The Happiest Place On Earth
Chapter 27: Explanations
Ryan slowly let out the air from his chest as he took in the sight before him. Kaylani was a beautiful mess - a walking oxymoron. Every inch of her was as beautiful as he remembered, the only difference being her red and puffy eyes. She still walked in a room looking as confident as ever, even though he knew she was nervous about seeing him again.
Every part of his mind was running like a hamster on a wheel. He had a million things he wanted to say to her but every time he opened his mouth all he could do was close it again. It was like his brain was working too fast for his mouth to transform the thoughts into words.
“Hi.” Even with all the confidence she appeared to have, Kaylani could barely speak anything more than a simple greeting. She was still trying to wrap her head around everything that had happened in the last day and a half. If she didn’t get an explanation soon she would surely crumble. It was all too much a simple girl like her to handle.
The two watched each other carefully - analyzing every little detail about the other. Kaylani noticed how different Ryan looked. He wasn’t the same innocent looking boy she once fell in love with. As he stood before her now he exuded more confidence and he looked a little more rough around the edges. The messy blonde hair she loved to run her fingers through was now cut the same way as Zayn’s. It was the simple details like those which reminded her he wasn’t the same boy she fell in love with; they both changed.
“Let’s sit down. We have a lot to talk about.” Alanis decided to break the staring contest taking place between her two friends, if she could still call Ryan that. The tension in the room was slowly growing and pretty soon she would be able to cut through it with a knife.
Kaylani seemed to just notice that Alanis and Jake were still in the room. With a weak smile thrown in each of their directions she found a place to sit on the couch. Jake immediately sat next to her and wrapped an arm around her before placing a kiss on her forehead and squeezing her shoulders slightly. He would be her shoulder to cry on if things got too tough.
Alanis and Ryan sat on the couch adjacent to the two as they watched them closely. Alanis watched with admiration and Ryan watched with jealousy due to the fact that his brother was able to hold her close and act the way he used to with her, but he knew his privileges were revoked the minute he “died”.
“I guess I should explain now.” Ryan let out a breath he didn’t realize he had been holding. He was nervous about explaining his situation to Kaylani because he didn’t know how she would react. If she rejected him, he wouldn’t know what to do.
“You don’t need to. I overheard you talking to Jay and Al.” Kaylani was staring at the wall in front of her as she spoke. She was replaying everything she heard Ryan say in her head. She was trying to make sense of it all, but failed miserably.
“Oh, okay then.” Ryan was shocked she heard, but didn’t bother to comment on it. It saved him a lot of trouble of explaining it all again, but he wished he was able to say it directly to her as opposed to her overhearing it. As selfish as it sounded he wanted her to see the pain and regret in his eyes. He would never forgive himself for what he did.
“I guess I’m just trying to make sense of this all. I don’t have anything to say or anything to do. I can barely even think. I guess my only question,” Kaylani tore her eyes away from the wall in front of her and locked them with Ryan’s perfectly blue ones, “is why?”
Ryan couldn’t help but feel his stomach drop at her question. “Why what, exactly?”
“Why did you choose now to show up at my house?”
“I... I don’t know.” Ryan didn’t know how to answer that question exactly. He honestly had no idea why he chose now of all times to show up at her house. He knew it was a stupid idea but he also knew that he couldn’t bear to wait any longer. He let his elbows rest on his knees as he leaned forward and waited for a response.
Kaylani rested her head against Jake’s shoulder as she thought about everything. She didn’t really know what to say to Ryan and the only thought running through her mind was Harry and the boys. She knew she just talked to Harry, but she felt a need to talk to him and all of the boys again, to just hear their voices. She would be lying if she said their presence didn’t lift her spirit when they were here.
Kaylani didn’t know what to say. Every time she tried to open her mouth, her thoughts would get jumbled and she wouldn’t be able to form a simple word let alone a sentence. She could easily feel a headache coming on because of how much she was thinking about everything when a phone started to vibrate loud enough to catch everyone’s attention.
“Hey babe.” Alanis picked up her phone in an instant and let a smile grace her face equally as fast. She hadn’t heard from Liam yet and she was excited he finally called her, but he also called at a bad time. “Um, is there any way I can call you back?”
Kaylani shook her head furiously when Al made eye contact with her as she spoke. She wanted Alanis to talk to Liam. Heck, she wanted to talk to Liam. She wanted to talk to all of the boys.
“Oh, never mind. But I am putting you on speaker.” Alanis pulled the phone away from her ear before putting the phone on speaker and sneaking a glance at Kaylani again. She knew the look on her face and she knew if anyone would be able to sort Kaylani’s thoughts it would be the boys.
“Just calling to say we landed safely and to try and talk before we have to run off again. Are you three still hanging out?” Liam knew that Jake, Al, and Kay were hanging out and figured they would still be lounging around together.
“Uh, yeah.” Liam could sense the hesitation in Alanis’ voice and he started to wonder if he wanted to know the reason behind it.
“Everything okay?” Alanis didn’t know how to answer that so she looked to Jake for help who simply looked at Kaylani. Ryan was staying quiet the entire time and he didn’t plan on speaking up anytime soon.
