August 24, 1984
“Wahoo!” Alex shouted as everybody walked backstage. “That was awesome!”
“Dude, they freaking loved us!” Jason shouted. “Man oh man, I can’t freaking believe it!”
Robbie was just as enthusiastic about the performance as Alex and Jason, but he was more focused on Sam, who was as white as a sheet.
“You okay?” Robbie asked, chuckling.
“I…I...,” Sam stammered, bug-eyed. “I just…played at a concert. It…it wasn’t a dream.”
Robbie laughed. “You’d better get used to it, cuz’ I’m pretty sure we’re gonna’ have more gigs coming up. You know why? Because those people loved us.”
“You heard me, right? They loved us. More specifically, they loved you.”
“Sam, did you hear all that cheering? All that screaming? Those people were cheering for you. Because of how great you were. Don’t you realize how incredible that is?”
“Y…yeah, I guess.”
“Hundreds of people all cheering because of how much they loved your singing. I think I heard a few compliments shouted as well. All directed towards you. Not one rude remark or one person insulting you. Nothing but praise.”
“I wonder what those kids at school would think about that. Bet they would love to be on stage with hundreds of people cheering for them.”
“Sam, if this isn’t what it’s like to be a famous musician, then I don’t know what is. Get ready man, because your life has just begun. Your real life.”
For the first time since the concert ended, Sam began to form a smile. The whiteness in his face instantly faded into redness.
“Th…thanks Robbie,” Sam said.
“Bet you’re happy you didn’t listen to your dad, aren’t you?” Robbie asked.
Sam nodded. “I’m so glad I met you at that diner.”
At that moment, one of the organizers walked backstage. Everybody looked at him.
“Nice work, gentleman,” he said. “That was a pretty fine performance.”
“Thanks,” Robbie said.
“Excellent voice you’ve got, young man,” the man said to Sam. “You have some pretty amazing talent.”
“Gee, thanks,” Sam said, smiling.
“Anyway, y’all be sure to clear off as soon as you can. Next show is in about ten minutes.”
“Anyway, here you go.”
The man handed Sam a small envelope and then left.
“So, where we gonna’ eat?” Alex asked. “I’m down for some Carl’s Jr. or Wendy’s.”
“I’m tired of burgers,” Jason said. “Let’s go get Chinese.”
“Why don’t we let Sam decide?” Robbie said. “He was the star tonight.”
Sam blushed again.
“Well…y’all did really good too,” He said.
“Not as good as you,” Robbie said. “We would’ve been nothing without that awesome singing.”
Sam smiled again and looked down.
“Well, okay. I guess…we…Jason, you don’t want burgers, okay. Alex doesn’t like seafood. So…Italian?”
“I’m good with Italian,” Jason said.
“Sure,” Alex said. “Could use some lasagna right now.”
“Then let’s go!” Robbie said. “White Knights march!”
“Let’s not make that a thing,” Alex said.
As the group left the concert area, Sam looked over at the large group of people. All those people were cheering for him just moments earlier. And they didn’t even know him. Just his talent.
Robbie’s words “your life has begun” began to echo in Sam’s mind. Sam wasn’t sure what the future had planned for him, but he knew one thing for sure. He would always remain eternally grateful that he had met a talented guitarist named Robbie Larson.