The last time she was on a plane, she felt anxious and excited about being in LA, performing to a large audience and being on TV. Ryleigh face was gleaming from winning the show and spending the night with Rory. She doesn’t know what her friends and family would think of her staying there, this will be the first time she’ll tell them.
Although the win should be the highlight of the night, she thinks more of the time with Rory and how amazing it felt. He woke up early that morning to see his daughter, which she understood but he didn’t want to leave her and wished he would take her to the airport. Ryleigh still lies on the bed, covering her bare skin and watching him putting his clothes back on, catching the detail of his tattoos on his back.
‘Make sure you text me you’re home safe please?’ She nods while smiling at him. ‘What time is your flight?’
‘12.30. Going to have some breakfast here and Kelsie is picking me up.’ She replies, he finishes buttoning his trousers up and leans over to see her.
‘I’ll miss you.’ And kisses her, as he pulls back she smiles.
‘I can’t wait to see you again.’ As she places her hand on his cheek.
‘Don’t be too long. I don’t know if I can wait that long now we finally did it.’ She laughs.
‘It’s fun though, you know that.’ He smiles at her. ‘I love you.’
‘I love you.’ They kiss again and he moves her so she’s on top, their bare skin touching each together again and she’s keen to go again.
As he left, she got her bags ready to check out waiting for Kelsie in the lobby and made sure Rory left without been unknown, another plan from Kelsie to stop the paparazzi nosing around. Ryleigh daydreams on everything that happened in the show, Rory and telling her family about staying.
‘Hey, did you get my instructions?’ Kelsie interrupted her train of thought.
‘Yep, one bag to travel with and one for you to take.’ She says.
‘Great. I’ll take that one to his house after I’ve dropped you off.’ She follows her to the car. ‘So how was last night?’ She wiggles her eyebrows wanting to know if she and Rory had done the deed, Ryleigh started to blush again thinking about it.
‘It was amazing. Thank you for sorting it all out Kelsie.’
‘You’re welcome. Now is he a boxers guy or a brief guy? It seems to me he’s a brief person.’ Kelsie jokes and Ryleigh laughs but a bit shocked of her and lightly whacked her for asking.
She landed down in London and it felt strange, this was supposed to feel like home and it didn’t. Going through arrivals and seeing people with their large lens shouting her name to face them, it drawn back to her the last time this happened was at the music awards and Rory was there to save her. This time being on her own she had to push her fears away and go along with it. She sees her parents near at arrivals of the airport, running up to hug them. Her mum’s pixie grey hair and rounded shape glasses complimenting her face shape and basic clothing with a tall man that Ryleigh calls dad with a grey short beard.
‘Hello, sweetie.’ Her mum says to her and Ryleigh was on the brink of tears.
‘Come on now don’t be upset.’ Her dad says to her and helps pick up her bag. ‘Where’s the rest of them?’
‘Yeah, you were wearing new clothes? Weren’t they yours?’ She shook her head and wiped the tears from her face, typical, not even a congratulations or even saying she’s proud. Her parent’s always had that tough love on her.
‘Let’s get to the car. I’ll explain.’ Ryleigh said quietly and follows them out of the airport.
As she sits in the back of the car, she texted Rory and Kelsie to say that she’s landed. After, she got a message back from Rory, he asked if she can call him and told him not right now as she is in the car and will when she gets to her hometown. It’s late at home and she dozes off on the 3-hour journey home, her parents park up towards the house that she lived with Russell in. Ryleigh opened her eyes, but not fully awake.
‘Why are we here?’ She asks them.
‘This is your home isn’t it?’ Her mum says.
‘When I was with Russell, yes. Is he still here?’
‘No, but we are staying here with you.’ She unlocks the door with a key and is surprised why he isn’t here, she’ll have to ask in the morning.
Wondering over to the bed she once shared with him, curious if it smelt like him but didn’t want to think like that, she found her draws with some fresh pj’s and lied on the bed. Ryleigh promised she call Rory, but it’ll have to be quick.
‘Hey beautiful.’ He says chirpy on the line.
‘Hey you.’ She is still groggy. ‘I know you want to chat but it’s nearly 4 in the morning here and I would like some sleep, we’ll have a chat tomorrow.’
‘That’s fine, I just wanted to hear your voice. Yeah, you do sound tired though. Get some sleep, sweet dreams. I love you.’
‘I love you more.’ She hangs up and curls up comfortably to sleep.
It must have been only 4 hours worth of sleep and she instantly had to get up. Making her way to the shower with whatever products she left in this bathroom to use and any of her clothes she still had here and how much she disliked them, but battled with some jeans and a basic vest top and tied her hair up in a messy ponytail.
