With just over a month to go, things are shaping up.
I’m super excited and I want, so badly, to share my book with you all, which is why I’m going to release a new chapter from my book every once or twice a week, leading up to the release date 04.30.17.
Today, you’ll be able to read the first two chapters.
Follow my twitter; @grybooks for updates and I’ll let you know when the next one is out.
Also, preorders are available on Barnes & Noble as well as iBooks, so if you haven’t already ordered; please do!
If you like what you’re reading, feel free to post a comment, I would love to connect!
Much love to you all – Gry. ❤
Love Comes Twice – Chapter one.
I used to think finding your one true love was the ultimate goal. The one thing we all strive for and want, to find the one that completes you and makes you feel whole. I had found mine. He was my best friend and, honestly, that’s such a cliché, but he really was.
We met in high school. I fell for him right away, this tall, dark and incredibly handsome guy. He stood there one day, looking at me from across the hall. Do you believe in love at first sight? Well, I do. We’re the living poster for it.
We’ve been solid for years now. Did that thing you’re supposed to do. Bought a place together, got the Volvo, everything but the dog and the children. We haven’t gotten to it yet. It’s not due to lack of trying, trying is the best part, but for some reason we can’t seem to get it right. So for now, we’re living free, happy and in love.
“I’m so hungry,” Sophia said. “Let’s go get something to eat.”
“Yeah, I’m in,” I said, and we started down the street.
This waiting game was driving me crazy, but it was also the best thing ever. Exhilarating, yet boring. All fun, yet full of drama.
“Are you sure they’re not here yet?” I asked her.
“Nope. I have no idea. So, if we miss them, we miss them.”
I moaned and cursed but continued walking.
The “them” we were talking about was a band named Dangerous. I was an avid fan, and I had followed them for years. I had travelled to countless countries to see them, spent more money than I cared to think about, and sacrificed sleep, meals and friends for them.
Was I the typical fangirl? Well, hell yes! But I was not embarrassed about it. Some people thought I should be, but you know what? I didn’t live my life for other people’s opinions.
They played music that made my heart beat fast, my feet stomp the ground and it left me breathless. I loved this band so much and I would not miss a concert in my area for anything. Not anywhere else within reach either. So, here we were, Sophia and I, at it again. We had gotten up at 3 am this morning to catch our flight to Amsterdam. Got to the airport and did the usual travel tweet: – Early birds! On our way to see @Dangerous #Tour #DangerGirls. A fan in Spain had come up with the name DangerGirl. We used it for all the female fans of Dangerous. You can guess what we called all the male ones. Sophia and I travelled to Heathrow by cab while it was still dark. We were going to a show in Amsterdam tonight and then heading to Antwerp tomorrow morning for another show. After that, we’d fly back home to London. The band was in Europe again, and one show just wouldn’t be enough. It never was. As usual, we were early. We wanted to be front row to see them. We usually succeeded, too, and by now we’d gotten greedy. The show wouldn’t be the same standing in the back. Sophia and I always got to the venue early, to wait in line so we could secure that perfect spot before the show. We needed food, but going for coffee or something to eat was always scary. What if someone else snuck up and stole our place? What if our friends in the line didn’t pay attention and didn’t hold our place, like they promised? It was always nerve racking, but also one of my favorite ways to spend a day. I’d made so many friends this way.
By the time we got to the venue this morning, the band tour bus had already arrived. The roadies were loading all the gear inside the building. We were familiar with most of them, of course, having been to so many shows. We would make sure to chat with them as they walked past us. Some of them were in shorts, even in this cold weather, and some were wearing hats and scarves, freezing their asses off. We thought it was funny that they put on so many layers. We were used to the cold as well, just another day for us, but for now, coffee came first.
The café was quiet. Only a couple other people were in there. Sophia went up to order while I walked to the bathroom in the back. One minute to myself. One minute to call home to Tom, and one minute to daydream about Parker. Parker Hill, lead singer of Dangerous. Dangerously hot and sexy! I got my phone and checked Twitter…18 notifications, all regarding the band. I answered a couple of them before I called Tom.
“Hey baby, how are you?” I asked Tom as he picked up.
“Miss you,” he said.
Same as always. I wouldn’t say I was sick of hearing it, but it was getting old.
“Yeah, I miss you too. But I’ll be home tomorrow. And then we can go check out that car you talked about, right?”
“Sure, if we can afford it now after your trip.”
Tom was being an ass again. As much as I loved him I didn’t particularly love his darker moments. He could be a real jerk sometimes, but I kept excusing him because I loved him.
“Tom, don’t be like that. We planned this, saved up money for it, and you promised it would be okay!”
