I fumbled for the end call button, setting it back down on the bar table. I downed the drink I had ordered, then payed for the whole nights worth of drinks. My mind wandered back to the fights we had, the smalls ones; the big ones. I always get scared when I get into fights, whether their physical or just screaming at each other. I always wonder like, what if something happens to the person you're fighting with, and they're gone forever thinking that you hate them? But, really, they mean so much to you, and they'll never know the truth. I didn't hate Luke, not even close. Hating someone and loving someone was vaguely the same thing. They were defiantly not the opposite. They both involve caring enough to acknowledge their existence. If someone told me they hate me I wouldn't be as offended as if they just didn't even know I existed. I paid the large sum, and then got up to walk. The sun had not yet risen, and probably wouldn't for another two hours. I literally stumbled out of the bar, tripping on nothing but my own two feet. Walking along the boardwalk of Sydney, Australia was never such a blur for me. But, tonight, it seemed as if I was the only one there, walking so slowly even a snail would be faster than me.
I got too tired to keep walking after what seemed like a year. It seemed like I had wondered into the city, seeing as the dim lights had turned into the vibrant car-stopping ones. I could only guess what time it was now. I could feel a light sprinkle of a morning rain coming on. I sat on a bench, possibly waiting for the morning sun. As thoughts passed through my mind I felt sorrow begin to sink into my bones. I wanted another beer, another bottle of rum. Now that I was without Luke, everything just seemed glum. I don't understand why I happened to just figure this out now, but like seemed black and white. It seemed colorless beyond compare. My heart is tuck playing the same sad melody, the tune of a broken girl with no hand to hold or lips to kiss. Just a bed with his mold and a face to miss. I brought my knees to my cheeks, holding myself while sobs racked through me. I think I hit the point in life where, I'm just done. I've tried to be better, I've fought through some of it, and I've cried through all of it. But everything is hopelessly crashing down. The thought of 'demons' inside me is simply a thing people say to blame their inner destruction on something else. I know I'm probably insane, but I don't plan on stopping anything. I'm just planning on giving in to all of this bull shit.
The sun looked like it was contemplating whether or not to emerge over the buildings of the city. I was beginning to calm my breaths, my surroundings more visible. However, the alcohol was not even close to wearing off. I didn't know where I was, but I wasn't afraid. No one was necessarily looking for me, or planning on my arrival. I took in a shaky breath, letting my legs away from my chest. Right as I was about to get up, I heard a familiar voice.
For a second, I almost didn't respond. Maybe I had forgotten that that was my name, or maybe it was that I had forgotten that I was wanted.
"Um yeah?" I asked, turning to the voice.
"What are you doing all the way out here? And this early?" Ashton asked.
"Ummm.." I had to hold onto the back of the bench to stable myself.
Ashton seemed to observe my behavior, and register it all. "Wanna coffee?" He asked me, gesturing towards the large starbucks logo on the glass behind the bench.
"Uhh sure, yeah," I nodded, moving my hair from my face.
Ashton kept a light touch on my elbow, as if he was guiding me into the building; ready to catch me if I fell. I wobbled, but only slightly, Ashton's touch made it hard to fall. He told me to sit at the booth, and wait until he comes back. I stayed there for a few moments, before I realized that the smell of coffee ( when overpowering ) got me sick. It wasn't the taste, it was the bittersweet smell it came with that got me to blow chunks. That, on top of a body full of alcohol, was bound to make me vomit. I squirmed a bit, moving my hair out of my face, but at the same time guarding my eyes from the bright light of the morning sun that was soon to rise over the buildings.
Ashton came back, setting a fresh hot cup of coffee in front of me. I sipped at it, the scent of both of our coffees's wafting around the two of us. I watched as he pulled out his phone and typed something, scrolling then setting it down on the table.
"We're recording today," He told me, "The studio is right down the street."