“It’s complicated.” Kaylani started to stare at the wall again as she listened to Liam through the speaker. It was obvious he was walking around around the room and doing other things because there was little noises coming through the speaker as well. “Are the boys with you?”
“Yeah, want me to put it on speaker?” Before anyone had a chance to answer there was a loud chorus of yeses coming from Liam’s end of the conversation. The four teens heard Liam chuckle before the click of the phone was heard and soon four more voices were heard.
“HELLO!” Louis’ voice was the first to be heard over the line. The girls couldn’t help but chuckle before they heard him yelp which was probably caused by one of the other boys hitting him.
“Vas happening!” Zayn’s familiar catchphrase brought a smile to Kaylani’s face.
“Hola!” Niall’s Irish accent rang loudly through the speaker as he obviously fought to get his hello heard above the boys obnoxiously loud chatter in the background.
“Hiii!” Harry’s cheery voice made Kaylani’s stomach do flips. She could feel her heartbeat accelerating slightly just by hearing his voice. Her smile only grew bigger as she listened to the boys argue on the other line.
“Boys! Calm down or you’ll never get to actually talk to us.” Jake was chuckling at the boys’ crazy antics. He would be lying if he said he didn’t miss having them around. They helped keep Kaylani happy and they were super fun to just hang out with.
“Since that was Jake I’m guessing Kay is also there?” You could hear the obvious hope in Harry’s voice as he spoke. He may have talked to her on the phone earlier but he still wouldn’t mind hearing her voice again.
“Hey Hazza.” Kaylani felt her heart warm when Harry asked if she was there. He was her rock right now and she only wished she could be wrapped in his arms again.
“Hello, princess. Long time no talk.” Harry chuckled at his inside joke which simply gained a lecture from the other boys about how he didn’t let them talk to her. “She’s my girlfriend, I don’t have to let her talk to any of you wankers! I only do it cause I’m nice!”
Ryan felt his heart break a little more when he heard Harry mutter the word "girlfriend". It was confirmation that Kaylani had moved on and he no longer had the right to the title of her boyfriend. Instead he was her "dead" ex-boyfriend.
“You guys know we can hear everything you’re saying right?” Alanis rolled her eyes at the boys usual bickering.
“WE LOVE YOU!” Louis yelled obnoxiously loud into the phone. He used his randomness to his advantage as a way to get the other boys to shut up without annoying the girls or Jake too much.
Ryan felt completely uncomfortable as he sat in the room. He could see the obvious smiles on Kaylani’s and Alanis’ faces and the amusement on Jake’s. He could also hear how easily they all got along with the boys of One Direction and he instantly felt like an intruder. It was in that moment he realized exactly how much everything had changed. Kaylani was happier, Alanis was happier, Jake made new friends, and everyone seemed to finally be putting their life back together. He knew the only reason no one had mentioned his presence was because it would be awkward and too complicated, but he couldn’t help but feel slightly disappointed. They weren’t ignoring him on purpose, but he also knew he would probably never get to experience the kind of relationship they all had with each other. He was an outcast.
“Love you too Boo Bear!” Jake felt he hadn’t been able to speak enough and a chance to torment Louis was a chance he would always take. The groan he received in response was all the satisfaction he needed.
“Hey, did Kay tell you guys the news?” Liam was speaking up this time because he knew that if he didn’t bring up this topic Jake and Alanis would probably find out the day it was supposed to take place.
“What news?” Jake and Alanis both looked at Kaylani accusingly as her cheeks heat up. The minute she blushed they knew that she did in fact withhold information from them.
“Oops.” Kaylani had too much on her mind earlier to remember to tell either teen about what Harry told her. She was too busy trying to regain the confidence she needed to face Ryan again.
“You’re coming out to see us soon! We just can’t tell you when. And before you start complaining about needed to pack and all that girly stuff--”
“Hey!” Before Liam could finish his sentence Jake had cut him off. He was only joking though because the girly stuff applied to him too. He was a diva and he knew it.
“As I was saying... we already talked to all of your parents and they’re in on the plan. They’re packing for each of you since they know when you’re leaving. The only thing we can tell you is that you’ll be with us for a month.” Everyone could hear the smile in Liam’s voice as he gave out as little information as possible. He was obviously excited to see Alanis again and everyone, even Ryan, knew that.
“What?!" Jake and Alanis screamed at the same time. They were excited to see the boys again and to be able to go on tour with them. It was an adventure waiting to happen.
Ryan should have expected something like this was going to happen, but he still couldn't help the sinking feeling in his gut. Jake caught his eye and as soon as he realized exactly what the boys were talking about he made a decision.
"Sorry boys but you're gonna have to have fun without me. I have family matters to take care of. Although I'm sure my presence won't be missed much." Jake winked in the girls' direction as he heard a chorus of snickers come from the phone.
"Of course you'll be missed!" Zayn started to speak again before he was cut off by Jake.
"Aw, I knew you loved me!"
"I so ship Zake." Alanis was clutching her stomach from how hard she was laughing as was Kaylani. Even Ryan was stifling a laugh.
