Status: ACTIVE.

Learn to Fly


Peyton opened her eyes and immediately shut them once she had. Light came from in between the curtains on Eric’s window and temporarily blinded her. She sat up in her bed and laughed at the boy who was lying next to her. His hair was a disheveled mess and he snored lightly with his mouth wide open. She let her feet hang over the edge of his bed as she stretched out her back and snuck into his bathroom.

She looked at herself in the mirror and instantly felt insecure. Her hair wasn’t as vibrant as Melissa’s. Her skin wasn’t as tan. Her cheekbones weren’t as high. Her lips weren’t as full. Overall, she was just a young girl next to her while Melissa was a woman; from her head to her toes beauty.

Peyton sighed, trying to wipe the visual of her and John holding a baby in their arms. She didn’t know why she was so attached to John, they had only known each other for a short amount of weeks now—maybe two, but she felt like she needed to be around him. She needed to know him. Peyton thought back to the words Jerry had spoken to her about ‘love at first sight’. She splashed cold water on her face instantly trying to tear her delusional thoughts out of her mind.

She placed her hair in a messy bun on the top of her head and brushed her teeth. She walked back into Eric’s room, surprised to see that the clock read eight thirty in the morning. The night before she had instantly fell asleep as soon as her head hit the pillow. She pulled some small jean shorts over her waist not bothering to change out of the oversized male t shirt she had had for years.

Peyton tip toed into the living room, fending for her purse and grabbing her cigarettes quietly. She tried not to wake her cousin who she thought was sleeping on the couch, but as she turned around anger was suddenly in her veins. She dropped the lighter that was in her hands waking the sleeping boy. He opened his eyes slowly at first, but then opened them quicker when he saw her standing there.

Nick released his grasp from around Delilah’s naked form and looked at her, “Pey—Peyton, look I…”

She huffed before grabbing her lighter from on the ground. She walked out of the apartment before slamming the door shut, not caring who may be sleeping anymore. She jogged down the stairs taking them two at a time focused, as to make sure she didn’t fall on her face.

Peyton finally let her body collapse onto the last stair as she felt tears forming in her eyes.

Don’t cry Peyton,” she heard in her head.

“I’m not,” she said aloud before realizing that no one was there to hear her.

Peyton groaned before taking a cigarette from out of the box and sticking the stick between her lips. She took in a deep drag before exhaling and watching the smoke swirl around, making patters in the sky.

She didn’t always used to smoke. She started her senior year of high school—ironically around the same few months that her dad had kicked her out of her house. She felt chills grow up her spine and involuntarily shuddered. She hadn’t thought about him for a while. She didn’t even see him as a father anymore.

Peyton picked up her cell phone and saw that she had an awaiting text. She pressed the open button and became angry when she read the message: I miss you. –Sean

She huffed before texting back angrily. Stop texting me.

Still not dealing well? Me either. That’s why I want you back here.

Peyton yelled and threw her cell phone at the ground, crying as the back popped off as it hit the hot Arizona asphalt.

“Are you okay, Hayes?”

Peyton looked up in embarrassment at the boy who stood in front of her, his tall shadow blocking the sun for her eyes. She wiped a tear from her eye, “Uh…yeah.”

John took a seat down next to her and sighed, “No, you’re not. But its okay, you don’t have to talk about it,” he said with a reassuring smile. “Do you like Arizona?”

She was thankful that he didn’t press anything. She half smiled at the boy, “Honestly? Not really. It’s as hot as Satan’s ball sack here.”

John laughed heartily, “That’s where I live, on the corner of Pubic, right past Scrotum Avenue.”

“That’s disgusting,” Peyton giggled loudly. She was thankful that John was here. He somehow seemed to be one of the only people that could make her not think about what was going on back home.

“But it made you smile,” he grinned triumphantly.

Peyton grinned and gave him a quiet thank you as he took the cigarette from between her lips, taking a long cancerous drag. “How’s Melissa?” She asked unsure.

John shrugged, “I don’t know. I left early to see my mom this morning before we head out again. It’s hard for her with me being gone all the time.”

