pete wentz rekindles a past friendship
Whenever I remember those nights with him, my pulse jumps. I had always been a die-hard fan; Fall Out Boy was my life. My room was covered in posters and pictures, and I owned just about every magazine that featured them in it. I went to every concert that was held in Chicago. I bought there merchandise and knew every lyric to every song written by them. I was obsessed.
But I was different from your average FOB fan. Living in Chicago, I had grown up with Pete Wentz, the infamous bassist. We had both attended the same high school, and had been pretty close growing up. In the back of my mind, I knew I had always liked Pete as more than just a friend, but he wanted to keep our relationship strictly platonic. It was when he had decided to go off to college that our friendship fell apart. I stayed in Wilmette, and Pete left. Just one semester short of graduating, Pete decided to drop out of school and return to Wilmette to form a band.
He met up with friend Joe Trohman and together they decided to scout out potential band members. That’s when they were introduced to lead singer Patrick Stump. Patrick played drums but ended up singing lead vocals and composing the music for all of their songs. Joe played lead guitar, Pete played bass, Patrick sang, and two other band members played the drums and rhythm guitar. About a year later, the rhythm guitarist and drummer quit. Patrick was forced to learn how to play rhythm guitar, and now they needed a drummer. That’s when Andy Hurley joined the band. Fall Out Boy had finally been formed.
Many of their early performances were held at The Knights of Columbus Hall in Arlington Heights, Illinois. One October night a friend and I had gone to get a couple of drinks and see a local band perform. I was stunned when I recognized the frontman and bassist of the band as Pete. I hadn’t seen him in years, and here he was, the man I had been dreaming about, playing the bass for some band called Fall Out Boy. I had tried for the past few years to get a hold of him, but he never returned my calls. Now was my chance to talk to him. I waited until the end of their performance [which was amazing], then I slipped out the backdoor behind the stage and ran to catch up with Pete, who was walking with his guitar case toward his small car.
“Uh…hi Pete” I timidly called to him. He turned around and stood facing me. He hadn’t changed much since the last time I saw him. I saw a flash of recognition cross his face. He knew who I was.
“Oh…uh hi. I haven’t seen you in, um, a while. How’ve you been?”
“Um I’ve been doing okay I guess”, I said. I knew the situation would be a little awkward, but I didn’t think it was going to be anything like this. I wasn’t really sure what to say to him. I mean, we hadn’t spoken for at least three years. I looked up at his face and smiled.
“Your performance was really great. You guys have some talent”.
“Thanks a bunch. We were hoping to get a couple of gigs opening for some local bands, but no such luck. Playing here isn’t all that bad though” he stared at the ground, avoiding eye contact. He didn’t seem very interested in talking to me.
“Yeah…it seems okay. Um well, I guess I’ll see you around Pete”.
“Yeah, see you around. It was nice talking to you again”.
“You too. Bye”, I spoke quickly, the words pouring out of my mouth.
“Bye” he said, and turned to walk back to his car. Well that was a slap in the face. I shouldn’t have gotten my hopes up. He was obviously not interested, but I still was. Not only did I still like him, I had fallen in love with his band.
Fall Out Boy seemed to be on my mind constantly after that night. I kept remembering Patrick’s sweet voice and Pete’s rock star moves. Before I knew it, they had released their first album, Fall Out Boy’s Evening Out With Your Girlfriend. I bought it as soon as it came out in stores and listened to it almost daily. Almost a year later, Fall Out Boy released their second album, Take This to Your Grave, which was even better than the first. They released three albums over the next four years, each one better than the last. I went to almost all of their shows held in Chicago; there was no way I was gonna miss a chance to meet up with Pete again. It seemed as though I was falling in love all over again; not just with Pete, but also with his band.
So I guess that’s how I ended up at another one of their concerts, with pit seat tickets and a date with destiny.
Night of the Concert…
I had been looking forward to the Fall Out Boy concert ever since I had bought the tickets. Although this wasn’t my first time, going to their concerts always got my blood pumping. So by the time I got through the gates and into the pit area, I was extremely excited. I stood with all of the other devoted fans as we packed ourselves close together, desperate to catch a glimpse of Pete or Patrick. Everyone was screaming as I sang along to “Saturday” and “Dead on Arrival”. While Joe ran across the stage and Patrick sung, Pete slipped off his bass and leaped into the crowd. This was not uncommon at all. I had been to many concerts where Pete had crowd surfed and it was always fun to support him like a giant wave.
