Gerard retruns to his bus full of confused emotions and thoughts.
“Fuck” he muttered disgustedly. How incredibly stupid am I, he wondered. He’d just met the woman. Briefly he toyed with the idea that the attraction he had to her was purely physical. There was no denying she was a knock out. Absently he rubbed his forehead hoping to ease the pain as he continued to think about her. No, there was definitely something about her that drew him to her that went far beyond physical beauty or simple lust. It honestly felt at times that she could tune into his thoughts and emotions and that scared him.
“Fuck” he muttered again rolling over on his side. He didn’t need this kind of complication in his life. He was still trying to put together the shattered pieces and setting himself up for heartbreak again was out of the question. He promised himself that tomorrow when they saw each other he would slowly distance himself from her. He had to do this. His life was still in pieces and if he ever hoped to find himself again he had to do it alone. Never again would he allow someone else to control his happiness. And then what he hated most happened. He allowed himself to remember his ex-wife. He allowed his thoughts to travel back to that summer. The summer he had truly believed had been the best of his life. How horribly wrong he’d been. It was a mistake that had cost him so must anguish.
Summer 2007 first tour stop.
He’d just exited the cool confines of the bus stepping into the California sunshine and heat of the late afternoon. All around people buzzed about, but it was the sound of the music blaring from the smaller stage that caught his attention. Gerard had wanted to catch the performances of the bands who played there but until now had been trapped on the bus. Now however he had some time to himself.
Moving away from the bus he pulled out his pack of cigarettes and stopped to light one. Shit, it felt good to be on the road again. It wasn’t that he hadn’t loved the last tour but there was something so exciting about being a part of a large tour. Maybe it was because it reminded him of the great times he’d had when the group had done Warped. Those were some fuckin’ kickass memories. He’d felt on top of the world back then and he wanted that feeling back. For a moment that small voice in the back of his mind reminded him that those great times he was remembering so fondly had been fueled so often by alcohol and drugs but he ignored that voice. He focused on that fact that the mess his life had become due to his last relationship was finally clearing. God, what a mistake that whole fiasco had been. He shook his head to dispel those memories. He knew he’d almost made the biggest mistake of his life and while he wanted to remember that fact he didn’t want to remember anything else from that time.
“Hey man” a voice called out to Gerard as he stood inhaling smoke.
Gerard recognized the man, a crewmember from the Saosin camp, and nodded a return greeting. He felt bad he’d missed that group’s performance today but made a mental note to catch them tomorrow. Slowly he began to move towards the stage where MSI was performing. He took one final puff then tossed the cigarette so he could push his way through the backstage crowed for a better spot to see the show.
The group had just finished a song and Jimmy was bantering back and forth with some of the audience members. Gerard smiled as he watched slightly impatient for the music to start again. And then it did, and then he saw her…
Gerard rolled over in his bunk and tried to blot out the memories that were filling his brain but he couldn’t. Being unable to do this disgusted him. He was disgusted by his weakness. He pressed his eyes shut tightly and clinched his fists. Would he ever be able to stop dwelling on this part of his past?
Anna sat at the table in her RV with her eyes on the laptop screen. However the words before her eyes did not register in her brain. Like Gerard she too was now lost in a memory….
The sun has been too bright that day so she’d donned a floppy hat and dark glasses. While wearing long sleeves had probably looked odd to most it kept her fair skin from burning. From her spot a shot distance away she’d seen him exit the bus and stop to light a cigarette. Nervously she’d once again gone over in her head what she’d say to him. She had convinced herself that now was finally the moment they should meet.
When he’d started to move towards the stage she’d followed making sure to keep enough distance between them so he wouldn’t notice she was following. Suddenly she turned slightly and glared. Claire stopped and fell back several steps. She’d nodded her approval of the action the turned in time to see him being swallowed up by the crowd standing backstage. Anna told herself it was a sign that now was not the time to speak to him. She had assured herself that this was nothing to be alarmed about. Time was on her side and for the next several months that was what they would have – time. Still she couldn’t stop herself from moving foreword to get another glimpse of him.
“Excuse me” A voice stopped her. “This is a restricted area. Do you have a pass?” The large, burly man asked.
