Status: In Time

To Caress My Day

Chapter 268: RCA Records

“Alright already, what is the good news you came all this way to tell me about? I’m excited to hear it!” Twigs questioned Neon Jungle as they all sat around her living room consuming their dinner of juicy burgers, sweet milkshakes, and fresh hot fries. The feast put her in such a pleasing mindset that she practically glowed when she glanced up from her fries to their now wavering faces. They no longer seemed to be in good spirits, and so that put a damper on her mood. As her smile sank, her eyes enlarged with concern as she inquired. “Wait, is it bad news?”

Neon Jungle all shifted their gaze to Amira who was Twig’s best friend growing up. The news was tremendous, so no one felt they had the right to disclose it. “Um…maybe you should tell her Amira. It’d probably be best if it came from you.”

Feeling her stomach drop, Twig’s eyes locked on Amira. She fought the tears that sprang to the surface in preparation for incoming bad news. At this point, it had to be bad news. “W-Why?”

Chewing unhurriedly on her burger, Amira let out a sigh after she swallowed and softly asked Twigs. “Can we talk about it later? Like, after we’re done eating? This food is so fucking good and…we were all just having such a good time together hanging out, you know?”

No, Twigs didn’t want to wait to hear their news. She was already sick to her stomach and on the edge of her seat, this was as suitable of a time as any to receive a crushing notification. No way did she want to sit in grief over this, but that’s exactly what she found herself settling to do. With a nod, she whispered. “Y-Yeah, sure.”

Everyone went back to eating, but this time in complete and utter silence. If they wanted to relish the good vibe they were enjoying before, it was lost now. Out of habit due to her meager earnings, Twig preserved the remnants of her meal instead of wolfing it down like she would’ve liked. Wrapping up the rest of her intact burger, she got up to throw her empty fries box into the trash can and returned to slurp on her milkshake in silence. She sat there, her eyes flicking from the rug underneath them to the beautiful Amira and then back again as she bounced her right knee, awaiting the horrid news that might just change her life a second time.

Neon Jungle stared between Amira and Twigs in quietness, their brows furrowed with apprehension over how Twigs would take to hearing the new development in their lives and careers. They waited with bated breaths until Amira finally cleared her throat and lifted her eyes to address a very nervous Twigs. She didn’t bother to smile as she talked. “So the news…well, we’ve recently been signed to RCA Records.”

Twig’s brows furrowed with concentration as she tried to recollect that distinct music label to mind. When she could come up with nothing, she shook her head in defeat at Neon Jungle. “I-I don’t…”

“It’s…it’s an American music label.” Jess faintly replied next, giving Twigs the explanation as to why she couldn’t put her finger on this RCA Records.

“And is owned by Sony Music Entertainment.” Asami softly added in, not sure if that information was at all important to the conversation.

Still lost in silence, Twigs tried to put the pieces provided to her together. It was hard when the only prominent word that repeated itself over and over again was ‘American’. For a brand to be an American brand it must mean it’s IN America, not the UK like a UK brand would be. For her friends to be signed to an American label and not one from the UK…that could mean they would have to move overseas like Simone had, leaving Twigs behind all alone in London. Feeling like she was about to throw up, Twigs quickly pressed a hand to her belly to quell the nausea as she questioned Neon Jungle further. “Does…Does this mean what…what I think it means?”

Lowering her eyes with shame, Amira opened her eyes to answer Twig’s question when all of a sudden the bile in the dancer’s stomach came rising to the surface. Silence by her best friend throwing up a hand, she watched with wide eyes as Twigs leaped to her feet with a hand over her mouth and raced off down the hall to throw her guts up. Neon Jungle and Amira were stunned in place. “Tahliah!?”

The sound of Twigs throwing up in the back of the apartment could be heard. It further urged Neon Jungle to remain where they were. Where they were stunned at first, now they sat stewing in their guilt for making Twigs sick. They felt they at least owed her some privacy to recover, and so they cleaned up their meals so she wouldn’t have to be around the sight and smell of food when she got back, besides they had already lost their appetites.

Having washed out her mouth and brushed her teeth, Twigs eventually returned to the living room and Neon Jungle. With her fingers pressed against her lips in fear of becoming queasy again, she sat herself down and softly apologized for rudely taking off. “I…um, I’m sorry… about that.”

“Don’t apologize, Tahliah. We’re all good here. You got nothing to be sorry for.” Amira brushed her apology aside as it began to rain softly outside the apartment.

Reaching out a hand, Asami placed hers over Twig’s trembling one and gave it a supportive squeeze under a look of concern. “You feeling better, honey?”

“Yeah, did you come down with something recently? We heard you puking back there.” Jess probed next, more out of concern for her friend’s health than her own catching a possible stomach bug.

Twigs shook her head as she shifted in her seat. Discussing her health was a much-needed break from the conversation at least for a while, but she knew she shouldn’t take the coward's way out and grab it with both hands. No, she needed to get this dreadful matter over with. Straightening her spine, she cleared her throat and returned to their previous topic. “So, you guys will be moving to the U.S. like Simone?”

“It’s not right this minute!” Shereen rushed to explain, wishing she could alleviate the pain Twigs was going through from the news of their imminent departure from London. At receiving the dancer’s focus now with eyes full of hope that she would deny the news entirely, she had to correct herself. “It’s…the move is supposed to be later on. But…yeah…our label is already preparing us for it.”

“When.” Twigs breathed, her browns dropping back to the rug rather than rising to meet Amira. The others might be squirming in their seats right now in fear of telling her anything more, but her best friend would be straight with her. She always was.

Amira shrugged, unsure. “We don’t know. Last we heard, they’re thinking we’ll have a solid date after our first album release. It really all depends on that.”

Twigs let out an unsteady sigh as her brown eyes descended to the rug beneath her once more. Her entire body trembled at the realization that she would be alone again. No, she would be alone even more than ever before! The goddamn United States was gonna steal the last four friends she had left and literally leave her alone by herself in the UK. Yes, she had other friends, but nothing tighter than Neon Jungle and Simone. They were irreplaceable!

God, Twigs did NOT wanna lose any more of her most precious friends! But…exactly like Simone’s departure to pursue her own dreams, this had nothing to do with her. This move overseas had to do with Neon Jungle, their life’s successes, and their growing careers. If Twigs truly loved them, if she truly cared for them, she’d be able to support them in this major change and let them go exactly like she did for Simone.

Would it actually kill Twigs this time, that’s likely.

But at least Neon Jungle would be happy wherever they end up.

Sucking up her selfish anguish for later when she would be alone, Twigs glanced around at an awaiting Neon Jungle to find them all nervously biting their nails as they stared helplessly back at her. Putting a forgiving smile on her face, she told them. “Congratulations then on all of your successes, my loves!”

Neon Jungle was collectively taken aback by Twigs consistent neverending support. They had expected tears because of how hard it was for her to deal with Simone’s move, but it seemed to be the opposite this time. The anxiety they’d been suffering since the subject had been brought up during their dinner was now melting away under Twig’s very convincing smile. It looked so totally genuine!

“Seriously, girl! Oh my god, we can’t believe this!” Neon Jungle rejoiced, a weight lifted off their shoulders. “Thank you, thank you, thank you for your constant support in our careers! I know it sucks, we don’t really wanna move either, but our careers need us to spread our wings, you know?”

“Naturally! I totally get it, you guys!” Twigs assured them. However, her shattered heart didn’t.