Chapter 2: Fluttering Hearts and New Friends
3 days passed; but it felt much more like 3 years. I had lots to prepare for, things to arrange, meetings to attend, etc. but all I really wanted to do was start touring.
At first, the thought of leaving for an extended period of time to go across the country with a band I barely knew sounded absolutely terrifying; but now, I couldn't think of anything more exciting.
I had barely ever left my home town of LA, so the thought of seeing the country (and possibly Europe) gave me butterflies in my stomach. This was the job of my dreams, and I couldn't believe it was actually happening.
I glanced at my clock and saw it 8am. I had 40 minutes before I was supposed to meet the band and crew and get on the road.
I was sitting on my bed, letting the pale morning light gleam through my window. This might be the last time I see my apartment in months. I let my hand move across my dark blue bedding. I didn't mind leaving LA, I didn't have many ties here, but I still would miss my small apartment and my own bed.
My phone vibrated on my bedside table and I checked the caller ID before picking it up.
"Mom?" I said, taken a bit off guard.
"Hi, Harper," her quiet voice came through the phone.
"Hey! What's up?"
"I just wanted to wish you luck on the tour," she said. "I know how much you like this band
and how much this job means to you. You're going to do great," I paused. I didn't expect that.
"Thanks Mom," I said, "That...that really means a lot to me,"
I heard her breathing on the other end for a moment. Finally she spoke up, "When do you leave?"
"About 40 minutes," I said, glancing at the clock again.
"Oh, I'm sorry, I'll let you go," she said, hurriedly. "Good luck, Harper… I love you,"
"Love you too, Mom," I said, baffled, before she hung up.
I almost couldn't believe what I had just heard. She never told me good luck. She barely ever said she loved me.
I shook the thoughts away. There was no need to bring up bad memories. They were in the past; and I was all about the future.
I pulled up to the parking lot we were set to meet up at and got out of my car. I started walking to where I saw some people from the crew I recognized when someone called me from behind.
"Harper! Harper Tate!" I turned around to see Jon Walker standing behind me in comfortable clothes, with a coffee cup in one hand and a mock look of scorn on his face. "How dare you not say good morning to me!" he said, and stomped his foot for emphasis. I laughed at his childish behavior.
"Oh, Jon, stop being such a diva," Ryan said, walking up behind him, rolling his eyes.
"I'm a diva!" I heard Brendon singing off in the distance somewhere.
"Shut up, Bren!" Spencer yelled back, sarcastically. I laughed again.
"Gooooooooood morning!" Brendon sang loudly as he approached us. I winced. "What? Do you not enjoy my singing?" he asked with a raised eyebrow.
"Your voice is fabulous, Mr. Urie," I chuckled. "I'm just not much of a morning person,"
"Me neither," Ryan said, and I noticed some bags under his golden brown eyes.
"I'm more of a-"
"Night owl," Ryan and I both said together, then looked at each other with wide eyes.
"Woah! Twin moment!" Spencer exclaimed.
"That was so cool! Do it again!" Jon said.
"I don't think-"
"That's how it works," Ryan and I said together once more. We both looked at each other
again and then burst out laughing.
"Do you guys share a brain or something?" Spencer asked, sarcastically.
I just laughed again and turned to leave.
"Where'ya going Harper?" Ryan asked.
"I'm going to go to unpack my things in the crew van," I said, as if it was obvious. I was to live in the car with all the female members of the crew.
"EW!" Spencer exclaimed, "I hate sharing a car with people you don't know,"
"Spence, you hate sharing a car with us too, you just don't like sharing in general," Jon said, laughing. Spencer just rolled his eyes.
"I'll be back in a few minutes," I said, before turning to leave. A chorus of goodbyes rang
up behind me. My heart fluttered. I couldn't deny that them wanting me around them made the fangirl in me indescribably happy.
I went back to my car and hauled my suitcase out of the trunk and towards the crew van. I didn't pack much, probably because I didn't own much, so it made for easy travel.
