The next morning mom made a few calls and found Harry’s foster mom Anne. She gave her a call and they talked for about an hour. I went upstairs and got dressed wanting to be able to leave as soon as possible. I try to take deep breaths but it doesn’t help me calm down. I am so nervous. What if my brother doesn’t like me? What if Anne doesn’t like me? I grab my phone and unlock it when it beeps letting me know I got a text message.
Ashton- Hey Hazel are you free to hang out today?
Hazel- No sorry Ashton really busy today
Ashton- No problem see you monday
Hazel- See you on monday Ashton
I put my phone in my pocket pushing aside the butterflies I got from Ashton wanting to hang out with me. I have to focus on my brother right now. I help mom into the car after I make us breakfast. I decide to drive today because mom looks a little bit weaker than usual. She tells me Anne’s address and I head over it’s only a half hour drive so we both were silent trying to prepare ourselves for today.
When we reach Anne’s house she is waiting for us on her front porch. I take in her brown hair and bright smile. If I didn’t know any better I would think that she really was Harry’s mom. I head to mom’s side of the car and help her out and up to Anne’s porch.
“Hello Lauren this must be Hazel?” She asks my mom kindly before pulling her into a hug.
“It’s nice to meet you” I say nervously scared she won’t like me. I sigh in relief when she smiles at me and pulls me into a hug.
“Come inside let’s talk for a few minutes before I give Harry a call”
We walk inside her house and she leads us into the living room. Mom and I looked around her house staring at all the pictures of Anne and Harry on the walls. Her house isn’t too extravagant but it felt like home. Like you could be yourself here, and it makes me so happy. That my brother got to grow up so loved. I may not have known about my brother for very long but I know that I love him already. With all my heart. And seeing how much love Anne has given Harry over the years has made me love and respect her too.
“Here is a photo album I have of Harry. It has pictures of him from when I adopted him up to now. I want you to get to see how your brother has grown over the years” Anne says handing me a photo album as We sit on the couch in the living room. I gave her a grateful smile before opening it and turning the pages. Watching with each page as he turns from a cute toddler, adorable kid, dorky preteen, to a handsome teen and young adult.
"The last one is what Harry looks like now" She says as I stare at the last photo in the photo album. I feel tears well in my eyes as I run my hand over the photo.
"You can keep it if you want" Anne says pulling it from the photo album and handing it to me.
"Are you sure?" I ask as I place it safely in my jacket pocket.
"Yes Hazel I have plenty more" She says and I pull her in a big hug.
"Your welcome sweetheart"
She stands up grabbing a picture frame from the fire place mantel, and hands it to me. It is a picture of a little girl with brown hair and blue green eyes. Her hair is pulled up into pigtails. She is adorable.
"This is your niece Felicity" She says and my mom gasps from beside me.
"You mean-" My mom starts to say but she loses her words glancing at her photo again.
"Yes harry was dating this girl when he was 19 but it didn't work out. They broke up after a few months of dating. It wasn't until a month later that she realized she was three months pregnant. She moved into Harry's apartment and they decided to give their relationship another try. They seemed happy. Then a month after Felicity was born Harry woke up to find a note saying she just couldn't do it anymore and that she was to young to be a mother. So Harry has been raising her all on his own ever since. She is now a year and four months old. I am not sure if he will bring her over today or not, because I when I call in a little while I am going to tell him he needs to come over so we can talk about something really important but I wanted you to know about her" Anne says and places the photo back on the mantel.
"I can't believe Harry has a child. He has grown so much" My mom says with guilt in her eyes. She starts to cry which catches Anne and I off guard. We are both quick to comfort her.
"It's okay Lauren" Anne says trying to soothe my mother.
"No it's not I should have gotten in contact with him sooner. He has gone so long without knowing Hazel. Without knowing about me or his father. I have deprived both of my children of so much. I am a bad mother" Mom cries out sobbing into Anne's shoulder.
"No your not you did what you thought was best for Harry. You gave me the chance to be a mother. You did what you thought was right all these years. I may have just met Hazel today but I can tell she is just like Harry. A caring and loving person who puts others first. You are a great mother and I can't say for sure how Harry will react to this news but I can say that no matter what You will always have my respect and gratitude" Anne says patting her back as she starts to calm down.
"She is right mom. You are the best mom I could ever have I love you"
I pull her into a tight hug happy to have her as my mother no matter how short our time together might end up being. I am proud to be her daughter and I hope that Harry will grow to love her as well.
"I love you too Hazel"
"Thank you for saying those kind words Anne I needed to hear him. And thank you for being such a great mom all these years to my son" My mom says and Anne gives moms hand a comforting squeeze showing her she understands.
"I am going to give Harry a call now I will be right back" She says grabbing her phone and exiting the room.
When she came back in she said Harry would be over in about 25 minutes. We talked about what school was like for Harry and I told her about what it was like for me. She told me Harry's favorite holiday, which is Christmas like mine. She also told me that he loves to cook. She said he has four best friends, Louis, Niall, Zayn, Liam, and by everything she has told me about them I can't wait to meet them either. I start to panic when I hear a car pull up.
"What if he doesn't like me. What if he never wants to see me again" I say as I start to hear footsteps on the front porch.
"He will love you Hazel. I don't see how anyone could hate you" She says giving my shoulder a soft squeeze before heading to answer the door.
It is silent for a moment until I hear my brothers deep voice for the first time.
"Sorry I am a little late mom I dropped Felicity off with Niall. He agreed to babysit for me today so what is this important thing you need to tell me?" As he enters the living room. I start to shaking as his eyes land on mom and I. He looks exactly like the photo in my pocket that Anne gave me.
