This story is set twelve years after they all graduated Hollywood Arts. They all have kids and careers now. But for Tori it feels as if she's been running from her past and finally, she might come to a standstill.
Running To A Standstill
"You aren't going. Do you hear me?" I shouted at my fourteen year old daughter from across the hallway. She was hanging outside the bathroom door, begging me to let her go to a seniors party tonight.
"Scarlett ask me one more time and you're grounded. Now go get ready for school. You're going to be late." I flicked my long brown hair over my shoulder and ignored her as she stamped her feet like a five year old would.
"But Mom, this super hot guy asked me out. He's like the hottest guy I know and he likes me. Oh Mom I'll die if I can't go. Please!" She pleaded.
It was no good, she wasn't going and that was the end of it. "Don't push me young lady."
"He's called Blade. Cool name huh? He's fifteen, practically sixteen! He's so gorgeous Mom!" Her cheeks flushed pink as she drooled on about him.
"I said no. Now unless you want me to get your father involved I suggest you take no as an answer."
"You're ruining my life, Mom!" She cried dramatically, slamming her bedroom door so hard it echoed around their house.
"What did I miss?" My husband entered the bathroom with an innocent look on his face. He always avoided these confrontations with our daughter.
I rolled my eyes at him as I grabbed the last bit of loose hair hanging down by my shoulder. He lifted his strong hands, placing them on my tanned shoulder and started to rub.
"You're so tense babe."
"I'm stressed. That's why." I moved out of his grasp, exiting from the small bathroom. "Scarlett, five minutes. Get a move on."
Music blared from her room as she screeched unknown words to me. How I ended up with such a diva for a daughter I'll never know.
I started the day like any other, making breakfast for the three of us. Handing both my daughter and my husband money for lunch and leaving with a goodbye kiss from him.
Scarlett stomped into my small car with a face like thunder. As usual we drove in total silence, only the slight noise of the radio was heard. I ran my fingers over my head as we pulled at a stop sign.
"You're ruining my life." This was literally her catch phrase. If I had a dollar for every time she said it, I'd be a millionaire.
"I'm only doing this because I love you." I sighed as I looked over at her. Her long, thick brown hair swayed over her tanned shoulders. She was very petite and thin. Although her chest had developed a lot faster than most of the girls her age. In fact, she didn't look like most fourteen year olds, she looked at least sixteen.
I caught a glimpse at her brown eyes, coated in make-up, as we pulled into the school car park. "Home after school, okay?" I said one last time.
A loud sigh came from her lips. "Fine, Mom. But I hate you." She lifted herself out of the car, swinging her new designer handbag over her shoulder.
"Have a nice day, I love you." I yelled as she waved me goodbye. As I pulled out of the parking lot, I took a good look at the school my daughter attended. 'Hollywood Arts' hadn't changed a bit. It had been a good ten years since she'd stepped foot in the place but the outside still looked as it did back when she attended. Sikowitz was still the head of drama and even had the privilege of teaching Scarlett.
As I drove back home through Hollywood my eyes scanned across the names and the lights that made up the amazing city. All I'd ever dreamed of was being a famous singer one day. To have people know my name and my music. My dreams were shattered fifteen years ago when I fell pregnant at aged fifteen. It shocked everybody as well as myself. I had my whole life ahead of me. My career, my teenage years, everything. But I gave it all up to become a Mom. And the most surprising thing of all, Scarlett's Dad actually stuck around throughout it all and we got married a few years later. I dropped out of Hollywood Arts just before I turned sixteen. I was home schooled for the next couple of years until I graduated. No one but Andre and Cat knew about Scarlett for the first few years of her life. To say I was ashamed of her was an understatement. I was appalled at myself for getting into that situation. No matter how amazing and beautiful my daughter was, I couldn't shake the feeling that I'd messed everything up. She was perfect and tiny and healthy and so adorably cute that I couldn't not love her. But I resented her for such a long time for screwing up my life. I had been in love, before she came along. Yet the minute I found out I was pregnant I ended any type of relationship. Ryder insisted on being part of her life. He made me feel like I was a princess. He was the perfect father and the perfect boyfriend. And I was happy, it took a while to get my life back on track, but I did it. I had to watch all my friends go off and live their lives. Andre became a record producer and worked with Beyonce and Lady Gaga. Robbie and Rex toured with their act for a few years until finally settling down as a children's party host. Cat did the best out of us all. She starred in a few movies and she regularly stars on a new ABC Family sitcom. She married Robbie five years ago and gave birth to a bouncy baby boy the year after, appropriately named Frankie. Cat insisted on calling her son after her brother. A few years later they had another baby, this time a little girl named Daisy. Beck moved to New York to try his hand at Broadway. He's been in the ensemble of many shows now but sadly never a lead role. Trina stared in a music video with Ke$ha as the main back up dancer. How she got that we'll never know. But that was her fifteen minutes of fame, she's now an elementary school teacher and is happily married with eight year old twins, Brianna and Braison. And as for Jade, she practically vanished of the face of the earth the minute they all graduated. Not one of us has heard from her in over ten years. It makes me sad to think that we really meant nothing to her at all.