As I approached my new living space, I bid good morning to anyone I recognized from the other day. I really hoped they would welcome me, even though they didn't really know me yet.
I started up the steps of the van and awkwardly tried to pull up my suitcase behind me. I struggled for a moment and let out a frustrated breath.
"Oh, hey, let me help you with that," a male voice said, pushing the suitcase up the stairs with me. I didn't recognize the voice, but I noticed the slight southern twang that it had. The suitcase blocked my view, so I had no idea who it was. We made it up the stairs successfully and dropped the suitcase on the floor in the front room.
"Thanks…" I trailed off, waiting for him to fill in his name as I finally got a close look at him.
"Dallas," he said, sticking out his hand for me to shake. "Dallas Jones; I'm on in stage crew. And you are?"
Dallas was a boy around my height and age with blonde sweepy hair and dark green eyes. He smiled at me, friendly and sweet. And rather attractive, might I add. It took me a second to compose myself before answering.
"Harper Tate; tour manager," I said, shaking his hand and mirroring his smile.
"Tour manager?" he asked, surprised. "I thought you would be a dancer,"
"Oh yeah? What makes you say that?" I asked, curiously.
"You're far too pretty to be a tour manager," he blushed after saying that. "I mean, I just haven't seen a girl tour manager before, that's all," I laughed a little to break the tension, and had to look down to mask my blush.
"What do you do on stage crew?" I said, changing the subject.
"I work the lights," he said, "It's not that exciting," he chuckled.
"Jones! Get out here! We need your help!" someone called from outside.
"Alright!" he yelled over his shoulder. "Hey, it was nice meeting you, Harper. See ya'
around," he said before leaving.
I didn't realize how nervous I had been until I finally let myself breathe. I had never been smooth around boys I didn't know; especially cute boys. I sighed and smiled a little as I dragged my suitcase towards the bunks.
The room that contained the bunks was a narrow, hallway like room. There were two bunks on either side. I went to put my things on one of the bottom bunks.
"That bunk's taken, sorry," a voice said from behind me. "But the one across from it is open,"
"Thanks," I said, throwing my suitcase on the left bottom bunk. I turned around to face a girl with long black hair, pulled up in a ponytail with pale blue eyes.
"I don't think we've met before," she said, "I'm Allison Marshall,"
"Nice to meet you, I'm Harper Tate," I said, shaking her hand.
"So you're my superior, then," She said with a smile. It didn't strike me as mean, but I didn't know this girl yet. Her voice some kind of an accent; British, possibly?
"Oh, I wouldn't say that," I said, chuckling.
"Oh, good, I thought you'd be some snobby witch," she said, relieved. "Our last tour manager walked about like she owned the place,"
"I can guarantee that will never happen," I said, genuinely. "Just because I have some kind of a title doesn't mean I'm better than anyone else,"
"Then we'll get along nicely," she said, smiling. "Which is good, considering we'll be living together for quite some time,"
Allison and I talked for a few minutes, just getting to know each other. She was from a small town in England and had only just moved to America a few years ago for school.
Not long after meeting her, I could tell we were going to be good friends. We got along easily and I was glad for that.
Two other girls were living with us; Margaret Rivers and Sarah Jennings. Margaret was a fun –loving, yet not-so-smart girl who was adventurous and funny. Sarah was more of a quite soul, who enjoyed reading and watching Pride and Prejudice over a night on the town. All of us were complete opposites, and yet we were going to be best friends, I could just tell.
I didn't get a chance to see the band before we got on the road, but it didn't bother me much. I was getting close to my roommates and that seemed far more important to me at the time.
That night, as we drove on a dark highway through the rain, I waited till my roomies were asleep before creeping out of my bunk and into the front room.
I carried with me a small black leather-bound journal that I wrote in every day. It held all of my hopes and secrets and I didn't really want anyone seeing me write in it.
I opened it up to a white blank page and wrote with only the streetlights we passed as a light source.
This was turning out to be the beginning of something beautiful.