We went to bed straightaway, but we still got less than two hours of sleep. I still felt slightly intoxicated when I woke up. And all I kept thinking about was that I still had to drive four hours to get home after our flight to Nashville. And as though that wasn't bad enough, I was going to have to drive another two hours to Louisville for the concert that night. How was I supposed to manage that?
We slept on the plane, something I usually wasn't able to do. But thank goodness I was exhausted enough to do so that day. And with the assistance of blaring music and a couple of coffees on the way home, I made it safe and sound. I even had enough time to spare to take an hour nap before I had to leave home again.
Because of roadwork, we barely made it to the venue before 5SOS took the stage. Our seats were in the lower arena to the side of the stage, which were actually pretty great. Especially for Molly, so she could see better than being behind people on the floor. I was definitely the oldest person in our section, but I didn't let it bother me. I was there with my daughter, so I didn't look too ridiculous I guess.
Watching the guys perform that night was the most surreal thing ever. I thoroughly enjoyed it, but the entire time, I replayed my night with Ashton in my head. I mostly kept my eyes glued to him the whole show. Unlike Michael, Ashton had turned out to be exactly how I thought he'd be. Though, I was already over my incident with Michael.
I'd taken what Ashton had said into consideration, and gave Michael the benefit of the doubt. To be fair, I had no idea what those guys went through on a daily basis. They no doubt had bad days, and said things they didn't really mean or didn't think about first, even more so than us people with normal lives. And it was definitely an inopportune moment. I couldn't really blame him for not being happy about Ashton introducing us at that exact time. And as far as him being a smug bastard, well, he was used to girls throwing themselves at him and being at his beck and call, I'm sure. Why would he assume I was any different? I wasn't, really, except in that particular situation. At any rate, it happened, and it was over. I was glad we'd had a decent moment afterwards that kind of made up for it. I would have been devastated if that one incident was the only interaction I'd ever had with him.
So after that concert, it was back to life as I knew it. Back to my normal, boring, ho-hum life as a single mom. Don't get me wrong. I loved my life. But that post-concert depression hit especially hard after the last few days I'd gone through. It was a Tuesday when I'd gotten back home. And other than a few random texts, I didn't even talk to Traci much. I was busy getting settled back home and dealing with the kids and such. Not to mention, I had to work while completely exhausted. But on Friday night, I couldn't wait any more. I had to hear Traci's story; the whole story, not just the summary she'd given me that night. So I called her.
I listened intently, with a ridiculous smile on my face, and paced around the room because I was too anxious to sit still as Traci gave me the run down. I was surprised by what she told me.
"Like, he's a little, um, assertive? I'm not sure that's the word I'm looking for. Rough? But anyway, I'll just say he's into having more than plain ol' vanilla sex, that's for sure. I know you don't want to hear all the gory details. But it was especially nice when he -"
"Stop! Stop. I don't think I want to know." I was covering my face for no good reason, because no one could see me anyway.
Traci laughed at me then said, "Chill. I was just gonna say it was nice when he asked me if I was okay with the um, different stuff, before he did it. He was very respectful about it. I thought he'd just want to get some and that'd be that. But he wasn't in a rush at all, and tried all sorts of stuff. And he made sure I enjoyed it, too. And I did. Hot damn, I did." She sighed dramatically. "And, girl, those lips and tongue are God's gift to women. Thank you, Lord Jesus. Amen."
When we got over our giggling fit, Traci said, "Come on, it's your turn to spill the beans."
"I don't really have much to say."
Traci said, "Come on, Aubree. I know more than just conversation had to happen. He didn't try to kiss you or anything?"
"I swear to you, nothing happened. We talked. We had normal conversation that any two people who didn't know each other would have. And when he was drunk enough that his judgement was obviously impaired, he came up with that idea of introducing me to Michael. And, well, I told you how that went." Then I thought about that more serious conversation Ashton and I had after the Michael-incident. So I told her about that part.
"See! That's more than just conversation. It sounds like to me that you made a connection. He was comfortable enough with you to talk about his personal life, right?"
I shrugged, even though Traci couldn't see me. "Yeah, I guess. But it doesn't even matter. I'll likely never talk to him again."
"Have you sent him a DM yet?"
I chuckled. "No. To be honest, I've hardly thought about him following me. But he'd never see it anyway." I sighed dramatically, "I hate this stupid fangirl shit. Why can't we just love them for their music?"
"You tell me and we'll both know, my friend. I didn't ask for this misery. But we sure do have a lot of fun together, right?"
"Yeah. Otherwise I'd delete all of my social media apps. I'm in too deep." I wasn't even kidding.
There was a short moment of silence before Traci asked, "So are you an Ashton girl now? Or are you still up Michael's ass?"
I plopped down on the couch to reflect on her question. "That's almost like asking me who my favorite child is. Now that I've met them, it's harder to be like, 'oh yeah, I'm 100% in Michael's lane.' Ya know? Like, this is going to sound completely crazy, but I know you'll understand me. If we were all friends, I could see myself falling for Ashton. Hard. I'd be that girl desperately in love with her male friend, and it wouldn't be mutual, and I'd be a sad pathetic mess all the time. But Michael's the one I'd be fuck buddies with. I just don't think I'll ever not have impure thoughts about Michael. And, hey, at least I know he's not opposed to the idea. I don't know how else to explain it." We laughed at my ridiculous explanation, but as suspected, Traci understood what I was saying.
"I guess I'm just lucky Calum found me attractive enough to pay attention to me. I don't have to worry about staying in my lane." She paused, then added, "But how?! How did it even happen? We were fucking stalking them, and they knew it. So why did Calum even invite us for drinks? He can literally be with any girl he wants, but he chose me that night. Was he desperate or what?"
"Of course he was attracted to you! It was all just meant to be for some reason. I try not to question it too much. The thing I keep asking myself is how are we ever supposed to get over this? None of our adventures from here on out are going to measure up to this last one."
Traci retorted, "Hush! You never know! Let's just go with the flow and see what happens. We have two more shows to go to. It's not that hard to find out what hotels they stay at, so we can do the same thing we did this last time. Who knows? Maybe we'll run into them again. Or maybe Ashton will randomly DM you one day and ask us to hang out with him and Calum again. Or maybe Calum will come across my number in his phone and be like 'Hey, I remember that chick. I'm gonna call her.' It's a far-fetched thought, I know. But it's possible. After this weekend, I honestly feel like anything is possible."
Far fetched? Absolutely. Possible? Only time would tell.