CHAPTER TWENTY SIX
From Lighthearted to Tormented
Janice, being Janice, had ultimately decided that she could no longer be in the presence of my mother. She was utterly terrified of mum after having been discovered as my accomplice.
Today, for the first time in two weeks, Janice has finally come back to the house. Mum has left for the day with Ollie and dad to Nana's, leaving the house to us. Only then did Janice agree to stepping foot once more into our home.
"You're being ridiculous." I say as I watch her lay upon my bed.
She looks at me pointedly, "I was covering you and you have the nerve to say I'm being ridiculous? You're lucky I didn't tell her anything more." She sighs, "Has anything happened?"
I shake my head, "Nothing out of the ordinary, per say."
"So...your dad hasn't found out?" I shake my head once more, and her lips immediately purse into a straight line, "I don't want to be here for when that happens."
"I hope it never does."
She furrows her brow, "But you do realize it will...right? Like, you need to have a proper conversation with your dad about this, Emma."
"Are you trying to say I should tell him?"
"Wouldn't that soften the blow?"
"In comparison to?"
Janice rolls her eyes, "I don't know, maybe in comparison to him finding out through a bloody picture like your mum? Or walking in on you two having a snog like your Uncle Lou?"
I exhale and go to lay down next to her, "I can't do it."
"But I won't."
"So you want him to find out on his own and perhaps have a heart attack?"
I mumble, "No."
"Well, then, Emma. What are you going to do?"
Stupid Janice, always the voice of fucking reason. "I...I don't know."
She shakes her head, "Remember how you were scared of telling Niall how you felt?"
"How did everything turn out?"
"Emma, it turned out more than alright."
"Get to the point, Jan."
"Well, I'm not saying things will turn out great and that your dad and Niall will still be best mates after everything, but you could at least save everyone the whole lying part."
"How am I to go about telling dad? 'Dad, I'm in love with Niall...oh and he loves me too. We might elope next week, we just can't live without each other' I clasp my hands together and pretend to swoon, "How does that sound?"
Janice rolls her eyes, "I'm trying to help you know, you don't have to be such a little shit."
I laugh, "I'm sorry. I just...I don't know what to do anymore. I don't know what to say. I don't know anything to be honest." My tone drops from lighthearted to tormented by the end of the sentence, something she picked up on immediately.
Janice smiles softly, wrapping an arm around my shoulder, "Is it worth it?"
She nods, "Yeah."
I lean into her shoulder, taking in her flowery smell and inviting warmth. Before I speak, I know what the answer is, it's what it's always been, an unwavering yes. But doubt takes a hold of me as I imagine dad's reaction,"I hope so."
Janice leaves before sunset, knowing that mum and dad would be home soon. We had spent the afternoon doing nothing really, but it was the type of nothing you relish. The type that stems from tranquility and peace.
It was a perfect afternoon.
As I sat at my window, watching for dad to pull into the driveway, I knew that I had to do it. I had to tell him before anyone else did. He deserved at least that.
The sun sets neatly into the horizon, and I nervously look out towards the main road. Lights appear, and I know that it's them. The gate opens, allowing dad to come in and park the car. As they make their way inside, I nervously breathe in and out willing myself not to faint.
"You can do this." I say to myself, knowing that hearing it out loud might actually do something of worth to my already knotted stomach.
I hear the front door open and all of them come in nosily. Ollie, of course already hurriedly making his way up the stairs to get to his beloved drum kit.
"Hi Emmie!" he says popping his head in for only a brief second, before disappearing.
"Typical." I mutter. "How was Nana's." I holler down the hallway, hoping he'd hear me before he started banging on those bloody things.
"Good, she got a new cat."
"Another one?" I make my way down the hall and stand in his doorway.
Ollie looks up at me, sticks in hand and ready to start, "It's cute though."
"What about grandpa?"
"Same as always...can I play now?"
As soon as the first stick beats the drum, it resonates throughout the entire hallway. I quickly close his door, but it does nothing. The house needed to be bloody soundproof.
I walk to the edge of the stairs, hearing mum say something about taking a bath. She climbs the steps, smiling up at me as she notices I'm standing by the railing.
"How was your day at home?"
"Boring. How was Nana's?"
"You know her, always happy to have your dad back home." She waves her hand and smiles widely.
I smile as well, knowing full well how excited Nana would always be when we visited, "Going to have a bath?"
"Yes. Long day."
"Okay." I say heading down the steps, "I'm just going to grab a glass of water."
Mum nods, heading up the stairs and into her room. My heart beats wildly, hearing dad humming a tune in the kitchen.
What way do I go about this?
"Hi, baby." Dad says standing at the sink, preparing to make himself a cuppa tea.
I nervously step off the last step and smile, "Hi, dad."
"How was your day?" He says preparing to put the kettle on.
"Relatively boring. Janice came around though."
"Haven't seen her in a while, tell her to come around when we're home."
"She said next time." I sit at the island, watching as he turns on the stove. The fire jumps up excitedly, dancing as it hits the reflective metal of the kettle. "Dad?"
"Can we talk about something?"
"About what, love?"
He turns to look at me, having finished fiddling with the stove, and finally sits down across from me, "What's wrong?"
"I..." A long pause make him nervous, he furrows his brow as I try to form a sentence, "I have something to say..."
I clear my throat, attempting to get the words out, but they don't seem to be cooperating.
"Emma, you're scaring me. You know you can talk to me about anything, baby." His hand finds its way into mine as he says with a smile, "Now tell your dad what you want to talk about."