Just one more day. Rylie could hold on for one more day to clear her head, and then she could make everything right. She had an ineffable feeling that by the end of tomorrow, Luke and her would be the exceptionable couple again. She tried to push away the horrid thoughts that Luke would kick her to the curb. Or worse. She cringed as her mind pictured her watching Luke from afar...with another girl. She prayed even though she had told him to, he had not moved on. She needed him. She thought she could handle being without him, but that was exceedingly impossible. She loved Luke so much that it hurt deep in her gut. Rylie would marry him tomorrow...if he wanted it. She would do anything...as long as it was with him.
She travelled down the long hallway to her hotel room for what felt like the billionth time. She nervously gripped the handle of the door, anticipating another surprise pop out at her when all she wanted to do was sleep. Night had fallen and the stars illuminated brightly in the sky, casting light on her dreary walk back from the park. She should've just rode home with Niall, but too many questions would arise out of the paparazzi. She was avoiding them more than anybody because she was in no mood for small fame. So she walked.
Before Rylie opened the door, she heard voices. Yelling, to be precise.
Rylie cursed under her breath, and contemplated running down to the lobby and finding a nice chair to sleep in. She had a confident feeling of who was behind that door. The last person she wanted to see. The one person who would surely ruin her satisfactory mood.
She gathered the courage to deal with the pain that person caused, and when the door creaked open, the voices stopped instantly to address the attention of the noise.
Rylie looked up from the floor, and nodded a hello to a disheveled Katie before meeting her mother's eyes. She sighed in discouragement, and closed the door briskly. "Hey mom." she mumbled as she threw her bag down on the bed, and glanced her mother up and down. Her mom was still perfectly precise in every way. Her pencil skirt fit tightly around her waist, and a-lined with her button-down jacket that slightly flared at the ends. Her hair was straightened and slicked back, and her makeup was obviously done in precision. Rylie wondered how they were even related. She wondered how her mom even gave birth to Katie and herself. She must have barely shed a sweat drop because that would damage her faultless reputation.
Rylie laughed at the irony as she looked down at her Rolling Stones muscle tee, ripped skinny jeans, and destroyed Converses.
"Rylie Ann Higgins..." her mother started, and Rylie knew when she said her full name, there would be trouble.
Her mom gritted her teeth, and turned her attention from Katie to Rylie. "I came home to an empty house, wondering where on Earth my two daughters could be..." her voice was stern and focused, but hardly raised. "Then I look on my credit card account, and see almost 2,000 dollars missing." She threw her hands up in a dramatic triumph of aggression. "Thankfully, I traced the transactions to see two tickets purchased to Sydney, Australia, and the booking of this very hotel. So you made it easy to find you two." She smirked matter-of-factly like she had just won a Grammy.
Rylie rolled her eyes. "We weren't trying to hide."
"I am utterly appalled at you two!" her mom screamed, glancing back and forth from Rylie to Katie. Katie bit down on her lip nervously, and tried to flatten her tangled locks. She looked like a deer in the headlights, and Rylie knew this was the first real time Katie had gotten in trouble. She looked like an innocent child when she was 21 years old. She was an adult, and no longer could allow mom to step all over her.
"Mom..." Rylie spoke calmly, too tired to get angry. She was mostly annoyed that no one could calm down and let her go to sleep. "Let me shortly explain this. My friend Michael visited me while I was in agony over Luke, so we had sex, and then he died. We-" Rylie pointed to Katie as well, "Came to Australia for his funeral, and Katie had plans to explore this wonderful place. Now you can leave." Once she spoke, she realized how horrible the whole situation sounded.
Her mother took the explanation with clear disbelief. The look of horror on her face was almost comical. Her mouth gaped open and her eyes were widening, showing light brown eyes. This only lasted for a second as she recollected herself, and shot Rylie a sly scowl. "I'm sorry for your friend, but you used MY credit card to buy this trip, so we are leaving...Now."
"I'm 18 so legally, you can't tell me what to do anymore." Rylie raised her eyebrows, and crossed her arms, playing the same game her mom liked to play.
