Sometimes, things are meant to be.

And sometimes they're not.

Unfortunately, the difference isn't always clear. And accepting that things aren't meant to be can be difficult. Sometimes, it's nearly impossible.

ob·ses·sion: /əbˈseSHən/
*the state of being obsessed with someone or something.
*a ruling/consuming passion.
"He cared for her with a devotion bordering on obsession."


18. Ch 17 - Hi. Hey.

It was exactly two weeks from the day we met the guys that I nearly lost my life because of Ashton. Okay, I'm exaggerating a wee bit, but I did inhale a peanut from the trail mix I was eating when I saw the DM notification. My co-worker, Brittany, was just about to do the Heimlich maneuver on me when I finally got it dislodged.

We were having our usual 3:00 snack in the break room and I was scrolling through the notifications I hadn't had time to look at during the past two hours. At first I rolled my eyes, thinking it was yet another fake Ashton account trying to give me a heart attack. And when I realized it wasn't, I gasped, which led to the peanut incident.

After I calmed down, Brittany asked what happened, and I convinced her it was just a freak thing and the peanut went down the wrong way. No way was I going to tell her a 21 year old band member sent me a message on Twitter and I got excited. I'd never live that one down. Pretty much everyone I worked with knew of my concert addiction and love of boyband music and such, but they didn't know the extent of it. I would DIE if they did.

But anyway, the DM...

It had been sent literally right after my lunch break was over at 1:00, of course, right after I'd put my phone away. All it said was "hi :)".

In typical 5SOS fam fashion, I replied, "Hey." I wanted to say so much more, and ask questions as well, but I wanted to act as casual as possible. Though, I was feeling anything but casual. Have you ever had to act calm when you're actually freaking the fuck out? It's so hard being an adult fangirl.

I waited and stared at my phone for the next 12 minutes, but got nothing in return. I wasn't expecting that he would be sitting there waiting for my response and message me back immediately since it had been two hours since he sent his message. But I was hopeful he'd respond before my break was over. I kind of felt like I'd lost my chance. He probably thought I didn't care because I went so long without replying, so he'd likely given up on me. I wanted to scream because I was so upset about missing it. But there was nothing else I could do, and I had to get back to work.

As my luck would have it, all hell broke loose as soon as my break was over. We had to admit three patients, send one to the ICU, two patients pulled out their IVs, and one of the elderly ladies started going crazy at exactly 4:00 as she did every damn day, so someone had to stay with her constantly. Not to mention, we had to give afternoon medications, get everyone's vital signs, help them with dinner, assist most of them to the restroom afterwards, and do a shit ton of charting before we could give report and get the hell out of that mess. I still don't know why I chose the nursing profession. Ugh.

So I didn't get to even think about checking my phone until I clocked out. I never walked to my car so fast in my life. But there was nothing from Ashton. He hadn't even posted anything on any social media since that morning, but I knew he had a show that night. I was hoping it was just that he'd been really busy and hadn't been able to look for my response yet. Or perhaps he DMed so many people I was just another nobody that didn't matter, and he didn't care if I responded or not. He probably only bothered in the first place because he was just trying to be nice, not because he actually gave a shit about me.

I texted Traci before leaving the parking lot, telling her about Ashton's message. She freaked out, as expected. And when I got home, I had about 20 text messages from her asking me every minute if he'd answered yet.

Once I finally picked my kids up from their grandmother's and made it home, my second job started. There were baths to be given, dinner to be cooked, and things to get ready for the next day. I was actually thankful Ashton didn't answer me during that time, because it's my most hectic time of the day, especially when I've worked 12 to 14 hours.

The kids and I played with PlayDough for a few minutes before settling down for bed. There was the usual "I gotta pee again," "I'm thirsty," "read me a story," routine, but they went to sleep fairly quickly, as opposed to most nights. What a relief. I had time to clean up and get myself ready for bed, and pay some bills online, before I turned off the light and lied down in the bed to catch up on the happenings of Twitter before going to sleep. Of course, I looked at my notifications first, and saw what I'd been longing to see for the past six hours.

@Ashton5SOS: How are you?

