As promised, here is a short and sweet one shot based on the music video for the song, “Everything Has Changed” by Taylor Swift feat. Ed.
It’s more of a one shot based on Ed with kids, rather than baby Ed. but it’s still adorable, and hopefully you’ll enjoy it!
let me know what you think, and send feedback!
Everything Has Changed: An Ed Sheeran One Shot
“Eleanor Grace Sheeran this had better be something that cannot wait an hour for me to get home,” I grumble into the telephone. I had watched her name, accompanied by that familiar 9-year-old face I adore so much, flash on my screen 4 times within the last ten minutes. I swear to god, her impatience does not come from me.
I watch as the waiting room occupants look at me, disappointed in the fact that I’m clearly answering my cell phone, despite the numerous and a bit overzealous “no cell phone” signs plastered on the stale walls. It’s a week before Christmas, I’m sitting in a hospital waiting room, and my 9 year old daughter is having what appears to be a meltdown that cannot wait for me to get home.
“Oliver has locked himself in his room” she replies, her voice shaking “and he’s crying and screaming and throwing things.”
“What happened Eleanor?” I ask her, looking for some sort of explanation.
“I don’t know, some kids at school were being mean to him I think. I don’t like it when he’s upset” she says quietly, “when are you coming home?”
I rub my hand over my face, in frustration as I sigh.
“There’s a key to his room above his door” I tell her slowly, “just unlock his door and make sure he doesn’t hurt himself. I’ll be home in an hour, okay?”
“Mom?” she asks into her end of the line, a wave of sadness in her voice, “Dad’s not coming home for Christmas, is he?”
“Eleanor, you know he’s touring” I tell her, and I can practically hear her disappointment. It’s deafening when I tell her that, “You know he’d be here if he could.”
“Okay” She mumbles, before hanging up.
I sit in the waiting room for the next fifteen minutes, going over the situation in my head. It never used to be this bad, without Ed. But now, our children know what it means when he leaves for tour. They see their friends’ parents married and together, and then they look at my relationship with Ed, and it’s nowhere near traditional. But this is what we decided on; No more than three months without him. My kids need their mom, obviously. But they also need their father as well. When my name is called I make my way back through multiple hallways, weaving through labs and exam rooms until I reach my oncologist’s office. He’s a nice guy. He’s always been a nice guy, ever since I met him when I was 17. And he didn’t bullshit me when it came to the facts. Cancer could have killed me. Granted it did take me to the edge of death, holding my imminent death in front of me, only to pull me back and allow me to survive. The worst 2 years of my life, hands down. And every year, I have to come back so they can run some tests to make sure I’m still okay. Whenever they “cure” you of cancer, they can only guarantee you remission. They can’t guarantee an entire cure. A relapse is always in the back of my mind. I’m not afraid of cancer anymore, I’m afraid of leaving my family here to deal with it, when I’ve got a husband who can’t guarantee his presence, ever.
“Looks like all of your blood work and tests came back great” my oncologist says, smiling.
“8th year in a row” I tell him, almost chuckling, “come on, doc. Can’t you just tell me I’m cured? Would be the best Christmas ever”
“The chance of your cancer every coming back is exponentially tiny” He nods, “But I’d rather be safe than sorry. At the 10 year mark, I will give you your cure.”
“I can’t wait” I tell him, standing up, “thanks so much”
“Tell Ed and your kids I said Merry Christmas” he calls out after me, as I turn and smile at him.
“Will do!” I reply, as I turn and make my way out of the hospital, “you too!”
I get into my car, dialing Ed’s cell phone, sitting in silence as it rings. I can only imagine what he’s doing right now, probably doing a promo, or having a meeting with Stuart, or maybe eating nandos, and trying to find some ridiculous Christmas sweater to wear. All of those stupid little quirky things he does are the things I miss the most sometimes.
“Hey” he answers, his voice cheerful, “I was just thinking about you.”
“Ed” my voice falls, wavering on uneasiness, “hey”
“Babe? What’s wrong?” he asks, concern in his voice, “Is everything okay?”
“No” I tell him. I exhale loudly and I feel the sob catch in my throat. The holidays are really difficult without him. Our kids deserve the chance to spend as much time as possible with him, and I hate that this year he has to be a few hours away, playing show. I’m overwhelmed dealing with everything by myself, and it’s showing in my voice “I know that you are busy, and that you have something to do today, but I need you.”
