S is in London.
I grinned at this text from CF. It’s not the first time I heard that H’s ex is back in town—the number of mentions that I get over at Twitter from both concerned fans and haters can attest to how many times I’ve heard she’s here. I really don’t know what the concern is over this—I don’t think H would get back with S because he’s with already me because if he does I’m going to kick his ass to the all of the circles in hell and make sure he never comes back. But then again, he left me one New Year’s Eve to be with her (and then subsequently realizing that it is me he wants to be with, so maybe I’d have to thank S for that).
I do know that that leaving her during the New Year’s Eve party left a bit of a scar on S—she has a song that mentioned that. I KNOW. I SPAWNED ONE SONG FROM HER, I SHOULD BE HAPPY ALREADY. LIFE PURPOSE #365 = CHECK.
Anyway, I thumbed in quickly my reply to CF: So I heard.
She replied just as fast: You’ll be there at the awards night?
CF knew that S was here because of a couple of Europe-based awards shows that nominated her. In some categories, she’s going up for the award vs. the boys, and I don’t know how strange awkward that would be—if it would still be awkward, which shouldn’t really be the case considering how far back H and S as an item was already. They had managed to ‘miss’ awards shows—S would appear in this awards show and the boys won’t be there, and vice versa. But eventually their paths are going to cross, considering the relatively small world that they move in.
Yeah. I’ll be there. Skipping the red carpet though. E, Amy, Natalie, and I will wait for the boys + P and her band inside :)
It’s H’s and my 18th month together (if you’re the kind of person counting like that—I’m not, but H does it for me). He and I still aren’t public, and the world doesn’t know that one of the guys touted as one of its prized bachelors is already taken. We have long debated as to whether or not I should attend this awards night with him—it was one of the few times they were given a go signal that they could bring plus ones—and after asking the boys, they said they were all bringing someone. In N and L’s case as they both told everybody that they’re single (and they are), they’re bringing friends—real, genuine friends that they don’t have any romantic involvement with, but I am pretty sure that the media would think that they brought along their soon-to-be-girlfriends.
As for my case, H was hoping that Amy and Natalie would be nice ‘covers’ as N and L would tell the press that they’re bringing friends. Besides, I’m skipping the red carpet so hopefully there will be little pictures of me and H together.
This could have been a whole lot easier had H and I have been public.
Oohhhh. I wanna see this. Me and CW are calling dibs on your makeup and hair. We’re going to make S look like a slave next to you, the queen. HAHA :)
I rolled my eyes at CF’s reply. CW is also part of the band’s styling and grooming team. She picks the best attires ever—those clothes you see on the boys’ backs are partly CW. Going to pick dresses and shopping clothes with CF and CW means being on your feet for about eight hours—and that’s at the minimum. I did that. Thrice already. And each time I got home, I find myself waking up, wearing the same clothes the next day.
I sighed heavily. Why is everybody pitting me against S?
CF, there’s no competition here. I sincerely do want to meet her though.
For what? To thank her for penning Run Away because of you and H?
I laughed, and I felt arms wrap around my waist in a tender embrace. I leaned against H, his head perched on my shoulder. I locked my phone and turned my head slightly to the side.
“What’s the laugh for?” H said softly, his breath tickling my cheek.
“Well, apparently your old flame had just touchdown-ed at the airport and I’m getting tweets all over. CF texted me that she and CW are already thinking of how they’re going to style me at the awards night.”
I felt his lips touch my cheek, and I cuddled closer to him. “They’re still pitting you against her?”
“Uhhuh,” I whispered. “You do know it’s the first time I’m going to meet her, right? Ever since we got together and ever since that New Year’s Eve a couple of years back. And that hit single Run Away.”
H chuckled beside me, shaking his head almost in disbelief. “You guys have to let it go.”
“I have let it go. Did she already do the letting go part?” I asked him, and he released me from the embrace, a pensive look on his face.
