When it rains, it pours.
So I'm currently sitting in the corner booth that used to be Ryan's favorite place to write or read or just sit and people watch. It was his favorite place to be alone.
Well, that is, until he met me.
Then it became our favorite place. The one place that was only for Kadence and Ryan.
Sitting here remembering all the time we used to spend here together, I didn't notice Ryan enter the small coffee shop.
Snapped out of my trance, I look up from the cup of coffee sitting in front of me and see everything that I have unknowingly been waiting for. The look on Ryan's face shows no anger, only how truly happy he is to see me after so long.
That only confirms the growing feeling that I've had that it's time for me to get my shit together. It's been a nagging thought at the back of my mind for a few weeks now and seeing Ryan brings it right to the fore front.
Practically jumping out of the booth, I latch on to Ryan and simultaneously begin hugging him and crying...not quite hysterically. After several minutes I finally start to regain some composure and pull back to look at him more closely.
Still my Ryan.
But beneath the happy façade, I see the worry in his eyes. And I will not start crying again, I refuse.
"So now that that's out of the way...OMG RYAN! I can't believe you're really here!"
He just laughs as I pull him down into the booth next to me.
"I see you're still as random as ever, Kae. But of course that's why we love you."
Feigning shock I ask, "What was random about this most awesome reunion between me and my RyRy?"
"I would say it's random to go from crying hysterically one minute to being all 'ohmuhgawd Ryan' the next."
Falling easily back into my old self, I cross my arms and pull out my signature pout...very six year old of course, it's much classier than the four year old look.
"I was not hysterical. I was simply overcome with a wealth of emotion that was beyond my capability to handle in a calm and rational manor."
"Fine, fine. But would you have it any other way when it's been like ten years since I saw you last?"
"Kae, I hate to break it to you but we haven't even known each other for ten years. And, It's only been like five months."
"Ugh, why do you always have to be all logical and point out the obvious."
"For the same reason you always have to be all random and outlandish. It's just who we are and why we work so well together."
With that he gave me a huge grin and pulled me in for another hug.
"I really have missed you Kae."
"Yeah, I've missed me too."
It was meant to be a joke but it came out sounding way too serious, and it was way too true. But before Ryan could comment, and it was obvious he was about to based on the concerned look he was giving me, I opted for a subject change.
"So seriously Ryan, what's been going on for the last ten years?"
Over the next half hour he filled me in on all the things going on with the band; the new music video, finally performing overseas, working on the next album, crazy mobs of teenage girls chasing them. You know, same old same old. Spencer lost his bitch-itude after meeting his current girlfriend, Haley. And Jon has found a new way to outlet his unlimited supply of energy with his new cat Dylan.
"Not that I don't love hearing about the band and everyone, but what about you specifically Ry, how have you been?"
Up to this point Ryan had been all smiles during his grand account of the past five months, but now I can clearly see what I had been dreading.
"Do you really want to know, Kae? I don't want to hurt you..."
"Just tell me Ryan. I already know that it hasn't been easy for any body, you might be able to fool everyone else but remember I can see right through it. I haven't lost that, I know something is bothering you. And I know it has to do with me. So as wonderful as it has been to act like everything went right back to how it was, we both knew this was going to happen...so let's hear it."
Ryan sat there staring down at his hands for several moments before he took a deep breathe and started talking again.
"I know that what happened was between...the two of you, but when you took off you left me too. Nothing has been the same without you around and it's just been really hard for me to lose my best friend like that."
He took a deep breath before continuing.
"I mean you didn't even say goodbye, you just left. And I didn't see you again for a month, not that it really mattered at the time. You were so out of it you didn't even recognize me. You have no idea how much that hurt. And I've tried calling, I wanted to help so much Kae, but you wouldn't let me. You pushed me away..."
I was gone by the first sentence. I knew this was going to be hard but I really thought I could hold it together longer than this. I tried to wipe away the tears before I looked up, but they wouldn't stop coming.
"Ry, I had no idea. I honestly don't remember much about the first few months after I left. I just couldn't handle it so I kept myself numb, completely blank. God, I can't imagine what I must have said to you...And believe me, I have regretted how I left every single day since it happened. I've tried to move on but the more I think about it the more I realize how much I screwed up and hurt everyone I care about. Which just leads to trying to numb the pain again. I'm just stuck in this never ending cycle and I want out. You have no idea how much I want out Ryan."
Barely getting the last part out I grab Ryan and cry harder.
