The Misunderstood Concert, Wembley Stadium, London
His black biker boots kick something across the stage. Probably a pair of damp panties.
“How you doin, London?”
The greatest rock star in the world then rests his guitar against the chrome drum kit before whipping his vest over his head in one swift movement.
The resultant screams are deafening.
Lonigan Grey’s taut, sinewy muscles and defined six-pack are now on welcome display, emphasised further by the layer of sweat covering and running in rivulets down his lethal body generated from the physical exertion of performing to his adoring fans. My eyes slowly trail over his naked and heavily inked torso.
Jesus Christ, what I wouldn’t give to be able to lick that sweat off him.
“You good, Wembley?”
The stadium erupts.
Running his hands through his long dirty blonde hair, he smirks at the crowd as he jogs to the very front of the stage. His golden-brown eyes sparkle with adrenaline and dance on his model-like face. His olive skin is kissed by just the right amount of stubble caressing features that look like they’ve been sculpted from the most beautiful marble.
He mops his brow with his vest.
“Anyone want this?”
He holds the sweat-soaked piece of clothing in the air, taunting the crowd with it before exaggeratedly cupping his hand to his ear.
The place goes berserk.
The LG is the consummate performer and ultimate showman, as he now proves by working the crowd into an absolute fucking frenzy. He commands attention and adoration without even asking for it.
“I can’t hear you, London. I said. Do. You. Want. This?”
The screams get louder as the noise reaches fever pitch.
He strides back towards the drums, and my eyes immediately drop to his ass which is perfectly displayed in snug fitted pale blue jeans.
Once he reaches the kit, he shares a joke with Tag the drummer before turning and running towards the front of the stage, launching the vest into the crowd. The tribe surges forward, all desperate to catch and claim the priceless article.
The lights are dimmed—there’s one song left to play.
“We love you, Lonigan!” my BFF Sondra, or Son as I call her, screams at the top of her lungs, causing me to grimace and rub the ear closest to her. I look at my strikingly pretty, petite little friend with her elfin face, dyed black hair and several piercings.
She’s an Emo.
You know, one of those lot who believe they have the God-given right to be more depressed than everyone else and are overjoyed when someone tells them to cheer up. Only inwardly, of course. They have to retain the almost suicidal expression on the outside for overall effect and to retain their Emo badge.
Her fingerless-gloved cloaked hands are cupped around her mouth, forming the miniature loudspeaker it’s compulsory to bring with you to every concert. Like it’s going to assist in her shout out being heard by the LG himself when we’re so far back from the stage he currently resembles a fucking dot.
Me? Well, I sigh loudly since I now have tinnitus, then I continue to stare at him on the big screens, same as I do every sodding time. Drooling. Well, not quite. But almost. I inhale deeply, then wish I hadn’t as my olfactory senses get accosted by the stench of weed, popcorn and beer and not in a pleasant way either. The hellacious combination, which I can almost taste, leads to an almost gippy feeling.
I fucking hate the smell of pot.
The intro for the best song ever fucking written is played.
“Son, it’s time!” I scream, quickly bending my glow stick, which proceeds to light up like a miniature lightsaber. Raising them in the air like we’re Luke Skywalker and Darth bloody Vader, I take our selfie with the LG on the big screens as the background and post the image to my Instagram.
Quickly turning around, we link arms. I’m not trying to sound twee, but this really is one of those cliche lighters in the air moments. You know the ones. We all wave our illuminated symbols of devotion, so they resemble a host of glowing fireflies dancing in a rhythmic sway to the balladic tempo of The Misunderstood’s most successful hit to date.
The spotlight remains on the LG, and my heart flips over as I take in the six foot three inches of lean sexy muscle as he performs. His electric guitar is grasped in his hands like an extension of his phenomenal self as he sings the ballad with passion and feeling. The rawness of his execution makes me gasp out loud and causes tears of emotion to spring to my eyes.
‘I knew you were my destiny. I knew you were the one.’
The entire stadium chants along to the world-recognised song word for bloody word.
Jesus Christ, the man, is something to behold. We truly are not fucking worthy.
I stand hypnotised alongside the thousands of other spell-bound fans, a mismatched group made up of people of varying ages that have turned out in loyal force to attend the long-awaited concert. We all rock together as though joined and connected by some great invisible power.
My favourite song ends, signalling the show’s unwelcome conclusion and my reluctant return to life as I know it.
