Tomorrow

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I Don't Want this Night to End

Jackson

“Have you eaten yet? Chef Mike has the dining area all set up. The crew is already eating. Come on out of there and get some breakfast Jackson.” Cheryl’s tone told me that I was going to have to crawl out of bed.

“Give me five, I’ll be right there.” I was awake anyways, just staring at the ceiling of the tour bus. We arrived in Terra sometime around five in the morning, I felt the bus jerk to a stop, it woke me up and I hadn’t been able to fall asleep again.

I spent the next few hours contemplating my life, my son’s life. Would either of us ever have a normal life? Be a real family? The thought tossed and tumbled around in my brain, not letting me get any rest. Broken, we were broken, and since I couldn’t sleep any longer, I began to fill the pages of my old leather notebook. Lines of a tired man and a lost girl, both separate, yet intertwined. I even left a copy for Dustin and Brett to check out when they woke up. Who knows, maybe Broken would be our next big hit.

I shook the last of my tiredness away as I made my way down the dim hallways located behind the stage. This was my home away from home, all the venues were different but each of them were the same in the sense that they each had dressing rooms, dining rooms, and lounging rooms situated behind the stage. This is where the musicians hung out during the day, so they wouldn’t be so cooped up on a bus.

Our chef traveled with us. Mike was a good guy, a longtime friend of Brett’s, and after a brief stint at a well-known culinary school, he became a top notch chef. We hired him because he cooked pretty darn good food, and mostly because we trusted him.

Both Dustin and Brett were already chowing down at one of the tables. And while Cheryl made sure we all ate, the girl herself could go all day just carrying around her water bottle. I hardly ever saw her eat, but darned if she had more energy than all of us put together.

“Did you get the biscuits?” Dustin was shoveling food into his mouth as I sat down, “Grab a couple, Mike covered them with apple butter this time, damned delicious…”

Brett didn’t say a word but I could tell he agreed when he didn’t pause his eating and just grunted in agreement.

“I got one.” I pushed the food around on my plate; I never had much of an appetite these days.

“Hell, I think I ate five.” Dustin snorted, wiping his mouth with his napkin, while Brett grunted again. I just shook my head, knowing they were going to pay for that later…

“I read your song, the one you left by my sticks.” Brett managed to get out a few words in between chewing.

“Oh yeah, me too, Brett and I were talking about it earlier…it’s white hot Jackson. How long have you been working on it?” Dustin put his fork down and looked at me expectantly.

“A few weeks,” I lied, “What do you guys think? Should we cut it?”

“Hell yeah, we should.” Dustin nodded eagerly and picked up his fork again.

“I think we should do it asap, and not only cut it, but make a real hot video for it too.” Brett pushed his plate away from him, tossing his napkin down and getting up from the table. “And this time Jack, you need to be the star in the video.”


I always liked to walk around the grounds before any of the people got there, familiarize myself with the area. It was empty, the booths were all set up and ready to go, but it was still hours away before the workers were due to arrive.

The sun began to rise higher, and I knew it was going to be a bright sunny day. My favorite kind of day, and I wandered around a little more thinking about what Brett said at breakfast, I hated starring in my own videos, I always liked to be the singer on the side, sort of speak, while the video’s main characters acted out the story of the song. But I knew what Brett was getting at, while the fans always liked my videos, none of the videos ever won anything, for just that reason, I was never really in them.

Before I knew it, it was time to head back to run through a rehearsal or two, by the time we finished fine-tuning the second set we could hear the rustle and bustle going on throughout the grounds around us.

It was almost time…


Ara

It was surreal. Like nothing I’ve ever seen or imagined before, from the moment Clint and I stepped out of our car, to making our way through the front gates.

It was like being at a carnival, or a fair, our shoes leaving footprints pressed into the dirt floor as we walked. People were everywhere, and they all had this same excited look on their face as they walked by. I guess my own expression mirrored theirs.

I gripped Clint’s hand tightly as we weaved in and out of the crowd. He seemed happy wandering from booth to booth, buying us both a cotton candy and trying his hand at a few games. I was more content to people watch.

These folks were fascinating. Every type, style, and form of a person had to be here, big burly guys in plaid shirts with stick thin women at their arm, groups of giggling girls who looked like they still belonged in high school, there were even little kids, all decked out in some form of country wear. You could see masses of western hats cruising through the crowds, and the boots all kicked up a little bit of dust as they strolled by.

