Finally, some quiet, I thought as I leaned against the back wall of my bunk. We'd just pulled up outside the venue for our next show; a huge arena somewhere in Texas. Our driver had wandered off to find some food and to have a smoke. The guys had gone to talk to Brian about something trivial, they said. Or maybe they'd gone to find a Starbucks. Either way, the bus was luxuriously empty and peaceful. I planned to spend as long as I could by myself. It wasn't that I didn't like spending time with the guys. They were my best friends in the world and I couldn't imagine life without them. But living in close quarters for months on end sometimes got a bit strained. I was incredibly thankful for any time that I had to be alone.
I sighed contendedly, sprawled out on my bed. I hadn't slept well the night before but I couldn't fall asleep yet. Being alone seemed to sharpen my senses and let me take in my surroundings in minute detail. Light filtered in through gaps in my bunk curtains, making the musty space brighter. It seemed like a dusty and warm day outside. I idly watched bits of dust floating around in the beams of light, a feeling of serenity coming over me. It seemed like I never got time to just relax in peace on tour. Without the dull roar of the bus engine or the babble of the guys talking, I could hear the low noises outside the bus. Occasionally I could hear an engine humming or somebody's light footsteps as they rushed by. There was the sound of traffic in the distance but I tried to tune it out. Although people seemed to be hurrying about, I just wanted to have a while to relax.
After a few minutes, my thoughts turned to our current tour. We'd been on the road for 3 months solid now. I quickly ran through the dates in my head. There were only a few more days of this one to go, but then we were going straight into another tour. We didn't even have our usual week off to head home for a while. The thought of being away from home for a lot longer made me frown slightly. My thoughts soon drifted onto other things, and in the process, I fell into an easy, dreamless sleep.
Sooner than I would've liked, I woke to the sounds of people getting on the bus. I could hear the heavy thumps of Bob's feet, Franks light steps, almost skips, and Gerard's steady walk coming closer. They were talking in loud voices which gave me a headache. "MIKES! C'MON!" Gerard yelled nearby, hurting my ears slightly.
"G'way!" I mumbled, groaning and burrying my head in my pillow. The footfalls stopped and for a moment there was glorious dead silence.
"MIKEY! GET UP!" Frank shrieked, shattering the silence and quite possibly my eardrums. Somebody yanked open the curtains, allowing blinding white light to get through, stinging my eyes. I turned away from the light and rolled sideways. Suddenly my bed had gone from underneath me and hit the floor with a loud thump. My limbs hit the hard floor painfully, and the angle my kneck was at wasn't natural.
I could hear cries of "It's alive!" and "Hurrah, Sleeping Beauty is awake!". I blinked my eyes open and looked up at my abusers. Above me, Bob was sitting on his bunk, looking down at me and grinning. Annoyingly, he seemed somewhat amused by my injuries. Frank was leaning against my bed and looked bored. Gerard was already starting to leave the bunk area. "Good. You're awake. We're getting ready in 10", he said and I looked at him blankly. He gave me a small smirk before turning around and walking into the tiny kitchen.
Mumbling incoherantly, I dragged myself up, straightening my glasses and rubbing my eyes. I gave Bob and Frank an irritated look before following Gerard into the kitchen in search of coffee. "You'll be glad to know, we have our support act sorted for the next tour" he told me as he filled the coffee machine. I sat down at the tiny dining table and nodded absentmindedly. His words sunk in a moment later. "Wait, who?" I asked stupidly. "And where's Ray?" I added, realising that he was nowhere in sight. Gerard leant against the sink with the window behind him. I tried to remember how to blink while the light blinded me. "Vampire Crush" he replied, smiling slightly. "They're a sorta new band from Boston. And Ray's talking to Brian about taking a break". He frowned slightly as he finished his sentence and looked off into space. His words woke me up slightly and I nodded again. It was no secret that Ray and his girlfriend were having some issues. He tried not to let it show but we all saw through his act. As much as I wanted a break, I knew that if we got one, it would be for all of the wrong reasons. Unconciously, I rested my head on my hands and tried to reactivate my numb brain. I felt a slight breeze as Gerard walked past me, back towards the bunks.
