Southern Constellations

Romany Fitzgerald wishes one day to lead a frivolous and harmonic life pursuing her dreams, but first, she must complete the exhausting challenge of being an actual teenager. Romany believes her vicinity is filled with people who just do not understand, in fact, nobody understands. Most of all, there's a person she would give her left arm to avoid.

Austin Orion.

Hell-bent on bringing beautiful chaos into Romany's life, can Austin and Romany build a steady friendship on the ruins of a lifetime of hatred? This seems far too surreal for Romany, but she is unknowing of the hell and torment waiting for her around the corner; she was yet to lose possibly the most important thing she had in the world; music.
But she still has the constellations for guidance; looking for answers in a world that doesn't know the question, can Romany delve deeper into what is meant to be and follow her heart?

Did fate fall short this time?

A/N: Rated red for bad language and trauma.

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13. Thirteen

 

I didn't know what to do with myself for a while. I stayed with Austin because, in fairness, I really wouldn't know what he, or I, would do; in the state we were in if we were left alone.

We sat on the sofa in a soundless embrace, Austin's head had slumped onto my shoulder and silent tears regularly fell from his eyes onto my tshirt. My arm was wrapped around his shoulders and I let my fingers gently soothe his skin in an attempt to make the whole situation a little less traumatic.

Without a moment's warning, the door obnoxiously burst open and in strutted Vic Nichols with a guitar strapped around his body.

"Hello?!" He yelled through the house, before his eyes found us on the sofa, "Oh! There you are!" He stopped when he noticed my arm around Austin. "You two look cosy." He appeared as if he was gritting his teeth; he looked me right in the eye, making me feel strangely guilty.

"Vic, not now." I said, hushing him.

"What? I came here to jam with Austin for a bit," he looks into the kitchen and back to the living room, "Where's Lillian?"

"Vic, not now." I said, this time through gritted teeth.

He walked further into the room and noticed Austin's cold, blank stare, and the tear-stains painting his cheeks.

The penny dropped.

"Holy shit," he breathed. He knelt down in front of Austin. "Are you OK?"

Austin took in an angry breath – I could feel it from where my arm was wrapped around his shoulder.

"Does it fucking look like I am O-fucking-K?"

He knocked my arm from around him and looked Vic square in the face. "I've just lost the woman in my life that has been everything to me for as long as I can remember, my dad has done a shitty job at bringing me up, not letting me see my own mother, and now she's gone! No I am not fucking OK, alright?" Vic winced at Austin's harsh words, and I knew something would explode if I didn't step in soon.

"Dude, I'm sorry, OK?"

"Stop fucking saying OK, it's not OK!" Austin seethed, clenching his fists in the process. I stood up, pulling Vic up by his t-shirt and dragged him over to the front door. Pushing him outside, I followed him and closed the door behind me.

"Listen," I breathed unsympathetically, "I know it's not your fault, he just needs some space, okay? Just give him space and he'll come round, he's upset and tired and angry and he just needs to rest, okay Vic?"

He sighed dramatically, "I get it, I get it, I'm sorry for barging in like that, tell him I'm sorry about Lillian. I really am." He begins to walk away and I screw my face up in frustration. I didn't need to be such a bitch about it.

I call him back, and he turns around with an apologetic look in his eyes.

"Look, Vic, I'm sorry, it's been a hard day." He walks over and pulls me into a much needed embrace. He gave me a sad smile.

"You're going to be okay Romany, I know you are." He placed his hand on my cheek and looked me in the eyes. It was a bit forward, but I didn't object; it was kind of comforting. He went to say something else, as if it were important. He stopped.

"I'll let you get some rest." Another sad smile later, and he had already walked down the path and was out of sight.

I got back in the house and Austin was curled in a ball on the sofa, gentle sobs occasionally escaping his lips, dampening his t-shirt. I'd never seen anyone like it.

"It's okay Austin." I sighed, sitting next to him and resting my head on his body, "it's going to get better, I promise you."

 

And there we slept in a quiet and peaceful embrace, escaping from the world into our own little caverns of imagination.

It was short lived though. I slept for a few hours before waking; I had a blanket wrapped around me and a pillow propped up under my head, presumably Austin's work. My eyes flickered open and I saw Austin sat on the armchair opposite with a notepad poised in his hands. He was scrawling away.

"Sorry, I didn't mean to wake you." He whispered, looking up from his notes.

"It's okay, you didn't. What are you doing, anyway?"

"Just working on a song, it's nothing much." I smiled lightly.

"Maybe I can hear it one day?"

"I hope so, it needs some tweaking first. You'll be the first to hear; after all you were the inspiration for it." He smiled shyly. My heart fluttered slightly, I didn't know what to say. "Anyway, go back to sleep, you need rest."

"You need rest too."

"I'll be fine."

I decided to take his word for it and snuggled back on the sofa, letting his occasional humming to his new melody lull me into the land of sleep.

 

***

 

I dreamt of the beautiful hill. I was watching the stars again, lying on my back. That was when I heard a voice.

 

"If you see an extra bright star, you'll know it's me smiling down on you," the voice was faint and melodious, but I could tell immediately it was Lillian. I took mental note. Extra bright star: Lillian.

 

***

 

I was caught in a limbo between sleep and reality. Everything was hazy, and I felt confused, like I couldn't move, and I was stuck, but I was falling into a never-ending abyss and— I was alarmingly awoken by cascading over the side of the sofa, landing with a thud on the carpet on my back, my breathing unsteady and my heart pounding.

"Are you okay?" Austin said with a slight chuckle, but stopped when he noticed my panicked expression. He came over and knelt down beside me, placing his hand on my cheek.

"You're burning up, are you alright?"

"I dreamt—I dreamt that-" tears began to slip from my eyes, falling immediately to the ground after sweeping across my cheeks. I didn't bother sitting up. "Lillian was speaking to me. She was there, she was-" Austin hushed me, stroking my cheeks to soothe my distress.

"It's okay, I'm here."

I smiled gently at the memory of her words. "She said: 'If you see an extra bright star, it's me smiling down on you.'" Austin gave me a watery smile back as he cherished the fond words. After still making no effort to sit up, Austin pushed away the hair that was sticking to my face with the tears and brushed it behind my ear. He suddenly bent down and placed a tender kiss on my forehead.

"Everything will be okay." He spoke softly, his deep voice cracking slightly.

"I hope so, Austin, I really hope so."

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