Savannah sighed as she, Courtney, Rydel and Aysha all relaxed on the beach. California was heaven for three of the four. Rydel, Aysha and Savannah were Colorado girls at heart. Although Rydel lived for the chances to wear her bikinis, particularly her Hello Kitty ones. Aysha was listening to R5’s latest single on her iPod, even though she could have easily asked for an unplugged performance whenever she liked she preferred to listen to it as it was recorded. She was disturbed however when something hit the sand right next to her and kicked up some that landed on her thigh. She cocked an eyebrow propped herself up on her elbows and glared at the volleyball that had landed next to her. She turned her head and sent her best death glare at four very sheepish boys standing two either side of a volleyball net.
“Sorry Aysh!” Riker said as he neared her and knelt to pick up the ball, “it was Ratliff that hit it. So blame him.” He said as he stood straight again.
“I’ll blame you for not hitting it back.” She said with a smile. Riker laughed before walking back to the game. Aysha stood up slowly and stretched. She didn’t want to fall asleep on the beach like she had once before. Lesson learned.
“Had enough?” Courtney asked as she noticed the older girl on her feet.
“Yeah. Thinking I might sit with the boys for a while. The wall’s in the shade so I’ll sit over there for a bit.” Aysha said already rolling up her towel.
“Had enough tanning for one day already?” Savannah asked. Aysha laughed.
“Noticed the tan I already had? I don’t need to be that dark.” Aysha had a point both her and Savannah were blessed with a tan colour to the skin anyway. So their skin never went the white colour most people get in winter, they remained brown. The envy of Courtney and Rydel. So Aysha left the other three to tan a bit longer. The sunlight – according to Aysha – had started to wane. It was getting softer as the sun would soon begin to sink in the sky.
“What time do you guys leave in the morning?” Aysha asked, settling herself near the volleyball game.
“Uh, 6am. Why?” Ross said.
“Just asking.” Aysha shrugged, she hated it when they went on tour, but it was part of the job description. Although none of them called it a ‘job’ that would mean that they did it out of propriety.
“You wanna come with us?” Rocky asked, as he spiked the ball.
“Nah. I’d be a downer, you know what I’m like with air travel.” True enough the first six times they’d taken Aysha with them she’d been sick most of the time. Air sickness made it hard for her to enjoy the flight, lingering illness meant she couldn’t sit in on interviews or photoshoots and she couldn’t even enjoy the concerts! There was no point. And this she hoped she’d be able to see it all from the comfort of her favourite armchair with a bowl of popcorn and MTV.
2 Months Later
“He’s what?” Aysha was shocked when Riker called her to tell her Rocky’s big news. But the reaction he got he hadn’t really expected.
“I thought you’d be thrilled!” Riker protested.
“Thrilled? Who is going to have to pick up the pieces when she dumps him?” Aysha snapped. Tears built up in her eyes as she listened to Riker stutter on the end of the phone he knew she’d be upset, but angry?
“Who says she will?” Riker countered. Riker knew Aysha was upset about this, what with being in love with Rocky and all but seriously?
“Who Riker!” Aysha snarled. She knew just what tone to use to keep the boys on track, and that seemed to work.
“You will. But who say she will?” He tried again.
“I’m hoping she won’t, but…maybe this time he’ll see.” Aysha said.
“Maybe. Talk to you later.” Riker hung up. It had taken Aysha 4 years before she became ‘best friends’ with Rocky. But it had only taken her five minutes to fall in love with him. She had adored Rocky for years and she hadn’t gotten the courage to tell him. When he got his first girlfriend, after months of Riker telling Aysha to ‘just tell him’, Rocky got his heart broken and Riker, Ross, Ryland, Rydel, Ellington and their parents watched as Aysha picked up Rocky’s broken pieces and put them back together again. Yet she still didn’t tell him. She wanted him to see it for himself. She’d made it obvious enough. But Rocky didn’t believe that Aysha liked him that way. They’d talked for so long about when they got to 30 if both were unattached then they’d marry each other – just so they didn’t have to die alone. And now – he was attached and from what Riker said he really liked this girl.
2 Months Later
Sure enough two months into their relationship, Summer Phillips broke Rocky’s heart. She lived in Indiana and wasn’t prepared to uproot and move to California just to be closer to him – not to mention – she said she couldn’t deal with the idea that she’d be stood up one too many times. Aysha was waiting by the phone that day. When it rang she knew who it was.
“What was it this time?” She asked comfortingly to the sniffling that answered her.
“Being stood up and not into uprooting to move to Cali.” He sniffled.
“Oh Honey. I wish I could be there to give you a big hug, but if she’s like that she isn’t worth it. I know you really liked her.” Aysha said.
“Yeah. Summer, she was perfect.” Rocky told her.
