Two hearts...one slowly aching, while the other is falling apart.
“I’m back,” a girl’s voice rose from the hallway as Josey looked up from her screen, smiling widely as her petite fiery-haired best friend walked into the room carrying two Starbuck’s frappichinos in her hands.
“Thanks,” Josey said as Ayla handed one to her and asked while her eyes scanned the computer screen with curiosity, “How’s the article going?”
“Alright, I guess. Who would’ve thought that it’d be so hard to edit out all the swear words included in half of my interview with The Enemy UK? I think I gave up about an hour ago,” Josey laughed as she quickly saved her progress. Stretching her stiff arms above her head she yawned and emitted, “I’ve been on a such a horrible streak lately. James totally chewed me out the other day.”
“What’d you do?” Ayla asked in an almost knowingly tone as Josey responded, “I accidentally left my office to ask Lily a question about the front cover this month. You’d think he’d understand but no. Instead, he gave me a whole other assignment to keep me ‘busy’.”
Snickering, Ayla rolled her eyes and said, “Well, at least he doesn’t give you the lame assignments I get. Come on! Paris Hilton album reviews? It’s a joke, I tell you!”
“Wait, I thought he upgraded you to full interviews now?” Josey inquired consciously. Ayla slurped the last of her mocha frappichino before explaining modestly, “If you consider an interview with Kid Rock an upgrade.”
Josey winced and replied, “Ouch.”
Ayla nodded but smiled before optimistically reminding, “But at least we get to do Warped together!”
Josey laughed enthusiastically before asking, “Who are we interviewing again?”
“Kevin Lyman,” Ayla answered while flipping quickly through the notes on her desk.
“Why? What’s going on at warped this year?” Josey asked curiously.
Ayla’s jaw dropped as she stood up immediately squealing, “You mean you don’t’ know?”
Biting her lip in confusion, Josey shook her head, her face pleading for further explanation.
“Kevin Lyman has posed that Warped Tour have a huge one time benefit concert here in Chicago for breast cancer awareness. And recently, he’s managed to book over fifty bands to play at the benefit. The greatest thing about it is that all of the money goes straight to cancer research!” Ayla exclaimed, her body jumping from the excitement of being able to cover a story on such a rare event in music history. At least for Warped anyway.
“That’s awesome! So, when do we do the interview?” Josey asked impulsively, standing up while her wide eyes pulsed with adrenaline.
“Next Saturday!” Ayla answered giddily, “And the best part is that if we do a good job on this interview, James said we’d be in for the big benefit concert itself!”
Nothing could’ve wiped the grin off Josey’s face as she let her new assignment sink in. Instantly, her fingers started tapping away at the keyboard as she plotted out her next move in this high speed marathon that was slowing consuming her life.
Bill and his band mates stood on the crowded boardwalk in sunny Santa Cruz as they waited for Brianna to finish getting ready to go out for lunch. This had become a regular occasion for the Academy boys. William stared at the ground, silently brushing a hand through his shaggy hair as Brianna walked out the bus finally.
She walked over, her glazed over look being lightly emphasized by a red lipped grin. Bill sighed indirectly at himself as he walked over, hugging an arm around her waist as he greeted, “Hey hun.”
“Hey,” she giggled as the two walked towards Sisky, Butcher, Chizzy, and Mike Carden.
“Sorry, it took forever. I just couldn’t decide on an outfit,” she mumbled indiscreetly as she entwined his hand into hers.
“I thought this was supposed to be a boy’s day to play,” Sisky murmured irritably as the duo approached them. Bill glared an age old stare that spoke ‘Don’t start this again.’
But by this time, Brianna was already shooting him a death glare that made even the cruelest of beasts look tamed. Bill groaned as the boys piled into a minivan, leaving an open seat for Brianna next to Sisky.
However, Brianna was not the least bit willing to cooperate as she stood outside the car with a disgusted look on her face. William sighed and silently pleaded her with a ‘just this once’ face that made her sigh before getting in the vehicle.
