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May 1, 2015 3:02 am  #1


Here's a fic I wrote today for you guys.  The premise might not be 100% realistic, as it's based on a dream I had last night about a member of my favorite band, but I thought you guys would like it nonetheless.

She wandered through the darkening fairgrounds, trying to remember where she’d parked at the beginning of the music festival.  The pavilions that had once been filled with bands and merchandise were now empty, the folding tables left out and awaiting the beginning of the next day’s celebration.  She scanned the posters, which the occasional yellow-shirted maintenance workers were pulling down, but before she could figure out which one she had seen first upon entering the festival, her eyes caught on some movement in one of the pavilions.  One dark figure still stood amidst the tables, fiddling around with a few remaining boxes.  She remembered that the place he stood had once been the booth for her favorite band.  Curiosity getting the best of her, she moved closer. 

It didn’t take long for her to recognize the guitarist’s silhouette.  Her heart fluttered; he had been her favorite musician since she had fallen in love with the band in middle school, and now she stood only a few yards away from him.  Sure, he had been signing things earlier at the festival, but when you’re just another face elbowing through a crowd of raving fans, you don’t get a very personalized meet and greet experience.  She called out his name, hoping none of the fairground staff would hear her and tote her away.  They didn’t seem to notice, but he did.  He raised his head and turned to stare curiously at her. 

“I’m sorry, I don’t want to harass you or anything,” she said, moving forward until she stood across the table from him.  “I just didn’t feel like I really got the chance to properly thank you earlier for everything you’ve done.  You’re my absolute favorite musician, and you’re such an inspiration to me.  Your lyrics are just…amazing.  It’s like you’re describing my life, but in more detail than I could even comprehend it.  No one else writes songs like you.”
She paused, realizing she was rambling and hoping she wasn’t annoying him.  Seeing the smile on his face reassured her that she was fine.

“Thanks,” he said.  “I think songwriting’s my favorite part of the process.  There’s nothing quite like getting all your deepest feelings onto paper and then seeing them out in the world, you know?”

“I’d bet,” she said.  “So what’re you still doing here?  Where are the rest of the guys?”  She’d spoken without thinking, as though he were her friend and not her idol.

He shrugged, not seeming to find her questions out of place.  “They wanted to go party after the festival.  I wasn’t really in the mood so I told them to go ahead and I would finish cleaning up.  Sorry to disappoint you, but it’s just me here.”

“You’re definitely not a disappointment,” she said.  “Hey, can I ask you a favor?  If not, it’s cool, but I was wondering if there was any way I could get a picture with you  My phone has flash.”  She held up the smartphone, as if providing proof. 

“Sure thing,” he said, and gestured for her to come around the table.  She did so, and he took her phone from her and held it out in front of them, putting an arm around her.  She felt herself blush as she smiled for the camera.  After the white light blinded them, she expected him to hand the phone back, but instead he got it ready for a second photo.  This time, he leaned forward and kissed her cheek.  She could only imagine how big and stupid her smile was this time, and she didn’t really care about the brightness of the flash.  He pulled away a little and lowered the phone, but he left the other arm around her as he handed back the phone.  She saw something strange, perhaps even wistful, on his face as he asked her if she liked the pictures.  She said she did and thanked him, but her voice was softer now that she’d seen his expression.  Before she knew what was happening, he had leaned forward, and she felt his lips brushing hers.  She kissed him back, and he seemed to warm a little to her when he felt her returning the gesture.  The kiss was very gentle and slow—not what one would expect from a rock star.  Finally, he pulled away, and she looked up at him in surprise.  A light hung on a pole outside of the pavilion, and a reflection on his face caught her eye.  She thought she saw a beaded tear collected in his eyelashes, but before she could be sure, he spun away from her, laying his palms flat on the table behind them.  Her eyes traced the tension in his tattooed shoulders. 

“What’s wrong?” she asked him.

“Nothing,” he said, though his voice was tight.  “We took your pictures.  Go home.  I’m not looking for any groupies tonight.”

“I’m not a groupy,” she said, shocked.  “That’s not what I’m here for.  You’re the one that kissed me.”  Her voice softened as she realized she probably wasn’t helping matters by yelling at him.  “You just seem upset.  I want to know if there’s anything I can do.”

He sighed, and then he was sinking down until he sat on the concrete floor, his head in his hands.  Shocked, she looked around, unsure of what to do.  Somehow, the few people who were around seemed not to be taking any notice of them, so after a minute of deliberation, she settled down beside him, the rubber of her Converses scraping against the cold concrete as she folded her legs.  They sat in silence.

“Do you know what it’s like to be loved for who other people think you are?” he said after several minutes.

“I don’t know,” she said carefully, “but it doesn’t sound like any fun.”

He shook his head.  “Being famous isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.  There’s all this conditional affection everywhere.  We love you because you wrote our favorite song.  We’ll love you so long as you keep making music.  But do you know what happens when a musician’s career goes downhill?  They become a joke.  They start making music their fans don’t like and all their fans turn on them and talk shit on them.  Everybody’s fake.”

“Is that happening to you?  Do people not like your new stuff?”

“No, but it’s only a matter of time.  Favorite bands get replaced.”

“Not always,” she said, but he only shrugged. 

“It doesn’t matter if I get replaced or not, really,” he said.  “I know why they like me, and it’s not my personality.”

“Because they don’t know you,” she said.  “I’ve loved you and your music for the past ten years, and I’ve never had a chance to talk to you before today.  That doesn’t mean I’m incapable of caring about you as a person, too.  Besides, you have more than just your fans in your life.  What about the guys?”

He scoffed.  “They used to be my best friends.”

“Used to be?”

“I’m the front man.  I write the songs.  They count on me to keep the band afloat.  I don’t mean shit to them anymore; I’m just their ticket to fame.”

 She heard his voice growing thicker as he said this, and her heart hurt.  “I’m sure that’s not true,” she said.
He shook his head, but didn’t talk for a minute.  Finally, in a very soft and measured tone, he said, “My mom died when I was fifteen. My dad’s never cared about me.  They’re the only family I have.  That’s why I started this stupid band.  I wanted to bring the four of us closer together.”  His voice started to break.  “Instead, they don’t give a shit about me.”

She heard him sob and looked over at him in alarm.  His body, which had always looked so perfect to her in magazines, sat hunched over, his shoulders shaking.  Their worlds were colliding, and she didn’t know what to do.
“I’m the only person I have in this whole entire world, and even I hate myself,” he said bitterly. 

She thought of all the songs he’d written, songs of depression and exclusion.  She’d related to those songs in her darkest days, but she’d never considered that, for someone to keep writing them, the feelings probably never went away.  Without thinking, she reached out a hand and rested it on his back.  She felt the way his sobs were shaking him to his core, and when he didn’t protest, she began to gently caress his back and shoulders.  She searched her mind for a particularly applicable verse from one of his songs, and when she found the right one, she recited it to him quietly.

As soon as the words left her mouth, he froze, his muscles growing rigid under her palm.
“You’re not as alone as you think,” she continued.  “You said so yourself.  I know all your deepest feelings.  Everything you’ve ever felt enough to put into song, I’ve heard, and I was out there somewhere in the world, feeling it right along with you.  A lot of us were.  I understand what you were saying about fans only loving you for making good music, and I’m sure that, in a lot of cases, that’s true.  Most people will stop caring the day you stop writing music, or the day they think it’s not good enough for them.  But some of us really have been listening, and we love you for who you really are.”

He looked over at her then, and she could see his tear-stained face despite the darkness.  His eyes looked uncertain and vulnerable, as though he were trying to decide if he could trust her.

“Thanks,” he said, and looked down with apparent embarrassment.  “Sorry I randomly kissed you earlier.  I guess I’ve been looking for some kind of genuine human connection, but that wasn’t a way to do it.”

“It’s okay,” she said, not wanting to tell him he had fulfilled her twelve-year-old self’s wildest dreams. 

“It just hurts so much…” he said, his voice barely more than a trembling breath. 

She knew from his songs as well as from what he’d told her that night that there was a lot more than merely the burden of fame weighing down on him.  People he cared about had been treating him like shit his entire life, and this current state of self-loathing was a culmination of all of that pain.  She wrapped her arm around him and pulled him toward her, and she was surprised when he offered no resistance, falling sideways into her lap.  She looked down at the man she had so recently found intimidating and realized she was looking at an equal.  She gently pulled his black bangs away from his pink, contorted face and ran her other hand comfortingly over his arm, tracing the tattoos she had memorized in middle school.  After a few minutes, she thought of another of his songs.  This one spoke of strength and hope, of waiting out the dark times with someone who cared.  She sang it to him softly, slowing the tempo significantly to transform the song into a private ballad meant just for him.  When he heard it, he reached up to her and took her hand in his, squeezing it tightly.

She held him for a while after she’d stopped singing.  By now, the world had gone completely black except for the occasional light pole distributed across the fairground, and she could feel him better than she could see him.  When he finally seemed to have stopped crying, he pushed himself back up into a sitting position and sat there.  She wondered if, after sharing such a personal moment with him, he would return to the limelight and she to the crowd, once again on two different levels of society that rarely ever intersected.  It felt almost inappropriate, and yet also almost inevitable, that they would never speak again.  She turned to him, deciding to break the forming awkwardness.  No matter what happened after that night, she wanted to give him at least one more thing before they parted.

She reached over and cupped his cheek, feeling the residual moisture of his tears, and she turned him to face her. 
“What’s this?” he asked quietly, tapping her hand with one finger.

“Genuine human connection,” she said and leaned over to kiss him.  She tasted the salt of his tears on his lips, and he remained frozen in shock for a moment before he kissed her back.  Their arms twined around each other, not with sexual passion but rather with an emotional sort of affection, and she stroked his cheek gently with her thumb.  This kiss lasted much longer than their first one, and when they finally pulled away from each other, he stared at her, speechless.   



May 1, 2015 4:59 am  #2

Re: Connection


"We have our stalking memories, and they will demand their rightful tears."

May 1, 2015 10:18 pm  #3

Re: Connection

Too sweet, I loved it! <3

"Sometimes, the best way to help someone is just to be near them."
-Veronica Roth

May 2, 2015 12:28 am  #4

Re: Connection


" do not cry. They will do anything BUT cry. They stop themselves crying. And eventually they do cry if it is bad enough. So that's how you know with a man how bad it is for him. Because he would've stopped himself...Men always cry like that. They don't cry and in the end they do and if they do then it's overwhelming." ~Michael Caine

May 10, 2015 2:38 pm  #5

Re: Connection

This is wonderful!


May 12, 2015 2:32 pm  #6

Re: Connection

I love this story. Its beautiful.

"it doesn't take a lot of straingh to hang on, it takes a lot of straingh to let go" 

May 19, 2015 12:31 am  #7

Re: Connection

Nice job.  You have a real talent for this.


July 14, 2015 1:29 am  #8

Re: Connection

Thanks so much for all your positive feedback!  I haven't been able to get on in a while because I currently don't have internet at my house, but it was a great thing to stumble into when I finally made it back.  

     Thread Starter

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