“I know,” he said. “I just can’t seem to get used to you running after these guys.”
“I’m not running after them babe, there’s only you, you know that.”
“Yeah, I guess…”
Tom yawned. I literally heard him through the phone.
“Have you been up all night again? Honey, you have got to quit with the gaming!” I was getting frustrated with him and he could tell. I guess being so right for each other isn’t always a walk in the park. We both lingered on the phone for a bit before we hung up. The love was there, but we were both still annoyed. We would get through it, though. We always did. I snapped a quick selfie and posted it to Instagram, typed in a few words to go With:
– Can’t wait to see @Dangerous tonight. Lining up early for the best seats in the house with my bff @DangerGirlSophia. Then I added a bunch of hashtags about the band. I looked in the mirror. Makeup was spot on! Thank God. It was too early still to have smudged, but constant checking was a necessity. I didn’t want to run into Parker and look tired or off my game. He wouldn’t look twice if I did. Parker, the hottest guy I had ever seen!
He was tall, masterly built, with a wide chest and long legs. His hair was as dark as the night and his eyes as blue as the ocean. They had an ice grey ring around them making him look almost dangerous when he looked at you. He oozed of sex and I wanted him! That was a fact. I was also sure I would never act on it. I was dedicated to Tom. And second, Parker didn’t want me. Not like that, anyway. We weren’t anything more than acquaintances. There was chemistry between us though, undoubtedly. I felt it and I was pretty sure he did, too, but none of us ever acknowledged it. We were friendly towards each other, for sure, but not friends. He would be sweet to me when we meet, charming, even flirtatious sometimes, and I often felt an almost electric current between us. It makes me nervous around him and I constantly make a fool of myself by stuttering stupid things. Parker knows me by name and I always, always get a hug. A big bear hug. Even Tom doesn’t hug me like Parker does. It’s like pleasantly and willingly drowning in someone. And every time it happens, I have butterflies in my stomach for hours and a heavy, lustful tingle inside. He’s my favorite daydream. Parker is a lady’s man, completely at ease with women everywhere gushing over him, even to his face. He’d flirt with anyone and probably bring a lot of girls home, but I’ve yet to see him with a girlfriend and I’m pretty pleased about it. I know I’d be jealous if he settled.
Two knocks on the door tell me Sophia is ready. I exit only to find her standing there with two cups of coffee and a bagel. She is amazing. Knowing her she’d already eaten her bagel, so I grab it and take a bite.
I smile, feeling a little guilty about taking so long, but she just laughs and says, “You have to quit your daydreaming, girl!” I flush and of course she knows she’s right. We both just take one look at each other and start laughing. I love her!
She hands me my coffee and we head for the door, going back to the venue as fast as possible to see if anything has happened; probably not, as it’s usually quiet at this hour, but there’s always that little voice telling you that the band could be outside to meet fans. It has happened before, and I’d die if I missed it. As we round the last corner, I’m too busy eating my bagel to see where I’m going, and I find myself bumping into someone. “Sorry,” I say, mouth full of food, and look up. Oh my God, it’s Parker! His gaze is a hotline to my privates and my knees are suddenly shaking. He smiles as he steadies me, and I know the exact moment he recognizes me. The smile grows wider as he pulls me closer. He tucks me into him and wrap his arms around me.
“Hey Emma,” he mumbles in my ear. “I wasn’t sure you’d be here today. I didn’t see you back there.”
He sidesteps to move us back around the corner, not letting go as he does. We’re out of sight from the venue and I realize we have this man to ourselves for a short moment. My head is spinning as I feel his arm around me and his hard body close to mine. I chew and swallow my food crazy fast. Then gulp in a breath of air and reluctantly pull back to look at him. I’m not quite ready to let him go, but I feel like it would be weird not to. “No, I… we wouldn’t want to miss it, though. I, I mean we, flew here this morning.”
“I’m happy you did, ladies.” His smile is so bright it makes me smile.
He turns his attention to Sophia and nods his head. “Hey babe, how are you?”
Sophia, being her flirty self, throws her hair back and laughs. “Doing great,” she says. “When did you guys get here?”
“Oh, just a few minutes ago. The guys headed inside right away, but I wanted to get some fresh air and a coffee.”
Right about now is when I notice Parker is still holding on to me. Not tight, like before, but his hand is still on my lower back and we’re standing close together. Some girl across the street is whistling at Parker, clearly trying to get his attention. Her eyes are almost popping out of her head as she realizes he’s actually touching me. He looks at her, nods and then turns us around.
I giggle inside. Ha ha, Parker likes me more. My inner fangirl is doing loops around him, skipping and dancing, making faces at the girl. I try my best to contain her. Sophia looks around and says, “Is Jack here too?”
