Luke smiled. "That's my girl..." His hand slipped under the table, and gently squeezed her upper thigh.
Rylie was half asleep as she turned on her side, and heard a crumpled noise beneath her body. The bed was warm and Rylie didn't want to get up, but she started to recall Michael's soft hands touching her vulnerable body.
What did she do? She just had sex with her ex-boyfriend's best friend just because she was lonely. The feelings were to make her feel better, and she felt so ashamed of herself. Michael saw the moment as love, and Rylie was practically using him.
She also felt guilty, like she had cheated. Her and Luke were unofficially but obviously over, so why did Rylie feel so convicted?
She looked up, remembering that Michael was still in her presence. What would happen next? Would he leave, or would he stay and act like everything was alright?
Rylie felt the pillow beside her, and it was long since unoccupied. It was cold to her touch, and she lifted her head to see messy sheets, and no Michael.
"Michael...." Rylie whispered, her voice raspy and weak.
Rylie pushed her body up and tugged the satin sheets securely around her body. She looked around her room, the sunlight seeping in her small window, leaving a streak of yellow light in the middle of her room.
Michael's clothes disappeared from the ground, and Rylie knew he had left. She frowned, not ever seeing Michael as the guy to leave so early in the morning after a one-night stand.
Rylie felt that loneliness crawl into her again. Michael obviously didn't want her now too. No matter what she did, nothing would take that feeling away. It was so much deeper than the last time she had her heart broken. Luke had imprinted her with love, and she wouldn't get over it. She might be able to live life with it as a burden constantly over her shoulder, but she would never get over it. Rylie didn't want that life, but forgiveness for Luke was nowhere in her future.
She searched her covers for that crunching noise she heard earlier. Rylie picked up a small, crinkled piece of paper under her, and she curiously read the messy handwriting adorned on it.
What we did was a poor excuse for companionship. I'm ashamed I allowed us to keep going. I know that you are mad at Luke, but I still feel guilty. He's my best friend, and you love him, not me. I have to accept that. I know you don't love me like that, and I'm trying to get over it. I shouldn't have fallen for you, but I did.
I left so early because I was afraid of when you woke up. I didn't know what would happen next. When I see you again, I want us to forget about the things that have happened, and start over. Rylie, I will see you again.
You can't live in that room forever. The pain will get better. The tears will stop, and you can come home. We are your home. One Direction...what's left of 5 Seconds of Summer...we are your family. We don't want to lose you. Forgiveness is the first step.
Rylie, I want you to promise me as you read this to forgive Luke. You can have all the time you need, but you two are perfect for each other, and you owe it to me to forgive him. You have to. You have to come home. You and Luke have to get married, have children, and live happily ever after. I will live to see that day. Hopefully, I'll have a family, too.
It won't be long before I see you, right? I'm talking in the next month. I'm going to Australia to see my family, and I will see you soon.
In the meantime, look on your desk, and you will find your Christmas present from me.
Rylie smiled sheepishly as she traced her finger over the jagged handwriting. Michael was amazing in ways she could never describe.
She got up from her bed, and pulled on a sweater before walking over to her desk. She picked up a small, silver box, and laughed at the situation of romance and simplicity in that very moment.
Rylie opened the lid, and looked down at a small necklace with a diamond music note dangling from the silver chain.
It was beautiful. She wished Michael was there so she could give him a hug, and thank him for being so considerate. It was a perfect gift; almost as perfect as the...star. Rylie gasped, forgetting about her star. That was the perfect gift. Why did Luke have to give her that breathtaking moment. It was just more pain for her in the end. She would have to think back to that moment, and cry because it will never happen again.
No, that moment would come again someday. Michael was right. Rylie owed it to him to forgive Luke...someday.
"I promise..." Rylie mumbled under her breath as she latched the dainty necklace around her neck. She twirled it in her fingers. "I promise I'll forgive him one day. I'm not ready yet, but I will....and I promise to see you soon."
Rylie pulled some undergarments on, and opened her door to head downstairs.
Rylie caught Katie's eye as she cleared her throat at Rylie. Her stance was serious in the doorway, as if she was waiting for Rylie to come out.
