The first thing I remember after waking up was asking my mom if she texted Traci and Ashton.
"Yes, I did as soon as the doctor came out to say that you did fine and I could come back to see you." I started to doze off again and she said, "He said he loves you. Several times, actually."
I half heartedly replied, "Mom! I didn't mean for you to read their replies. Oh my god."
She laughed at me. "You reminded me of yourself as a teenager just then."
"Because you're treating me like a teenager, snooping through my stuff."
"Oh, come on, Aubree. Tell me about this Ashton. Why haven't you told me about him before?"
It wasn't really a conversation I wanted to have at that particular moment. I could hardly even think because I was so drowsy. But I told her the basics, how we met and kept in touch, and that we agreed to try things out and see where they went. But I made it clear that she was to tell no one.
When I was finished, she asked the inevitable. "How old is he?" Of course her initial reaction when I told her was, "He's a little young, isn't he?" But she let it go when I pointed out that there had been 12 years difference between her and my dad, and she had actually been my half brother's babysitter, so... She went on to say that she was happy for me, as long as I was happy.
After that, I convinced her to go home because I was basically going to be sleeping. I sent Ashton a quick text to tell him that I was okay, but was going to sleep for a while. Then I put my phone away and passed out.
I woke up several times between then and lunchtime. It's literally impossible to sleep any amount of time at a hospital. I decided to give up on sleep when they brought my lunch in to me. Clear liquids. Yummy.
I talked to Traci first, because I knew Ashton would want to talk for a while. And I was right. I even dozed off once, and woke up to him singing to pass the time while I slept. I apologized, but he said it was just a couple of minutes and he was perfectly content listening to me sleep. I laughed so hard about it that I had to take some pain medicine.
The rest of my stay was uneventful and I got to go home the next morning, which was the day of Jingle Bash. I pouted all day, still upset to be missing a trip with my friends, and of course missing Ashton. But it was beyond my control.
I talked to Ashton briefly a couple of times, and he sent me an adorable sad face selfie right after their set ended. I sent the same, even though I looked like death. I told him I was going to bed because the pain med was kicking my tail. It was still kind of early, but my mom was helping with the kids, so I took advantage of the opportunity to sleep as much as possible.
I had several messages from Ashton when I woke up at 8:00 the next morning. The last one was sent at 7:00. He said he'd been up all night and was just going to bed. There were several messages from Traci as well, but I held off on those until I checked Twitter. What I found explained why Ashton didn't go to bed until 7:00. The band had been at a party pretty much all night from the looks of it. So I already knew what Traci's messages were going to be about. Except it wasn't a happy story as I expected.
Long story short, she and Mandy had stayed to watch most of the performers, but left before the last two, thinking she would try to get a hold of Calum. She did, but he told her they were all going to a party. And he didn't invite her. I hated that for her. She said she knew the day was going to come that Calum didn't want to see her again. I tried to convince her that maybe there was a reason, I was sure he wouldn't just blow her off like that. And I was right.
He let her know later that, while the party was fun, he knew Traci wouldn't like being around the type of girls that were there. And from what we'd seen, we knew he was right. He promised to make it up to her next time. So he definitely wanted to see her again, though we had no idea when that might be, because the next shows were seven months away.
A few days later I got a little surprise. Some random person on a private account followed me on Twitter. The username was mikespvtacct. And right after that, they tweeted me asking "fb?" I did, because I'm nice like that. It was seconds later when I got a DM from this person.
@mikespvtacct: hey it's mikey
Yeah, right. Though, that would explain the name.
@CliffordsCougar: Mikey who?
@mikespvtacct: 5sos mikey duh
I wasn't that gullible.
@CliffordsCougar: Prove it.
It really was him. He told me some things only he would know from when we hung out that time playing games.
@CliffordsCougar: Sorry for being skeptical. Can you blame me, though? What's up? And how did you find me?
I knew there was no chance that Ashton gave him my username, because of that whole ridiculous jealousy thing.
@mikespvtacct: found you in ash's following list. nice profile pic. and username ;)
@CliffordsCougar: Awkward. But tell me, how secret is this account? Because your name is in the handle. Doesn't make sense. lol
@mikespvtacct: it's super secret, thank you very much. and i used my name in it because no one would think that i'd use my real name for a secret account, right? you can look at who I follow and figure what i use this account for. sorry i'm such a douchebag. but anyway... are you ok? ash seems pretty worried about you.
I took a peek at his followers and it was like Groupies R Us. Ugh. He really was a douchebag. But I liked him.
@CliffordsCougar: Yes, I'm as fine as can be for someone who just had an organ removed. It's really not any different than when Ashton had his appendectomy.
@mikespvtacct: oh good. seriously, he acts so stressed and won't shut up about needing to see you. i was just concerned. good to know you're not kicking the bucket any time soon.
@CliffordsCougar: Well, that's sweet, Mikey. I think. LOL.
@mikespvtacct: fyi, the guys don't know about this account, so if you don't mind, keep it between us?
@CliffordsCougar: No problem. But what if Ashton sees that an account called "mikespvtacct" follows me, and I follow back? Maybe he'd think nothing of it, but what if he figured it out? If he asked, I couldn't lie to him.
@mikespvtacct: good point. we should unfollow each other just in case. here's my number if you ever need it.
He proceeded to give me his number and I sent him a generic text so he'd have my number as well, though I didn't think he'd care to save it. But I got to thinking about why he'd contacted me in the first place. Ashton didn't seem overly concerned when I talked to him. But I did notice that he called and sent texts quite a bit more often than usual.
The morning after the last holiday show, which was a week after my surgery, Ashton called me super early around 5:30.
"Hey babe. I'm sorry for waking you, but I wanted to let you know that I'm on my way to see you, whether or not you like it."