Jack is the band’s drummer and she has got the hots for him. I swear, if I didn’t know her, I would take her for one of those girls who’d lift their skirts to get to any of the band members; but Sophia, she was too good for that. She’d go to great lengths for Jack, but being slutty wasn’t one of them. Parker smiled knowingly at her. “I’ll tell him you asked for him, but I need to go get that coffee.” He finally, and sadly, lets me go and moves away. He touches his hand to his head and bows. “Till tonight, ladies!” And then he walks away.
My eyes follow him down the street. I know better than to follow. Private time is private time. Even for a rock star. So, I just watch him as he walks away and then turn to Sophia. She grabs me by the shoulders and squeals! “Oh my God, did you get The Hug or what!!” I slowly exhale before I start laughing. I can feel the blood rushing through my veins and my heart pounding hard and fast. I take another glance down the street to see if Parker is still there, but he turned a corner already and is gone. It’s safe to flip out! I jump up and down with Sophia as we laugh and talk too fast. That was amazing! Still grinning like mad, I posted a short tweet: – Just got the biggest hug from @ParkerHill. I’m dead! See you tonight. #DangerGirl #PracticallyFainted. I couldn’t help myself. I wanted everyone to know about this.
It’s Emma! I look down at the girl in my arms and realize it’s her. A rush of happiness surges through me and I can’t help it. I pull her closer and hold her tight; happy she’s here, but not quite ready to admit to myself what she actually means to me. I know I like her, but trying to find out how much is too scary. The girl is practically married and I should really not allow myself to fall for someone I can’t have. Wouldn’t that be the story of my life? Her friend Sophia is there too and I try to contain myself. I can’t lose my cool in front of these two. They have been fans for years and mean a great deal to the band. Jack would happily have his way with one of them given the opportunity, but these girls were well behaved and quite a force to be reckoned with. They know fans of ours from all around the world, and although I’d never thought they’d say anything bad about us, we still needed to be careful. We made sure to treat them kindly and with respect, and some of us even tried to make them feel special. For me, it wasn’t just about making them feel welcome as fans. I really liked Emma. I had from the day I laid eyes on her, at her first show. It was a decade ago now, but I still remembered her. Front row, shiny eyes, happy smile. That smile. It would make my spine shiver and my limbs go numb. So, I had to be careful. I can smell her now, the girl in my arms, and it’s this heavenly scent of citrus and summer. She’s making me feel poetic, but I restrain myself. I simply lean in and whisper a “hey” in her ear. She’s warm and real and I’m trying my best to be the famous rock star I’m supposed to be.
We chat for a while before I make my way down the street for some much needed coffee. I want to turn for a second look as I leave them, but appearances are everything in this business and I force myself to keep walking. I turn the first corner I reach just to get out of sight. Keeping my head down, I try to find a place that sells a decent cup of black poison. It’s not hard in this place, there’s a café practically on every corner, so I opt for the first one I find. It doesn’t take more than two seconds for the girl behind the counter to recognize me. She’s polite enough not to say anything, but her eyes are wide and she’s staring. I smile at her, get my cup and start walking. Time to get back to the bus for some shuteye. Sleep is the one thing I never can seem to get enough of, so any chance I get I’m out. It’s still pretty early when I get back and the venue is quiet. Give it a few hours and there will be a line as far as the eye can see. We sold out this venue again, believe it or not. With Amsterdam being one of our favorite places to play, we always make sure to include this city in our tour schedule. I can’t wait for tonight! There are a few people already at the doors. Emma and Sophia have returned and they are first in line. My heart skips a beat as I look at her. She looks up just as I’m about to pass her and her whole face lights up. Shit, I’m in so much trouble with this one. Not knowing what to say and not wanting to make a fuss, I wink at her and keep walking. Given the opportunity I would do so much more than just that, but I still have good enough sense to leave her be. It was years ago that I learned about her relationship with Tom. It was still pretty fresh back then, and she was happy and in love. It sucks for me that they are still together. I would do almost anything to have my chance with her, but the way it is right now, I just head into the bus and find my bunk. If only she knew that my bunk provides me with a perfectly shaded window that allows me to watch her without her knowing it.
