Solace ~ h.s.

If he weren't there... I don't know what would have happened.

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41. ⪻ 41 ⪼

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“I don’t want you to go.”

When Edward was younger and I was still at university and living with my ex, I would come visit home every few weekends. Being an ace big sister was important to me, and still is, but especially with him at such a young age. That being said, every Sunday evening when I would be making my way out the door to go back to Manchester, Edward would begin to cry.

The poor boy would have a fit about my leaving, part of him not believing I’d come back, even though we both knew I would. There would be many tears shed and lots of screaming on his part. My departure time of four in the afternoon would turn into five, then six, and then so on.

He always had a hard time letting go and I should have known today would be no different.

“It’s only for the weekend, Edward, and I promise to call every night before bed.” I assure him, bending down to be his height as we stand in the midst of Anne’s lounge.

She promised she’d keep a close eye on Edward whilst Harry and I went to Inverness for the weekend. Apparently Harry had given his mother more of a heads up than I, but I was thankfully she was up to the job.

“I’ll even bring you a souvenir if you’d like. Would you like that?” Edward doesn’t answer, instead continues to look gloomy and exhausted. Then again, we haven’t gone more than twenty-four hours without seeing each other since the accident and it is five in the morning, so he’s entitled to being extra gloomy and tired. Harry wanted to get a head start on our travel to Scotland.

“Please don’t go.” He begs me, pouting his bottom lip out. He always did have a really great sad puppy face that could make me do practically anything at his beck and call.

“Babe, it’s only for a few days. And in the meantime, you’ll have so much fun with Anne.” I tell him, glancing towards the kitchen where Harry and his mum are sharing a chat whilst I say my goodbyes with Edward.

When my eyes settle back on Edward, he’s allowed a couple tears to fall down his cheeks causing my heart to ache. I’ve never been good with children crying; it only makes my tear ducts well with clear liquid.

“What’s with the tears? What’s wrong?” I wonder, reaching across the space between us to wipe the falling tears away with my thumbs. His tears turn into cries as his attention is diverted towards the floor, as if ashamed to be crying.

“I don’t want you to leave.” His voice has risen an octave in volume and it’s gained the attention of the mother and son in the other room. Thankfully, they’re kind enough to give us our privacy so I can calm him down before handing him off.

Suddenly, the reason for his tears and pouting over the last couple days clicks in my head.

“Are you scared I won’t come back?” I ask Edward in a low tone, placing my finger under his chin to raise his head to look at me. With a subtle nod, my suspicions are confirmed. “Awe baby, I’ll always come back to you. You can’t get rid of me that easily.” I tell the boy, continuing to wipe the tears off his face.

“Listen, I wouldn’t be going if it weren’t absolutely necessary and I would bring you along if I could, but I just can’t buddy. I don’t want to leave you here, I never want to be far away from you, but I have to do what I have to do.” That only makes him cry harder and I feel like cursing at myself for possibly saying the wrong thing. “It’s three days, I’ll be home in no time.”

I don’t want to blatantly promise the small boy that I’ll come back and it’s not because I have intentions on not returning, because I do. It’s just that in these past months I’ve come to realize that promises like that can be broken.

What if our parents had promised to be with us forever, before the crash? That promise would have broken and it would have ruined Edward, and I.

“Do you promise you’ll call every night before bed?” Edward asks me, still crying those desperate tears to get me to stay.

“Of course, right before Anne tucks you in. Did you know that you get to stay in Harry’s childhood bedroom? You’ll be just like him.” Edward doesn’t appear to find that trivia very fun in a time like now, only yawning in response. “Come on buddy, it’s quite early. I think you should go back to sleep or you’ll be worn out later.”

“Annie, but -”

“I overheard Anne that she’s taking you for an adventure later today!” The fun fact is my ploy at trying to get Edward to stop crying and hopefully prevent a bit of a strop.

“I still don’t want you to go!”

Now we’ve fully surpassed the big tears and gone straight into the proper strop that I saw coming. Within seconds Edward’s arms are thrown around my shoulders, almost causing me to fall back onto my bum. I hug Edward back, feeling my throat tightening during my fight for keeping my tears at bay.

“I know baby, I know.”

“Don’t leave me!” He wails, clinging onto me for dear life as I stand to my full height. I shush him and hug him closely to me as his little legs snake around me to hold me to him.

