CHAPTER THIRTY SIX
I wake up to silence.
It was eerie, to say the least.
Bright red numbers reflected 7:58 as I turned to look at my clock. I stretched out upon my bed, it was almost eight in the morning, everyone was most likely still sleeping.
I keep trying to reposition myself, to find a position suitable enough to go back to sleep, but it's pointless. I am uncomfortable even in my sheltered space. I face the window, sighing loudly as I watched the sunlight peeking in through the blinds. It was the wrong type of weather for this type of day.
I get up, unsure of what to do. I throw the sheets aside, making my bed slowly. I didn't want to be in the house, not for now.
The only logical thing to do, even at eight in the morning, was to text Janice. I knew she would not be awake quite yet, but it was the only choice I had, really.
I reach across to my nightstand, grabbing my phone, and quickly type out an SOS.
Need to see you ASAP
I put the phone back down and go to the bathroom, splash water onto my face, and finally start dressing. As I finish applying a minimal amount of makeup I hear my phone buzz and go to pick it up.
I'm working all day, just stop by the shop. I'll be on my own anyways.
Perfect. As long as I could leave this house and avoid any type of confrontation.
In a little shop that sat directly in the heart of Primrose hills sat Janice. As I came to the door, I could see her thin figure sitting on a stool, cleaning the delicate looking trinkets from a display of beautiful crystal. I take a breath and finally with a shaky hand manage to grab the handle and open the door. She looks up as soon I step in, a bell chime announcing my presence.
"Ems, you came!" She says, bouncing out of her seat and hugging me tightly to her. "I would never have made you come here, but you said it was urgent and I don't get off til later."
"It's fine." I mumble, untangling myself from her and standing awkwardly.
Her brow furrows, "Whats happened?"
"Nothing...I..." I take a few steps and look towards the display case she had been cleaning, "Those are pretty." I say pointing to the crystal figurines.
"Pain in the arse is what they are. I have to clean them every day, or else they won't "shine" like they should." She walks back to the case and picks up where she left off, leaving me to wander aimlessly.
I walk back to her, near the counter, and look at a delicate porcelain figure of a boy pushing a girl on a swing. My fingertips trace the intricate work, as Janice hums to herself.
"Excuse me." She says moving my hand with a smile and taking the little boy and girl away from my reach. She begins to clean it and continues humming.
"I have a problem." I don't turn to look at her, I simply continue looking at the little boy and girl. How happy they both looked, how innocent the piece itself seemed.
"I told dad."
I hear a crash and turn to see Janice looking at me with a horrified look on her face, "You what!?" She looks down at her feet, the little boy and girl in shattered pieces around her. "Oh, fuck." She mutter grabbing a broom.
"Isn't that expensive?"
"Old bat won't notice. Nobody comes in here anyways, it's not like she'll know." She says as she sweeps up the pieces.
Janice looks at me with a furrowed brow as I removed the pieces from the dustpan, "I can fix it."
"Ems, it's fine. It's shattered, you can't fix it."
I could feel my cheeks burn and frustration begin to set in, "I want to do it. Let me fix it."
"Babes, it's porcelain, you can't just glue it back together."
"Let me try, God damn it!" I finally say grabbing all of the pieces and hugging them to me.
Janice's eyes widen, "Ems, put it down. You're bleeding."
Unwillingly, I place the pieces on the counter next to me, and see that my hand had a cut on it. Janice comes closer and her hand immediately wraps around mine, the other steadily holding the broom. "Are you okay?"
I shake my head, "No. I'm not."
She lets go of my hand, only for a moment, as she places the broom back in its place. She opens a cabinet and pulls out a first aid kit. As she grabs my hand again, leading me to a stool, and making me sit. Janice places the kit on the counter next to us and tips my chin up to face her, "Do you really want to fix the porcelain?"
"You can't fix everything, Ems." Janice replies, opening the kit and taking out disinfectant.
"But you're going to try anyways."
"You know that I am."
She places the band-aid over my cut and sets the kit aside, sitting next to me, "This isn't just about the porcelain is it?"
I shake my head and she sighs worriedly, "Tell me what happened."
"You have to talk to him." Janice says looking at with a brow heavy with concern.
"Both of them."
"Which one first?"
"I...Niall?" She shrugs, "I think maybe you need to reassess where you two stand now...don't you think?"
"Do you think the whole wife thing changes things?"
"Does it to you?"
"I don't know. Maybe just the fact he didn't tell me in the first place."
"It is something to be ashamed of."
"Yeah, but still." I mutter, "I don't know how to feel about him...cheating on his wife. I mean, is that why they got divorced? You think that's the only reason why?"
"Ems, I think this is why you need to talk to him, not me."
"But do I even have a right to know all of that?"
She stays quiet for a moment and finally responds, "Not the details. But you do have a right to know what happened. If it was something serious...and you two are in a serious relationship...I don't know. I think he should tell you...right?"
"I guess." I mutter.
"And what about your dad?"
I sigh, "He was just...so broken, Jan. I..." I could feel the tears about to flow and am so incredibly ashamed of myself, "I don't know if...if he'll forgive us for this."
"He will, babes." She says stroking my hair lightly, "Give it some time."
"What if there isn't enough time to heal this wound?"
"Wounds always heal, Ems. Always." She says tracing my band-aid and smiling sadly.
We both jump at the sound my phone vibrating and chuckle rather nervously. As I unlock the screen I see that it's Niall and my heart skips a beat right on cue.
Princess, we should have a chat.
I show the text to Janice and she nods. "You can do this, just stay strong."
I look at the pieces of the little boy and girl on the counter and grimace. They looked strong and sturdy, and all it took was one fall for them to break.
Staying strong was easier said, than done.