“Thanks, babe,” William grinned a relieved smile as he leaned over the seat and kissed her on the cheek while she stared out the window distantly, the expression on her face hard to read.
“So, what’s the agenda for tonight?” Chizzy asked, breaking the silence that’d become rather evident since the vehicle started to move. Mike turned to the back and answered from the front, “Well, according to this list,” while pointing to the schedule in his hand, “We go eat now, do a few interviews here in town, play the show tonight, then head straight home.”
“Yes,” William cooed softly, “I can’t wait to get home and see everyone again.”
“Me too,” the boys hummed in unison as the vehicle pulled into a shabby old parking lot. Stepping out of the vehicle, William swallowed a breath of smoggy air before they proceeded into the restaurant.
Inside, the group scanned over the rows of tables as a waiter seated them by the window. The boys piled into the corner booth, leaving Brianna closest to the aisle. Bill watched her as the rest of the guys chatted amongst themselves. Her expression was solid as her eyes flickered at him every so often . Bill decided to ignore this before chipping into the conversation.
It wasn’t until Bri spoke up that Bill shared eye contact with her.
“Is it cool if I go out with the girls tonight?” she asked curiously, raising an eyebrow subjectively. Bill seemed relatively surprised as he answered, “Yeah, of course it’s cool. Why would I have a problem with that?”
“I don’t know,” she snapped, “I’m just telling you. Okay?”
“Okay…” Bill trailed off before scooting towards her and slipping his hand onto the hem of her skirt. Goosebumps formed on his skin as a skin tingling depression overwhelmed his body. Like touching her brought on this immense aura of discomfort…like she didn’t want to be there right now.
“I’ll be right back,” she said, standing up and smoothing out her blouse as she kissed Bill quickly on the cheek before heading towards the lady‘s room.
Adam T. Siska watched as the girl disappeared behind the golden doors before commenting, “So, when I was tracking bass lines in the studio the other day, you’ll never guess what prissy little miss decided to interrupt me.”
William shifted his eyes towards the guys guiltily before he stared down at the table, eavesdropping the conversation as Chizzy asked, “What’d she do?”
Rolling his eyes, Sisky replied, “She chewed me out for leaving bear bottles in her bunk from the other night.”
“Who’s idea was it to bring her on tour again anyway? Remember last time?” Chizzy retorted with disgust as the boys remembered the brief details of the last time Brianna had gone on tour with the guys, where she had allegedly gotten drunk with a roadie and ended up trying to strangle Tony.
Raising his palm, William wiped his forehead tiredly, feeling partially to blame for this disaster of a situation. He couldn’t help but want his girlfriend on tour, but it was so hard to watch her constantly battling with his best friends.
She just…acts different around other people than she does around me, he thought worriedly to himself. He swore he’d aged after how much stress he’d undergone in the duration of this tour.
“Back,” Brianna greeted as she sat back down by his side. He smiled exhaustedly as he stared out the far window, wondering where he could find a place to step out of his life for a while. Just a little while.
It was a little past 5:30 as Josey left work, joined by Ayla as the two walked down the street to the nearby parking lot. Josey sighed as Ayla rambled on about how much she’d wish the office would find a better editor. Smiling sympathetically, she asked, “Hey, do you want to head down to Nick’s with me and have a few drinks while the night is still young?”
“Awww Jose, I would but I can already hear Sadie’s stomach growling from here,” she explained with a laugh, “Don’t hurt yourself, dear. Be safe. Night.”
Josey watched as Ayla paced to her vehicle and unlocked it while zipping up her windbreaker. She sighed as she turned to walk towards her own vehicle, searching blindly for her keys in her pocket.
With a quick glance as the nearly starless sky lit by city lights, she opened her car door and inched herself in before driving to the bar for the third time this week, alone and determined to find excitement.