A Moonlit Path Home
Time is literally frozen as I stand here looking out the window of the dimly lit pub, wishing the Earth would swallow me whole.
"Emma?" Niall says, the question so obviously in his voice. The question itself, I believe, isn't whether it was truly me, but whether he had really just shared such a passionate moment with the little girl he had left behind so long ago.
"Yeah?" My voice trembles and I try desperately to calm down.
I refuse to turn around, I couldn't face him. It was as if all the courage I had the moment I walked into that loo and snogged him had disappeared within an instant.
He won't stop saying my name. He's as stunned as I am.
I grab my jacket from my seat and run out, I couldn't bear to look at him, so I ran.
No, he wouldn't come after me.
It's been so long, he wouldn't remember that he used to do this for me.
I don't turn back, I run out into the cool starry night that not so long ago I felt so alive in. The stars had kissed me then, little did I know he would as well.
I keep running, swearing at myself for wearing these stupid shoes. I could hear him catching up, so I sprint harder, not sure how much more my heart could handle.
"Princess!? Please! Stop!"
I turn to look back and instantly fall forward.
"Fuck!" I yell, my knee bleeding instantly painting the pavement and my clothes.
Niall runs up to me, getting down on his knees and looking at me.
His face had barely changed, yes he had to be about thirty six by now, but good lord he hadn't aged much. The bit that he did made him look rugged, and manly. His hair remained the same, more brown than before. And his body had become less lanky and more muscular, the muscles on his arms bulging as he lifts my leg to inspect it.
"Are you alright?" His large hand wraps around my thigh as he tries to stop me from fidgeting as he inspects my knee.
"Is it your knee?"
"Then what the hell!?"
"Why the hell are you here Niall?!" I yell, it was probably from the almost eight years of waiting. Could you blame me?
"Why the hell were you in that pub? Is that what you do now, kiss strangers in the toilets?!"
"Are you calling me a slut!?" I could feel my face getting redder and redder as he tries to calm himself down.
"What!?" I snap.
"Why did you kiss me?" He spoke in a whisper, I almost didn't hear him.
I stay quiet, not quite sure what to say. I didn't even know it was him, it was bloody fate.
"Why did you kiss me back?"
He doesn't answer either, simply looks away and sighs loudly. "Can you walk?"
He helps me up, but immediately I feel the pain shoot up my leg "Ow!"
"Your house isn't far right?"
"You really don't remember?"
He rolls his eyes, "sarcasm isn't as cute as when you were little, Ems."
"I'm not trying to be cute." I retort through gritted teeth.
"Well, I'm taking you home." He says trying to establish some sort of authority.
I was having none of it, "I can walk, thank you though." I try getting up, and stumble from the pain.
"You're not walking." He says firmly grabbing my arm. I pull away from him.
"Yes I am."
"God damn it Emma. You're not fucking walking." In one motion he swoops me into his arms and holds me closely to him. I try to fight him, but he had gotten much stronger.
"You don't have to do this." I try.
"Yes, yes I do."
"Because." He starts walking in the direction of the moonlight, his face illuminated perfectly.
I sigh loudly, but submit. I couldn't resist. After eight long years, here we were. My knee bloodied, my arms around his neck, and moonlight lighting the path home.
"Does dad know you're back yet?" I whisper as he finally let's me down at the front gate.
He shakes his head and looks at me, "No, I just got in. I didn't want to tell anyone til I settled in."
"As always." I say rolling my eyes and trying to open the gate.
"As always what?"
"You don't say anything? You don't pick up the bloody phone and say 'Oh princess, I'm coming back this week! Let's go to the fucking zoo!'" I try to imitate his deep Irish accent and he simply laughs in my face.
"I'm sorry. I'm sorry I can't do anything right."
"You'd think after such a long time you'd change just a bit."
"I have." He says leaning against the gate, his large hands in his pocket.
"Prove it." I say coming up to his face.
He looks into my eyes, and then at my lips. Only for a mere second though before he smiles cheekily, and with only the flick of a finger pushes me back from him, "Seems like you've changed plenty, princess."
I smirk at him and open the gate to finally head inside.
"Let's keep....this...between ourselves, yeah? Don't tell anyone I'm back.
I wave my hand and go inside, shutting the gate behind me.
As I look up at the stars, still clear and as if within my reach I shake my head. Tonight...tonight was chaotically perfect.
"Emma! Emma! Emma! Emma!" I wake up to my stepmum on my bed, and a pounding headache.
"What?" I say wearily, my throat dry and my voice creaking.
"Get up! Get showered! I'll get your outfit ready!" She hops off my bed and gets to walking around my room.
"Why? What's happening?" I say barely opening my eyes. The sunlight burns, her excitement bounces off the walls. The sounds of her excitedly chirping around the room have awaken me completely, but I don't have the strength to move.
"Okay, this is..." She grabs my leg and pulls, "Get up! Get up now!"
"Why!? What is happening that I need to get up this very instant when I am obviously hungover and in pain?" She looks at me knee and gives me a grimace, but immediately disappears as soon as she remembers her mission.
"Your Uncle Niall is back. He's in the kitchen with dad, Emma. He's back!"
Great, bloody brilliant.