23. He Meets Your Child From Aprvoius Relationship

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NIALL:  “How do you feel about kids?” you blurt out over dinner on your third date with Niall.  He nearly chokes on his mouthful of food as he asks awkwardly, “Uh, don’t you think it’s a little soon to be talking about that kinda thing?”  You laugh, waving a hand as you say, “No, no, not like that.  I’m just wondering because, well, I probably should have told you this sooner, but I have a son,” you state, glancing down at your plate as you say it, not wanting to make eye contact.  “Oh…you do?” Niall asks in a bit of disbelief.  Several weeks later, after giving Niall a chance to get used to the idea, and yourself some time to gauge how serious your relationship is, you finally introduce him to your son.  When the doorbell rings, you greet Niall at the door with your son nowhere in sight.  “So, where is he?” Niall asks, looking a bit nervous.  “I’ll go get him,” you excuse yourself, going into your son’s playroom.  Moments later, your three year old comes bounding down the hall ahead of you, stopping dead in his tracks when he sees Niall.  “Hi,” Niall greets with a smile.  “Hi,” your son whispers shyly.  Once he’s taken the time to warm up to Niall, he becomes the little chatter box you know and love, talking Niall’s ear off about all sorts of things until bedtime.  As soon as you’re sure he’s down for the night, you rejoin Niall in the living room.  “He’s great,” Niall states genuinely right off the bat.  “Yeah?” you ask, glad to hear it.  “Yeah.  He seems like a lot of fun.  We’ll have to take him out with us sometime.”  The smile that spreads across your face couldn’t be any wider as you say, “I’d love that.”

LOUIS:  A knock on the door interrupts the pouring of your daughter’s medicine.  “Coming!” you call out, quickly bringing the medicine to your daughter before going for the door.  Grumbling, you swing it open to reveal Louis standing on your step, a large stuffed dog tucked under his arm and a smile plastered across his face.  “Louis?  What are you doing here?  Didn’t you get my message?  I had to cancel tonight because-“  “I got the message,” he cuts you off, stepping past you into the house.  “Then why-“  “I just wanted to drop by, see if you needed an extra pair of hands, and maybe finally meet this little girl of yours?” he asks hopefully.  “I dunno, Lou, she’s feeling pretty crummy right now…” you state, crossing your arms over your chest and perching yourself on the arm of the couch.  “At least let me go in there and give her the dog.  Tell her mummy’s friend has a present for her,” he tries to persuade.  After taking a second to consider it, you sigh and nod, giving in.  He smiles as he follows you into your daughter’s bedroom.  As soon as you enter her room, her little face turns to look at you.  “Someone’s here to see you.  Mommy’s friend brought you over something to help make you feel better,” you tell her.  Louis squats down by the side of her bed and hands her the dog.  “Hi there.  My name’s Louis; I’m friends with your mum and she told me you weren’t feeling good so I brought this over for you,” he explains, handing her the dog, bringing a smile to her face.  “Want me to read you a story while you fall back to sleep?” he offers, receiving a nod from your daughter.  “Oh, you don’t have to do that,” you say quickly, but he just ignores you, moving towards the bookshelf.  “Which one?” he asks your daughter as he scans the options.