I suppose he thought that if he told me why he was here, I would tell him why I just so happened to be here, too. I kept my eyes on the table, sipping shyly at the coffee. There was a thick silence between the two of us. Ashton got up to throw a few napkins away, shaking the table and everything that was on it. My cup of coffee was tittering on the edges, but I thought it was some sort of trick my eyes were playing. I had consumed a lot of alcohol, I had watched my hand warp through the bar- I think I knew whether or not my eyes were playing a trick on me or not. Soon enough, I realized it was not a trick of my mind. It was the fucking table shaking. Hot coffee soon painted shapes over my white shirt and black skirt. Ashton kept on rambling apologies as he began to pat my shirt with napkins. Being the drunken idiot I was, I was still processing everything. My eyes wandered over Ashton, my big hazel eyes meeting his. His lips were moving, but nothing came out anymore. I slowly looked back to my stained shirt, only suddenly putting the pieces together. The bittersweet scent of the coffee hit my noise harshly, having my grasp my stomach in pain.
My body lurched forward, vomit spewing all over Ashton's shoes. I dashed towards the bathroom, my hand cupped over my mouth. I didn't even check which bathroom I went it. I spewed all my guts, or so it seemed, into the toilet. Ashton came in a few seconds after, holding my hair away from all the grossness. I stayed there a few moments afterward, the back of my hand pressed up against my lips. My body shook lightly, like it always did after I threw up. Ashton's hands untensed, and let go of my hair. He offered me his hand, but I decided not to take it. I felt bad for throwing up all over his shoes. It probably wasn't his ideal way to start the morning. I gripped the edge of the porcelain sink, lifting my body off the gross bathroom floor. My refection shocked me- and not in the good way. Well, for one, there was puke smeared all over my chin. Let me tell you, that is not the most attractive thing in the world. Second, my great looking mascara was now smeared half way down my cheeks. I watched Ashton, in the mirror, as he bent down and wiped my vomit off his shoes.
"I'm really sorry," I said, wiping my face down.
I guess I could understand where Ashton was coming from when he wanted to know where I've been so bad. After my apology, he didn't really say anything. He grunted a little, or so I thought. He continued to wiped down his shoes and scrunch his nose.
"Good thing uhhh the studio is like right down the street, right? Haha..." My voice trailed off, seeing as he was not in the mood for talking, I guess.
"So where were you tonight?" Ashton's voice spoke up after a few moments of silence.
"Ummm..." I honestly didn't know what I should say. Should I lie? But what kind of lie would end me up dazed and confused in front of a Starbucks almost twenty miles from my house? I didn't know what Ashton thought of me, if he was leaning in favor of me or if he just didn't really think of me that much because we never really saw each other or spoke to one and other. I didn't know why his opinion matter so much to me, I was dating Luke, not him. "I was at Michael's...." I murmured the rest, deciding to go with half the truth.
"And he let you drink that much alcohol? Michael? Really?" He scoffed, obviously knowing I hadn't really told him the truth.
"Why do you care so much?" I snapped, turnig the facet on.
"You puked on my shoes- this is the least you could do."
I rolled my eyes, still unsure why this would even matter to him. "I was at Michaels, playing Fifa, then I went out for a drink or two."
"A drink or two?"
"Just shut up," I grumbled, finally removing the most of the mess that was my face.
"Does Luke know?"
"Does Luke know that you went to the bar and drank .. like a lot?"
"Does Luke- the boy I broke up with yesterday- know that I went to the bar and drank a lot?" I repeated his question, rolling my eyes. "He told me .. he told me not to speak to him," I explained. "I'm not sure when- but I know he did. I probably called him last night and forgot about it," I shrugged, sighing lightly. "Why do you care, though? You have barely said a word to me before today."
Ashton didn't say anything, he just untied his shoes and slipped them off. I turned the facet off, drying my face with a piece of paper towel. I guessed that he wasn't going to answer, but I didn't know whether to just leave, or actually say something. Actually, I didn't know how I was going to get home. I couldn't go with Ashton to the studio, Luke would be there. I knew the other boys would be too, and that'd be weird as well. None of them could actually bring me home, either. They had an album to record, I didn't want to be the one to delay that.
