Was it the concert from hell or the best thing that could have happened?
Evelyn was in her room hurriedly changing from her work clothes into a pair of black combat trousers and her favourite 100 Suns t-shirt (she'd always had a soft spot for the acoustic songs). As she started to apply her black eye-liner she heard a car horn from outside her house.
"One minute," she called although it was obvious the driver wouldn't hear her. Evelyn always managed to be late for everything; she had hoped that tonight would be the exception to the rule but unfortunately not.
Once her eye make-up was complete and her red lipstick had been applied she ran out to greet the person in the car.
"Hey Paige," she said as she climbed in the passenger seat. "Sorry I'm a little late, work over ran."
"Typical, the day you need to get out on time," sighed the girl named Paige rolling her eyes.
Evelyn owned a beauty parlour and, although everything had a wonderful habit of running smoothly, one of the girls had had to leave half way through the day due to illness meaning that there were fewer employees than normal and more delays, causing everyone to have to work later than usual.
Evelyn herself was a slender black-haired woman in her 20's, though she and Paige often acted younger; especially when certain bands were involved in conversation.
Paige had gorgeous wavy red hair that Evelyn loved to style for her. Today it hung loosely around her face. She was wearing a shirt bearing the statement 'Yes, this is a cult'. Both girls had red on white Echelon wrist bands and Triad necklaces.
"At least we're on our way now!" squealed Evelyn. "It's actually sinking in that we are going to stand at a 30 Seconds to Mars concert! We are gonna be so close to the guys, Paige!"
"I know Eve, but can I concentrate on getting us there safely first, before I allow the excitement to kick in."
"Yeah, right, sorry."
The rest of the journey to the O2 arena was spent listening to This Is War, blasting it far too loudly from the car's stereo.
"OMJ, we're actually here," sighed Evelyn. The excitement felt like a swarm of butterflies attacking the inside of her stomach. Both girls had already been to two 30 Seconds to Mars concerts but they were sitting at both.
Once inside the arena the girls raided the merch stand. Both bought new tour t-shirts plus Paige got a Mars hoodie and Evelyn got a pair of fingerless gloves.
After spending almost all the money they had on them the girls headed towards the stage area.
It was huge. When you were actually standing in it, it seemed so much bigger than looking down on it from the seated area above.
"I can't believe we are here. We're really gonna do this," said Paige looking around in awe.
"You bet we are," replied Evelyn grabbing her best mates hand and dragging her closer to the stage. "Can you believe how close we are?" she added shocked at how few people there were there, but, as was inevitable, more people filtered in all through the supporting act.
"Oh God, oh God. Only 15 minutes to go and there are gonna be three gorgeous guys on stage in front of us playing the best music on this planet," Evelyn pointed out.
"Don't you mean in this universe Eve?" Paige replied.
Evelyn simply nodded in response.
When the lights dimmed for the second time every one screamed, Evelyn and Paige definitely included. Silhouettes appeared on a black curtain as the girls' hero's entered the stage. The quiet introduction to Escape was playing and then Jared joined in: "Time to escape, the clutches of a name. No this is not a game; it's just a new beginning. I don't believe in fate, but the bottom line, it's time to pay, you know you've got it coming..."
Then the lights around the stage flashed as the whole arena screamed "THIS IS WAR". The curtain dropped as the introduction to the next song started: Night of the Hunter.
The girls sung along with every word, jumping up and down in time to the music. It was the most electrifying feeling that they had experienced; the feeling of connection with the other fans and the band, and the pure adrenaline rushing through them as they watched Jared and Tomo jumping around on the stage and Shannon putting his all into his drumming.
As the song finished everyone screamed again.
"Wow," said Jared, staring out at the audience. "There's lots of you here tonight guys, thank you so much for that! So, how you all doing England?" he asked the Echelon and received a loud scream in response. "It's great to be back in the country I got to say, so in celebration I think we'll play one of our singles of the last album. You heard of a little tune called From Yesterday?" He received his answer in the form of more screaming and cheering.