The sun blazed down brightly on us, and I was immediately glad that Jolene insisted on me wearing my white dress. It kept me from overheating, and I didn’t feel so out place wearing it, I mean some of the girls who passed me had even less on, but almost everyone wore boots, which I though was cool.

My curls bounced along my bare shoulders as we passed another vendor selling beer. I wanted to brush them off my arms, but forced myself not to mess with them.

“I think I’ll have a beer.” Clint made his way towards the end of the liquor line, “Are you thirsty? Do you want something to drink?”

“If they have any water, I’ll have that.” Beer was not my thing, it never had been. And while Clint finally made it to the window to order our drinks, I was distracted by a large crowd, not too far off, whooping and hollering. It looked to be a roped off area, next to some small trees. It sent a small shiver of anticipation along my spine; did they see something or someone interesting?

“What’s going on over there?” Clint handed me my water, his eyes scanning the crowd before us.

“I don’t know,” I shrugged as casually as I could, “Want to go check it out?”

“Yeah, sure, come on.” My heart skipped a beat as we headed toward the mass of people. There had to be something going on there right, I mean with all those people around hollering, I tried not to get ahead of Clint, but I was just so anxious to see…


Jackson

“How’s it looking out there Cheryl?” I peeked out over Cheryl’s shoulder, my gaze falling out onto the crowd. We had been hanging out in the lounge when Cheryl decided she wanted to have a look out, I followed her out of boredom, we headed near the back pathway that connected the stage to the lounge room. A heavy black velvet curtain kept the crowd from being able to see us.

“Looks like a madhouse out there.” Cheryl smiled brightly at me, she was pleased at the crowd, I could tell. “This is sold out for sure Jackson.”

“Well that’s good right? That means we’ll have a great time tonight.” I tried to let some of Cheryl’s enthusiasm surround me, but it wasn’t really working. I peered out into the crowd again, my eyes passing over a group of giggly girls, some roughhousing guys, a few kids.

“It should be rockin’ tonight.” Cheryl moved a little more to the left, her hand pulling the black curtain back just a little more, giving me a better look.

It was hard to really focus on the people faces as they walking around, everyone was in motion, their bodies moving a mile a minute, all laughing and talking with one another, eating and drinking at the same time. They all looked like they were having a great time, their eyes all bright and shining, which made me proud and sad, because yet again, I didn’t have anyone to really share this with.

Because you’re broken, broken and alone, the voice in my head reminded me.

My eyes kept moving over the crowd, everyone was with someone, no one was alone. A few green leaves rustled against the breeze, sending one fluttering down, brushing over the shoulder of a young woman making her turn her head upwards to see where it had come from. It caught my eye, and I stood there watching the whole thing play out with fascination. I wasn't until her torso twisted sideways that my heart started beating a little faster. I couldn’t see her entire face, mostly just her back, but that’s all I needed to see. She was alone, and her aloneness beckoned to me.

“Hey, have you seen my cap? I feel like taking a little walk…” My voice caught as I tried to steady my nerves, I looked behind me, back into the open door of my dressing room. I knew I brought it down from the bus.

“You’re going into this crowd? Are you sure Jackson? It’s packed down there; someone is going to spot you.” Cheryl looked over her shoulder at me with a frown, she didn’t look too happy with my decision.

“I won’t go far, You see those trees there, that's where I'm going.” I pointed to the area where the race car simulator was set up, “All those people are into the driving, they won’t pay any attention to me.”

“Yeah well, don’t go out further than that okay? I’ll have some of the security stand by those concession stands on the opposite corner just in case. Fifteen minutes, max.” Cheryl was all business, and it made me chuckle that she always had a plan, no matter what I wanted to do, she always had a plan.

“I promise, fifteen minutes.” I was already grabbing my baseball cap, arranging it low on my forehead.

“Here, take your shades too.” Cheryl tossed me my sunglasses right before I pushed back the curtain.

I wasn’t worried at all moving through this crowd. No one ever really expects the star to be out mingling right in broad daylight, and this crowd was no different. Some of them even brushed right by my shoulder as they walked without so much as an excuse me.

A large group surrounded the simulated driver ride; I knew that would be a popular one. The line for it was long, but they all watched on small screens that were set up around it, keeping they eyes on the high scorers.

I knew better than to put myself in a position that I couldn’t get out of, so I made my way over to the roped off area, around the back way, as close as I could get to the trees.