And for some reason that I will never be able to understand he just pulls me even closer and cries with me. Like I never hurt him, he's just my best friend again...
When we both have enough composure to pull away, we just look at each other and start laughing.
"Yeah Kae, you look kinda crazy right now with all that black running down your face."
"Me! What about you? You're wearing eyeliner too, emo boy."
"Help me Ry! I don't want to look like an emo-band music video waiting to happen. Get it off me! And how dare you not tell me sooner..."
Did I mention that we are seriously insane with how drastic our moods can be? Because we are.
"Calm down Sunshine, I can't get it off if you're freaking out on me."
Oh god, why did he have to call me that. I'm sure he didn't realize but still...
"Speaking of Sunshine. How is...Brendon?"
Ryan stopped wiping the black off my face and just stared at me. Even when it's him, I don't particularly like being stared at. Especially when the look I'm getting is very clearly a 'you can't be serious...really, you can't be' kind of look. Granted that is probably the last thing he thought I would ask him, he knows I'm a bit of a masochist. That just happens to be the one thing I want to know most and also the one thing that will hurt most to hear.
"Kae, I'm not sure you should hear that right now..."
"Look Ryan, you want to help me right? Well I'm asking for help right now. The way I see it, I'm only going to be able to move on if I can face him and see for myself that he's happy... Which is where you come in. Aside from getting my act together, I have to deal with what I've done. The way I can start doing that is by being able to talk about him, then eventually to him...so just tell me."
I could see the internal debate he was having with himself. It's a very common, Ryan-y trait. It's actually rather amusing to watch but right now it's kind of annoying. I finally work up the courage to ask about 'him' and Ryan has to go and take his time to answer me.
"Well there is really no easy way to tell you this..."
Really? Damn him and his dramatic pauses! This is not the time for that. I might strangle him. Or just throw my coffee cup at him.
"He's just not the same as he used to be. It's actually painful to be around him now. He tries so hard to act like everything is fine but it's just so blatantly obvious that he's still really messed up about everything. He rarely talks unless he's answering someone. But even then he only says a few words. Really the only way to describe it is...he's just hollow."
Ryan paused, debating whether or not he should continue. I sat quietly trying to process all that he had just said.
Before it all really sank in he continued. "He sort of disappeared and shut everyone out for about a week and when he finally showed back up that's how he was...hollow."
That's even worse than I could have imagined. I was excepting 'He's moved on. He found somebody else.' or 'He was pretty upset for a while but he's ok now.' Not this. Anything but this I could have dealt with, I could have accepted, then worked on how to approach him to ask for forgiveness. But this? There is no way I can be forgiven after breaking him like this.
I guess Ryan can still practically read my thoughts based on my expression because he pulled me to him again.
"Hey, don't do this. I know it's hard to hear, but I will help you through this. You've let me in again and I'm not letting you push me back out. I'll be here every step of the way and before you know it you'll be ready to confront him. And who knows, that could be exactly what he needs to be able to snap out of it... Now, let's finish wiping all this off. You know I've always preferred sunny skies, not partly cloudy with a chance of rain."
Have you ever experienced the feeling that time is almost standing still just for you? That an entire life time is being played out within a mere month? Well, anyways, that is exactly how the past month and half has been for me. I have fit in perfectly with Brendon and his friends, almost like they've known me all along and were just waiting for me to figure it out...It makes since in my head.
Needless to say, it has been a crazy but wonderful time getting to know them.
Sitting on the roof of Brendon's house, staring up at the sky has become something of a ritual for us. Every Friday night after the band finishes practice we drive back to Brendon's house so we can be alone away from school, friends, everything.
Tonight we have just been laying curled up against one another, a comfortable silence surrounding us as we look up at the stars. I've been thinking about how drastically different my life has become since the day we met. And the more I think about it the more I can't keep everything in any more. Brendon is responsible for bringing me out of my shell so to speak, and he deserves to know how much that means to me.
Taking a deep breath for a bit of courage, I quietly start telling him all the things I've wanted to say.
"You know, before I met you my life felt like a constant battle to find something to look forward to from day to day. I was always searching for the bright side in a world full of darkness...like a never-ending moonless night."
Glancing over at him relieves some of the fears I had of how I assumed he was going to react. He's smiling that signature, breathtaking smile of his, and giving me his undivided attention. So I guess it's safe to continue without him freaking out or something.
