Let It Go

19-year-old Kendall Lawson decides to transfer to Westminster University in England to live with her father, aunt, and younger cousin after she gets into an explosive fight with her mother. This means a new school, a new family life, and new experiences: including meeting One Direction and, against her wishes, getting particularly close to a certain Irishman.

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1. Bitter Goodbye, Sweet Hello.

“And please, honey, remember to just call me every once in a while once your dad gets your new phone set up.”

“Yes, Mom.”

“Of course, Skype is more preferred, but you know, I’d love an occasional text or call…”

“Okay, Mom.”

I was already in a sour mood. Mom was being a pain in the ass since we'd arrived at JFK airport.

“Do you have everything you need? All your luggage? Ticket?”

I don't know how many times she asked the workers if my guitar and luggage would be okay. While I was overprotective of it and my belongings, her game of twenty questions with me and her asking the workers ridiculous questions was getting on my nerves.

I nodded my head this time and let out a loud sigh. “Mom. I’m nineteen years old. Calm down.”

“I know. But, oh, Kendall. You’ll be a whole country away from me.”

I could see my mom was trying to hold in the tears through her almond brown eyes. Though deep down I knew I'd sort of, kind of miss her, I was still mad at her. This was something I didn't just want, but needed.

“You be good. Let me know when you land. Tell everyone I say hello and that I miss them.”

The announcer of the loudspeaker called for my flight.

“I will, Mom. Love you. I'll see you soon, okay?”

“I love you too, Kendall. I'll talk to you later.” She kissed me on the cheek and hugged me as tight as she could with my backpack on.

I started to pull my carry-on luggage towards the gate and got on line.

“Kendall! Kendall!”

I swiveled around and looked in all directions.

My father, who I hadn’t seen face-to-face for almost three months, was excitedly waving at me.

I grinned and started running over to my dad. “Dad!”

“Aw, Kendall.” He hugged me close and pulled away after a few seconds. “How’s my girl? How was your first year of college?"

I chuckled. “It was pretty good, Dad. Lots to tell you.”

“Same here, kiddo.”

“How’s Aunt Julie and Ryan?”

“Doing good. Ryan’s just starting primary school. Equivalent to kindergarten in the States.”

"I can't believe he's five already. Wow."

Dad nodded his head. “Yeah, he’s getting to be a big boy.”

“I can’t wait to see him and Aunt Julie. I’ve been counting down the days.”

He smiled softly as we walked over to the baggage claim. We grabbed the two large luggage cases I had, only having to worry about packing clothes, necessities, and toiletries.

"Aunt Julie knows that you're already taking five classes this upcoming semester, and she doesn't want to overwhelm you, but she's got a job hooked up for you. If you want it. Classes don't start for two weeks, so she thought it'd be a good way to make some money and meet some people."

"I'll think about it," I said. "That's really awesome." 

Dad and I wheeled out my luggage and made our way to the parking lot. He pressed a button on his car keys as I started heading for the right side of the car. We played a quick game of Tetris with trying to fit the large suitcases in the trunk and were successful after a few minutes.

"A left-sided driver's car?" I asked.

"They have them here. Your aunt tried to teach me when I first got here. Not quite my thing."

We both chuckled as we got into the car. Dad started the engine and pulled out of his parking spot as we attempted to leave the crowded lot. After dealing with people who weren't paying attention and traffic with everyone trying to get out, we were on the road.

The excitement rushed through me: I was seeing my aunt and little cousin in mere minutes. Sure, we'd make a point of Skyping each other, but it wasn't the same. I was fourteen when Ryan was born. Ryan was like a little brother to me. When Aunt Julie was in between working her two jobs in New Jersey at two of the local diners, I baby-sat Ryan. 

Aunt Julie and Ryan left for London shortly after Ryan had turned three. While I was excited, I was also nervous at the same time.

As if he knew what was on my mind, Dad said, "Ryan still remembers you, Kendall." 

"Yeah?"

Dad made an "oh yeah" face and nodded his head confidently. "Aunt Julie's got photos around the flat. She's had them since they moved. She's pointed to a picture and asked, 'who's that?' and he'll answer, 'Kendie!' You know. He still can't totally say Kendall yet."

I laughed. Five-year-olds.

Dad parallel parked in front of a building that loomed over us.

"Wow," was all I could say.

"This is the place. We'll, the building. C'mon, let's get your stuff. Aunt Julie's probably wondering where we're at. And so is your mother. But I e-mailed her earlier to let her know that you landed." 

I breathed a sigh of relief, totally forgetting to check in with my mom. Dad and I jumped out of the car, grabbing my belongings and trekked up the stairs to the entrance. A pretty lobby greeted us. Dad pointed to the elevator, dragging one suitcase and holding a duffel. 

"Floor five," he instructed. 

"Okay," I said, getting into the elevator and pressing number 'five.' My heart was beginning to race now. The ride up went by agonizingly slow, yet at the speed of lightning all at the same time.

"C'mon Kendall. Let's get settled."

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