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.*

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28. ✗ twenty-seven ✗

SHAY

18 June

This morning I had woken up bright and early, before my alarm even, which is a rare occurrence. I'm more likely to sleep through it or hit snooze thirteen times than I am to wake before the alarm. I mean, when you wake in the arms of the man you love it tends to be a bit easier to rise.

I'm still waiting for the perfect time to tell him. We've only really been dating maybe a month, and even I know that it's too soon for those three words to be said. I had pressed a kiss to his cheek before wiggling out of his tight grasp and grabbing my prepared outfit for the day.

Last night was spent packing and eating Chinese take-away and chocolate cake that I had just begged Harry to make. It resulted in the two of us being covering in flour and cocoa powder, but in the end the cake turned out delicious.

After our separate showers, we spent the rest of the evening packing for our three-day trip. We would leave tomorrow and spend the rest of the day on Saturday, all of Sunday and Monday, before driving back to London on Tuesday. I was so excited that I spent the entire night hopping around the room just throwing clothes into my bag.

I had already gotten my hair and makeup and clothes on before Harry had even stirred. He was shocked to say the least; apparently my mood was off putting at first. He thought something was wrong, but of course he just worries too much. And then two hours later we had begun our journey to Holmes Chapel.

The drive so far has been smooth and relaxing. Harry had insisted on me taking a nap on the drive there, that way I won't tire myself out easily. I, of course, ignored his suggestion and have stayed awake thus far. Harry plays the radio and we both sing along, my adequate vocal skills being overshadowed by Harry's amazing abilities. If he weren't the CEO of a very successful business I would peg him as a musician with a passion to travel.

He doesn't even dress like a CEO whenever he's around me. Like today, for instance, he's got on his signature black skinny jeans and a loose fitting button up top, with the top three buttons undone, showing off his toned and tattooed chest; but enough about his clothing style.

"Almost there!" Harry shouts, reaching over and patting my knee. I look up from my phone and gaze around before us. The fields that surround the roads are beautiful under the sun, the grass looking so long and luscious. I just want to run through the meadow and maybe lie on the ground in the warm sun. I shove my phone into my Michael Kors bag and store it by my feet as I begin to mentally prepare myself for this. "Are you excited?"

"Of course I am!" I exclaim, picking his hand up from my knee and intertwining our fingers.

I am very excited to finally meet Harry's family properly. I've met Robin before, but the meeting was short-lived and quite awkward for me. I also can't help to feel incredibly nervous. Harry's family loves him dearly and what if I don't meet their standards? I know they have no say in our relationship, but I would never want to come between Harry and his family. I know they mean too much to him.

"I'm also a little nervous." I admit, giving Harry's palm a squeeze. Harry gives me a sideways glance and I can see his eyes underneath his sunglasses scanning me briefly.

"Why are you nervous?"

"I don't know, maybe because I'm meeting your mum for the first time. What if she doesn't like me?"

I try to play it off cool, acting that I'm just slightly nervous, when actually I'm really freaking nervous. This trip is supposed to be relaxing, yet here I am with my anxiety through the roof.

"She'll love you." He assures me. I look up at his face and smile at the concentration on his lips. He has taken pride in driving me around safely, making sure to keep his eyes on the road at all times. It's sweet. "It's my sister you should be worried about."

The smile falls from my lips as my heart begins beating quickly in my chest. His sister lives in London, so it didn't even occur to me that she would be here this weekend. Surely, he's doing this to mess with me.

"Gemma?" I question, my voice small. Harry smiles and nods, glancing over at me from the road before him.

Gemma's here this weekend? I've only slightly prepared myself to meet his mum and Robin. I had not planned for Gemma. Oh God.

He sees the look on my face and loses his smile as well. "Your sister is here?"

"Hey," He coos, squeezing my hand, "relax Shay, I was just messing with you about being worried. Gemma's here but she's going to love you too." He says. "You're practically best friends already. You have some of the same interests and such, you'll be fine, love. I guess I just said that because she's never approved of any of my past relationships. But she had a reason too, they were all shite, nothing but awful compared to you." His words do little to console me, but I nod my head anyways.

I can do this. I work as Harry's assistant, I basically work to please people and meting new people is in the job description. He's right; I should relax.

"Gemma's only staying until Monday. She's got work on Tuesday."

"Okay, I just wish you would have told me."

"Love, relax." I sigh and pick up Harry's hand, bringing it to my lips.