"Because I love you."
"What?" I asked, his voice had shaken me from my thoughts, and those words coming from anyone but your family are really shocking.
"I think Luke is really meant to be with you; I don't know why he's being such a dildo about everything lately. But, I'm pretty sure he's just afraid to lose you and now that he has... he's just snapped. For fucks sake, Ariana, you're like family."
"But like..." I started, trying to explain the situation I was going through.
However, Ashton grabbed my hands, making me unable to finish. "I noticed everything, I just pretended like I didn't." he told me, squeezing my hands before letting them go. "I love you, you're just like family. I want you to feel close to all of us, okay? You can come to me with anything, I will always take your side."
I was shocked, no, astonished. My mind traced back to the time he stuck up for me in front of Hannah. I could feel my heart swell at the thought. "Um... uhh... okay..?" I said, unsure of how to respond.
"Listen, I'm going to take you to the studio with me-"
"I don't think that's a good idea..."
"What are you going to do? Walk the twenty miles back to your house? I don't think so."
"Well, my car is somewhere..."
"Then, Luke will help you find it," Ashton shrugged, as if it was that easy. He finally convinced me, no, forced me, to go along with his stupid plan. He lead me, barefoot, to the studio. Once we got there, it was obvious that neither of us looked our best. The looks some of the staff gave us were fairly rude. Calum refrained from hugging me, or making eye contact for that matter. He stayed in the corner, then went into the recording studio. Michael hugged me while Luke gave me a curt nod and a tense smile. Ashton had explained why I was there- but with out all the personal details.
When all of the boys went into the recording booth, Ashton told me I could just hang out on the couch behind the control panel, and listen to their song become, well, a song. I hung out a little while, listening to their voices become such a beautiful melody. Then, I went on my phone for a little while. There was a few people reminiscing over photos of Luana ( Luke and I ). There was one of us at the beach, us two holding hands. He was in his swimmer trunks while I was in a bikini, shorts and a cover up. I glanced back at the photo, a weird feeling moving through my body as I realized that a lot of my scars were visible in it. I shook it off- it was a photo from a long time ago. Someone would have noticed it by now, right?
Soon enough, the boys were on a break from recording, a lunch break. Ashton, Calum and Michael agreed to walk down to a McDonalds right down the street. Luke offered to give me a ride back home, or at least to my car. I agreed, knowing if I didn't Ashton would have made it happen anyway.
"So, what do you think of the song?" He asked me as we walked out of the studio.
There were a few fans that he took pictures with and signed things, but after the fans dispersed, we began to walk once more. "I like it a lot," I nodded, putting on a fake smile.
We did a little bit of small talk, acting like nothing was wrong. Like nothing actually happened between us. It was a weird thing, too. It was like we were ignoring the big elephant in the room. I sighed softly, seeing as out little walk was going to come to an end; I saw my car on a few feet ahead.
"Okay, well.. thanks for walking me," I murmured softly, getting halfway in the car.
"Wait, Ariana," Luke said, grabbing my arm. I glanced over to him, making eye contact for the first time today. "I just want you to know that this is the last time I'm going to see you before I go on tour, and hopefully it's not the last time forever, okay? I mean, I know we're over, but we really had something and.... just don't expect me to get over you right away," he murmured, his words becoming babble. "I-I don't care if you hate you teeth, or the way your voice sounds. I don't care if you hate your hair and your smile. You laugh, and the fact that you feel sad. I don't care if you don't like where we're headed, or if you want to die. I will love you forever, because we had this... this what? Three, four year relationship? I will always love you," And those were the last words he spoke to me before he made off back to the studio.
Luke. Luke Hemmings.
A boy with eyes so blue he could cure cancer and broken souls.
However, he couldn't cure what was left of me.