Home > Until Harry(13)

Until Harry(13)
Author: L.A. Casey

“I wish I could have done something,” I whispered.

My father kissed my head. “Don’t we all, honey?”

I leaned my head back and stared up at the starlit sky, watching my breath turn to fog when I exhaled. It was cold as ice outside, but for the life of me I couldn’t feel it. My body was just as numb as my heart.

“You can do something now.”

I looked at my father when he spoke and said, “It’s been years; what can I possibly do for him?”

“Just being there for him will help him. You have no idea how much he worships you, Lane.”

I licked my dry lips. “He idolises a girl from his past, Dad, but I’m not the same Lane he, or any of you, knew. She’s gone,” I whispered, my voice tight with emotion. “I’ve changed so much that I don’t even recognise myself anymore.”

My father hooked his arm around my shoulder and tugged me against him. “You need to be here just as much as we need to have you here, Lane. You can find yourself again and possibly help Kale find peace in the process.”

I exhaled a deep breath and looked up at my father’s lined face. “That’s a lot to achieve in a short amount of time.”

He winked. “Your Uncle Harry believed that you would achieve great things. I trust in his judgement, and I trust in you. You can do anything you set your mind to, my love.”

A lump formed in my throat.

“You’re making wanting to run away again very difficult to do.”

“Good,” my father swiftly replied. “The time for running away is over. It’s time now to face things head on.”

Damn him.

I sighed. “I feel like you would be good in any pep talk-related situation.”

My father grinned. “It may be my calling, but I’m retired now. I’ll have a crack at it in my next lifetime.”

I laughed and threw my arms back around my father, hugging him tightly.

“I love you, Dad.”

“I love you too, sweetheart,” he replied, and kissed the crown of my head.

We were quiet for a few moments, and then we separated.

“Do you want to visit Lavender while we’re here?” my father quietly asked me.

You’ll never be without me, Lane Edwards; we’ll be best friends forever. I shook my head and shook her voice away.

“I’m going to spend time with her on Monday when not many people will be here.”

My father nodded and extended his hand to me. “Let’s go home, darling.”

With a lump in my throat, I placed my hand in my father’s and held on for dear life, knowing that eventually I would have to let go, no matter how much I didn’t want to. Together, we walked hand in hand back to my parents’ house. When we entered through the front door, we were met with silence.

“Stay here tonight.”

I hesitated in replying to my father, so he quickly said, “Just for tonight. Spend our last night with Harry here with us.”

When he put it like that, there was no question about where I would be sleeping.

“Is there a bed in my room still?” I questioned.

My father lifted a brow. “Your room is still the same way it was when you left.”

I blinked. “It is?”

My father tilted his head to the side as he scanned me with his eyes. “Why wouldn’t it be?” he asked.

I shrugged. “I thought you might convert it into something else.”

He snorted. “Like what?”

I glanced to his gut. “Not a gym, obviously.”

He reached out and clipped me around the ear, making me laugh. “Cheeky mare,” he chuckled.

I smiled and replied lightly, “I’m only teasing, but I did think you would change it to storage or something like that.”

My father shook his head. “We would never do that. Your brothers’ room is still the same as it has always been. They both often drop in and sleep here. We left yours the same way for the same reason.”

They hoped I would drop in and sleep here. I wondered how long my mother and father had prayed for that. Before I started crying once again, I leaned into my father and gave him one last hug before I went into the parlour, where I found my mother and nanny both asleep on the sofa across from Harry. I stared at the two most important women in my life, and I made a silent vow to always be there for them, no matter the cost.

They had lost a son and a brother; I wouldn’t add a daughter and granddaughter to that list.

I took the blanket from the back of the sofa and placed it over the pair of them, kissing their foreheads while doing so. “I love you both so much,” I whispered.

I stood up and turned to my Uncle Harry, and without hesitation tears filled and spilled from my eyes. “Tomorrow is going to be the worst day of my life,” I murmured to him. “I thought the worst day happened years ago, but you leaving us trumps that.”

Like before, I was expecting a reply, and when it didn’t come, my heart ached.

