Chapter 18: Singing
I can’t believe he saw them. I had never felt more embarrassed and ashamed in my life. I felt so pathetic. Here I was acting so strong and saying that him leaving was something that I didn’t even care about, but he knew that wasn’t the case now. I had the scars to prove it.
I was back to avoiding him at all costs. Avoiding all of them. Which is almost impossible considering we were on a tour together.
Every time that I was in the same room as him, I could feel his eyes on me. Whenever we made eye contact, he would give me the sad puppy dog face. I could tell he felt guilty. I didn’t care anymore. I didn’t want him to start acting like he cares just because he saw my scars. I didn’t need his pity. I had moved on from that era in my life and was a much stronger person because of the pain he had put me through.
It was so hard to sort out how I felt now. Ashton was still avoiding me. I felt my stomach clench whenever he gave me a dirty look. I hated that he was mad at me. We had gotten so close and I felt like him and I could have been really good friends. But now he won’t even look at me. I was still so incredibly attracted to him, but I knew that he hated me now, so how do I even go about discussing that with him without outing Luke and I’s past?
Then there are my feelings for Luke. I didn’t know what to think about with him anymore. I felt like he still hated me despite how I had harmed myself. I feel like he will always have a grudge. I don’t blame him. But now since he had seen the scars, he was looking at me like he used to. And despite how much it pissed me off, it made my stomach get butterflies. I hate how much my feelings about him contradict themselves.
The American leg of the tour had been pretty amazing so far. America is so cool and different. Like every place we went had something different to offer and had like a different culture almost. Everyone was really nice and the fans were CRAZY! The 1D girls are so dedicated, it’s insane. But the good thing about this tour is that 5SOS got their own tour bus since all the traveling was on the ground. So they were all excited about that. I was too, until I realized how much time I had to spend locked up in one place with all of them. But luckily, we did most of our traveling at night, so we all slept while on the bus.
I had only attended a few shows due to the fact that I had been to so many already. But the ones that I did go to, I tried to sit as far back as possible without having to make eye contact with Luke as he paraded around stage.
I was taking a shower on the bus while we were on our way to Atlanta, Georgia after a show in Nashville, Tennessee. Normally I waited to shower until the boys were in the stadium already, but someone had spilled pop on me in the middle of the show. I have a bad habit of singing in the shower, without thinking about where I am or who is around. This particular shower I started singing “Try Hard” by the boys. It was stuck in my head. I was singing really loudly and didn’t think anything of it. I sang as I got out of the shower, I sang as I was getting dressed and I was finishing up the song whenever I walked out of the bathroom.
I opened the door to see Michael standing there staring at me. But he didn’t say anything.
“What? You’re creeping me out!” I said to Michael.
“You’re really good.” Was the only thing he said.
“Umm okay…good at what?” I questioned him.
“Singing. You’re like really talented,” he said. I suddenly felt awkward. I don’t really like when people can hear me sing. I couldn’t tell if Michael was being serious. His smile confused me.
“Yeah right. Shut up,” I said as I pushed past him.
“No Rylie, I’m dead serious. Have you ever sang in front of anyone before?” he asked. I looked at his face for a minute. He wasn’t smiling anymore. He looked completely serious but amazed at the same time.
“Umm nobody but my vocal teacher. My mom has had me in lessons for a couple of years.” I said quietly, feeling uncomfortable.
“Rylie, you have to show people this. I am completely in shock. You have such a powerful voice yet soothing voice,” Michael said excitedly.
“What? No way! I can’t sing in front of people!” I said defensively.
“Are you serious? Rylie, I wouldn’t lie to you. You need to show someone this. You should sing with us! We have to show the rest of the boys. Of course your mom would be okay with it. But which song would you sing? Try Hard of course, you were just singing it. And then---”
“WOAH WOAH EARTH TO MICHAEL! Slow down! I said no.” I said angrily. Michael closed his mouth but continued to look at me with wide eyes.
“You’re not even going to consider it?” Michael said after a few moments of silence and staring at me like I was crazy. I thought about it for a minute before I answered.
“Sing at one of your shows, in front of thousands of people? No way. I could never do that. I can barely sing in front of my vocal coach. I’m not good enough. What if they laughed at me? No. Never.” I said with finality.
Michael shook his head in disbelief. “Okay. But I’m not giving up on this.” He said as he turned around and started walking back to his bed.
“Michael!” I said quickly. He turned around with an excited face.
“Can you keep this between us? I don’t want anyone else to know.” I said, watching his face fall from excited to upset. He nodded.
“Thank you.” I said as he turned back around and walked through the door.
Suddenly I was having a major flashback.
Luke and I were sitting on a deserted playground at 9 in the evening during the summer. We were 13 years old. He was sitting at the top of the slide and I was sitting on the swing without actually swinging. Luke was talking about songs. I don’t remember why. We always talked about the most random things. He was amazed that people could write whole songs and they could actually be good.
“Like, how? I just don’t understand. I’ve tried writing songs and they all turn out to be terrible.” He said sounding frustrated. I giggled.
“I think that song writing is something that you have to practice. It’s all about expressing true emotion and putting it in a way that everyone can understand.” I said, from experience.
“But like why are all songs about love? It’s so repetitive.” Luke said.
“Because love is something that everyone can relate to.” I said while looking at the ground. I felt Luke’s eyes on me.
“You’ve written songs haven’t you?” he asked suddenly. Ugh I hate him. He can read me like an opened book. I didn’t respond and kept looking at the ground. I heard him go down the slide, and walk towards me. After a matter of seconds, I could feel his presence in front of me. He didn’t say anything for a while.
“Let me hear it.” He said without waiting to hear my answer. I looked up at him. He was staring right back at me. I shook my head.
“Rylie, it’s me. You are safe with me.” He said. He was seriously too mature for his own good.
I don’t know how he did it. But within 15 minutes, I was sitting at my piano in my house, pulling out my handwritten music. I had been playing the piano since second grade.
I sang my song for him. I got lost in the music, without thinking about the fact that I was actually performing in front of someone, especially him. I sang the last few words and finished the last note. I kept looking straight ahead for a few moments before turning towards him.
“Rylie…” I heard him say next to me. It was almost a whisper.
I turned my head to finally look at him. I was scared of what he was going to say. His face didn’t show what he was thinking.
“That was honestly amazing. I had no idea that you could sing like that. Or write such amazing songs. Why have I never heard of this talent before?” Luke asked.
“Umm I don’t know. I’m not really comfortable with the idea of performing in front of other people.” I said honestly.
“Well you’re crazy. If I had half the talent you had, I would form my own band.” Luke said.
My thoughts brought me back to the present. I laughed to myself. I can’t believe he had said that. Luke is incredibly talented musically. Everyone obviously knows that now. Including himself. I mean obviously, he started a band just like he said he would.
Just another example of how Luke knows me better than anyone in the world. And that fact scares me.