I can’t tell you how many steps I took, or exactly how many people were standing across the way, or what they were all talking about. All I can say is that my eyes were glued on her. And honestly, all I could see was the back of her, but for some reason this girl called to me, the closer I got, the stronger the feeling was.

Her hair fell all down her back, glimmering brown curls cascading down like a blinding waterfall. The sun kissed skin of her bare shoulders shimmered with each glowing ray. I was on autopilot now, my eyes locked onto the back of this girl. My brain battling furiously with the rest of my body, commanding me to stop, demanding that I not do anything that would create attention to myself.

I completely ignored me…

I kept moving, kept on walking until I was standing right next to her, less than six inches away from her. I stared straight ahead for a few seconds, mostly to calm down, try to shake off whatever seemed to have possessed my body.

She didn’t look at me, she was busy, her right hand up shielding her eyes from the sun as she watched the boisterous race car driving crowd across from us. It gave me the time I needed to command my brain to stop fucking complaining and say something to her.

“You having a good time?” That was as neutral a question I could think of.

She didn’t move at first, didn’t answer. And then I guess she realized I was talking to her. “What?” Her voice was puzzled; she moved her hand from her face and turned to me. She couldn’t see my eyes through my shades, and I hadn’t turned my head towards her. “Me?”

Her voice was beautiful, just beautiful, and out of the corner of my eye I could tell she was beautiful too. Her lips were still open slightly, and I’d be lying if the sight of that mouth didn’t make my knees just a little bit weak. After a bit of hesitation, she finally answered me.

“Uh…yeah. I am. You?” She turned away from me then, and looked back out into the crowd, her eyes glancing quickly at the line. I knew then, whoever she came with had to be standing in that line. Hopefully just a girlfriend, or a cousin...

“I’m feeling good.” I answered her honestly. I finally turned to face her; I wanted to see into her eyes, see what she really looked like. She turned her head back towards me, staring right into my shades, probably looking at her own reflection in them.

She studied me quietly for a moment, and I should have said something else, to keep the conversation going, but I was too busy getting lost in those gorgeous brown eyes, and those glossy lips, that I was ridiculously quiet. It was the flash of annoyance I saw across her face that jolted me back to reality, so I did something, something I’d never done before, at least not to the adults. I cocked my head down letting my shades slide lower onto the bridge of my nose, all while staring at her, hoping the twinkle in my eye would be all the clue she would need.


Ara

It was just a dumb race car game, over by the trees. That’s what everyone was crowded around, but it made Clint super excited and he immediately got in line for it. I knew it was going to take at least an hour before he got his turn. The sun was beating down on us with no shade in sight, and I dreaded standing there letting it melt my perfectly made up face.

“Why don’t you go on over by the trees babe, no one is standing there, that way the sun won’t bother you.” I was so glad Clint didn’t want me to stand by his side the entire time, so I nodded at him and made my way past the ropes across and around the back end towards a few smallish trees. They didn’t provide a whole lot of shade, but it was definitely cooler that standing right in the direct path of the sun.

Shielding my eyes from the harsh light, I could see the drivers of the game reflected on the small screens hung around the posts, so for a few minutes I watched, smiling at some of their crazy antics as they tried to win first place.

I saw his shadow and felt his presence before he even said a word, one minute I could feel the warm sunshine on my back and the next it was gone.

“Are you having a good time?” His voice was deep and rich, it captured my attention immediately but my brain didn’t register that he was talking to me, I mean he couldn’t be talking to me, at least until it dawned on me that we were the only two people standing there.

“What?” I turned my head sharply in his direction, he wasn’t looking at me, he was staring straight ahead, at least that’s where I imagined he was looking, he was wearing this ridiculously huge pair of shades, so for a second, as I studied him, I thought I had just imagined him talking to me. But then his body shifted, turned slightly towards me, he was awfully close, I was sure I heard him speak, so mostly by instinct I answered him, somewhat…“Um…yeah. You?”

And then I found myself looking at my own reflection through the dark, black glass that covered his eyes.

“I’m feeling good.” Geez his voice was so nice, it almost sounded familiar. And then reality hit me, here was a strange man talking to me, possibly hitting on me, I shouldn’t be talking to him, I was just about to tell him to back off, but that’s when he did it…


Jackson

If I had to count, I would say it took her about ten seconds before she recognized me. Those were the longest ten seconds of my life, because by second number three I was already agonizing that she really didn’t know who I was.