The stadium lights begin to raise, doing so gradually in an effort not to blind us, as this would only delay the impending mass exodus. The crowd reactively shuffles towards the exits, and we’re all just carried along, given no choice but to head back to the doom of our normality. Son and I are barged into by fans trying to escape, anxious now to be on their way so they can resume their ordinary, everyday lives. Their priority now is how quickly they can get their cars out of the car park.
“Scar, I’ll go and bring the Audi around.”
I nod. Son heads off. She’s small at five foot four. She’s also wearing sensible footwear, not four-inch stilettoes like me, so she can dart through the crowd more easily.
I sigh as I continue towards the exit at a snail’s pace.
The adrenaline rush I had during the concert’s fading fast. I feel deflated as I drop back to reality with a thud, likely feeling the same as most of the other devoted fans who surround me. Many of us turning up year after year for our brief moment of escapism. For our fix of The Misunderstood and the LG.
My obsession with the band has stood the test of time. Well, my infatuation’s with the lead singer, to be honest.
As well as being the frontman of, in my opinion, the greatest rock band in the world, the LG’s also had the starring role in all my fantasies. There’s been no-one else. At twenty-five and a half, I still haven’t given away my V card. Fucking unbelievable, I know.
It’s not that I’m holding onto it intentionally or wearing it proudly like a Blue Peter Badge. But why should I settle for mediocre sex with one of the mediocre men I’ve dated so far?
Anyway, everyone who knows me knows I believe in fate. I’m a fatalist when it comes to love.
What’s for you won’t pass you by, right?
Lonigan Grey assures me that my elusive other half is out there every time he sings Destiny, so who am I to argue or disbelieve? If the LG believes there’s a yang to my yin, then that’s damn well good enough for me. I don’t want to short-change myself. Time’s ticking, though, so spit spot, as Mary Poppins would say.
Any point in partaking in vanilla sex meantime? Nope. No point whatsoever. I mean, someone could come along in the intervening period and turn me into a sex-crazed, lust-filled nympho. It might happen, right? Chances? Exactly! I’m not holding my breath either.
So yes, I’m single. It’s not like I haven’t dated, though—of course, I have. There haven’t been loads of men in fairness, only a handful, and each a damp squib in his own unique way hence why I’ve never progressed beyond kissing and the occasional quick fumble.
My last boyfriend, Scott, ticked every single box apart from the is there a spark box.
At the rate I’m going, I’ll probably end up an old maid with a dozen cats or eaten by Dobermanns or whatever the saying is these days. I’m too picky, some may say, but why shouldn’t I be? In the words of Doris Day. Que sera, sera.
Whatever will be, will be.
So, yes. I’m a romantic fatalist. I’m also a tequila girl, but that’s another story.
Oh, and I should apologise in advance for my cursing and blasphemy. As Gloria says. I am what I am.
So how long have I been infatuated with the LG? Since I was sweet sixteen. Same age Son and I became besties. When we realised, we both liked The Misunderstood.
Way back when my teenage self, filled with the optimism and hope that comes with youth, used to imagine the LG would leap from the stage and drag me into his arms. He’d kiss me passionately then declare me to be the one in front of the sold-out Stadium even though we’d never met, and he didn’t know me from Eve.
I mean, even Eve got way more action than I’ve ever had just from taking a bite from a bloody apple. All I ever got from eating a Granny Smith was fucking indigestion.
The LG and I would then go on to live the happily ever after life we hear about in fairy tales or read about in OK or Hello magazine.
With age brings cynicism. It didn’t take me long to realise that fairy tale endings only happen in movies. Romcoms, to be precise. Films produced with the sole intention of making you believe the rich and famous, day in day out, could meet and fall in love with us mere imperfect mortals. I mean, look at Notting Hill. As if Julia Roberts would wander into a random bookstore and fall in love with the blundering idiot of a bloke running it, even if he were Hugh Grant.
Fairy tale endings only happen in romance novels and only for Cinderella or Snow White or one of the other Disney princesses. Fairy tale endings don’t happen for ordinary everyday folks like me.
So, except for the right here and now, where we’re inhaling the same London smog, the LG and I might as well live in two separate worlds.
Bridget Jones and I are not related, and my life isn’t a Romcom. So, no matter how much my teenage self-wished upon a star for it to be the case, Lonigan Grey is never going to be my Mr Darcy.
