One Obsessed Fan
Sarah stood outside the door of room 12D waiting for her friend, Lenna, to get out of her theatre-dance class. She knew it would take a few minutes more than usual because of the trip to the mall that had come up so suddenly on their lunch break that they now planned to take after school.
You see, Lenna had a habit of wearing jeans and a t-shirt to school, but this wasn't her true choice in style. The jeans and t-shirt were merely far easier to dance in than the elaborate get-up that she insisted on wearing when going out for anything other than dancing. I mean, really, have you ever tried dancing in go-go boots?
About ten minutes later, out popped Lena in a black-lined plaid dress that stopped about mid-thigh, made complete with a pair of black knee-high klonkers and a pair of fingerless, scraggly, black-lined plaid opera gloves. She also wore a black-lined plaid choker with a ruffly, lacey black strip running along the bottom. Her dyed-black hair was streaked with a brilliant red that she had applied only days before.
Sarah smiled and shook her head, grateful that her own style wasn't so complex.
"Quicker than I'd expected," she remarked, looking at her watch.
Lenna grabbed Sarah's arm and pulled it towards herself so she could check the time for herself. "Woo!" she screamed, letting go abruptly. "Record time!"
Sarah laughed as they began the trek to Lenna's old, beat up Ford. They dropped their stuff in the trunk upon their arrival, then went to climb into the front.
"So, this mall trip is awfully sudden," said Sarah. "What David Bowie album is debuting today?"
Lenna grinned. "You know me far too well."
Sarah smirked. "You've only been prancing around the dorm talking about nothing but the new David Bowie album for the past month. Unfortunately, you failed to mention the name."
"Outside is the name of the glorious album that's arriving on the shelves this wonderful day," Lenna informed her in an incredibly dramatic tone, sighing wistfully.
Sarah shook her head. "Girl, you've got it bad for him," she laughed.
Lenna gave a dramatically sad smile. "Forever doomed to live vicariously through Iman, I'm afraid," she said before cranking up the stereo. Let's Dance blared jubilantly through the brand new speakers. Sarah loved Lenna's priorities. The car was practically falling apart and you had a hit or miss chance of the engine actually starting, but her friend was sure to have the best stereo system that her hard-earned and long-saved money could afford. In fact, if it were between eating and playing David Bowie on the best system out there, Sarah had a feeling that Lenna would starve.
After twenty David-Bowie-filled minutes of driving, Lenna pulled into the mall parking lot and shut off the car. The next thing Sarah knew, Lenna was miraculously half way across the lot, darting towards the mall's main doors. Sarah had just barely unbuckled her seatbelt at this point. Lenna's speed would have astonished her if she hadn't witnessed it first-hand countless times before.
Normally, she would have rushed to catch up, but she knew from experience that it was safer to hang back and watch from afar when Lenna's "mission" involved David Bowie. So Sarah moved at a normal pace, being sure to make certain the car was locked before meandering to the front of the mall and entering, making an immediate right upon walking through the double glass doors and stopping at the window of the music store where she proceeded to watch the mission unfold.
Lenna was reaching for what appeared to be the last copy of the new album that she sought after. Sarah was happy for her friend until she saw someone else reach for the exact same CD. Her face fell and the words "oh, no" escaped her lips. However, it wasn't Lenna's safety that she was concerned for. She was really more concerned for Lenna's police record. She had a habit, you see, of getting a bit overzealous when she wanted something and she tended to lose self-control. Sarah had, over their years of friendship, witnessed Lenna issuing three broken noses, five black eyes, and the loss of a chunk of flesh from one unfortunate person's hand. Suffice it to say, she didn't need any more help getting into trouble with the law.
The girl opposite Lenna sneered something at her and Sarah could see offended rage paint Lenna's face before she leaned dangerously close to the other girl and whispered something.
Sarah had no clue what she'd said to her, but clearly it had hit just right because the other girl let go of the CD and rose her hands in surrender.