Concert days never seem that long waiting in line for our favorite band ever. I mean, we’re there from early morning and stay the entire day even though doors don’t open until 7pm. It never feels that long, being as we are there with people who feel the way we do. I spent my day making new friends among the fans. I kept posting updates on SoMe and I noticed Parker had been on Instagram and liked my selfie. It was sweet, and I held the phone tight to my chest. Sophia winked when I showed her and she hugged me. My hug tweet blew up too and all my fellow DangerGirls from different countries wanted to hear all about it. A couple of people in line had seen it too and made the connection. They came up to talk and I was, once again, in debt to Parker for my making new friends. Okay, so the logic behind that idea might not be the best, but the way I see it, I met these people because of Dangerous. I wouldn’t have gotten to know any of them if it weren’t for the band. So, I owed them. We all chatted about the band and we had a really great day. Time flies when you’re having fun, that is true. So, when I checked the time again it was already 4pm. I was a little surprised we hadn’t seen the rest of the band, but it’ll just be a couple more hours now. Sophia is hungry again. I don’t want to admit it, but so am I.
“Do you want to go get some burgers?” Sophia asks.
“I do, but I also don’t want to leave,” I answer while checking out the bus.
There’s no action there, yet I know Parker is still in there. I wonder, as I do every time, if he’s watching us. My pragmatic self yells, ‘Probably not’, but the dreamer in me says, ‘That would be so cool!’ Sophia elbows me in the ribs and laughs. I look at her as she checks out the bus, and we both burst out laughing. Yes, she’s curious, too.
“Okay, okay – let’s get some food.”
I turn to Ben, who I got to know just this morning.
“We’re going to get some food. Would you mind holding our spots? We’ll bring you some if you want?”
Ben is hardly out of his teens, spots everywhere, but you can clearly see that he is fast becoming one of those guys that girls will drool and swoon over; blue eyes, blonde hair, skinny jeans and leather. Total hottie.
“Sure, I’d love a burger and a Coke.”
“You got it, we’ll hurry back!” I say.
McDonald’s it is, as it is the only place close to serve up food in a fast manner. Fast is all we care about right now. Hurry there, hurry back. Nerves are getting antsy and pulses are on the rise. We order and wait. I watch as they pack up burgers, fries and drinks, and my nuggets. I take my first bite of the traditional chicken nuggets I always order and realize how hungry I am. I giggle inside and take another bite…crunchy and so hot, right out of the fryer, dipped in sweet and sour sauce. I burn my tongue on the next bite and sip down a huge mouthful of Coke. And choke on it as it goes down the wrong pipe. As I cough hard and tear up, I swear inside. God damn, there goes my perfect makeup. Sophia gently rubs my back.
“Are you okay, honey?”
I shake my head trying to catch my breath.
“Fuck, my makeup is going to be all over the place,” I whine as I straighten up and take a deep breath. That makes Sophia flat out burst into laughter and I punch her right in the shoulder. She laughs even more and after a couple more heaves of breath I start laughing, too. It’s infectious. I can’t help myself. I snap a quick shot of the two of us while our faces are still bright red from laughing and, in my case, coughing. It goes straight to Instagram with a note: – Food down the wrong pipe makes for funny faces. I couldn’t breathe and she laughed at me! A smiley completed the post and I put my phone back down. We walk back, trying to balance the drinks while stuffing our faces to get it all down before we make it back to the line. Not that it really matters to anyone but us, but once we get back, we are not leaving the line again. That would be way too risky as we’re getting that much closer to doors. Even dropping off garbage is too much, so I toss mine into the bin outside the venue as I pass by it. Yup, we’re a little weird. Ben stretches his arms out towards me as we approach.
“A gift from the Gods, I’m about to starve to death here,” he laughs.
“Thanks for holding our spots! Anything go down while we were gone?” Sophia quickly replies. “Nah. Well, Parker went inside shaded by a bunch of goons, but nothing else.”
I cringe. I missed him! Kicking myself, I get back in line and swear quietly. Sophia bumps me and gives me the look. I hug her.
“Yes honey, I know you haven’t seen Jack yet, but babe, it’s almost time.”
She hugs me and whispers in my ear, “We need to get to his side of the stage, you know.” Taking a hold of her I smile and nod. Front row, center, slightly to the left. Same as every show. We’re getting antsier as time progresses. Sure, there are laughter and singing going on and we’re getting friendly with loads of people, but everyone knows the second they open those doors, it’s every man for himself. Or woman, that is. Friendly or not, we’re all enemies trying to get that perfect front row spot. We were pros, though. Never once had we seen a show from anywhere else. And to be honest, by now it wouldn’t be the same either. So, that means getting up early, standing in line, waiting for what seems like an eternity. Things are happening now. Security guards are showing up, setting barriers to ease their work as we’re pushing to get closer to the door. Well, Sophia and I already had the perfect starting point, but everyone else is pushing. There’s always that one girl. The one who’ll suck up to you, thinking you’ll let her stand with you. The one that puts one foot forward thinking we won’t notice and then shifts her weight to stand on it, suddenly getting that much closer to the front. Well, we have seen it all before, so Sophia and I link arms and get ready. I check my pockets. My ticket is in my right jeans pocket along with my money. Left pocket is holding some lip gloss and mascara. Essentials. I check my phone before I stash it. I have a few notifications, one from Parker. He wrote something. I scroll down to see. – I’m hungry. I start laughing. Sophia leans in to look and laughs, too.