Anna smiled and lowered her sunglasses just enough to look straight into his eyes. “Of course.” She said in a smooth low tone.
The man blinked once then smiled. Although Anna had showed him no pass he smiled and moved on.
She pushed her glasses back up her nose and continued on making a mental note to have Claire secure her a pass. It would just be so much easier. Slowly she moved among the crowd straining her eyes to find him and then she spotted him from behind. His black hair and jean jacket came briefly into view but several others moved and her sight was blocked. She sighed and took several steps to the left trying to see him. After a few moments the woman who was blocking her view moved and once more she saw him only this time she could see his face. His eyes were glued to something and it seemed as if he’d stopped breathing. What had caught his attention so much that he was reacting this way? Just then a cloud covered the sun and she took the opportunity to slip off her dark glasses. For a brief moment time seemed to stand still when he glanced in her direction but then he quickly turned his head back to what had held his attention. Slowly Anna moved a stop forward so that she could follow his gaze.
A moment later as the cloud passed the sun Anna wiped her eyes before returning the sunglasses to their former spot. She let the crowed around her swell forward as she fell back. As she turned she spotted Claire watching her……….
“Why have we stopped?” Anna asked bringing herself out of the memories.
Claire sighed having seen Anna swipe at her eyes before asking the question. “We are at a rest stop. I thought we should discuss our plans.”
Anna regained her composure. “I thought our itinerary was already set.”
“Anna what is wrong?” Claire moved to take a set across from her.
“Nothing is wrong.” Anna answered sitting up then closing her laptop. “I was just looking over a chapter.”
Claire did not believe her. “And that made you cry?”
It was hard for Anna not to let anger lace her words. “I was not crying. I was simply lost in thought.”
“Thoughts of him?”
Anna sighed, “He is lost in memories. He is lost in the memory of that day he saw her on stage.”
Claire was shocked. “You are in tune with his thoughts?”
Anna simply nodded.
“But how can that be? You have not….” He words were cut off by Anna’s quick response.
“No I have not. Yet at times I can see his thoughts in my mind. I can feel the emotion that is associated with those thoughts.”
Claire sat back in awe. “That is so unexpected.” She thought a moment then asked, “But the tears…are they for his emotion or your own?”
Anna looked down at the table and whispered, “They were for both.”
Sleep descended on Gerard and as it did the memories moved from awake thoughts to sleep dreams.
Her black hair shone in the sun as she danced on the stage. He suddenly had remembered the last time he’d seen her. It has been years ago and he wondered if she’d even remember. His group had just been staring out then. God, that seemed like such a long time ago. In the dream he watched her dive off the stage and fear had clutched at his heart. Soon however she was lifted back onto the stage all the while laughing.
Now the drone of the engines incorporated into the dream and the sound became the roar of the crowd. It filled his ears and the sight of her filled all of his senses. He was impatient for the show to end. He wanted to speak to her again.
Then suddenly the dream grew dark. The sunshine was blotted from the sky and he felt a chill run down his spine. His head turned and he gazed into icy blue eyes.
In his sleep Gerard murmured and his head shook. This wasn’t right, this hadn’t happened. When he looked back at the stage it was empty. He took a step forward and saw that the crowd was gone too. A feeling of sadness came over him and he murmured again this time a bit louder.
“Gee, are you okay?”
Gerard’s eyes shot open. “Mikey?”
“Yeah.” His brother whispered. “I was on my way to my bunk and I heard you. We’re you having a nightmare?”
“Uh yeah.” Gerard said thinking it was the easiest answer.
“Wanna talk about it?” Mikey asked, his voice full of concern.
Gerard most definitely didn’t want to tell his brother he’d been dreaming about that day. “No, I can’t really remember it anyway.” He closed his eyes, “Night, Bro.” He said hoping Mikey would take the hint and move along.
Mikey sighed. “Okay. Night Gee.” Before standing he gave Gerard’s arm a gentle squeeze of love.
Gerard waited until Mikey closed the curtain then he opened his eyes again. What the hell was that dream all about? He knew he’d been thinking about his ex-wife before he fell asleep so that probably explained why she was in the dream. But what was Anna doing in that dream? And why was everything gone after he’d looked into her eyes then turned away?