Eucatastrophe ~ h.s.

This isn't how I planned any aspect of my life to occur.

The plan was simple: Finish university with a 4.0 GPA, Get a well-paying corporate job that's more intense than the assistant job I've now, Find a man that loves me for me, Get married at a gorgeous ceremony, Have beautiful children, Grow old with the man of my dreams and watch our kids mature right before our eyes, and Then fall deeper and deeper in love with our time together.

That Night wasn't supposed to happen. My life wasn't supposed to turn out like this.

*Contains: Language, mild sexual content, and a bit of violence. Content could be triggering for some.*


40. ✗ thirty-eight ✗


"Shay!" He hisses, chasing after me down the hallway of the hospital corridor.

After the ultrasound and a very embarrassing moment where I was stabbed in the arm to get a sample of some of my precious blood with tears streaming down my cheeks, I ran out of the examination room, leaving Harry behind in a cloud of dust.

"Shay, stop walking so fast." He hisses again, hoping not to gain too much attention to the both of us rushing down the hall in a crowded hospital. I know he'll be pissed and I don't want to make a scene in the middle of the clinic. It can wait 'til we're in the car park.

The last time, and actually the first time, that Harry met my parents it did not go over well, at all. My mother ended up insulting me in front of a restaurant full of people and Harry ended up yelling at her like she deserved. I doubt that Harry's forgotten that key piece of the past, I sure as hell haven't. She pointed her manicured finger at Harry accusing him of raping me. I will never forgive her for that, but hopefully I can look past it.

"Shay! Stop!" Harry calls, raising his voice slightly now that we're standing outside the confines of the hospital. I sigh heavily, running my hand across my forehead as I stop right in the middle of the drive. "Well, not there." He mutters, leading me out of the way of potential traffic.

Taking a deep breath I gain the courage to turn around and look up at Harry. There's nothing but a bit of tiredness across his features where I thought there'd be anger. There's a long sigh that he releases as his hand reaches out and takes mine, his eyes trained on our joined hands. I stay silent, wanting him to be the first to speak. I want to know what he's thinking.

"I think we should just think this over." He breathes out, his thumb caressing the skin along my knuckles. "Before we do anything rash."

"I have to tell them Harry."

"I know, I just don't think it's the best idea." He admits, looking up at me through his thick eyelashes. I sigh looking anywhere other than his beautiful eyes. "I get that you want them to know, this baby is going to be their grandchild so they deserve to know." I nod my head, agreeing. "But, they've hurt you so much already Shay. I'm not letting them hurt you anymore."

"I appreciate you saying that." I say, taking a step towards him before I wrap my arms around his waist. I bury my face against his chest and exhale deeply. "But, I need to do this." Harry feels rigid under my touch, apprehensive at the idea I just know it. I hate making him feel like this, uncomfortable. "I can take their words, I've dealt with them since I was born. I'm not saying that they are going to be a part of this baby's life, but they should at least know that I'm with child. I expect them to scream, my mother to ridicule-"

"Then why are we going?" He wonders, sighing deeply as he rests his chin on the top of my head. His wraps encircle me and pull me even closer to his body. "You didn't see your face the last time you saw your mother. You didn't see the hurt, the betrayal, and every single emotion of pain running across your face, Shay. I did. I hate seeing you like that, it physically pains me."

His words soak into my system as I take that in. They warm my heart just knowing how much he actually cares about me. Usually I'll listen to him, but I can't today. I cannot risk running into them at Tesco's (not that they shop) or the shopping centre with a baby in my arms. My parents will hate me more than they already do. They just need to be aware.

"I love you so much for caring Harry, and I hate that you have to feel that pain. But I can't take the risk of not letting them know. What would your parents do if they ran into you with a baby in your arms? Your mum would be heart broken not to have known beforehand." I bring my face from Harry's chest. He's silent simply sighing lightly. "Let me just tell them and if it goes horribly wrong then you can say 'I told you so'." I say, with a small smile. I study the green irises, admiring how they shine in the little sunlight that peeks through the dreary clouds. I wish my blue/green eyes were as beautiful as his are. They are so full of expression.

"Fine." Harry finally breathes out, the apprehension clear across his face. "I still don't believe this is a good idea, but I will stick at your side. I'm not going to leave you to fend for yourself."

"Thank you."