“Dudes! All they ever do is eat!”
My phone goes in my bra and I can tell Sophia is going through the list in her mind, too. Where is this, where is that? No purse. That will just hold us back when they open and security wants to check everything. We’ve planned ahead. It’s 6:50pm, 10 minutes to go. That means that if you forgot to pee, you’re holding it. It’s too late now to even think about it. Thank God we didn’t drink that much. Been here before, we know the drill. Security are setting up and getting ready, checking their intercoms and ticket scanners. They set up garbage bags and look pretty grim, most of them anyway. One or two are usually amused by the amount of girls at these shows, and some even try to score phone numbers. Of course, the chick behind us bites, in hopes that he might get her in early. Clearly, we know better. He doesn’t call the shots. Only Mac could do that, Tour Manager Mac…the all-seeing, all-knowing Mac that we love so much. He is huge, bear-like, and friendly as can be, but business comes first. And he would never let any chick in early. Period. So, we aren’t that worried. The clock is ticking. With a couple minutes to go, my heart is racing. I know for sure I’ll get a good spot, unless I trip and fall on my face on my way in. But, the excitement is still there in full. Sophia and I grab our tickets and get ready. Eyeing the security guards through the glass windows, I can tell which one is in charge. And that means I can tell the second he gets the go ahead to open. The guy in front of me looks at me and I automatically push back so he can open the doors. The frenzy begins behind me, but we’re already inside and cleared so Sophia and I link hands and start running. Someone is calling out for everyone not to run, but we’re already way past them, down the stairs to the left and through the doors, straight across the floor and up towards the barrier. We’re the first ones there! Center stage, left side is ours again!
Love Comes Twice – Chapter two
I took a deep breath, tried to calm down and turned around to watch the rest of the people coming in. Left and right they were pushing sideways to try and move us, so Sophia and I turned to grab hold of the barriers. Not budging from here anytime soon, we both look at each other and smile. High five, we made it! My pulse is coming down fast. I have the perfect spot and all I have to do now is relax and wait for the show to start. I take my phone out of my bra and open Twitter. – Front row fabulous at Dangerous Amsterdam! CAN’T WAIT! @parkerhill @dangerous @jackD @lucasmayheart @flamegarfield @cadenspring 😀 I grab Sophia to snap a selfie of us at the barrier and post it with the text. It’ll be an hour before the opening band takes the stage. They’ll probably play for about half an hour, then another half hour to wait for the main event. Luckily, we knew there would be some great music while waiting. I slid my arms out of my jacket and swung it over the barrier. Then, I leaned in to rest for a bit. The crowds are filling up behind me, but I don’t care anymore. I’m safe and happy where I stand. I turn around to have a look at this venue. It’s not the first time I’ve been here, this is one of my favorite venues. The room itself is rectangular, with a high ceiling, and holds no more than 1800 people. There’s a balcony that runs from the sides of the stage all the way around the entire room. Beneath it, on the far side from the stage, is a bar that’s lit up by neon lights. The ceiling has a really gorgeous mural with a nature theme to it. There are windows above the balcony, on either side, but they’re covered in a black film to keep the sun out. My favorite feature is the white railings on the balcony. They have vines painted on them in keeping with the mural on the ceiling…truly beautiful. My thoughts go to Tom for a bit. I miss him. Right in the middle of all this madness that I love more than I can say, I miss my man. I’d spent the last six years thinking he’s The One. Thinking we only ever find true love that one time in our lives. I knew it was real but I also knew I had to live every day of my life working on our relationship. This kind of love doesn’t ever come easy, no matter how right you are for each other. Even if he was grumpy before, I know he’ll be different the next time I speak to him; so, I pick up the phone and crouch down, knowing I’ll be able to hear him if I cover my ears around the phone. I dial and it starts ringing. A single ring is all I hear before his voice: “Hey baby! You guys get inside yet?”
Tom knows me well. I always call him once I’m inside.
“Yeah, front row baby!”
I can almost hear him smile.
“Figured,” he says. “So, I’m thinking, do you remember Aaron?”
I’m quiet for a bit, so he keeps talking, “You know, the dude I worked with, the one with the classic cars?”
My brain connected.
“Yeah, the Corvette and the Bel Air guy?”
“Exactly! He just called, asking if I wanted to go cruising with him.”
Tom was getting excited, I could tell. I laughed into the phone.