“She’s already dating someone new.”
I nodded slowly. “And yet… she still sends you emails. And she has two songs on her new album that has clues linking to you.”
He took my hand in his, our tattoos linking together ever so perfectly. He licked his lips before speaking, and when he gazed at me, his eyes were intense. “Do I look like I still care?”
I returned his gaze, content flooding all over my system. “You don’t,” I said simply, and he turned his face, our noses touching.
“You seemed surprised.”
“I… I’m not.”
“Trust,” he reminded me in a whisper.
I puckered my lips and he touched his lips with mine. “Yes,” I whispered back. “Trust.”
I never thought of myself as the woman who can make heads turn when I enter the room. H always told me I am beautiful, and that I could probably be that girl that was referred to in one of those popular songs: but when you smile at the ground, it ain’t hard to tell… you don’t know… you don’t know you’re beautiful.
But H is biased, so there are days that I would be looking for some sort of validation from somewhere else.
Today, that validation is found at this awards night, for when I entered, I was getting looks, and it was the kind that lingers. At first I thought I just had something on my face (or worse, my teeth, as I was smiling), but E assured me that there wasn’t.
“You are just gorgeous tonight, Kayla. Face it. CW and CF really unleashed their magic tonight,” she whispered into my ear, and I gave her a grateful smile.
But the appreciation always is best when it comes from the person that you love.
H didn’t see me after CW and CF finished waving their magic wands at me because he had to head on earlier to the venue for the red carpet. Amy, Natalie, E, and I were whisked away in a limo, sliding into our seats, a chair apart for the boys, about thirty minutes prior to the event. I looked around, saw a couple of artists that I love and I seriously want to fangirl but I reigned it in.
Not the place and time for it.
I had to go with E to the bathroom for some clothing emergency (thank you Lord for safety pins) and were heading back when somebody grabbed E. She stopped herself from yelping, and thankfully she did because it was just T. He gave me a quick buss on the cheek before turning back to E.
I watched as T wrapped his hand around her waist, his fingers gentle over her silk, lavender-colored gown. Hers was in a haltered cut, showing off her bare shoulders. She leaned her head on T’s shoulder momentarily before he guided her back to the seats. I followed the couple, wondering where in the world H is.
He was there, at the end of our assigned row. He looked very dapper in his suit and bowtie ensemble, and I couldn’t help but smile because he looked so handsome. He had one hand in his pocket, and he was swaying a bit, and I learned from the months that we were together that this was something that he does when he is waiting, very patiently. (He has a different stance when he wants things to hurry up.)
When he turned, our eyes locked, and it was like we were seeing each other again for the first time. The amusement, the fire, the magnet, and the stories that our eyes tell each other every time they meet.
His smile formed on his face very slowly until it became a grin. He pocketed his other hand and then sort of leaned on his heels as he watched me slowly walk about ten steps towards him. I was trying hard not to alternately trip because of my five-inch pumps and because of my dress—a pristine white silk long dress with front dropping so low than what I think is legal. Tight dress + top cut low = check.
When CW showed me this dress, I kept thinking: thank heavens I now have the boobs for that. If you asked me to wear this dress when I was in high school, I’d probably look at you like you’re batshit crazy because I was flat-chested back then.
My hair was simple—CF first made my hair into some sort of organized chaos before putting it up in a messy bun. A few strands fell from the bun, teasing my cheeks. My makeup was another thing. You see, CF can make art using her makeup brushes and palettes. So I think she did this number on me that if I wasn’t wearing the makeup, I would have wanted it to be put on an actual painting propped in an art gallery somewhere.
And I would have to say: CF is probably the only person for whom I will wear contacts for. On any other day, I’ll be wearing glasses.
I finally reached H, wobbling a bit on my heels (I never liked heels because I’m a flats and sneakers kind of girl, something that H liked about me) and H reached out for me just in time to save me from what could have been a disastrous fall. He offered me his arm and I looped mine into his.