But then those brown eyes got super large and round, her pink lips opened even more, and the only noise she made was this little uhhh sound.

Flooded with relief I flashed her a smile, I couldn’t stop smiling at her even if I wanted to, she was just so darn beautiful, I even let out a little chuckle at her reaction.

“You…You’re…” she finally was able to form a few syllables, her hand frozen halfway in front of her, her eyes still enormous and stunned.

Mostly because I was feeling cocky, and completely enjoying that feeling, I pressed one finger silently to my lips, my eyes locked onto hers; assuring her she was right, yet reminding her not to let the entire venue know.

“Yes Ma’am, I am.” I nodded slightly, still smiling at her. I held out my hand, offering her a handshake, “And you are?”

“Jackson?” Her head tilted to the side in pure confusion, tiny sparkles bounced off her hair as it caught the sunlight. Her words made me chuckle again.

“No, you can’t be Jackson, because that’s me, I’m Jackson,” I reached out on my own and grabbed her immobile hand in mine, it was soft and smooth, and fit perfectly, “You are?” I tried again.

“Um…Oh…sorr…No. Um…Ara…I’m Arabella,” she shook her head at me, fumbling over her words. I could feel her hand start to tremble in mine.

I should have let her hand go, that would have been the gentlemanly thing to do, instead I took my free hand and enclosed her hand in both of mine. The gesture was out of pure selfishness, although I made it look as if I was just reassuring her, I simply didn’t want to let her go yet.

“Arabella,” I continued to smile warmly at her, “That’s a beautiful name.”

“Oh…” she said again, it was almost a sigh. A beautiful wishful sigh like Oh. "You can call me Ara."

I would be lying if I didn’t say that simple Oh made me twitch in places I hadn’t felt in years.

“I hope you’re here to see, me?” Now I was just plain teasing her, messing with her head. Hell, I was acting just like Dustin used to, but this newfound feeling was screwing with my own head, lighting a fire within me that had never been lit.

Her hand trembled more, but she didn’t pull away. She took a few short breaths and seemed to regain some of her composure. She studied me quietly for a few seconds and then a brilliant, sparkling smile overtook that perfect face…


Ara

Those shades slid down the bridge of his nose like something out of the movies, just low enough so I could see right into his eyes.

I stared mesmerized into those amazing pools of green for longer than I should have, not even the jolt that ran down my spine made me blink. It did send my brain into overdrive because suddenly I realized that I was staring right into Jackson Stone’s eyes. A furious battle ensued within my body; there was no way Jackson Stone would be standing here next to me, smiling right at me, I had to be dreaming, or this was a damn good imposter.

But then he laughed, more of a chuckle really, and I heard it again, the familiarity of his voice. I knew then, I knew exactly who was standing in front of me…

“You…” I breathed, losing my breath with just that one word. Inside I was screaming, at the top of my lungs, this is Jackson Stone, standing right here, right next to me!

I think he could sense it, that I was about to lose it, because he did the most adorable thing, he leaned even closer to me and pressed one finger to his lips, still smiling. I could see some sort of mischievous twinkle in his eyes as he watched me.

My eyes were locked onto that finger pressed against his lips. I was completely frozen, star struck if you will. I couldn’t even move when he held out his hand to me, the idiot I was.

He said something to me, I don’t know what, my brain wasn’t registering his words, his hand was still stretched out to me but the jolts running through my body kept me from moving an inch, and finally I managed to spit out the only thing that was ringing through my mind.

“Jackson?”

He got a kick out of that, laughed some more at me, but I didn’t care because before I could do anything else, all I could feel was the warmth of his hands as he took my own hand in his. His touch made me start to shake, I was glad he didn’t let go or else I was going to need something to sit down on. The ringing in my ears died down enough so that I could register his next words.

“I’m Jackson,” that deep silky voice filled my ears, “You are?”

Oh! He wanted to know my name, that’s what he was asking me, my name. Wait, what was my name again?

“Um…Oh…sorr…No. Um…Ara…I’m Arabella…” I’m positive I sounded all high pitched and squeaky, and must have blushed a million shades of red, but he kept right on smiling at me, not letting go of my shaking hand, squeezing it between his own in the most comforting way.

