Requiring time to herself and living in the house would be a struggle so she decided to call a cab to get out for a bit.
‘Hey Kelsie, can we meet up?’ She says on the phone and agreed to meet at the diner Kelsie took her when she arrived here. Ryleigh put a hoodie on and some glasses, so she could disguise herself. Her popularity was growing quicker than ever and the talk of the news in any music and TV article. They explained how this good girl is hanging out with the ex-criminal and anything they have in common, they also speculate that Rory might have spiked her with the drink due to his past with the drugs. It frustrated her more and wanted to defend for him so badly, she sits in the booth reading one by one.
‘Hey there girl.’ Kelsie greeted her and took a seat opposite, she took her glasses off. ‘So what did you want to talk about?’
‘You don’t mean that.’
‘I do. All I’ve done is messed up my life and for what reason? Thinking that this is what I wanted, but it clearly isn’t.’
‘Ry, you had a bad week, this will be old news tomorrow.’
‘Not to my family and Russell it won’t be.’
‘I take it you had another fight with him?’ Ryleigh looked out the window and sighed, she told Kelsie what Russell said.
‘Do you still want to be with him?’
‘I - I don’t know, yes, maybe?’ She looks down at her hands fiddling with her phone.
‘How do you feel about Rory?’ Kelsie challenged and she went quiet and her stomach started to ache, the friendship she’s built with Kelsie has been amazing, she hasn’t had a close friend to talk to like this in a long time, as her best friend from her childhood died in a car crash at the age of 15. Ryleigh looks up at her.
‘He’s just a friend.’
‘He isn’t and you know it. The way you two look at each other is something else, I see a spark in your eyes every time you’re near him. Your heart beats fast, sometimes your stomach is tied in knots and you think about them when you shouldn’t. I feel like that with Josh and you do the same with Rory.’
‘Is it wrong of me?’ She shook her head.
‘No, you can’t help who you fall far.’
‘What do I do about Russell?’
‘It’s not my place to say but you should go with what your heart says.’ Ryleigh had a chance to think and perhaps it’s time to be selfish for once and not please everyone. ‘So, you’re not quitting are you?’
‘I don’t think so.’ Ryleigh responded.
‘Good, because if you did, I don’t get my bonus at the end.’
‘Selfish bitch.’ And they laugh. ‘You need to do the same with Josh you know, don’t you think it’s time to?’
‘You’re important at the minute, I’ve got to keep you out of trouble.’ Kelsie winks at her.
After her chat with Kelsie which was most needed, the change of scenery made her feel better to be back at the house. As she walks through the door, she inhales a well-known smell.
‘Oh good you’re back, the Chinese food just arrived.’ Ashton spots her by the door.
‘Yes, my favourite.’ She goes to the table.
‘Do you want a beer?’ Rory asks.
‘It’s ok, I can get it for myself thank you.’ She bypasses him to goes into the kitchen.
‘Alright, but I was getting myself one I was just saving you time.’ He follows her and she smirks back at him.
‘Look at Rory trying to save the day.’ He loved it when she teased, Ryleigh opened the fridge and passed one to him.
‘Are we all good now?’ He said seriously, she shuts the fridge door and looks at him.
‘There was never a problem. It was just me and my thoughts overthinking, the last thing I wanted to do was bring you down with it.’
‘I don’t mind that, I want you to tell me everything you feel.’
‘Some things are made for a song.’ She grins at him, her mysterious ways makes his heart galloping.
‘I can’t wait to hear them.’ He whispers to her.
Setting off again to the studio for their next challenge, the film crew were making last-minute adjustment when Kelsie tapped Ryleigh on the shoulder.
‘Can I talk to you for a second?’ She sounded serious.
‘Sure.’ And pulled into another room.
‘So, I’ve found out what the challenge is and it’s a bit different.’
‘In what way?’ Ryleigh asks.
‘This challenge is to write about someone…who is here to see you.’ Ryleigh looked at her in confusion. ‘When you fill the form out you were asked if you wanted someone to see you while you where here, you put Russell down didn’t you?’ She vaguely remembers and nodded. ‘Well, this is the challenge. They fly out the people who you asked for and they are a surprise for you to see them today.’
‘Why are you telling me? Aren’t you spoil it?’ Ryleigh was glad Russell would be coming and they can finally talk it out, not hearing from him in a while started to scare her.
‘Well, this is the thing….he’s not coming.’
‘What?’ Her heart sunk and for him not turning up made her feel angry and disappointed.
‘And you’re the only one who won’t be having a surprise guest today. So I didn’t know if you wanted to be in there when they do it.’
‘No I want to be there. I’ll be fine.’ She said stubbornly.
‘You sure?’ Ryleigh nodded.
‘Ok, I’ll tell the producers.’ After the discussion, she went back into the room and they began filming, she kept her cool and not let it get to her.
‘So we have a surprise for you all.’ Aimee said, ‘We’ve called some people who you might be missing and you like to meet.’ Everyone figured out what was happening and she tried to respond the same.
‘So Dylan, we have brought your mum to see you.’ Bruce said and behind the judges opens the door to see his mum and Dylan walks up and hugs her, they can’t help but smile. Elliot’s girlfriend came out, her blonde hair and petite figure got them both excited to see each other that he picked her up around her arms and he started to cry. Ryleigh doesn’t know Russell would act if they saw each other again especially with what’s happening. Ester’s twin brother comes out and they go for a hug, they both did look alike and Blake’s dad came out too.
Marcus went to the door where all the guests entered and grabbed a little hand.
