Author: Duckie Chic PM
Austyn Lawler left her hometown in Texas to pursue a singing career in California, leaving her best friend Oliver Samuelson behind. When she returns four years later, she realizes that Oliver might be more than a best friend to her. But of course, other people always have to be thrown into the mix.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Friendship - Chapters: 8 - Words: 21,514 - Reviews: 19 - Favs: 5 - Follows: 16 - Updated: 01-02-13 - Published: 11-05-12 - id: 3071861
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Leaving is one of the hardest things I think I'll ever encounter in my life. Leaving home was the hardest thing I'd done to date, and leaving again to go back home was even harder. You grow roots in a place fairly easily when you're constantly traveling. I lived in Los Angeles for three years, and I couldn't imagine calling any other place my home, even though I had grown up in a small city in Texas for fourteen years. Texas wasn't my home after I moved to Los Angeles – I considered it a consolation prize after living in Los Angeles.
But as I was saying, leaving Texas was one of the hardest things I had done in my fourteen years of existence. Telling my best friend I was moving to Los Angeles, well, that was a whole other story.
Oliver Samuelson. My best friend, my rock, the only person who'd been a constant in my life. Oliver's mom and my dad had gone to high school together and were extremely close in high school. They then went off to college, and my dad found my mom, and Oliver's mom found his dad. Our parents then got married and moved back to their hometown. Oliver's parents had him seven months before they had me, and they then all became best friends. Oliver and I were thrown together at a very young age, and although he drove me crazy sometimes, we were best friends, and we were inseparable.
At age four, I discovered my love for singing. At age eleven, I won my school's talent show. At age twelve, I won my church's talent show. At age thirteen, I asked my parents about moving to Los Angeles to pursue a singing career. At age fourteen, we moved.
I didn't know how I was supposed to tell Oliver. Our house was for rent since my parents knew I'd want to move back eventually, I guess, and he was bound to see it soon.
My parents pulled me out of school in the middle of the first semester my freshman year of high school, so I waited for him outside his house. My mom was waiting in the car, knowing that I'd want it to be short and clean. A clean break, that's what I was calling it.
Oliver got home around three-thirty. He waved to Daniel, one of his friends and his ride home, and walked up to the porch.
"Hey, Austyn. What's going on?" he asked cheerfully, walking up his sidewalk. I tried to swallow the lump in my throat, to force it down so I could speak without bursting into tears. He was so happy and I was about to ruin it. "Were you sick or something today? I didn't see you at school."
"No, I'm fine. I just need to talk to you really quick," I replied uneasily.
He gave me a nervous look. "Oh, uh, okay. What's up?" He glanced over at my mom's car and then back at me.
"Okay. I know this is going to be really hard on you, so just please let me get this all out." I paused and picked at a loose thread on my shirt. I looked at him directly in the eye. "I'm moving to Los Angeles. My mom pulled me out of school so that we can move there so I can pursue a singing career. I'm leaving this weekend."
He stared at me, opening and closing his mouth like a fish.
"You're…you're…leaving?" he whispered.
"Oliver, please understand. I want this more than I want anything in my life, and me staying in Texas isn't going to help me with anything. I need to move somewhere where there are opportunities, not here."
"You're leaving me, Austyn, you understand this, right?"
"Yes, and that's why you're the first person I'm telling. And you have no idea how many times I've talked myself out of even considering moving because you're here and you won't be coming with me. But I'm really confident that you'll understand and be okay with my decision."
He stared at me. "You think I'm okay with this? No, you're being extremely selfish. You're extracting yourself from everyone who's ever even given a thought to you, just so you can go have your five seconds of fame and pretend that you're living the dream in California when in reality, you're just going to end up like every other star does – washed up and in rehab."
I couldn't believe he had just said that. I couldn't say anything, but I felt the tears burning behind my eyes. His words had hurt me more than he would ever know, and he couldn't just shove them back in his mouth. They'd stabbed me like a knife.
"Oliver, I have wanted to sing for people more than I've wanted anything in my life. And the fact that you can't even pretend to support me proves that you don't care about me, you never did, and that we're no longer friends. Have a nice life."