"But if your mother starts on you-"

"Then you can do what ever you please." I promise him. "Just be by my side though this."



The front of the house looks even more expensive than the last time I had been here, if that's even possible. I can see the white drapes from the windows drawn to allow in sunlight, something my mother just loves. She praises on natural light rather than electricity. I swear she's from the 1800s; her morals seem like it too.

My father's black Audi sits parked out in the street, meaning he's working from home today and not out dealing art. My mother's white Range Rover sits in the space before my father's, meaning she's home too like I had expected.

"Are you sure you want to do this?" Harry asks for the billionth time since leaving the hospital.

I clutch my handbag, containing the various ultrasound photographs, to my body and take Harry's hand in mine. Facing my parents wasn't something on my agenda this morning, but I can't turn back now.

"Yes, I'm sure." I say, staring at the yellow, wooden door before me. I take a deep breath and give Harry's hand a squeeze as I step forward to ring the bell. Part of me hopes that they're not in, possibly out for a stroll around the neighborhood or are too busy working to meet with me. But I know if I don't confide in them today, I never will.

"Miss Nichols, what a surprise! I didn't know you were coming by."

I smile at Julie as she stands in the doorway. There's a smile plastered on her face, as she looks me up and down. She's been working for my parents since I was very small and practically raised me, well along with the many nannies I went through.

She's getting old in age, her hair greying and her energy timing out sooner in the day. She looks exhausted, but I would be too if I had to work for my parents. "My, my, my your hair looks just darling!" She exclaims, motioning to the bun that neatly piled on the top of my head.

"Thank you, Julie." I say, pulling Harry slightly forward so he's standing directly next to me. Julie's smile gets brighter when she see's the man beside me and she immediately soothes down her grey uniform. "Julie, this is my boyfriend Harry, Harry this is Julie." How are you to introduce your parents' maid to your boyfriend? It's not a normal thing, right? Calling her out as the maid is degrading, is it not? "She works for my parents." I settle on.

"Pleasure to meet you." Harry says, taking Julie's hand and shaking it lightly.

"You as well, my dear." The older woman gushes.

Her eyes flicker to me and she gives me a sly wink, causing my cheeks to blush. I've always liked Julie. She's dedicated to her job, working from early in the morning to late at night; she's patient, I mean you have to when you work with my mum and dad; and she's incredibly kind to anyone and everyone.

"Do your parents know you're stopping by?" She asks after the introduction is settled.

"Um, no actually, but I do need to speak with them." I say, hoping that they're not too busy. Oh, what do I care? If they're too busy for me then it's their own loss.

"They are in their offices, finishing up a bit of work. I can collect them for you." Julie says as she leads us into the foyer of the massive home my parents call theirs.

I lead Harry in, stopping in the main room of the house. Intricate pieces of art hang on the wall; different from last I was here, probably because they switch the pieces out once every couple of months to keep things fresh. There's a grand piano that sits near the glass wall of the staircase. I don't know why we own the piano; I was the only one to use it and I wasn't even that good.

Julie shuts the door behind us and makes her way towards the intricate wooden staircase near the edge of the room. I walk slowly around the room, taking in the new pieces of work on the wall. They're all a bit similar with the themes of green and purple being the new daze.

As I walk past the piano I run my fingertips along the ivory keys. They're perfectly dusted and look brand new, just like I assume Julie's done.

"Make yourself comfortable." I mutter, pointing towards the other side of the room where our main lounge awaits. It's nothing fancy, just two chairs and two clean white two-seater couches. They look as if no one has ever sat upon them.

I walk into the lounge and take a seat on one of the couches as Harry strolls slowly around the room, viewing the works of art on the walls.

"What's this called?" Harry asks, pointing to the large landscape painting adorned on the wall.

"That one is called Broken World."

Harry stands before the painting hung against the white backdrop. It's of an Indian woman standing before a purple and green background, wearing what looks to be a black decorative top or dress. She's got a line splitting her right down the middle, probably because she has outside forces pulling her in either direction. On one side of her face she seems to be smiling, but on the other it appears as if she is frowning. The woman holds a globe in her hands, which too is split down the middle, and a solemn expression upon her features. This painting is actually one of the only paintings that seems to stay where it is in the house. I wonder if it's just too much of a hassle to move.

