Hi, Hey, Hello!
Lizzy pushed away her laptop and groaned as she heard the front door gently open and close.
‘Liz!’ Lola’s voice rang through the house and Lizzy made a vague noise of affirmation before she watched Lola bustle into the room.
‘Hello Lola, to what do I owe the pleasure?’ Lizzy asked as she sagged back into the sofa.
‘Are you alright? Lola asked in lieu of a response as she sat down opposite her.
‘Suffering from a serious fear of writing shit and my uterus is letting me know it still exists in a big way.’ She curled her legs up and rested her chin on her knees.
‘Nurofen?’ She gestured to the kitchen and Lizzy her shook her head once.
’20 minutes ago. What about you?’
‘Oh I’m fine I guess. Danny’s friends are at ours and it’s doing nothing for my hangover.’ Lola sagged back into the cushions as well and sighed.
‘In amongst everything else I forgot I was hungover, although that would explain the very painful headache and sandpaper throat. So thanks for reminding me.’
‘You’re welcome. I was thinking we could have a takeout junk foody recovery afternoon in front of the TV.’
‘Ugh yes. That sounds perfect.’ Lola smiled and Lizzy reached for her phone.
Thirty minutes later and they were sat on the floor cross legged surrounded by pizza boxes. Lizzy picked up a slice of pizza and bit into it as her eyes widened before she started talking.
‘So last night when I got in I checked my phone and Ry had text me, something really normal like “hope you had a good night, call you tomorrow love xx” and then I got all weepy and emotional and before I knew it, it was 5:30, the sun was coming up and I’d been watching videos of him on YouTube for nearly two hours.’ Lola’s mouth dropped open and she barked out a laugh.
‘Oh gosh, poor you. When’s he back?’
‘End of next month.’
‘Shit.’ Lola rolled up her slice of pizza and took a substantial bite.
‘It’s not all bad. I mean there are literally thousands of videos on the internet that I can watch for hours when things are especially tough.’ Lizzy laughed and took another bite of her slice.
‘I can’t believe you did that.’ Lola’s voice was muffled around her food and her eyes shone brightly with laughter.
‘Yeah nor can I. It’s never happened before. I think I watched the same song at like 7 different shows just to hear how he changed this one note.’ She finished her slice of pizza and tied her hair into a high ponytail.
‘Oh, that one in Limited/Limitless?’ Lola asked excitedly.
‘Yes! What is up with that? It’s like always flawless. And so fucking sexy.’ Lizzy reached over for a piece of garlic bread.
‘He’s incredibly talented, that’s why. But I agree that was the song they unveiled on us at the Staples earlier in the year and I got chills. Actual chills. It’s great on the record, but live it is jaw dropping.’ Her hands moved around wildly as she spoke and ended with her shoving the rest of her pizza slice into her mouth.
‘Yeah I’m getting that.’
‘When was the last time you saw them live?’ She asked around the remains of her food.
‘Given that I missed Wembley, it’s been nearly a year. I’ve just been busy with the new books and all the stuff for the film, that I haven’t had the time, which is annoying because I love watching him doing his thing. But I think he understands that all of that sometimes it comes at the expense of not catching him out on the road. Honestly last night was the first proper night off I’ve had in months.’
‘He understands, if he didn’t then I think your relationship would be very different, if not non-existent. Also you work too much.’
‘You have officially joined the party.’ Lizzy laughed humourlessly.
‘What party?’ An eyebrow cocked.
‘The “you work too hard Lizzy” party.’ She tore at her garlic bread as she spoke.
‘Am I the last?’
‘Well Tom hasn’t yet, but everyone else has, yeah.’
‘Maybe that’s a sign Liz. I mean if you being sick is what it takes for you to not work then you work too much.’
‘Hey, I had a holiday, I didn’t work on that.’ Her voice raised in pitch considerably and she sagged against the front of the sofa.
‘Ryan told me you came up with a whole outline for another series like you don’t already have two on the go.’ Lola sounded both accusatory and joking.
‘I had to write it down so I didn’t forget it.’ Lizzy protested petulantly.
