“Hey Girl! Don’t you look great,” Zahara says, pulling me into a hug. She smelled like expensive perfume, we sat at the outside table of the café she chose us to meet at. “How have you been? Have you told your boyfriend about the news?” she asks.
“Not yet,” I admit, leaning back in my seat. “I will, soon…. I was actually wanting to talk to you about California,” I say.
“What about it?”
“Can I come with you?” I ask, she cocks her head to the side.
“I’m already lightyears ahead of my classmates, so I don’t mind graduating online and I really need a fresh start,” I say.
“Things aren’t going well?” she asks.
“I just need something new, and what better time to start recording and beginning my new career then in the city itself,” I say, she nods to herself.
“And your parents? You’ve talked this over with them?” she asks.
“I’m almost 18, but yes, they know,” I say, she nods before pulling out her phone typing away.
“This is a bit last second, so it might take us a minute to pull a living situation for you, but until then you can stay with me,” she says, with a smile.
“Are you serious?” I ask.
“But I’m leaving town on Sunday night, I can’t stay any longer,” she says. “So, are you ready to leave?” she asks.
After lunch, Zahara drops me back off at home. I feel like crying, but I’m also happy with excitement. I wait on the curb watching Zahara leave, before looking up at Braum’s house, my stomach twisting in fear. I walk across the street, and before I know it, I’m knocking on the door, Mrs. Clifford opens the door.
“Oh Adeya! It’s been so long I’ve missed you!” she says, pulling me into a hug. “How are you honey?” she asks.
“I’m doing well, is Braum home?” I ask.
“He’s up in his room, you can go up if you want,” she says.
“Actually, I have to start packing soon, I’m leaving on Sunday,” I say.
“Leaving? Leaving where?” she asks.
“Los Angeles, I have some meetings lined up, seeing what happens,” I say, she pulls me into another tight hug.
“I’m so happy for you honey! You were always so talented,” she says, peppering my face with kisses. “Congratulations! I’m going to miss you,” she says.
“I’m going to miss you too,” I admit. Before she was my boyfriend’s mother, she was my best friend’s mother. Host of many slumber parties, and pool parties, she was there for every birthday, and most Christmas, she was like my second mom. She moves upstairs, and shortly Braum appears.
“Hey Adeya,” he says.
“Hey,” I say, he stops in front of me and I almost spill away thing out. “I’m leaving, I’m moving to Los Angeles on Sunday,” I say, his face twist up.
“Oh,” he says.
“And this isn’t because of the breakup… I’m not running away from you, or what happened, I just…. It’s what I need,” I say. “I’m going to miss you, “I say.
“I’m going to miss you too Deya,” I step back turning away, knowing I should tell him. He was there, right in front of me, I could tell him the truth. Maybe it would change everything, maybe it wouldn’t change anything at all. I knew I’d regret not telling him, keeping it all a secret. Maybe I would tell him before the child is born, maybe when it stopped hurting to look at him.
When I return home, I start packing. My life flashing before my eyes, many of my memories filled with Braum, many pictures that hung, songs that I wrote, but never finished. So many things that I felt like I was running away from, but I knew this what was best for me.
“I can’t believe this is actually happening,” Laila says, before pulling me into the hundredth hug since we made it to airport. Zahara was already waiting inside with all of our luggage, she surprised me with the news that we would be taking one of Jacob Dawson’s private planes back to California.
“You’re coming in June! And we’ll talk every day,” I say.
“I’m going to miss you,” she says.
“Me too,” Geo says.
“I’m going to miss the both you so much,” I say.
“Don’t forget to take your prenatal vitamins and eat three meals a day we want my niece to be healthy,” she says, rubbing my stomach.
“Or Nephew,” I say.
“It’s a girl, I can feel it,” she says, before pulling me into our final hug. “Call me when you land,” she says.
When I walk inside, I’m greeted by beefy security guards who escort me to the private gates. Zahara is waiting for me, pacing on the phone before waving me towards the door. We take a golf cart to the plane, where I see them loading all of my things.
“Are you ready?” she asks.
“As I’ll ever be,” I say. I spent the entire plane ride on the edge of my seat, Zahara had a lot of tele-meetings to attend, and told me to occupy my time by looking through my 3-album contract deal. My father had a copy as well and told me he would read through it thoroughly. When we landed, Zahara was off to a long list of conferences, sending me to her house to unpack. Zahara lived in the hills, a private community that you needed a pass to get inside. Her house was two stories of gloriousness, something I didn’t think someone would want to live all alone.
“Zahara? Baby is that you?” I hear someone say, a boy in nothing but tight swim trunks. “Oh, Hello,” he says.
“Hi,” I say.
“You must be our new temporary living guest,” he says.
“Yes, my name is Adeya,” I say, he nods.
“I’m Calum, pleasure to meet you,” he says, before stepping back. “I’m going to get dressed,” he says, before disappearing down the hallway. I wait in the main hallway, looking at all the pictures hanging on the wall, and awards set up everywhere. “How was the flight?” Calum appears again, this time in sweatpants and a tank top.