She watched as Lenna slowly walked to the counter, petting and apparently cooing at the CD. She also watched as the cashier reached for the album, causing Lenna to pull it tight against her bosom protectively before reluctantly handing it over to be scanned. She noticed how Lenna made several gestures as she spoke something frantically. Sarah couldn't quite hear, but her body language screamed "watch it! Be careful!"
Sarah could see the panic in Lenna's eyes when the cashier didn't bag the CD and hand it to her right away. When the man produced another CD from behind the counter, though, Sarah could see Lenna become mesmerized. Sarah's brow furrowed curiously as she watched the exchange between the two. The man explaining something to her (easy to figure out by watching his body language) and Lenna nodding swiftly.
The cashier moved to hand Lenna the small plastic bag that contained her new CDs and Lenna's hands struck out like snakes, grabbing the bag away and pulling it tight to her chest again, holding it in an unbreakable, yet gentle grasp.
Sarah moved away from the window as Lenna neared the exit of the store.
"So, what'd you say to get that other girl to surrender the CD?" she asked, far too curious to hold back. She had to admit, she was surprised at the lack of violence in the encounter.
Lenna blinked at her, looking incredibly confused. "I didn't say anything to anyone. What other girl?"
Sarah mentally rolled her eyes. Her poor friend. Her habit of blacking out during these instances was the only thing that had gotten her sent to a psychiatrist by the court instead of to prison. Why she'd thought that Lenna would remember this instance, she wasn't sure.
Lenna reached into the bag and pulled out a new album with Heathen written across the front, Outside apparently forgotten.
"Did you call to get that one held for you?" Sarah asked, brow furrowed.
Lenna shook her head. "I didn't even know it existed. The store owner found it in their recent shipment and, what with it being the only copy, figured he'd set it aside for me so I could have first dibs.
"Yeah." Lenna sighed, a huge smile crossing her face as she stared at the album cover.
"You're thrilled to be the first to get your hands on it, aren't you?"
"Better than getting an album on release date."
They decided on a drive-through for dinner on their way back to the car. When they got in, Lenna pulled her Let's Dance album out of the CD player, petting it and cooing at it as she put it safely back inside its case, then popped her new Heathen album in and hit the random button. She merely wished to get a taste of what Bowie had written for this album on the drive home. She figured she'd listen for the story later on when she didn't have a road to focus on.
Sarah stared at the album cover as Lenna got situated. "This isn't gonna send us on a fast track to Hell, is it?" Sarah joked, trying not to focus too hard on the eerie eyes in the cover art.
Lenna let out another wistful sigh. "I don't care if it does. The music would be worth it," she replied, making a mental apology to God for her response immediately after.
Sarah leaned back in her seat, listening to the soothing melodies of the album. While she wasn't quite the David Bowie fan that Lenna was, she had to admit that his music wasn't half bad. His voice wasn't the most gorgeous in the world, but somehow it fit and the man certainly was unique with a wide range of style.
"What do you want?"
"Huh?" Sarah asked, opening her eyes and discovering that they were in the drive through line at McDonald's.
"What do you want?" Lenna asked again.
"Oh. Get me a double cheeseburger and a large soda. We can split a large fries if you want."
"Works for me. What kind of soda?"
"Dr. Pepper." Sarah closed her eyes again as her friend began to order. The song that currently played had her entranced, though she couldn't figure out what it was that held her interest.
"Open up your heart to me, show me who you are, and I would be your slave."
Something about it felt oddly familiar and she was having a hell of a time pin pointing it. She mentally shrugged. She'd figure it out later. She felt the car pull forward and she opened her eyes to help Lenna bring the bags into the car. As the window rolled back up, she pulled out her burger and Lenna started to move forward again.
A loud crashing sound startled Sarah and she found it strange that she was unable to see where it was coming from as everything went back. She felt as if she was falling into a deep, never ending pit of pitch blackness, but her fall was slow and relaxing, similar to the way a rocking cradle would lull an infant to sleep.