‘Uh huh of course you did. At 3am until 8?’ Lola distractedly looked down at her phone and fiddled with it for a moment before she threw it back on the floor while Lizzy spoke.
‘The timing wasn’t ideal no, but I have something to work with and that’s what’s important here.’
‘I can just picture you sitting hunched over your little notebook wearing one of his shirts barely buttoned up with a hand fused in your fringe and one leg propped on the chair while you sit on the other one with a lamp on bathing you in ugly yellow but soft light and Ryan rolling over to wrap an arm around you but hitting cool sheets instead and mumbling that you should come back to bed but falling back asleep because he’s so used to it.’
‘You’re not far off.’ Lizzy admitted softly.
‘Liz! When your sleep rumpled, hot as fuck boyfriend tells you to come back to bed you go the fuck back, especially when you’re on holiday. It’s like the rule.’
‘Look I finish up almost everything by the middle of next month, he finishes at the end of it, then he’s whisking me off somewhere until Christmas. I will abide by that non-existent rule then.’
‘Oooh yeah your little retreat. I know where you’re going for that.’
‘How?’ She barked out.
‘You go away to the same three places, so he wanted to shake it up a little. But he’s busy, you’re busy and I was in-between jobs so I did some research and sorted it out. I think you’re really gonna love it.’
‘It’s 10 weeks of just us, I’m sure your location is great, but honestly that much time alone with him is gonna be fucking fantastic.’
‘Ooop there it is.’ Lola laughed.
‘Oh shut up. I listened to you bang on about how amazing Danny is in a drunken haze last night for nearly an hour and you’re actually living with him.’
‘You watched videos of your long term boyfriend for nearly two hours last night.’ Lola retailed.
‘He must never know that.’ Lizzy warned.
‘Oooh why not? I wanna watch him bring it up casually with a smile on his face and a glint in his eyes as he wraps an arm around your shoulders or waist as you get all bashful and look at the ground or curl your fingers into your fringe with a shy smile on your face. I wanna watch cute Liz and Ry, they’re my favourite you.’
‘You got far too detailed there.’ Lizzy shook her head in disbelief and reached for another slice of pizza.
‘I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how you two worked back in the early years. When you got cute like that it was how I knew.’ Lola spoke solemnly.
‘Knew what?’ Her voice came out barely above a whisper.
‘That he wasn’t fucking you around and you weren’t using him. I dunno I guess I figured if it was just sex or some kind of instant gratification you wouldn’t be all gentle touches and flirty glances. And then there is the way you relax when he’s around and that was huge, especially back then. And then he has all those nervous ticks in interviews that link straight back to you and you have yours. You’re each others’ calm in the eye of the storm. And I know me and Dyl give you a lot of shit about it but the truth is if it stopped we would both be kinda worried.’ Silence fell between them and Lizzy chewed slowly and swallowed thickly before she spoke tentatively.
‘Alright then. But still, you can’t tell him. I don’t care how much you want “cute” us. Find another way.’
‘Like by telling him you dyed your hair purple.’
‘What has that got to do with anything?’
‘You told me and Mum that you were gonna give your hair a break.’
‘Still not seeing how this links to Ryan.’
‘It’s his favourite, the purple.’ She pointed at Lizzy’s hair with her food.
‘How have you figured that out?’ She mumbled, almost in defeat.
‘He twists his ring around or taps his ankle, you dye your hair purple in some form. They are your manifestations of homesickness.’
‘It’s not my only one, you make it sound so drastic.’
‘Oh no I know. You usually wear his hoodie or that black plaid shirt or you stroke that tattoo, then it’s the hair, sometimes it’s new tattoos…and now I guess YouTube.’ Lola broke out into a cheeky smile and Lizzy hit her shoulder with a cushion she pulled from the edge of the sofa.
‘I’m gonna draw your attention to things about yourself one day.’ She promised.
‘And I’m probably gonna accidentally mention the YouTube thing to him one day.’ She promised back.
‘Don’t lie, there will be no accident about it.’
‘Probably not.’ Lola admitted.
‘I’d say don’t tell Dylan but I feel that’s a pointless ask.’
‘Oh he already knows.’ Lola laughed and Lizzy groaned around a bite of pizza.
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