I turned on my heel and bolted down his sidewalk. Mom stared at me when I got in the car.
"Did he take it okay?" she asked tentatively.
"I just can't wait to get out of this place."
I signed a record deal later that year.
"Your flight leaves tomorrow morning at seven," my mom said over the phone. I munched on an apple and stared at the screen of my computer. There was another picture of me, headline news, on an online magazine, holding hands with a guy I'd never held hands with in my life. An "inside source" was going on and on about how I'd been seeing this unknown guy for months, when in reality, I don't recall ever meeting him.
"Mhm," I murmured, half-listening to Mom drone on about my flight and half-reading the article. Sometimes it was kind of interesting to see what weird rumors people could come up with. Sometimes, it was kind of awkward seeing myself plastered across a webpage.
"Austyn, I'm serious, you need to know this stuff," Mom reprimanded.
"Mom, it's not like I've never flown on a plane before. Besides, I can just figure out all my terminal information and stuff on my plane ticket."
I could almost hear her rolling her eyes.
Having my mom as my agent and PR rep was probably the best and worst decision of my life. It was great knowing that I have someone that I can fully trust handle things like that, but she also took those roles as being my mom, which is something I didn't need all the time. Eventually, I was going to need to pull on my big girl panties and handle things on my own. Too bad I was only eighteen.
"You're such a child sometimes," she sighed.
"Yep, and proud of it." I scrolled down on the page and saw another headline: Austyn Lawler: Pop Star or Pop Phony?
After I moved to Los Angeles from Texas, my singing career took off. I signed a record deal and was thrown into the studio almost instantaneously. My first single flew off the charts, and after I released my first album, that went crazy, too. Now I have two number one albums under my belt, and I'm still eighteen.
After my second album, I decided to take a break from touring and recording. I wanted to be able to live my life, because after living in L.A., I was forced to grow up really fast. I still live with my parents, but it's still hard sometimes. My mom doesn't do everything for me because she's off dealing with my business matters, and my dad normally tags along so my mom doesn't get too stressed. I'm forced to stay behind in the townhome all by myself, sometimes for weeks at a time. Sometimes it's nice, sometimes it's lonely.
After my second tour, staying home alone was nice while Mom was out dealing with all the post-tour things. Dad went with her, probably because he knew I wanted space after spending three months on a cramped bus with five other people.
But then I realized that I wanted to go back to Texas. I wanted to go back to my hometown. I was tired of the busy Los Angeles life. I was tired of recording constantly, tired of trying to push another album out of me when there was nothing to push. I just wanted to go back to Texas and be a teenager again.
So that's where we were.
I was flying back early tomorrow morning, and Mom and Dad would be flying back within the next couple of days. They had to stay back in L.A. to finish up a few things, probably to deal with my producer and his apparent rage at me leaving right after a tour.
I didn't really understand why he was so mad. It's not like I had planned on recording after the tour, anyway. I needed a few months to relax and just be me.
"Are you listening to me?" I heard Mom screech. I vaguely remember hearing her voice as I read through the article but I don't remember hearing any complete sentences.
"Nope," I answered honestly.
She groaned. "I was saying that the movers should have everything packed away, am I correct?" I glanced around the room and noticed nothing in the room except for me and my computer.
"Yep, there's nothing left."
"And you're going to be checking into the hotel tonight, right? We set the rules that you're not staying at Holden's house."
I sighed. "I don't understand why I can't. I can just sleep downstairs, and it'll be so much cheaper than renting a hotel for one night."
"Because knowing you, you won't get up in the morning because you'll be staying up too late with him and miss your flight." I heard her pointed tone and knew the argument was a lost cause.
"Fine," I muttered.
"I want you checked into the hotel by five this evening. I don't care if you stay there for the rest of the evening, but your curfew is twelve, and I will find someone to enforce that curfew."
"You're such a mom sometimes," I grumbled.
"You hired me." I heard some muffled sounds and voices on the other line. I heard Mom talking to someone before she came back to me. "I have to go; Mitchell is throwing another temper tantrum. I'll call you later tonight, love you, bye."