By the end of the acoustic set Evelyn and Paige could barely sing along any more due to their hoarse throats, but on the plus side they had managed to reach the very front of the crowd. When the audience finally released Jared and he was back on stage he introduced the next song.
"Now, we're going to try and play something we haven't played for a few years, it's called The Mission. If you know it sing along, at my age I start losing my memory and might need your help with the lyrics," Jared joked, and began to sing The Mission.
Part way into the song someone knocked into Evelyn forcing her against the barrier. A blinding pain spread all the way up the left side of her torso, she was sure if the music hadn't been so loud there would have been an audible crack. The pain took over her whole body as first her hearing then her vision slipped away from her. The last thing she could remember was Paige's arms trying to support her weight.
"Stop playing," Jared commanded the rest of the band. As their instruments silenced an air of curiosity fell across the arena. "Ok, everybody back up!" Jared said to the crowd. "Move the f**k back!" he shouted when no one seemed to respond. Slightly scared by his sudden outburst the fans moved away.
Jared was off the stage and over the barrier in almost no time at all.
"What happened?" he asked Paige when he was kneeling next to her by an unconscious Evelyn. "I saw her collapse, do you know what happened?"
"I was pushed into her," piped up one of the fans from nearby. "I think she may have been winded by the barrier. I'm so sorry, I really am."
"Don't worry," said Jared comfortingly. "Someone call an ambulance." The same fan grabbed her mobile phone from her pocket.
"What's her name?" Jared asked.
"Evelyn," Paige finally managed to say.
"Hey, Evelyn," said Jared softly bending down to be nearer her face. "Can you hear me?"
When he got no reply he placed his hand against Evelyn's cheek to see if she would respond to his touch, but there was still nothing. He placed his fingers on her neck to check for a pulse and bent his head down to listen for any sign of her breathing.
"She's alright," said Jared looking up at Paige. Then he stood and went back to the stage to grab his microphone. "Hey everyone, I'm so sorry but the show's gonna have to come to an end here, one of your sisters has been injured and we can't move her without risking more damage. I'm sorry again and we will try to rearrange something for all you guys to make up for it. Thanks for turning up and making this the biggest audience we have played for at a headlining show."
He replaced his microphone and went back to Paige and Evelyn.
"Bro, what's up?" asked Shannon, as he and Tomo joined Jared, who held up one finger signalling them to wait before they would receive an answer.
"What's your name?" he asked Paige.
"Paige," she replied.
"Hey Paige," said Jared shaking her hand. "Are you Evelyn's friend?"
"Yeah, we always go to concerts together but this was the first time we've ever stood," Paige started to get emotional.
"Hey, you don't need to worry, alright?" he replied, placing a comforting arm around her shoulders. He then directed his next comment to Paige, Shan and Tomo: "I think she's probably broken something and passed out from the pain, it's the only explanation I can think of. That's why it's best not to move her."
"Do you think she'll be alright?" asked Paige quietly.
"She's gonna be fine, there's an ambulance on the way," said Jared, still holding Paige in one arm. Then he directed his attention back to his band mates, "Do you mind if we hang around, I really want to make sure she's ok?"
"Sure," said Shannon.
"Yeah," added Tomo. "Paige would probably be better if we were there, too."
"Thanks," said Paige looking at Tomo. "Does that mean you guys are coming down to the hospital?"
"If you don't mind us being there," replied Jared.
"'Course not," Paige said, managing a rather pathetic smile.
Before too long the ambulance had arrived. The paramedics went into the arena and checked Evelyn over.
"Looks like she's broken her ribs," one of them informed Paige and the band once she was in the ambulance. "We'll give her and x-ray when we get to the hospital just to check. She'll be fine," they added noticing the worried look on Paige's face, then climbing back into the ambulance.
"Did you drive here?" Jared asked Paige.
"Yeah, my car"s in the car park behind the arena."
When they reached the car Jared noticed Paige's hand shaking.