“Hey” his voice is calm and soft, “tell me what’s going on?”
“It’s Oliver” I choke out, not even fully understanding the situation, “he’s locked himself in his room, he’s crying and screaming and I’m at the hospital and E’s trying to take care of him, and I’m just completely overwhelmed.”
“I’m coming home,” he says, without any hesitation, “I’ll postpone the show, I’ll catch a plane, I’ll leave now. “
“Ed” I stop him, “You can’t leave,”
“You and Oliver and Eleanor are more important to me than anything else. Okay? You take priority, and if you need me there, I’ll be there” he replies.
I love this man.
“Play your show, come home tomorrow, okay?” I try to bargain with him, “your music is still important to the people at your show. And we’ll be okay tonight. Okay?”
“Okay, fine. But I love you, okay? So much. And I’ll be home as soon as I can.” He says.
I hang up the phone, and take a deep breath. If you would have asked me 10 years ago if I would have imagined a life like this, I would have laughed in your face. I’m 29. I’ve been married to Ed for the last 9 years of my life. I have never asked him once to give up his dreams, to stop touring and making music, but sometimes I need help, with our kids. Eleanor is 8. She’s the brightest girl I know, and she reminds me so much of myself when I was younger. She’s got brown hair and my eyes, and she’s perfect. Oliver is 7 with Ed’s ginger hair and blue eyes. He’s quiet, empathetic, and recently has been struggling with the fact that Ed isn’t home as much as he’d like him to be. It only takes 15 minutes for me to get to our house, and when I pull up into the driveway I see Eleanor sitting on the front porch.
“E, it’s freezing out here!” I call out to her as I get out of my car, and approach her, looking at her like she’s out of her mind, “what are you doing sitting out here? You’ll catch a cold!”
“I don’t like the sound of him crying” she shakes her head, looking up at me, “it’s quiet out here”
“Me neither” I reply, giving her an empathetic smile, “Dad might be coming home soon.”
“Really??” I watch her face light up and I’m reminded of how long he’s actually been gone this time. 3 months. 3 entire months of raising my children on my own, without Ed, and I hate every minute of it.
“Come inside, maybe we can make something nice for him after I talk to Oliver” I tell her, motioning towards the door.
I make my way into the house, and at first it’s quiet. I set my things on the kitchen counter as I head for the steps. The closer I get to Oliver’s room, the less quiet it is. I can hear his muffled 7 year old sobs, and it’s heartbreaking.
“Can I come in?” I quietly knock on the door, listening for a response. I don’t get any sort of acknowledgement from him, so I open the door anyways.
I can see his ginger hair sticking out from underneath the covers of his bed. I sit down on the edge of his bed, surveying his room for damage. A few useless toys of his are broken, but he’s still too young to be able to actually break anything worth money. I look at him, his face pressed into his pillow as his shoulders convulse with sobs. I rub my hand up and down his back until he stops crying, and he turns to look at me.
“What’s wrong baby?” I ask, wiping the tears off of his face, “What happened?”
“All of my friends’ dads are home for Christmas” He hiccups, looking at me through sad eyes, “and they were teasing me that mine isn’t”
“Oh, Oliver,” I sigh, frowning at him, “your dad loves you so incredibly much and I know that he wants to be here, with you”
“Then why can’t he?” he yells this time. He’s frustrated, I get it, “why can’t he just be here? It’s like he’s not even my dad.”
“I know you won’t understand it but he tours so he can take care of you.” I assure him, “and he would be here if he could. I can promise you that”
“I just want everyone to know how great he is” he says, “I just want him to come home and want to stay with us instead of leaving.”
“Don’t listen to those boys at school, okay? Because you and I both know how great dad is. But you still have me, Oli, and I’m not all that bad.”
“I know” he grumbles, “but it’s just not the same”
“Well, I’m here if you need me” I tell him, wiping the last few tears from his face, “And I love you very much. And Eleanor and I are going to make dad something nice for when he comes home if you’d like to help after dinner”
“Is it over?” Eleanor looks at me as I walk out of his room, shutting his door behind her. I nod, and move past her into the kitchen, “so what are we going to make him?”
