End Up Here

Hailey Greene always feels like she's along for the ride in her best friend's story. To her, she's always been Bailey's sidekick. While on one of Bailey's adventures, Hailey meets the illustrious Calum Hood of 5 Seconds of Summer. When she first actually sees him, she's struck by how good looking he is, and can't seem to speak much, but as time goes on, she becomes a lot more comfortable with him, and begins to discover herself in a brand new way.

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2. Two.

Bailey and I both commuted to college, so we both had grown accustomed to living out of our cars. But, Bailey took this sort of thing to the extreme, much like she does with everything in her life. Because driving back home and changing for an event had proven to be a big hassle for the both of them, Bailey started keeping literally anything that they could possibly need in her car. When the cute boys at the apartments would have a party, Bailey would go to her giant jeep and pick out an outfit for each of us to wear. As in, she had enough clothes in her car (of both of ours, god knows I’m too tall to fit into any of her clothes) to be able to have multiple options. As it turns out, graduating from college did not make that any different. Twenty minutes ago, I had been in jean shorts and a tank top, and now I’m wearing a dress that feels too tight (thank you freshman fifteen that I couldn’t manage to get rid of) and too awkward for me.

I hadn’t actually agreed to Bailey’s plan either. But, seeing as I had gotten another beer while waiting to meet 5 Seconds of Summer, there wasn’t any way that I could responsibly drive myself home (boo to being a lightweight). And, even if I could, both Bailey and I know that I wouldn’t leave her to go on this mission alone.

I’d questioned everything she said, basically by pointing out that we didn’t know where this party was happening, and that we couldn’t just get into a famous band’s party. Bailey, naturally, had answers for both of these “slight inconveniences”.

“Firstly, we’ll wait until we see their cars leaving. I’ve done so much celebrity stalking that it’ll be easy to tell which cars are for them.” I don’t believe her and I think she knows it. We’ve spent basically our entire lives together, so I know that she’s not an expert celebrity stalker. To be honest, I’m not even sure that she believes that, but when Bailey has her heart set on something, there’s really no getting her to turn back. “Then, when we get there, I just have to flirt with whoever is bouncing the place.” That part of her plan might work. In our first few years of college, before we were 21, Bailey had done her fair share of convincing the bouncers at various places that we were of age and should be let in.

We sit in her giant car (we call it ‘the beast’) and watch the back of the venue for roughly thirty minutes before Bailey gasps. “That’s them,” she says, not bothering to point me toward where she’s looking, but instead putting the car into drive and pulling out onto the street in front of another car, which honks at us.

“Jesus, Bailey, calm down. Ashton won’t sleep with you if you’re dead.”

She doesn’t respond to me. I have no clue how she knows which car we’re following because I can’t keep track of any of the cars in front of us. But, I don’t doubt that we’re following the correct car. Like I said, when Bailey wants something, nearly nothing stands in her way of getting it. And she wants Ashton Irwin. Badly.

Ten minutes later, we’re pulling into a hotel parking lot. Bailey quickly cuts the headlights on her car, even though I think that makes us seem totally suspicious. No car cuts their lights while driving, since that’s, like, super dangerous. She quickly turns into a parking spot and I hit my head on the window. “Ow, Bailey! Watch what you’re doing,” I hiss.

“Shh,” she says. “We have to be quiet.” I want to point out to her that we’re not even out of the car yet, but she’s already closed the door behind her before I get the first syllable out. I huff and open my door, too. Unlike Bailey, however, I shut my loudly and she’s displeased. “Hails!” she whisper-shouts.

“They’re in a parking lot, Bailey. It’s natural to hear a car door shutting.” My logic is sound, but she waves me off dismissively anyways. For the first time since embarking on this wild chase, I see the boys of 5 Seconds of Summer. My heart skips a beat just seeing the back of Calum Hood. I think about tonight and all of the pictures I took of him on my phone to obsess over at home.

Bailey sighs. “Shit.”

“What?” I ask her.

“We need a key card to get into the hotel. We can’t just waltz in.”

I rack my brain for some ideas. “We could say that we forgot ours?”

Bailey shakes her head, her blonde curls bouncing as she does so. “We’ve already met them. They’ll recognize us and know that we were following them.”

“We could just be in town for their concert.”

“Hailey, we changed clothes. They’ll know.”

I want to remind her that it was her idea for us to change clothes, but I don’t feel like arguing with her right now. “Fine. Then I’m going back to the car to change while you figure out some way to get us inside. This dress is way too small for me.”