“It was great, I’ve never been in a private plane before,” I admit.
“There’s more where that came from sweetheart,” he says. “I’m Zahara’s boyfriend, if you didn’t gather that already, your room is upstairs your bags came like an hour ago,” he says, leading me down a hallway. “So, I understand your pregnant?” he asks.
“Yes, just one month,” I say.
“And the father? He didn’t want to come with you?” Calum asks.
“I didn’t really tell him, not yet…. I have a lot of things to process right now and it’s just all a lot,” I say.
“Oh no! I completely understand,” he says, leaning against the door. “I don’t pry or anything,” he shrugs. “Well I’ll let you unpack and get comfortable, I’m sure Zahara will be home shortly,” he says.
“Thank you,” I say, he disappears from the door and I move into my new temporary room. The bed was made up neat, with all of my bags sitting on top. I find my laptop amongst the boxes setting it up on the dresser and calling Laila.
“There she is!” she shouts. “I already miss you so much,” she says.
“I miss you too,” I say.
“Let me see it! Let me see your new pad!” she says. I pick up the laptop showing off the room. I had my own private bathroom, and a walk-in closet that could hold more things then I owned. “It’s beautiful,”
“So, what is it like being in L.A, do you feel it setting in?!” she asks.
“It’s something,” I begin unpacking and Laila talks about how bored she is at school. She had one more month left until the school year was finished, and then she was hopping on the first plane over to visit me. She also mentions how tension is rising between Geo and Bo, and Braum, in which I have to practically beg him through text messages not to follow through with, because I didn’t want any drama. Zahara doesn’t come home until I’m practically completely finished with my room, she brings dinner and I sit in the kitchen with her and Calum to eat.
“So little lady, you have a busy week ahead of you, are you ready?” she asks.
“Sure,” I say.
“Alright tomorrow you have a Doctor’s appointment, we have to make sure everything is in tip top shape, and we have a lunch date with your new band,” she says. “And then on Tuesday we’re meeting with stylist and an event coordinator, because on Thursday you’re going to an Album release party and you’re performing your fist single,”
“Wait, I am,” I say.
“Don’t worry honey, and On Friday you’re meeting with Mr. Dawson to sign all your contracts and everything,”
“Wow,” I say.
“This is just the start kid,”
If I would have known, up and coming artist would be this busy. I would have probably chosen a different career path. Since the day I arrived, it’s been meetings, band practices, and long days in the record studio. I’ve done 5 radio interviews, and I have more followers on Instagram then the amount of people that go to my school.
After three weeks, Laila and Geo were finally arriving. Calum went with me to pick them up, since Zahara was in meetings out of her ass. I was bouncing in my seat nearly the entire drive to the airport, jumping out of the car before Calum can fully stop and tackling Laila to the ground.
“I missed you!” she screams.
“I missed you more!” I say, Geo pulls us to our feet pulling me into a tight hug.
“How have you been? How is my little niece?” he asks, rubbing my stomach.
“Or Nephew I still don’t know the gender yet,” I say.
“It’s a boy,” Laila states.
“It’s defiantly a girl, I feel it in my bones,” Geo says. I pull them to the car where Calum helps put their bags in the trunk.
’This is Calum guys, Zahara’s boyfriend and my personal chef,” I say, doing a chef kiss and earning an eye roll from Calum.
“It’s nice to meet you two, I’ve heard a lot of about you,” Calum says.
“Hello Hollywood,” Laila says.
“Let’s go out to lunch! And then I have studio time, but you guys can get settled in your hotel in the meantime,” I say.
“Thanks again, by the way,” Laila says. “For everything, the plane ride and everything,”
“Don’t! come on guys, you were going to go to Paris for the summer! I took that away,”
“It wouldn’t have been the same without you,” Geo says, pinching my cheek. “Now let’s go to lunch, I’m starving!” We go to a nice taco place near the studio so I wouldn’t be late, Calum not wanting to be the reason I miss studio time. We take a table outside, so that Calum can keep an eye out on his car.
“So, what’s the plan for the month?” Laila says. “Sightseeing? Movie premieres!”
“All that and more, and we have to do a little house hunting,” I say.
“Sounds fabulous!” Laila says. After lunch Calum drops me off at the studio and takes Laila and Geo to their hotel. Ryan, my lead guitarist, and Kailey my drummer is already waiting in the studio.
“Had fun at lunch?” Ryan asks.
“It was delicious,” I say, handing over my leftover tacos. “Fish tacos,” I say.
“You know me so well,” he says. I move to the microphone room to warm up, sitting on the stool and setting up the microphone and earphones. “Oh, Zahara gave us the updated rehearsal schedule,” Ryan says through the microphone, I nod him off before starting warm up. After a long warm up, and running two songs, I sit with Henry our sound engineer and watch Ryan and Kailey record the song.
“Adeya?” Zahara says, pushing open the door and stepping into the studio. “Where’s your phone? I’ve been calling you?”
“Oh sorry, I mute it during studio time,” I say.