He told me my name was beautiful, the sound of his voice completely filled my ears, I could finally focus on that deep rich tone, he had a bit of an accent, a sweet southern accent that made me feel all warm and tingly, right down to my toes. My breath escaped me again in this whooshy Oh sound

And then I heard something else in his voice, a new tone, even more silky and sexy, mixed with that accent, if he weren’t still holding onto my hand I definitely would be melting right there in a little puddle at his feet.

Jackson Stone was most certainly flirting with me, asking me in this deliciously teasing tone if I was here to see him, his eyes were twinkling, a bright smile on his face. I thought for sure he could hear the pounding of my heart. I willed myself to breathe,in and out, still staring into those delicious eyes, he was just so amazing, so sweet.

Something snapped inside of me, I found myself responding to his playful tone, smiling up brightly at him.

“Of course I’m here to see you.” I don’t know how I found my voice, much less my girly, flirty voice, but there it was. I could hear it loud and clear.

And apparently so could Jackson Stone because he squeezed my hand just a little bit harder at my words and seemed at a loss of what to say.

It was my turn to chuckle. But once I found my voice, a million questions all danced around in my head, and I looked up at him in question, “Do you, always do this?”

Jackson’s eyebrows rose slightly and he seemed to think about my words intently, still holding tightly to my hand. He suddenly waved one hand in front of him; spread it out towards the booths, and the crowds, and the air in general…

"This, I do, once in a while.” He wouldn’t take his eyes off mine, “But this,” he stressed his words carefully, bringing his hand back and covering mine completely again, “Only with you…”

“Ah ha…” I tried to laugh, tried to keep playing the game, but his eyes, and his hands, and his words were just making it too...damn...hard…


Jackson

Never, in my entire life, did a few short words make me as flustered as I was feeling now. I couldn’t explain it, won’t even try. All I knew was that I never wanted to let this girl’s hand go, I wanted to keep it in mine, and fuck it, I wanted her to be mine.

But I knew my time was running out. I could see Cheryl’s head poking out from behind that damn curtain, and from the way it was bobbing around I could tell she was steaming.

And make no doubt about it, I saw the ring on Arabella’s finger, the wedding ring. Hell, I had a gold band on my finger that didn’t mean one fucking thing. Of course a woman as beautiful as her would be married, snatched up. I wasn’t stupid, but those few short minutes I shared with her let me see my life in a whole different sense, and it gave it a whole different meaning.

So I racked my mind to find something, anything, that would get me another chance to spend time with Ara, married or not.

“So where are you sitting Ara? Will I be able to see you from the stage?” I was still flirting with her, and trying to show off, not to mention that I really wanted to know where she was going to be, not wanting to waste once second of precious time searching the crowd for her.

“I hope so.” Her eyes were so bright, so captivating, “Second row, seat seven or something like that.”

So I couldn’t impress her with front row seats, which was my original plan. A flash of Cheryl’s spiky hair caught my attention; I could see she was hopping around, waving her hands at me. It gave me an idea.

“Will you come with me?”

Her eyes got very wide again at my words, at least she didn’t know what I was really thinking.

“I…I…” My request made her all flustered again; she didn’t seem to know what to say. She glanced quickly across from us to the car racing crowd.

Worried that she might hesitate, I tried to ease her fears. “There’s someone I’d like you to meet.”

I was almost positive Ara was going to say no, she watched me carefully, I guess trying to figure out if she could put her trust in me. Some of the old doubt began creeping right back into my head, until she spoke.

“Okay.” She smiled up at me again, allowing me to guide her right over to where Cheryl was hiding. I finally let her hand go but ghosted it along her back as we walked.

I could see Cheryl’s eyes battling furiously with me as I brought Ara over, but nothing was going to stop me from accomplishing what I wanted to do.

"Ara, this is Cheryl. Cheryl is my personal assistant. Cheryl this is Ara, could you please see to it that Ara gets…” I turned and smiled again at the beauty beside me, “How many people are you here with, Ara?” I could see Cheryl’s eyes flashing back and forth quickly between me and Ara, and I could see Ara studying Cheryl cautiously.

“One…just one…I mean two…uh…me and him…two.”

I nodded warmly at Ara, acknowledging her answer, and turning back to Cheryl, “Could you see that Ara receives two backstage passes for after the concert.” It was a request, not a question.

Cheryl just raised one eyebrow at me, her eyes were burning with curiosity, but being the gracious friend she was, she turned to Ara and smiled at her, nodding her head in agreement with me, before turning around and heading quickly towards the equipment room where we kept all of that stuff.

