The last notes of the final riff had barely dissipated before Daniel had flown out of the room. The back-up singers and various other band-mates all stared at the doorway through which he had departed with confusion. Lately, he had been arriving super-late, and leaving the very second practice was over.
Darren looked down at his hands, and sighed. He knew the reason why Daniel was behaving like this. The trigger. It had started happening two weeks ago. When Darren has told all his friends and fellow members of the band that he was getting a divorce from his wife. And, along with that, admitting that he was gay.
The topic had never come up before. Of course, there were people he knew that had already guessed. It wasn't as if he was the most masculine guy that had ever been born. But Darren had no idea of the impact it would have on the band. He had no idea how Dan would react. How Dan felt about...people like him.
Sure, they'd never been best friends. They didn't hang out together. But Darren had trusted Daniel. He thought that Daniel had trusted him. Liked him, even. But as soon as Darren had admitted to the piece of himself that he had been denying for years, Daniel had transformed into a completely different person.
'How can he act like this?" Darren murmured to himself, forgetting that there were other people in the room. The drummer cocked his head to the side, and asked Darren, "Hey, d'youknow why Dan's being weird?" But the dark-haired singer didn't respond. He just stood, sadly, and walked out of the room.
"How can he be like this?" Daniel asked himself, driving away from the studio."It's so...wrong!"
Darren looked out at the carpark. Daniel's car left a skidmarkon the asphalt. "How can he act like this?"
Daniel looked at his chiming mobile phone. The caller's name flashed angrily at him. With a sigh, he pressed the button that turned off the phone.
The band broke up. Nobody could take the pressure, the incessant animosity between the two. It was almost painful to be in a room with them. The careful way they avoided eye contact. They silent shudder that passed through Daniel whenever Darren got too close for comfort. The songs suffered. They suffered.
Years later, they ran into each other. Darren's hair was blonder. There was a ring on Daniel's finger. The wounds had healed enough for Darren to ask, "Why?"
Daniel sighed. He then proceeded to tell Darren about the torment Darren's outing put him through.
"Dar, ever since you auditioned for Red Edge, I thought you were the most beautiful, talented, and incredible man I'd ever seen. But you were straight- you were married so young, I never had achance. So I worked so hard to put the thoughts out of my mind. Then, when you broke up with her, and told everyone what you really were...everything resurfaced. I couldn't stand it. I had been through hell trying to get over you. I had a girlfriend. The timing..."
Neither man spoke. Then Darren finally said, "I'm sorry."
"It's OK, man. It wasn't your fault. And I'm over you now, so it's cool."
Darren looked into his eyes. Then slowly, hesitantly, he leaned in and gently placed his lips to Daniel's cheek. Then he was gone.
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