Chapter 1

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6 months post-diagnosis

"Ni Ni, time to wake up."


"Come on Ni Ni, let's go." I'm lifted from my new and improved bunk carefully with a pout on my face. I keep my eyes closed in protest but can tell it is Liam who has gotten me up. I feel him bend down and then I am given blankie and my pacifier. I begin sucking immediately, tuck blankie to my chest and rest my head on his shoulder.

We walk the short distance to the bus kitchen and before long; I am placed and strapped in my chair, with the tray locked in place. I rest my head on blankie on top of the tray while Liam bangs around making breakfast.

Soon, I feel a kiss on my head and hear Louis. "Morning pumpkin, you still tired?"


Louis quickly walks off to help Liam, realizing I'm not in a mood to talk.

Next is Zayn. I know because I feel his warm hand rubbing my lower back. Then I feel him kiss my forehead while pushing back my hair. Then he walks off and leaves me in peace. Zayn knows better than to mess with me when I'm in one of my moods.

Last is Harry. I know because everyone else is already up and has said good morning. It's also because he says the same thing every morning. "Hi ya baby. How'd you sleep?"

"Nigh," is my answer because I'm still really sleepy.

Before long Liam sets fresh cut fruit and cheerios in front of me. It's rare, but there are mornings that I'm uninterested in eating and food and doing much besides sleeping. Today is one of these days.

Harry takes blankie and my pacifier like always. I don't protest it, as that will get corner time, but I definitely don't like it. I sit up before being scolded and wait. I wait patiently and quietly while the others eat. I know that once they are done, I will get to play, but I plan to sleep today.

"Niall, sweetheart, are you okay? You haven't touched your food." Zayn points out which has all the boys turning to look at me.

"Ni, you need to eat," Liam is trying to be patient but I know he is displeased.

"Not hungry." I tell them and gently slide the bowl to the edge of the tray.

"Awe pumpkin. Does your tummy hurt?" Louis asks kindly.

"Not hungry." I try explaining again.

"Ni, you need to-"

"Are you thirsty baby?" Harry cuts Liam off, knowing it's probably one of those days.

I nod shyly. Sometimes I just don't feel like eating, but a baba is always nice. "Baba please?" I ask.

"Awe sweetheart. Come here. We'll get you a bottle." Zayn gets me from the seat and sits on the couch with me in his lap. I cuddle into him while Harry brings over my warm baba.

I make grabby hands and am granted the baba. Zayn tucks blankie into my arms, under my chin the way I like it, and puts my pacifier off to the side for when I'm done. Zayn also takes a hold of the baba, and tilts it for me to suck on. I let my eyes droop closed and drift slowly to sleep.

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