In the next 48 hours, the pictures went viral. Like, more famous than Tyra Banks viral. Because that’s what you got when you did a photo shoot for a campaign at Parsley Models. The campaign was not only successful, but Lilith and I got more calls and something even I couldn’t believe was that we got offers to do more and more jobs. Lilith and I both got a Mother Agency to guide us. We had the same agent and I had no idea how the photos could actually change our lives in hours.
“You did a photo shoot?!” Was Abbott’s first reaction as we were sitting in the living room. He was pissed, maybe because he didn’t trust modeling agencies or maybe it was because he was worried about his little sister.
“Yup and it went fab-u-lous. Look.” Lilith practically shoved her laptop at Abbott to show him our pictures. The guys crowded around to take a look and when they saw the pictures, they were speechless.
“Whoa,” Ford almost gasped and that could actually be the most emotional I have seen him ever. Ford didn’t do emotions.
“Nice,” We got Riley’s approval which might have been a little scary and inappropriate but yeah.
Skye just stared in silence.
While on this trip, I did nothing else but spend time with Lilith and I forgot how fun it was to spend time with the boys. I hadn’t talked to Kai in a while either. Last I heard from him, he was going to school or was spending his time with Hannah.
I also heard Diana and Adelaide were involved with drama again. This time with some new girl that just moved to town and they tricked into being friends with. Until it went sour.
One thing I hated about my old school was the general rule everybody seemed to follow. As long as you were pretty and mean, you were pretty much on top of the food chain. It was toxic.
Delilah told me a lot of stuff about Matt and how he was trying to gain back Connor’s trust. He invited him to parties, tried to do him favors and did everything else but apologize. Which I’m sure sucked for Connor. One of his longest lasting friendships ruined due to a stupid, impulsive bet.
Lilith told me I needed closure too. I was still at least a little bit bitter about the situation despite the fact that I was genuinely happy without them. But there was still a nasty aftertaste in my mouth whenever I thought of Addie, Diana and Matt. If I couldn’t let it go, was I really moving forward with my life? No, I would need to talk to them at some point and clear things up. For my sake, not theirs.
Later that day, Abbott, Riley, Ford and I played video games. Abbott and Ford against me and Riley. And you know what they say, the fun ones always win.
Well, they might not say it but I just did.
And we do, I mean. Riley and I had this special strategy where we kicked both Ford and Abbott’s asses. After video games, drinks were in order. I laughed at how competitive the boys were but at the same time, I appreciated it. I felt like one of the guys and was glad to be completely accepted in their company.
Because I was feeling a little homesick lately, I decided to call it a night and returned to my room. I texted Kai, hoping not to wake him if he was asleep or just not to disturb him.
A reply came an instant later.
Hey gorgeous ;)
I smiled because I missed him a lot.
Have time to talk?
It took Kai a minute to reply, but he did anyways.
Can’t. I have three hours left to send in this essay and I only have 100 words written down. :(
Awww, okay. I’m heading to sleep. Maybe we could talk later, yeah?
Sure, just text me when you wake up.
But what if I wake you up?
Don’t mind. I missed my Cuddles so much.
Ha ha I preferred it when you called me Baby Doll :*
How about Sex Bomb? ;)
Oh gosh, somebody’s getting a little out of control.
*sigh* When will you learn, Kai?
What? You don’t like being called that, Popcorn?
Popcorn? Oh, so now I’m food hahaha I get it! You’re running out of nicknames, aren’t ya? Oh my, it’s the end of the world.
Stop mocking me. I’m out of my game today. Better luck next time <3
Shouldn’t I be saying that to you? ;*
Nope, because only I can pull it off.
Uh huh. I texted back because my eyelids were getting heavy.
Goodnight, Love. :* <3
Night <3 :*
I talked to Kai the next day when he was waiting for Hannah to be discharged from the hospital. They were throwing her a surprise party right before she came home. My brother, Delilah, Beck and Nathaniel were there too, helping.
They sounded busy when I called and when Kai put me on speaker, everybody was so excited to hear my voice. But because I knew how special Hannah is, I didn’t want to distract them from getting ready for her party. Kai’s relatives were also visiting and I was happy for them. I was happy that Hannah was one step away from making full recovery.
The guys didn’t know about the campaign yet as I heard it didn’t advertise in 13 states yet. But, they had the internet.
Still, I was glad to have this peace and quiet for a while. My phone has been ringing all the time.
I was booked for so many photo shoots I had no idea how I was going to keep up with school. But, I had Lilith with me. She was my best friend and I loved her to death.
By the time we got back to school, my skin was tanned and my body was relaxed. I really needed it. I needed the break and I finally got it. Now I felt like I could do anything, maybe even face Matt.
I truly felt like life was going well lately and that I was on top of the world.
When Lilith and I got back to our room at school, we started laughing at how much people stared at us. Some were nice and some just gave us really disbelieving stares, but there was no negative emotion in their eyes. I liked that. Our school was like a family. We always supported each other, even though we wished to be in their position.
Since we were back at New York, we’d always be close to the modeling agencies and would be available to do more jobs. We were already signed for a few shoots in the next few weeks due to the huge campaign popularity.
The end of the school year came quicker than I would’ve thought possible and I had no idea what to do after it. What I definitely knew was that I had missed my family and friends, missed Kai, had a job that required my attention 24/7 and a best friend that seemed to be doing so well with her new job too.
“I can’t believe this year’s over.” Lilith sighed as she and I were packing up. “I’m going to miss you so much.”
I sighed as well. Summer was going to be boring without Lilith.
“I know, I’m going to miss you too. And I’m afraid to even think about next year and how we’re going to finish our classes with our jobs.”
“Yeah. I just... I’m really going to miss you, babe. I cannot stress it enough. You’re my sister from another mister.”
I went up to her and pulled her into a hug. We’d both been tired and emotional lately. After months of always being around each other, her absence was sure to crush me. That’s why when I wrapped my arms around her, I cherished every moment of it.
“As you are mine and always will be. I owe you so much, Lil. I don’t know where or who I’d be without you. You pulled me out of my safe place and showed me how beautiful life can be. I’m so grateful that I met you,” I told her, feeling the tears come. I heard Lilith sniff and it was comforting to know that she wasn’t unscathed in all this.
We broke apart as we heard a knock on the door. That’s when our parents came in. I rushed to hug Mom and Dad. Even my friends came!
Beck, Nathaniel, Connor, Delilah and... Kai! Even they came. They were with Abbott, Riley, Ford and Skye.
I couldn’t believe my eyes. A happy tear fell down my cheek as I cried. At the same time, it really hit me. It was going to be a while before I saw these four idiots again... or five if you counted Lilith...
This was really it.
I was really going home.
Even though it was just for the summer, my heart still felt sorrow.
The hug I received from Kai put me in a better mood. It was as if he lightened the weight on my chest and carried it with me.
Once all our bags were in the cars and Lilith and I gave the keys of our room to my Aunt, we said our goodbyes and went to the parking lot. I chatted with Lilith and enjoyed my time with the guys but it was over far too fast.
We reached our cars and I asked everyone to join in for a final group hug. Then Lilith and her family got in their cars and drove off to the airport.
Meanwhile, my family, friends, Kai and I were set to go around New York.
I couldn’t help but look back and think of the day Aunt Jessica showed me around when I first got here. This time, however, I was a bit more familiar with the city.
It was a good day.
let me just tell you one more thing. Life is all about new beginnings. Nobody should be afraid to reinvent themselves - to work on being the best version of themselves they can be. Things end. Doors close. And while you can mourn the finality of it, also be grateful for everything you’ve learned and embrace what the future has in store.