“But, you don’t really want to, do you?”
He starts laughing.
“Nah, can’t be bothered.”
We both chuckle, and I know he’ll be out the door as soon as I hang up.
“I’m so happy for you, baby, go cruising and have some fun. We’ll talk tomorrow.”
“Yeah, I can’t wait. Have fun baby girl, I love you!”
“I love you more.”
I smile and hang up. Standing back up, Sophia turns her head towards me and winks. “Lovebirds,” she mutters.
I can’t help but agree.
The opening band was good, but not who we were there to see. We were still respectful towards them and applauded at the end of their songs. Truth was, we couldn’t wait for them to finish their few songs and get the hell out of there. They had some really good tunes, for sure, and in a few years I might be there to see them headline, but for now I was just getting impatient. I could tell from the vibe in the room that I wasn’t the only one. There was the occasional scream for Parker, some fans were singing Dangerous’ songs and everyone was cheerful and seemingly happy. Someone in the back obviously had been hitting the bottle pretty hard and was getting drunk, making sure everyone else heard them. I just laughed it off figuring security would get to them soon enough. As the opening act thanked the audience, I saw some of the Dangerous crew members start moving gear around and it immediately brought my pulse back up to a hundred. Being so close to seeing Parker again had my heart pumping and the butterflies in my stomach were back in full. I knew now that it would be no more than 30 minutes. Tom or no Tom, this was for me. My alone time, my freedom. I wouldn’t be without Tom for even a day, but I needed this. It was like coming up for air. Being much more socially outgoing than Tom, I had to have my run every now and then. He knew and understood entirely that we wouldn’t make it without it. He also knew that I would come back home to him, every time. We were making it work. We had been perfecting our relationship for quite a few years and it was getting so great. Sophia was on her phone. She was online a lot, posting mostly on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Her Snapchat was crazy. She did more than 20 pictures a day. I was much more laid back. I had gotten Twitter a few years ago, when I heard Parker was on there. He had been my main reason for signing up, but it had become a gateway to meeting fans of the band all over the world. I had made friends, true friends, people who were hooked on this band, just like me. They were tweeting me today as I would tweet them if they were at a show. Sophia nudged me.
“Check your Twitter, okay?”
“Why?” I asked her.
She sighed. My level of interest in the attention online was nowhere near hers and her frustration in me surfaced.
“Just do it, okay?”
I complied and opened the app. There were a few notifications and I scrolled down to look at them wondering what it was she wanted me to see. I didn’t see it at first, as her head was leaning in, blocking my line of sight, but I heard her laugh.
“Look. Parker tweeted you!”
I checked, only to find exactly what she said. Parker Hill liked my tweet and even replied to it: – Dangerously fabulous! And there was a smiley! I turned to Sophia and we both squealed. This was so awesome! It wasn’t the first time Parker had tweeted me. Occasionally, he would like something or give a short comment to something I posted. I didn’t put too much into it, as he did the same to other fans as well, but I secretly cherished his answers and the attention he gave me. I made a screenshot and sent it to a friend I’d met online, Sam. – Look what Parker just did!! A couple of minutes later my phone buzzed with her answer: – That’s adorable and I hate you! I laughed. She loved Parker as much as I did and we’d been on each other about him from day one. She would tell me all about how hot he was and I would tell her all about what an incredible ass he had, and then we’d laugh. – I know you do, but I love you, too! I wrote back. She sent a smiley in return, almost instantly. The crowd around me was getting more and more excited. The volume was definitely on the rise. I heard them cheering the crew on as they moved up instruments and gear, making sure everything was perfectly set up for their bosses. Sophia was practically shaking by now. It had been a long time since she’d seen her crush and knowing he was right back there, about to come on stage, was making her nervous. I felt for her. Hugging her tight I smiled into her hair. She was such a gorgeous girl I couldn’t for the life of me understand why she was still single. Whoever finally got her to settle down was in for a treat. Her kind, loving, sassy and fun attitude made it easy to charm her way into any heart you could think of. Of course, I was biased, her being my best friend and all, but still, there was no way she’d be off the market for long.
“It’s almost time,” I squealed as I pulled back and looked at her. She flashed her teeth in a huge smile and we laughed. Someone turned the lights down and we jumped! Now! Oh my God, they are coming! Every single person in the audience started screaming and threw their hands in the air. Lights started flashing from the stage and a drumbeat loud as an earthquake made my body tremble. Sophia screamed as her eyes found Jack. Her smile was so wide I couldn’t help but join her in her glee. The drums started a familiar beat and the rest of the band entered the stage. Parker was last, slowly sneaking in from the side of the stage, walking in behind the massive drum kit so he’d be middle stage before anyone saw him. I spotted him the second he set foot on the stage, of course, grabbing my immediate attention. He came up front, right in front of us. Scanning the audience he looked straight at me and then took a bow before everyone.