Soon Pete’s body came into view, and as I struggled to keep him moving, I saw something slip out of his pocket and clatter onto the floor. No one else seemed to have noticed; they were all too preoccupied by Pete’s presence. So I slid my way to the floor and grabbed the small silver object, a cell phone. Of course. Pete would be disappointed if he didn’t get this back, I thought. And what a great excuse to meet the boy I’ve been hoping to meet for so long. I slipped it into my bag and prayed that Pete would realize he had lost it go looking for it.
The night progressed and soon I forgot that I had Pete Wentz’s cell phone in my bag. It was only after an announcement had been made that it had gone missing did I remember. Of course, every girl around me began to freak out at the thought of finding Pete’s lost cell. Too bad for them, though. I already had it. I listened to the instructions that were being broadcasted on where to go if you had found it. The announcement also said that only people who were going to “turn in” the lost cell phone should go to the main desk. Security didn’t want a bunch of crazed girls milling around saying they had found Pete’s cell.
I made my way to the security center, and was given a brief check over which comprised of a searching of my bag and a quick pad down. While checking me, one of the security members noticed Pete’s cell at the bottom of my bag. He stopped his searching and pulled me away from the crowd. He led me down a pathway, and I soon realized that he was taking me in the direction of the tour buses. The security man stopped for a brief moment to radio someone and tell them to stop checking people because he had found the girl with the cell phone. Then we resumed walking. As we turned the corner, I recognized where we were. We were behind the amphitheatre, in a small parking lot with three tour buses. I saw Gabe from Cobra Starship hop in one of the buses and disappear. I turned around and watched as the security guard walked back toward the main gates. I guess I should just wait here. But for who?
And then I saw him. Peter Wentz, Fall Out Boy’s famous bassist, waltzed casually up to me and slid his arm around my shoulder. [I was a little disappointed he didn’t recognize me. Oh well, it had been a long night.]
“So are you the lucky girl who found my cell phone?” Pete asked.
I turned my head so I could look him in the eye and gave him a wide grin. I slid my hand into my bag and dug around for his cell phone. My hand finally groped a purchase as I slid his cell out of my bag. I placed in his open palm and gave him another smile. I could not believe that Pete was standing with his arm around my shoulder. Sure I had known him growing up, but he was famous now, and I guess that changes everything. It also explained why he didn’t recognize me [not that I expected him to; it had been years since I had last seen him].
“Now I’m gonna assume you’re by yourself, so I’m thinking since tonight is the last night of our tour and I don’t really do anything after the shows, you might be interested in chilling with me for a little bit? I mean you did find my cell after all, and I do believe you ought to receive a reward.” Pete stared at me as if I were an old friend of his.
Oh my fucking god.
I didn’t even know this man (REALLY well. I knew almost every fact about him, such as how many tattoos he has), and he had just invited me to hang out with him. He seems like an awesome person, and you don’t have any thing going on tonight, so why not hang out? Besides, you did have a humongous crush on him.
“No I don’t have any plans, and yes I would love to hang out with you” I said.
He smiled at me and removed his arm from where it rested on my shoulder. He grabbed my hand and led me to one of the buses, apparently the one he shared with Joe. He ran inside, grabbed a pair of keys and his hoody, and dashed back out.
“Okay, since we are on tour and I spend most of my waking ours on that bus, I don’t have my own car. So I am going to use one of our security guard’s cars. Hope that’s cool with you”. Pete glanced back at me and smiled innocently. I smiled back at him. He spotted the car in its parking space and ran toward it.
“Hey wait up”, I called, and ran to catch up to him. I stopped in front of a sleek looking black automobile. He unlocked the door and held it open for me. I slid into the Honda Civic (it is the HCT after all) and buckled up. Pete slid in next to me and revved up the engine. It purred. I looked at him and took it all in: being alone in a car with Fall Out Boy’s bassist Pete Wentz, headed off to some unknown destination. I couldn’t be happier. He hit the gas and soon we were speeding out of the parking lot…and into traffic. Getting out of the concert is harder than getting in I thought to myself.
“You know we don’t have to wait in all of this traffic. If you turn around and head the direction we came in, there’s a little back road we can take that leads to the highway. At least I think it goes to the highway. I’m not positive.” I told him.
