The plane ride to Milan was pretty quiet. Everyone brushed their lips together as they waited in nervous anticipation. Concerts were intense, and any wrong move could send one of the boys in embarrassment, or regret. Rylie understood why everyone stayed locked in their own thoughts as they looked out the fiberglass windows over the world. If she was truly famous, she would be terrified. She couldn't imagine how 5 Seconds of Summer was dwelling on the surreal occasion that ticked down to opening time. It was a big deal to open up for One Direction, in front of thousands of people. It was their spotlight moment. The first time they would be introduced into the world as serious performers. People didn't overlook them.
Somehow, Rylie found herself torn from Luke as people shuffled into the gray vans leading them to the stadium. She ripped her disappointed eyes from his as she watched him file in the other van. She really wanted to ride with him, and comfort him on the way there, but she was stuck in between Michael...and Liam...
The awkward tension was clear in the air as her shoulder touched Liam's, but she knew they just had to get over their stupid past and tie up loose ends. When that would happen was another story.
Rylie attempted to untie her tangled headphones, and as she tried, she heard Michael's heavy breathing beside her, and she felt his skin rise with goose bumps against her own. He was nervous. It was obvious. How could she comfort him? She reached her hand up and patted his shoulder. She liked Michael. He seemed really sweet, and she didn't want him in pain or nervous. He tore his eyes from the window, and looked at her in a thoughtful distance.
"It's not that bad, you know?" Rylie told him, forcing him to meet her chocolate eyes. "When I went on tour with them, I had no idea what to expect, but it turned out to be really fun." She left out the biggest part: the hate, but she couldn't bring herself to tell him about the miserable comments that occasionally tormented her. It got better, and the band would surely be able to overcome any obstacle.
Michael smiled weakly, almost surprised at her kindness. "Thanks...but..." he paused, knitting his eyebrows in a pained expression. "It's not like I'm the most attractive of the band. I was never a man with the ladies. "
Rylie shook her head. "You caught my eye. " It wasn't a lie. Sure her heart stopped when she saw Luke, but she did fancy Michael in a different way. "You will have so many fans that girls will be giving at the knees to stand even a few feet away from you."
"You really think so?" Michael asked, his eyes alive with an eager hopefulness.
Rylie nodded her head vigorously. "Trust me. I've watched the boys transform into heartthrobs, and I see no reason why you wouldn't."
Michael traced his eyes over her face to soak in her words. "Thank you." he finally spoke.
"You're welcome." she squeezed gently on his shoulder and smiled, happy she had relieved somebody's stress. She loved making people feel better. "Also, if you need someone to talk to and the boys are busy, I'm ALWAYS available."
"Honestly," Michael admitted, "I would come to you first."
Rylie smiled, watching Michael blush at her. He was so shy and adorable...like a little puppy.
She could feel eyes sent her way, and she turned to see a mocking smirk appear on Liam's face. She rolled her eyes, and scowled as best she could, wanting so desperately to ignore him, but she had dated him for a year. She knew he was fixing to open his big mouth.
"Flirting again, I see." Liam shook his head in spite at her, twisting his eyes with evil delusions.
"I was helping him." she defended herself, trying to hold up her nose at him, but his eyes gripped her, making her strip of all confidence and leave her ashamed for no reason at all.
Liam shook his head. "Whatever. You're such a fake. No wonder I left you for Sophia. She's prettier...funnier...better than you...-"
"I get it, Liam!" Rylie yelled, feeling all eyes on her. She felt inevitable, hot tears roll down her face, staining her cheeks with sadness. She didn't understand why Liam made her cry, why he got to her when she had moved on. He wouldn't leave her alone. Now she had shown her weakness, and he wouldn't let it go unnoticed. Like she had told Luke, Liam had a part of her she couldn't get back, and as much as she hated him, she couldn't help being a little jealous. It would always be a battle between them. Sure Rylie tried to make him jealous too, but it just hurt her in a different way than him. He got angry. She grew sad. Liam had been her first for everything. First date. First kiss. First boyfriend. First sexual encounter.
She felt her cheeks heat at the burning eyes watching her every move, and she shot Michael a terrified glance before she looked out the window and saw the stadium in view.
Liam smiled a winning smile. "I knew you weren't over me.." he laughed, and she wished she had the ability to just disappear.
"I am over you, you bastard." She looked down at her lap, taking breath breaths, and hoped Liam would leave her alone. He wouldn't.
"Then why are you crying over me?" He figured he had won, but she could not let him. He always won.
The car screeched to a stop, and Rylie absentmindedly pushed Michael so she could get out first, and she felt her feet hit the ground. She stumbled slightly, and took off running to the opening garage doors leading into the building. She didn't dare look behind her because she had caused a scene.
She really liked Luke. Like a lot. More than she ever liked Liam. But she didn't know how to prove that she did. Now Liam would run to Luke and tell him everything and the relationship between her and Luke would be over. She didn't want that, but her actions were too hard to explain. She didn't know exactly why she was so upset.
She somehow found herself in a girl's bathroom, and she checked quickly under the stalls, seeing no feet, so she locked herself in a stall, and pushed the toilet seat down. She sat down, feeling the cold marble soak into her skin, and she let out the rush of tears flowing like a river out of her soft eyes. Then she heard the door open, and tried to quiet her sobs, but it was too much to stop them.
"Rylie?" somebody called. She knew the voice. She loved that voice. She had melted when she heard that voice. The one person she feared to see after her outburst. Luke.