“Nobody’s perfect, Rocky. But she must have been pretty close.” Their conversation went on until Rocky fell asleep. Aysha always did that. No doubt he’d get ‘the talk’ from Riker in the morning. Riker always did give him the talk. They used that term when Riker would tell Rocky to wake up and see what was right in front of him. Riker of course never used Aysha’s name but he insinuated that he had a perfectly imperfect girl that loved him with everything she had and yet Rocky never saw it. Maybe this time he would. Just maybe, she could always hope. Right? Aysha only knew that because of the fact that Rocky and her never hung up. So even if it ran up her bill she didn’t care she would hear what Riker told him. And usually it woke her up.
“For someone who is so smart you’re really dumb sometimes, Rocky.” Riker’s sharp voice woke her the next morning. Tinny and far away but definitely Riker.
“What are you talking about?” Rocky sounds remarkably awake for 8am in the morning.
“You date all these girls and none of them is able to move out here or keep going is she?” Riker snapped.
“So?” Rocky replied.
“So, there is one girl who has put up with all of it. She moved out here before we even knew her!” Riker said.
“Who? Aysh?” Rocky asked and Aysha felt her face heat up. Oh no.
“Yes! Aysha! Aysha was out here before we met her. I met her at the casting call for Glee! She was there supporting Curt! She was friends with him since they were kids. She has always been here, picking up the broken pieces of you and putting you back together.” Riker said.
“What’s your point?” Rocky asked.
“My point is that same as always. Wake up Rocky and look at what’s right in front of you. There is one girl who has always been there for you. And since she’s too shy I’ll tell you that she loves you more than anything else in this world. Has for years. She’s just waiting for you to see it.” Riker’s voice had softened but Aysha could still hear it. She was blushing scarlet by now, Riker had basically just told Rocky that she loved him, but would Rocky realize it was her? Only time would tell.
Aysha had just finished putting the last of the dishes away from the dishwasher when the doorbell rang. Surprised but not entirely concerned she went to answer it.
“Rocky?” She was, however, shocked to see her best friend standing there.
“Is it true?” He asked. She frowned, he needed to be more specific than that she had no idea what he meant.
“Is what true?” She replied, she stepped back to let him in but he remained on the threshold. She frowned heavier.
“What Riker said this morning? I know you heard it.” He said. She blushed red, oh he knew then.
“Uh…well…” Aysha struggled for something to say, did she admit it was or did she let him guess? She looked up at him and her resolve cracked.
“Yes, it’s true. It’s always been true. And everything Riker said is true. It took me four years to be your best friend, but I only needed 5 minutes to fall utterly, completely and irrevocably in love with you. I have stood by and watched you love girls, watched them break your heart and then I’ve picked up all your broken pieces and put them back together again, each time I’ve waited for you to realize that I’ve been here all this time.” Aysha said, sadly.
“I did notice. But I didn’t think that you liked me that way. Not the way I liked you. It took me five seconds to feel that same way about you!” Rocky said, finally stepping inside the house. He lifted her chin from her chest with his hand, “I’ve loved you from the second I laid eyes on you, Aysh. But I never thought you’d feel the same way!” He said, Aysha stared at him, in those eyes – those beautiful brown eyes – there was nothing but truth. He loved her. He was in love with her. He lifted her face higher again and wrapped an arm around her waist pulling her against him, he closed the gap between them and kissed her. Aysha felt her knees weaken and if Rocky hadn’t been holding her she would’ve fallen to the floor. It was just as she’d imagined.
8 Months Later
“Well this had lasted longer than all the others. Usually they last 4 months and it’s over.” Riker remarked as Aysha and Rocky arrived at the Lynch’s for Sunday lunch. Aysha was always there but this time she’d walked in holding Rocky’s hand. There was something different about her as well. Rydel noticed it; with a squeal she grabbed Aysha’s left hand and held it tightly in both of hers. She called her mother, Savannah and Courtney over and they all gushed at the bright diamond ring that was perched on Aysha’s ring finger. Engaged just 8 months in, but even Riker knew that Rocky wouldn’t have waited any longer. He had loved Aysha the longest and he was happy with her.
“There is something else too.” Aysha said after the girls and Stormie had stopped asking questions.
“Oh?” Riker looked up at this, he’d given Rocky a hug in congratulations but everyone turned to look at the couple when Aysha had spoken.
“Yeah uh…well…Aysha’s pregnant.” Rocky said, before Stormie or Rydel could move, Riker was on his feet and had grabbed Aysha in a hug. Next to Rocky, Riker was Aysha’s closest friend. He lifted her up and spun her around.
“Riker!” She squealed, “Put me down!” He set her feet back on the floor before her grabbed Rocky in the hug too.
“Can I just put it out there? You two are gonna have good-looking kids!” Rocky laughed and welcomed the hugs from his mother, father, and brothers, Ellington, Rydel, Savannah and Courtney. All were delighted for them and knew that this would complete both of them, they had each other. And right now – until the baby was born – that was all that mattered.