Through my shushes for Edward to stop crying, I see Anne and Harry entering the room. I mouth a sorry in their direction, not quite anticipating the extent of Edward’s behaviour. Harry gives me a sad smile before looking down at his watch.

I know we have to leave soon or we’ll miss our flight.

“Edward, buddy, you have to let me go.” I tell him, trying my best to pry the small boy off of me, but he only wails louder. I look over Edward’s body to Harry, sending him a pleading look. I know I want last long with Edward before I’m calling off the entire weekend holiday.

“Buddy,” Harry says in a calm tone as I place a couple kisses to Edward’s face, “can I talk to you about some big boy things?” Harry asks as he’s prying Edward out of my arms and into his own arms.

Before Edward has time to throw a gigantic fit for being out of my arms, Harry is already jogging two steps a time up to the second level of the house to calm Edward down. My prayers are with Harry in a time like now, as Edward’s tears can be quite convincing.

“I’m sorry.” I say to Anne as soon as we’re alone and Edward’s out of earshot. “He’s never done that before.”Anne shakes her head smiling over at me whilst a small laugh escapes her lips.

“Nonsense. When Harry was his age, he was much, much worse than Edward. Every time I left the house there were tears shed.” Anne admits, causing me to laugh a bit at just the thought of a small Harry throwing a tantrum.

“I don’t doubt that.”

“Separation anxiety is common with kids his age who have been through a lot.” Anne assures me, walking over to me and wrapping an arm around my waist to pull me close as the topic takes slightly a serious turn.

“What was Harry’s excuse?”

“His father and I were finalizing our divorce about that time and he was sure that his father was never coming back when he moved out. Of course, that wasn’t true. We shared custody but Harry and his sister mainly lived with me. He just had a hard time being separated from the two of us.”

“That’s understandable.”

“Now, how are you feeling?” Anne wonders as the both of us take a seat on her sofa.

“I don’t really want to leave him, so I’m struggling a bit.”

“Well, I know that, love.” I chuckle lightly, knowing that those feelings were completely obvious. “I meant about meeting your birth parents this weekend.”

I’d only been given a few days notice of our weekend holiday to Scotland, giving me little time to actually prepare myself. The night Harry told me was when I was most repulsed by the idea, merely out of shock that we were actually going. Otherwise I’ve been incredibly nervous, a tad excited, and left wondering how everything will go down.

“Harry told you about that?”

I know Harry and his mum are close, the two often messaging back and forth when Harry’s not bothering me. I just wasn’t aware that he had told of her the entire extent of my parental situation as is.

“He tells me everything.” Anne says with a chuckle, causing me to laugh as well.

“Well, we don’t really have a lot to go off of, only an address of my mother’s home that Harry somehow dug up. Part of me doesn’t want to get my hopes up on the off chance that something goes wrong, but the other part of me can’t help but be excited. I’m mainly nervous.”

I am worried about everything that can go wrong this weekend, which is putting me off slightly. There’s the chance that my mother, and father, no longer live at that address; there’s the chance that we’ve found the wrong Grace Reid; there’s a lot of factors that can go wrong.

“There’s nothing to be nervous about, dear. You’re a wonderful girl; they’ll love you.” And that was another factor I was a bit worried about. I was worried about the fact that my birth parents wouldn’t like me, for many stupid reasons.

“Ready?” Harry’s deep rasp of a voice, pulls me out of my conversation with his mother.

He’s no longer holding a crying five year old, now standing alone by the bottom of the stairs with a small smile on his lips. I’m shocked out how well he got Edward to calm down, in the past it’s taken much longer than that.

“Let me just say goodbye to Edward.” I tell Harry as I stand to my feet and make my way towards him.

“He kind of cried himself to sleep.” Smiling sadly, I pat Harry on the shoulder and make my way upstairs quietly. I don’t want to wake Edward up or Harry and I will really never leave this house.

Tiptoeing into Harry’s childhood bedroom, I find Edward fast asleep in the centre of the double bed, curled up in a ball under the duvet. With quiet feet, I walk over to Edward, taking a seat on the side of the bed to lean down and press a quick kiss to his forehead. Telling him I love you, I sneak out of the room and make my way back down to Harry and Anne.

“Okay, I’m set.”

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