CHAPTER FORTY SEVEN
My head throbs as I slowly open my eyes. Disoriented by the bright light, the sudden noise, I look up to see mum had finally come home.
I sit up and hug her to me, tears coming almost instantly. I can tell she's taken aback, that she's a bit out of her depth. They're not used to me acting this way. To me being this weak and fragile.
"Emma, what's going on, baby." She whispers in my ear. Teardrops start to fall, being absorbed by her thin cotton shirt.
"He's gone mum....He's gone." I try to speak, my sobs making it increasingly difficult, "Dad made him leave."
"Ems." She says stroking my back in light circles, trying to calm me.
"Baby, since when do you cry? Since when do you just sit here and weep?"
"If he's gone, you go find him."
I pull back from her and furrow my brow, a hiccup escaping as I manage to say, "What?"
"Emma. Find him. Bring him back."
"Mum, how am I possibly going to find him? He won't even answer his phone, how could I know where he is?"
"Then look. Look for him."
"Dad really doesn't know? Isn't it dad's fault that he's gone in the first place?" I say, wiping at the drying streaks upon my tired face.
Mum shakes her head sadly, "I know it's hard to believe, but he really doesn't. He didn't tell Niall to go away, Emma. He didn't tell him to leave."
"What did he say to him then?"
She looks away suddenly, refusing to make eye contact with me, "That's something you and your dad need to talk about."
"Emma. I know that your dad's been wrong about of lot of things, he truly has. He knows that, baby. He has only meant well, as terrible and misguided as those actions may have seemed. He would never want you to be hurting like this. It breaks his heart to see you this way."
"But...then why would he try to break me and Niall up?"
"Really, Emma? Why? Perhaps because he was worried about his baby girl being hurt by a man who is his age. It's not a weird concept to understand. And yes, I know. I know Niall is a good man, I know he would never do wrong by you, but he betrayed our trust, Ems. We have a right to be ticked off too."
"Your dad loves you, Emma. Don't think he's the enemy. He's just very bad at executing plans that he believes will result in happy endings."
"What possible happy ending could come out of this situation?"
"You're never going to know if you just sit here and wait." I sigh loudly, but she continues, "I want you to be happy." She tilts my chin towards her, smiling lightly. "I don't like this mopey, depressed, Emma. I want my old Emma back."
"Yeah?" I say trying not to cry again.
"So how about it?" I nod. "Go get him, Ems. Go bring him back."
After getting showered, dressed, and finally not feeling as if I would burst into tears at any mention of him, I pack a bag and head downstairs. I am surprised to see dad already sitting at the island, with a glass in front of him. I pass try by him, ready to go to the car and leave, but he grabs my arm lightly, "Emma, wait."
"Can we have a chat?"
"Am I going to end up mysteriously disappearing after said chat?"
"Emma." He asks pleadingly.
I oblige and sit down in front of him, my stomach already in knots.
"Look I know that you're planning to go look for Niall—"
"So you want to stop me?"
"Let me finish, darling." He says in his typical, slow drawl. He clears his throat before continuing, "Emma. I know you think that the whole world is against you and Niall being together. That everyone is trying to keep you apart—"
"Dad, I could care less about the rest of the world. All I cared about was you and mom. That was it. And you let me down." My voice quivers, but I continue anyways, "I know that what we've done isn't right. That we went about this the wrong way. But it's love dad. I love him. I thought you, more than anyone would understand that."
He looks at me for a moment in silence. His face expressionless, only changing when he says,"Go find him."
"I know that I've been an arse about this. That perhaps my intentions were misconstrued by my idiotic actions. But, Emma, I love you. I want you to be happy. And I...I don't want to stand in the way of it. If you love Niall, then find him. Be with him. Love him. But for the love of God, be happy. That's all I've ever wanted."
Tears are streaming down my face, my heart slowly being filled, realizing that the space between us was finally narrowing. "Dad...Why did you tell him to leave?"
"I didn't...Emma...I told him that if he wanted to be with you, that he had to prove that he loved you."
"That doesn't make any sense." I say shaking my head. "Why was he so angry that night?"
"He was angry that I had reiterated the pros and cons of your relationship. Emma, you know what's at stake. You've seen how much this family has been torn apart, how much your life has changed because of this. He was angry because he was hearing the truth, seeing it before him for the first time."
"Do you still not see it Emma? Don't you get it, baby? He left for you. He sacrificed himself so you could have your life back. He left because he wanted you to be happy. He didn't want us to fight. He didn't want your life to be turned upside down. He wanted you to have the same, peaceful life you did before he came back."
"So you told him to leave to prove that he loves me?"
"The only thing I told him was to prove himself. I didn't say how. I most certainly didn't tell him to leave."
"I know that it's hard to believe, Emma. But I am on your side. I am always rooting for you. I just...I need to do my job as a parent and make sure that the person that is receiving your heart, is worthy of it. I want to make sure they love you, that you are their world. I need to make sure that you'll be happy. And I know I went about it a terrible way. I'm sorry." He reaches across the table, grabbing my hand in his and intertwining our fingers.
I look down at our intertwined hands and say, "Do you know where he is?"
He shakes his head, "No."
"Do you think I'll be able to find him?"
"You're going to let me go find him, dad? You're really pushing me to do this?"
Dad pulls out a box from the pocket of his sweater, placing it on the table for me to grab it.
As I open it, I could feel my eyes widen as I saw two silver paper planes in the box, "Aren't these...?"
"I think it's time for you to fly, baby girl. It's time for you to meet your destiny."
"Why both of them?" I ask, my voice on the edge of completely giving out.
"He taught you how to fly, Emma. How could you both soar without each other?"
Tears fall down my cheeks freely, and I struggle to find the words to say to dad. I am speechlessly looking at him, as his own eyes start to water.
"I don't want you both to end up in separate directions like your mother and I." His hand squeezes around my own, "Find him."
I nod, putting on one of the necklaces and holding the charm between my fingertips.
"I love you, Emma."
"I love you too, dad."
He looks at the charm around my neck and the one in the box, pensively stating "Paper planes represent distance, how far they can fly, how high they can soar, but they show how easily they glide through the air back to each other. It's inevitable. The two planes will eventually find each other again."
"Just as these two did?" I ask looking at the one in the box.
"Just as you two will."
I get up from my stool, going around the island and hugging dad, "I'm sorry for being a brat."
"I'm sorry for being an arse." He says whispering into my ear.
I pull back and look at him, the same mossy eyes and disheveled curls that I had been looking at since before I could remember.
He smiles, breaking eye contact and grabs my pack off the table, placing the box with the remaining plane in it.
"What are you waiting for? Go get him."
I smile, knowing that somehow, I had to find him.