“I don’t car where it goes. As long as we don’t have to wait in this backup” he said, and shot a quick glance in my direction. He made a U turn and we were soon heading down a windy little road, surrounded by what looked like a dense forest. It was getting dark, and I decided that I would rather be stuck in traffic than in the middle of a bunch of lousy trees. I scooted down in my seat and obscured my eyes. I didn’t like dark places with no people. Pete looked at me and ruffled my hair.
“Don’t worry, I’m here. If anything tries to eat you, I’ll tell them I’m a member of Fall Out Boy and they’ll get free tickets if they leave.” He smiled his handsome smile and put his arm around me. I closed me eyes and scooted close to him. Pete smelled good; like The Nightmare Before Christmas “Bone Daddy” cologne. Yum.
Apparently my sense of direction was horrible, because the windy road didn’t take us to the highway; it took us to this little clearing (which was of course surrounded by large dark trees).
“Hey, I didn’t know this place existed. Lets take a look around” Pete said, and took the keys from the ignition. He opened the car door and stepped out onto the grass. He walked around the car and opened the door for me. What a gentleman I thought, and smiled to myself. Pete Wentz and gentleman were two words that were rarely used in the same sentence.
I stepped out of the warm car and looked around. A large wooden sign was planted firmly in the ground near where the dirt road ended.
“Bonita Nature Preserve”
Below the name was a list of rules and regulations. I walked toward Pete and smiled at him.
“So”, he said, “what do you think of going on a little adventure? Sound okay?” I looked at him skeptically.
“Is it safe?” I asked. I wasn’t too fond of the idea of wandering around in the woods at night.
“We’ll be fine. I can grab the flashlight from the dash if that makes you feel a little better” he spoke softly, as if someone might hear us. I nodded my head in approval as he walked back to the car and grabbed the flashlight. He walked over to me, clicked it on, and slipped his arm around my shoulder.
“So tell me a little bit about yourself” he said, and looked me in the eyes. As we walked, I told him all there is to know. How I was totally and completely obsessed with Fall Out Boy (telling him about that made me blush a little), where I lived in Chicago, what I was taking in school, and how life in general was for me. He seemed interested in what I had to say.
“What about you, Pete? Does it ever cross your mind, like in the middle of a concert or on the bus, what your life would be like if you weren’t famous?” I looked up at him and I could tell that he was thinking.
“I think about that a lot” he said. “I think about where I would be in life. What if I had finished college? Would I still be in a band? I guess I’ll never know, but its nice to dream sometimes” I leaned my head lightly against his shoulder and smiled.
As we walked deeper into the preserve, I found that I wasn’t as nervous as I had been before. Maybe it was being near Pete, or maybe it was that fact that this night couldn’t get any better. I was so happy to be with him. He told me about his life and what it was like being on tour.
“I can’t imagine what it would be like. You guys have such a rigorous schedule. You’re on tour almost every night. Don’t you get extremely exhausted?” I glanced at him and he smiled at me and sighed.
“I don’t want to even think about that”, he said with a grin, “I just spent two hours running around on stage. I am definitely exhausted”. He looked at me and smiled. I looped my arm in his and pulled him closer to me.
"Come on, lets explore a little more" I said. Where'd this boost of confidence come from, I thought. He grabbed my hand as I pulled him forward.
"Race ya" Pete said and bent down in racing position.
"You're on" I said with a smile, and took off.
"Hey, I didn't say go" he yelled, and ran to catch up to me. I had forgotten the Pete was once a soccer player. He caught up and soon passed me as he kicked up dust from the trail.
"Yay I win" he said as we reached the end of the trail. He didn’t even look out of breath compared to me; I was breathing heavily. He slowly walked up to me and patted me on the back.
“Nice try, but you’d have to be one hell of a runner to beat me”. He flashed a quick grin and sat down on the grassy ground.
I laughed and walked over to where he lay on the grass. I was about to say something when he suddenly sat up.
He smiled at me sweetly and grabbed my hand, leading me to a bench that overlooked a large expansive canyon. The moon was full and smiled its toothy yellow grin down on us. “Lets just be quiet for a little while and listen to the night”, he whispered, and pressed his index finger to my lips.