“Well we have an interview to get you too!” she says, I quickly get up grabbing my things and leaving the studio. “Are your friends already at their hotel?”
“They should be,”
“Good, is your baby father with them?” she asks.
“No, he wasn’t invited,” she looks back at me. “I’m going to tell him, soon,” I say.
“We don’t need any legal trouble, it won’t be good for your image,” she says.
“I understand, I’ll tell him,” I say, we get downstairs to the car waiting for us, and I’m whisked off to my 4th radio show of the week. When I’m finished, I’m driven back home where Laila and Geo are waiting in the kitchen with Calum, bonding over sweets.
“How was your hotel?” I ask.
“Beautiful, you didn’t have to get us a suite!” Laila says, nudging me. “We’re all unpacked and ready for our vacation!”
“I’m ready too!” I say, pulling up a stool.
“There is something you should know though,” Geo says, Laila immediately pinches him hard on the arm.
“We agreed,” she hisses.
“What’s happening?” I ask.
“Nothing,” Laila says, looking at me with a smile. “Nothing, at all,”
“She deserves to know Laila,” Geo says.
“Tell me, now,” I say.
“What’s happening?” Zahara interrupts, walking into the kitchen already in her pajamas. “You must be the best friends! I’ve heard so much about you,” Zahara says, pulling both Laila and Geo into a hug. “It’s good to have friends here, it’s hard adjusting to a new life!”
“Guys,” I say, cutting Zahara off. “What are you talking about,”
“Listen, don’t let this change your decision on telling Abraham okay? He still needs to know about the baby,” Laila says. “But Geo found out through Bo that Abraham and Demetra are dating,” it felt like Laila was suddenly speaking another language, all I could hear is ringing in my head. As my entire body begins to shut down, Laila is immediately at my side, holding me.
“Abraham is your ex, right?” I hear Zahara ask, but I can’t find the words to reply to her. “And whose Demetra?”
“The new girl,” Geo scoffs. “I nearly pounded that assholes face in,”
“G!” Laila snaps, looking back at her boyfriend. “You’re not making this any better,” I pull away from Laila, stumbling a bit before leaning against the counter. “Deya,”
“I just need a second,” I say, before quickly leaving the kitchen. I make it to my room slamming the door and locking it behind me. I begin to lose the feeling in my legs, dropping to the floor. I want to cry but nothing come up, everything just feels numb. Soon I’m just lying on my bedroom floor in the darkness staring at my ceiling, the only light coming from the hallway and the moon.
“I’m sorry Deya,” I hear Geo through the door. “But you deserve to know,” I don’t leave my room for the rest of the night, and I go to bed when I hear Calum offer to take Laila and Geo back to their hotel. In the morning despite every part of my body telling me not to, I still get up and dressed for my Doctors appointment. Laila and Geo are already waiting for me in the kitchen with a fresh homemade meal by Calum.
“Good morning!” Calum says, sliding me a plate. “How’d you sleep?”
“How do you think?” I ask.
“Sorry bud,” he says.
“Stop apologizing,” I say, grabbing my plate and a fork. “Can we just not talk about this? Not now,” I say.
“Are you still going to tell him about-” Laila starts, but I slam my hand down on the counter cutting her sentence short.
“I said not right now,” I snap. Before taking a deep breath. The rest of breakfast is eaten in silence, when it’s time to leave I quickly get dressed, and Calum drives us to the Doctors office.
“Good morning Ms. Waterson! I see you brought some guest is this the Father?” Doctor Richardson says, when walk into the office.
“No, this is just my best friends,” I say. “The Father is still unaware,” the doctor nods, before guiding me to the table.
“Where this is just a routine little checkup, we won’t be able to find out the gender until around August,”
“That’s alright with me, as long as my baby is healthy,”
“Everything seems to be looking alright, do you guys want to hear the heartbeat?” she asks, looking over at Laila and Geo.
“I would love too!” Laila says. Doctor Richardson switches on the machine, applying the blue jelly onto my stomach before sliding the nozzle over my stomach. Immediately the small heartbeat of my child fills the room. “It’s beautiful!” Laila gushes. We wrap things up and Calum picks us up from the office and we go back to Geo and Laila’s hotel room to hang out, while Calum runs errands.
“I’m sorry about earlier,” I say, sitting on their couch. “I didn’t mean to snap at you, I just, I don’t know how to comprehend this all,” I admit.
“I’m sorry, I know I pry but I want to make sure you’re okay! You’re all alone out here and the only connection you have to your old life is Abraham’s child,” Laila says.
“I just can’t believe…. All the girls, it’s her,” I say, resting my head on the back of the couch. “I feel like a complete idiot,” I admit.
“He’s the idiot alright, what you and Abraham was special something people get once in a lifetime,” Laila says.
“Thank you for pointing that one out for me,”
“What I mean is, he is going to realize that nobody compares to you Adeya you guys are two puzzle pieces that just fit,”
“Well he doesn’t think so anymore,” I say.
“Then screw him! You don’t need him,” Geo says. “Do what makes you happy, just like he’s doing,”