I stood up from the chair, grabbing Lauren's arm and dragged her outside the office with me. After the door shut behind us, I opened my mouth, assimilating a silent scream. "What the fuck," I whispered.

"Niyk, why are you whispering? He's inside the office," she chuckled. "So? What do you think?" She continued. "You have a say as the artist - remember we were only gonna do this if we could do this our way. This wasn't apart of the initial deal but we could make it work. Plus, I think the shows might be a good idea."

She shifted her weight. "I've actually been thinking about this - do a few shows, get your name out, release a single. Maybe get a small tour in there before the album drops. Perform music that you want to perform; regardless if it'll be on the album or not. Do covers - kick it back to YouTube days." She smiled, grabbing my arms. "Let's do it, but our way."

I stood there for a few moments, replaying everything said in the past twenty minutes in my mind. I wanted to exercise every scenario in my head - recording my debut album, touring and performing live, breaking the news to my mom that I'd be even farther than before, and lastly, telling Kells about the move and the type of impact it could have on what we were working toward - and our friendship, in general.

"God, I wish I didn't have to make this decision right now," I groaned, overwhelmed.

"Well, maybe you don't," Lauren comforted. "Maybe if you ask, he'll give you a few days to think it over. It's a lot of information to think about. It's not like he expected a casual yes. Like he said - this isn't what we initially signed up for."

I glanced down at my toes; I needed to get them repainted. Maybe a bright color for the upcoming summer days.

I looked back up at Lauren. "What do you wanna do? I'm not making this decision without you."

Lauren smiled sweetly. "Niyk, I'm going wherever you're going, no matter where it is. I'm not going to abandon you just because of a new location."

I grinned at her response. "Let's do it then."


I zipped up my suitcase, sighing as I let it fall from my bed to the carpeted ground. Lauren and I were leaving for California in two days; I was trying my best to pack early that way I wasn't stressed the day of, but it was a little difficult with all the shit I still had left to fold and pack.

Lauren was out with Slim; she was breaking the news to him today. She wasn't sure how he was going to take it, but I was confident they would work it out. Slim permanently lived in Cleveland anyways, not New York.

I, on the other hand, hadn't even mentioned it to Kells. And I was leaving in two days.

I had invited him over; the text I had gotten from him not that long ago reassured me that he was on his way.

Things were going smoothly for us; there was no pressure of a label so whenever we were together, we just had fun, with the occasional make out session. I was enjoying it, and I knew he was too; but I knew deep down something as fresh as us wouldn't survive a sudden shift like this. Regardless, I kept reminding myself that this was a career move - to further my career and make me successful in the music industry. It wasn't anything personal toward him. After all, this is why I had initially came to New York.

There was a knock on the hotel room door. I glanced over at the clock on the wall; 1:35PM. I sighed, standing up from the bed, walking to the door. I opened it slowly, smiling as my eyes made contact with his blue ones.

"Hey," he grinned. He leaned toward me, placing a kiss on my cheek before walking inside. I closed the door behind me and leaned against it as he took in the cleanliness of the room. I had two suitcases in the corner of the room, along with a duffle bag that was packed. I still had two more duffle bags that were left open on the couch. He turned around, looking at me, his eyebrows furrowed together. He wanted to ask what was going on; I could see it on his face.

"We gotta talk," I said as I pushed myself off the wooden door. I made my way over to him, grabbing his hand and leading him to the bed.

"Talk?" He asked a little confused, as he sat down beside me. "Talk about what?"

I bit my lip for a moment, figuring out how to exactly tell him. I could feel his eyes watching me intently; I avoided them for the time being.

"I had a meeting with Diddy the other day," I began. He sat up a bit straighter, realizing maybe this talk wasn't about us, like he perhaps originally thought. "He offered to release my first album..."

Kells grinned, excitement now written all over his face. "Really? Niykee, that's great. Why don't you seem happy about it?"

I sighed. "I have to move to LA, permanently."

His face fell and he grew extremely quiet. That was my cue to continue.

"He wants to drop the idea of an EP altogether if I move across the country. He said he'd release my debut album, promote me for some shows. Lauren was thinking of maybe touring for a bit," I shrugged. "I mean, realistically and professionally, it's a good idea."

He began to nod but didn't say anything. "And I know this just started," I said, motioning to him and then myself. "But we aren't together," I said slowly. "Plus we agreed on this for a reason - we both have our careers and we knew we were going to put that first before a relationship."

He cleared his throat, nodding. It took him a moment before he spoke. "You're right," he said. "When do you leave?"

I sucked my teeth. "Saturday."

He let go of my hand then, retreating it back to his side. "Alright," he muttered hardly. He was quiet for a couple of seconds, digesting everything. "That's amazing news though, Niyk. I am happy for you." He attempted to change his tone by the end of his sentence, but I could easily see his annoyed demeanor.

I sighed. "This isn't a breakup or anything so don't take it like one," I sat closer to him. "Just a lot of space."

"It's not a breakup because we were never really together, although it sure as hell felt like it," he said lowly, turning to me. He studied me a moment before giving me a forced smile. "We're good, Niyk. We're cool."

I smiled weakly. "Good. I don't wanna lose you."

He chuckled. "I ain't going anywhere. Shit, you'll probably be begging to get rid of me before I wanna get rid of you."

I leaned toward him, wrapping my arms around him. I buried my face into his chest, breathing in his familiar scent. He wrapped his arms around me and held me tight. "You're the best," I said into his shirt. "I was worried," I confessed.

"You had no reason to be," he said. He placed a kiss on top of my head as I pulled away from him. "I announced my album date today," he continued. "July 26th - a month from now."

I grinned. "That's great. I'll be sure to buy a few copies," I played with the hole in my jeans, tearing the stray strands of denim off. "I was going to head to the studio, if you wanna come with."

He shook his head. "Na, I'll pass." He stood up from the bed, fixing the hat on his head. "I'll hit you later though, alright?"

I felt my lips turn into a thin line, but reluctantly, I nodded. "Yeah, sure."

He stood there for a moment, as if he really didn't want to leave. As if, maybe he wanted to say something more, but he didn't. Instead, he sighed, and walked out the hotel room door.

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