‘Rory, there is a little one to see you.’ And appears a little girl with brown hair in a black dress and red polka dots shouting ‘Daddy.’ Rory’s eyes lit up with delight and keels down while she runs to him and cuddles, it made Ryleigh smile too. He picks her up and holds her on his hip and the attention was on her. Ashton’s girlfriend walked in making him overwhelmed, Tessa’s older sister walked through and the Kaylin’s best friend, who wore the tightest top and shortest skirt ever imagine.
‘And that’s everyone.’ Aimee said, Ester and Rory looked over at Ryleigh suddenly and she transmitted a small smile.
‘What happened?’ Elliot asked Ryleigh.
‘He didn’t get on the plane.’ She shrugs.
‘So your challenge is to write about the person you asked to be here and what they mean to you.’ Marcus says and studies Ryleigh quickly. ‘You’ll get to spend some time with them and they can come with you to the studio and video shoots. Enjoy.’ Ryleigh was the first one to leave, she held it together for the filming but went to the bathroom to immediately cry it out, everyone seeing their loved ones again made her heart melt and they’ll be able to spend time with them. She won’t have the chance with Russell, him being here would probably change his and Ryleigh’s mind about each other and they could’ve worked it out.
Everyone was getting their stuff together planning their day out with each other, Ryleigh didn’t want to be in the way so she sat outside on the sun lounger thinking of her next song.
‘Ryleigh, I want you to meet my twin brother Eric.’ Ester came out with a tall slim man with shaved sides and a messy top mid-blonde hair.
‘It’s nice to meet you.’ Ryleigh said to him.
‘And you too, sorry your fiancée didn’t turn up. I like your music though, it’s really good.’
‘Thanks, that means a lot to me. What are your plans for today?’
‘We are thinking of going to the zoo to feed some animals.’ Ester says.
‘Sounds fun.’ Ester and Eric made there way out to the car.
Ryleigh didn’t want to stay outside anymore and saw that the house was looking empty and make her way into the kitchen to get some water. She opened the bottle and chugged it wishing it was something stronger.
‘Daddy, I’m ready to go.’ A little voice called out.
‘Yep, I’m ready too let’s go.’ Rory takes her hand and makes her way out to see Ryleigh by the island.
‘Hey.’ She says quietly.
‘Who are you?’ The little girl says, Ryleigh walks round to lean down to speak.
‘I’m Ryleigh and you must be Layla. I’ve heard lots about you.’ She stands up to meet with Rory, ‘What are you doing today?’
‘We’re going to go to the Disney Land park to meet her favourite character.’ Rory said happily, he’s a proud dad and he hasn’t stopped smiling since Layla’s been here.
‘Come with us?’ He asks her.
‘It’s nice of you but I’ve going to get on with my song. I write better when I’m piss-’ She paused realising there are small ears around ‘Annoyed.’
‘I wasn’t asking.’ He smirks, ‘Come on it’ll be fun.’ She reddens a bit and perhaps a change of scene might do her good, it could be a way to pluck some inspiration too.
Since Rory lived in the states, he was able to get his car and travel down to the park with Ryleigh in the passenger seat and his daughter in the back in her booster seat. The black sleek interior and clean hi-tech stereo with multiple stations, it sounded fancy but this was a standard car here. The drive was quiet and she looked at the window mostly taking the drive-in but it gave her a chance to think on her relationship with Russell. What they’ve had for the last 6 years wasn’t anything special to her, the spark fade after 3 years and she kept telling herself it’s going to get better but always lead to disappointment expecting she would sleep a night next to a man she would love forever. Ryleigh couldn’t put a finger on what he did to not make her happy anymore or anything that he had done, but she wasn’t going to give up on him just yet. If they both decide if this is the end, she would accept it and won’t fight for it. For her to move on she would need to know her relationship status with him first and will try to call him about it.
After thinking too much she didn’t realise that they arrived and made her way in, Rory held onto Lyla’s hand while Ryleigh left her hands in her back pockets taking in her surroundings. They made their way into a private room filled with the scene from her favourite films, Ryleigh figured out which one it was, the kids were loving it back in the UK too. Layla completely memorized with it with a big grin on her face made Rory smile too, her favourite character walked in.
‘Hello Layla.’ She gasp seeing a princess in the flesh. ‘It’s lovely to meet you.’ She ran forward and hugged her, he had his phone out filming and Ryleigh watched.
‘Dad look who it is!’ Layla got excited.
‘Yes baby, here she is.’ He said to her and the princess described the fun games there going to play today. With that, he stopped recording and stood next to Ryleigh.
‘Bless her she’s cute.’ She tells him.
‘Yeah, that’s my girl.’ He smiles. ‘So what are you going to do then, with your song I mean?’
‘I’m not sure, I’m going to get in touch with him again and see what happens from there. I like to know where we stand.’
‘I can’t believe he didn’t turn up.’ Although Rory didn’t know the guy and she never mentioned Russell much to him, but for him not be here makes him dislike him already. It’s not his place to tell her that but he can see how much Ryleigh is putting on her happy face.
‘Yeah same here.’ She deflated ‘Anyway, let’s not spoil the day. There’s a little girl over there having all her Christmas wishes come at once and a happy dad.’
‘All my wishes came true too. I’m glad you’re here.’
‘I’m glad you asked me.’ Rory fancied her, more than he wanted to.
‘Daddy, come help me draw.’ Layla ran and tugged Rory’s hand, he had a quick look at Ryleigh and followed his daughter. Ryleigh used this chance to leave a message for Russell and left the room.
‘Hey Russell, I know you wanted to have some space to think but I still think we should decide on where we should go from here. At least tell me, I need to know. Call me back. Bye.’
Ryleigh makes her way back in and Layla is getting some make-up done by her princess and Rory is taking pictures, she couldn’t help but grin from him continually smiling.