Bohemian Rhapsody continued to play through the speakers. Braelyn sang knowing at least the regulars would join in. By the time the song was a quarter of the way through, the whole bar was singing along. Just as planned. They were distracted enough not to notice Tom beckon the boys through a curtain at the back of the stage to a hall that would lead to the kitchen. The song was over. “Have a great night everyone! Be safe! Gemma says last call is in ten. If you need a cab, see Addi! Y’all are great!”
The crowd was a little disgruntled that the band had seemed to disappear, but they went on their way, settling tabs, ordering last drinks, calling cabs, and leaving. Within an hour the bar was empty. Braelyn had every intention of helping Addi and Gemma close, wiping off tables and such, but Addi had other ideas.
“Please play it. Please!!” She pleaded to the exhausted Braelyn.
After a few minutes she’d had enough. She fetched her guitar from the stage and perched herself on the bar. “Fine, but only because I love you.”
You’re eyes are like a suicide
You’re tongue is still a rusty knife
Cutting me open from the inside
Still watching all of it fall apart
Like train wrecks in slow motion
Cutting me, cutting me right back down
You’re so beautiful.
I always knew that you would be the one to leave.
Well I’ve started trying again
I’ve picked myself up I’ve been trying new trends
And it’s alright
You know I’ll get by.
You, you’re so good at getting me down
You could shatter my heart without making a sound
And it’s alright
You know I’ll be fine.
But I’ve been dead three days and you’re already sleeping with my friends.
It’s a white lie lullaby
Didn’t mean to make you cry
Only wanted to be you girl
And I’ll be up all night
Wondering how to make it right
Oh, it’s just a white lie lullaby
Baby, come on.
She continued playing her song, Gemma and Addi singing along at first, wiggling as they cleaned up. But about halfway through they stopped. Braelyn didn’t noticed. Even though she put up a fight when anyone asked her to play this particular song, she loved it. She was lost in the music. She finished the song. She heard clapping, but Addi and Gemma weren’t the sources of it. She turned toward the stage where the noise was coming from.
“You’re awesome!” Frank exclaimed. Once he had her attention, he quit whatever task he was supposed to be doing and bounded off the stage toward her. Braelyn braced herself for an impending hug she could sense.
“Thanks.” Her reply was muffled by Frank’s enthusiastic embrace.
“Frank. Leave her alone and come help pack,” Mikey said sternly. Only after Frank released Braelyn and walked back toward the stage, his head hanging, did Mikey say, “That really was spectacular.”
“Did you write that?” Ray asked.
Braelyn had pushed herself off the bar, setting her guitar down and wandered across the now empty floor towards the stage. When Ray asked his question, Braelyn looked to Addi and Gemma, they both shrugged. She hesitated a little bit more, then answered, “Ya. I guess I did.”
“It sounds amazing,” Gerard added.
Braelyn was blushing furiously now, looking down to the floor. “Thanks.”
Addi was at the register during this exchange. She typed in a sequence and the machine beeped. “K, Brae, I’m done. Time to go home? Yes yes?”
Braelyn smiled at her roommate. “Yes please. I’m exhausted.” To the people on the stage she said, “It was really fantastic to meet you!”
“You, too, sugar,” Gerard said, waving.
The others waved from the stage except Frank who again crushed her in a hug. “Bye Braelyn!”
Addi waved bye as well.
“Before you go, Addi, tips,” Marissa said coming from the break room. She handed Addi an envelope. And then she handed one to Braelyn, “And for you, ma’am, you were a big hit tonight.”
Braelyn smiled wide. “Thanks. We’ll see you at one tomorrow.”
“Alright girls. Safe walk home” She hugged each of them. They hollered goodbye at Gemma, who was now in the back, and left.
They walked the block and a half home, Braelyn’s guitar slung over her back, Addi already chain smoking. They reached their door. Addi stubbed out her cigarette as Braelyn keyed open the door. Super tired, Braelyn went straight to her room, fell in bed in her clothes and was asleep almost immediately.
