We deserved a proper goodbye.
Secrets In My Skin
1st December, 1994
~By the time Brian awoke the bed he had shared with Erica was empty, presumably she had already left for her last day of work. A dull, rain filled light spewed through the hotel window telling him the late hours of morning had began. He could hear Twiggy stumbling about in the bathroom yelling Christmas songs at the top of his voice, no doubt with a liquor bottle still in his hand. Brian winced as his head began to throb and his stomach lurched. If he was feeling bad he dreaded to think how Twiggy would feel once he sobered if he'd been drinking since the previous night. He sat up and saw that the rest of the band were also back and asleep in various areas of the room. Twiggy's drunken yells of Christmas delight continued to echo from the bathroom. "Twiggs shut up!" He shouted and fell back into the bed. "But it's December Mar-i-lyn!" He called back. "Where's your Chwistmaas spiwit?"
"Ya' know just because it's the first of December it does not mean it's Christmas!" Brian heard the smash of glass and a loud thud which he guessed was the sound of Twiggy passing out in the empty bath tub. He rolled his eyes and pulled the duvet closer to him, racking his brain for an answer as to why his head was spinning so. He remembered being with Erica at the MTV party, a grotty toilet cubicle, vodka and a blue pill. He'd fucked Erica there and the next thing he knew he was back at the hotel with her. He remembered feeling scared and sad, feelings which had become so foreign to him they stuck like glue when ever they did occur. Then he remembered why such emotions had happened. Pheobe.
When Erica returned it was noon and everyone spare Brian was still sleeping. She came in dripping with rain water, a cardboard box clutched between her frail arms filled with her possessions from Kerrang. It was soaked through and beginning to disintegrate but she didn't seem to care. Her jaw was set and her features calm, too calm. Brian could tell that inside she was screaming and about to erupt at any given moment. She stepped in and dropped the box to her feet, bits and pieces spilling everywhere. Brian didn't move from his position on the bed. He raised his brows and looked from her to the mess of cardboard on the floor. He wasn't quite sure what was wrong with her nor what to say, so he didn't say anything. Maybe she was upset because of what he had told her about Pheobe, he couldn't recall exactly what had happened or what she knew, all he could engage was that he felt like a complete pathetic emotional wreck. Erica must have been at least put off by whatever he told her, but then her face settled and she simply shook her head, leaving the cardboard to mingle with the rest of the rubbish on the carpet she walked through to perch on the edge of the bed where Brian lay. "Bastards." She muttered under her breath so not to wake the others. She sat with her hands in her lap, head down, drenched hair hiding her heart shaped face. "I went in to say goodbye and all they could do was look at me like I'm a whore." She sighed. "Not that I liked many of them anyway, but even the closest thing I had to a friend doesn't understand."
"Understand what?" Brian asked. His voice came weaker than he expected and he mentally punched himself. He cleared his throat. "And how the fuck are you seen as a whore?" Erica lifted her head and looked at him. This time her expression fell woeful as she locked her eyes with his. No longer calm or angry but ridden with sadness. Forehead creased and orbs wide, plump lips pouted and all Brian could think of was how much he wanted to kiss her. That and the reason for such an empathy filled stare. He didn't like it. It was meant to be the other way around, she was meant to be troubled and in need of sympathy, not him. He didn't want it, he didn't deserve it. It made him feel uneasy as he knew exactly why she pitied him. If only he had kept his stupid mouth shut. If only he had kept it shut all night, then it wouldn't have even been open for him to take that pill which made him blabber his deepest secrets away.
"It doesn't matter." She sighed again and broke their eye's contact, returning her gaze downward. "None of it matters anymore."~
The first of December. A time where many kids would be exciting themselves for the Christmas season. Teenagers would be preparing themselves for their holidays, the celebration parties and the long lie-ins they had to look forward to. Then there was me. The truth was I'd never felt more disgusting in my life and it didn't help that I felt more hungover, ill and tired than imaginable. The worse part was for once I had no reason to feel so mentally sick with myself. I hadn't done anything wrong, was it really such a crime to be happy? It was no wonder glee came to me with difficulty, it was always chased away by myself or another, the others being my colleagues in this case. Of course gossip and speculations were spread before the morning had dawned. Speculations over mine and Brian's relationship. I was already being described as Marilyn's new 'squeeze' after sightings at the party. His new sex toy. I knew it wasn't like that, I was more than a fuck to him but to everyone else I was just another name on his list of women. Even Jerry wouldn't believe me, even he thought I was just a silly little girl with no control over my own life. To an extent that was true but not when it came to trust. Not when it came to letting people close, that was something I reminded myself to always be in control over. So I left the studios and the office with the judgmental stares behind me. They'd have all forgotten about my antics by the time I returned anyway because it was sure to be a long while. By then Brian would be another memory of something I had once surprisingly found comfort in. Like my mother he would leave and I would never see him again. I would become alone yet again, perhaps for the best.
