I knew I had to talk to Luke. It was inevitable. I didn’t want to be responsible for the break up of 5 Seconds of Summer. These boys had incredible talent and I knew they had a future. It would be utterly selfish for me to be the reason that they broke up.
I was still waiting for the courage though. I still sat in my room. I missed Luke’s birthday. I wouldn’t have known what to say to him. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen any of them. It was hard to avoid them, but I had become an expert at it. And it was leaving me to feel completely lonely and bad about myself.
I just didn’t know how to go about it. What do I even say to him? I’ve gone over several possibilities in my head but every time I played out the conversation, it ended in a fight. That’s the last thing I wanted.
I decided it had to be done within the next three days or this band had little chance of surviving.
I layed in the bed all day going over and over what I was going to say. I decided it had to be done tonight. I didn’t even know where we were, but it had to be done once Luke got back on the tour bus. I was gonna call him into the room and say “Listen, I don’t want to be the reason that you and your band break up so I think we need to come clean about our past friendship”. It was simple, with no mention of Ashton and not saying anything about Calum. Just enough to get my point across. I looked at my phone. 6:00 PM. I had about 4 hours until they were back on the bus. I closed my eyes thinking about what was going to happen.
Suddenly there was a knock on the door.
“Rylie honey, we need to talk.” I heard my moms voice from the other side of the door. I rolled my eyes but got up to answer it.
I opened the door a crack. “Yes?” I asked.
“Are you coming to the show tonight?” she asked in her sweetest voice.
“Umm no. Why would I?” I asked her.
“Well the boys have prepared a new song and I think it would mean a lot to them if they could get your opinion on it?” She said with a small smile.
I opened the door an inch more.
“Why would they want my opinion? They’ve never asked for it before.” I said confusedly.
“Well this song is really good and I really want you to hear it. Besides, you’ve been cooped up in that room for ages. I apologized for your father showing up. It was a mistake and I know that now. I was just trying to help. I’ll make sure you don’t see the band until they are on stage. Please Rylie. Just come to the show, for me.” My mom said. I could hear the desperation in her strained voice.
I stood in silence for a few moments.
“Alright. Be out in 10.” I said finally as I closed the door. I heard my mom give a sigh of relief.
It’s been too long since I’ve been off the bus. I was going a bit stir crazy.
I got dressed into a pair of ripped jean shorts, an American flag tank top cut off shirt, and my red Vans. I put on a bit of foundation and blush, swiped on some mascara and finished with a little bit of eye shadow. I made my sure my hair was acceptable, it was doing the whole dry in weird waves that can actually look cute sometimes thing. It was fine. I looked casual in a cute way I guess.
I opened the door to see my mom sitting on one of the couches looking at her phone.
“I’m ready.” I said quietly. She looked up from her phone and a smile appeared on her thin lips.
“You look beautiful honey.” She said. I gave her a small smile. She gave me my VIP and backstage pass as I followed her off the bus. It was about 30 minutes until the show. Just enough time to get me through security and into my front row seat. I looked around the venue and caught that we were in Kansas City. Hmm that’s random.
I followed some of security to my seat. They always stood around me in case some fans went crazy. Which actually happened more than you think. I sat in my seat looking around at the fans.
They were mostly here for One Direction. Obviously, since it was their concert. But it was cool how the amount of people singing the 5sos songs increased every show. They were slowly but surely gaining the approval of America and American fans. I was proud of them. They had come a long way from the first few shows when almost no one knew who they were or knew their songs. But some of the girls in the audience actually had shirts on with the 5sos label, a couple of them had signs to them. That was really cool to see.
The boys came out onto the stage. I made eye contact with Luke. He gave me smile that almost looked nervous. They played the first song like normal. I wondered when the new song was coming up. They played two more songs including Beside You and Try Hard. Normally they ended with Heartbreak Girl. But this time they did something different.
Luke walked up to the mike.
“KANSAS CITY!!!! You’ve been amazing. Incredible to be here. We are going to be doing something extra special for you tonight. We are going to play a brand new song. Never been heard by anyone but us in the band and two other people. But we didn’t write it. This song was written by my very best friend since we were 5, Rylie Martin. Rylie, can we join us up here please?” Luke said as he looked over at me.
It took me a few seconds to realize what he had said. I made eye contact with him and could feel how wide my eyes were. What the fuck was he talking about? Before I had time to react, the security guards were pulling at me so they could escort me to the stage and lift me onto it. I looked at the rest of the band as I was being pulled. Calum had a huge smile, Michael had his mouth opened in complete shock and Ashton’s face was blank.
“When Rylie and I were 13 years old, she showed me this song that she had written. I was in shock at her talent. And even more in shock of how amazing this song was. Where’s Rylie?” He said.
After about 30 seconds I had been lifted onto the stage and was standing on the edge of it, frozen in my spot. Terror drained over me. Why was this happening? I turned to look at the crowd and saw all the faces of confused people and impatient fans. I then saw my moms face. She gave me a huge smile and encouraging thumbs up.
I felt a hand grasp my shoulder and looked over to see Michael giving me a smile. He took my hand and pulled me closer to the center of stage.
“Ready boys, 1-2-1-2-3” Luke said loudly.
Calum strum on the bass to start the song, with Ashton hitting the bass drum in the back. Then Michael and Luke joined in with their guitars. It sounded familiar but different.
Luke approached the microphone. He looked towards me when he got there.
“She sits at home with the lights out, seeing life in different colors, I think it’s time that we wake up, so let me take you away,” Luke sang.
I felt my heart contract. He was singing the song I had shown him the day on the piano. Unpredictable. He remembered.
Calum took over with backup by the rest of the guys for the hook. Then they all sang the chorus.
“Hey we’re taking on the world, I’ll take you where you want to go, pick you up if you fall to pieces, let me be the one to save you. Break the plans we had before, let’s be unpredictable, pick you up if you fall to pieces, let me be the one to save you.”
“What you didn’t know about Rylie is that she is also a fantastic singer. Rylie, can you help us out with the next verse?” Luke said into the mic during a musical break.
I shook my head. He gave me begging look. I turned to face Michael. He walked up to his mic.
“I think Rylie needs a little bit of help. Show her some love Kansas City!!!” Michael said.
The stadium erupted. I had never heard such a think. It was a completely different experience being on stage compared to being in the crowd. The lights were extremely bright and it was so loud.
I couldn’t just not do it. I had never been comfortable singing in front of people and this time was no different. But I knew if I didn’t do it, I would regret it the rest of my life. I walked over to Michael’s mic and started the second verse.
“It took so long to convince you, I know I had to show my colors. You never wanted to be rescued so let me take you away,” I finished the verse and the audience’s screams came back into focus and it was even louder then it had been before. I felt my confidence building. So what if I was terrible, at least they were being nice to me. Calum sang the hook and then Luke pointed to me again for the chorus.
I walked back up to the mic and put my mouth as close as possible. I closed my eyes while I sang the chorus, completely losing myself in the song and of the memories that it conjured. All of them including Luke. This song was about him. Every word.
I finished the chorus and there was another musical break. I watched Luke as he played a solo on the guitar. He was so attractive. Everything about him. Especially when he wasn’t even trying to be attractive.
Calum sang the refrain and then it was to me to sing the chorus again, this time twice. This time I actually looked out into the crowd and saw people swaying to the music and yelling and clapping and a few already knew the words to the chorus. This was so exhilarating.
Then was time for the ending for lines which we all sang together. I finished the song with a really loud “UNPREDICTABLE!”
The crowd went insane. I felt myself get goose bumps at the sound. This is what I’ve always wanted. To be in front of a crowd.
“Thank you Kansas City! You have been absolutely amazing. Let’s give one more hand to our friend Rylie Martin.” Luke said. The crowd went crazy again. “Have an amazing night and enjoy the amazing show put on by our mates ONE DIRECTION!” The crowd naturally went even more crazy at the sound of One Direction. “We’re 5 Seconds of Summer, and thank you again!”
The lights for the stage darkened. I felt myself being pulled of stage by the security guards and before I knew it, I was back in my seat.
What a rush. I had never felt such joy. Being on stage and singing. One of my own songs even. It was insane. No wonder Luke loved it so much.
He did all that for me. He remembered my song, he taught it to the band and he played at it his concert. And he said it out loud. He said that we had been friends since we were 5. I wonder how the other guys are taking it. I wonder how Ashton is.
I sat in silence while the rest of the crowd waited for One Direction to come out.
So I’m guessing that was Luke’s way of apologizing for being a complete ass. It was definitely some apology. We could go back to being friends again.
Did I want to be just friends with Luke again? That’s what I wasn’t sure of. It had hurt so incredibly bad when he had left me. Looking back on it, it’s because I had feelings for him. But he didn’t see me as anymore than a friend. That was clear. Why would he have left? Being more than friends with him would only lead to more incredible pain if he left. I’m not sure I could handle that again.
Suddenly a tap on my shoulder interrupted my thoughts. I turned around to see a young attractive woman dressed in a suit standing in the aisle next to me. She smiled at me.
“Rylie Martin?” She asked.
“Uh yeah that’s me.” I said dumbly. She smiled again and reached out to shake my hand. I slowly put my hand into hers.
“Hi! I’m Melissa Everest. I am the head of the recruitment unit for Johnson School of the Arts in Los Angeles.” She said as she let go of my hand.
“Umm okay?” I said very confusedly. She smiled at me again.
“You are very talented. I’ve been looking for a young lady of your talent for a couple of months now. I have found talented girls sure but none that compare to you in your stage presence and realness. You wrote the song that was just performed?” Melissa asked.
It took me a few seconds to realize what she had just said.
“Yes. I wrote it. But I’m confused.” I said. She let out a small chuckle.
“I am interested in having you be a student at Johnson School of the Arts. There you will further your vocal practice and take other classes that relate to your major. We will prepare you for your professional career.” She said.
The crowd screamed as the intro to One Direction’s first song started playing.
“Looks like our talking time is up! Here is my card, please give me a call tomorrow. I highly recommend it. You have great talent and I would hate to see it go to waste.” Melissa said as she handed me a business card. She shook my hand, smiled at me and then turned and walked to a seat a few rows back.
What just happened?