Saturday, July 9, 2011

Chapter 17 - Decisions

NOTE: This story has a rating of PG-13. It is intended for a mature audience, as it contains strong references to things such as woohoo, crime, violence, language, etc. You have been warned!

The next day, Whitney didn't wake up until around 11am. Her thoughts had stayed with her through the night, and they greeted her now as she got out of bed and got dressed.

When she emerged from her room, she saw some movement in the kitchen. She walked that way and saw that her mother was slicing some vegetables her father had undoubtedly picked.

"Good morning, Mom," Whitney said as she entered the kitchen.

Laura turned around and smiled at her daughter. "Good morning. I was about to wake you up, but I figured you needed your rest."

"Yeah, it took a while to get to sleep last night."

"I can understand that. Would you like some breakfast?"


"What would you like?"

"Oh, it doesn't matter. I'll take anything."

Laura walked to the fridge and peeked inside.

"How about eggs?"

"Sounds good. Do you need help?"

"No, you have a seat. You're still technically our guest."

So Laura began preparing the eggs while Whitney sat at the counter, watching her work.

"Are you going to release a third album?" Laura asked as she prepared the eggs.

"Yeah, I've got one in the works, but I may rethink it. I want this one to be the best. You know the old saying - third time's the charm."

"So, it will be more like your first one?"

"Yeah, but with a little more edge. But not dark like my second one."

"That sounds great."

Laura placed a plate of eggs with bacon and watermelon in front of Whitney, who dug in. Laura took the seat next to her.

"About last night...what you said about my wanting to be swimming in cash..."

"I'm so sorry about that. It was out of line and I was just upset."

"You're right."

"I know that. And I'm so..."

"No, Whitney. You're right about what you said."

Whitney stopped eating and looked at her mother. "What?"

"I didn't grow up with a lot of money, and I saw how my parents struggled just to pay the bills on time. I didn't want to end up that way. I wanted to marry a rich man who'd take care of me. But I fell in love with your father, and back then, I didn't care how much money we made. I did always hope his business would pick back up, but I also wanted him to be happy. And I was happy with him, and I still am, so money didn't matter that much. He's full of dreams for various things, and I think that's part of the reason he wants to be a jack of all trades. I'll support him, but I do worry sometimes. I don't want to live like I was a child again. And I don't want that for you either."

"I understand that, and it does make sense. But I'm still so sorry about what I said to you."

"You're my only daughter, Whitney. I'll love and support you no matter what you do."

Whitney smiled at her mother, so glad that they'd settled their differences. This would be the start of something better, yet another part of her life that was about to begin, and this time she'd have the support of her whole family. The knowledge filled her with confidence and excitement.

That evening, Whitney was preparing to drive back to Bridgeport. She was excited to turn over a new leaf, one that would truly define who she was, but not in the way she'd begun her career. She finally knew who she was and exactly what she wanted to be, and she was ready to start living that way.

"Good luck, pumpkin," Gavin said as he hugged his daughter goodbye. "You've made me very proud, and I know you'll keep on doing it."

"Thanks, Dad. I've got a good feeling about this."

Laura went next, this time giving her daughter a hug of encouragement, unlike the first time she left for Bridgeport.

"You'll do great, honey. You've got a lot of talent, and I'm very proud of you."

"Thank you so much, Mom. That means a lot to me."

And last came Dustin, who was a very supportive little brother.

"You'll kick ass, sis. Show Bridgeport your stuff."

"Dustin..." Gavin and Laura said together.

Dustin just laughed as Whitney hugged him.

"You come visit me in Bridgeport," she whispered in his ear, "and maybe someday you'll live there too."

"I hope so."

Whitney said her final goodbyes to her family, got into her car, and drove back to Bridgeport. During the drive, she thought about all that had happened. She'd reverted from a vampire back to being a human, but not completely like she'd been before. And yet, she was happy this way. She realized she didn't have to completely revert to her original ways. She shouldn't go too far in either direction - she should combine the two. She could still be a country girl, but with a city vibe. And that was what would define her.

And define her, it did. The first thing Whitney did upon returning to Bridgeport was sell all of her furniture and replace it with new stuff that she felt would better define her. She took down her "dark" paintings and put cheerful ones up, many of which reminded her of home. She also repainted all the walls to go with her new furniture, and celebrated her newfound self by spending a lot of time in her hot tub, which she could now enjoy during the day.

Her agent wasn't as thrilled about her new image as her vampire one, but she was willing to give it a try. So over the next few months, Whitney got some gigs to show off her new, and hopefully permanent, look. To her relief, the crowd went wild. It was a success, seeing a country girl on stage in the big city, being herself from two worlds.

She also got over her fear of Plasma 501, and happily played there again (but remembered to be careful about her thoughts, just in case).

The Aquarius also offered her a newfound freedom, since she could swim in the cool waters on hot days without burning to a crisp. And when she went there, she remembered that Darcy lived right next door. So she stopped in for a visit. Thankfully, since Whitney was now human again, Darcy wasn't afraid, and the two picked up their friendship right where they left off.

Darcy was thrilled with Whitney's new self and promised to attend every concert that she could and bring friends with her. Whitney also received three more awards, and at last reached five-star celebrity status. She proudly displayed her new awards in her penthouse.

Her agent even had her hold an autograph session at the local theater, and several fans showed up. Whitney happily signed autographs for them, all the while bursting with excitement that her dreams had finally come true. At last, she was a five-star celebrity.

After that, Whitney decided to throw herself a party and invite everyone she knew to her place to celebrate her even higher ratings and her new self. She wouldn't have made it without her fans cheering her on and her family having faith in her.

The party went long into the night, and everyone had a great time. There was music, dancing, socializing of all sorts, and even hot tubbing (some skinny dipping, though Whitney herself wasn't involved in that). Darcy showed up, as well as other celebrities like Emmy Star, Renee Littler, Lola Belle, and Ebenezer Clavier. Whitney played her guitar for her enthusiastic guests.

Whitney would have invited Sid and Kirk as well, but she didn't know how to contact them. Plus, they'd remind her too much of Riley. She had a great time talking to everyone, and all the party goers said she was a good hostess as well as an amazing musician.

From then on, most everyone knew Whitney's name and her music. She never even got tired of the paparazzi; for her, that was a small sacrifice to pay for accomplishing her goals and dreams. She visited her family as often as she could, and they even went to Bridgeport that summer to see her in concert at the theater.

Whitney felt like the happiest and luckiest person alive. She would continue to live her dream and accomplish her goals. And she did. She'd literally crossed the bridge to fame, suffered bad fates, but in the end, she'd come out on top. For many years to come, Whitney Cross would be one of the many shining stars over Bridgeport.


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