A Damning Melody
"All of them?" I mutter as we walk through the spacious aisles of Tesco.
Niall drives the cart, stopping every few seconds to grab things off the shelves, "All of them, Ems."
"Like, every single one of them are coming?" I say pausing to grab two more boxes of pasta, seeing as Niall wanted to feed about 20 people with only three boxes.
"Yes. Every. Single. One." He says grabbing the boxes from my hands and putting them in the cart.
"Wow. It's been so long since we've all been together."
"It's because I'm back." He says cockily.
I roll my eyes, "What time are they coming over?"
"We have a few hours."
"But, really? Today?"
Niall looks up at me and smiles, giving me butterflies, "It was the only day everyone was free."
We continue down the aisles, grabbing absurd amounts of food and filling the shopping cart to the brim. How mum would manage to make this into a feast for that many people I would really like to see.
"I've missed them." I say as we start to head out of the store, shopping cart now full of bags.
"It's nice to see the family back together." Niall says pushing the cart through the parking lot.
A silence fills the slight space between us, but it's comfortable, as it's always been.
"You know, we can talk about what happened yesterday." He says, not looking at me.
"I know what happened yesterday."
"So what are we going to do about it?" He says opening the car and starting to place groceries inside the trunk.
I go to grab a bag and brush my hand against his on accident, instead of moving his hand he grasps mine, I smile "What can we do about it?"
"Maybe we should try this out?"
And for the first time I don't think about dad or mum or what anyone else will think, I simply say "Yes."
He grabs the last bag, throwing into the trunk, and closes the door. He leans over and kisses my cheek, "Good."
For the first time in the longest, I watch mum as she scurries around the house. She fluffs the pillows on the sofa, rearranges flowers in vases, and somehow still manages to put on a beautiful dress and curl her hair.
I watch in amazement as she starts opening the oven, revealing the source of the delicious warm smell the house had acquired.
"That looks ace mum." I say admiring her from my stool at the counter.
Mum looks up at me and smiles, "Would have been better if I had more time."
I roll my eyes and smile, "Mum, really? It looks like bloody perfection as it is."
She blushes and shoos me away, "Go finish getting ready, they'll be here soon! Liam just called and said he and Sophia were only a few minutes away."
I hop off the stool and walk towards the staircase, already knowing what I was going to wear. But as I go to open the door to my room, I hear the plucking of guitar strings, distracting me from my current mission. I tilt my head slightly, realizing that the sound was coming from the small makeshift studio dad had made long ago.
I walk to the door, opening it slightly, and peeking through the crack. I see Niall with a guitar upon his legs, humming a melody. What a damning melody it was, coming from his angelic voice.
"Jam sesh?" I say with a smile.
He looks up with a smile, "Harry wanted me to tune the guitars. Thought we should get the band back together for an hour." He pats the wooden seat next to him, "Take a seat, you still remember the cords I taught you?"
"It's been a while." I mutter as he places the guitar upon my lap. I try to place my fingers where Niall had once taught me, but inevitably fail. "It's been a really long while."
Niall chuckles loudly, "Time to re-teach you then, princess."
I hold my breath as I feel the chair squeak against the floor, and feel him coming around to wrap his arms around me. He grabs my hand, placing them on the correct strings, his breath warm against my neck.
"C" He whispers. My hands nervously strum the strings as his hands move my fingers once more, "D"
I turn my head slightly and catch him staring at me, his eyes intently focused upon my lips. I tilt my face a little more, my lips slightly grazing his. My hand drops from the guitar, the music ceasing. And even though all was silent, we were too caught up in each other, never realizing that the door had slightly opened.
"Niall you Irish bastard, it's been too lon—" We both look up in sheer terror, locking eyes with Uncle Louis. His face drops completely, "What are you two doing!?"
Niall immediately steps back around my chair, standing in front of me, and mutters, "Nothing, mate. Just teaching her the cords."
"That's not what it fucking looked like! Are you out of your fucking mind? Have you finally lost it, Niall? Do you know who this is? Perhaps not." Uncle Louis yells coming into the room and getting into Niall's face.
"Tone it down, Lou." Niall states taking a step back.
"Tone it down!?" Uncle Louis says in a harsh whisper, obviously having taken into consideration the fact that perhaps it was not the best idea to involve dad in this spat, "I haven't seen you in God knows how bloody long and I find you snogging Harry's daughter!? How in the fuck do you want me to tone it down."
Uncle Louis' was livid, his anger froze my blood. I was literally stuck in the chair, the guitar still firmly in my grasp. I didn't dare move, and instead simply focused on the wall in front of me trying to remain at least a bit calm.
"Louis, it's not what you think." Niall says trying to reason with him.
"What am I supposed to think Niall?"
"I..." Niall takes a breath, "Fuck...I don't know."
"Emma..." Uncle Louis says with a rather disappointed look upon his face, "What...what is going on?"
Fuck, we were so fucked.
"We...we..." I could feel my throat closing up and my heart racing.
"What's going on?" Everyone turns to look at dad as he stands at the door way, 'What's with the atmosphere, someone break a string?"