The next morning, Braelyn and Addi strolled into the Rover around one, wearing sundresses since they had come from Mass. They found their usual group at their usual table. They sat in their usual seats and received the usual heckling from the others about their church going. They ordered their usual brunch and had their usual Sunday Fun Day Mimosas. They had their usual conversations and watched their usual sports on the bar television. As usual, Marissa and Tom refused to let them pay and as usual, those that didn’t work there offered to pick up dropped shifts for free to pay them back. They planned to go hang out at Addi and Braelyn’s apartment complex’s pool, as usual.
But then, as they were standing to leave at the usual time, the usual turned unusual.
Into the near empty bar walked Gerard and Mikey Way. Tom greeted them warmly at the door. He pointed over to the table that Braelyn and the others were getting ready to vacate.
“Hey Braelyn.” Mikey greeted her as they came over. “We wanted to know if we could talk to you about something.”
“Umm, sure.” She was shocked that they were there again. She looked at her friends who were now standing there awkwardly, “Y’all go ahead, I’ll catch up soon.”
Addi gave her that piercing ‘are you sure about this’ look. Braelyn nodded. They left waving goodbye.
“So what can I do for you?” She asked sitting back at the table. Celeste, who was working brunch as usual came with water for everyone.
“So,” Gerard started. “We were wondering what you were doing this summer.”
Braelyn sat silent for a second. Thoughts racing. Was this about to turn into a poorly written fan fiction? What the hell. “Um working. Performing. Why?”
“Well we’re doing this tour. It’s smaller than what we normally do. Little clubs, like we used to do. It’s our post Black Parade pre whatever the hell we’re doing next tour. We’ve been looking for an opening act,” Mikey explained.
“We loved what you did last night. We thought, maybe, you’d be interested?” Gerard finished.
In her head, Braelyn thought, ‘Yup, bad fan fiction.’
“We know this is really sudden, but this is kind of how these things work. Plus we leave Dallas tomorrow, so we needed to ask as soon as possible,” Gerard reassured her.
“Besides, it’ll be fun. Frank’s really excited. He was super upset when we wouldn’t let him come today.”
That made Braelyn laugh. Then she again sat silently. She could go. There was nothing really keeping her here. Isn’t that what she wanted anyway? There was a crash from the direction of the kitchen. Braelyn’s head snapped in that direction. She saw Tom and Marissa in the doorway, holding onto each other. When they saw her looking at them, they nodded enthusiastically. She asked with a smile, “You already asked Tom?”
“We mentioned it to him last night after you left. He was enthusiastic about the idea,” Mikey said.
Braelyn looked over at them again. With another grin she said, “That’d be phenomenal. I’d love to go.”
“I just have to ask my roommate. We split rent and everything…I’m not sure if she can swing it on her own.”
“If she can’t, let us know. We can help with that,” Mikey responded, “We really want you to be able to come with us.”
Her grin got wider. “Sounds unbelievable.”
“So more business-y things now,” Mikey said, more seriously. “Do you have a manager or an agent?”
“Ya. Tom’s my manager.”
“Ok. So we’ll have our manager get in contact with him for all the paper work and stuff. We’re going to leave in five weeks and we’ll be gone for two months. You’ll probably just stay on our bus. We’ve got an extra bunk. That’ll be easiest.”
Braelyn was still grinning and nodding. Tour. Fantastic. This was going to be epic. She couldn’t wait to tell Addi.
“Well that’s all we have,” Gerard said. He turned to the window where there was a banging. Everyone turned to look. “Oh Lord.”
It was Frank. He was waving trying to get their attention, an embarrassed Bob and an apologetic Ray standing next to him. Through the glass, he shouted, “What did she say?”
Braelyn just nodded. Frank jumped into the air then raced into the Rover. She had stood, again anticipating a bone crushing hug.
“This is going to be soooooooo awesome!” Frank yelled colliding with her.
Braelyn giggled as he continued to gush on about how much fun it was going to be. She was getting excited. She had to tell Addi. Like right now. “So I have to go find my friend. I have to tell her.”
