Skyla makes plans to go home; Shannon helps Skyla decide what she should do.
A BEAUTIFUL LIE
Skyla walked around the beach house and tried to find a good, private spot to call the airport to see if they had a flight to Chattanooga that day. As she was walking, she noticed Shannon would sit down near her as if he were going to listen in every time she stopped; she went up to the widow's walk and sat down as she listened to the automated instructions guiding her as she listened to all of the flights that were boarding for that day and the next. Chattanooga had four, two on one day and two the next, so she pressed the button for a live person instead of the machine and waited. When they finally came to the phone, Skyla was agitated, hungry, and tired.
“I'd like to buy a ticket for the noon flight to Chattanooga tomorrow,” she said.
“The noon flight? Okay,” the man said. Skyla heard some clack clack clack noises on the other end. “I need your information.”
As Skyla gave him her information for the ticket, she began watching the tides roll in on the beach far away. She knew she would miss seeing this type of view almost daily but she couldn't wait to see her older sister after a few years. She knew her sister would want to know everything that has gone on with her since she left and she wanted to be prepared. When she finished on her phone, she stretched her arms and legs and stood up. She walked over to the rail on the roof and leaned on it as she looked down at the beach below; the sand looked cool and inviting and Skyla wanted to stick her toes in it one last time before she left. She began heading back downstairs as the sky became dark.
Shannon twisted his head around to look at her as she came back into the living room. He had been texting Jared and trying to convince him to change his mind. “So?”
“I have a flight tomorrow at noon,” Skyla told him. She walked past him and into the sunroom.
Shannon ran his fingers through his hair. “If you want Skyla to stay here, you better hurry because she's leaving tomorrow,” he texted Jared before getting up. He followed her into the sunroom and leaned against the door frame. “So you're really leaving?”
“Yeah. Jared wants me to, and I miss my family anyways. I want to see them again, especially my older sister. I'll be back, don't worry,” Skyla told him. She walked over and gave him a big hug. “You can always text me if you need to talk.”
Shannon waited a minute before hugging her back. “Thanks, Skyla. Trust me, you'll be getting a lot of text messages from me soon.”
Before she pulled out of their hug, Skyla giggled. “I'll be looking forward to them. You know I love texting you.”
Shannon laughed as he kissed her goodbye. “I'll see you later, Skyla.”
“See you later, Shannon,” she told him.
As they said their goodbyes, Skyla walked away from him and back up to her room as a tear began to fall down her cheek. She wasn't ready to give up just yet; she had already been in L.A. for four months, not counting the time she spent in hotels flying around with them, and she felt that her and Jared were really close. But her and Shannon were also close as well, and she could use some time to think about it. She sat on the window seat and sighed.
If I would have to choose, I'd pick Jared, she told herself. Always Jared. But I want it to be Shannon. She leaned her head against the cold window and gazed outside at the orange and pink sunset. She curled her feet up underneath her as she let her brain think it over.
“Okay, Skyla: without thinking, who would you choose, Jared or Shannon?” she asked herself. The answer snapped into her head before she even thought; the answer surprised her, and made her realize that both Jared and Shannon played a huge part in her life now.
“I can't choose. It's just too difficult,” she whispered.
As she got up and pulled back the covers on her bed, she overheard Shannon talking to someone else on his phone. She snuck out of her bedroom and walked down the hall to his bedroom. She paused outside his door and listened to his conversation.
“She's seriously leaving tomorrow, Jared! I'm not lying.” Shannon said angrily. Skyla heard footsteps come near the door and she stepped back, kneeling down at the floor. As she continued to listen at the doorway, she heard Shannon's end of the conversation continue to get more heated.
“Jared, you kicked Skyla out!” he yelled. “You were more than hurtful to her.” After that it was quiet, and Skyla covered her mouth. About five minutes later, she went and knocked on his bedroom door.
“Hello?” he asked sullenly from the other side of the door.
“Shannon? Are you okay?” she asked him as she sat down beside him on his bed.
“I will be. Just... don't worry about it,” he told her, giving her a big hug.
“Why?” she asked him. She allowed Shannon to help her up off of his bed.
“Because you're sweet. You don't need to worry anymore than you already are,” Shannon told her. He wrapped his arms around her and gave her a tight squeeze.
Skyla returned his hug with a smile. “You don't have to stay here. You can come back with me,” she told him. Shannon glanced at her before answering.
“Where would I stay? Obviously not at your parents house, since your sister is staying in the guest bedroom. And your mom and dad won't let me near you, anyways,” Shannon said. “How about I just stay in a hotel? And you stay with your parents and then come back with me?” he asked her sadly.
Skyla's eyes were downcast as she told him, “That could work if I just... skipped my parents anniversary and you can come back out there with me for Thanksgiving and Christmas?”
“And while you're here, you can wait and see if Jared changes his mind? I like it,” Shannon told her. He stared at her. “That is what you want, right?” he asked her.
Skyla flopped on her back on his bed and sighed loudly. “I don't know! I was thinking no, but now, it's just – what if he doesn't change his mind?” she asked him worriedly.
Shannon reached over and rubbed her shoulders reassuringly. “I don't think you'd have to worry about whether or not Jared changes his mind. He still loves you.”
Skyla looked at Shannon. “You're just saying that, aren't you? I know you have feelings for me, too.”
“I'm only saying it until Jared says so himself,” Shannon said, and kissed her.