She goes downstairs, seeing both her parents in her outdated kitchen, that she started to save up for baffled on why they came here and not back to her parents’ house which is only an extra hours journey.
‘Morning. I was going to ask last night, but I forgot. Why are we here at this house?’
‘This is your home?’ Her mum says and it finally clicked, they don’t anything about her staying in LA and having a relationship, but they should surely know about her and Russell splitting up.
‘What about Russell? Where is he?’
‘He’ll be back soon.’
‘Mum, I told you I ended things with him. Did I not?’
‘At the time, yes, but you weren’t thinking straight with all the things that the show made you do. It’s all an act weren’t it?’ Of course, her parents still didn’t think that being a musician is an actual career and wants everything to go back to normal. They said they were supportive, so why the sudden change.
‘No, all of it is real. I won the show and I have a record deal.’
‘Oh.’ Her mum pushes her glasses back up, ‘Will you be doing it here?’
‘No. In LA.’ Ryleigh pauses, ‘And I’m thinking of staying there for good.’ Her dad looked up from reading the paper glaring at the decision she has decided. Before, her parents could say any more the door went and heard a familiar voice
‘Hey. I’m back.’ The voice said and she can see him in the hallway, the last person she wanted to see, Russell.
She can tell he had a hair cut a few days ago with it being clean-shaven, the plain shirt and jeans fitting to his build with his blue eyes gazing at her. Her heart beating fast in shock to see him standing there.
‘Ryleigh.’ He seemed excited to see her, he wanted a kiss her on the lips but she dodged quickly and for him to go for her cheek. ‘What wrong, why you being so shifty?’ Stunned by his presence and acted like nothing happened, she had to tell him the truth.
‘You need to sit down.’ She looks over to her parents. ‘I have something to tell you all.’
Ryleigh leaned on the kitchen counter, the closest part to running out the door if she needed to. Everything she told them was all true but the look on their faces, disappointed in her.
‘I like it in LA and I enjoyed writing music and now having a chance to do that is a dream come true. There is nothing here for me anymore, I hope you understand that.’
‘All this we helped you built up to, you’re throwing it away for some dream?’ Russell said.
‘It’s not a dream and this is why we’re not together anymore. You don’t understand it like I do.’
‘Don’t be mean to him, we’re just trying to help you.’ Her mum spoke up.
‘By stopping me going back?’ Ryleigh stood up for herself and make all three of them sat there feeling small. ‘I am going back and you can’t stop me. I’m not a child anymore.’
‘Ok, maybe we can reconsider the location.’ Her dad trying to make the conversation pleasant. ‘It wouldn’t be difficult to sell up and for Russell to find a new job.’
‘Dad! I’m not with him anymore, it’s over!’ Ryleigh raised her voice slightly.
‘I don’t want it to be Ryleigh.’ Russell spoke quietly. ‘I’m sorry, I should of answer your calls and I should have believed you more. If you want to go and stay in LA, I have no problem with that. I’ll go where ever you go.’ She pinches the bridge of her nose, trying to tell him in the nicest way as possible.
‘I don’t want you to come with me, we shouldn’t be together anymore. I want to make a new start. I came home not to see my family and friends but to give you everything for this house. I’m buying myself out of it.’
‘Ryleigh!’ Her mum blurted out in shock.
‘Why?’ Russell asked, she looked away wanting to tell them it’s because of Rory. She’s in love with him, she hasn’t felt like this with anyone before, not even with Russell.
‘It’s not right anymore, I don’t think it has been for years. I’m sorry but that’s what I feel.’ She looked at him seeing the pain in his eyes as his heart is breaking apart.
‘Please tell me the truth?’ She looks at him not willing to answer. ‘Is that guy isn’t it?’ Ryleigh shifted her eyes to the left and bit her bottom lip. ‘You slept with him didn’t you?’
‘Only when I told you it’s over. I never did before.’
‘I said we needed space to think, that’s why I never answered.’
‘Well it was different on my end. Anyway I’ve made my decision.’ She went into the hallway to put some shoes on and slammed the door shut. She walked to the park that wasn’t too far away.
She forgot how cold it was here and didn’t wear a heavy jacket to keep her body warm. She can’t believe how her family aren’t on board with her new career choice and Russell thinking that it’s her fault for all of this. This type of negativity that brought her down for years has started to become noticeable in her mind, deeper meaning into her songs than she thought. LA gave her a chance to bring happiness and positivity she always dreamed of having and now having it right in front of her face grabbing it with both hands.
Checking the time zone she needed to call somebody to help her out, it’s early morning there and hopefully they’re awake.