“Lil, c'mon now, I’ve got to pack.” Niall sighed, hands on his hips and looking down at his five year old girl, sitting in the middle of his suitcase and sobbing violently.
Her face was glowing red as tears stained her chubby cheeks. Niall swore that she was the most dramatic little girl he had ever met, a trait she inherited from him no doubt. She pulled in a breath before weeping all over again.
“I don’t want you to!” She cried, pinching her eyes shut and tears rolling down her face.
“Lillian.” Niall said sternly, using his serious voice. Instantly, she hushed, knowing that her daddy meant business.
A hiccup burst from her chest. Niall raised his eyebrows, waiting for her to get off of his clothes. Lillian finally stood up with a huff and stood to the side as Niall placed a few T-Shirts in his suitcase. Then he turned to her, her bottom lip poked out and she sniffled.
“Can’t I go too?” She begged as Niall sat on the floor in front of her to be at the same height. He grabbed her tiny little hands and kissed both of them.
“Awe baby, you know I would take you and mommy with me if I could.” He huffed, poking his lip out too. Then, Lillian broke down crying again, lunging herself at him and wrapping her arms around his neck, crying into his shoulder.
There they sat on the floor of his bedroom, his suitcase nowhere near completely packed, Lillian settled in his lap as she cried. She didn’t wail anymore, her cries simmered down to hiccups and silent tears rolling down her face. Her head rested on Niall’s shoulder and his chin on top of her head, gently rocking back and forth as he played with her fingers. Her hands were nine times smaller than his.
“I’m only gonna be gone for a few months, okay? No biggie. You and mommy’re gonna have so much fun, you won’t even miss me, time’ll just fly by!” He reassured her, Lillian nodded quietly. Five year olds didn’t have a concrete understanding of time, but “a few months” sounded like a very long time without your best friend.
“And what do I always say when I’m leavin’ for a tour?” Niall asked, testing her memory. Lillian thought for a moment. She shrugged.
“That I’ll, what?”
“Call me everyday?” She guessed.
“Right! And what else. I’ll m-”
“You’ll miss me.” She answered correctly again.
“And I l-”
“Love me.” Lillian met her fathers eyes, they were older with maybe a wrinkle or two framing them.
“That’s right!” Niall bopped her nose and she gave a small smile, then kissed her forehead.
“Feelin’ alright now? No more tears?” He wiped a stray tear from the corner of her eye as she shook her head no.
“Good. No more cryin’ okay? Okay. Can you help me smooth out my clothes that a little monkey sat on?” Niall began tickling her sides, Lillian threw her head back laughing, a laugh that was exactly like Niall’s but had a more feminine ring to it. Her laughter gave him the same rush the crowds did when they sang along to their songs.
“I love ya, munchkin.” Niall said, blowing a raspberry on her cheek.
“Daddy I’m gonna call ya every day, every second!” Lillian promised, copying Niall as he smoothed out his clothes.
He sat there on the floor with her, listening to her ramble on and on about whatever she was talking about, Niall had lost count. Whenever a tour started, the realization of how much he’d miss his little darling hit him harder and harder each year. He’d tell himself the same thing he told her, time will fly by and they’ll spend as much time as they can together until the next tour.