Back to Your Heart: Chapter 2

Every night after that he would dream of her, always the same dream with her crying in front of him and him helpless in comforting her or making the tears stop. It was the same dream that woke him up today, back at home in Albuquerque. It was his parents' wedding anniversary and they were having a party tonight to celebrate with friends. Finding it difficult to go back to sleep as always when he woke up from the dream, he made himself presentable and made his way to the kitchen.

He found his pregnant sister there, pouring juice into a glass as Zeke made breakfast. She worked her way around the counter to hug him, "Hey, when did you arrive?"

He hugged her back and sat down, "Late last night. I had to finish up rehearsing before I can leave. Hi Zeke!" He greeted his brother in law who handed him a plate of omelet and bacon.

"Here's breakfast for you. What are you doing up so early if you arrived so late?"

"Err, I had a dream and couldn't go back to sleep so I just came down here." He proceeded to eat the hefty breakfast.

Sharpay eyed him curiously; he can almost hear her brain working a frenzy. Why did he have to mention the dream? She was going to grill him for it. He told her of the Kelsi dreams when he came clean to her about breaking up with the girl. Man, did he get quite a lecture for that! Sharpay was on the brink of hurting him physically after hearing about it. His twin and Kelsi have bonded over the years and surprisingly, Sharpay was on Kelsi's side.

Zeke gave him an odd look, "C'mon man, don't tell me you still believe there are monsters hiding under your bed?" His brother-in-law made fun of him, apparently without knowledge of the kind of dreams he had. And that was a good thing because if Zeke knew, then that would mean that the rest of the Wildcats knew as well and that could cost him his precious life.

"Oh, I know what those dreams are and I must say serves you right. You know little brother, it will haunt you to your grave unless you make it right with her." Sharpay glared at him while Zeke who started to listen intently, threw a questioning look at his wife. "I'll tell you later when we're at home." Sharpay whispered to him.

"Great idea, Shar, except that I have no way of doing that because I don't freaking know where she is! Why is that again? Oh, right, it's because you won't tell me!" he said dramatically, his voice raised up a bit. His sister has a way of making him look stupid.

"I'm not about to make it easy on you after what you did to her. I'm your sister and I love you but you got to admit it was just plain wrong. I expected more from you. But anyway, I'm willing to bury the hatchet if you are, she's coming tonight so I expect you to make things right." She said matter-of-factly with a smug look on her face.

"Wait, what? She's coming tonight? She hasn't attended the anniversary dinner since then and now she's coming?"

"Are you complaining? Because I can't take back the invitation at the last minute."

"No, what I mean is, what made her come this time around?"

"Oh Ryan, you underestimate me all the time. Just because some of my schemes didn't work in high school doesn't mean I'm not capable of succeeding in one now. I had mom talk to her and guilt her into coming. You know she can't refuse mom."

"Why didn't you try that earlier? Like five years ago?" He didn't know if he should be thankful for his sister or resent her. She knew of this piece of information that could've gotten him a chance with Kelsi sooner but didn't use it.

"Hey, don't get angry with me. She needed time and I gave her time." Sharpay started to sound really serious bordering scary. "Just make sure you make the most of tonight because this might be the only chance I can get you to make it right with her."

After he finished his breakfast he went for a walk in their massive lawn. It looked exactly the same as it did the last time he was home, and it still held the same memories as it did. Memories of him and Kelsi running around chasing each other, walking along the row of trees leading to the tennis court. He was losing himself into each memory that he had to go back inside to keep him sane.

But inside he was met by a group of four tall men with tight jaws and clenched fists. Sharpay must have told Zeke that's why the Wildcats were now here at his living room ready to rip him apart. He held his hands up in surrender, ready to make a plea, "Look, guys, I… I don't really know where to begin but I want you to know that I paid for what I did every waking moment of my life. Heck, I even paid for it in my dreams and that still doesn't seem to be enough. I was foolish and I made a mistake. I will give you the chance to punch me or whatever just please do not injure my leg because I have contractual obligations to fulfill."

Troy was the first to speak seeing that Chad was probably too angry and might just end up killing him while Jason was still thinking of where to begin and Zeke was keeping himself in check being part of their family. "To say we're disappointed at you Ryan would be an understatement."

"The biggest understatement of the century, that's what you mean!" Chad contributed, his jaw was tight and clearly holding himself back with every ounce of self-control he had. Chad grew up in a family of 3 boys and Kelsi was the closest thing to a sister he had.

"Chad, please," Troy tried to calm him, "We trusted you with her because we expected that you of all people would treat her right. But what's done is done. I hope you know what you lost, Ryan, and how much damage this has caused not only to your relationship with her but also to our friendship."

Ryan's face fell, the sadness and guilt weighed in his chest all the more but he was determined to make it right this time. "I know and I'm sorry. I know this is asking too much but if you guys are willing to give me another chance I wish to make it right with her tonight."

"And how are you planning to do that?" Jason asked.

"I have an idea but I would need all of your help." He said smiling to himself.

