CHAPTER FORTY THREE
I drowsily open my eyes to see Ollie's gazing at me intently, I jump up and ask, "What is it? Are you alright?"
"I'm hungry." He says with a sheepish smile.
I turn to look at the clock on my dresser and shake my head, it was well past noon.
"Why didn't you go downstairs? You know how to make a sandwich."
"I...was waiting for you." He avoids my stare and jumps out of bed, "Can we please go downstairs and eat?"
I smile, "Of course, bud. Go brush your teeth okay?"
He walks into my bathroom, closing the door behind him quietly. I silently sigh to myself, knowing the my little brother was now afraid to roam his own house by himself. Perhaps he feared dad because he had never seen him act the way he has these past few days, or perhaps he's scared he'll look for mum and not find her. I swear at myself for having involved him in this, he shouldn't be worried about things like this. He should be able to go to the bloody kitchen because he was hungry, not have to wait for his big sister to protect him in case he got caught in the cross fire.
"Can you make your mac and cheese?" Ollie says walking out of the bathroom and walking towards me.
"I thought you hated it."
"Only when dad makes it."
"Too much mac..."
"Not enough cheese." He says with a smile.
"Alright, let's make mac and cheese then."
"Do we have to change out of our pajamas?"
I look down at the both of us and shrug, "Nah, feels like a lazy day anyways."
Ollie opens the door and peeks out cautiously, as I step behind him and swing it open, "What are you doing? It's well past noon. We can make noise."
Ollie looks up at me worriedly, but says nothing as we had to the stairs and go to the kitchen. He takes up a stool at the island and watches as I busily prepare our lunch.
"About Uncle Niall?"
I turn to look at him, and he tries to continue his question, "Do you really fancy him? Is that why dad is so mad?"
"Ollie, I just...you're too young to understand."
"I am not."
"It's just really complicated."
"Don't you trust me?"
"Ollie, it's not that at all."
"Love is just really complicated Ollie. Not just the girlfriend and boyfriend kind of love, but the family kind of love too. And I don't know where any of us really stand right now."
"So I guess you can't answer my other question either?" He asks peering from beneath his curls.
"What's your other question?"
"When is mum coming home?"
The day my brother was born was the day I knew everything was going to change. I no longer felt resentful towards the fact that there was going to be another child to steal my parents' affections, nor that I would have to share things with him. No, the moment I looked at him I felt the urge to protect him. I felt that I would always have to do so, that I would always have to make sure that he would be alright.
Funny things that love makes us do.
I had been hellbent on detesting my baby brother at that age, but the moment I held him in my arms it all faded away.
And here I was, making sure he was alright once more. Hoping, praying, wishing that somehow I could help him through this mess, hoping that he wouldn't blame me for it as well.
As soon as I manage to convince Ollie that it would be alright for him to practice his drum for a bit, I run off to my room and dial mum.
She answers after the first ring.
"Mum. Where are you?"
I could hear her trying to hold back a sob, "I'm at your grandma's."
Oh, boy. Dad was going to get an earful from grandma sooner or later.
"Mum, what happened."
"We had a bit of a spat."
"So you left?"
"Trust me, Ems." She breathes out, "I think the time apart will do us some good."
"I beg to differ, dad hasn't been out of his room all day."
"Good. Let the bastard suffer."
"Baby, don't worry. Grown-ups have spats from time to time."
"Yeah, but I've never seen you leave the house. What about Ollie?"
"I'll talk to him tonight, alright?"
"Sending you my love. Don't worry, Ems."
"Alright. Love you too, mum."
I roll my eyes as I hang up the phone. Could problems be fixed as easily as just running away and letting the other person reflect? I sincerely doubt it.
I jump as my phone vibrates in my hand,
Princess, meet out front after dark?
I quickly text back,
Only for a few minutes.
within seconds he responds,
it's all I need.
Could I just leave this problem up to the fates to fix? Was there really anything else I could try to do to fix everything with dad? I couldn't just stop seeing Niall, that was unreasonable wasn't it?
I contemplate as I watch the sunset, the orange-pink hue invading the walls of my room and casting an angelically beautiful glow upon my white walls.
Waiting for the darkness, I tried to forget about all the chaos around me.
And tried only to think of the feel of his arms around me when I finally saw him.
"Emmie? Mum called!"
I smile to myself, hearing Ollie excitedly outside of my door.
For now, I'd relish the painted glow of my room, the innocent smile of my baby brother, and the butterflies in my stomach at the very thought of seeing him.