Pete pulled me close to him as we gazed out at the dark abyss that lay before us. The air smelled heavy of summer. I smiled and leaned into him. He rested his head against my chest as we whispered softly, trading secrets. I didn't want to leave him. He was imperfect in so many ways, but that was what I loved about him. That's what made him so sweet and funny.
I looked at Pete’s face: his flawless skin, perfect lips, hazel eyes, and choppy maple hair. He was all that I had ever wanted, and so much more. He stared into my eyes and smiled. Then he tilted his head and kissed me. His lips were soft as they danced atop mine. I ran my hands down his chest, feeling muscle ripple under tanned skin. [That brought back so many past memories of times spent in his basement alone]. I smiled down on him as I brushed my fingers across his cheek. He looked into my eyes, and I saw an undistinguishable expression flicker across his face. Then he sat up slowly, not breaking eye contact.
“This is gonna sound crazy” Pete said, speaking slowly “but I think I knew you a long time ago. I think we grew up together”. I looked at him and grinned. He remembered.
“We did” I said with a slight smile. “We both went to Wilmette High, and were pretty close friends. I can’t believe that you remember that though”. I gazed at him, trying to read his face. He smiled back at me, and then brushed a piece of hair out of my face.
“I think I’ve fallen in love with you” he said, staring at me, his voice dead serious with a hint of lust on the edges. I felt my heart drop into my stomach. I had always had dreams that I’d be in this situation, but I never though in a million years it would ever happen. I looked at him in disbelief as my emotions played tug-of-war with my heart.
“Me too”, I whispered in his ear, and wrapped my arms around him. My mind was then flooded with childhood memories; clear summer nights spent catching fireflies, afternoons locked up in his room talking, mornings spent swimming at the lake down the road. It was then that I realized how much I really missed his presence.
“I want you to be mine” Pete whispered in my ear, sending shivers up my spine. I leaned in, centimeters from his face, our noses just barely touching.
“Always and forever” I said, and kissed him gently on the cheek. He looked at me like he used to; with complete and total love and admiration. I felt overwhelmed with emotion as I sat in his arms, breathing quietly.
“I think we should head back” Pete said, as I jolted out of sleep. I wonder how long I’ve been asleep, I thought to myself. It was still dark out, but I could see dawn breaking behind the mountains.
“I think that’s a good idea” I said, and slowly stood up. Pete sat up from where he had been lying next to me and joined me on the trail. My shoulder still felt numb from where his head been lying against it. We walked hand in hand back toward the car and as we drove out of the preserve, I reflected on all that had happened that night; how I had spent the night asleep in Pete’s arms, but most importantly, how we had fallen in love all over again.
Pete slowly pulled the Civic into the parking lot, maneuvering it around a gate and into where the tour buses sat idly. He shut off the engine and turned around so he was facing me.
“I really love you. And I want to have a relationship with you”, he looked me right in the eye. Ohh, intimidating.
“I love you too. But don’t you think it might be a little hard. I mean with you being famous and all?” I spoke softly.
“Screw being famous. And screw what anybody might think. I care about you and you care about me and I think that’s all that really matters” he looked at me with such lust.
“You’re right. We can make this work” I said confidently. And Pete was 100% correct. We were gonna make this relationship work. I gave him all of my info and told him I’d call him everyday as he scrawled his cell number onto my palm. He opened the door for me as I stepped out of the car.
Then he took my hands in his and kissed me on the lips one last time. As we walked to my car [which was the only one in the parking lot], Pete told me about the other members of Fall Out Boy, whom we had not talked about all night. I wasn’t really listening though; I kept thinking about him and how I probably wouldn’t see him for awhile. Pete was so sweet and wonderful and amazing, and I knew I would remember that night forever. I unlocked my car and leaned against the door as he leaned over and pressed his body against mine. He wrapped his arms around my shoulders and hugged me tightly. I didn’t want to let go, but I knew I had to go home. I whispered “I love you” in his ear, and brushed my lips gently across his cheek. I looked up at him and smiled as tears rolled down my cheeks. He wiped them away and kissed me quickly on the mouth. Then he left. I knew he would struggle with the idea of leaving, but it had to happen. I slid into my car and started the engine. As I pulled out of the parking lot, I could see a lone figure standing, waiting. For what, I’ll never know, but I’ll cherish that moment forever.
Life has never really gone back to normal since that night with Pete. I think about him a lot.
I knew I was gonna miss him, but I didn’t think this much…
To be continued