Chapter 1: Now
February 14, 2013
I suddenly awoke to the sound of a garbage truck outside of my window. Ugh it was too early for this. I opened my eyes to look at the clock; it was 9 in the morning, and I was on a break from school. Well, might as well get up and get ready for the day. I wasn’t going back to sleep now.
I rolled over and hoisted myself up to sit on the edge of my bed. I then reached over and turned on the radio to the popular hip-hop station just as a song had ended.
“Well good morning Australia, and Happy Valentine’s Day. That was All My Love by Macy Goldston. I’ll be playing love songs all day to get in the spirit of the holiday. Up next is a popular tune that the teenagers will swoon over. ‘What Makes You Beautiful’ by the British/Irish boy band, One Direction. And we actually have some news for all you fans out there. The boys have just now announced the opening act for their ‘Take Me Home’ tour scheduled to start on the 23rd of February. Little close isn’t it boys? The fact the band is from Sydney makes up for it though. That’s right. The band made of Ashton, Michael, Calum and Luke is an up and coming band from our own country, named 5 Seconds of Summer. They play their own instruments, write and sing their own songs. They gained popularity over YouTube by posting covers of popular songs and gained a following. At the end of last year, they posted their own music video to a song they had written. It became instantly popular receiving over 100,000 views in the first 24 hours. I am excited to see how the world likes them! Congratulations boys and good luck.” The announcer finished as the One Direction song started.
Cool. No one cares. Their probably just some wannabe rockers who dress pretty, look hot and have little to no talent. Same old, same old.
Since my mother was in the music industry, I had met a countless number of bands that all had their “big break” but were really just not talented at all. But that was when I was younger. My mom left the business to stay home with me so I could be in public school. My dad was a musician and was always traveling, so it was either quit her job, or I go to boarding school.
But recently, my mom has been trying to reenter the industry due to my dad leaving us. One night, him and my mom got into a fight about God knows what, he picked up his guitar and a suitcase that had already been packed, kissed my forehead and left. That was about a year and a half ago. We haven’t heard from him since, besides the check that he sends my mom every month. At least we had that live off of while my mom looked for a job.
My mom had been gone for about a week looking for a band to work with. I had been home alone, feeding myself and taking myself to singing lessons while she had been gone. It had become a normal routine. Her looking for a job in a random city, and I taking care of myself. But she was due back today.
I finally got out of bed and took myself to the bathroom where I showered. I dried my long dark brown naturally wavy hair. It didn’t poof out like it normally does, so I decided to keep it wavy instead of straightening it. I walked back into my room to pick out an outfit. Clothes were something that I was never very passionate about. I mean I love clothes, and I have some cute outfits, but I was nowhere near a fashionista. I wasn’t unique enough to have the most stylish wardrobe, and I was okay with that. So for today, I chose a pair of white jean capris, a blue with little white polka dots button up shirt and a pair of white strappy sandals. Even though it was Valentines Day, there would be no need for any red or pink in my outfit. I was single as a pringle, and always have been.
I looked into the mirror at my outfit. It was definitely cute. I’ll have to wear it to school next week. I looked at my face in the reflection. Green eyes, straight nose, small mouth with pink lips. Just the face I saw everyday, nothing special.
Just then I heard my front door open and my mother screaming/singing “Rylie! I’m home.”
Well that’s the happiest she’s sounded in months. I better go see if she’s okay. I ran down the stairs of our two bedroom duplex to see her dancing around the kitchen. Oh no. She’s gone loony.
“Mom! Are you okay? Should I call an ambulance??” I asked reaching for my cell phone in my back pocket.
As I was unlocking it, my mom pulled my phone out of my hand. “No need for an ambulance sweetie. But I have FANTASTIC news! I got the job!” she said, beaming.
“What?? No way! Mom that’s great!!!! I am so proud of you!” I said as I hugged her.
“Thank you thank you, I’ll be here all week,” she said with a bow. I laughed as I went to the cupboard to get out some cereal. Once I had my bowl made I sat down at the table with my mom.
“So tell me about it! What’s the job?” I asked.
“Well it’s this really talented band that is going on tour and they needed a tour manager. And that’s where I come in!” she said excitedly.
“That’s great! Just like you used to do! What band is it?” I asked.
“They are a band from Sydney that just announced their opening for One Direction. They are called 5 Seconds of Summer,” she said looking hesitant.
“Mom! That’s gre--- wait a minute. One Direction’s WORLD tour? You can’t be serious?” I said feeling confused.
