I looked at him, nervous, and quietly said my name. “Well, Hi Lucy. I am very pleased to meet you, indeed.” As he took my hand and winked at me I heard Brax crack up and tell him to shut up before he gave him a shove out the way.
“So I am assuming Monkey nuts is not your real name?” He raised his eyebrow to me as he leant against the kitchen counter and crossed his ankles. When he asked me if I wanted it to be I replied in kind “I think the question you were looking for is, do you want it to be?”
“Why wouldn’t I? Babes love a bit of Monkey nuts.” The guys laughed and encouraged him as Charlie shook her head. Although something told me she was very much used to this kind of behaviour.
“You do know it is a fact the loudest monkey’s have the smallest nuts?” Now it was Charlie’s turn to laugh before he questioned how I would know that.
“Dude, she’s a scientist.” When Jasper told them I studied science Charlie and Brax lost it, and couldn’t wait to peg shit on him.
“Well fuck! So which animals have huge testicles?” It was my turn to chuckle this time and Charlie quickly introduced him by his real name, Chester. He turned to Jasper now he had finished embarrassing me. “Jasper, why do you look so familiar to me?”
“A couple of years ago, you and Liam were on the Gold Coast doing a workshop when I came into the studio. . .”
“That’s right! Liam was doing that session with that young drummer.” Jasper explained that it was Jes from his band and he was down there to meet his manager at the time the workshop took place. “Mad bro. I thought I recognised you the moment Midget showed us the video. You’ve got some impressive stuff on there.”
“Actually bro, I had an idea I wanted to run by you. Jasper and I were downstairs talking when we came up with it. Glad you decided to turn up, we could use a second opinion.” When Brax asked Chester if he was free, I wondered what they had decided and looked to Jasper who winked at me.
“Yeah I can do, more to the point though, why is Midget letting you think on your own?” Charlie laughed and explained to him to think of it like a plane when it dumps fuel. It’s productive in the right circumstances. When Brax told her to be quiet, nobody asked her, Charlie pointed out that was exactly what Chester did.
“Well how about I just run it by you all since little miss I have an opinion wants to be involved.” I laughed when I saw Charlie roll her eyes at him. It was refreshing to see them so down to earth given their status in the music industry, and I was thankful to Jasper. Seeing them had helped to squash a lot of the concerns I had been experiencing. “You heard Jasper’s videos on Social media right? The ones we listened to when you got tagged Cutie?” He asked his wife as she agreed before Chester added the one they played to the rest of the band, was tight on the lyrics. Jasper’s face beamed hearing that and he thanked Chester explaining what a huge compliment it was to hear him say that. It was obvious to me how much their opinion meant to him, and how much he had looked up to them. “Anyone else notice he has a similar voice to someone else we know?”
Jasper and I watched as Charlie pulled her phone out when Brax asked that question and started playing one of Jasper’s songs. They all listened for a few minutes as we waited to see where this was going. Charlie finally looked up at Jasper then turned to her husband. “He sounds like Aaron.”
When Brax asked if they heard it too, Chester added “Yeah bro. On that bridge he sounds just like him. His earlier stuff, back in the garage day.”
The three of them agreed before Brax continued “Well, seeing as Aaron can’t be here and I know the fans wanted us to play our new song. . .”
Charlie had sensed where he was leading and cut him off “You are thinking of getting Jasper to fill in for Aaron aren’t you?”
I looked on shocked and excited for Jasper as Chester agreed with her, and Brax told them what they had been up to downstairs. “I got Jasper to have a go of Aaron’s verses for me downstairs. I’m fucking pumped bro, you need to hear it.”
“Thanks man, it’s fucking mind blowing to hear you say that.” I realised I was smiling like a fool right now, but I was so happy for Jasper. I knew how much this meant to him, it was a dream come true to be standing in the same room as these guys, but to be given the opportunity to go on stage with them, it was everything he ever wanted.
I was drawn back to the conversation when I heard Chester ask if we were in a hurry. Jasper looked at me and I shook my head, letting him know I had nothing else on. “Not at all, what did you need?” Jasper replied as Chester asked if he wanted to give it another go. “Sure, I would be happy to.”
Brax invited us down into his studio and Jasper took my hand as we followed them both. He stopped at the top of the stairs to see if Charlie was joining us “Are Molly’s ear muffs down there?” When Brax said they were she headed over and Chester made a beeline for their daughter.
“Give me my pebbles. Come to Uncle Monkey.” Their little girl practically jumped to Chester and it was obvious to anyone, even if they didn’t know them intimately, that he was clearly the one who spoilt her. I had to ask why he called her pebbles though. He chuckled and said it was a long story “But the short version is, Brax gets all caveman over Charlie. It was a joke at his expense, a reference to the Flintstones.”
Brax turned and asked me who needs enemies with mates like that and I chuckled. As we got down to his home studio I was in shock at the size of it. I could have easily been mistaken for thinking this was a professional recording studio. Actually, I think it was. He had everything he would need right here in his home, by the looks of it. My shock spilled from my lips before I could stop it. “Wow! This is huge.”