I pull down on the bottom of my black leather mini as I walk across the car park. It seemed like a good idea at the time to wear it, but with the temperature now dropped, I’m seriously starting to regret my choice of outfit and having so much bare flesh exposed to the elements. I give up pulling on the hemline as it’s not going to make the length miraculously fucking grow.
I’m still daydreaming when I hear a horn blast, and I turn to see a limo hurtling towards me. My life literally flashes in front of my eyes, and everything suddenly goes into slow-mo. All I can think is I’m going to die a bloody virgin.
I know. Can you believe it?
I stare into the headlights. I try to move, but I’m frozen to the spot. I close my eyes, thinking. This is it. Game over. When I open them, I see the car has missed me with only inches to spare.
“Are you ok?” A deep voice asks, and I’m suddenly aware there’s someone beside me and, going by the accent, he’s American. He’s wearing a hoodie and black aviators. It’s difficult to tell anything else about him apart from the fact that he’s tall.
Maybe he’s a modern-day grim reaper?
Christ knows. All I know is that I can’t speak.
He walks across and says something to the driver, then leads me inside the car.
I follow him even though he could be a serial killer. All common sense seems to go out the window when you feel lucky to be alive. Just so you know.
“Sit down for a moment, sweetheart. You’ve had a shock.”
No shit, Sherlock. You don’t fucking say.
I slide into the back of the limo, conscious my heart is pounding in my chest. I rest my head back on the leather seats running my hands through my long black hair. Shit, I could have died.
I immediately begin to ramble as adrenaline flows through me.
“I’m so sorry. I wasn’t looking where I was going. I feel like such a fucking idiot. Sorry for swearing. I do that a lot. Swear that is. Not walk in front of random cars trying to get myself killed.”
I chuckle then I immediately burst into tears. I know. You couldn’t make it up. One extreme to the fucking other.
He likely now thinks I’m a fruitcake and a weirdo.
A pair of arms envelopes me as I sob into the sweatshirt material of his top. I feel a deep chuckle vibrate in his chest. Is he fucking laughing at me?
I lift my head up.
“I’ll have you know this is no laughing matter,” I say in a jokey stern voice. I sob and smile at the same time. “Shit.” I wipe my cheeks with the back of my hand. “It’s at times like this I’m glad I don’t wear mascara.”
I then sniff loudly. “Sorry, that was really unladylike.”
I take a deep, shaky breath.
“Anyway, I’m fine. I’m so sorry for inconveniencing you like this.”
I sniff again. I fucking hate sniffers. Get a tissue. A full box if needs be.
“You sure you’re ok?”
His accent is lovely. As is his voice. He holds his hand to my cheek, and the connection is immediate.
My heart starts to race again, but it’s not in fear this time.
I stare at him.
Seconds. Minutes. Hours.
Or no time at all.
As surely, it’s standing fucking still.
I have literally no idea.
“My friend should be here by now. I should...I need to go.”
He leans forward, and his hot breath mixes with mine. Is he going to kiss me? For some reason, I want him to.
I really must be in a state of shock if I want the grim fucking reaper to snog me.
My phone rings. The tone is Destiny which means it’s Son.
“Sorry...I...I really need to go.” I open the door in a panic and escape the car, quickly walking away.
“Shit. Wait a sec, sweetheart.” I hear him say. I don’t turn around. His words just make me walk faster. I’m tempted to run, but I don’t. I spot Son’s car and breathe a sigh of relief.
When I open the door, she’s on handsfree to her boss, who I think she’s secretly shagging or wants to shag. She disconnects the call the moment I get in, and we immediately drive off. She doesn’t mention the limo, so I’m guessing she never saw anything.
I glance backwards, and it’s gone.
What the fuck just happened?
Did I just share a serendipity moment with a random stranger after he almost bloody killed me?
"Jesus Christ, Tag,”
I walk into his dressing room, and he’s got a blonde groupie between his legs, deep throating his dick. You’d think after nine years, he’d be fed up fucking the fake and the false like the rest of us, but he just gets worse. Maybe he thinks if we aren’t taking any of them up on their offers these days, it’s all the more for him.
He’s welcome to them.
“Almost done, Loni.” He raises his beer at me with a crooked smile. I close the door and let him get on with it—my phone rings.
“Loni. I’ve lined up some meetings with alternative marketing companies. The label is getting extremely pissy. Leo’s been on complaining that a lot of the merch is wrong, and the social media is way behind. It’s not good that we can’t even keep the fans updated on what’s going on, especially with any venue issues.”