“Are you an only child?” Peyton wondered.

“Nah, I have two younger brothers. They’re a pain, but I love them,” John chuckled. “What about you?”

“I am an only child,” she replied.

“Are you super spoiled?” He laughed, nudging her with his shoulder.

Peyton chuckled thinking of the irony in his question, “Definitely not,” she laughed, “At least not by my parents. Nick’s mom kind of spoils me I guess though.”

John raised an eyebrow at her, “Do you live with the Santinos?”

She bit her lip softly, unsure of why she felt comfortable talking about her past. She normally wouldn’t have told someone she hadn’t known for over a year or so. “My adoptive dad kicked me out about two years ago so they let me stay with them for a while.”

“I could never imagine…” he sighed. “That’s ridiculous.”

Peyton was somewhat relieved that he didn’t say the two words she didn’t want to hear: ‘I’m sorry.’ “Hey John,” she began.

“Yes, Peyton?”

“Just promise me you won’t be like my father. You owe it to that child to stay…be there for him or her,” she said.

John gave her a smile before squeezing her hand lightly. “I may not know a lot about being a dad and I can’t promise you that I’ll be great at it, but I do promise you that I’ll do my best—and that includes never leaving him.”

Peyton smiled at his sincerity, knowing by the nervous look in his eyes that he was terrified about being a father and she in no way would blame him. She heard someone behind them clear their throat. She let her eyes look up to the top of the stair case where a fretful red head was standing. “Melissa is asking for you, John. Morning sickness.”

“Oh thanks, Nick. Feel better darlin’,” John said before standing up and jogging up the stairs. Soon enough his seat was being filled by Nick.

The cousins sat there in silence for a few moments. They watched as cars passed, children played, and morning birds chirped. The sweat was beginning to form on Peyton’s forehead as she sat there and her choice in not putting on a tank top was suddenly regretted.

“I’m sorry, Peyton,” Nick said after a few moments.

She flicked her dead cigarette onto the ground, dabbing it out with the toe of her gray Toms. She shrugged her shoulders, not saying it was okay because she didn’t believe it was. She stayed silent.

“Pey, please talk to me,” he pleaded.

“I don’t know what there is to say Nick, we’ve had this conversation before,” she replied, not meeting his eyes.

“You never tell me why you’re upset though. You run away from me,” Nick responded, a slight amount of annoyance in his voice. “Pey, please tell me. We’re family…”

Peyton chewed on her lip nervously. Her and Nick had been having this same fight for eight months now and each time she lost her voice to tell him what was wrong. She opened her mouth to speak and her voice was hushed, “Do you even miss her anymore?”

He looked at her in disbelief, “Of course I miss her. I wake up thinking about her and fall asleep dreaming about her. I loved her Peyton. I still love her.”

She turned her eyes to the sky, where the hot sun was beginning to beat down on her tanned skin. Sweat was resting on the back of her neck and she wanted nothing more than to get out of Arizona.

“Do you remember what you told me when you asked to come on this tour?” Nick asked suddenly and Peyton instantly regretted her words. “You told me that we were going to use this summer to get over her…that’s all I’m trying to do, Peyton.”

“It’s easier for you though, Nick. You can replace Georgia with whatever girl you want to,” she whispered. “I’ll never be able to replace my best friend.”

Nick stood up and ran his fingers through his hair, “Peyton, I’ll never be able to replace her either…she was the most amazing person in the world.”

The two of them sat their silently, in their own minds picturing the Georgia Stone they had always known. For Nick, she was the girlfriend that he had always depended on and for Peyton she was the best friend that she had never asked for thirteen years ago.

“Get ready,” Nick said after a moment, dismissing their conversation. “Today is one of our only days off.”
♠ ♠ ♠

So, I know this is somewhat of a filler but it's important becaaaaause now you finally know who Georgia is. It is somewhat vague but I assure you more will come out soon. (PS. I am sooo excited for the next chapter. I had so much fun writing it.)

Thank you all so much for your comments. They truly make my day and motivate me to write. I love you all so much. Keep up the good work <3