"I like it when you call me that."

"What? Love?" I nod and smile a bit larger. Harry brings my hand up to his lips and presses kisses to the back of it. "Alright, then I'll call you it more often."

"I'd love that." I tease. I laugh lightly, earning a grin from Harry as he sets our hands down on my lap, his focus going back to the road.

"You look very beautiful today, did I tell you that?" He says, changing the subject.

My cheeks grow hot as I glance down at my outfit. I'm wearing my favorite pink dress from TopShop. I bought it a while back, but I don't get to wear it often. I find it too revealing for work, even though it's not really revealing at all. In the business world there's this unspoken dress code for women either: professional dresses, skirts, blouses, or trousers.

"Thank you. I love this dress, but I don't have a lot of excuses to wear it." I say, playing with the hem lightly.

"Wear it to work." He suggests and I just shake my head with a heavy sigh as I play with the rings on his slender fingers.

"I don't really think it's work appropriate."

Harry glances at me again, doing a double take on my outfit. His eyes scan me quickly from underneath his sunnies, bringing the heat back up to my lips. I feel very self-conscious every time he truly looks at me, actually every time he looks at me.

"I think it's definitely work appropriate." I roll my eyes and shove him lightly.

"You're just saying that because you're thinking like my boyfriend not my boss."

"Can't I think like both?" I shrug and try to fight the smile on my lips. Harry can say anything in the world to me, probably even an insult, and I would still probably be smiling. I don't think there's anything he could ever do to make me angry with him. "I think if you wore it with a blazer and some of those cute shoes that you own, it would totally be work appropriate." I sigh and shrug, maybe he does have a point.

"Well, it doesn't matter anyways. I only have maybe another month if I'm lucky to wear this, then I won't be able to fit in this dress, or any of my other clothes."

Until recently, the thought of not fitting in any of my clothes hadn't crossed my mind. Actually the fact that I'm pregnant alone still hasn't really hit me, I don't think it will until I start showing and I feel the baby begin to move. It seems silly though, to be worried about not fitting into your clothes.

"Then I'll buy you an entirely new wardrobe of clothes that fit you perfectly." I laugh and roll my eyes, a thought coming to mind at the mention of not being able to fit in my clothes. I lose the smile from my lips and clear my throat as I gaze outside the car.

"Do they know about the baby?" I ask, not sure of how I'd like the answer.

If he already told them then there's nothing really to worry about, right? I mean they know and they'll judge, but that's it. But if they don't know then I should have nothing to worry about, besides trying to figure out when during the trip to tell them. Do I even have to tell them?

"No, all they know is that I'm bringing my girlfriend with me, to which news they were ecstatic." I smile largely and continue to stare out of the windshield as we started to drive towards the main road through a small town. "Besides, we still have time before we have to tell them. I'm not going to say anything until you're ready." I smile and nod.

"Thank you."

My eyes meet with the scenery around me and I can't help but smile.

I've never lived anywhere aside from London, so I'm not used to the small village life. I quite like it though, it's quaint. Everyone is walking with smiles on their lips and they talk to others on the street as if they're family. The buildings are beautifully built, storefronts open and inviting for anyone to step foot in. Maybe I can convince Harry to bring me here to shop; I'd love to get something homemade for the house.

"Do you see that bakery coming up on over here?" Harry questions, pointing outside his window towards a cream two-story building. It's not connected to any other building around it and has a nice sized car park at the side. The windows in the storefront are very big and showcase baskets of bread and other delicious treats and sweets.

"Yes." I answer once I've gotten a good look.

"I actually used to work there."

My jaw drops as I place my eyes on it again. We slowly pass the building, my eyes never leaving it until it was out of sight. I don't know why I never pictured Harry working anywhere other than the company. I just can't picture him not wearing a suit to work I guess.

"No way, you're lying." Harry's jaw drops as he glances over towards me.

"I am not. It was my first job; I got it when I was fourteen. My father wanted me to experience work and the bakery just so happened to be hiring. My father was a bit weary of it at first, but unless I moved out to London with him it was either the bakery or nothing." Sometimes I forget his parents were divorced before his dad died. I always just picture Harry coming from a happy little family, something completely different from me. "It was nice though."