“Should I even begin to say how beautiful you look tonight?” H said as he gave me a peck on the cheek.
“You are looking so handsome right now, I actually do want to try and bite you just to check how delicious you are too,” I whispered back, and he chuckled, eyes widening, and I just gave him a thrifty smile.
“Oh don’t try me, luv,” he said, “especially with that illegally low cleavage you have there.” I laughed, and we were about to enter our row—Amy, Natalie, and their respective partners are not there—when someone said H’s name, very calmly and sweetly.
Ah, this was the moment.
H and I turned at the same time, and she was there, in a deep plum long gown that swayed as she did. If my dress plunged low at the front, hers dropped low at the back, exposing pretty much everything that I almost wondered aloud if she was feeling cold.
I have to admit: even I am blown away by just how simply classy her beauty is, especially in person. I totally get it now why she has twenty-something guys tucked under her belt. SHE’S DEAD GORGEOUS, that at the end of that night, I actually listed her under my girl crushes.
I felt H take a deep breath beside me. When he exhaled, he also greeted her by way of saying her name. “Sarah.”
Even without looking around, I could see people whipping out their phones, and taking pictures of this. It’s been two years since they were last seen together, at that New Year’s Eve party. And now they’re seen together again, except there is me in the equation.
H stepped closer to me, and Sarah’s eyes were on me, as if sizing me up. She probably did the head-to-foot look earlier already, because there weren’t any judgment on her face right now. I just gave her a warm smile—CF warned me not to be too nice, but I am nice, I just can’t help it—and she returned it with a version of her own.
“This is Kayla,” H said, no labels whatsoever, just so we can still put up that front that we weren’t together, and S offered her hand to me, and I shook it, as firmly as I could.
“Hello Kayla.” Her voice was cool, no undercurrents of anger, jealousy, or any other negative emotion in them.
I gave her a slight nod, releasing her hand, saying, “Sarah.”
H turned to me, an amused smile on his face. “She’s calm. She’s a fan of yours, but she’s calm,” he said, and I gave him a playful shove.
“I think I’ve seen so many artists, making me feel so overwhelmed that it’ll last me my lifetime,” I said. “And this dress isn’t suited for fangirling.” I faced Sarah. “But yeah, I’m sort of a fan, and I do hope you get to win some awards tonight.”
H cleared his throat beside me, and I had to sort of amend that statement. “Well, not the awards that you’re up against these lads, but you know what I mean.”
S gave a small laugh, and then she turned to H. “Good luck tonight then.” She tried to get H’s eye for far longer than three seconds but he just wouldn’t give it to her. She gave up and addressed me, “It was nice meeting you, Kayla.”
“The pleasure is mine.”
She turned, leaving us with a very good view of her retreating form, and I felt H’s hand at the small of my back. “That wasn’t so bad, was it?” he said, and he was so close that I wanted to kiss him. I love you, I wanted to say, but I couldn’t because I knew people could read lips. So all I said was, “It wasn’t.”
I entered our row, with H exchanging pleasantries with the people in front of our row and at the back, and when we finally got to our seat, I leaned in and cupped my hands over his ear, so no one can see what I would say.
“I love you, and I’m proud of you, no matter what happens tonight.”
H thanked me, and he was about to say something more, but there was this some sort of chime that played across the arena, signaling that the show would be starting in three minutes. The boys and their ‘dates’ filed into the seats just in time, and L winked at me, and I returned it with a smile.
When the music blared to signal the start of the opening number, H pulled me to him, his arm over my shoulder, and then whispered into my ear, “I love you. More than this.”
I gave him a bright smile and then we both stood up, one with the crowd, as fun. took the stage.
[P.S. The boys took home all but one award that they were nominated in. Sarah took home the Song of the Year award for Run Away, but the boys didn’t feel bad about that. They feel that since it was about H, it was their win too—don’t tell Sarah that.]