Snapshot 9

Hi, Hey, Hello!

Day 4, onwards…

‘So Ryan, the rumour mill is a flutter again, anything you want to help clear up there?’ Ryan blinked once and nodded slowly as the interviewer stared at him hoping for an exclusive.

‘Oh, it’s just that. A rumour.’ He shrugged and crossed his left leg over his right to fiddle with a buckle on his boot as he answered.

‘So Elizabeth hasn’t moved out?’ Ryan laughed humourlessly at the bluntness of the question.

‘I mean, no. She’s staying with her parents while she finishes up some work stuff with the added bonus of hanging out with her family at the same time. They live out in the countryside, so it’s just quieter out there for her.’

‘Everything is good then?’ The interviewer prompted again.

‘Yeah, we’re all good.’

‘And have you given any advice to the other two boys,’ the interviewer gestured to Max and Zach next to him and smiled, ‘now that they are both in relationships?’

‘I am very much not in a position to give advice about relationships.’ Ryan laughed and shifted uncomfortably.

‘But you’ve been with Elizabeth for 7 years now.’ They prompted.

‘Yeah but me and Lizzy aren’t necessarily a golden example or anything and what works for us might not work for them or whatever. So no, no advice.’ Ryan finished definitively and Max piped up.

‘He doesn’t even need to impart advice or anything. I think Zach and I have figured out that the reason they still work with us doing what we do is because they talk to each other all the time, even if it is about something as trivial as mug placement.’ Max laughed as he finished talking and a broad smile to break out on Ryan’s face.

‘That is one the most intense conversation I think we’ve ever had.’ Ryan commented.

‘And how did it end?’ The interviewer prompted.

‘Oh, they, as in her and her siblings, built shelves, so now our mugs line the walls. We have a lot of mugs.’ Ryan recalled, still smiling.

‘That’s cute.’ The interviewer smiled genuinely and Ryan nodded.

‘I guess, maybe. I dunno it’s just our kitchen.’

‘But it keeps us grounded. In the rush of moving between countries and living out of suitcases with red carpets and sold out shows thrown in, having a conversation about mugs is what you need.’ Max continued.

‘I mean I also have very serious conversations about fictitious characters.’ Ryan joked.

‘We all do. After shows sometimes we find ourselves just hanging around discussing whether characters actions are realistic or monitoring their every move.’ Zach finally waded in on the conversation.

‘It comes with the territory of having a writer girlfriend. She takes them very seriously, they become part of the family while she’s writing.’ Ryan clarified.

‘So, do you all get along with each others’ girlfriends?’ The interviewer tried to regain control.

‘I mean, yeah. Liz has been part of the family for years now so she fits in seamlessly, and the same goes for our girlfriends now,’ Max gestured between him and Zach, ‘it’s easy and we all, luckily, get along really well.’

‘That’s great, so what are your plans for the rest of the summer before your tour starts up in the fall?’ The interviewer brought the conversation back to the reason they were there and Ryan felt relief flood through him.

‘I am going to disappear for a little bit, have a bit of a holiday.’ Max started.

‘Same.’ Zach echoed.

‘I am apparently going to Wiltshire. But, yeah just rest and chill.’ Ryan joked and smiled gently.

‘You looking forward to getting back on the road?’  The interviewer prompted. Ryan and Max looked briefly over at Zach and he breathed deeply before answering.

‘It’s why we do this. The chance to get a bit more interaction with the fans and see what songs they react to. Every show is different, has a different energy. Makes every night special in its own way. So yeah, we’re pretty stoked to get back out there.’

‘Well good luck for your tour. I know we all can’t wait to see you out on the road again.’ The interviewer finished up and the boys slowly filed out of the room after they thanked them and said goodbye.

*

Ryan slid down the wall and stretched his legs out in front of him as he pulled his phone out of his pocket to accept the call coming in.

‘Hey babe, just a quick call. I’ve taken all the mugs and moved in with my parents for the time being.’ Lizzy’s voice hummed down the line, sounding slightly distracted but welcoming.

‘Oh shoot. Have you left me at least one?’ Ryan faux whined.

‘Yeah, your favourite one, thought I would be kind.’ There was a rustling on Lizzy’s line and her voice came through clearer.

‘Is it just the mugs you’ve taken?’

‘No, I’ve taken my fictional characters with me too.’ Lizzy laughed.

‘I will miss them dearly. We had a good run.’

‘Yeah we did. When are you getting to Wiltshire then?’ Ryan could tell that Lizzy was clutching her fringe to her head with her fingers and he thudded his head against the wall behind him and closed his eyes.

‘A week today.’

‘Okay, I can work with that. Dylan and Tom have descended here, you’re missing out on quite the party.’ Lizzy couldn’t help but let sadness creep into her voice and Ryan’s quickly mirrored it.

‘It sounds it. How are your parents?’

‘They have an almost full house again, they pretend to be exasperated, but they’re happy. Dad made a cake yesterday.’ Lizzy’s voice perked up a bit at the word cake and Ryan barked out a short laugh before he responded.

‘Now you’re just being cruel. I want cake.’

‘I was merely informing you of current events in my life. It has a salted caramel sauce thing going on, it’s really nice…okay, now I’m being cruel.’ Lizzy giggled.

‘Yeah, babe you are.’

‘Well I also think it’s apparent that I’m missing you or something. Mum keeps making all my favourite dinners and stuff.’ Lizzy’s voice dropped to a whisper.

