CHAPTER THIRTY THREE
How To Explain
Dad opens the door to his study leaving it open behind him as he steps in and turns on the lights. I hadn't been in here in a while, and I looked around noting that nothing looked any different. There were bookshelves filled with leather bound journals, they were flowing off shelves. There was an antique globe in the corner of the room, the one I would spin relentlessly when I was trying to figure out where in the world we were going on tour. And of course his favorite, comfy leather chairs. The air smelled of cinnamon and I smiled as I saw the candle I had given him a while back still siting upon his desk, already half used.
"Sit." He says, smilingly pointing to one of the caramel colored chairs and sitting in the one next to mine. He shifts his seat slightly so that his green eyes can focus on solely me.
I sit down in the seat, gripping the sides slightly, "Dad..."
He furrows his brow, "Okay. What's wrong? You're scaring me."
"I...Okay. Look." I lean back into the chair, trying to gather some type of strength. "Do you remember that story you would tell me when I was little? The one about you and mum?"
I sigh in frustration, mostly because he didn't know which mum I was talking about or which story, "About Edie, when I would get mad that we wouldn't be able to stay at home, that we were always touring...when I thought she would leave us."
"How we were inevitable?"
He smiles, "What about it?"
"Dad, do you know what I thought when you would talk about inevitability. How I learned the meaning of that word?" I feel my hands shaking, my pulse beating wildly.
"I...um...I would think about Niall. I always thought that...he was inevitable."
"It's just that..."
"You...fancied him. That's why right?"
"Yes, but...it's not just that."
He crosses his legs nervously and leans forward, "What else is it then?"
"Look." I clear my throat "I know that you've always been here for me. I know that. But Niall...it's just different with him. I don't know how to explain it to you, honestly."
"You remember when I found out Ollie was going to be born?" He nods, "That's when I realized it."
"What do you...mean?"
"That day that mum told me? The day that she was in the hospital and you both tried to make it seem like it would be okay, and I really wanted it to be..." I say, remembering the sterile smell and how my eyes had started to water and my throat started to close "But no matter how hard I tried...I just couldn't deal with it."
"And that's why you ran out of the room?"
"Yeah." I sigh, "But I didn't get far...Niall was right behind me, he ran after me. He made sure that I knew everything would be okay. And I know, I know that you wanted to do the same dad. I'm not saying you didn't." The words quickly come out of my mouth as I see his face quickly dropping from the guilt of all those years ago, "I know you tried dad.
"I'm still sorry about that." He mutters.
"I know dad, that wasn't the point." He reaches over and pats my hand, and I try to continue. "There's this thing that I noticed. You see...when I run away, when I try to leave the world behind...if I count to five, Niall will always be right there, ready to catch me. He would always be there, dad. Always."
"Emma, baby. I know that...this is really important to you. Don't get me wrong. But...honey...why..." He pauses, sighing loudly as he runs a hand through his curls, "Why are you telling me this now?"
"A couple of weeks ago when you asked me if I still fancied Niall...I know that I said no, but..."
"I do, dad. I still do."
He sighs loudly, uncrossing his legs and resting his elbows upon his knees, looking at me wearily, "I know, Emma. I know you do."
"Look, I know that you didn't want to tell me. But I knew you still fancied Niall, I know. It's pretty obvious, baby. I'm sorry."
"Why are you saying sorry?"
"It's just that...I guessed that it would pass. That...maybe it was just because he had come back and you hadn't seen him for so long...that maybe you'd just get over it. I didn't want to say anything." He chuckles, "I didn't want to embarrass you. It's just a harmless crush anyways."
"It's not just a harmless crush anymore."
His face pales, and I could feel myself shaking more so than before...if that was even possible.
"Dad, I...I love Niall. I love him."
"Emma, baby, you've always loved Niall. He's family." He tries. Oh, God, I knew he was trying to convince himself that this wasn't happening. He was trying so hard to keep it together.
"Dad, I don't love him in that way. I don't love him in the way I love you, or Uncle Louis, or Mum, or Ollie. I love him...I am in love with him."
Dad's face is completely white at this point, his hands are nervously tapping his knees and he tries to speak. His mouth attempts to move, but his voice fails him.
He clears his throat, "Does he know?"
I lock eyes with dad, "Yes. He does."
"And what has he done about it?"
"What...has he done about it?"
"Emma, if he knows...what has he done about it? How long has he known? Why...why didn't he tell me?"
"Baby, you've told me this much, what is so bad that you can't tell me?" His voice is a bit softer, he is trying to calm down. He's trying to rationalize the situation.
"Dad. Niall has done something about it. We both have."
"What...what have you done?"
"What do you mean 'we're together'?"
"Niall...when I told him I loved him...he told me...that he loved me too. He...he wants to be with me. We...we've been together."
"As in you're in a relationship?" His voice is eerily calm, his hands now holding onto the wooden armrests of his seat. The silver rings on his long fingers glinting in the light.
"Yes. We're in a relationship."