It's short, but I couldn't just leave it. I miss writing already.
Time was one of those things that slipped everybody's mind. I hadn't realized that my time in California had come to an end so fast. A lot of amazing things had happened in this house, and I would miss it, but I missed home more.
I missed Olivia and the rest of my boys. Kennedy managed to come visit every great once in a while, but I missed him too. Julia had already finished recording, so I was flying solo this trip home.
"Are you ready?" Phil asked me, grabbing the bag I had left in the foyer.
"I think so," I said, looking around the house once more.
"I feel like I am forgetting something."
"If you did, I will make sure the company mails it to you. Unless you gave me a fake address, then I can't help you."
"Thanks, buddy. Don't forget to tell Amber when she goes to ASU to call me. I literally live a few miles down the road. It's always good to know people."
"Sure is," he sighed, setting my bag down on the ground and pulling me in for a hug. He was old enough to be my dad, and that is how Julia and I looked at him this whole trip. We had him over for dinner, went to movies, and had game nights with him and his daughter. We considered him family.
It was bittersweet leaving California. I liked LA, but I didn't like it enough to ever live here longer than I had to. Arizona was my home. Arizona was where my family was.
The tearful goodbye with Phil was harder than I thought it would be. Standing at the airport, I wish our time together wasn't over, but it was. For now, anyway. I was due to come in a few weeks to put the finishing touches on the album, and Phil volunteered himself to pick me up from the airport. Recorded was a lot different than I thought it was going to be. I was used to small time recording with Nick. I did professionally record a song with The Maine, but John was there the whole time and he made me feel comfortable. Recording by myself was scary. When Julia was there on the weekends, it wasn't so bad. If I was having an off day, we would laugh about it and she would giver me pointers on how to sound better. When she wasn't there though, my producer wasn't the nicest person. He would taunt me, and ask me how I was planning to torture him that day. I got through it though, and I was done recording. I had one last song to record, but for that one, I needed special help.
As I sat in my seat, waiting for the plane to take off, I kept thinking of home, and imagining how much could have changed in two months.
As soon as the plane landed and the seatbelt sign was off, you better believe I was the first one out of my seat, waiting for them to open the door. I was nervous, and I had no idea why. I had no reason to be. As soon as the opened the door, I sprinted down the walkway and the down the long hallway that seemed like it would never end. I sprinted until I reached the arrival's gate, already trying to search through what seemed like hundreds of people for the one person in the world I wanted more than anything right now. I stood on a bench, trying to peer over everyone in the busy airport, but I didn't see a single person that I knew here. Did they forget that I came back today? Was I going to have to call my dad to come get me? I hadn't even talked to my dad in two months, wouldn't that be an awkward phone call? People started staring at me as they walked by. I guess I looked like a crazy bitch standing on a bench for no reason. I was about to hop off of the bench, but someone else hopped up. I turned around and came face to face with none other than Kennedy Brock.
"Hey," was all he said, his lips pulling into a playful smile.
"Hey," I replied, setting my bag down between us on the bench. "Baby! You shaved!" He just nodded.
"How was your flight?"
"It was good," I answered.
"Glad to be back?"
"Of course I am."
'Are you going to miss California?"
"I really love that you care, but just kiss me already," I said, grabbing a handful of his shirt and pulling him towards me.
"I was getting to that part," he smiled, closing the distance between our lips. It felt like we hadn't seen each other in months, even though it had only been a few weeks. He ran his fingers through my hair and kissed me over and over again.
"I'm glad to have you back," he said, kissing my forehead. I wrapped my arms around him and sighed contentedly. A few people were still starting at us. We were still standing on the bench, in the middle of everyone, just making out like it was nobodies business.
"Are you ready to go home?" he asked.
"Let's go." I nodded, planting another kiss to his lips. Kennedy hopped down off of the bench and then picked me up just to set me down on the ground, kissing me once more. It took us forever to get to baggage claim and to our car. It was almost like we were newlyweds or something, and we had to keep stopping to get all of our kissing in before we got home. I wasn't stupid. I knew there was a party waiting for me at home, and once we were around everyone, we couldn't be like this. It would be awkward for everyone. I almost wish that I didn't care, because I should be allowed to kiss the man I loved if I wanted, but not with all of my ex boyfriends there.
And John. He was in a class all of his own.
"Where are we?" I asked after Kennedy pulled into the driveway of an unfamiliar house.
"Just come on," he said, hopping out of the car.
"But I wanted to take my bags home and have a chance to wash the plane smell off of me before we went anywhere," I sighed, climbing out of the car.
"And you will have the chance to do both of those things," he assured me. "But I didn't want to grab your bags right now, because I will be too busy showing you around our new house. We can come back out and get them."
"What?" I gawked, looking up at the three-story house. It looked way too big for us.
"The old one had too many bad memories, and this was my grandparents house. Beautiful isn't it?"
"It's gorgeous." I agreed, trying to take it all in. The landscaping alone was breathtaking. The house was incredible. It was all too perfect.
"Tour?" he asked.
"Yes, please," I nodded.
"Okay," he said, picking me up and throwing me over his shoulder. "We'll start in the bedroom."