"Why did I see that boy come out of you room at 3 in the morning pulling on his shirt...and crying?" Katie raised her eyebrows, and crossed her arms, patiently waiting for an answer.
"Why were you up?" Rylie threw back a question as she shrugged.
"I was working on an English report for my professor. Now answer my question." Katie poised her lips, and smoothed her cardigan down, releasing the crinkles.
Rylie stifled a laugh. "You are a very smart college girl. I think you already know what we did last night."
Katie frowned, and shook her head disapprovingly at Rylie. "You cry every day over this one boy, and then you go sleep with another-"
"I was lonely."
"That's no excuse!" Katie yelled, catching Rylie off guard. "You can't be so immature about sex! You're a little girl!"
"I'm 18!" Rylie screamed. She was done with Katie treating her like a child. She was just as capable of doing what Katie did. "You're only 3 years older than me, and yet you treat me like mom! I'm done with your judgment. Now you know why I left; because you are a sorry excuse for a sister..." Rylie spat, and turned on her heel to walk away, but Katie grabbed her arm, yanking her back.
"I'm sorry..." Katie whispered, looking at Rylie with an apologetic expression. "As long as you used protection, I don't care." Katie let go of her hard grip on Rylie's arm, and sighed as she slowly closed the door to her room.
Rylie knew those words had hurt Katie, but she deserved to hear them. Maybe she would stop acting like a spoiled mom and start acting like a sister.
Rylie sighed happily, impressed that she got her way.
"As long as you used protection, I don't care." Protection. Rylie felt the warm feeling attack her insides as she looked into Michael's eyes. The feeling was so...smooth and unrestricted. Unrestricted.
"Oh no." Rylie's voice cracked as she realized what she had done.
She walked over and shakily knocked on Katie's door.
Katie opened it almost instantly, and frowned at Rylie's nervous and tear-stricken face.
"What's wrong?" she asked immediately.
"I-we-" Rylie looked down at her shaking hands.
Katie nodded, knowing what she meant. She calmly gripped Rylie's shoulder, and pulled her into her room.
The space was clean and organized. Not a speck of dust. Not a pen out of place. The room was simple and minimalistic. The walls were a light green and matched perfectly with Katie's ruffled comforter. It looked like a college girls room, but it also had an air of child-like features. Mostly, it was the beanie babies that adorned Katie's room that made it childish. Katie had a small obsession with them. It was really the only obsession Katie had. Everyone seemingly had at least one obsession.
Katie pushed Rylie into her small, and tidy bathroom. It was just like Rylie's; only cleaner. Katie opened the cabinet in her mirror, and grabbed a small box. She pulled out a small tablet, and gave it to Rylie.
"Morning-after pill." Katie explained, and left the bathroom.
Rylie took it so quickly that she barely remembered swallowing it. That small panic was enough to make her shake for the rest of the day. Rylie looked in the mirror, disgraced with herself. Katie was right. How could she be so immature? The thought of a condom had never entered her mind, and if Katie hadn't mentioned protection, Rylie could all too quickly be a mother soon.
She left the bathroom, and looked at Katie typing away at her desk.
"Thank you..." Rylie spoke, and Katie looked up at her. She smiled thoughtfully.
"I have to look out for my little s-" Katie paused, and sighed. "Sister." she laughed, and Rylie saw that expression that every person carried when they were hiding something. Another person with another secret. Rylie rolled her eyes. She had seen that face way too often with Luke.
"Okay..." Rylie simply said, not looking further into it. Maybe it had nothing to do with her.
Rylie left the room, and went downstairs to eat voluntarily. She was actually feeling fairly decent at that moment, and she took advantage of the tears not streaming down her face. She was still shaking, but that would pass. Everything was in its place.
Rylie grabbed some leftovers from dinner Katie must have had the night before, and heated it up in the fridge before retreating to the couch.
For the first time in 3 days, Rylie saw a future ahead of her. She was still filled with agony, but that was at bay. She knew she would see something that would remind her of Luke, and she would burst into a fit of cries, but for now, she was looking quite optimistic.