“Hello, good people of Amsterdam! Are you ready for a rocking show?”
He yelled into his microphone. The crowd roared in return. Yes, they were certainly ready! The band entered into their opening song and there wasn’t a single person in the room that didn’t sing along. “Higher” was their biggest hit and everyone knew it. I sang with every breath in me, taking in every move Parker made, every line he sang, enjoying every second of it. My eyes didn’t leave him for anything other than checking out Sophia and her attempts to flirt with Jack. Jack though, was pretty busy up there, hitting every beat with perfect timing, but I could tell he, too, was scanning the audience to see who was out there. I was already beside myself with glee, with Parker having found me right away. We were so going to enjoy this! They worked their way through each song, Parker getting increasingly flirty as the show progressed. He was well known for his stage persona and his ability to connect with an audience. Flame was a Guitar God! The way his fingers moved up and down the fretboard was incredible. He was so fast! He never tried to charm the crowd like Parker, but he had charisma. He’d be mostly quiet off stage, but up there he came alive and you could almost feel his personality let loose in the sound coming out of the strings of his guitars. Lucas, the bass player, took a stance at the opposite side of the stage. I had, to this day, never seen him leave a show alone. There would be a girl on each arm and a couple more following, and he’d wear a huge grin complete with a cigarette butt between his lips. Such a rocker. Tucked in behind Flame, Caden, the keyboardist, was the crowd pleaser every band should have. He was easy to get in touch with on stage. He’d wink and smile and even wave to people. Coming out after a show, he’d always be very approachable. His mouth was wicked and dirty and he would never shut up. He’d made me laugh more times than I could count. They were all great guys and awesome musicians.
An hour or so later it was already getting close to that time, only one or two more songs before it would all be over. I could easily have been here for hours. It was so perfect and I had the best time. The music was loud, my ears were getting hit pretty hard, and I could literally feel the drums and bass in my chest. Exactly the way it should be. The guys were sweaty, but I swear, it only made them look better. I, for one, didn’t mind at all that Parker’s t-shirt was stuck to his body like cling film, black as always, with his short sleeves rolled up even more showing off his perfect guns. God Lord, those arms were perfect! He wore black, torn at the knees, skinny jeans, so tight on him that they left little to nothing to your imagination. I wasn’t complaining. The guy was mouthwateringly hot and I was darn close to having to wipe my mouth from drooling all over the place. Yes, I wanted this man. Ending their song, they all came up to the front.
“Thank you so much for spending this time with us tonight!” Parker yelled.
The crowd screamed, realizing it was almost over.
“We want more, we want more, we want more!”
The band members bowed and thanked everyone.
“We’re gonna do one more song,” Parker said, and the crowd went nuts, arms in the air, girls waving. They were screaming for Flame to throw them a guitar pick, for a drumstick from Jack, or whatever else they could get their hands on…anything so they could have bragging rights for later.
“You know, Flame threw that pick right at me.” they would say. Or “I swear, Jack blew kisses my way.” We knew better. The guys were single, yes, but they would never pick up any of those skanky bitches who were offering up their bodies like candy. I was a little disgusted by them, silently begging them to have some manners, and more importantly, some pride. My thoughts being elsewhere, I didn’t realize Parker had come out to the very edge of the stage. Sophia pushed into me, making me snap out of it and look up. Parker’s hand was in the air between us, stretched out towards me as the band eased into one of their most beautiful songs. My heart sped from zero to 100 in no time and I reached for him. “Just because it hurts, doesn’t mean it’s not worth it” Parker sang as he grabbed my hand. He was on his knee, leaning over the edge to reach me, and his eyes were shining. Little beads of sweat covered his forehead, but as his thumb caressed my hand I couldn’t care less. It’s him and me now. I can’t remember there ever being anyone else in the room. He looks at me, and I am there, right smack in the middle of Heaven.
We said the prayer we always do before a show and the guys headed out. I held back for a little bit before making my way to the stage, gotta make that spectacular entrance they’ve all been waiting for. I’m excited to play this venue, it has great acoustics and the city around it is awesome. We have a lot of fans here that have been around for a long time and I don’t want to disappoint them. Walking out, I take my spot hiding behind the drum kit so I can check out the crowd. It’s a full house and they’re cheering like crazy. Yes! Sold out shows are the best to play, and we’ve been vibing up backstage getting ready to play one kick-ass gig tonight. I’m slightly more on edge than usual. Knowing Emma is in the house makes me wanna play to impress. I spot her just as I round the drums and head out to center stage. She’s right there! Right where I always find her, up front with her friend Sophia. Walking straight up to the edge I look at her. I raise my arms and the crowd cheers. I can see her face light up and it makes me so happy. “Hello, good people of Amsterdam! Are you ready for a rocking show?” I yell into the microphone as the band kick starts our first song. Hell, I’m gonna enjoy the shit out of this!