Her mom smiled an sickening smile that sent shivers up Rylie's spine. "Listen here slut...I can get you arrested for using my credit card without permission!"
"Your own daughter?" Rylie asked, only a little bit offended her mom called her a slut. "And also mom, I think you have no place calling me the slut." If her mother was that indecent, she felt no guilt confronting her with the 'sleeping with the boss' story.
This whole argument didn't affect Rylie in the slightest. She had a long day, a pretty good one to say the least, and her mom was the least on her worries. It was ridiculous and pointless, the whole thing. Rylie promised herself she would be a way better mother some day, but that would be farther down the line of her life. It shouldn't be hard because any mom is better than hers.
"What's that supposed to mean?" Mom's voice quivered slightly, almost stunned at her words.
Katie, who had been silently shaking the entire time, waved a hand at Rylie to stop where she was at. She placed her fingers in her mouth, and harshly crushed her nails. Rylie was astonished seeing her break down so quick.
"Katie..." Rylie was amazed she was being more mature than her older sister who seemed to do everything right. "We don't have to live in her shadow. You are a strong woman who will make beautiful babies with Miles one day, so stop constantly trying to get approval from mom because she's not worth it."
Katie looked at her, and battled the words in her mind. Rylie wanted more than anything for both of them to just be free of mom. She was a hassle that neither of them needed.
Their mother looked back and forth at them, waiting for someone to speak.
Katie smiled, nodding that Rylie was right. She straightened her back, and stood proudly. Rylie was immediately pleased with herself.
"Just go mom..." Katie said with tiredness clear in her voice.
Mom looked between them, and truly looked heartbroken. It was the last thing she expected; having walked on Katie for 21 years; now she was getting kicked to the curb just like Rylie had. It was a horrible feeling to be unwanted, but their mom deserved it more than anyone else. The broken look on her face had only been shared once to Rylie, and that was the night Paul left her mom. They were screaming hateful words that Rylie felt she was too innocent to hear, and the door slammed so suddenly that she peeked her head farther out from her bedroom door, and saw her mom's dainty hands covering her face. Sobs erupted from her lips, and Rylie exposed her presence as she ran to her mom's side, crying with her.
"I'm sorry..." her mother said, and Rylie was caught off guard at the unexpected words. Her mom? Apologizing? It was an absurd statement, but somehow it was true.
"Sorry for what, mom?" Rylie asked, knowing one slim, half-hearted apology wasn't enough to fill the demands of Rylie's rage towards her mom. "Sorry for sleeping your way to the top? Sorry for being a despicable mother? Sorry for even birthing me in the first place?" Rylie gritted her teeth, forgetting Katie was still in the room.
"Don't go there, Ry. You know I love you!" Her mom defended. "Just...in my own way." Her face tried to keep a steady, unworn expression, but occasionally it shook with fright of loneliness. "I raised you to be strong and beautiful. You are. It just took me a long time to get past the fact that you would never be me."
"If this is your way of trying to convince me that you should stay and we could all stay up cuddling and chatting, it's not working." Rylie shook her head, but frowned slightly seeing her mom's pained expression. It hurt deep in her heart, the place where she loved her mom. She didn't want to cause anyone pain because she knew what it felt like, but at the same time, maybe this was the first step to her mom getting her act together.
She sighed heavily, and pointed her finger towards the door. "Goodbye Mom." she said simply, letting her eyes travel to the ground so she couldn't meet her mom's startled ones.
Katie nodded in agreement as they both watched their mother peel back the layers of tough, proper stature, and break down in tears. She knew this wasn't just a quick goodbye. She knew it would be a long time before she saw them again. There were no words left to argue her way back into their hearts. It was over. She had been disowned by the girls she raised.
Heartbroken with this newfound information, their mom look at them with solemn looks before wiping away the mascara and tears running down her face. She grabbed her bag on the bedside table before exiting the room, leaving both in complete silence, and a strange feeling of freedom.