“That’s what she said.” When Chester said that my hands flew to mouth, and the guys cracked up laughing. I couldn’t believe that came out of my mouth, and if you gave me a mirror I guarantee my cheeks would be bright red.
I tried to apologise when Charlie squeezed my hand and told me not to worry. “You have nothing to be sorry for, they say worse every minute of every day.”
Jasper was still smiling in amusement as he leaned over and gave me a quick kiss. “You are too cute sometimes.” I took a seat on the sofa next to Charlie and her daughter Molly, while Chester was busy sitting in the swivel chair going around in circles on it. I watched him amusement and saw characteristics of Jasper in him that made me wonder if he would also still be a clown at that age. I was drawn out of it when I felt my hair being tugged at. I looked over and saw little Molly playing with my hair as she looked up at me.
I looked down at her little face and saw her sitting there on her mother’s lap, all excited with her ear muffs on, and it suddenly dawned on me what Charlie was trying to tell me earlier. If something is really that important to you, you find a way to make it work, not look for an excuse as to why it can’t. “Sorry, is she pulling your hair? She has a thing for hair.”
I shook my head out of my thoughts when I heard Charlie speak. “Oh no, she is fine. Does she watch her dad perform a lot?”
“He will sing to her often, or if he is working here he brings her with him a lot. She grew up on the music so the noise doesn’t bother her so much, she just loves watching her dad.” I smiled at her little face and when she heard the music come on I saw her head shoot to her dad and her little hands start to clap.
“Same as last time bro?” I heard Brax ask Jasper as he nodded. They were standing in front of a mic each and I soon heard Brax start his verse. And the star struck feeling swept over me again. I have heard his songs many times over the years on the radio, but live is something else. When I looked at Jasper I saw he was watching Brax also and seemed just as mesmerised as I was.
Soon it was Jasper’s turn to go and as always he never disappoints me. I took a look around the room and I saw Charlie watching him close, while Molly was still clapping her hands and when I looked to Chester I saw he had stopped swivelling on his chair. His hands rested on his knees with his head in them as he watched Jasper intently.
Unfortunately I couldn’t see his face, but from what I have observed of him, it has to be a good thing right if something has caught his attention? He seemed to be the type that got easily distracted, and a natural fear of missing out, from what I have observed. As the song came to an end and Brax turned the music off he looked to Chester and Charlie and asked what they thought.
After a few minutes of quiet while Jasper and I held the longest breath of our lives, we finally heard Chester speak “FUCK YES! That was tidy man.“He jumped up and fist bumped Jasper before giving him a hug. “That was seriously tight bro. That song hasn’t been out long, and to hit it like that, man even Aaron would be impressed by that Brax and you know it.”
“I said the same thing, that’s why I wanted you guys to hear it.” Brax reached over and fist bumped Jasper at that.
“Nice. Alright guys I better bounce, I have a heavily pregnant missus at home whom I better get back to. Why doesn’t Jasper come along to our rehearsal tomorrow afternoon, the other guys need to hear this shit.” When Brax agreed with Chester he asked if Jasper was keen. I think we all knew the answer to that was absolutely. “Sick, see you then mate. And thanks for helping us out of a jam.”
“Nah man, thank you for the opportunity.”
Jasper and Chester shook hands before he turned to me and took mine. “Nice to meet you Professor Plum.” I chucked in confusion and asked what he was talking about. “You’re a scientist right? The only Professor I know is Professor Plum from Cluedo. Catch ya.”
He winked at me and gave me two thumbs up and a cheesy grin before he cruised out the room. I turned back to the others, still confused. It was Charlie who tried to explain “It’s alright hunny, he’s always like that.”
Before I could ask, Brax added “And no, he doesn’t grow out of it, in face he gets worse the older he gets.” Jasper and I both laughed, and I could find the truth in that statement. “Well I suppose I better let you two bounce as well. I will text you the details for tomorrow afternoon. Lucy you are more than welcome to come if you are free. Charlie will be there and probably some of the other girls.”
“Thank you, I appreciate that.” As we headed upstairs, Jasper and Brax were talking so I turned to Charlie and Molly. “Thank you for today, I really appreciate everything you said.”
“Anytime, here’s my number. If I can ever help Lucy, I am always here.” She gave me a warm hug and I thanked her again as we said goodbye and headed out. We walked up to the top of the driveway to wait for our uber and as I got to the top I felt Jasper take my hand and spin me into him.
“I can’t wait to get back to the hotel so I can show you how much I truly appreciate you in my life Lucy.” Before I could answer, I felt his arm tighten around my waist and his lips feverishly take a hold of my own. When he pulled back I asked him what that was for. “I am just so happy, you made all my dreams come true in that house. I had you there, I was standing next to my idol and I got to rap with him. If it wasn’t for you, I may never have got this opportunity.”