12| Hungover

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I don't hold my liquor well and I knew that. I didn't drink very often because Layla had drunk enough for the both of us. As I rub my eyes a headache knocks and throbs against my skull. A pain that I can't shake off as my senses heighten in the worst way.

Alcohol made some forget for the night but what happened when morning broke? You feel even shitter then before.

I find Kyla wrapped around me like a snake, her arms latched to the thin fabric of my shirt like she's holding on for dear life. I can smell the alcohol on my breath that I hadn't bothered to wash last night. I was too busy soaking myself in self-pity to even think about brushing my teeth.

I didn't have the right to feel sorry for myself, I made my mind up the moment I decided to cross the state boundary lines.

Now I realize it was an expensive fate.

I reach for the remote and turn down the volume making it barely audible. My thumb travels to the skip button where I surf channels, not looking for anything in particular. My eyes lazily glaze over the over saturated colors of the screen as I watch a compilation of commercials.

I find the local news and keep it on for a few seconds, knowing that at some rate I needed to stay informed. I needed to know what was going on around me, to make sure I can plan for any obstacle that could potentially be an issue.

"More news on the Styles kidnapping is still underway," my eyes dilate when my eyes trace over a family photo of Layla, Kyla, and I. My heart speeds up and raises my blood pressure that pumps tirelessly through my weakened body. I turn the volume up enough so that I can hear the report.

"A mother's worst nightmare became a reality for Calabasas mother Layla Styles now Layla Rodes after what some would call a messy divorce and custody battle," the young female newscaster begins as pictures of Layla scatter and clutter the screen.

Old family photos of Layla and I smiling and laughing were among the college of photos that were shown. It hurt to see our memories surfacing for everyone to see.

"After Rodes alleged domestic abuse done at the hands of her now ex-husband Harry Styles, Rodes was granted full custody of their one and a half-year-old daughter Kyla May Styles. When delivery of the little girl was failed and Styles was unreachable police were involved in the search for Styles and Kyla," Pictures of Kyla flashed across the screen along with photos of me. Panic pumps through my veins and causes more anxiety and chaos than ever before.

"I just hope wherever she is she's okay," a mic is pushed into Layla's direction as she talks with a newscaster in front of our house. Her hair is pulled up in a ponytail out of her face as she faces the camera, "Harry please just come home. There's no point in running, bring our baby back home. She needs me, she needs stability, she needs her family," Layla directs in the camera as if she is liking straight at me. Her ocean blue eyes glassing over as she spoke to whoever was watching.

"Police and investigators are hard at work to track down the father and daughter who have seemed to have completely dropped off the grid. However, Police are confident they will bring the girl home safe and sound, as more information surfaces we will make sure to keep you updated and, if you have any information we urge you to call the number at the bottom of the screen," the young news anchor in a red blazer said before looking over to her co-anchor and moving on.

I switch the volume back to a low setting before slouching down in the bed again and holding Kyla's little body close to me. She steadily moves up and down due to her soft breathing pattern while I smell hair that tickles my nose from moving her up onto my chest.

At least I had a peace of mind that the police hadn't found my whereabouts. As far as they knew I had fallen off the grid which was a point I wanted to be at. My only dilemma was if I should move on or not, did I stay in a little ghost town where potentially everyone could find me out or did I try to seek to hide in another town?

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