CHAPTER THIRTY THREE
Half a Second
Half a fucking second. It was a pause, it was as if the entire earth stood still for half a second. Until it moved again, and went in fast forward.
I watched as dad got up from his seat, his boots angrily clacking as he hurriedly ran towards the door. I was stuck, I was frozen, but he was moving at a sub human speed.
"Dad!" I untangle my limbs and attempt to run after him. But by the time I reach the door he's already made his way down the stairs.
My legs are shaking so violently as I try to make them work, as I try to catch up with him, but they won't let me. I fall forward, mum catching me as I almost fell head first down the last four steps.
"Emma? What's happening?" She says, her blue eyes terrified. She'd never seen dad that way.
I push off of her, trying to get to dad before he could-
"You, you fucking son of a bitch."
I watch from the archway leading to the living room. Dad had grabbed Niall by his collar, lifting him up from the sofa in one savage movement.
Uncle Louis looks at them, paralyzed. He knew that dad would react badly. We all had. But seeing it, actually living it, it was more than we had bargained for.
"Mate?" Niall says, playing oblivious.
"Don't you 'mate' me." Dad says, his tattooed hands clasped tightly around Niall's pristine white shirt.
Niall simply glares at him. He knows, he knows that dad knows. But he can't defend himself. He wouldn't dare, "Harry." Niall tries in a calm tone of voice.
"No. You don't get to talk." Dad releases him roughly, stepping closer to him and poking him in the chest, "I am going to ask you one fucking question and you are going to give me one answer."
"Harry." Mum tries getting close to him, she tries pulling him back but he doesn't budge. She tries again, pathetically muttering, "Harry, please."
"No! Edie! You don't know what this degenerate has done! You don't fucking understand! Let me fucking resolve this!" He yells angrily. Mum simply looks at him with tears in her eyes. "Do you know what he's done?"
Mum looks at him but doesn't answer. Uncle Louis clears his throat.
"YOU BOTH KNOW!?"
Mum looks away, "Harry-"
"YOU KNEW!? YOU KNEW AND YOU DID NOTING!? EMMA IS A CHILD EDIE! YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO WATCH OUT FOR HER!"
Mum cries, knowing he's right.
"And you!" He looks at Uncle Louis, his rage never once simmering down. "YOU ENCOURAGED THIS TOO!? HOW LONG HAS THIS BEEN GOING ON!?"
"Dad." I try, but mum holds me back.
"Emma do you think this is okay!? What kind of father do you think I would be if I thought this was okay! I trusted you! I trusted the both of you!"
I look at him and yell back, "I love him! Dad, I love him! I'm not a child, I can make my own bloody decisions!"
"Does he love you!? Or is all that he wants is quick lay!? What about his wife Emma!? Do you know why he got a divorce!?"
I shake my head, "It doesn't matter! He would never hurt me!"
"If he would never hurt you, then in why in the bloody hell would he allow this to happen! He's supposed to take care of you! He's supposed to protect you! He's my fucking age Emma! In what world do you think this is acceptable!?
"Harry, I can explain." Niall says, trying to calm him.
"I don't want an explanation." Dad breathes out heavily, but his voice lowers to a scary, stoic tone.
"Then what do you want?"
"I want you to answer my only question."
"What is it?" Niall says, looking at dad steadily, trying to hold his own.
"Are you in a relationship with my daughter?"
Niall looks at him, head on. Half a fucking second passes by before he responds, "Yes."
Dad's face contorts into a flurry of anger, rage, betrayal, and disappointment. And it took half a fucking second for him to pull back his arm and punch Niall square in the nose. As soon as his fist makes contact with Niall's face, the force of dad's furry pushes Niall back onto the couch. His pristine white shirt, now bloodied.
"I want you out of my house. I don't ever want to see you here again." Dad says, staring at Niall holding his nose.
And he walks out, holding his fist, not looking at mum or at me.
This was the end.
And it was all my fault.