When Katherine Smith met Dave Mustaine, she had no idea her life was going to be turned upsi-down. Caught in the turmoil of a rock and roll band, Katherine finds herself caught between two men and...
Drip, drop, drip, drop. I stare outside and watch raindrops dribble down the window of the bar. Even though it's warm and full of life inside, I feel cold and chilled as if I am standing outside in the rain. I'm oblivious to the people cracking jokes around me and to the idle chit chat. My thoughts are far away from here. Even though I sit on a stool by the window of the bar, my mind is a million miles away.
My hand tightens on the mug of beer on the table in front of me. I pay no attention as my knuckles turn white. I just want to squeeze something. Somehow or the other, I have to get rid of the chaos of emotions inside me. The sleeve of my shirt shifts slightly, revealing long red marks. Cutting doesn't help me even though I've tried it. Pills don't make me feel any better. Nothing can fill the empty hole in my heart. Nothing will ever replace the person who filled my life prior to the accident.
It's October 1986, almost a month after Cliff Burton died in a horrible mishap. To me, Cliff hadn't just been a friend or a lover. He had meant everything to me. Without him, I was just a little girl trying to find her way in a cold, cruel world. I couldn't even remember life before I had met Cliff. It was as if my mind had erased all memories of what had happened before I met him. Even now, my mind tries to refuse the fact that he is dead. I keep expecting him to walk through the door of the bar at any moment with a big grin on his face. Unfortunately, he would never come. Cliff is gone. Forever.
Tears roll to the corners of my eyes and I try to force them back. It does no good though and they end up leaking down my face and dripping into my mug. I pay no attention to them and let my hair fall in front of my face so nobody in the bar can see that I am crying.
For the last few years of my life, I have been with Cliff almost constantly. It's a very long story, but I ended up traveling with Cliff as he journeyed across the country with Metallica. The other members of Metallica had no problem with me following them around. They just treated me like another groupie. During our travels, Cliff became much more than a best friend to me. I had fallen deeply and utterly in love with him. Cliff didn't know this though and I did my best to keep it a secret from him.
Some things you just can't keep secret for long though. Only six months ago, I had finally admitted my feelings to Cliff in a moment of strong emotions. To my surprise, Cliff had actually returned my affections. Since that wonderful day, we became a couple. My life felt complete and I didn't think there was any happier girl in the world than myself.
Of course, life's a bitch and things don't stay wonderful. Shit happens. Whether I liked it or not, I ended up pregnant. The idea of a pregnancy scared the hell out of me to be quite honest. Cliff managed to calm me down and said that he was thrilled about it and that there was no need for me to worry. We would raise the baby together. He wasn't going to leave me.
I relaxed a little bit, but not completely. The lifestyle Metallica led was not easy, especially for a pregnant girl like myself. I grew more and more paranoid and started thinking that Cliff was cheating on me. One day, I confronted him about this. Cliff denied having anything to do with another girl, but I didn't believe him. After the next Metallica performance, I refused to ride in the bus with Cliff and the rest of Metallica. Instead, I rode in a car with one of James' friends. The next thing I knew, Cliff was dead.
The bus Metallica had been riding in had flipped over, Cliff had fallen out of the window, and then he had been crushed. You have no idea how guilty and horrible I felt after that tragic September day. Cliff was gone and the last thing I had said to him was that I didn't believe him! How could I have been so incredibly stupid? Why had I been such a paranoid bitch?
With Cliff gone, my whole life had fallen apart. The guys from Metallica offered to let me continue traveling around with their band, but I had declined their offer. Without Cliff, I saw no reason to stick with Metallica. To me, Cliff had been Metallica.
I took a plane back to San Francisco and here I am now at this shady bar on a cold October night. As I think about Cliff, my tears fall faster and start creating a little puddle on my table. Sniffling, I grab a tissue and try to wipe the tears off my cheeks. I'm getting mascara everywhere and I'm positive that I'm a complete mess by now.
I try to get myself to stop crying, but I just can't. There's nothing to be happy about. I have no job, no family, and no home. Instead of spending my last bit of money on shelter or food, here I am wasting it at a bar. I'm trying to drink the pain away, but it's just not working. Nothing works. I want Cliff back. I will do anything to have him back.
Alright, by now I've had enough of this bar. The loud music and happy smiles on people's faces are annoying me. I need to get out of here and mope somewhere else. I stand up and weed my way through the masses of people to try and get through the door. As I walk, I figure that it's probably a good thing that I didn't finish my beer. Beer can't be good for my unborn baby.
A man suddenly whistles to my right, jerking me out of my thoughts. I know he's probably trying to get my attention, but I ignore him. He clearly hasn't gotten a good look at my tear-streaked face. I keep my eyes on the ground and finally make it to the door after what seems like an eternity. Once outside, I start shivering. The rain is pouring down from the heavens and soaks me to the bone in only a few seconds.
I glance up at the sky and watch lightning streak downwards. The weather mirrors my mood. Anger and depression meld together inside my mind and push me to my car. I step towards it without thinking about what I'm doing. My mind is still on Cliff as I get into the car. I start it without buckling my seat belt and step on the gas pedal. I have to get out of here. Now.
I start the car and go whipping out onto the streets. Rain pounds against my windshield, but I pay no attention to it. I end up on the highway without remembering how I got there. There is nothing in front of me but rain. My foot slams down on the gas pedal and I drive faster and faster. I wish I can drive off of the edge of the world if that is possible. At least then I could be with Cliff again. I could tell him how sorry I am for not believing him when he told me that he wasn't cheating. All I want is to see him again and to tell him I love him. Without him, I turn into a crazy maniac threatening anyone who happens to get caught in front of my car.
I look in front of me blankly and suddenly see a car parked only yards away from me! Where the hell did this car appear from? It wasn't there a minute ago...or was it? I can't be sure. My head is spinning from alcohol and I can't think properly. I try to slam on the brakes, but I already know it's too late. I'm going to crash.
Squeezing my eyes shut, I hunch over and try to guard my unborn child from the impact of the crash. The earsplitting sound of metal ramming into metal fills the air. My breath is sucked away from me, I feel something smack me in the head, and then everything goes completely black.
This is not where my story begins though. I haven't always been on the highway to hell. My story really begins on a warm May day in 1978. I'm in a science classroom where I am just your average teenager daydreaming about the devilishly attractive red-head sitting across the classroom from me...