"It was done by a woman called Dipanwita Biswas, a female artist from India. My parents purchased the work a couple years ago at some local gallery spotlighting artists from the Indian sub-continent."

"It's incredibly lifelike." He comments, glancing back at me with a slight smirk.

"It is. Often I feel like her eyes just move with you. It should feel creepy, but oddly enough it just feels like someone is watching over you." I describe, giving the painting a second look. "I like it because she shows two emotions in her features, one of happiness and one of sadness. Really makes you ponder how many facial expressions we look over on a day to day basis."

When my eyes filter from the painting to Harry, he's standing with his hands in his pockets smiling widely at me.

"I love it when you talk art to me." I giggle lightly and nervously sigh as I take a gander to the stairs at the edge of the room.

I wonder if Julie's informed my parents as of yet, or if they're even giving her the time of day to speak. They might be telling her to turn us loose and get out of their hair. I wouldn't put it past them.

"Come over here." I say, rolling my eyes lightly. Harry does just that and joins me on the couch.

He snakes his arm around my waist and rests his large hand on my hip, his thumb circling over my clothed skin in a reassuring way. I lean close to him and press my lips against his cheek for a light peck. Just him being at my side calms my nerves a bit.

"Whilst we're here we should steal some of your works of art." Harry suggests, raising his brow at me. I laugh and quickly shake my head.

"No, that's too much of a bother and really not worth it." I say, trying to remember where my parents have stored them away. They could be on the lower level or even stowed away in the attic. Wherever they are, they're collecting dust that's for sure. "Trust me, they're not that good."

"Oh, come on!" He exclaims, leaning in a bit. "I bet they are magnificent-"


Harry pulls back from me at the sound of a cheery voice echoing down the staircase behind us. I stand to my feet and turn slowly, watching as my mother glides across the hardwood as if she's floating. For working at home she sure has dressed up, with an expensive dress and high heels she looks like she should be out on the town. My father, who walks silently down behind her, wears a pressed suit and squeaky-clean shoes. The usual smile that adorns my mother's lips is no longer there, but a scowl instead takes its place.

"I've rang you a million times, you don't answer, and yet here you are, standing in the midst-" Her words are cut short when she notices Harry sitting on the couch at my side. Her face immediately softens as Harry stands to his feet bedside me "Oh, you've brought a friend." She places a smile on her perfectly shaped lips and I find myself rolling my eyes.

"Not just a friend, mother, my boyfriend." I correct, reaching out and grabbing Harry's hand. We intertwine our fingers and Harry gives it a squeeze, calming me from the anger bubbling inside. Perhaps this is a bad idea. "I believe you've met him before." I say through clenched teeth as I try not to dwell on what occurred at the restaurant about a month ago.

"Yes, he does look familiar." My mum bites through with a bit of an attitude.

I shake off the attitude she's giving me and turn towards Harry.

"Mum, dad, this is Harry Styles, Harry these are my parents, Libby and Andrew." Harry shakes both of their hands willingly whilst my parents look reluctant to do so. I didn't expect them to be welcoming, but I had hoped maybe their manners would be better. "Harry actually is the CEO of his own company." I feel awful having to use Harry's professional title as a way for my parents to warm up to him, but I don't foresee this day going any smoother without doing so, "Styles Incorporated."

A gasp leaves my mother's lips as she shakes Harry's hand and my father seems to straighten out a bit and loses the scowl that was on his lips. I knew if I ever showed up with a man of money they'd straighten out. They're awful people.

"What a surprise!" My mother exclaims. "Did you hear that Andrew?"

I want to punch her in the face as hard as possible. Of course he heard me, he's standing directly beside her.

"It is an honour to meet you Harry, I've heard wonderful things." My father says whilst he shakes Harry's hand.

I find myself rolling my eyes and unable to contain the anger that rains through me. I don't know how I suspected I'd stay calm.

"It's nice to formally meet you as well." Harry says back to my father as he shakes his hand.

I continue to grip onto Harry's other hand for dear life as my father begins to chat up my boyfriend.

"Dear, may I speak with you for a moment?" My mother says, smiling down at me.

I reluctantly slide my hand out of Harry's and join her at the edge of the room. I cross my arms over my chest and bit my lip, glancing over my shoulder towards Harry. They're in a rather deep conversation of business and my dad seems to "like" Harry.