A few moments later I stumbled up and towards to coffee machine. Frank, Gee and Bob were talking in low voices at the other end of the bus, but I ignored them. Coffee was one of the few things that I admitted I was addicted too. Even the smell of it made me a bit more alert as I poured some. After a few sips of the scorching hot liquid, I felt a lot better. The caffeine managed to shake all of the cobwebs from my mind, and I thought back over my conversation with Gerard. I'd never heard of Vampire Crush, and wondered what they'd be like. In the past, we'd had all knds of bands support us, from metal to indie. Some of them had become quite well known since we met them. Others had fallen into the group of bands that were never heard of again.
Vampire Crush ,I thought. It seemed like an odd name, but people to called their bands all kinds of things. Before I could wonder too much about the style of music they might play, I spotted Gerard's laptop on the counter. Ignoring the fact that he'd probably kill me for touching his precious iMac, I quickly opened a browser and googled vampire crush.
"I'm In Love With A Vampire . . . . Lexi Ford . . . Twilight . . . hmmm", I muttered as my eyes flitted over all of them. There was a lot to sift through and not many of the results looked music-related. I silently cursed Google's amazing ability to have such diverse results. Sure, it was useful when you were looking for obscure comics that you had when you were a kid. But when every extra second you spent searching for something endangered your life - well. It was just a tad annoying.
Finally, I found a site that looked promising. "The Official Vampire Crush Site", I read out loud and eagerly clicked on the link. A home page quickly loaded, and the bright contrasting colours hurt my eyes. A bright red heading screamed "VAMPIRE CRUSH!". Running down one side of the page was a bright blue blog, with tour dates scrawled opposite it in dark green writing. Ocasionally an apparently random picture, or what appearing to be drawings, broke up the solid block of writing. Overlapping red and black bats made up the background, giving it a gothic edge. Their site looked incredibly packed and messy compared to our simple and smooth website. It looked like a piece of punk art. Or maybe it was just designed by a maniac.
Still having no idea about what kind of music they played, I quickly scrolled down, looking for some band photos to give me a clue. A bright yellow link labelled "Photographs. Well heck yes" was near the bottom of the page. I clicked on it, considering what types of a band they would be while the images loaded.
Whatever I had been subconsciously expecting, it was not what then appeared on the screen.
A bright picture of 4 people came up, and I couldn't help but gape. The picture was, in one word, amazing. Black, white and red were the main colours which made me think that they were definitely rockstars. A girl about my age, with smoothly styled black hair, stood at the front of the group. She was leaning forwards slightly, her face directly in the centre of the photograph. Shiny blue eyes that were surrounded by black makeup looked straight at me. Her face was a delicate oval, with a small nose, and subtle cheekbones. She was pale, almost deathly so, with chalky pale pink lips that were in a slight smile. Streaks of blue weaved through her hair and set her apart from the rest. Her clothes were dark red, white and black, and girly, with a tank top, short skirt and fishnet tights. To call her pretty was definitely an understatement. Gee's smile when he mentioned Vampire Crush suddenly made sense. He must have done some research of his own. I grimaced slightly when I relised that he thought she was beautiful too. It wasn't that I was jealous, but relationships with Gerard Way seemed to always end badly for everyone.
Another moment of flabbergasted wonder passed before I could tear my eyes away from her and look at the others. Two guys stood on either side of her and seemed to be her entourage. Another girl was almost concealed to the right of them. For a couple of seconds I was confused as to whether they were even in the same band. There was no denying that the 3 in the centre had very little in common. While the girl was obviously slightly punky, and possibly a little bit gothic, the two guys wore totally different styles.