"Are you sure man?" Zayn put all jokes aside this time. Jake had become a good friend to all of the boys and they would have loved to have him come along.
"Yeah I'm sure. Thanks though." Jake looked at Ryan and smiled. He would rather spend time with his brother anyway. As much as he loved the boys he hadn't seen his brother in a while and getting a proper chance to hang out was ideal. "Although I do have one question... How soon is this trip? I know you don't want to tell us, but it's important."
The boys could hear the urgency in Jake's voice and Harry couldn't help but wonder if it had to do with Kaylani. It would explain their conversation earlier. Liam also wondered if it would have to do with the way Kaylani said the three friends hanging out was "complicated".
"Uh, in about two weeks." Jake thought about this before concluding it was a decent amount of time. It would give the four teens in the living room a chance to talk and get things figured out a little better.
"Perfect." Jake made eye contact with Ryan again who had obviously had the same idea. He would get a chance to talk to Kaylani more.
A few muffled voices came from the other end of the phone and Jake, Alanis, Ryan, and Kaylani knew that it meant the boys had to leave soon.
"Unfortunately we have to go. Screaming teenage girls who find us extremely attractive are calling." Niall was teasing the girls but was serious at the same time.
"Don't worry, no one is going to break up Larry or Niam, besides you two of course!" The girls chuckled at Lou's response. They knew he was joking but would keep an eye out for their boyfriends.
"Talk to you later princess?" Harry and Kaylani had an unspoken agreement about never saying goodbye, only talk to you later.
The rest of the boys muttered a goodbye to the trio before Alanis and Liam took their phones off of speaker to say their own farewells. Once she was finished Alanis hung up her phone and turned her attention back to the three people in front of her.
Kaylani felt better now that she was able to talk to the boys, but part of her was still eating her alive since she wasn't able to explain her current situation. She knew she would need to talk to the boys about Ryan soon but since she'd be seeing them in about two weeks she figured she could wait. She would rather speak to then in person about this.
Jake could see the wheels in Kaylani's head turning and he knew she was probably thinking of ways to talk to the boys about this. He had grown so close to her she had become easy to read.
Ryan could easily see the look on everyone's faces. Alanis and Jake were staring intently at Kaylani in a worried way and Kaylani was staring at the wall with a clouded-over look on her face. He could tell they were all trying to think of a way to eliminate the awkward silence and tension without being rude.
"Thanks for letting me explain and I'm sorry for just showing up like this. It was selfish and uncalled for and I'm really sorry. I should get going though. I have a lot to explain to mom and dad."
Kaylani looked in Ryan's direction and felt a wave of emotions overcome her. She knew she would have a lot of sorting out to do later.
"I'll walk you out." Everyone was surprised by Kaylani's offer but let her go anyway since they knew she needed a moment to talk to Ryan alone.
Ryan followed Kaylani out of her living room and into the hallway before stopping just short of the door. “I really am glad you’re alive Ryan.”
“As I’m glad you’re even talking to me. I was kind of expecting you to never talk to me again.” Ryan didn’t know where things would go from here, he did know he would have to talk to his parents and get things sorted out with the city in regards to getting Connor’s death acknowledged instead of his, but he was hoping they would only get better.
“I don’t know how things are going to turn out, but I hope we can work something out. For right now, I think I just need time. You should get everything sorted out while I sort out my head and then we’ll see where it goes from there.” Kaylani knew she wouldn’t be able to eliminate him from her life completely, but she also didn’t know how their relationship would be. It definitely wouldn’t be the same, but she was willing to try.
“That’s all I could ever ask for.” Ryan gave Kaylani a slight smile before leaving.
Once he was gone and the door was shut Kaylani let out a deep breath as she placed her hand on her forehead. She knew she had a lot to figure out and a lot of thinking to do over the next two weeks. She had to think of ways to deal with Ryan as well as going on tour with One Direction and telling the boys exactly what happened while they were gone. She didn’t know how she was going to do it but she knew she needed to stay strong and composed if she wanted to survive. Her life seemed to be getting more and more complicated every day, but considering all of the positive things that have come out of it she wouldn’t change a thing. If she did she wouldn’t have met Zayn, Louis, Liam, Niall, or Harry. Especially Harry. He had become her rock within a short period of two weeks and he was the one person who was able to make her happy when she thought her world was going to crumble.
As she went to bed that night she let thoughts of Harry and their trips to Disneyland consume her mind. The more memories that flowed through her mind the more she realized why it was called the Happiest Place on Earth - it was the place where she met her favorite band; it was the place where she met her boyfriend; it was the place where she was treated like a princess; it was the place that made her gain five new best friends. It was the place that made her remember what it was like to be happy.
NotesTHIS IS NOT THE END!
This is far from the end, actually. The stuff going on in this chapter is all important because it will explain events that will happen later on, and because it will help you get a better look at Kaylani and how she deals with all of this news. It also helps with the development of the relationships between each of the characters.
I would have updated sooner but I was at an Olly Murs concert on Wednesday and an Andy Grammer concert yesterday. :)
I hope you guys like this chapter! I worked really hard on it and I hope it, along with the last chapter and the chapters that have yet to come, makes up for my month long hiatus! :)