“Well, duh, Hails. It’s mine.”

My heart hurts a little at her jab, but Bailey’s always been this way when she’s feeling stressed out. Sometimes she simply gets annoyed by me not wanting to join in with her antics and that causes her to snap at me, too. Either way, I’m a bit too annoyed with her as well to care about how rude she can be sometimes.

 

“Okay, while you were wasting time, I figured out how to get inside of the hotel.” Bailey looks at the outfit I’m wearing as if she is disgusted by it, coincidentally forgetting that she had picked it out not even eight hours earlier. I raise my eyebrows, a question of ‘what crazy thing are we about to do now?’. “I watched a couple around the bushes there get into the pool area with that gate,” she says pointing, “and no key card. So, we go in there, say we forgot our key in our room when we came out for a walk, and boom, we’re in the hotel.”

“Why don’t we just get a room?”

She sighs, rather loudly. “Do you even realize how expensive this place is? You couldn’t afford it here.”

I start walking towards the gate, thinking about how much I’ve sobered up since we left the venue. I begin to wonder if it would be rude to take Bailey’s car back home while she’s having sex with Ashton Irwin. My thoughts travel to wondering what on earth I’m supposed to be doing while she’s having sex with him. Sure, there’s a party happening, but I’m so not a social butterfly. In fact, I’m probably the most awkward person in social situations that I’ve ever met. To think, I met 5 Seconds of Summer early, probably a dream of so many girls, and didn’t even bother to ask for any of their names. A walking disaster, really.

Bailey, despite being half a foot shorter than me, makes it to the gate into the pool at the same time as me. Fortunately, the first part of her plan works. We don’t actually need a key card to get into this area. On the other, more unfortunate hand, there’s not a single person in this area. Whoever Bailey saw come in here earlier had already left.

“This is a good thing, right?” Bailey prompts me.

I raise my eyebrows. “How is this a good thing? We should have been home by now, but instead, we’ve spent half the night searching for a boy to have sex with you.”

“Actually, I was going to say that we wouldn’t be able to tell people who are already out here that we forgot our key. They watched us walk in through the gate, not out the door over there,” she explains.

I take a seat on one of the lounge chairs and note that it’s almost too cool to be outside by the pool. I wonder if it’s heated. After roughly ten quiet, quiet minutes of waiting, Bailey stands up and starts walking around. She’s always been the type of person who likes to be in constant movement. I don’t even bother to move. It seems to me like I’m always waiting on her to apologize.

Moments later, Bailey’s rushing around back to me. “Alright, I’ve figured it out. Follow me.” She’s moving before I can even reply, much like I Had done when we were leaving 5 Seconds of Summer earlier. She’s still talking, but she’s so far in front of me that I can’t really hear what she’s saying. When I finally catch up to her, I see her proudly looking down at a small (and open) window, that clearly leads into a guys’ bathroom. I assume that it’s the bathroom within the ballroom, which I happen to know is partly underground from presenting a science project in this hotel once in high school.

Before she even gets a chance to explain, I say, “Oh, no.”

She doesn’t even blink. “Suit yourself.” I don’t have much of a chance to react before she’s dropping into the bathroom. It takes only a split second for me to decide to follow her, even though I’d much rather ditch her here. I climb in behind her, landing hard on my feet, which kind of hurts my ankles. Before I can even look at Bailey, I hear someone clear their throat.

In front of me stands Calum Hood and the long-haired boy from 5 Seconds of Summer.

I just barely hear Bailey mumble, “shit” before she smiles broadly at both of them.

The front man, whose eyebrows are raised at Bailey, says, “That’s not typically how you get into this hotel.” He’s not amused. It takes me a moment to register, but I realize that Calum Hood is standing in front of me. Not only in front of me, but has his hands holding onto my elbows to make sure that I’m stable. I might throw up.

“Are you okay?” he asks, looking me in the eyes. I nod, a little unnerved. “Well, let’s get you out to the party and get a drink then.” Scratch that, I might pass out.

I don’t want to get into trouble for literally breaking into this hotel, so I just allow him to guide me out of the men’s room, not really questioning what will happen to Bailey and trying to forget the strange look on the other guy’s face before we left. It’s not too hard, though, because once again, Calum’s hand is on my back.

The party is kind of big. There’s like a lot of people here and I assume that had we been able to just waltz right into it, we probably would have had a really hard time finding any of these boys. “What kind of beer do you like?” he asks me.

“I, uh, don’t really like beer.”