"How long is this little affair been going on?"

"I really don't think it's any of your business." I hiss, taking a deep breath in hopes to calm my anger.

"I'm just making conversation with my daughter." I lick my bottom lip and find myself smiling at her words, though I'm in no way happy.

"Really? Your daughter who you wouldn't take the time of day to see in the hospital? The daughter that you ridiculed in front of a restaurant full of people? The daughter that you want nothing to do with?" I question, my anger getting the best of me. "I'm sorry, but you can't expect me to stand here and go along with what you're feeding me."

"I was doing what I thought I should for my daughter." She responds, crossing her own arms.

"Cut the crap!" I exclaim, startling everyone in the room. Harry looks back at me from over his shoulder with a cocked brow, but I ignore it. I find myself unable to stay calm any longer and it doesn't help that my mood changes rather quickly being pregnant. "I'm sorry but can we just stop the act. You weren't doing what's best for me, neither of you. And you can't just act like you tolerate Harry or me at the drop of a hat! Mum, dad, you've met Harry before, remember?" I question, neither of them looking fazed by my outburst. I walk to the middle of the room, arms still crossed as the three look to me. "Mum, you actually accused him of raping me."

"Shay, enough with the language." My mother gasps.

I throw my hands up in the air and fall into the sofa, breathing heavily. Just speaking with my parents is exhausting. I don't know how I lived with them for eighteen years of my life. "I apologize for my daughter's behavior."

"No need." Harry says with a bit of attitude, dropping down on the sofa next to me. He places his hand on my upper back and begins to rub in circles, trying to calm me down. "Maybe we should go." He utters to me, but I simply shake my head.

We came here for a reason.

"I suppose if you're here, you must have something important to discuss." My father's voice is deep and cuts through us all like a knife.

I bring my head out of my hands and nod my head slowly, watching as the married couple takes a delicate seat on the couch across from us. They join hands together and peer at each other before drawing their attention back to me. "Very well, continue."

"First off, I would like to speak without being interrupted, so if you two will keep your comments to yourselves during the next few moments it would be very helpful."

I pause for a moment, my eyes searching theirs' for any sign of an answer. When they both nod hastily I take that as my cue to continue.

"Three months ago I was raped and after it happened I went to back to Harry's home for help." I start of by saying. I can tell my mother is holding back words, but she does well and bites her tongue. "I was not lying to you about that, nor would I ever. You seem not to have believed me at the time, like I was calling wolf, but I wasn't. You can even ask Harry." I say, motioning to my side.

"It's true." Harry's words are low and I hate that he has to agree with my story. "She came to me after it happened and I brought her to the hospital."

I watch my parents' expressions, hoping that his words would gather some sort of emotion; but alas, nothing but blank stares.

"After I was released from the hospital and after my stop here, I went home. I was struggling. I wasn't eating properly, I was sick to my stomach, and I was scared for my life!" Tears brim my eyes, but I blink them back.

"Neither of you even reached out to me. Mum, you did, but you only wanted to move past the fight and forget all about it. There was no way that you were going to be there for me. No one was there for me, except Harry." I say, glancing to Harry as he takes my hand and rests them both against his knee. "I've been living with Harry, my boyfriend, for around two months because I could not handle fending for myself or living on my own anymore." I look to Harry beside me. His eyes are on me whilst he listens in silence. "He's a wonderful boyfriend and does everything in his power to protect me, make me happy, and he loves me." I hear my mother scoff and as much as I want to ignore it, I can't. "What?"

"What do you know about love?" She asks accusingly, her eyes wonder to our joined hands.

I laugh to myself and shake my head at her.

"What do you know? You and dad were an arranged marriage. You met days before your wedding, that's not love."

"We learned to love each other."

"After what, huh? After accidently getting pregnant with me?" I shoot back, my mother's jaw dropping. "That's right, I know."

When I was nine, my grandmother had come over for afternoon tea with my mother. They sat in the sunroom, gossiping like ladies out for a day of fun. I sat back, hiding from my nanny, who wanted me to do my lessons. I hated that nanny and everything my parents forced her to teach me and entertain me with. My fun came in the source of hiding from her.

That day I overheard my mother speaking with my grandmother about how I was an accident, unplanned. My grandmother had the decency to say something no grandmother should ever say about her grandchild.

"I cannot believe you kept her Libby, that mistake of a child. I told you she would have been better off on the streets, or rather dead. She's grown to a reckless child, misbehaving about and causing trouble wherever she goes."

"Mother, you know I could not do that to Andrew. We've been through this. Plus, I hate to admit it, but she brought my Andrew and I together."

"Was it worth it, my dear?"

"I don't know. I'm trying my best with her."

"I saw her earlier playing with those stingy dolls. Children her age are not to be playing with dolls, they are to be focusing on their lessons and learning to act like a lady."

"Nine more years of nannies, balls, and gowns and she won't be my problem anymore. What's a doll or two?"

"But I learned to love you as well."

"Bullshit." I exhale deeply and continue. "Harry cares for me more than you have in the past, and I've only known him for around four years." I spit. "I don't even know why I came here, to be honest. Maybe I wanted to do the right thing or maybe I just thought that this could be a second chance for us. I don't know."

"Why are you here then?" My mother breathes out, hurt etched across her features.

I don't know what I've said in the last minute that could possibly have offended her.

"I'm here because you're my mother and you're my father." I say, looking between my parents. "Whether you like it or not I am your daughter. I wanted to see my parents one last time, get a feel for what parenthood should not look or be like. I wanted to have a mental picture in my head of what I'm not going to do as a parent." I pause, sighing heavily as I grip Harry's hand in mine. "Because I'm pregnant."

The gasp that leaves my mother's mouth is a mix between a soft gasp and an all out screech. Her eyes have doubled in size and her hand is now covering her mouth. There are tears in her eyes, but I don't know whether they are out of sadness, anger towards me, or pity. My father, on the other hand, sits silently. His eyes are trained on my stomach that I keep a protective hand over.

"You're pregnant?" My father wonders aloud. I nod my head slowly, to which he shakes his head. "Nonsense, there must be some mistake." I clench my jaw and grab my bag from beside me.

Digging through it a bit I come out with a handful of ultrasound pictures, which I toss onto the glass coffee table between us.

"Does this look like a mistake to you?" I question. Harry scoots a bit closer to me and pulls me towards him with his arm protectively around my shoulders. "We just came from the hospital, my thirteen-week ultrasound to be precise. What with the morning sickness, bloating, and any other pregnancy symptoms, I'm pretty positive this isn't a mistake."

My parents take in the photographs in the coffee table whilst I lean back into Harry's firm side for comfort.

"Your mistake of getting knocked up is none of our business. We will not have it." My mother seethes, standing and throwing the ultrasound photos in my lap. I gasp and stuff them protectively back into my handbag. "I will not stand by you. If you want any relationship with us from now on you will get rid of it."

"How dare you talk to her that way! How dare you talk about our baby in that way." Harry exclaims, his hold on me tightening. My head snaps in his direction, our baby.

"Well at least she isn't blaming this whole ordeal on that drunken night three months ago!"

That's when I officially snapped.

"For the last fucking time, I was not drunk that night!" I scream, standing to my feet. "This was your one and only chance at ever getting to have a relationship with my," I glance down at Harry, my chest heaving up and down erratically, "our baby. You've blown it completely!" Harry stands to his feet and takes me by the shoulders, trying to pull me towards the exit. I fight him. "If you ever think about coming near our child or myself I won't hesitate to call the police, do you hear me?" I scream.

Harry snakes a hand around my waist and tugs me lightly for the door.

I scream one last time out of anger before wiggling out of Harry's grasp and stomping towards the door. I fling it open angrily and storm out, going straight for Harry's car. I climb in and slam the door shut, putting my seatbelt on quickly. I scream one last time before taking a deep breath and sitting back in my seat. I close my eyes, focusing on the weight that's been lifted from my chest.

"Shay, are you okay?"

I find myself smiling lightly at Harry's question as he starts the vehicle and pulls out of the spot. When I open my eyes all the anger that had flooded my system seems to have vanished and I feel nothing other than relief and a bit of happiness.

"I've honestly never been better." I admit with a smile. "I should be crying or screaming still but I just can't believe I've finally cut my ties with them." I laugh lightly and look over to Harry, who looks a bit shocked. "Harry, I'm free. I'm finally free."

With a glance at my bloated stomach, I put my hand to it and sigh heavily. "We're free."


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