“Goodnight, Uncle Harry,” I sniffled. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

I ignored the voice in my head that cruelly whispered, For the last time.

I kissed my uncle’s head and then quietly slipped out of the room and went upstairs to my old bedroom. I placed my hands on the newly sanded and varnished banister, feeling its smoothness as my hand glided over the polished wood. I shook my head when I stepped onto the landing and the floorboard just before the bathroom creaked loudly.

That bloody step is a curse, I silently mused. It ratted me out when I was younger and would sneak downstairs for late-night snacks.

I passed by the bathroom and my father’s office before I came to the familiar door of my old bedroom. I reached out and ran my fingers over the sign I’d proudly hung when I was thirteen.




I’d been such a little hellcat.

I chuckled and reached for the handle of my door, and chuckled even more when I heard it creak loudly as I pushed it open. I shook my head. Out of everything that has been fixed in this house, they couldn’t have fixed my bedroom door after all of these years?

I reached to the left wall, felt for the light switch and flipped it. I blinked rapidly against the harshness of the light, but my eyes quickly adjusted and began to scan around the room.

It was the same, and only a little different.

There were bed sheets on my bed that I’d never seen before and curtains that were definitely new to the room. Apart from that, things looked untouched. My mother must have put everything back where she’d found it after she did her rounds of cleaning, because it looked like I’d never left, with the exception of it being a lot cleaner than it ever was when I’d lived here.

I looked down to my attire and frowned. My suitcase was back at the hotel, housing my only pair of pyjamas and fresh change of underwear. I looked over to my dresser and curiously walked forward, opening the first drawer. I didn’t know why, but I wasn’t surprised when I found new packets of underwear lining the wood. I opened the other drawers and found new, plain T-shirts, jeans, leggings, jumpers – you name it; it was stocked in the drawers.

I didn’t think my mother would have had the time to do this kind of a shopping haul over the last few days, which could only mean she had been stocking up on new items of clothing for me over the years. She either hoped I would come home, or she knew I would.

It was clear that though the clothes had never been worn, they had been washed a few times and even ironed, which made me feel like an even bigger piece of shit. Washing them, cleaning and preserving my room was her own way of dealing with me being gone.

I opened a packet of underwear and picked out a pair of plain white booty shorts before opening the fourth drawer and taking out a set of adult-sized Pokémon pyjamas that made me laugh. I’ve always had an embarrassing obsession with Pokémon that only my mother got; her sense of humour on the subject didn’t seemed to have faltered.

Laughing, I headed out of my room and into the bathroom, where I showered, washed my hair and scrubbed and shaved every inch of my body before returning to my room, wrapped tightly in a towel. After I dried and changed into my underwear and pyjamas, I got to work on drying my hair. When I got into bed and everything was quiet and dark, my mind screamed my worries at me.

My Uncle Harry’s funeral was tomorrow.

Kale’s son was dead, and Kale was alone and empty inside.

I forced the thoughts from my mind and stared up, smiling at the glow in the dark stickers of the solar system that lit up the ceiling of my room.

“I can’t believe they’re still lighting up,” I murmured to myself.

I forced my eyes to stay open and prayed that I wouldn’t fall asleep, because for once, I didn’t want morning to come. Morning meant burying my uncle.

Morning meant a permanent goodbye.


Fifteen years old (eleven years ago)

Lane, your friend is sooooo cute,” Anna O’Leary gushed to me as she looked up from her phone. “He just posted a new selfie with your brother Lochlan – who is also extremely cute, by the way – on social media and it is hawt.”

I didn’t need to ask for clarification on what cute friend Anna was talking about. I only had one male friend, and he was indeed very cute.

“He’s okay, I guess,” I mumbled, downplaying the fact that I wholeheartedly agreed Kale was cute, and then some.

Anna giggled again. “Does he have a girlfriend by any chance?”

A girlfriend? I looked up at Anna, giving her my full attention.

“Why?” I quizzed.

She dead-panned, “Because I want to introduce him to a girl I think would be very happy to kiss and date him – in other words, me.”

I blinked, dumbly.

Anna wants to date Kale and kiss him? I thought. I don’t like that.

“You’re fifteen,” I said, stating the obvious.

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