Turning one last time to Ara and not being able to resist touching her, I let my hand rest on her arm, “It was a pleasure to meet you Miss Ara. I hope you enjoy the concert and maybe get to spend a little time with me afterwards. I’ll be looking for you.”

Ara didn’t say anything to me; I hope it was just shock. I just kept looking into those promising brown eyes, hoping she could see everything I couldn’t say. When Cheryl returned she carried two lanyards in her hand, the passes attached to the bottom of them.

“Cheryl will tell you everything you need to know. I have to go now. Enjoy the show.” I felt my fingers tighten around her arm just briefly before finally letting her go.


Ara

The girl in standing in front of me kind of scared me. She just kept watching me really carefully as if I were going to bite her or something.

We both watched Jackson walk away down some type of hallway and disappear around a corner. I was still shaking inside at actually meeting him, at talking to him, that I still really couldn’t think straight.

“You’re name is Ara?” The girl finally spoke. I looked back at her and nodded wondering if she was really going to give me the backstage passes or not, maybe she was trying to think of some kind of excuse. Maybe Jackson was really a whack job and did this all the time.

"It's Arabella, " I spoke quickly, choppy, "Or Ara, for short."

“Well like Mr. Stone said, I’m Cheryl. I’m his personal assistant, here are the passes; please don’t lose them as they can’t be replaced. You’ll see several types of security during the show. Once the show ends, there’ll be possibly four to five security guards wearing black polo shirts. Those guards belong to us, not the venue, and those are the guards you want to approach so that they can lead you backstage.” Cheryl paused briefly, and I kept on nodding at her so she could be sure that I understood her.

“A little bit out of the ordinary, I can’t remember the last time I gave one of these out, if ever, he’s never done this.” Now it sounded as if she were just talking to herself. She stretched out her hand to me.

“Well here you go, you have any questions?” The look in Cheryl’s eyes seemed to be more curious than anything else.

“Thank you...uh…well…umm…what happens backstage?” I tilted my head to the side in wonder.

Cheryl just laughed at me, “I have no idea. Like I said, never happened before. When the radio stations give these things out, we take them on a tour of the back, and if Mr. Stone feels like it, he might take a picture with one or two of them. Mostly it's just the band. How’d you recognize him anyways?”

“I…didn’t. He came up to me, started talking to me…” I held on the passes tightly. I was getting the feeling this Cheryl girl didn’t like me.

“He came up to you?” Her voice reached a new high, an accusing new high. “Well what did he say to you?”

“He asked me my name. That’s all.” I took a slow, tiny step back.

“Mr. Stone wanted to know your name?” Cheryl said this very slowly, she seemed to be thinking about it for a moment, then her eyes got wider as they rested on mine, she smiled at me, “Mr. Stone wanted to know your name?” Her smile got brighter and brighter as she spoke.

“Yes.” I smiled back politely. This girl was weird; I better get out of here. I took another step backward, “Well…thank you…”

Cheryl laughed at me again, only this time, it sounded joyful, “You’re welcome Ara, and I should be the one thanking you, Mr. Stone wanted to know your name.” She was back to talking to herself, laughing, not even looking at me anymore, so I made a quick beeline out of there and heading back towards the race car driving game. I couldn’t wait to show Clint what I had in my hands…


Jackson

“Who was that?” Dustin was on me like white on rice the second I stepped back into the lounge.

“Her name is Ara...Arabella.” I was still smiling like an idiot, and I plopped myself down on one of the oversized chairs that faced the TV.

“Do we know her? I don’t recognize her. Cheryl looked ready to pop when you didn’t come back right away.”

Dustin purposely stood in front of me, blocking my view.

“You don’t know her, and I’m still getting to know her.” I mentally fought with myself right there, I wanted to tell him everything, how I felt, but something told me to keep quiet. To wait.

“What’s that mean?” Dustin did this little hop in front of me, waving his hand around, “You’re all still getting to know her? How do we all know her?”

“Her name is Ara?” Brett had been sitting quietly in the corner playing solitaire the entire conversation, his words made both Dustin and I turn sharply towards him.

“Yes, Ara.” I said her name again; I really liked saying her name.

“She was pretty.” Brett didn’t take his eyes off his cards, he kept right on playing, “Her eyes are very nice, she looks just like the girl you sing about, the one in Broken…”

And suddenly I couldn’t wait for this concert to be over…


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