Time flies, huh?
"Sounds like it's in the dresser." She said, tilting her head slightly. I ripped open the drawer and grabbed it.
"Hello?" I asked, trying to catch my breath.
"Hi beautiful." I smiled at Gee's voice. "Did you lose your phone again?"
"Only long enough to almost miss your call." Kasey raised her eyebrow at me. I mouthed 'Gee', making her grin. She held up her finger and climbed out of her bunk, heading to the kitchen where Lisa was eating. "So, how is everything back home?" I asked looking after Kasey.
"Good. Natalie is growing hair again. Her hair grows so fast." I smiled.
"That's good. Has she been putting weight back on?" Last month, mom had been declared cancer free by her doctors. I'd paid off her medical bills and the house in a year.
I owed her for everything she's done for me. "She is. Even though she still says you're working too hard." He laughed.
"I'm hardly working. It's a few shows a month. The rest of the time is spent on the bus." I sighed."Oh, the guys have something to say." I put him on speaker phone.
Lisa and Kasey sat next to me. "Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday dear Gerard!!!" We paused to listen to him laughing. "Happy birthday to you!"
"Thanks guys." I heard the smile in his voice. I took him off speaker and put the phone back to my ear.
"Sorry for missing another birthday." I said sadly.
"It's okay babe. You're coming back next week, right?" He sounded so happy I smiled.
"Yeah." I said. "We have an interview for our next tour, then I'm home until summer."
"I can't wait to see you." He sighed. I smiled.
"I know. It feels like I've been gone a year instead of two months." I sighed. "I miss you so much." I felt my throat closing up.
"I miss you too. But you'll see me soon. I've...changed my hair a little..." He said nervously.
"So have I." I bit my lip. "I hope you like it." I said, swallowing back my tears.
"It's you. I'll love it." I smiled. The bus went over something, making me bounce on my bunk. My head cracked against the board over head.
"Ah fuck!" I gasped, holding my head.
"You okay?" Gee asked.
"Yeah. Just hit my head." I checked my fingers for blood. "I'm fine." I said through my teeth.
"I love you. Be careful. Please? As a sweet sixteenth present for me?" He laughed.
"I totally meant to crack my head." I said sarcastically. "I'll be careful. I love you too." I smiled.
"Nickie, we're here!" Kasey yelled.
"I have to go. Promise you'll watch us on TV?" He laughed.
"Babe, I think mom, Mitch and Natalie are recording it." My cheeks went red. "Of course I'll be watching."
"Nicole!" I jumped at Derick's voice.
"I should go. Our manager just used my full name." He laughed. "I love you. I'll call when we're done if it's not too late."
"I love you too." I snapped my phone shut and ran off the bus.
"Okay. Now you'll be taken in for hair and makeup. The show starts in thirty minutes. And it's live. So please...don't do anything stupid."
We were dragged into a painfully bright room where we were dolled up. Then we were led to the stage.
Stage hands swarmed around, getting things ready. A girl in a headset power walked up to us. "Hi ladies. I'm the set manager. Can I get anything to drink before the show starts?"
She was on edge, obviously. So wired she almost looked like a crack head. "Diet Coke?" I asked. She wrote it on a little pad. Lisa asked for coffee and Kasey asked for water.
"I'll get that for you. Anything in the coffee?" Lisa shook her head. "Okay. Go have a seat." She waved us to the stage.
Warily, we made our way to the three seats. As usual, I sat closest to the desk. Larry King came out in his usual outfit. "Hi girls." We all stood to shake his hand. "So you're..?"
"I'm Nickie and this is Kasey and Lisa." He smiled at us.
"Great. I'm sure you know who I am." He sat behind the desk. "Is anything off limits for tonight?" We all shook our heads. "Great."
The set manager set our drinks in front of us before she spoke. "Three minutes before we're live." Larry nodded.
I took a sip of my soda, looking out at the audience. "Oh, Mr. King. Could you do me a favor?" I asked suddenly.
"Sure. And call me Larry." He smiled.
"After the show, can you sign my celebrity journal? I have anyone I meet who's famous sign it so I can show my mom." I explained.
"Sure." He grinned. Lights flashed over head. "It's time." He smiled, opening a folder on his desk. "Welcome to a special episode of the Larry King show, folks!" He smiled at the camera. "I'm here live with the girls from Cherry Blood Love. The band that's swept up the nation into a crazy metal frenzy."
He paused for the audience to erupt. Once they'd calmed down, he looked at us. "How about you introduce yourselves ladies?" He smiled.
"I'm Lisa, and I'm the drummer." She said brightly.
"I'm Kasey and I'm the bass player." I heard the smile in her voice.
"And I'm Nicole, but everyone calls me Nickie. And I'm on guitar. And we all do vocals." I smiled at Larry.
"Amazing. And how old were all of you when Cherry Blood Love started?" He asked.
"I signed my contract the day after my fifteenth birthday." I looked at the guys.
"I joined when I was sixteen." Lisa said, taking a drink of her coffee. She coughed, her face comforting. "Well that's burnt." Larry laughed.
"I was asked to join when I was...seventeen. I think." Kasey said, her eyes narrowing as she thought. "Yeah, seventeen." She nodded.
"So you're all only a year apart?" We nodded. "Well that must be fun." He slid some papers around. "Nickie, I hear your mother had cancer. Would you like to get into that?"
I bit my lip hard, tasting the gloss on it. "She was declared cancer free last month. My boyfriend back home keeps me updated with her. I'd ask her, but she wouldn't tell me if anything is wrong." I looked at the camera. "Love ya Momma!" I smiled nervously.
Larry laughed. "Don't give her trouble when she gets home, mom." He smiled at me. "So you have a boyfriend back home?" He said lightly. I nodded. "How long have you two been an item?" He leaned forward.