"Who are they?" Harry asks Anne who motions for him to sit with him on the couch across from us.
"Harry this is going to be hard to talk about okay? So please just try to stay calm" Anne says to him and Harry starts to look worried. His eyes widen a little as he takes in my features.
"Mom I don't understand. Why does that girl look so much like me" Harry says glancing back at his mom again. I could see all the emotions I felt yesterday start to spread through him. His eyes glanced at our mother as if trying to peace together what is going on.
"Harry please just let Lauren explain everything. Just hold what you have to say until the end" Anne says giving him a pleading look and he gives a nod turning to listen to what my mom has to say.
"Harry this is going to be hard but I hope you will hear me out. I...........I am your birth mother. When you were three years old your father and I were unable to pay for you and my hospital bills anymore. If we paid for you and the hospital bills we would have been on the streets. So we put you up for adoption. We wanted you to have a good life. We wanted you to be happy, and that's why we were glad you found Anne. She gave you all the love we wanted to give you but couldn't and we can't think her enough for that. A few months after we had put you up for adoption the cemo had started to work and my cancer had cleared. We found out I was pregnant with Hazel and we were so happy that we had a chance to be a family again. We tried to get you back but after we saw how happy you were with Anne we couldn't take that away from you. We didn't want to do that to Anne either. She loves you more than anything in the world. We are here today because after keeping you a secret from Hazel for all these years she found an old photo album of you. I realized after seeing the pain she was feeling after growing up without you in her life just how much I deprived you both of. I am so sorry for keeping you from each other all these years and I know that it is to much to ask you to forgive me but I want you to know your sister. The cancer has come back again and I don't know how much longer I have. You will be all she has left" Mom says her eyes locked with harry while she explained everything.
Harry looked between us both rapidly running his hands through his hair.
"Mom is this true?" Harry asks anne sounding like I did when I found the photo album.
"It is Harry. I am sorry I never told you. I didn't know how and Lauren didn't know how either. We are sorry" Anne says to Harry with tears in her eyes.
"What about my father? Why isn't he here with you?" Harry asks franticly.
"He died a couple years ago in a car accident. I'm sorry" Mom says and Harry looks Mortified.
"This all can't be true. Your lying!" Harry shouts at my mom as tears fill his eyes.
"she's not lying Harry" I say finding my voice for the first time. Though when he turns his anger on me I wish I hadn't.
"You don't know anything! How could you do this to me. How could you be so selfish. I was perfectly happy with thinking Anne was my mother. Just because you were suffering doesn't mean you should have thrown it all on me. What if I don't want a sister or some sick woman for a mother or a dead father. Just because your family life was terrible doesn't mean you had to fuck up mine!" He yells and everyone sits shocked by what he said for a few moments before I start to cry as hard as I did when my dad died. I knew it. He hates me. Why wouldn't he? I was selfish in thinking he would want us in his life.
"Harold Edward Styles you apologize to this poor girl right now!" Anne yells so loud that I stop crying for a moment glancing up at them. Harry seems shocked as well.
"Mom but-" Harry starts to say but Anne stops him by smacking him upside the head.
"Don't but me! how dare you talk to her that way. That girl is suffering the same as you are. How dare you act this way. I understand your angry but that is no way to speak to anyone. She came over here to meet the sweet boy I raised not this asshole that you have just portrayed yourself to be. I have never been so disappointed in you Harold. You can't change your past it is what it is. Now you have to choices you suck it up and you apologize to you sister and accept things for how they are or you get out and leave this poor girl alone" Anne says pointing between Harry and the door.
The room goes silent again. Harry looks at Anne his face consumed in guilt at her disappointment in him and at how he has acted. Harry looks back at mom and she wraps a protecting arm around me as I start to cry again. As if guarding me from his hurtful words.
"Mom can I have a moment alone with my sister please" Harry asks and Anne nods.
She walks over to help my mom enter the kitchen with her but I grab my mom's arm trying to get her to stay. Scared to be alone with my brother.
"It's okay Hazel. He won't hurt you" Anne says giving Harry a warning look before leaving the room with my mother. Harry takes a step toward me and I can't help it I start to cry again, scared he will start yelling more hurtful things at me. I look down at Anne's carpet to scared to meet his gaze. A few seconds later he falls to his knee in front of me, though I still refuse to look at him. He sits there for a moment before he places his fingers under my chin lifting my head so that I will meet his gaze. He starts to cry too and wraps his arms around me pulling me into his lap.
"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to yell at you like that I just got so angry. Please don't hate me I didn't mean the things I said I just don't know what to do or how I should feel about this. I shouldn't have taken this out on you. Your the one person that understands what I am going through right now. It's gonna be some time before I can forgive our mother and father for what they have done but I want to be your brother. And I want to be the one you deserve not the jerk I was before. So please forgive me. I want to be a part of your life now. I want you to be a part of mine" Harry says sobbing along with me and I hug him tighter than I have ever held anyone Happy that my brother wants to be a part of my life.
"I forgive you Harry" I say wiping his tears while he wipes mine. He pulls me in for one more hug before pulling me up with him.
"Let's order some Chinese food and talk about everything we haven't been able to talk about in our lives so far" Harry says pulling me with him into the kitchen.
"Okay Harry" I say as we sit down at the kitchen table with Anne and our mother picking out what Chinese food we wanted.
I smile at my brother happy that we can finally have a chance to know each other and that I finally feel like I have someone else in my life I can rely on. That I don't have to go through things with mom on my own. That when my mom does pass on to be with my dad I wont be alone.