It was sent just a few minutes before. I stood up, spun and around and squealed, and sat back down, getting comfortable again before replying.

@CliffordsCougar: Great! I hope you're good as well. What are you up to?

I thought I'd better try to keep the conversation going by asking a question. And I bounced up and down on the bed when he answered immediately.

@Ashton5SOS: Yeah, I'm good. Waiting on everyone else to get their slow asses on the bus to head out to the next city. What about you?

I didn't want to bore him with the details of my mundane life. So I kept it simple.

@CliffordsCougar: Unwinding after a crazy day. Wish I had some alcohol up in this place.

@Ashton5SOS: I'd share mine if I could.

He sent a picture of a beer he was drinking.

@CliffordsCougar: Aww, that's sweet of you.

@Ashton5SOS: Thanks, I try

@CliffordsCougar: I can't believe you remembered me. Thought I'd never hear from you again.

I felt awkward after sending that one, but it was too late. Thankfully, he didn't seem to think it was ridiculous.

@Ashton5SOS: Tbh, I didn't remember your user, except that it had something to do with Mike. Ashamed to admit I had to look through the last few people I followed to find you. LOL

@CliffordsCougar: Haha to be fair, you were a little bit under the influence at the time. But how could you forget the cougar reference?

Three minutes went by with no response. Three terrifying long minutes.

@Ashton5SOS: Maybe bc I don't associate you with being a cougar. idk

@CliffordsCougar: You're good at flattery, Irwin.

@Ashton5SOS: Only when someone deserves it ;)

I didn't want to wait too long to reply, afraid he'd lose interest. But I couldn't think of something else to say that didn't sound too embarrassing. Thankfully, Ashton beat me to it.

@Ashton5SOS: So, I think you said you're going to more shows?

@CliffordsCougar: Yep. The last 2 in Florida.

@Ashton5SOS: Awesome. You excited about it? Or were we shit when you saw us before? LOL

@CliffordsCourgar: Are you kidding me? You were amazing! And hell yes I'm excited about it. I love traveling, and concerts make me happier than anything in the world, next to my babies. But honestly, I dread it in a way bc I don't want it to be over. :(

@Ashton5SOS: You're just being nice. ;) But maybe I'll get to see you at one of them. It's going to be crazy busy, but maybe we'll have some free time

My heart was racing like you wouldn't believe. But I had to keep reminding myself that it probably wasn't going to happen. Even if by some miracle he didn't forget about me after this conversation and we did meet again, it would likely be a quick hello before a show. But I was 100% okay with that. I'd take whatever I could get.

@CliffordsCougar: I'd love that! But I understand if it doesn't work out. I guess we'll always have Twitter DMs to stay in touch either way. ;P

Did that sound too desperate? Yeah, it did.

@Ashton5SOS: For sure. Hey, I hate to go, but they're finally here. I'll talk to you soon. Sweet dreams.

@CliffordsCougar: No problem. Goodnight!

Of course I told Traci all about it afterwards. As with everything else, I knew I could trust her to not advertise the fact that Ashton had DMed me. If I had any hope of it happening again, I had to keep things on the down low, and I was perfectly content with that. I never really did understand why people felt the need to tell every living soul about their encounters with famous people, 5SOS in particular. Even when we first met Calum and Ashton, we didn't post anything about it on Twitter until a couple of days later. And all either of us said was a simple thank you to them for being so nice to us, and we attached our selfies with Ashton. We wouldn't dream of saying anything about hanging out with them. If we'd said anything of the sort, we knew we'd get all kinds of hate because people either wouldn't believe us, or they'd start shit because they were jealous. So it was our secret, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

I can't even tell you how long it took for me to fall asleep that night. But the next day I felt like I didn't have a care in the world, despite being sleep deprived. I could have messaged Ashton again, but the way he said we'd talk soon made me feel like I should wait for him to contact me again. So I waited.


A/N: Ugh. Okay, please forgive the cliché of them communicating via DMs. But they have to start talking somehow, right? :/ Besides, it's fiction, so anything can happen. Such as Ashton not making spelling mistakes. 🙈

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