Uncle Louis rolls his eyes and sighs loudly, "Course not." He plasters a smile upon his face and walks towards me, "I was just so surprised at how much Emma's changed in just a year." He says sharply.
"Has it been a year?" Dad says pensively.
"Mate, it feels like it's been a bloody lifetime." Uncle Louis says walking towards dad and clasping in a hug.
"Niall?" Dad says untangling himself from Uncle Louis.
"Mind helping me look through some boxes? Had some things I wanted to show the lads, but I cant find them now." Dad runs a hand through his hair, oblivious to the tension surrounding him.
"Yeah, of course." Niall quickly exits the room, with dad diligently following after him.
All the while I'm left with a scowling Uncle Louis.
"Have you lost your bloody mind?"
"No!" He takes a breath, "Emma, baby." He kneels down in front of me, taking my hand, "I know...I know that you've always loved Niall. But, Emma."
"Yeah?" I say whisper, finally looking into his eyes.
"This...this can't happen."
I stare at him blankly, "What can't happen?"
"Baby, you can't....you can't be with Niall."
"Emma." He says squeezing his hand in mine, "We've all taken a part in raising you, we've all love you as our own. Personally, I can't let this happen. I can't. As a father myself, and as your Uncle...this can't happen."
"But Uncle Louis..." I whisper once more, my voice getting shakier by the second.
"I love him."
Uncle Louis looks at me blankly, not quite sure what to respond to me. What could he say? Of course he had known that I loved Niall, but that Niall would reciprocate that love? He never could have fathomed that twist of fate.
He lifts a finger, signaling me not to speak quite yet. After he takes a moment, he sighs loudly and finally states "I know that you've always fancied your Uncle Niall, Emma. But...this is just...wrong."
"Really, Ems, why?" He asks a bit taken aback.
"Yes, really. Why? Why is it so bad that I love him? Why is it so bad that he loves me too?" I argue, my voice too shaky to be taken seriously, but I try anyways.
"He doesn't love you in that way Emma."
"How do you know that?"
"Emma, I don't know what he's thinking or what you're thinking, but what I can tell is that he's hurt, he's not well off and you're something that's normal for him."
"So what, you're reducing me to a rebound?"
"Ems..." He says getting up and sitting in the chair next to me, "Do you even know why they got divorced?"
"He let her go...?"
"Did he?" He asks in a rather pointed tone.
"What are you trying to say?"
"Emma, I know you're young, and I know that maybe you've always just dreamed about this happening...but baby, think about it in the long run." I stay silent, already knowing my options "You're both better off not doing this. Whatever it is." He says with a scrunched up face.
"Do you know why they got divorced?" I asked.
"Then why do you assume the worst?"
Uncle Louis sighs loudly, "Emma, I don't want you to get hurt. I don't want you to...I don't want you to lose your family over something that could potentially be...nothing."
"Are you saying I'd lose my family over this?"
He starts to rise from the seat, sticking his hands in his pockets, "Ems, things could never be the same after something like this."
After finally changing and wiping off tear stricken cheeks, I make my way downstairs. It was increasingly obvious that everyone had arrived, for the room buzzed with familiarity and excitement.
"Emma?" I turn to see Uncle Liam and smile widely, "Goodness gracious, love! You've gotten so big!"
"You act like it's been forever!" I say embracing him tightly. "Where's Auntie Sophia?"
"In the living room with your mum." He lets go and looks at me top to bottom, "How's uni treating you?"
"Emma?" My eyes widen as I see Uncle Zayn approach with a toddler in his arms. I hadn't seen Uncle Zayn in what felt like forever.
"Is that Zack?" He nods excitedly, also embracing me, but only with one arm.
I reach for the toddler in his arm, and he hands him to me. Zack clings to me, a bit confused as to who I was, "You don't remember me, do you?"
He shakes his head
"I saw you when you were a wee little thing. Cute little bugger you were." I say hugging him to me.
"You've grown up so fast." Uncle Zayn says shaking his head, "Time flies..."
"She has grown up fast, hasn't she." Louis says approach us and crossing his arms, "Tell us, Ems, any boyfriends?"
I look at Uncle Louis pointedly, knowing what he was playing at. This would be his revenge, but that would be the extent of it.
"No, no boyfriends." I mutter ruffling Zack's hair. He looks up at me and smiles bashfully.
"A girl as beautiful as you? I don't believe it."
"Believe it." I say handing Zack back to Zayn. Zayn welcomes him back with a tight squeeze. "I'll be right back." I mutter.
They pay no mind, and jump right into some conversation about Syco's latest blunder.
I turn back and go up the stairs, hoping to find Niall. And of course, find him in the small closet near the end of the hallway going through some boxes.
As soon as he hears my footsteps he turns to look at me, "Thought it was fucking Louis." He mutters shaking his head.
"It could have been worse." I say sitting down on the hardwood next to him.
"It could have been Harry." He says sifting through the large cardboard box.
I sigh loudly, debating whether or not to ask him. Fucking Uncle Louis, he had put the doubt in my mind on purpose.
"Did you tell me the truth?" I finally manage to utter.
He puts down the object in his hand and gives me his full attention, "About what?"
"About your wife."