"Now that I have you, all that has changed. You are the 'bright side' I was searching for, the moon to light my endless night. And I know that sounds corny but it's the best way I know how to describe the impact you've had on me."
After a brief silence he responds, "Well if I'm as awesome as the moon that definitely makes you the sun."
Of course out of everything I said that is the first thing he comments on...he has such an ego sometimes.
"The sun? Yeah right. I'm more like a nondescript star, blending in with the masses."
"Are you kidding me? You could never blend in with the masses. You are too unique, too amazing, for anyone to overlook and classify as nondescript."
"That's just your opinion. Everyone else that has ever met me would have to disagree with you."
Turning to face me fully Brendon pulls my face so that he can look me directly in the eye. For a few moments that's all he does, stares. It's like he is staring into my eyes to find the answers to all life's questions, or something equally cheesy.
Finally he says "If you ask me, my opinion is the only one that matters."
"Okay fine, you win...this time. But tell me, really, why you think I'm like the sun. And it's definitely not because you think I'm unique."
With a sigh and a fiend look of contemplation he takes his sweet, precious time thinking of his answer.
"Well I would have to say it's you're incredible ability to brighten my day under any circumstances. Which, by the way, can be accomplished just by thinking about you."
"Ok, I'll buy that. But that alone doesn't justify being equated to something as magnificent as the sun."
"I happen to think it is. You may not realize it but you always put a smile on the faces of everyone around you. You're like my own personal ray of sunshine."
"Huh...Sunshine? I think I can live with being a ray of sunshine instead of the entire sun."
"Fine, fine. You are my sunshine then."
Really 'you are my sunshine.' That's too funny. Which is why I can't hold it in any more, between laughs I manage to get out, "I'm sorry. I can't help it. I'm just waiting for you to start singing 'you are my sunshine, my only sunshine...'"
"Oh ha ha. Make a joke out of my feelings. That's great."
If that wouldn't have been said between laughs of his own, I would actually feel bad.
"Yes, I can see you are very torn up about it." For the next few minutes we just laid there laughing and staring up at the sky.
"Oh by the way, just because I'm now a ray of sunshine instead of the sun doesn't mean you get to be a moon beam or anything. You're still the whole moon."
"Ugh, fine. I'll only except that because the moon isn't as bright as the sun, and it goes through all those stages and stuff..."
"Okay, you can stop now. Say what you will to justify it to yourself, whatever makes you feel better or floats your boat and all that. I know the truth..."
"And what exactly is the truth?"
"You're just to important to me to be anything less than my moon."
Brendon pulled me closer to his side and stared down at me for what seemed like hours. Slowly he pulled me even closer until finally his lips touched mine, and he gave me what can only be described as the best kiss ever known. I'm sure plenty of people have thought that before but I'm also sure that this time it's true.
When he pulled away, much to soon, he gave me his amazing smile right before he stole my heart forever.
"I love you, sunshine."
After who knows how many hours, Ryan and I finally said good night or good morning rather since it's nearing dawn. Sitting in my room looking out the window, I watch the sun slowly rising over the horizon, surrounded by a halo of orange, pink, and purple. It's incredibly beautiful, but somehow sad. Brendon had certainly had it right when he used to call me 'Sunshine.' The sun might be pretty and give everyone light, sure, but it gave up each and every day. It dulled, and it went out. It rose again with each new day, but it always, always disappeared; gave up on the world. Sometimes, things as simple and carefree as clouds could make it wither away.
So unlike the moon was the sun. The moon was always out; you could see it even behind the clouds. The moon might not illuminate the world and give everyone the light they needed like the sun; but it cut through pitch darkness. It never gave up; it was there even in the day, you just had to know where to look.
Brendon is the moon, the brightest star in the sky; something everyone can look upon and admire in their own way. And then there's me, the sun. Bright in its own respect, but no one can look to closely without having to turn away from the pain it causes.
I wish I could hold on to the time I had just spent with Ryan, keep the courage he had instilled in me, but I can already feel it slipping away. Now that I'm alone and the memories flood my mind, there isn't much room for anything other than the perpetual pain.
It looks like the forecast for the day is overcast skies with a good chance of rain after all.
So I just want to say thanks to everyone that has been reading. Especially those that have rated and reviewed! It's very much appreciated.
Unfortunately, I'm having some issues with writers block...so until something makes me start writing again the chapters will be shorter than usual, and I might not update as frequently as I have been.
Anyways, I hope you enjoyed this chapter.