Just The Way You Are

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Chapter 1.

She knew she had to go back. She didn’t think she’d be going back now. Before she could figure out what happened. Kayla’s dream came crashing down around her. Kayla thought it was for the best for her to move back home.

When she stepped on the plane she began thinking about seeing her childhood best friend Chris. She didn’t want to see him but she knew it was almost inevitable. Living in a small town like Lakehart running into people from your past you’re trying to avoid is easier said than done.

Kayla hadn’t really told anyone besides her mother Barbra about her returning home. But she knew that her mother won’t be able to keep her mouth closed for long. Kayla loved her mother but she was a gossip when it came to almost anything. Kayla didn’t give her mother the entire truth on why she was returning. Just the fact that she wanted a change of scenery for her writing. Barbra always wanted Kayla to do something practical. Something in town. Something like Chris. It was Kayla’s father Daniel who always believed in her even when Kayla didn’t believe in herself. Daniel had passed shortly after Kayla graduated high school from a sudden heart attack. Her mother always believed that was the majority of the reason why Kayla chose to leave for a big town at only 18.

"Mom. I think its time for me to come home. I would like to see the town and maybe get inspired again." Kayla stated.

"Thats great honey. Youre more than welcome to live with me until you find your own place." Barbara told Kayla.

Kayla was thinking about that call when the plane landed. How grateful she was for her mother in that moment. When she got off the plane, Kayla immediately spotted her mother. Barbra hadn’t changed much in the 6 years since Kayla started her on and off visits. Yea she was around for thanksgiving and Christmas but other than that Kayla was off living her own life. Barbra still had her fiery red hair that Kayla never understood even as a child. Along with the red hair, Barbra always supported a red lip. Which always seemed like too much red but somehow Barbra made it work for her fair tone. Kayla got closer and Barbra hugged her daughter like it was the first time they had ever met. Barbra immediately wanted to know everything about her daughter’s sudden arrival. Especially now in the middle of summer when everyone was getting ready for the fourth of July celebrations.

“So what are you going to do now that you’re home for the foreseeable future?” Barbra asked.

“Already have a job lined up at the library. I thought it would help. I do want to put out another book. So why not get a job at the library.” Kayla replied.

Kayla pretends not to notice the tightness of a smile her mom got when she mentioned putting out another book. But Kayla didn’t know if her mother was thinking working in the library was practical or not. Kayla thought that working at the library was just a stepping stone until something better came along. But living in a small town did come with some limitations and the library was the only place she could get on short notice. Kayla had her fathers business that was a hit in town but Daniels partner in the business made the most sense since he knew more about it. Kayla didnt know if she wanted to work there but she didnt know if she was going to stay long term or not.

“Honey, you know I want you to follow your dreams but think that you should do something that’s more you know concrete.” Barbra stated.

“Mom, not this again. I know you don’t want me to be a writer but I think working at the library even momentarily is concrete. Plus, i might move back permanently. If i dont move back permanently then i’m not going to know what kind of job i can get out in the bigger cities. Writing is all I’ve ever known. If i do move back permanently then i can have a strong base for myself and possibly work with Chris. You know if he wants to see me and rekindle any kind of relationship that’s worth saving.” Kayla stated.

Barbra knew that her daughter was right. But Barbra didn’t want her daughter to end up crashing and burning. Kayla was an excellent writer and Barbra bought every single one of Kayla’s books over the years. She could sense that something more was going on. The Harts, more in particular Chris would want to know why all of a sudden Kayla was back when they all knew she didn’t stay here for any length of time.

"If you think its for the best. You are an excellent writer and i never want you to give that up. I just want you to do whats best for you. Think the library would be a great job back for feeling out the town again. If you do decide to move back permanently then you can always find something else even start writing from here." Barbra stated.

"Who are you and what have you done with my "you need to do something practical" mother?" Kayla asked jokingly.

Kayla was happy to hear that coming from her mother but she just wasnt expecting it. Things had been tense between them since she left. Kayla knew that she found herself and made an amazing best friend in New York who was also from a small town in Texas.

"Well I just wanted you to be happy. Weather you stay or not. Im going to try and be more supportive of you and your dreams. Plus you are home just in time. You havent seen a Fourth Of July celebration since you were 17." Barbra stated.

"Thank you for wanting to be supportive mom. And you know how much I hated going above and beyond for the Fourth. But if it makes you happy then I guess I can try and be happy about it." Kayla stated.

Things were starting to change for Kayla and she was having mixed emotions about it. She was happy that she was back home in Lakehart but she didnt want to leave the part of herself that she found in New York behind either. She became this whole new person and it was just what she needed at the time when her father died. Kayla was happy that her editor and team decided to let her have some time off. Things were going to get bad up in New York before they got better. She didnt want anyone to know what really happened up there. It was something she wasnt ready to talk about yet. But if Kayla knew anything about living in New York, it was the truth always came out. One way or the other.

"You know you can talk to me right? If not, I think Chris' parents would be more than happy to give you advice." Barbra stated.

"I know. I'm just trying to make sense of everything first. I also know that the truth is going to come out sooner or later. But thanks for the offer mom. Really appreciate it. And when I do tell you, can you not tell the whole town my business." Kayla stated.

"I can try. I cant promise I wont tell anyone but I can promise that I will try to keep it to myself until you are ready to tell people." Barbra spoke.

"At least its better than nothing." Kayla stated.

She knew that it was better for her mother to try than telling the whole world her business. Kayla smiled as they entered her childhood home and ate one of her favorite meals. Kayla knew that this might not have been the best choice but at least she knew she made the right choice for her in the moment. She rather have the comfort of home waiting till everything calmed down instead of waiting it out in an undisclosed location. Kayla was happy to be home even if it was under bittersweet circumstances.

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