It’s not until I step off the stage later that night that the thought crosses my mind. What if she leaves? What if I can’t make it outside in time and she’s gone before I get there? I desperately need a shower, but I so badly want to see her. Bumping into Jack as we head back stage he grins.
“That was badass, Parker!”
“Yeah, what a freaking geared up crowd!” I reply.
“Wanna go grab some beer?” he continues.
I nod his direction.
“Sure, but I need a shower and I also want to go outside.”
“Yeah, after tonight we probably all should,” he says. “We need to say thanks to some fans. They’ve been incredible tonight.”
He is right. I completely agree with him and grab a set of clean clothes on my way to the shower. I run the water as cold as I can stand it to help cool down my overheated body, rushing through to get clean and dressed and outside as soon as I can. As I walk out of there, Mac is in the dressing room.
“I’m heading out. Is there a huge crowd?” I ask him.
“About 20, 30 people, that’s all. I guess they all needed to catch the last train home.” he grins.
I give him thumbs up and walk past him.
“You give me a call if you need me!”
He’s always looking out for my safety. I’m already out the door, but I yell “Yeah” and run down the hall. Here I am, hurrying like a giddy kid who just got a shitload of candy, off to see a girl who is practically married. I must have gone crazy, but I can’t wait. I pause at the exit to catch my breath and find my cool before I open the door to a bunch of fans. I check my jacket for a Sharpie and head out. I am immediately rushed by five or six girls who are literally attaching themselves to me. I look around for Emma and find her standing with Sophia behind everyone else, quietly waiting. She looks up and smiles as she sees me. I wink at her again. A little flirting isn’t going to hurt anyone. As I’m signing stuff and taking pictures with fans, I slowly work my way towards her. She’s not in my view all the time, but I see enough of her to know that she’s waiting. Relaxing my body, I let out a breath. Had I really been that worried that she’d not be there? Jeez man, get a grip!
He’s here! Oh, my, God! I know my face is plastered with a goofy smile and I feel like everyone can see why. If there was one guy who could trick me into bed with him, well, it would be Parker. I’d follow blindly and deal with the consequences later. Sorry Tom, but that’s the honest truth. Sophia and I decide to go with our usual philosophy…wait for them to come to us. The last thing we want is to be needy, like the girls who rushed the door as he opened it. It was embarrassing, really, that they would offer themselves up like that. Have some freaking pride ladies! I was in no hurry to go anywhere and took my phone out of my bra. I set it to silent earlier and I wanted to change it back and also make sure the battery was good, get it ready for a picture with Parker. Looking at it, I notice I have 17 missed calls from my mom. What the actual fuck? She never calls me 17 times in a row. One is all she usually bothers with as she knows I always return her calls. 17 missed calls? Something is definitely up, so I dial up and ring her back. She picks up right away.
“Oh honey,” are the first words out of her mouth.
Her voice is hoarse and she sounds off somehow.
“Hey Mom,” is what I always say.
She’s quiet for a long while.
What the hell is going on?
“Emma” she breathes into the phone. “I need you to sit down honey.”
“Um, Mom. You’re scaring me. What’s wrong?”
I turn around, suddenly feeling like I need to get away from the crowd.
“Emma, there’s been an accident.”
I frown and bend my head to look down at my shoes.
“Nothing serious, I hope?” I plead.
“Did your washer quit working or something?” I ask her.
What a stupid question, right? I guess it’s just my mind trying to protect me from what’s coming.
“Emma, Tom was in a car accident a couple of hours ago.”
I cringe and hold my breath. Quietly I whisper, “But he’s okay though, right? Mom? Tell me Tom is okay!”
“I can’t sweetheart. By God, I wish I could.”
She lets out a sob and my blood freezes.
My voice is weird. My fingers are getting cold and I’m shaking.
“Mom, what happened to Tom?”
I’m almost yelling now and Sophia comes up to me. She’s worried, I can tell, but she is not my priority right now.
“Mom, I’m not asking you again, where is Tom?”
My voice lets out a strange high-pitched sound as she sobs again.
“Emma, Tom is gone. He died.”
My breathing stops. I really, literally can’t breathe. My chest feels tight, like I can’t get any air into it. It’s gone really dark. I can’t see anything.
“Mom?” is the only thing I can say before everything goes black.
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