The party was going well, cocktails and dinner has been served and everyone was seated waiting for the program to begin. Much to Ryan's relief there hasn't been any sour moments yet, because Sharpay had seen to it to seat Kelsi between Troy and Chad while he sat with his family in a table quite a distance from theirs. He has been watching her though, and he knew she has seen him and was aware that he was watching her. She kept on putting a hand to her neck which meant she was self-conscious. Her neck, it was highlighted by the black thin-strapped dress she wore. She was even more beautiful than he remembered which got him to thinking that maybe she really has moved on and found someone else in her life. That would not be good for what he was planning to do tonight but Sharpay nor the guys didn't tell him if she has a boyfriend and he thought they would've, knowing his plans.

As the program went on, the time came for the rather traditional performance that Sharpay and Ryan gave every year, although this time, the host only called Ryan to the stage.

He took the microphone and surveyed the room full of people. He was about to make the most important performance of his life and for the first time he wasn't worried about getting the approval of everyone watching. He just wished to seek the approval of only one, more specifically, the forgiveness of only one.

"Good evening everyone. I'm sure you're all wondering why my sister's not here with me. I know that's unusual and I assure you it's not the end of the world." Sharpay playfully glared at his brother while the audience laughed. He wasn't really trying to make them laugh, he just wanted to be more comfortable on stage and less nervous. "First of all, I want to wish my parents a happy anniversary. Their marriage is one that is getting more and more difficult to come across with these days but I know for a fact that they love each other very much if not more than they did the time they got married. I would like to read a passage from the Bible that describes what true love is…

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

"And that's the kind of love my parents have shared throughout the years and the kind of love that they have taught me and my sister. Though I must admit that it wasn't the kind of love I was able to give to someone I deeply cared for, who deserved no less than that kind of love." He paused for a while and sought her out in the audience. She bowed her head when she realized this but not before his eyes met hers and saw the surprise mixed with sadness in her eyes. "Two of the important lessons my parents have taught us is humility and honesty. Humility to admit that we, I, was wrong and humility to ask for forgiveness. Honesty to come clean and say what I really feel, even if it means swallowing up my pride and making a fool of myself. Honesty to admit that I did you wrong, that I was selfish and I took you for granted. Letting you go was the biggest mistake of my life and I lived with that mistake every single day ever since. So as the passage I read said, Love always hopes, always perseveres, it never fails, so I hope that this will give me chance to make things right and I will persevere to the very end to make it right. I hope you can trust me enough to believe me, if not I hope having the people you trust and who loves you do this with me would convince you." With that Troy, Chad, Jason and Zeke stood up and made their way to the stage. Kelsi's bowed head shot up in shock to see their friends helping him. He met her eyes again and this time she didn't look away. That gave him enough confidence and hope that maybe she's willing to hear him out.

The five of them stood behind the five microphone stands with Ryan in the middle as the first few notes were played. Then Ryan started singing: "It's not that I can't live without you, it's just that I don't even want to try. Every night I dream about you, ever since the day we said goodbye. If I wasn't such a fool right now I'd be holding you. There's nothin' that I wouldn't do baby if I only knew."

Troy, Chad, Jason and Zeke joined him, singing back-up, "The words to say, the road to take, to find a way back to your heart, what can I do, to get to you, and find a way back to your heart"

Ryan then took the microphone off the stand and moved forward in front of the others, "I don't know how it got so crazy, but I'll do anything to set things right. 'Cause your love is so amazing, baby you're the best thing in my life. Let me prove my love is real and make you feel the way I feel. I promise I would give the world if only you would tell me girl.

The Wildcats then joined him again in the next chorus. Ryan saw his mother teary-eyed, his father's arms around her. His father smiled proudly at him and took a glance at where Kelsi was sitting. "Give me one more chance, to give my love to you, cause no one on this earth loves you like I do. Tell me..."

As the other guys sang the chorus he started to walk towards Kelsi's table. His eyes were on her the whole time and he saw she was a bit embarrassed. That adorable blush was back on her cheeks and that made him smile involuntarily. Gabriella, Taylor, and Martha smiled encouragingly at him. As he made it in front of her in time for the next chorus, the guys stopped singing leaving his voice to slice through the silence, "I turn back time to make you mine and find a way back to your heart." Her eyes that were kept on him gave him the courage to take her hand and kneel in front of her, "I beg and plead, fall to my knees to find a way back to your heart."

He eased into an ending, their eyes locked. It seemed like a long time until he saw her give him a small smile and squeezed his hand lightly. He was filled with happiness that he couldn't help himself and kissed her hand. He stood up and swept her into a tight hug, whispering in her ear, "I'm sorry" over and over again until he felt her pull back and touched his face, wiping away the tears that he didn't know were falling.

"Thank you." She wasn't able to say anything else as he hugged her again, the applause of the whole room seemed like a distant background. Sure they still needed to talk about everything later on but at that moment he relished the feel of her back in his arms and celebrated this big step into getting back to her heart.

Now I have to get back to Perhaps Romance and Fit for a Princess. Thank you all for reading and reviewing!