LIAM:  “You look great,” Liam compliments you when he picks you up for your date.  “Ready to go?” he asks.  “Sure am,” you agree, stepping out the door and onto the porch.  Just as you go to close the door, you hear your son running down the hallway, shouting, “Mommy!  Mommy, don’t go!”  Your sister, who’s babysitting for you tonight, is following quickly behind him, trying to usher him back to the other room.  “Sorry,” she apologizes.  “Come on, let’s go play.  Mommy will be home before you know it,” she urges, taking the little boy’s hand and attempting to lead him away.  He breaks free from his aunt’s grasp and latches himself onto your leg.  “You have a son.  I didn’t know you had a son,” Liam mentions, surprised.  “I’m sorry I didn’t tell you.  It’s just that things with us are so new, and I wasn’t sure how to bring it up…” you babble, stroking your son’s hair as he remains steadfast to your leg.  Liam squats down to your son’s level and says, “Hi, I’m Liam.”  “Hi,” your son squeaks, still not letting you go.  Liam smiles and looks up at you.  “It’s not too late, would you mind if he joins us for some ice cream?”  “Oh, Liam, that’s ok.  He’ll be fine after a few minutes,” you try to dismiss, but Liam insists.  “I won’t take no for an answer.  So what do you say?” he asks, turning his attention back to your son.  “Wanna come with me and Mummy for some ice cream?”  Your son beams and nods.  “Come on, Mom, let’s go!” he chirps, taking your hand with one of his own and grabbing Liam’s with the other, leading you both towards the driveway and leaving your sister laughing in the living room.

HARRY:  “When am I gonna meet her?” Harry presses through a dimply smile as you two stroll through the park with the cold winter air turning your cheeks and noses pink.  “Soon,” is your simple response.  “That’s what you’ve been saying for the last four months.  Soon never seems to be coming,” he points out goodnaturedly.  “Today,” you humor him, deciding it’s about time he met your little girl.  You and Harry had been together for nearly seven months and things were turning pretty serious.  “Today?  Really?” Harry asks, brightening up like a kid on Christmas morning.  “Yeah, sure.  There’s no reason not to, so you can meet her when my mom brings her back from lunch,” you tell him, still not sounding totally convinced.  “Are you sure you’re ok with it?  I’ll wait as long as you want me to,” he assures you.  “I’m sure.  If we’re gonna keep any kind of relationship going then it’s only fair to you both that you meet and get to know each other.”  Later that afternoon, when your daughter is dropped off, she stops and stares at Harry doe-eyed.  He flashes her a smile and waves to her.  She glances at you and when she sees you smiling and relaxed, she looks back to Harry.  “She looks just like you,” Harry muses, looking between both of you adoringly.  You grin, scooping up your two year old and sitting with her on the couch next to Harry.  After taking the time to warm up to him, she’s soon squirming her way into his lap and babbling to him in her budding broken English.  Harry eats it up, carrying on a conversation with her for nearly ten minutes before she hobbles down and fetches a toy to share with him.  You sit back and watch them interact, smiling happily.

ZAYN:  You’d invited Zayn over for dinner one night to meet your daughter.  He arrives right on time and the three of you sit down to eat and talk.  Your daughter has always been a more quiet and observant type, but she’s more reserved than usual tonight.  “So your mum tells me that you really like your art class at school,” Zayn tries to open up a conversation.  “Yeah,” your six year old grunts, flinging her peas around her plate with her fork.  “I really like to draw cartoons sometimes.  What kind of art do you like to do?” he carries on.  She only shrugs her shoulders, eyes still fixed on the vegetables on her plate.  You clear your throat.  “Why don’t you show Zayn that collage you brought home the other day?” you prompt.  “No thanks.  I don’t want to,” she refuses flatly.  You glance apologetically at Zayn, embarrassed by your daughter’s unusually cold behavior.  After the awkward meal, you pull your daughter aside while Zayn does the dishes he’d offered to clean up for you.  “What’s going on, sweetie?  Why are you acting like this?” you ask her gently, seated next to her on the couch in the living room.  “Because I don’t like him,” she answers curtly.  “Why don’t you like him?”  “Because I don’t want a new dad!” she shouts, storming into her bedroom and slamming the door shut.  You still wear a baffled expression when Zayn enters the room.  “So…this is going well,” he mentions sarcastically.  “This is gonna take a little more effort than I thought,” you say on a sigh.  “I’m gonna go talk to her,” you tell him, getting to your feet.  “I’ll go finish those dishes for you and then let myself out.  I’ll call you tomorrow and we can figure out where to go from here,” he assures you with a smile, planting a kiss on your forehead before you part ways.

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