The rest of the boys were smiling at her.
A brilliant idea popped into her head. “Y’all should come too!”
“Ya!” Frank was all for it. The rest of them nodded. So after a quick congratulation/goodbye hug to Marissa and Tom, they left for her apartment.
The pool was just beyond her door. She was greeted with shouts as she opened the gate. She yelled, “SUNDAY FUN DAY!”
Someone handed her a beer. She stood on a chair. “I have an announcement!” Everyone quieted. “First I would like to welcome Frank, Gerard, Mikey, Bob and Ray to our Sunday Fun Day! Second. I will be leaving you this summer.” Her audience groaned. “Before you freak, listen to my news.” She said the last part with a whine trying to quiet them. Eventually they did. She continued. “I will be leaving you because. Are you ready for this? Because I am going on tour. To like sing and stuff. With them.” She pointed to the band standing below her.
“NO WAY!” Shrieked Addi, launching herself out of the pool and coming to hug her, pool water and all. Braelyn had jumped down off the chair so she could fully appreciate Addi’s excitement.
“You’ve got to be fucking me.” That was Bret.
“Real life.” Braelyn said breaking away from Addi. She went around hugging everyone. They all spent the rest of the afternoon lounging, drinking, and making toasts. To Braelyn, to the band, to Sunday Fun Day, to bartenders at the Rover, to alcohol, to Tom and Marissa. It was a good time.
Later that evening, Gerard, Frank, Bob, Mikey, and Ray took Braelyn and Addi out to dinner. Back at the girls’ apartment Frankie was being insistent about making a video for the internet announcing Braelyn’s spot on the upcoming tour. Finally the others conceded. Addi filmed them on an old video camera that had been given to them by Tom and Marissa.
“Ok,” Addi fiddled with the buttons. “Go.”
The five boys were sitting on Braelyn’s couch. Frank spoke, “Hey there crazy kids!”
“We’re in Dallas,” Mikey said.
“And we have some really really cool news,” Ray added.
“As you know,” Gerard continued, “We’ll be embarking on a summer tour in a month or so. And we are pleased to announce our opening act. Her name is-“
“I wanna do it!” Frank cut in. “She likes me best.”
Braelyn was silently laughing off camera as she watched the slap fight that ensued. “Now that that’s over,” Gerard said straightening. “Our opening act is-“
Frank slapped him upside the head and announced victoriously, “Braelyn Porter!”
“We found her in a bar playing last night. She’s great,” Bob said.
“Come on camera, sugar,” Gerard beckoned to her.
When she wouldn’t, Frank stood up and said, “I’ll take care of this.”
Braelyn did go on camera that evening. After a short chase around the apartment, Frank caught her and carried her back to the couch where he sat and held her on his lap. “Internet, say hi to Braelyn. Braelyn, say hi to the internet.”
By this point she was giggling, no longer trying to get away, “Hello internet!”
“Well this has been wonderful,” Gerard said to the camera, “But we have to go.”
“We love you internet!” Frank shouted. The others waved. Addi shut off the camera.
Ray took it and Braelyn’s computer and began uploading it. “Do you have a website we can link this too?”
“No,” Braelyn replied. “I haven’t gotten around to that yet.”
Ray nodded and pulled out his cell phone. Within a few minutes he had a promise from some guy named Greg that a basic version BraelynPorterMusic.com would be ready by the next morning as long as someone sent him her tracks and that the full version would be up by Wednesday. Braelyn directed Ray to her music files and her youtube account that had a couple of videos on it. He forwarded it to Greg.
“All set. We’ll post this tomorrow as soon as your site’s done.”
“We really do have to go, though,” Mikey said, looking at his watch. “We have to leave early tomorrow.”
“Alright,” Braelyn said. “It was so great to meet y’all. And in case I haven’t expressed my thanks enough, thank you so much.”
They all said goodbye, hugs were given. Mikey had to pry Frank off of Braelyn and carry him out of the apartment.
A/N: Here, have some more =) Review!!!