The first thing Taylor sees when she tiptoes into the hotel room is a completely embarrassing display of red roses. She’s carrying her shoes and her gorgeous, sparkly silver dress crumpled in a heap in the bottom of her pocketbook, hoping not to wake Abigail (and thus, answer a zillion questions).
There are twenty dozen roses, in fact, crowding over the dresser and laid out on the coffee table, some propped up on the chair in the corner. Taylor’s stomach curdles. There only one person who could have done this.
Searching around the room, she finds the bunch of flowers with an elegantly scripted card.
Happy birthday to my sweet girl…You deserve the world…<3, TL.
Taylor clutches the card to her chest, and it feels like sandpaper against her suddenly sweaty skin. Oh no…Oh…no. What did she do?
She jumps a mile when she hears the doorway to the other bedroom in the suite open, and turns around guiltily to Abigail. “Hey chica,” her best friend croaks out, voice still saturated with sleep. Abigail surveys her smudged make-up, the tangle of curls half-hazardly pulled back into a ponytail and just sighs. “Oh, Taylor…Did you…”
Taylor looks down at her toes. “No. But…might as well have.” She’s about to cry, and with years worth of Best Friend Experience, Abigail crosses the room to pull her into a hug. They sit down on the neatly made bed together and Taylor lets loose a few good, jagging wails. After a minute, Abigail wanders into the bathroom. She comes back out with a box of tissues and waits patiently.
After Taylor has blown her nose with a childish honk, she falls silent, shoulders slumped. “Tay…It kills me to see you like this. What happened?”
Taylor gives her a look. “Do you want details?”
Abigail seems to mull this over. “Well…yes, but…why are you so upset right now? I mean…Last night, you seemed to really want to…”
“I did, I did,” Taylor can feel another cry start to bubble up, but she takes a deep breath, calming herself. “I just…I never thought I would do this to someone.”
Abigail knows her too well. “You’re not Sam.”
Taylor cringes- it still hurts to hear his name after all this time. “How is this any different?”
“Taylor,” Abigail smiles, in that way that has always made her seem ten years older than Taylor. “He broke your heart and you wrote all those songs for him and now you’re the Patron Saint of Broken Hearts. You’re allowed to be human, you’re allowed to make mistakes too.”
Taylor looks down at her lap. Human. Mistakes. “It still kind of feels like the same thing.”
“Well, first of all, you’re not even going out with Taylor Lautner,” Abigail begins and Taylor has to cringe again. Going out. It sounds so…high school. And with everything that had happened in the last sixteen hours…well, she definitely isn’t a little girl any more.
“I know, but he thought…I never thought I could hurt someone like this,” she said, very quietly. It’s kind of a let-down that she has this in her- this ability to be careless with someone else’s heart. She really thought she was better than that.
Abigail eyes her carefully. “None of us are perfect, Tay. You can’t beat yourself up over it.” She looked around the room. “And I have to say…Red roses? Totally not the guy for you.”
Taylor has to smile a bit. True. Red roses are gorgeous and perfect and totally not her. She’s a daisy girl.
“I’m going to take a shower,” she says, heaving herself off the bed.
“Good. You need one,” Abigail answers. She looks her up and down, at the gray sweat suit she wore back to the hotel and raises an eyebrow. “Where did you get those clothes?”
“He had his assistant go out and buy them real quick in the morning,” Taylor says, embarrassed. She’s glad she didn’t have to wear four inch heels and a cocktail dress back to the hotel, but still, it felt so…hookerish. Abigail purses her lips mid-smirk. Her bestie is anything but judgmental, but she still has opinions. That can’t be helped.
Taylor takes a long, long, long shower. She conditions her hair twice and lets her fingers turn pruny. This is a nice shower, after all. Ten jetstreams, adjustable water temperature, aromatic steam. Even a bench to sit on if one decided they needed to take a rest in the middle of bathing.
Taylor does just that, leaning back against the slick tile, breathing in deep gulps of eucalyptus. Her skin is tender and sensitive everywhere, and if she closes her eyes, images and sense memories from the night before flash in her mind, and all over. She can hear his voice in her ear, low and gravelly, “Don’t be shy with me, Little Miss Taylor,” and she shivers.
Last night had been both a complete surprise and also a total inevitability. It was a surprise because…well, really it was preposterous that this was ever going to happen. He is who he is. Weird, lonely, rockstar that she’s practically worshipped since she was thirteen. Of course, her life has been anything but typical, but still…things like this don’t just happen.
Maybe she would be able to convince Taylor (gosh, Taylor) and Selena, and maybe even her mom that she hadn’t expected it to happen. But Abigail knows better, and she can’t lie to herself. As soon as she’d gotten that text from him two days ago…
is the werewolf ur boyfriend?
…She knew exactly what she was doing, from her sparkly silver dress to her Big Girl heels, to when she waved off Abigail’s concerned questions after the show (I’ll be fine, I’ll be fine, pinky-swear promise) when he asked her to stop by his place to hear the new song he was working on. She knew what she was doing.
And really, that text hadn’t been the start of it. The start of it had been almost a year ago when he announced to the world that he basically wrote a song for her. (Or at least to Twitter, which may as well be the whole world.) So...she didn’t make all of this up in her head...
Taylor finally turns the shower off and puts on one of the fluffy terrycloth robes before going back into the suite. She flops down on the bed next to Abigail on the bed. Her best friend is eyeing her carefully. “What?”
“Your phone was buzzing,” Abigail’s voice is flat, and she reaches over to the nightstand, flipping Taylor’s iPhone back to her. “Two missed calls.”
Taylor’s heart races. Could it be him? Are these good calls or Oh-Shit-We-Made-A-Huge-Mistake calls? She holds her breath before sliding her finger across the screen to check her call log.
2 missed calls from TL
“However sweet he is, he’s just not the boy for you,” Abigail says, completely out of nowhere, and Taylor nods. “There’s only one thing to do, Tay.”
Taylor sighs. Abigail is right. There’s no good use of putting it off. She hops off the bed and heads into the other bedroom that Abigail slept in the night before.
All in all, she’s on the phone for less than four minutes. He’s completely understanding and mature and gentlemanly, and doesn’t seem at all surprised, even if a bit disappointed. He even ends the call with a, “You’re the best...I’ll take you out to dinner next time you’re in LA.” Taylor just stares at her phone for a while after they hang up. That was the quickest, easiest break-up she’d ever had. Where was the screaming, the tears, the hanging up mid-sentence?
Abigail seems to agree with her when she comes back into the other room. “That was fast,” she agrees. “Maybe that’s why it just didn’t work with you two- you really are just friends.”
“Does it have to be like that, though?” Taylor wonders aloud. “I know I sang it, but does it have to be crazy, insane, can’t breathe without him all the time? Is nice and comfortable better?”
Abigail pointed to the phone in her hand. “You tell me. I know you, Taylor, you’re never going to be able to settle for anything less than butterflies. And if that goes along with crazy, insane, can’t breathe without him...” Abigail’s voice trails off. “Just tell me, Tay...Is it just because of who he is?”
“No,” she answers. Maybe in the beginning it was a little (how could anyone not get starstruck?) but now it was more, so much more...
Abigail laughs softly, a little wearily. “Oh lord...I know that look on your face. Okay, well I guess it doesn’t matter now, you’re in free fall mode. Just tell me one thing, Taylor...Is John Mayer going to be worth it?”
Taylor closes her eyes and can see his smile, hear his voice, feel his touch...How can you be that connected to someone and not have it mean something? Mean everything?
“I hope so.”