“I can’t do this anymore!” I shout. “What’s the point? There’s no way to win. There’s no good way out of this!”
The cab ride back does nothing for my nerves. I was hoping it would help me cool off, but by the time the cabbie pulls into the venue and I pay and storm out of the cab, I’m absolutely livid. This is so fucked up. It was never supposed to be like this. Never in a million years would I have believed that Mikey would hate me.
I slam the bus door open, not giving a shit if Jamia sees me. Logically I know that wouldn’t be good. Trying to explain why I’m not hiding who I am, trying to keep her happy and sane and not give her any reason to do anything else like what she did to Ray, I know those are all important but right now I can’t be bothered to care.
I find a scribbled note from Jamia saying she went to get food and she’ll be back later. I should be happy, it’s one less thing I have to worry about right now. So why do I feel disappointed? Part of me, admittedly a big part, wanted Jamia to catch me so I could end this somehow, and probably not in a good way.
I know what I should do. I should calm down, cover up my tattoos and put my contacts back in. I should sit tight and wait for the chance to use Bob’s plan. I should take a step back and think reasonably about this. I should put my head down and carry on.
I’ve never liked being told what I should do.
I start pacing, the urge to destroy something building. What’s the point anymore? If I sit still and twiddle my thumbs, I don’t get the guys back. If I follow through with Bob’s plan and we fail, I don’t get the guys back. Even if it works, if talking to Mikey was any indication, I still don’t get the guys back. So why am I putting myself through this hell if no matter what I do, I don’t get the guys back? At the moment no good reasons come to mind.
I stomp to the back by the bunks and start rummaging around for a bag. When I find it I start pulling all my shit out messily and cramming it into the bag. I’m getting the hell out of here. I’m halfway through packing when I hear the bus door open.
With a mixture of fear and adrenaline I realize Jamia must have made it back. Heavy footsteps make their way toward me.
“Gerard and Mikey are helping Ray check out, they’ll be back in a few minutes. Mikey seemed pretty upset, are you - What the hell are you doing?” The voice isn’t Jamia’s, it’s Bob’s.
I’m reminded of this exact same conversation almost a month ago. If I were in a good mood I’d have some witty comment about it. But I’m not, and right now I don’t want to talk. I want to leave. I grab my half packed bag and try to push past Bob. He puts his hand on my shoulder.
“Whoa, slow down. What’s going on?”
“Get out of my way,” I growl, pushing harder and catching him off guard enough to slip past. I’m almost to the doors when he grabs my wrist and spins me around.
“What the fuck do you think you’re doing Frank?
“I can’t do this anymore!” I shout. “What’s the point Bob? There’s no way to win. There’s no good way out of this!”
He looks taken aback by my outburst and I wrench my hand from his grip and storm off the bus. Halfway across the parking lot he catches up with me again.
“You need to calm down and think straight Frank. It may not look like there’s good end to this right now, but if you do this things will end very badly, much worse than they need to. Think about it Frank.”
His words start to get through, but I hold onto the anger. It’s the most real thing I’ve felt in a long time. Deep down I know he’s right, but I’m not ready to let it go.
“Don’t tell me what to fucking do!” I shout, pushing him. Way to go Frank. Push away the one person who’s helping you. Grand idea. Even better, do it at the top of your lungs so that everyone in a five mile radius can hear you. Perfect. Way to lay low.
There is surrender in Bob’s eyes. He knows he’s not going to win with me right now and nothing he does will get through to me so he lets me shout and shove him again.
“Frank,” he says quietly. I ignore him and grab my bag off the ground where I had dropped it when I shoved him. “Frank,” he says again, more intently.
“What?” I snap, looking up. But he’s not looking at me, he’s looking across the parking lot. I follow his gaze.
There, behind the security lines that are still in place from last night’s show, is a small group of fans, most holding their phones up. I groan. Fucking hell. My little outburst will be all over the fan sites within the hour.
I turn back toward the bus, only to be met by an even more unpleasant site. Jamia is standing in front of the bus doors, regarding Bob and I curiously. She meets my eyes with a steely glare, then turns and walks onto the bus. God dammit all.
“The stadium,” Bob growls quietly, putting his hand on my shoulder. “Make a scene for the cameras and get into the stadium. We can make this work for us. Just get out of here and get changed,” he snaps at me, harsher than necessary in case I’m still being a petulant child. But the shock of the fans and Jamia catching us has snapped me back to my senses. Oh God, what have I done? At the panic on my face he softens. “We’ll sort this out later. It’ll be fine.”
“Bob,” I whisper. “I’m so sorry.”
“It’s fine, just go.”
I make a show of pushing his hand off my shoulder and storm away to the dressing room we had for last night’s show. Inside all I can think is, Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit.