Categories > Celebrities > The Used > Why Don't You Just Drop Dead, McCracken?

Chapter 13

by cretingirl 0 reviews

In which we keep getting lost in thought. Where's the map?

Category: The Used - Rating: R - Genres: Drama,Humor,Romance - Published: 2011-06-15 - Updated: 2011-06-16 - 2459 words

My throat was on fire. Tears were streaming down my face and I couldn't remember how they had gotten there-from laughing so hard that I could no longer contain them or from the sheer magnitude of what my life was becoming. I had played plenty of shows in Brooklyn, New Brunswick, and even one very memorable show in Baltimore where we sang nothing but Rocky Horror Picture Show songs and ate Korean bar-b-que afterwords with our hands. But I knew as I accepted the first beer that was plied upon be and my seared vocal cords rejoiced in the hoppy sweetness as I gulped it down, that tonight was easily going to be one of the eight best nights of my life.

"Great job, babe!" Ray said his face and hair swimming into my vision through the crush of sweating bodies around me.

Just as quickly though he was engulfed by the crowd again and I was being congratulated and high-fived as I made my way to the bar. As soon as I made it to the bar and found a stool it started. It may sound stuck-up but most punk boys just can't get enough of a girl in a band. Usually I can deflect them onto Amy who good-naturedly welcomes the attention as long as Waldo isn't feel particularly territorial that night, but she was nowhere to be found. In fact, I hadn't spotted a single familiar face since Ray's and I was getting a little antsy as I saw Gerard and the MCR crew appear on the stage for their sound check. Where had everyone gone? I sipped my beer and politely brushed off my admirers by peppering comments about "my boyfriend" early into the conversation. As soon as word spread a little that I wasn't going to fuck anything that didn't have batteries tonight all of the boys cleared away a bit and I was left with several enthusiastic girls wanting to know about specific bass lines I had played. This I could handle. I only wish I had had a girl to give me advice when I was blistering my fingertips learning how to play.

I kept an eye out for Amy and I could've almost sworn that I spotted her several times during the MCR set trying to drag Frank off of the stage. After several encores they finally left the stage and I waited anxiously for them to come back to the bar so I wouldn't be surrounded by strangers. Fifteen minutes later and not a one of them had appeared so I politely excused myself from the boys who had been knocking each other down to buy me beers and the girls who were rolling their eyes at them to try to find a friendly face in the crowd. It was rough going to try to get to the stage and I was only halfway there when Bert stumbled onto the stage and the crowd surged to pack even closer to the stage taking me with them. I struggled in vain for a few minutes to get to the stage so I could cut across it to get backstage as Bert made small talk with the crowd. Finally I just resigned myself to having to catch up with everyone else later and looked noticed that I was almost front and center for The Used's set.

'Great,' I thought swigging back the dregs of my beer then crossing my arms across my chest. 'Maybe Bert won't see me.'

As I thought that I got a funny feeling in my stomach and realized I was glaring a hole through Bert's stupid smiling face. Then he started singing and I lost myself.

When the music stopped and the crowd dispersed I was the only one left standing there. I told myself it was because I wanted to walk back to the bus with Quinn, but when he saw me as he was putting away his guitar and waved me over I couldn't move. In fact, it wasn't until all of The Used had I assume left out the back entrance that I shook myself out of my trance and went backstage to collect my bass. Walking along the back alleys of Gainesville the surreality of my situation finally hit me or maybe I had just accepted to many free drinks. Whether it was my existential crisis or the pleasant numbness of my back teeth I didn't notice that I was walking into possibly the roughest group of drunk that Florida had to offer.

"Howdy lil lady," I heard from my left and jumped about a foot out of my skin as three guys wearing various western attire stepped out of the shadows of the honky tonk bar they were leaning against. "Looks like you need some company."

I defensively brought my bass guitar up to my chest and thanked god that Amy had agreed to take Billy back to the bus before the bands started playing, a chihuahua with a god complex was the last thing I needed to distract me right now. "Ummm, no I'm fine guys, thanks."

I quickened my pace and my heart sank to my knees when I heard their steps following behind me. Should I run? Wouldn't that just make them want to chase me? I mean their drunk and so much bigger than me. I weighed my chances of running as they chuckled and catcalled behind me and I was getting ready to drop my bass when another figure stepped out of the shadows in front of me. Could this night get any fucking worse? I stopped as the shadows closed in on all sides and fought a wave of nausea. Maybe if I vomit on them they won't want to murder me?!

"There you are," said the shadow in front of me as the shadow's fled from the person's face to reveal Gerard. "Darling we were worried about you!"

"We were taking care of her," a voice drawled behind me as the overwhelming stench of sweat and tequila filled my nose and an arm draped lazily over my shoulders. "Weren't we boys."

"Real good care." another of the 'boys' so eloquently agreed.

"Were you?" Gerard marveled raising one of his eyebrows. "Well I can take her from here."

"I don't know," their leader seemed to be speaking for all of them and why not he did have the dirties John Deere cap out of the bunch. "Can you handle this much of a woman? You seem a little soft to me, friend."

I had always wondered how fights started between guys. I mean I KNEW how they started, being in a band with all guys afforded me many chances to see a wedgie gone wrong get turned into a fistfight, but I had never seen someone fight for someone else's honor. I didn't even see Gerard's fist move, I just heard the impact and felt the arm jerk back off of my shoulders. I hastily scurried out of the way braced myself to see Gerard get pummeled by three drunken dirty Floridians, but it didn't happen. In fact they seemed so stunned that they just backed away.