"You're like the baker from Into the Woods!" I exclaim with a loud laugh. Into the Woods is one of my all time favorite musicals. A lot of people didn't know of it until the movie came out last year, and I have to say I wasn't disappointed in the production of it. I quite liked the movie. "Oh my God, you are!" Harry laughs along with me, apparently seeing my reaction funny. I don't think I've ever been this excited about something in front of him before.

"But you already have a baby." Harry remarks, raising an eyebrow. I roll my eyes and squeeze his hand.

"I guess you've got a point."

"Hey, another plus, I also got to work with old ladies whilst there."

"Harry!" I scold, knocking him in the shoulder with my fist. He yelps at the sudden contact, quickly catching my hand after it had made contact before laughing loudly. "I bet you miss those old ladies." I can see he's trying his best to hide a smile. His teeth are sunk into his bottom lip and the corners of his lips are trying to quirk upward. "Come on, admit it. Admit you miss the old ladies."

"Alright, alright." He says, holding up his hand so that I stop pestering him. "I miss them." I spin back around in my seat so I'm sitting forward again and grin at my accomplishment.

"Maybe you could introduce them to me sometime."

"You would want to meet my old coworkers?" I quickly nod and send Harry a smile as he turns off onto a side road. I can tell we're heading just out of the town towards the more residential portion.

"I bet they have loads of stories!"

"Between Louis and my mum, you will not need anymore stories of my childhood."

I pout my lip and lean across the center console. Harry turns onto another road and tries to keep his eyes off me, though I know he's clearly losing the battle.

"Oh please! Please, Harry. I would enjoy nothing more than to sit for hours in that bakery, drinking tea and eating pastries with old ladies as they spill all of your dark secrets and embarrassing work stories." I plead, pouting my lip out further. Harry slides his hand out of mine and places it beside his eyes so that he cannot possibly see me. "Harry, I know you want to look at me. Don't make this harder than it needs to-"

"Oh look!" He exclaims, causing me to jump. "We're here!" My eyes slowly peel from Harry as he cuts the ignition of the car and rests back comfortably in his seat, completely by passing my teasing.

My eyes meet the front of a cute home that's painted all white with black shutters around the windows and a black door. There's many flowers planted out in the garden before the home, sprouting colourfully in the springtime. The grass is perfectly green, like something out of a picture book, and there's trees off at the sides of the home; their green leaves shaking in the breeze.

I find myself taking deep breaths as we sit in perfect silence. Our playful banter had succeeded in distracting me from my nerves, but now the banter is over and the worry is back.

"Come on." Harry says happily, patting my knee once before unbuckling his seatbelt and ultimately hopping out of the vehicle. I find myself frozen in place, staring in the direction Harry had just disappeared in.

Why can't I move? Why am I so nervous?

"Are you okay up there?" I jump and spin around in my seat, seeing Harry standing at the back with the boot door open. He's lifting our suitcases out of the back and setting them beside his long legs.

"Um, yeah. I was just making sure I don't leave anything in the car." I lie as I unbuckle my own belt.

Come on Shay; pull yourself together. There is absolutely nothing you should be nervous about. It's just Harry's mum, his stepdad, and his sister, not the damn Queen of England.

I open the door and slowly hop out of the car as Harry walks up beside me, wheeling both our suitcases behind him.

"Ready?"

No.

"Yep." I squeak out as he passes ahead of me and motions for me to follow in his direction. I clutch my bag to my body and slowly slide my sunglasses off my eyes and into the bag as we approach the door.

My hands seem to be slightly shaking at the possibility of Harry's family hating me, but I push the thought deep into the depths of my mind. Now is the time to grow a pair and act like the capable, mature adult that I am.

Harry's fist meets the material of the door as he knocks loudly, glancing down at me with a large smile on his lips. I mimic the smile and shift my gaze to the ground. I didn't want him to know just how nervous I am, that will only make Harry feel bad.

I am to play it cool and hide all negative emotion from him. I can do this. I am Shay fucking Nichols of London, England, assistant to CEO Harry Styles of Styles Incorporated. I can do anything I set my mind to and my mind is set to meet Harry's family.

"Harry!"

Oh boy!

A woman a bit taller than I with gorgeous looks and lovely brown hair is standing in the open doorway. Her jaw is dropped and a small squeal leaves her lip-glossed lips. I can totally see where Harry gets his looks from, his mum a split image and a beautiful woman at that. I should probably be more prepared for her beauty with all the photographs that Harry keeps in his office and around his home, but I'm not. I'm used to the beauty that my mother put on, by caking her face with makeup, but Harry's mum wears little makeup.

