The audience cheered as you finished your set for the night. Offering a small smile to them in response, you noticed your hand shaking slightly. You never had this problem when you were playing, just afterwards when you remembered that you were actually playing in front of people. The barrier between you and them dropped as soon as the music stopped, no longer lost in the music you played, your brain became aware that there were a lot of people staring at you. The centre of attention. Something you hated to be. Your fellow bandmates walked over as you carefully put your bass down on the stand before allowing (Your/Friend's/Name) to put an arm around you with a smile. You all walked to the front of the stage and took a bow.
The crowd was pretty impressive for a small bar in an even smaller town. Tourists didn't know this place existed, so the floor was usually filled by locals and their friends from out of town. They continued to cheer as you bowed one last time, and then it was lights out on the stage. The dimmer bar lights went on around you, allowing you to navigate your way back to your bass and stand. Unplugging the wire from the front, you unplugged it from the amp and proceeded to roll it around the palm of your hand until it was small enough to fit into your case.
"Great show tonight, Y/N." (Y/F/N) spoke in a congratulatory tone with an accompanying smile. "The crowd loved it."
"They did?" Your brain was already beginning to doubt just how much they did actually enjoy it. I mean…they could have just clapped out of sympathy for bad bass playing. Or just because they were being nice. The locals round here were always nice. They would have clapped even if you'd done nothing but lie around for the entire set.
The crowd had filtered out of the bar now, only a few remained.
"Excuse me?" You heard a voice speak up from beside the stage.
You turned to see a guy around 24/25 with quiffed brown hair and light green eyes. Even in the crappy lights of the bar, you could still tell that he was like something out of an Abercrombie and Fitch catalogue. You know, the kind of guy that just doesn't exist in real life. And yet, here he was. That really didn't help when you then had to respond to him a few seconds later…after you'd stopped taking in just how sex god-ish he was.
"Hi-" You voice stuttered out. This was the part you always hated. Social interaction had never been your strong point, nevermind with a stranger. A very attractive stranger nonetheless.
"You were great." He commented with a smile.
You hated getting compliments, and you didn't know why. Compliments were supposed to be a good thing. Something to make you feel better. For you however, they didn't have this effect. Compliments were awkward, and normally required an equally awkward style of deflecting from the niceness being spoken about you to a different topic.
"Thanks…" You answered in a tone that clearly emphasised the awkwardness without even meaning to do it. It was as your brain just wanted everyone around you to think you were some kind of freak. Fuck you brain.
The guy cracked a small smile, but didn't seem to be bothered by the whole situation. That's weird…everyone's bothered by it.
"Honestly, you were good out there, despite what your brain might think." He spoke up.
Your eyes widened suddenly. What the actual hell? How did he know what your brain was thinking?
"My little brother…he has social anxiety…" He paused. "Trust me, I know the signs. I saw your hands shaking as you went to the front of the stage."
"That obvious, huh?" You smirked but didn't know why.
"Don't beat yourself up over something that was perfect." The guy replied before pointing to your head. "Ignore it, it's wrong."
"I don't think brains are usually wrong about much."
"Yeah, now you sound like Sam." The guy smirked. "Y/N, right?"
"I know it's hard when you're brain's always trying to bring you down, but you can fight it. Kick it in the ass. You can tell it to stuff it's crap, because you know you did good, and that's all that matters…not Mr. Brain up there. He's the stupid one for not recognising that you're perfect."
You wiped away a tear that trickled down your cheek. "Thank you."
He smiled the most beautiful, thoughtful, caring smile you had ever seen. "Don't mention it." The guy then dug threw his pocket before pulling out a business card. The details had been crossed out on it, but the number remained. A mobile number. "If you ever need to talk about anything, give me a call."
You nodded, taking the card from him and holding it tightly in your hand. "I will."
"Good." He nodded too, still smiling, before turning to walk away.
"Hey…" You called after him.
The guy stopped and glanced back.
"Where's your little brother?" You asked, curious about the person who also shared your social anxiety.
The guy quipped a smile. "He got a full ride to Stanford." And he couldn't look more proud if he'd tried.
As the bell on the door tinged, you smiled.
You could do this.
And you would.