A/N-STOP! If you haven't read Echo before, I suggest you do because this is it's sequel and nothing will make sense and seem boring. So go read Echo.
Chapter 1: Brand New Colony
want to take you far from the cynics in this town
And kiss you on the mouth
We'll cut our bodies free from the tethers of this scene,
Start a brand new colony
Where everything will change,
We'll give ourselves new names
The sun will heat the grounds
Under our bare feet in this brand new colony
Everything will change
-The Postal Service
The cars whizzed by in a flurry of curses and honks, cyclists swerving in between the traffic, horse drawn carriages bringing tourists around the city as they clicked and clomped on the pavement.
She sighed and checked her watch again. They were ten minutes late, and she was beginning to grow impatient. She had a class she couldn't miss, she realized, as she fiddled with the red flower pinned to her shirt. Paige had jokingly, but they did it anyway, suggested to use the flowers because they may not recognize each other.
Another group of gawking visitors pushed past her and she stumbled forward, catching herself right before she fell. One person looked back, seeming like he expected to get a tongue lashing from the scary native, but she only shook her head and looked at her watch again.
'Where are they?' She groaned, glancing around Times Square. It definitely wasn't her favorite area in the city, too crowded and touristy, but she and her friends decided that it was just too cliché a moment to pass up.
She saw a flash of platinum and red out of the corner of her eye.
She whirled around and sure enough, there was Janie and Paige making their way through the crowd, hauling duffle bags on their shoulders. She hadn't seen them for nearly a year because they were traveling with their boyfriends' band. But the tour had almost ended, their last stop being New York.
"My love!" Paige shouted as she caught sight of Ash, running and then pouncing on her.
Ash grinned and hugged Paige just as fiercely, settling her face into her neck.
"We missed you so much!" Paige cried, rubbing Ash's back and swaying them side to side.
Ash laughed and pulled away. "I missed you guys too!"
She quickly appraised her friend. Her hair was long again, with just a hint of old highlights streaking through. Tee seemed to have an effect on her, because she was wearing a pair of skinny jeans and an old band tee shirt.
Janie was next. She giggled and jumped up and down as she wrapped her arms around Ash. Her laugh was infectious.
"Hey Janie I-" She stopped as something bumped against her stomach. "What's that…?"
One look down and she ripped away from Janie, who was grinning apologetically, while Ash stared at her with wide eyes and eyebrows raised to her hairline.
"Janie…" She said over the noise. "What...Are you…Are you pregnant!?"
The other girl just let out a laugh and nodded, tears coming out of her eyes.
"I wasn't sure how I was going to tell you and then I just never did…"
"How far along are you?" Ash asked, trying to seem angry but she was grinning like a madwoman also and her eyes were tearing up.
Janie put a hand on her protruding stomach. "Uh…four months?"
"Four months!" Ash yelped. "You've been pregnant for four months and you didn't tell me?"
"Sorry," Janie mumbled. "I didn't even tell my parents for awhile."
"How'd they take it?" Ash asked, knowing how Catholic Janie's parents were.
Paige snorted. "They were fine. But you should've heard her. She just babbled on about sins and Jesus for two days. Quinn was thinking about taking her to the doctor."
Ash laughed and swiped at the corner of her eyes. She was ecstatic about seeing her best friends again, and then Janie was pregnant…it was all too much.
"Come on!" Paige said, glaring at someone who pushed into her. "I want to see this apartment of yours."
Ash grinned and got a taxi, taking Janie's duffel bag and helping her into the car.
"I'm not ninety years old Ash," She grumbled, lowering herself slowly into the seat. "I'm just pregnant."
"My little niece is in there, can you blame her?" Paige asked, going to the opposite side of the car.
Janie just huffed and sank back into the seat, crossing her arms over her newly large chest. The other two girls tried to hold back their grins but it was a lost cause. They started to laugh, tears rolling down their cheeks and embraced each other again. The taxi driver looked at them through his rear view mirror wearily before racing between the other cars.
When they arrived at Ash's apartment building, her friends looked up at the old building with caution on their faces.
Ash laughed at them. "It isn't that bad guys! My apartment's nice inside."
"Whatever you say," Paige said with a little snort. "I don't see why you didn't just go with the school's apartments. There much nicer."
Ash just smiled and led them inside. She could have and was going to live in a school apartment, but under the circumstances…
"Hello Mrs. Zellers," She said as she passed her favorite neighbor, a little old lady, as she was unlocking her door while holding her annoying poodle.
The woman looked up. "Oh, hello there dear! Are these your friends?"
Ash nodded and smiled.
"Well aren't the three of you girls pretty together! Oh I bet all the boys are after you." She paused as she saw Janie. "Well, seems like you're taken! And for my Aislynn here…I'm certain that that boy wouldn't-…"
"Okay Mrs. Zellers," She said nervously, cutting her off so she didn't say anymore. "I'll see you later, yeah?" And pulled her friends down the hall to her door.
Janie and Paige looked at her strangely, especially when she fumbled with her keys and mumbled curses underneath her breath, but she didn't pay any attention to them, instead tried to not blush.
"Finally," She muttered, swinging the door open. "Home sweet home!"
She dropped the keys onto the small table near the door and watched as the other girls scanned the living room, looked at the small kitchen in the back, and saw the two closed doors, all sparsely furnished and small.
"Well," Paige said. "Looks like they were having a sale at IKEA."
"Shut up," Ash laughed, leading them into the room. "Some of it's my old stuff too!"
They laughed with her and sat down on the sofa.
Ash nervously smiled and looked around.
"Don't you have a roommate?" Janie asked, looking around the room too.
"Uh…yeah." Ash laughed, as nervously as she smiled. "Hold on?"
She craned her neck into to see in the kitchen, but no one was there. The other door, his door, was closed.
"I'm home!" She yelled out, hoping he would here.
She heard the pipes creak as the shower stopped. Seconds later, the door opened and he stepped outside.
"Hey…" He smiled and then blushed as he saw the back of her friend's heads. She blushed also, seeing he was only wrapped in a towel and just knowing how what they were going to assume about…
Paige turned her head and gasped.