Jammu, Husnal’s POV
I yawned and stretched as the plane landed in Jammu. My parents and I had left soon after my encounter with One Direction, and I’d been asleep for half of the long flight back to India. According to the flight attendant, the local time was 4:15 am.
As I got up, I felt something in my back pocket that I hadn’t noticed before. I pulled it out to reveal a folded-up napkin with Harry’s name and number on it. Underneath the number were the words, “Call me maybe!” I giggled at his Carly Rae Jepsen reference.
“Why are you giggling about a napkin?” Daddy asked.
“Oh…I don’t know. I’m just being random,” I lied, stuffing the napkin in my pocket.
He shut up after that, and we took our carry-ons and retrieved our luggage from baggage claim.
By the time we got home, it was a quarter to five. I was still tired and jetlagged, so I went to sleep for a few hours. As soon as I got up, I called Harry. He answered on the second ring.
“Hey, it’s Husnal,” I said. “I just wanted to say hi. I can’t talk long, because my daddy doesn’t know I’m calling you.”
Harry laughed. “You rebel,” he said. “Want my Skype name so we can video chat? Then I can see your pretty face.”
“My daddy would get mad if he saw you on my computer screen. Can we text instead so my daddy doesn’t find out?”
Columbia, Valerie’s POV
By the following afternoon, Mama, Daddy, my maternal grandma, and Mama’s brother Pete had gotten to Columbia. I’d also called Niall, and he’d said he would be there the day of the funeral. Grandma lives in Huntsville, and Uncle Pete lives in Spartanburg.
“Where’s the little darlin’?” Grandma asked.
“She’s staying home,” I said. “She’d just be bored staying here all the time.”
“I see. Well, it’s a shame. I was looking forward to seeing her, since I haven’t seen her since she was born.”
“You can see a picture.” I pulled out my wallet and extracted a recent picture of Amber. I gave it to Grandma. “She’s almost three now.”
“Well, she’s getting to look just like her mama!” Grandma remarked.
“I saw something in People magazine that said you were seen walking out of a restaurant in Atlanta with Niall from One Direction. Is this the same Niall you met in third grade?” Uncle Pete asked after he looked at the picture of Amber.
“Yep!” I said. “We met again at their concert in Houston. He’s coming for the funeral.”
“Well, I’m sure he’ll be a better father for Amber than that Joel Baxter jerk,” Mama said. “You should never have had sex with Joel.”
“I’m sure she learned her lesson,” Daddy said. “Right, Val?”
“Uh-huh,” I said.
Uncle Oliver butted in to say it was time to meet the pastor for funeral arrangements. We all piled into two cars and headed to the Lutheran church downtown.