Favorite Girl #12
I had no idea what happened when Justin and Kingston went to see Aniston. I hadn’t really expected her to come back with them, but I also hadn’t expected them to not say anything about it. Aria kept asking questions, but Justin and Kingston both gave minimal replies.
“We need to leave in ten minutes. I want to sneak into the Garden before it gets too crazy.” Justin said as he walked into the living room. He had a smile on his face, despite whatever events had gone down with Aniston, and I could tell he was anxious to get going. He hadn’t seen Madelyn in months.
I grabbed Reese’s diaper bag as Kingston wrangled her into her sparkly flats that she loved to wear. She was wearing one of Stella’s tour t-shirts that Stella had special made just for her. Paired with her baby denim jeggings and a pink bandana headband, she was looking exceptionally cute for her first concert.
When we left the building, the mass hysteria outside was the same. I had thought I would eventually grow accustom to this part of the Bieber lifestyle, but it still caught me off guard every time we went somewhere as a family. Luckily, though, we made it into the car and all the way to the Garden without any incidents. The car pulled all the way through into the garage where we were met by no screaming fans or paparazzi.
“We’re going to see Auntie Stella!” Kingston said to Reese as he pulled her out of the car seat. He had a smile on his face now, too. It was infectious to see both of the Bieber boys smiling as they were about to surprise two important women in their lives.
Security made sure the coast was clear before they led us through several hallways and into an empty dressing room to wait. I could hardly contain my excitement. I played with Reese, making her giggle loudly, to make the time go faster.
“Alright, Biebers, let’s go!” A blonde woman said as she opened the door and led us through several more hallways. With Kenny close behind, the woman led us to the end of Stella’s meet and greet line, which had just a few people in it now that they were almost done.
“Oh my god! You’re—“ The teen girl in front of me started to recognize us and was about to ruin the whole surprise.
“Shh.” I laughed. “We’re going to surprise my sister and my mom, but you have to be quiet.”
The girl nodded and turned back around as she was called into the room where Stella was. We waited just a minute before the woman at the door told us we could go in.
“Go get Aunt Stellie.” My dad said as he lifted Reese out of my arms and set her down just outside of the doors. Not afraid of anything, Reese ran through the doors and we heard Stella scream.
“So how many people really pay thousands of dollars to meet my twin? Two?” I teased as I walked in, the rest of the family right behind me. Stella already had Reese on her hip, looking like she was in heaven to finally see her niece after a long few months.
“Hi!” She smiled, looking like she was going to cry, as she gave me a one-handed hug to me, then to everyone else. “What are you guys doing here?!”
“We weren’t about to miss this big night!” My dad smiled.
As if on cue, my mom walked in, talking as she looked at her phone.
“Stel, you need to get dressed.” She said as she practically walked right into my dad. “Oh my god!” She gasped as soon as she looked up and saw who she had just bumped into. She quickly wrapped her arms around him and looked like she was ready to cry.
“All of you are here!” She grinned as she let go of my dad and gave us all hugs before she stole Reese out of Stella’s arms.
“Mimi!” Reese grinned.
“Hi precious little girl. Mimi missed you!”
Watching Stella perform was probably the most unreal experience I had ever had as part of the Bieber family. Watching the girl I looked at as a sister perform in front of thousands of screaming fans, as they all sang along to every word, made shivers run down my spine as I realized how big of a deal Stella had become.
“Stellie!” Reese smiled and pointed from her spot on Madelyn’s lap. Justin was down behind the scenes tonight in case Stella needed help with anything, but Madelyn wasn’t about to let anyone take Reese from her. She was soaking up the time with her granddaughter before she was torn away from us for another week.
All night, even after the show when we were back at the apartment, I waited for someone to bring up Aniston’s absence— but they didn’t. The entire family was enjoying being reunited, despite the noticeable absence of the oldest daughter. Looking at the family who had taken me in and treated me like one of their own, I couldn’t imagine not wanting to be around them. What had made Aniston run all the way across the country without looking back?
The next morning, since Stella had the day off, we hung out in the city. My mom was happier than I had seen her in a long time. I didn’t know whether it was being reunited with Reese or my dad that made her so happy, but the smile still hadn’t faded even after we got back from brunch.
"Are you excited for Thursday?" My mom asked as she sat down beside me. Somehow we were the only ones awake in the apartment, since Kenzie had fallen asleep while trying to get Reese to nap, and my dad had passed out while watching a football game. Stella and Asher had gone out to have some time alone, whatever that meant in a city where there was always people around you. But somehow, I had lucked out in getting a minute alone with my mom.
"I’m kind of nervous. Do you think I’m making the right decision? Stanford is going to be a good choice right? I’m not going to look back in ten years and regret this?” I admitted out loud for the first time.
A part of me still really wanted to give up all of the football scholarships and just go to UCLA. I wanted to be with Reese.
"Honey, I think you will be successful at whatever school you choose. You’ve just got to believe in yourself.” She smiled. “Reese will still love you. Your dad and I have made sure that you haven’t lost out on a single opportunity because of her, so you better believe we will make sure you get to see her all the time. We’ll bring her down with us for games. Heck any time you want to see her, you text and I’ll bring her.”
"I wish you were going to be there on Thursday.” I sighed. I missed having my mom around. I loved my dad too, but sometimes I just needed my mom to fix everything. “I wish you’d just come home already."
"Two more weeks and then I’ll be home." She was still smiling but I could see in her eyes that the months away from home had begun to wear on her. She had given up so much to let Stella have this opportunity. It was something I wouldn’t have understood had I not been a father. But I was confident that I loved Reese so much, I would give up anything to make her happy.