"I'm not your friend, guy." Gerard spat at the man he had just sent sprawling to the ground. "Let's go, Marla."

I took his hand and we walked quickly down the alley towards the light of the street with only a few cautious glances behind us to make sure we weren't being followed. I clutched Gerard's hand all the way back to the buses to were everyone was milling around outside around a couple of folding tables covered in food and a grill.

"Marls!" Amy screamed rushing over to me and hugging me even though I was clutching my bass with one and and steadfastly holding on the Gerard with the other. "Where have you been!?"

"I found her getting accosted by several of the finer gentlemen that Florida has to offer," Gerard said dryly as Russ and Bert joined our group. All of the other boys seemed to be preoccupied with the local color that seemed to have followed them back to the buses.

"Shutup," I said giving him a loud smacking kiss on the cheek. "You're my fucking hero."
Bert's POV

"Hero?" I asked Gerard when we were finally alone after he had been asked to repeat three times the story of how he had saved Marla's life. "How the fuck is you being her knight in shining armor doing be any favors?!"

"It isn't," he sighed as he sat down heavily on the couch on his bus and wearily rubbed his face with his hands. "I realize it isn't."

"Then why the fuck did you do it!?" I shouted pacing back and forth in front of him.

He gave me a disgusted look and scoffed. "You could thank me for saving her from those goons by the way. I mean you were too goddamn busy doing a fucking kegstand to think about going to look for her."

"That's not--" I began before he cut me off with a vicious slicing motion of his hand.

"Don't try to defend yourself," he said getting more and more agitated. "If you liked this girl half as much as you claim to you wouldn't have lost sight of her all fucking night, let alone left her to walk back here by herself in a strange city. And don't try to act like I have some grand plan to steal her from you either. Right now, you don't have her and I'm a married man and wouldn't do that to a friend. So stop making me the goddamn villain and own up to the fact that you fucked up tonight, not me!"

"ARRG!" I screamed wanting to punch my best friend in his smug fucking face, but instead I punched the counter top of the bus's kitchenette before crumpling to the floor and burying my face in my hands. "I can't believe I've fucked this all up so badly already!"

"You haven't fucked it up," Gerard said calmly sliding off the couch to sit on the floor in front of me. "You just have to stop being so damnedably self-centered."

"She could've really gotten hurt," I mumbled looking up at him through the dredlocks falling into my face.

"Yes, she could have."

"I'm not fucking good with girls," I said frustratedly. "What do I do?"

Gerard sighed before getting smoothly to his feet and pulling me clambering to mine. "You could start by giving a shit."

Ten minutes later I found myself walking across to Marla's bus mumbling, "giveashitgiveashitgiveashit" to myself. I took a deep breath and knocked on the door ignoring the questioning looks from Quinn and Bob as I picked nervously at my fingernails. The door opened and I looked up to find Marla who was still laughing at something that had been being discussed inside. Her face did this weird thing when she realized it was just me standing there and that I wanted to come inside. It was like she went from laughing to disgusted to guilt and then she got then faraway look and a little half smile on her face. I honestly couldn't believe she let me inside.

"So hey," I said.

"Hey," she replied looking super cute in some mismatched pajamas that she had already changed into. Her hair was also wet like she had just gotten out of the shower. She bit her bottom lip and crossed then recrossed her arms. "Do you want a drink or anything?"


She kind of smiled to herself and went to the fridge where she pulled a bottle of whiskey out of the freezer. "Hope you don't mind whiskey," she said rummaging around in the cabinets for some glasses.

"Nope," I replied taking in every little thing she was doing like how she had to stand on her tiptoes to reach the top shelf on the cabinets and how she kept pushing her wet hair back behind her ears. I heard giggling and shushing coming from the back of the bus and looked behind me to see who else was inside with us, almost everyone else was outside or in their own buses.

"It's just that I kinda drank all of the beer last night," she finished hurriedly setting down the glasses and struggling for a second with the cap on the bottle of Jack Daniels that she was holding.

"Let me," I said taking the bottle from her and opening it in one twist before pouring a bit in the plastic glasses that she had set on the table.

"Thanks," she said sitting down and smoothing her hair back behind her ears again. Why was she fidgeting so much? Maybe she's trying to get rid of me. We sat in an awkward silence for a couple of minutes sipping on the cold burning whiskey. "Ummm, I really liked your set tonight."

"Thanks," I said a little surprised. She had kinda seemed unimpressed when we had played in her apartment and at rehearsals. "What was your favorite song?"

"Well," she said doing this thing where she wrinkled her nose while she thought. "I really like the one about the sharp objects."

"Yea I really like that one lately too," I said smiling genuinely at her. It wasn't that hard to give a shit.

"So," she said taking a big gulp out of her glass and pouring a bit more whiskey for herself. "Did you like, need something? Is that why you're here so late?"

"No no no" I said standing up with my glass in my hand, now I knew she wanted to get rid of me. "I to see if you wanted to talk."

"Oh, well I was just about to lay down," she said gesturing to the bunks that were set into the wall.

"I can go," I said stepping towards the door, cursing myself for coming over to bug her after the shitty night she had.

"No!" She said getting up and reaching out a hand to stop me before seeming to catch herself. "We can still talk. I'm a bit of an insomniac anyway."

"Me too," I said suddenly shy. "Umm, you can lay down on the bed and I can like sit on the floor and talk to you if you want."

She laughed a little laugh I had never heard her do before, "Ok, but don't get any ideas."

Is she flirting with me? Is that how girls flirt? "Me? Never?" I said with a smile settling myself on the floor next to the bunk that she climbed into with the bottle of whiskey between us.
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