I pulled up outside Millennium Dance Studio where I worked part time as a dance instructor. After having Scarlett I gave up any dreams of my own and decided I would help others achieve theirs instead. It was a typical day at the studio. I taught the kids new routines and technique. I worked hard like every day and as the lessons finally drew to a close I dashed home, making sure I arrived before Scarlett did.
The three bed roomed house was empty when I arrived. Scattering the car keys across the kitchen counter, a bright yellow note hung onto the refrigerator.
'Go get dressed into something posh and meet me at Nozu's at five. Love Ryder xx'
A smile hurtled across my lips as I scanned the note again. Typical Ryder. Since day one he was always surprising me and treating me. He'd dropped the bad boy attitude the minute he found out I was carrying his child and luckily he's been nothing but good since.
The front door slammed loudly as I was getting dressed in my new dark purple cocktail dress. "Honey is that you?"
Scarlett dashed up the stairs, passing my bedroom door as quick as lightening. "You look nice Mom." She stuck her head around the frame of the door, eyeing me up head to toe. "Going anywhere nice?"
Her bad mood had obviously passed because she was smiling a real smile for once. "Your Dad is treating me to sushi."
She rolled her eyes. "You two are so gross. So you haven't changed your mind?"
I knew that was coming. I stood up, wrapping my arms around her tiny body. "No." I laughed in her ear. "I haven't changed my mind angel. I don't want you to end up like I did sweetie. I'm just trying to protect you."
She collapsed hard against me. "Fine. But not everyone gets pregnant at fifteen Mom. I'm very sensible." She mumbled against my chest. "But I want you to know you're-"
"Ruining your life. I know. That's my life goal." I let go of her and winked.
A weak smirk slid across her face, her brown eyes lighting up like hot chocolate. "I'm sorry I yelled at you."
"I know pumpkin." I sat back down at my dressing table. "Make sure you finish your homework. I don't want another call from Sikowitz again please!"
A slight giggle left Scarlett's pink, heart shaped lips as she hugged me again. "I'm a real wild child." She sung as she let go of me again.
"Scarlett Daniels, you might as well be the devil." I joked.
Her tongue flew out of her mouth as she darted across the hall and into her pink bedroom. Her door shut with a click as one last giggle fell from her mouth.
"Did Scarlett calm down after school?" Ryder asked over dinner. He worked as a cop and a fire man so he worked day shifts and some night shifts. No one could believe how much he had changed since school. And he'd done it because of Scarlett and myself.
"You know what she's like." I smiled. She was the worst half of her Dad with a hint of my over kindness. She never stayed mad at us for more than a few hours.
"I would have never ever thought I'd have a fourteen year old daughter by the time I was thirty. I feel so old." He chuckled.
"I'm only twenty nine. I feel like a grandma already."
"You're a MILF." He laughed and reached his hands out to linked them with my own. "I want another baby."
I half choked on the sushi I was eating. After having Scarlett we always agreed we were too young to have another baby. So we waited a few years. But then Scarlett became a bit of a handful so we agreed to wait a few more. And now she's in the terrible teen years. "Really?"
He nodded with a goofy smile on his face. "I want a son. Someone to kick a football round with, you know. I love Scarlett but she's such a girl."
I rolled my eyes at him. "I apologise for giving birth to such a girl." I joked.
"I mean it baby." He kissed my left hand.
I shivered from head to toe. I loved it when he was sweet and romantic. I smiled back. "Okay." I agreed. I guess we were going to have another baby. "We should probably get going babe, it's starting to get late and I don't like leaving Scarlett home alone for too long." Ryder paid for our food and drove us home. Both of us were grinning like idiots.
We entered our house to silence, which was definitely not normal. Usually Scarlett would be blaring music so loud you could hear it out in the street.
"I'll go pour us some drinks." Ryder kissed my cheek before walking past me and into the kitchen.
"I'll see if Scarlett is in. I swear to god if she's gone to that party I will murder her!" I flipped my heels off and made my way up our stairs. The whole house was still in an eerie silence. Scarlett's wooden door was slightly ajar. As I walked closer to it I could hear whispers. Perhaps she had her best friend, Brooke over?
The door swung open with one swift push, revealing Scarlett and a boy much older than her, completely naked. "Holy shit!" I screamed, pulling the door shut quickly. Did I really just see what I thought I did?
"MOM!" Scarlett screamed from behind the door. Loud bangs came from her room as I stood against the wall trying to process what I just saw. The door opened and Scarlett stood in just a t-shirt and pants, with her normally curly hair totally messed up.
"What the hell?" I shouted. I hated being angry at her but she knew how to push my buttons. "Scarlett, you're fourteen. What the hell are you playing at?"
"Mom, I love him!" She pleaded as she flattened out her hair. "And he loves me."
I scoffed. "Stop this right now. Who the hell is he?" I pushed her bedroom door open again. The boy was now dressed and perched on the edge of her pink bed, his eyes fixed on the floor.
"Who are you?"
