Piper sighed. It was too late. To handle things any different would be too messy, resulting with with many people getting hurt. Nodding she took one step further.
"You know why I hold such resentment against my father . . .because my mother was the other woman. Thankfully, I don't carry his last name. But he's been trying to buy my love for the past 10 years. . . if you love me then prove it. Otherwise, I refuse to be known as that "other woman" that tried to ruin your wedding."
Wiping her eyes she ran out the elevator. Not looking back or caring if Oliver was following her. She searched for the nearest taxi, deciding to head back to the hotel instead. Eventually Bree would return and then they could discuss about an early departure. Piper drained all her woes on the pillow, a complete mess from her aching tears to her runny nose.
The next morning Piper opened her eyes to see her friend lying beside her. Relieved, it was a new day. Her first day with only one objective . . . forgetting Oliver. Bree awoke to her friends movements, smiling sympathetically.
"What would you like to do today?" Bree offered.
"How about . . . we take a long train ride?"
"You want to get the tour package deal? I think it's for a couple of weeks or something?"
"Yes please. I just need to get out of here. And if we could leave before noon that would be amazing."
"And please keep me away from all means of the media. I don't care to hear about any news regarding. . . "
"I know." Bree pressed her lips.
During the course of the next month or so, Piper had lived out her dream of visiting the many cities her ears had only heard of. Staying in hostels and dinning in authentic restaurants, she only desired more; contemplating the next country she wished to visit.
As much as she loathed her father, especially after her mind was fresh on his wrong doing, she still accepted his money donations. Acknowledging that she wouldn't have gotten this far without his financial help. One day she would completely forgive him . . . one day.
Through out the time that they had been away from Paris, Piper noticed Bree act rather peculiar. She'd catch her texting often on her phone and wondered who it was that had entertained her so. On the last day of their tour, on the train ridgeback to Paris, Piper finally approached Bree about it.
"So who is this mystery person you keep texting?"
Blushing, Bree's face then turned to guilt. "I met him at the club that night. I was hesitant to tell you because I didn't want to bring back those hurtful memories. Causing you to remember him . . ."
Piper smiled, thankful for her friend's consideration. Still drifting back to that night, she wondered how happy he was being married now. Brushing the thoughts from her mind immediately, she reminded Bree how excited she was to go back to L.A. for a while. Especially now that she had a roommate.
Training her self to ignore all forms of media, it was hard not to waver once back at the airport. It had almost been a year since Piper left the states, and she wasn't planning on staying long. She just had a few things to settle . . . with her dad. Bree refused to fly without the proper medication to provoke drowsiness, taking her time as she searched through the pricey racks.
Piper's attention had shifted towards the magazines, curiosity triumphing yet again. On the cover was the shocking announcement of the disappearance of the groom-to-be. Apparently the wedding had been postponed on account of Oliver getting cold feet. Also stating that the band had taken an extensive break to spend time with their families and recover from their exhausting tour.
Disappointment and worry triggered Piper, wondering how he was doing. Where he could be? Regardless, they had finally broken free from each other, there was no sense in dwelling on it.
"Do you miss him?"
Pausing as she thought carefully about her answer, "Yeah".
Bree noticed Piper's eyes water. No doubt she never truly got over Oliver, though she did a good job at hiding it. Convincing herself that she had done the right thing, Bree continued to play the trusting friend; hoping that it wouldn't bite her in the end.
When they arrived at the gate, Piper took out her e-ticket that she had printed out earlier. "Wait how come I don't have an assigned seat, what does yours say?" Piper asked startled.
"It says seat 15C."
"So how come I don't have seat if we bought them together?"
Bree shrugged her shoulders not looking as worried as Piper anticipated. Jumping to her feet she made the line at the checking desk. Frowning in disbelief and even more at her friend's nonchalant response, texting seemed more important to her clearly. On her turn she sternly asked why she didn't have a seat assigned when her friend did.
The stewardess, couldn't understand why either as she read her screen.
"I'm sorry ma'am, if you don't mind taking a seat I will try my best to find you a seat."
Aggravated, she swallowed her pride and sat back down.
"Did they find you a seat?" Bree asked casually.
"No, not yet. And what's with you anyway? Aren't you worried that I won't be able to board the plane with you?" she stubbornly crossed her arms.
"They'll find you a seat, they always do. Calm down."
Piper rubbed her forehead, maybe seeing Oliver's picture again had stirred some unwanted anxiety. There was no need to take it out on a simple mishap. These things happened all the time . . . it just happened to be her turn.
After the boarding call for the first few zones, Bree patiently waiting by her side, Piper got called to the desk.
"I'm sorry for the wait mam, I found you a window seat in the 23 row."
"Is there any chance of there being any doubles? So I can sit with my friend."
"No ma'am, the flight is full."
"Thank you." Piper turned to Bree who had over-heard.
"Well, at least we'll be on the same flight." Bree tried to cheer her up.
"Okay Miss Sunshine."
Piper waved goodbye to her friend as she traveled further down the aisle. Just when she thought things couldn't get any worse, some guy was in her seat. He was fast asleep already, face hidden with his black hoodie. On the end was an older woman who didn't look happy about having to let her squeeze by. This long flight would not go smoothly.
The lights switched off, allowing the faint sunset colors simmer through some of the windows. Unhappy with her inconvenient turnout, she focused on falling asleep to make the time go by faster.
Twenty minutes passed, Piper finally reached her happy place. Eyes closed, yet not fully asleep. She could hear the flight attendants asking for peoples beverages, not desiring anything to drink at the moment, she would remain with her eyes closed. The elderly lady requested a cup of apple juice. And when the man next to Piper was asked, aware of the movement in his seat, her heart stopped.
"Would you happen to have any tea?"
Eyes automatically opening. Frightened and hopeful of the passenger beside her, too afraid to look just yet.
"Oh miss, would you like anything to drink?"
"So-some water please."
Forcing herself to gradually turn to the left . . . Oliver sat equally frightened as to what her reaction might be. The stewardess handed them their beverages, observing the slight tension between them. Oliver's soulful eyes reached out, giving her time to process things.
Piper was speechless, wanting to give him a welcoming smile but still uncertain about what this all meant.
"Before you say anything. You told me to prove how much I loved you . . . I cancelled the wedding and while I had means of getting a hold of you I didn't. I thought you could use the time to distract and enjoy yourself" he began to explain.
"Means of getting a hold of me?" she whispered.
"Through Bree. She's been texting one of my best mates. . . Piper, I know I've probably run out of chances and don't deserve another, but. . . if you still care for me even in the slightest, I want to finally take you away with me."
"The magazines said you got cold feet. That you ran away."
"You know better than anybody not to believe everything you read in the media. I called it off two days later. Ask Maverick . . . ask Bree."
"Why didn't she tell me anything?" Piper gasped hurtfully.
"I begged her not to. Don't be mad with her."
Piper's gaze had softened as she took in his warm brown eyes and kind smile. His black hoodie made for a great disguise, although a trucker cap and wig would have worked just fine.
"Forgive me Piper."
"I'm headed back to L.A." she said.
"So am I. But I've reserved two tickets to Australia that leaves LAX in less than 72 hours. If you should desire to come with me."
"What about the band and work stuff?"
"We all demanded a long break, and finally got our wish."
"I don't know, I mean I'm just getting back . . . I need time to think about it."
"I understand. I'll take that over a no. Not to push it or anything but you have less than 72 hours. . . I would love it if we could start over."
"How about we start by you telling me what you've been up to the past few weeks" Piper smiled.