"Eight years." He sat back in shock. I laughed. "Don't worry. Everyone reacts like that." I laughed. "Today is actually his birthday. And our moms set something up for him. I have no idea what." I laughed softly.
"Happy birthday to the man who holds this young woman's heart." Larry smiled at the camera.
"Gerard." I whispered to him. He laughed.
"Okay. Happy birthday Gerard." He said. The audience blew up. Larry smiled peacefully for a moment. "May I say, Nickie, that he is very lucky." I felt my cheeks burn. "And how exactly does Gerard feel about your career?" He asked.
"When I first told him about it, I think he thought I was messing with him. But when it sank in, he flipped." I looked at Larry's confused face. "In a good way." I laughed. "And he's very supportive of us as a band."
"Well that's good. And congratulations on the relationship. Kasey..." He moved on to the guys. I sat biting my lip on a smile the whole time he talked to them. "Nickie?" I jumped when I heard my voice.
"Huh?" I looked at Larry. He laughed softly.
"Someone isn't totally here with us, are they?" I laughed. "Aren't you three going to play a song for us?"
"Oh yeah!" I laughed. "Let's go get set up." I stood, pulling Kasey and Lisa with me. We were led to an already set up band pit.
I was handed a guitar while a mic was placed in front of me. Lisa took her place behind the drums, stretching her arms and shoulders. A stage hand had the little arm bendy mic stand bent too low, making Lisa hit her nose on it.
She moved it into place while Kasey and I tuned to the right key. The camera panned over to us. We burst into one of the songs from our new album, making the audience go crazy. Kasey's high notes hurt my throat when she sang them.
The beat got to me and I jumped on my toes as I played. When we looked back for Lisa's drum solo, I was taken in, watching her hands blur with the speed she moved it.
By the time we were done, Larry was on his way over, his face awe struck. I pushed my hair out of my face and high fived Kasey, who was panting. Lisa held up the sticks she'd brought in with her.
She stood next to us. "That was a song from their new album, Suffocate." Larry said brightly. "And that was amazing. Thank you ladies." He hugged us. "Tune in next week for our last guest of music week, Madonna." I gasped.
"Madonna?" I almost fell over. Lisa put her hand on my shoulder, keeping me upright.
"So you want me to sign a journal?" Larry looked at me, an easy smile on his face.
"I'll go get it. It'll just be a second." I ran out to the bus and grabbed it. When I came back, Lisa was on her knees, talking to a little girl. "Hey." I smiled at them.
I knelt beside Lisa. "Nickie, this is Haley." She said.
"Hi Haley." I hugged the girl. She clung to me for a second. "Did you like our song?" I smiled as she let go.
"I did. Can I get a picture with you guys?" She asked.
"Of course!" I picked her up and carried her over to where Kasey stood. "Kasey, come take a picture with us and Haley." Kasey smiled and followed us back to where Haley's mom stood, a camera in her hands.
"Thank you for this, girls." She said after she took our picture. Haley's mom touched my arm lightly as Kasey talked to Haley. "She really looks up to you and your mom." She smiled.
"She has cancer, doesn't she?" I asked softly. She nodded, tears filling her eyes. I hugged her tight. "It'll be okay. Just don't give up on her." She sobbed into my shoulder.
"I'm Clarisse." She sniffled after a minute. "Thanks again." She smiled.
"It's okay. I'm nothing without friends." I smiled back. We rejoined the small group.
I opened my book to a blank page and ripped it out. I wrote my number on it and folded it up.
Haley looked at me with wide eyes as I handed it to her. "You can call me whenever you need to talk. I'll answer." I hugged her. "Do you know what you want to be when you're older sweetie?"
"I wanna be a drummer like Lisa." She smiled. "And pretty like you." She touched my cheek.
"Be pretty like you, okay? Promise?" She nodded. I wrapped my pinkie around hers, making her smile.
"Promise." She put the paper in her pocket. Lisa handed her her drum sticks.
"Drum on, chickadee. Drum on." She smiled as Haley took them in her small hands.
"Girls, we have to leave if we're going to make Boston by midnight." Derick said sharply.
"Just a minute, Derick." I sighed. Haley hugged us all quickly and I hugged Clarisse.
We waved good bye to them as they left. Larry was actually writing something when I came up to his desk. "Sorry I can't stay and talk, but we have a prick manager."
"I heard that!" Derick said loudly. I rolled my eyes.
"You were supposed to!" I said back. "But can you sign before we go?" I asked, opening it up to a blank page.
"No problem." He wrote smoothly in my book. "I saw all that, by the way. Are you sure you're only sixteen?" I nodded. "You act much older, you know?" I bit my lip. "I'm glad to have met you, Nicole. Hopefully you'll come back to the show some day."
"I'll try." I smiled. I took my book and headed out to the bus. I opened my phone and called Gee.
"Do you know how amazing you are?" He answered.
"What do you mean?" I sat down on one of the stools.
"You. In general. You're amazing." He sighed. "I love you. You should sleep, babe."He said as I held back a yawn.
"Shhh." I hushed him. "I'll be home earlier than I thought. Derick cut a few stops out of the trip, so instead of next Thursday, I'll be back next Tuesday." I lied. I would actually be there the day before.
But it was a surprise. Our moms were both in on it. "I can't wait to see you." I smiled.
"Mr either. I love you, Gee. Goodnight."
"Goodnight beauty." I smiled and hung up.
I wandered back to my bunk. I fell asleep, fully dressed.
Sorry about the wait. There was a storm last night and the power got knocked out again.
And right now, I really need a nap. So sorry about the short AN.
So R+R and all that
Hugs and Lizards,