Oh for Christ's sake. Of all the people for my daughter to have a crush on, she picks the bad boy with a ridiculous name.
"Get your things. I'm taking you home now and I want to have words with your Mother. Scarlett you stay here. Your Father is going to be furious." I grabbed her by the arm and pulled her downstairs.
"What's going on babe?" Ryder looked at us both. My face thick with fury. Scarlett's laced in embarrassment, yet she still held the 'wild child' look about her.
"Let your daughter tell her what I just caught her doing." I let go of Scarlett. "I'll be home in a bit."
I opened the front door as loudly as possible, letting Blade follow me quickly to the car. "Where do you live?"
He mumbled his address to me without making eye contact. He was now wearing a heavy leather jacket. I got a proper look at him as I started driving. He had thick black hair, it was styled in a surfer boy look. He had olive skin and deep blue eyes. His eyes stood out most, almost like I'd seen them before.
We pulled up outside his house and to my surprise it was actually really nice and in a nice part of Hollywood. "Is your Mom in?"
He nodded his head as I rang the doorbell. For the 'bad boy' he was being a total baby right now.
The door opened slowly. A woman with medium length chestnut brown hair appeared. She was wearing a tight black corset top with black leggings which hugged against her legs and to finish it off she had black heels on, making her even taller than she already was. She looked way too young to be his Mom.
"What the hell have you done now?" She barked at her son. She turned to face me. "Whatever he stole or broke I'll pay for." She sighed.
"Sadly you can't give back what he stole." I glared at him.
A familiar smirk curled over the woman's lips. "Vega?" She squinted her eyes at me.
My heart skipped a beat. No one had called me that in over ten years. And in fact, only one person in my life had ever called me that. Jade.
"Jade West?" I looked at her properly. She'd ditched the dark hair with the coloured streaks and although she was obviously older, she still looked like she was twenty one. She looked good.
"You better come in." She grabbed my wrist like she'd done so many times in high school and dragged me into her home. "And you, go to your room." She pointed to the bad boy and scowled as he scampered away from us. "So what did he do?"
"I kind of need to speak to this about his Mom, Jade. No offence." I sat down on her black leather sofa as gently as possible. Her living room was very Jade. Black and white all over. With a large photo of scissors above the large fireplace. A grandfather clock stood in the corner of the room. How was it already past nine?
"You're looking at her." She arched her infamous eyebrow at me and smirked.
"Jade." She never took anything seriously. "Is your Mom home?" I looked around.
"I'm his mother, Vega." She said it again but this time without a smirk on her face.
"What?" I stammered. She couldn't be. From what Scarlett had told me, Blade was nearly sixteen. Jade was the same age as me, perhaps a few months old, but that would of meant that she'd had him at fourteen.
"You still do that confused face when you're trying to work shit out." She laughed. "He's mine. Seriously. Beck knocked me up when I was fourteen. My Dad forced me to keep him. When I gave birth he raised him and to everyone else he was just my brother. But when the old bastard died when Blade was five, I got full custody back and became his full time Mom again."
My face dropped. The whole time I had known Jade she had been so bitter and rude. It started to all make sense now. Who wouldn't be a sour bitch after all that shit happened to you at such a young age?
"Anyway. What did he do?" She tapped her heel against the floor. "I have work in half an hour so I can't chat."
I cleared my throat. "I caught him and um, my daughter.. well you know."
She caught my eyes and laughed. Her deep, sky blue eyes lit up. I knew I'd seen those eyes before. Blade had his Mom's eyes. "You're still so bashful. So he slept with your daughter?" She suddenly looked confused. "Wait, how old is your daughter? And wait, you have a daughter?"
This was my turn to explain. "Well you know I dropped out of HA when I was fifteen, don't you?"
"Yeah. Sikowitz and Lane said it was because you got offered a scholarship at a fancy school in Florida. I never believed them.."
I blushed slightly. I'd been so ashamed that I forced everyone I knew to lie about what really happened. "Ryder Daniels and I had a baby. She's fourteen now."
Her mouth dropped open. "Are you shitting me?" She laughed again. "No fucking way. Innocent Tori Vega got pregnant at fifteen?" Her laugh echoed around the room. "Oh god, that's priceless."
"Jade can you stop being such a bitch please. This is serious. I caught your son sleeping with my daughter."
She stopped laughing and smirked again. "Whatever. I'll tell him to stop seeing her. They're young remember. They don't know what love is." She rose and eyebrow at me and half glared.
"Thanks." I stood up awkwardly, getting ready to leave. From another room a loud, cry sounded through a baby monitor.
Jade switched the monitor off and walked to the front door. "Bye."
I left the house, looking back as I got into the car. Jade was still stood at the door, her tall body slumped against the doorframe. Her eyes didn't leave mine as I got into my car. I waved as I started the ignition. Never in a million years would I have thought I'd be seeing Jade West again. My heart pounded as I drove off. I didn't realise how much I'd missed her. I had to see her again.
A/N Okay so I thought of this whole story line while I was at work :P So please review and tell me if you like it and want more?
Thank you! xo