“Shit, did you calm him down. Tell him we’re dealing with it?”
“Yup, all sorted, but we need to make a move. They want the new album release date asap, and then they want the tour booked. We need to transfer publicity like yesterday.”
I sigh and run my fingers through my hair.
“Send me through the details of the companies, Gabe. I’ll have a look. We need to move on this.”
“Will do, Loni. Good luck with your last night. Make it a good one.”
I go to my dressing room and close the door. I say dressing room. It’s four walls and a concrete floor with a shitty grey rug over the top. There’s a mirror and a chair, then a fridge with water and beer.
I shrug. Still. Don’t really need nothing else.
Adrenaline courses through my veins. I get changed and then run through the setlist in my mind. Nine years and thousands of shows, and no matter how many I’ve done, I still get fucking nervous. Least until I’m up there. In front of the tribe. Then they carry me with them as they always do.
There’s a knock on the door.
“Ten minutes.” Someone shouts through.
I jump up and down like a boxer about to step into the ring.
In. Out. In. Out.
I finish my beer and make my way to the stage. The rest of the guys will already be there. My three guitars will be placed precisely where I want them.
I can feel the pulse of the tribe beckoning me. Our fans are some of the fucking greatest in the world. My heart’s pounding. The crowd are roaring. The adrenaline flows like wildfire.
Damn. This is the greatest fucking feeling.
Tag starts with the drums, and the fans go wild. Ash and Davis make their way out and pick up their instruments. Rhythm guitar and bass. The roars get fucking louder. I count down from ten then I step out.
“How you doin, Wembley!”
The force from the crowd is almost fucking tangible. Like a wave of power and heat that surrounds and almost overwhelms me every single time.
They’re here for us. Ninety thousand people rammed into this venue just to see us four guys from New York.
Fucking amazing feeling.
Me? I control the fuckers. Every single one of them is in the palm of my hand.
In the blink of an eye, the show’s over.
Tag’s surrounded by groupies and will likely have some sort of fucking sick pussy orgy.
We’ve all been there. I’ve fucked more women than I can ever remember.
Done every drug. Drank every bottle. Been to every party. Now? Don’t want that shit no more. Performing’s enough of a buzz—a few beers and chill with my girl, and I’m good. Or I would be, but she’s called time on us again.
It’s wearing me the fuck down.
Ash keeps telling me to drop her, but I love her.
Or at least I think I do.
I head to his dressing room
“Ash, I’ll see you back at the hotel, bro.”
“Yeah, bro, see you there.”
I throw on a hoodie and my aviators and wait for security to take me to the limo. Can’t see shit in the dark with these on, but it’s better than being recognised. Nev, my personal security arrives. Bald bloke and built like a brick shithouse. I think he killed someone once. Got away with self-defence. I wouldn’t mess with him.
I get in the car, and we’re driving out of the venue when the driver slams on the brakes.
“What the fuck?”
“Sorry, Mr Grey. Someone just stepped right in front of us.”
I get out of the car. I shouldn’t. Nev’s not tailing us yet. But I do all the same.
A girl is stood scared shitless, and we’re inches away from hitting her.
I can’t really make her out cos of the damn aviators, but I daren’t take them off. She’s likely a groupie, most definitely a fan. She’s tall and slim, wearing a short skirt, and her hair is long and dark.
I bring her into the car as she’s shaking. She starts rambling which has me laughing, and then she burst into tears.
I wrap my arms around her. Not sure what else to do. I guess I should try and comfort her, given we nearly ran her over.
I touch her cheek and the connection’s instant. It’s like my finger touched her skin, and my dick immediately got rock hard.
Well, maybe I’ll be fucking a groupie after all.
Maybe I can fuck her in the back if she’s game. I don’t really want to take her to the hotel in case the paparazzi are there.
Just as I’m about to kiss her, her phone rings. The tone is Destiny. I don’t know whether to feel flattered or fucked off at the interruption.
“Sorry...I...I really need to go.” She pushes me away and gets out of the limo.
“Shit. Wait a sec, sweetheart” But before I can do anything, she leaves in another car.
The driver takes me to the hotel. As soon as I get to my room, I get in the shower.
Then I fuck my hand as I can’t get her out of my goddamn head.
No point dwelling on it.
It’s not like I’ll ever see her again.