He gives me a strange look. “You drank beer during the concert.” My head feels light. How does a boy have this strong of an effect on me?

“They only sell beer there.”

He smiles. “Do you like wine? They have lots of wine here. Apparently, it’s quite a fancy hotel.” I snort at this and he smiles again.

We walk toward the bar and I order a glass of Pink Moscato, my all-time favorite wine, and the bartender does not disappoint and pours me quite a large glass of it.

“Honestly, I don’t know if I should be concerned or happy right now,” he says to me, a look of thoughtfulness on his face.

I raise my eyebrows. “Why is that?”

“Well, I was disappointed earlier when you left before I could get your name, but now I’m kind of under the impression that you’re the stalker type.”

I laugh, just a little. “This is really embarrassing,” I say.

“What is?”

“To prove that I’m not really the stalker type, I have to openly admit that I didn’t know your name until we were at the concert. I still don’t know the names of two people in your band.”

He looks as though he doesn’t believe me. “You had front row seats and meet and greet passes and you expect me to believe that you didn’t know any of our names?” I nod. “How did you end up in that position, then?” he asks me, nodding his head toward the bathroom door.

I explain to him about Bailey and her obsession with Ashton, also admitting that he’s the only other one whose name I know. He makes a face. “What?” I ask. “You don’t have to believe me, but it’s the truth. Her parents are rich and she wants to have sex with Ashton.”

“Oh, yeah. The blonde one, right?” I roll my eyes at him. “What?” he asks.

“There’s literally no way that you can be in the same room with Bailey and not notice her,” I say and begin to wonder what happened to her.

“I must be terrible at flirting,” he says. “Because I have tried my hardest to make you notice that I spent all night noticing you.” I feel my face get hot and hope that it’s dark enough in here that Calum can’t see the blush on my cheeks. “I never did get to ask your name. You left the meet and greet so quickly.”

I bark a laugh. “Ashton ushered us out so quickly.”

“Oh, because he was, like, super uncomfortable around your friend. He said, and I quote, that she was ‘very suggestive’ and that he ‘didn’t want any part of it’.” He laughs, but I feel kind of bad for Bailey. She always has been someone who comes on really strong, but normally guys eat her behavior up. I look back to Calum and see that he’s staring inquisitively at me. “Your name?”

“Hailey,” I say and reach my hand out to him as if I hadn’t been talking to him for the last thirty minutes.

He smiles and once again, I feel like I’m melting inside. Part of me wonders if this is actually happening while the rest of me focuses on the knot in my stomach that’s making me feel really anxious. “It’s nice to meet you, Hailey.” He pauses for a moment, pondering. “Well, I suppose it was nice to meet you earlier tonight, and just a happy coincidence that I got to meet you once again.”

“Speaking of,” I say, “You probably really have to go to the bathroom.” He looks at me questioningly. “You were coming into the bathroom earlier when you caught- uh, found- me and Bailey.”

He doesn’t answer me because the other member of the band, the one with the blonde fringe who I don’t know, comes over to him and starts talking. I notice that a pretty girl with purple hair is standing beside him, looking tired. The boy seems to only notice me after a moment of nonstop talking. “Oh, you were at the concert earlier, weren’t you?”

Instead of explaining, I just say, “Yes, hi, I’m Hailey.”

“Michael,” he says, and then puts his arm around the girl. “And this is Crystal, my girlfriend.” I reach my hand out to shake hers and exchange pleasantries. He looks at Calum’s hand, as if just noticing for the first time that it’s been on my arm the entire time that he’s been over here. “Well, I’ll leave ya to it. We’re both wiped from today, so we’re heading up to sleep.” He looks back to me, “Nice to meet you, Hailey.”

“You too,” I say, despite the fact that he’s already half-turned away from the conversation.

Calum doesn’t pull his hand off of my arm, even when we return to talking. “Where were we?” He asks me.

Chuckling, I say, “I honestly have no clue what we were talking about.”

We continue to talk until Bailey finally finds me and tells me that we have to leave immediately. She looks like she’s about to cry, which is really unusual for her. She’s normally not a crier.

I smile sadly at Calum. “It was really nice talking to you.” I recognize that he knows I’m not entirely a fan of 5 Seconds of Summer, but still feel like it might be inappropriate for me to ask to keep in touch. I had decided over the last almost hour that if he wanted us to keep in contact, then he could ask.

“You, too. Can I get your number? We’ll be leaving from here tomorrow evening, but maybe I can see you tomorrow?”

I smile and give him my number without a second thought.

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