“What would you like to make him?” I ask, “Food? Something else? A home movie?”
“A movie!” she practically yells, “let’s make a movie of us doing fun things so that he can watch it whenever he misses us on tour”
“You, my dear, are a brilliant lady” I tell her, “we’ll have dinner, and then we’ll shoot a video”
I spend the rest of my night with Eleanor and Oliver, making them dinner, filming them doing some of their favorite things, like building a pillow fort, and pretending to play one of ed’s guitars. I film Eleanor painting a picture for Ed, with Oliver’s help, and I manage to get in on their fun every once in awhile. I make them hot chocolate before putting them to bed, and by the end of the night, Oliver is feeling a lot better, as is Eleanor. Just seeing a smile on their faces is enough for me.
In the morning, I wake them up, get them breakfast, and send them off to school, unaware that Ed’s coming home this morning. I manage to actually make myself look presentable before Ed comes home.
I hear the car door slam and I’m out of the front door before Ed can make it in. I see him, getting out of the car, and e drops his bags on the ground when he sees me coming outside. I walk fast, careful not to fall down the stairs to the driveway, and I practically run into his arms. His arms lock around my waist, mine around his neck, and I pull him to me, with a sigh of relief
“Hi babe” he mumbles into the skin of my neck, inhaling deeply, “I love you, and have missed you so much”
“I love you too” I tell him, nodding against his shoulder, my arms tightening around him, “I’ve missed you too”
“Let’s go inside” He lets go of me, pressing his lips to mine. his fingers lace in mine as one hand pulls me into the house, the other hand carrying his luggage, “so tell me what’s going on.”
“I’m losing it, Ed” I rub my hand over my face and look at him with tired eyes, “And I’ve got a 7 year old who is so frustrated because his dad isn’t here.”
“I know, it’s been rough on me as well” He says, “I want nothing more than to be here with you.”
“What am I supposed to tell him? He just wants to show his friends how great you are. So you tell me what to do Ed. You tell me how to make him feel any better because I am fresh out of ideas. “ I say, “I don’t want to sound like a nagging wife, but I’m tired of coming home to Oliver in tears”
“I’m trying to convince them to shorten my tours, to just a few gigs so that I’ll have time off in between to be here. I want to be here” He says, “we can talk about it and figure something out, okay?”
“Okay” I smile at him, and nod.
“How about I pick them up from school, alright?” a smile spreads across his face, “we can go get some takeaway, and have family night”
“Sounds fantastic” I tell him.
We drive to their school, and I wait in the car as Ed gets out to wait with the other parents for the bell to ring. Kids start trickling out, running towards their parents, and I see Oliver first, and he looks around for me for a second. And then he sees Ed, and the smile on his face is absolutely huge. He runs towards him, dropping his bookbag on the ground, and runs into Ed’s brightly colored arms. His tiny arms lock around Ed’s waist, and Ed hugs him. I haven’t seen Oliver this happy in a very long time. I see Eleanor next, and as much as she doesn’t want to embarrass herself in front of her friends, she walks briskly towards him and hugs him. The three of them walk to the car and get in.
“Mom! Dad’s home!” Oliver beams.
“I know” I tell him, “and just in time for Christmas”
“Can we show him what we made him, mom?” Eleanor asks
“We’re going to go get some food, and then we’ll show him, okay?” I tell her.
We stop to get chinese on the way home, and the kids run into the house before Ed and I even get out of the car. The smile on Ed’s face is almost as big as Oliver’s, and I can’t help but enjoy this bittersweet moment. It makes my heart melt, how much he loves our kids. We follow them inside, and we spend the rest of the night on the couch, Ed sandwiched in the middle of Oliver and Eleanor, as he tells them about tour while we eat. Oliver and Eleanor show him the movie that we made him, and it almost reduces him to tears. The look on his face is a mix of pain and happiness. The pain he feels from missing all of these things with them and the happiness of seeing so much of himself in them. It’s a reality check for the man who thought he could tour the world forever, thinking of no one but himself. A much needed reality check. I don’t want him to leave. I don’t want to see Oliver and Eleanor that upset again. But he’s here now, with us, for Christmas.
And it’s the best Christmas present I could ask for.