Walking Into Love
I awake with a startle. The sunlight was already burning bright, seeping in through the curtains. I turn to look at my clock and am surprised to see it was a quarter past noon. I groan loudly.
Usually at half past ten mum was already waking up the entire house, claiming that we were being lazy. But today, today there hasn't been a peep.
I stretch and lazily get up from under the covers. I avoid my reflection in the mirror as I pass it, already knowing I looked a bloody mess. I could feel the mascara clumped under my eyes, and the clothes I was wearing yesterday were incredibly wrinkled.
As I walk to my bathroom, a knock interrupts my long awaited shower.
"Emma?" I turn to see mum, guiltily smiling at me.
"Take your time getting ready, dad and your uncle Niall are having a chat downstairs."
"Oh." Fuck. Fucking hell.
"Yeah, don't worry, I'll let you know when they're done." She pauses before smiling reassuringly, "It'll be okay."
Mum closes the door behind her and I nervously pace the room. Should I? I should.
I walk towards my door and open it only a crack. Mum must be in the living room, playing the referee in case anything happens. Ollie was probably in his room...I could do this.
I walk silently towards the stairs, forgetting about my long awaited shower. As I sit on the third step, I could hear their voices almost perfectly.
"Niall, I just..."
"Mate. How long have you known me?"
"Yes, I know." Dad says guiltily.
"Do you really think I'd do anything, anything, to hurt her?"
"No." Dad says without a doubt.
"Then why are you up my ass about this? So I fell asleep, so what? Harry, I'm not going to take advantage of her. She's as if she were my own."
As if I were his own?
"Harry, I love Emma. I would never, ever ever, do anything to hurt her." Niall says, almost pleading. "I came back because I wanted to feel at home. I missed the lot of you, especially my Ems. I don't want anything to change. I'm sorry if it comes off as inappropriate, but you should fucking know better. I'm not that type of guy!"
I feel my heart ripping in two, knowing that the love he had for me was simply the love he had always had. It hadn't evolved, it hadn't changed. I was his princess, I am still his princess, I could never be anything more.
"Swear." Dad says in utter seriousness.
"I swear, Harry. I just want everything to be like before."
I hold back a sob, swearing at myself for being so stupid. Why would I ever think Niall could love me any other way?
"Alright, well, let's have lunch then."
The chairs screech against the floor and I quickly get up and climb the last steps to my room. Quickly I get undressed and lock myself in the bathroom. Under the hot water of the shower, I allow myself to let out my repressed sob. I cry, the pure emotion of it all shaking my body helplessly. The hot water hits my back, and I step further into the nozzle, only so that I couldn't tell how many tears I was shedding for him. I touch my lips, hoping to remember the feel of his against them. I close my eyes tightly, trying to stop the bloody tears. It wasn't fair. Why did it have to happen this way? Why did we have to kiss? Why did I have to love him? Why was my very existence dependent on him. It couldn't be healthy. I must be mad. Fucking crazy.
Eight years and I still haven't learned?
As the water eventually calmed me down, I took a deep breath and closed the nozzle. I didn't deserve to feel bad about this. I didn't fall in love with Niall. No. I chose to love him. I walked into love with him, with my eyes wide open and with the knowledge that this could possibly turn into nothing. I knew that. I knew it. I knew the consequences, the possibilities, the pros and the cons.
But knowing the pain that it could cause in advance doesn't make the pain any less bearable.
I slowly make my way into my room, dressing myself slowly and without any interest.
I finish buttoning my shirt and answer, "Come in."
"Baby, we're about to have lunch." Dad says with a smile.
He looks awkwardly from me to the door, crossing one foot behind the other, "Are...you okay?"
"No, nothing." He crosses his arms now. Dad has a numerous amount of nervous ticks.
"Alright, come downstairs then."
He quickly exits the room and leaves me alone once more. I contemplate skipping out on lunch, but realize that Niall was here to stay. He was trying to make things as they were before. Coming over everyday, eating lunch, even falling asleep at my side. He was trying to make our relationship into what it once was.
I stare at the daisy print dress that was still hanging on a hook by the wall and shake my head. He didn't want a new Emma, or a new life, or a new anything for that matter. He came back to be who he used to be. He came back expecting the life he had left behind. Whether he was so dense he didn't realize, or chose to use obliviousness to hide his true feelings, it didn't matter. He wanted everything to fall back into place.
I make my way down the stairs to hear laughter and chatter fill the kitchen. I plaster on a smile, hoping my eyes didn't look too terrible.
"Pull up a seat, princess." Niall says motioning to the seat next to him.
Without any question whatsoever I sit next to him. Mum places a plate in front of me, and suddenly I realize I'm not hungry.
I pick up my fork, trying to ignore the stares, and eat.
They continue on their conversation, with only Niall sometimes turning to look at me. I started moving food around my plate, and when it finally seemed as if they were done I say, "May I be excused?"
Dad nods and smiles, waving me away. I place my plate in the sink and once more make my way to my room. But before I close the door behind me, something holds it open.
I turn around to see Niall pulling back the knob, stopping me from shutting it.
"What?" I say tiredly.
I sigh, "Nothing is wrong Niall. Just let me be."
"Ems, I know you. Something is wrong."
"Nothing. Is. Wrong."
I step away, and try to signal that I'm finished with the conversation, bu Niall won't have it.
I turn my back to him, only to hear his steps come closer, until I feel his arms around me. "You don't have to tell me what it is. But I'm here, I'll be here."
I don't move.
"Am I making you uncomfortable?" He says, his voice warm against my neck.
"No. Of course not."
"So, we're alright?" He says letting go.
"Of course, why wouldn't we be." I say turning around with a slight smile upon my face.
"Good then." He walks back towards the door, "I'll be downstairs with your dad."
As soon as he leaves I breathe in and out, in and out.
We were not alright. We were very bloody far from it.