"You're really worried about her aren't you?"
"Yeah, she's like my sister, we're so close," Paige murmured.
"She'll be fine," Jared promised. "Do you want me to drive?"
"Please," Paige nodded, handing Jared the keys to her Ford.
The journey past in silence everyone lost in their own thoughts about what had happened to Evelyn. They got to the hospital in no time and found Evelyn's room. She had been bandaged up but was asleep in the bed.
"No offence guys but I don't think you should be in here when she wakes up," said Paige, looking at Jared, Shannon and Tomo. "It'd probably give her a heart attack!"
"No offence taken," Jared grinned. "We'll wait outside, but could you let us know when we can come back? I want to make sure she's ok."
"Sure," smiled Paige.
She felt better now that she knew Evelyn was taken care of. Paige wondered to herself how her best friend would react when she found out that there was only a door between her and her favourite band. One thing was certain; the machine monitoring her heart rate would be on over load. She sat daydreaming about it for a few minutes before she heard Evelyn moving beside her.
"Paige?" she asked hoarsely. "What happened?" She winced as she tried to move and the same pain from the concert shot up her side.
"You broke your ribs," Paige informed her.
"What about the concert? Did you see the end? How much did I miss?"
"Eve, calm down," smiled Paige knowing what she had to say. "Jared stopped the show when he saw you pass out. It's going to be rearranged."
"Really? Did he say soon?" Eve smiled past the pain.
"So he actually stopped the show? For me?"
"Yeah, he wants to make sure you're ok, so, he's kinda waiting just the other side of that door," said Paige gesturing towards the door the band had left through.
"What?" said Evelyn freezing. As Paige had predicted the machine next to the bed began beeping frantically.
"Seriously Eve, calm down or the nurses will think there's something really wrong with you."
"But... Jared Leto," was all Evelyn managed to say.
"And Shannon and Tomo," said Paige slowly waiting for the reaction.
"Screaming probably isn't a good idea, is it?"
"No it really isn't," smiled Paige.
She watched the monitor as the pattern of the line on the screen became more regular and Evelyn's breathing slowed.
"So, do you mind if they come in?" asked Paige tentatively.
"No, of course not!"
Paige walked over to the door and opened it to find the guys waiting for her.
"Is she awake?" asked Tomo as Jared re-pocketed his Blackberry.
"Yeah, she wants to see you," said Paige leading them towards Evelyn's bed.
"Hey," said Evelyn, her face lighting up as she saw the guys walk towards her. "Jared, Paige told me what you did, thank you so much."
"Don't mention it," Jared smiled in response, causing the beeping from Evelyn's monitor to speed up briefly. "I couldn't just leave you to get crushed, could I?"
"I'm still grateful. And I just want to say, the concert was so amazing until I got hurt. You guys are the best."
They all smiled this time.
"We do try," Shannon grinned.
"Did Paige tell you we are gonna sort out another date in London?" Jared added.
"Yeah, she did."
"Great! Now, can I ask you a very serious question without you over-reacting?" said Jared, his baby blues burning deep into Evelyn's emeralds. She couldn't help but nod. "If I give you my number do you promise to keep it safe and give it to no-one else?"
Evelyn's heart skipped a beat while her best friend forgot how to breathe.
"Of course," sighed Evelyn.
"I promise," said Evelyn, her voice stronger and more convincing than the last time.
"Good, I'll give it to you so you can text me or call me when you're 100% better so I know when to arrange a show," Jared explained.
Evelyn was speechless again as she handed Jared her phone.
"I hope to hear from you soon," said Jared after having typed in his number and returning her phone.
Suppressing the giggle that threatened to surface after hearing the word 'soon' from Jared's lips Evelyn said: "Yeah, you will."
"Well, now we know you're all good, I guess we should head off," Jared said looking at his band.
"Yeah," agreed Shannon. "See you, girls."
After all goodbyes had been said the guys left, leaving behind a speechless Evelyn and Paige.