Rolling up two hours later than you were supposed to for your own party, was generally frowned upon. Apparently, everyone could tell that Kennedy and I had stopped to have sex on the way. That was also frowned upon to most people.
Everyone asked me how the recording went, and how California was, and I answered everyone's questions, but none of these were the people I really wanted to see. I felt like this was the boring adult party upstairs when you were a kid and all of the fun was waiting for you downstairs. Where were all of my friends?
"Do you feel like this party is a little old?" Kennedy asked me, taking a sip of his beer.
"Dear god, yes. Where is everyone?"
"I have no idea. Who are these people?"
"My dad's friends. Funny, considering my dad isn't even here. Where are Jared and Pat? This is their house."
"Maybe they all left after we were late," Kennedy shrugged.
"Pat may leave a bunch of strangers in his house, but Jared isn't that irresponsible. They are here somewhere." I said. I grabbed Kennedy's hand and drug him up the stairs, peeking in some of the rooms to see if I saw anyone I knew. Not a single soul was upstairs.
"This party sucks," I sighed.
"I'm sorry," Kennedy frowned. "I didn't invite all of those people down there. I did invite your dad."
"He invited all of those people out there. Asshole. Couldn't even bother to show up," I blew my bangs out of my face and then drug Kennedy down the stairs to the basement. They had to be here. I pressed my ear against the door and heard laughter.
This was exactly like those kid parties.
I slowly opened the door and it was like I sucked all of the laughter out of the room. They must have thought I was one of the old people.
"It's me," I said, before I peeked my head around the door.
"PEYTON!" Olivia screamed, dropping her ping-pong paddle and running across the room. I enveloped her in my arms and easily lifted her up.
"Hey kid," I smiled, kissing the tip of her nose.
"I missed you. Two months is too long," she stated, matter of factly. "Are you done recording. I don't want you to leave again."
"I have to go back in a few weeks, but it won't be for that long. Maybe daddy will let you come with me."
Olivia looked over at Kennedy with puppy dog eyes and he just looked at me, shaking his head.
"We'll talk about it."
"We'll work on him," I said, setting her on the ground. Soon everyone came over to give me hugs.
"Why are you guys down here?"
"Did you see the party upstairs?" Jared asked. "It looked like the geriatrics ward up there."
Olivia went over to continue her game with John, who didn't even bother with coming to say hi.
"John, why is my daughter playing beer pong?" Kennedy asked, taking a seat in an old lawn chair, and pulling me into his lap. John forced himself to avoid looking our way.
"She has to learn someday," John said, throwing his ball.
"Don't worry daddy, it's juice."
Lying in bed that night, talking about California with Kennedy, I realized how much I really didn't miss it. I missed Phil, and I missed the fact that I got Julia to myself on the weekends, but that was it. I had never been as happy as I was at that exact moment in my whole entire life. Kennedy was absent-mindedly running his fingertips up and down my arm and it was comforting. I had never once regretted my choice of choosing Kennedy over every other guy in the whole world, and I don't think I ever would.
"Kennedy," I broke the silence, and rolled over to face him. He snapped out of his daze and looked at me, a smile instantly pulling at his lips.
"Let's get married," I said, placing my hand on the side of his face.
"Well, I figured we would," he smiled.
"Right now?" he asked. "What are you talking about?"
"Let's go to Vegas," I said, sitting up on my knees.
"You want to leave for Vegas at 2 in the morning?"
"Yes," I said.
"I thought you wanted a big wedding?"
"We already had one," I said. "That didn't work so well for us."
"Peyton, do you really want a Vegas wedding? They are so," he struggled, trying to find the right word.
"Tacky?" I asked. "I know. But god, I want to marry you right now." I said, placing my forehead to his and looking into his eyes.
"So do I," he said. I could see the gears in his head practically turning.
By the time all of our friends got there, the sun was about to rise. My dad even showed up. If he hadn't, have, I don't think I would have been able to forgive him. We woke Olivia up, and got her ready. Julia and Sophia helped get me ready. I didn't want to wear the same dress I wore last time., so I didn't. I dug through my suitcase for a white dress that I had bought in California. It reached just past my knees. It was sleeveless, and that was okay. It wasn't terribly cold. I picked some flowers from our garden and took a deep breath. It may not have been a lot of people's dream wedding, but it was mine.
No music was played as I walked towards Kennedy. Our guests didn't sit in chairs; they stood and watched. My hair flowed freely in the wind; it wasn't constricted in some confining up-do. I didn't wear shoes, because I liked the way the grass felt between my toes. I didn't stop mid-way to turn around and bolt. This time, I actually made it all the way to Kennedy, who was smiling more than I had ever seen him smile the whole time I had known him.
We didn't have time to write our vows, but Kennedy surprised me when he recited his. They made me cry. We said our "I do's."
When Sophia's dad asked if anyone had any objections, I half expected John to pipe in, but he didn't. I guess he was finally letting me go, and he would never know how thankful I was.
Sophia's father pronounced us man and wife, and gave us the go ahead to share our first kiss as man and wife.
It was the best kiss I had ever had in my whole 22 years.