The one on her left had dark, messed-up hair, which fell down slightly past his ears. Warm brown eyes, framed in thick black lashes, looked at me happily. A serious expression was on his face, though his lips were pulled back on one side, giving him a jokingly menacing smile. He stood a few inches taller than the girl and was slightly more muscular. But they had a lot of similar features and were equally pale. I guess they're related, I thought and turned my eyes to his clothes. Not unlike the girl, he wore mainly black, white and red. Instead of a plain black shirt, he wore a black blazer over a red shirt. His clothing seemed to be more formal, with straight black jeans.
Remembering that I wasn't even supposed to be on Gee's laptop, I turned to look at the guy on the other side of the girl. He was rather skinny and tall; his face was quite a few inches higher than the others. His stance wasn't joking like the other two. Instead he stood straight. Dark brown hair flopped across his forehead, and a kind smile adorned his lips. Light blue eyes watched me warily. He was leaning away from the camera, and his stiff posture reminded me of Bob's atttude towards cameras. He donned a long sleeved shirt with thick red and black stripes, and loose black jeans. He seemed more like a businessman than the usual crackhead in a rock band. Strange, I thought as my eyes wandered towards the final person in the picture.
She stood behind the messy-haired guy, almost hidden behind him. Her skin was pale, but not as much as the guy beside her. The pink tint in her cheeks made her appearance less severe than the rest of them. Deep red lips smiled at me innocently. But her dark eyes seemed to be amused and secretive. Her face was soft, her features rounded. Thick chestnut brown waved down past her shoulders and the ends seemed to be tinted purple. A side fringe slipped across her face, just above her eyes. The only makeup that she seemed to have was some subtle eyeliner. She was pretty, but in a simple way. I noted that she was dressed more casually than the rest of them. Her outfit consisted of black skinny jeans and a white t-shirt and seemed almost out of place in the picture.
I had to admit, they looked like a pretty cool band. I still had no idea what their music was like, though. I clicked back onto the homepage as if my life depended on it. It was actually quite probable that I would be seriously injured if Gerard found me now. My eyes flitted around the the page in search for a link to some music. I clicked on a few links in the hope of finding some, but no such luck. In the process, I learnt a bit about each of the band members. The vampiric girl was called Lexi and played rythm guitar and sang. I'd suspected as much; she seemed like their frontwoman in the picture. The dude she was related was named Sean and played lead guitar. It seemed to be in keeping with his strict-yet-fun posture in the picture. The tall guy, called Matt, played drums, which didn't surprise me. The drummers that I knew seemed never really seemed to slouch. And the brown-haired girl was named Caitlin, and played bass. I thought about why she'd want to play the bass anyway. I only learnt how to play it to join my brother's band. It seemed like a simple instrument to play and was mostly in the background. But it was important none the less, filling out songs and adding an extra dimension. This Caitlin didn't seem like the kind of girl to blend into the background, though.
I was on the verge on looking up some of their songs on youtube when I heard somebody behind me. I hit the power switch and hoped that the Gerard wouldn't notice the addictions to the history. Slamming the laptop shut, I quickly threw it underneath the table as quietly as possible, cringing when it hit the tiles with a crack. I really didn't want to have to owe Gerard a laptop. Feigning noncholance, I sipped my warm coffee quietly as Gerard walked in. "Hey bro!", he said, glancing round the kitchen. Looking for something. "You seen my laptop?", he asked and gave me a knowing look. I shrugged, trying to keep calm. "I think I saw it on the couch", I replied. Gerard shrugged slightly as well and said "Doesn't matter. We gotta go get ready for the show!". The excitement was clear in his voice. I tried not to frown at the thought that maybe he wasn't just excited about the concert. He smiled at me and started walking out the door. Relieved at not having been caught, I put down my cup and followed him. It was pretty clear that I'd be too busy for the next couple of hours to talk to Gee about anything.