“Well honey, it was a job, and I am in desperate need. The checks I receive can cover expenses for you, but I need money for myself.” My mom said carefully avoiding the mention of my dad.
“But mom, what am I supposed to do? Just sit at home while you’re touring the world?” I asked already feeling lonely.
“Of course not sweetie. You’d come with me.” She said with a cautious smile.
“And drop my entire life here??” I said getting angry.
“Sweetie. I am sorry to say this, but you don’t have much of a life here. Sure you have some friends, but how close are you to them really? You’ve only had one person over in the past two years, and you spend every Friday and Saturday night singing, watching TV or locked up in your room on your computer. You can do all that on tour, with me. Plus you’ll see the world, not to mention the four very attractive boys in the band, and the five very attractive boys in One Direction. You’ll get to meet and hang out with them. Who else your age in the world can say that? Rylie, I need this job. We need this job. It’s the only way I can send you to college in the States, like you’ve always wanted. I am begging you to go on this journey with me. It’ll be fun! PLEASE???” she said with an expectant smile.
I sat in silence as I ate my bowl of cereal, thinking it over. Everything that she had said was true, and that was the sad part. I really didn’t have a reason to stay here. I wasn’t involved in anything really, and ever since Luke stopped talking to me, I really didn’t have any close friends. All the more reason to start over fresh. I looked up at my mom to see her patiently smiling at me.
“When do we leave?” I said with a sulking tone, but a small smile. My mom jumped up and gave me a hug.
“We leave for London on Monday. So that gives you about three days to pack your things. You’ll probably want to pack all of your clothes, for every type of weather. Especially for London. It’s freezing there. Now get moving. We have a lot of work to do!” my mom said as she got up to go to her room.
I watched her walk away, no sorry, skip away and thought about what had just happened. I felt like I needed to talk to someone about it. But I didn’t have any friends to tell. Then an idea popped into my head.
I got up and put my bowl in the sink. Then I went down to the bottom of the stairs. “Mom, I am going to the store! I’ll be back in an hour,” I yelled up to my mother. She yelled back her approval. I went to the one car garage and pulled out my bike.
I rode through my town, Fairfield, taking in the familiar sights and thinking about how I would miss it when I was gone. It was weird that after 17 years of living here, not much had changed about it. I rode past the pool that I had not visited since the day that Luke stopped talking to me. It felt weird being there without him. I rode past the sign saying I was leaving Fairfield, and entering Fairfield West. It had been a long time since I had been on this side of town.
I rode along the streets from memory, not really paying attention to where I was going. And suddenly I was in front of a house that I had not visited in two and half years.
Luke’s house. It looked the exact same as the last time I saw it. It was a fairly large house to accommodate Luke, his two brothers, his parents and his dog Molly. The only thing that was different was the name on the mailbox. It no longer said Hemmings, it said Johnson. What? They moved?
Before I could stop myself, I was walking up the steps and ringing the doorbell. A middle aged women answered. She looked me up and down, smiled, and asked, “Can I help you dear?”
“Umm yes. I had a friend that used to live here, his name was Luke Hemmings and I was just wanting to know when they moved out.” I said.
“Oh well my family and I have lived here for about two years. So I am guessing that is the family that lived here before us. I believe that they moved to Sydney. I’m sorry.” She said with a smile.
“Oh that’s alright. Thank you. Have a nice day.” I said. She nodded and I turned around and headed back down the stairs.
As I rode home, I remembered something that happened two and a half years ago. I hadn’t heard from Luke since he had left the pool about a week ago, so I decided to come to his house to try and talk to him. I rang the doorbell and his mother answered. She gave me a thin smile as she opened the door.
“Hi Mrs. Hemmings, is Luke home?” I asked hopeful.
“I am sorry Rylie. Luke has told me that he doesn’t want to hear from you. I am not sure what happened between you two but I know that he is really upset. I would give him some time to figure it out. I am sure that in a week or two, he will contact you. But I would just let him be until he does.” She ended with a stern looking, telling me that I should listen to what she said. I slowly nodded, trying not to cry, as I headed back down the stairs to my bike.
I focused my attention back on the present as I pulled into my driveway. I needed to stop thinking about Luke. It was in the past. I had a lot of packing to do and almost no time to do it. I ran upstairs and started packing almost every piece of clothing I owned, thinking about what was about to happen.
An 8 month tour with a famous boy band and an up and coming band. This shall be interesting.