I heard her click off, so I ended the call, too. I looked around. I had packed my bag, and it was sitting by the door. I stared at it. I just wanted to get this day over with so I could go back to Texas.
The plane finally touched down in Dallas the next morning. It was about noon, due to the time delay, and I was ready to get off. Plane rides got old really fast, and I wanted to see my friends from middle school and however long I went to high school my freshman year.
After I had sat on the plane listening to music for three hours, I had started thinking about Oliver. Oliver Samuelson, my best friend for fourteen years.
I hadn't seen him or heard from him since I left. He never texted or called me to apologize. It was like he disappeared.
What I did know was that his senior year of high school was over, and he was now eighteen, getting ready to go off to college. It was June now, and he already knew where he was going to go to school. He was grown up. I knew he wasn't going to be my Oliver anymore. He was going to be big boy Oliver, a stranger to me.
I inhaled a shaky breath as I stood up to get off the plane. People were filing out into the aisle, and I followed in suit. I went inside the airport and saw Janet, one of my mom's employees whom she had hired to help me get settled in while she and Dad got everything fixed in L.A.
"Hey, Aussie!" she squealed in her annoying voice. She had picked up the nickname Aussie from Holden, even though he said it as a joke and I hated it.
"Hi, Janet," I grumbled. I saw a couple people eyeing me, so I tugged my jacket tighter around me, even though it was blistering outside, and pulled my hat down even farther.
I hated paparazzi even though it was sometimes fun to read their articles. They would probably come up with some crazy story if they figured out I was back in Dallas.
"I picked up some magazines for you while I was waiting," she announced, shoving a couple magazines in my hand. I was on the cover of two of them, Holden was on the cover of another, and Holden and I were on the cover of the last one.
"Oh, uh, thanks," I said hastily, shoving the magazines in my bag. More people were starting to look closer at me, slowing their walk. Why there were even so many people in an airport on a Monday was beyond me. "Is there any way we can, you know, get to my house? I kind of want to leave."
"Oh! Of course! Right!" She led the way to the parking garage, all the while talking about my previous tours. I mumbled words in all the right places as she talked on and on. We finally reached her car, and I climbed in the passenger seat, her still talking about the tour.
I got a text from my mom as we pulled onto the highway.
Did you get back to Dallas okay?
"I think my favorite show you did was probably the one in Orlando. That one was just so great. The way you worked those acrobats into the show was magnificent," Janet said, flicking her blinker on.
Yeah. It's all good. I should be back to the old house soon. I hesitated. I wanted to ask her about Oliver but I wasn't sure how she would take it or what she would say. I decided to just ask anyway. Have you heard anything from Oliver? I pressed send without reading it because I knew I would regret it instantly.
Janet finally stopped talking after she got the hint that I didn't really care much about the previous tour. Mom hadn't replied, and I was nervous about seeing Oliver. I had this feeling that I would see him somewhere and it would be incredibly awkward.
We pulled up to my old house, and I instantly got hit with a sense of nostalgia. The huge oak tree in the front yard was still huge. The tire swing was gone, but the rest was the same. There was still a wrap-around porch painted blue, and the boards on the house were still white. Mom had told me there would be a key in the flowerpot, so I knew how to get in. The movers were supposed to have moved all of our furniture from L.A. into the house over the past day or so.
I thanked Janet for the ride, and she told me to call if I needed anything. She helped me with my suitcase, and I set off for the house.
I dug around for the key and inserted in the lock. I heard the click, and I pushed open the door. It still smelled the same.
All the furniture was set, and I almost wanted to cry. I never realized how much I missed Texas until I got back. The sense of longing and emptiness in my heart was filled just by setting foot in the living room.
I wanted to go up to my bedroom, but I decided to wait. Suddenly, I heard a floorboard creak, and I looked to my left and saw a gangly guy standing there, arms crossed over his chest. But I would recognize those eyes anywhere.
"So, Austyn, decided to move back?"
A.N. Yeah, yeah, I haven't updated my other story, but whatever. I really like the idea of this story and the potential that it has. I have two full chapters written so far, and I just started the third one. I'll be starting a website soon so character pictures will be posted there. Um...I think that's about it!
Allison (weird, right?)