When I came back to Brian I was fit to burst with frustration and despair at how misunderstood our situation had been taken. I was ready to rant and vent to him, make him take my troubles away and fill me with reassurance, but then I saw him. Curled up in the quiet. A make-up smeared, tear stained face and alone with his thoughts like I had always been. He'd been thinking about Pheobe, how could he not think about her after what he'd told me. I knew he didn't mean to tell me though, I knew he was high and his words slipped out before he could stop them, but in a way I was glad he'd told me. Now I knew without doubts that he cared. He told me how much he cared, that he possibly cared about me more than anything else. Even for me that meant something and it felt nice because I cared too. I cared so much it drew me to tears when I saw him hurt. All I wanted to do was to hold him and cry with him and tell him that everything was going to be okay, so that's what I did. I left my own problems to a side because he was more important to me. He was my savior, my white light and I owed him my time. "None of it matters anymore." I whispered, the rain water glistened across my face as I sat next to him. He looked up at me, his orbs glazed like glass as they filled with salt. "Erica..." He muttered in a feeble voice. "What I told you last night, well, I'm sorry." He felt damaged, I could tell. "I've burdened you, I feel like an arse." He didn't like to feel weak and mellow, it wasn't his nature but I didn't care. It wasn't in my nature either but I still melted for him. Inside he was broken like me and I had the power to make him show it. "Don't." I hushed him and cupped his cheek with my hand. "You were there for me, now I'm here for you." I lay with him and held his frame as he wept silently into my neck, hot tears stinging my flesh which only made me want him closer. I breathed in his scent, sweet and warm like cinnamon and rose water. It wasn't like me to behave in such a way, to show concern, to actually want to make someone better, but as we lay together in our own heat, trying to be as noiseless as possible, I think I felt love. It wasn't the same sort of love I'd felt for him in the toilet cubicle. That was animalistic and driven by sex. This type of love hit me like a fast train and it was overwhelming, terrifying and unnerving. But most of all it made me question what I had been missing out on for so many years. It was beautiful. "You don't need to be ashamed around me, I understand."
That evening arrived far too quickly for my liking. I wouldn't have minded if it wasn't for the fact I had to leave London early the next morning. Everything I had grown to know as life would be obliterated for a time period that I had no clue would last for. Everything I had built to escape my childhood would be taken away and I would have to return to my idea of hell.
"By the time you're back I'll be gone." I told Brain, toying with the leather material on his stage outfit. He nodded as we stood by the hotel room door, Twiggy and the rest of the band awaiting awkwardly in the corridor as we made our final goodbye. "Okay." He said bluntly, avoiding my stare. I sighed. I knew he didn't mean to be rude, I felt just the same. Fed up and livid with the cruel world. "Thank you so much." I looked up and tried to catch his hazels. "For everything." We kissed and he held me close for the last time, his whispered farewell dripped for only me to hear. I closed my eyes tight in silent prayer for our moment to never end, but it did. "You have to go, your fans deserve you more than I do right now." I pulled away. "Good luck, not that you'll need it." I stood in the door frame and waved to them all as they left for their show. I stood there until they were out of sight, gone.
I shoved everything into my travel bag. I wanted to get the packing done as fast as possible, the departure from Brian was painful enough and I didn't want to pro long it. I grabbed the flat box from the floor and flipped it open. The green dress he gave me had been folded and placed back between the tissue paper by me that morning. I ran my finger tips across the sequins and choked back my anguish as it reminded me of how much I'd miss him. I hated to admit it, even if it was only to myself, but I would miss him and how tendering he had been to me, almost as much as I missed my mother. I calmed my frantic rush and placed the box on the mattress, sitting next to it and stroked my palms across the unmade bed sheets until I found the tee shirt Brian had been wearing that day. It was baggy and black, the same colour as most things he wore, and it was still warm with his body heat. I pressed it to my face and inhaled all that I had left of him, the sweet smell of cinnamon and rose water. Hot tears rolled down my cheeks and dissolved into the fabric clutched in my hands. I didn't want to go, I didn't want to leave him. I hated myself for it, I hated myself for being so dependent on another being but I needed him. I needed him so much it hurt to even breath. Perhaps I could delay my trip back home, just by a couple of hours. I wanted, needed him one last time. Louise and my father would have to wait for me. They'd just have to because I needed one last hour with him at least, just us. We deserved a proper goodbye.