"Mummy!" He shouts, sounding like a small child.

His hands untangle themselves from the suitcases before wrapping around the woman and hugging her close. Her chin rests on his shoulder and her eyes are closed, but there's still the biggest smile I've ever seen on her lips.

Is this what it's like to have a mother who loves you? I don't even remember the last time that I properly hugged my mother; it must be years.

"How are you? Are you well?" She asks once the two detach. Harry laughs and I can see him roll his eyes from underneath his dark shades. "Son, take those off so I can see your beautiful eyes." She is right about his eyes, they are magnificent.

"Nice to see you too, mum." He grumbles, sliding the sunglasses off of his face and tucked them onto his shirt. He takes a step back from her, so that he's beside me again, and places his hand on the small of my back. I take a deep breath and smile over at the woman who raised the kindest man in the world. "Mum, I'd like you to meet Shay Nichols, my girlf-"

"Oh my goodness me, you are even prettier than he described you!" She exclaims, cutting Harry off mid-sentence and wrapping her arms around me.

I hug her back, slightly startled by her demeanor towards me. Here I was thinking she'd simply shake my hand and introduce herself kindly. I glance over towards Harry, who is smiling over at us. Harry's mum gasps again from over my shoulder and pulls away, keeping her hands on my shoulders. Her eyes scan my entire face before scanning my body and then turns to her son. "Harry, you didn't mention that you're dating your assistant!"

"Mum." I find myself laughing lightly at his embarrassment. I knew he talked to his family about me, clearly a lot if Robin brought it up to me during our first meeting. "Of course it's Shay my assistant." He whines, his cheeks adorably red in colour. "I don't know more than one, nor would I want to." I roll my eyes playfully.

"Oh shush." She scolds, giving my shoulders a squeeze before entirely pulling herself from me. "Well, Shay you can call me Anne, please come inside. I know Gemma and Robin would love to meet you as well."

Maybe this isn't going to be so bad.

"Thank you so much Anne." I say, taking a step in the house. I move out of the way for Harry to enter and once he does Anne immediately takes my hand.

"Harry, dear, why don't you take the bags up to your old room whilst I take Shay and introduce her to Robin and your sister." I gulp lightly and glance back at Harry, who's struggling with the bags.

I didn't really want him to leave me alone with them. What if I mess something up or say the wrong thing? Harry looks back at me, reading the nervous look on my face.

"Mum, I'd like to introduce her to-"

"Nonsense, take the bags."

He huffs and rolls his eyes before having the emerald beauties land on me. Anne begins to walk down the hall, shouting to Gemma and Robin, giving me a moment to speak with Harry.

"She's just excited." I try and explain. He pouts and shakes his head, looking beyond me to where his mother is waiting with a smile on her lips. I knew she's listening so I didn't want to say something about my nerves. The only person I will admit to about being weak is Harry and Harry only. "Go take the bags." Harry huffs again before leaning down and pressing a quick kiss to my cheek.

"You got it, love." I smile and find myself relaxing at the nickname. I really do love when he calls me that.

I turn and join Anne at the end of the hallway. She sends me a big smile before turning towards the doorway and calling out to Robin and Gemma. As soon as I turn the corner into the room, I feel very nervous again though.

Gemma is very beautiful and the first to run up to me. She squeals lightly before hugging me tightly and rocking me back and forth. I stiffen, figuring that she'd be hard to please because of what Harry said, but she seems just like her mum.

"Shay it is so nice to finally meet you!" She exclaims, pulling away and looking me dead in the eyes. I smile back at her, not being able to get over her beauty. "Harry has told us so much about you, so much in fact that I feel as if I already know you." I laugh and shake my head, imagining Harry talk about me to his family.

"Well, it's a pleasure to meet you too." I send her a small smile before looking to Robin. He smiles over at me warmly and adjusts the glances on the bridge of his nose. He approaches me and outstretches his hand. I shake it firmly, enjoying the comfort of a good handshake. I'm good at them, what can I say?

"Hello again Shay."

"Hello to you too." I reply.

We all fall into a very uncomfortable silence and I'm thankful when Harry bursts into the room. His hand immediately finds the small of my back and I feel comfortable again. I watch silently as Harry greets his sister and stepfather, giving them both hugs and chatting briefly with them before returning to me. Anne claps her hands together and smiles at all of us before motioning out of the room.

"Shall we eat?" 

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