‘Lucky you. The guys aren’t taking such pity on me.’ Ryan laughed.

‘That’s probably because now they are also suffering. You’re just one big bundle of separation anxiety.’

‘You could be onto something there.’ Ryan stage whispered.

‘It’s just one more week. It’ll probably fly by.’ Lizzy tried to reassure them both.

‘I hope so. I am ready to sleep for weeks.’

‘We can go home if you want. Save you the trip here.’ Lizzy suggested flippantly.

‘Nah, it will be nice. Just what I need. Besides you have been there over a month, your routine won’t thank you if you switch it up before you finish what you’re doing.’ Ryan nodded as Zach settled down next to him.

‘I’m sure it would do just fine.’ Lizzy weakly protested.

‘I will see you at your parents’ house in a week.’ Ryan clarified definitively.

‘Okay, I’m gonna go. Lola and I were in the middle of something and she’s getting impatient.’ There was more rustling and a distant cheer from Lola that prompted another smile from Ryan.

‘Alright. Love you.’

‘You too. Bye.’ Lizzy sing-songed and hung up.

‘Well you two are still ridiculous.’ Zach joked as he approached Ryan and slid down the wall next to him.

‘You’re not allowed to comment anymore. You, my friend, are now just as ridiculous as I am, if ridiculous is really what you want to call it, with your whisking her off on romantic holidays and sending her flowers with cute cards.’ Ryan nudged their shoulders together.

‘You took her to Hawaii because she was marginally stressed out not that long ago.’ Zach pointed out.

‘There were other reasons for that trip and I’m not arguing with you about this anymore. This argument is ridiculous.’ Ryan laughed.

‘You raise a good point. Guh, I wish Luce wasn’t working so I could call her. You look lighter now and you’ve stopped fiddling with that damn ring.’ Zach raised his head to the ceiling and closed his eyes.

‘She gets off work soon, you’ll be fine.’

‘Is Liz coming out with us this year?’ Zach cracked an eye open and looked over at Ryan.

‘She’ll drop in and out as usual. Maybe a bit less than usual actually. She has a screenplay to write and stuff.’ Ryan shut his mouth quickly and his eyes widened.

‘Holy shit! No way! You kept that quiet.’ Zach turned to look at Ryan properly and clapped a hand on his left thigh.

‘Yeah if you could pretend I didn’t tell you that.’ Ryan mumbled looking up and down the corridor they were sat in.

‘Why is it top secret?’ He whispered.

‘Yeah kinda. She’s coming out to LA at the end of next month to sort it all out. But in the meantime she is working on a kid’s book and the fourth book.’

‘She is seriously on 4 now?’ He asked incredulously.

‘In that series yeah. 4 of 5. Then she is on the second in WBV and it’s her third kid’s book. And when we were in Hawaii she started brainstorming ideas for a fantasy book or something.’ Ryan’s voice was laced with awe.

‘How does she do that?’

‘I ask myself that question on a semi daily basis. She has 3, almost 4, books on the go and has a way more exciting creative process than I do. I find myself in the interviews that ask me about how I write such heart-breaking break-up songs almost saying yeah it’s great that I can use the one break-up I have actually personally experienced to my advantage after all these years, but the only reason I can do that is because I’ve watched my girlfriend write 6 different break-ups for the same two characters that all originate from the same relationship events. I’ve seen how a simple word placement changes everything. I’ve seen her write the aftermath of several break-ups in a way that comes across as starkly real and true to life. I’ve watched her list all the different emotions that can stem from one single event and how she scales them within themselves. She works with outright rage and passive aggressiveness. She writes falling apart at the seams and stoic but crumbling underneath. She looks at all the songs I write and says try looking at it in x, y or z way. She tells me I should imagine how it would feel if it happened today or how it would feel if it meant everything or nothing. Every time I’m asked if I’m writing about my break-up with Lizzy in the most unsubtle ways imaginable I feel like saying if I was they wouldn’t be as great as everyone says they are. In fact if they were about her they would be awful or pleading or begging because I wouldn’t just be heartbroken. I would feel like such an idiot for letting her slip away. Because the beauty of being with Liz is that she sees new avenues to take with every new look she has at something. She knows the perfect word to springboard off. She gets it and refuses to let the well run dry. Because while I do write the lyrics and can sing them with conviction they wouldn’t exist without her. I would even go so far as to say that they couldn’t. She’s this fountain of creativity that just keep on giving and I would be worried about it taking a toll on her if I couldn’t clearly see how much she fucking loves it.’ Ryan exhaled loudly and laughed once.

‘That is the best answer you’ve ever given to that question but I think you would freak people out if you spoke that much in an interview.’ Zach laughed and clapped his hand back on his leg.

‘When you get asked the same four questions and you’re both so good at answering the rest of it there isn’t much cause for me to talk.’ Ryan shrugged.

‘Touché.’

‘What about Lucy, she coming out?’ Ryan changed the subject.

‘Same as Liz, she’s gonna come and go when she can get off work and stuff.’

‘Good, so I’ll have an ally against Max and Zoe.’ Ryan laughed.

‘Oh yeah, I definitely will be.’

‘We should probably go and re-join Max so the break up rumours don’t make a reappearance.’

‘Good point.’ Ryan nodded and both of them pushed back up the wall and headed back to the room Max was in.

sign off 2


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