actually looked quite nice and not as mean as other kids thought she was.
"Your Uncle has just contacted us."
"What?" My heart jumps, knowing that something had to be wrong.
"Your mother is in labor, and they want you to be there. Of course, we'll allow this. Please go collect your things." She slowly has walked over to where I stood and placed a hand upon my shoulder, "And don't worry, I'm sure she'll be fine."
"Thank you." I say smiling at her. She excuses me and I run back up the stairs and down the corridor to my locker, grabbing my knapsack and forgetting about the abandoned book and that horrible classroom.
As soon as I make it back to entrance of the school, I find my Uncle Niall there waiting.
"Are you ready to be a big sister princess?"
"Like you wouldn't believe."
"I can't believe this is happening." I lean against the wall in Edie's hospital room, torn between sheer joy and panic. The baby was on his way.
"Can you not believe that it's happening over here love, I kind of need a hand to squeeze." Edie says in a high pitched voice.
They had induced the labor because of her condition, believing that the best option for both the baby and Edie would be an early delivery. They had assured us that the baby would be healthy and that Edie would be alright. But still, their promises ring a bit false to me. I mean, they said she would be fine before, but here we were in living in a hospital room.
I look up and run to Edie's side, immediately intertwining my fingers with hers, "It'll be alright." I say in a calming voice.
She simply looks at me with a furrowed brow as if saying 'really?'. The sarcasm oozed from her face, and I could already tell I was in for a long day.
"Ow! Bloody hell!" My eyes widen as she squeezes my hand tightly and belows in pain, "Emma's going to be here soon right?" Her face contorts in a mixutre of worry and agony.
I nod, not really being able to move, "Niall said they should be here in thirty minutes. He just went in to pick her up."
"I don't want her to miss seeing her baby brother."
"She won't, love." I say planting a kiss onto her forehead and jumping back almost immediately from the loud bellowing sound of Edie's scream.
"Can we get a doctor in here?" I yell loudly, hoping someone would hear me, "I think she's ready for the shot thing! Someone!"
"Are you sure she'll be alright? It's so early isn't it? I thought she was supposed to give birth next month." I hang onto my seatbelt out of utter nerves, Uncle Niall was usually a pretty calm driver. But when things like this happen he tends to speed too much.
"They said it would actually be better for her and the baby to do it now, so that they could monitor it and everything. Something about inducing it so it wouldn't be a danger to either of them."
I nod, happy that finally they were starting to tell me things. Okay, so maybe Uncle Niall wasn't the best at explaining these things, but the point was that he tried really hard to.
"Are we going to get there in time?"
He looks at the bright red numbers upon the dashboard and the car jolts into an even faster speed, "We sure as hell are going to try."
"You...you don't have to go so fast." I say, really starting to get concerned about the high speeds the car was moving at. I clutched my seatbelt harder, praying that we would be okay.
"Princess, don't worry. Your Uncle Niall has this under–" The breaks screech and I prepare to brace myself. The seatbelt holds me back, hard. It felt as if the wind had been knocked out of me.
I was scared to open my eyes, I was scared to even speak.
"What!?" I say still clutching the seatbelt and tightly keeping my eyes closed.
"Why are you doing that?"
I open my eyes slowly and see that we hadn't in fact hit anything. We were very close to the car in front of us, but we didn't actually hit it. The light had turned red, which explained why we stopped.
"Did you think we crashed?"
"Maybe..." I mumbled, feeling rather stupid.
"Oh, Ems. You know I'd never put you in danger." He smiles at me and turns back to look at me. "I'm sorry I scared you though."
"It's not okay." I say slowly unwrapping my fingers from the seatbelt and turning to look at him, "Just...can you drive a little bit slower?"
He chuckles and nods. The light chages and he starts driving at a much more comforting pace.
"How much longer?" I say trying to finally relax.
"Not very much."
We arrive in the parking lot, only to find there is absolutely no parking. Uncle Niall quickly does a u-turn in the narrow space and has me get out of the car and run into the hospital.
"I'll be in when I find a spot, you be there Emma! They need you!"
They needed me? I thought to myself as I ran down the familiar corridors. They needed me, I realized. We needed each other.
"Emma, your mum's in a different room!" Says the attending nurse, she smiles and points me down the following corridor, "Room 207, okay?"
I nod and continue running, the nurses not even bothering to stop me.
I open the door to the room, not even allowing myself a breath. Mum and Dad look up at me with a smile, and as dad steps aside mum stretches her hand out to me. Her face looks really red and it looks like she had been crying.
"Are you alright?"
"Don't worry my little love. Mum will be alright." She pulls me closer to her, "Are you exicted to meet your brother?"
"Yes." I say, finally meaning it.
Mum groans loudly and squeezes my hand very, very tightly, "Ow!" I say pulling my hand back.
"I think it's time you go wait with Uncle Niall, alright baby. I'll come get you when it's over. Mum's kind of in over her head at the moment."
I nod and step out of the room, to find that Uncle Niall was in hallway pacing back and forth.
"Is she alright?" He asks, his face worried.
"Yeah, she's in pain though." I say leaning against the cool white wall.
"It's almost time." Uncle Niall wraps an arm around me, smiling. I could literally feel butterflies in my stomach. Wait. Is this...?
"She's starting to push!" Dad said through a crack in the door. I knew I wasn't allowed inside, but I was happy dad had thought of at least telling us something.
"He's almost here." I whisper to myself smilingly. It was almost time to meet him.
This was definitely one of those moments they talk about. You know, the ones you'll never forget? This entire year was mad, utterly mad. And it was mostly because of this little boy that we had yet to meet.
My little brother Ollie was born at 3:30 PM in that bright white hospital room. The moment I saw him, I was utterly amazed. This little boy, he had changed my life so much and he hadn't even met me until now. He changed all of our lives.
As wrinkly and red as he was, I loved him the moment I held him.
"Be careful, baby. He's very fragile." Dad places him into my arms as I sit upon the seat Uncle Niall got out of.
Baby Ollie was so warm and soft. His body was so little.
"Hi there." I whispered, "I'm your big sister."
"He's adorable." Uncle Niall says waving a finger in front of his face.
"He's perfect." I say holding Ollie to me.
This whole time I was so scared of change and of being forgotten, and when I held him I felt as if...
Maybe change wasn't so bad.