Bed Of Thornes

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Chapter Twenty

I call Mason from a stranger's phone as soon as I touchdown in Dallas. Exhausted from the flights and the mere thought of the crazy bitch I've been obsessed with for the months, I could use a drink. We meet up at a local bar and order a round. Mason doesn't hesitate to ask details when he sees the emotion written all over my face.


“Where's your phone? I noticed you called from another number earlier.” He asks soon as we get seated.


“Long story man, let's just say it needs replaced when I get a chance to do so.” I shrug.


“Okay . . . so your trip was quite short-lived . . . what happened?” He takes a drink of his beer.


“Nothing worth what I've wasted on her; my time, energy, heart, hell even the money on the plane tickets. That bitch isn't worth the sweat from my balls.”


“Damn man, seems pretty harsh to say about a woman you were recently proclaiming your love for. I know she's not the easiest nut to crack, but all that?”


“You got it wrong, Mase, the nut was easy . . . it's anything beyond that's tough. Actually, getting the nut is so easy that she lets just about anyone get it.”


“Whoa. What's up with that? You make her sound like a typical whore. Is it that bad?”


“Might as well be. What's the difference? She confesses her sins of sexual addictions, we fuck as I'm willing to accept and work with it, then she decides she's not done confessing.”


“Look bro, whatever she confided in you is between the two of you and I don't want to know.”


“You think I give a shit about her confidentiality at this point? We're done, nothing matters. She told me she's been fucking other men since she's left.”


“And?” He asks with a huge question mark dangling on his face.


“What do you mean AND?” I throw up my hand.


“I'm saying, what about that makes it over?”


“Are you serious right now? Am I talking to my bro or a therapist? Whose side are you on for real?” I swallow the shot that's sitting in front of me on the table.


“Come on, you should know it's nothing like that. I'm always on your side, but being on your side doesn't mean I can't talk some sense into that tangled head of yours. Think about it man, there were no rules between you and her. She has this addiction to sex, as you mentioned, and was more than likely rather fucking lonely.”


“She didn't have to be lonely, she chose to be. Besides, that makes it okay for her to be the fuck-fairy and just go all out?”


“How do you know she went all out? I'm just curious. Did she say she slept with all of these men you're in an uproar about or what is it she told you exactly?”


“She didn't.”


Mason looks at me with exasperation. “Really? So how is it you know that she's been sleeping around, and with countless men at that?”


“Is there a reason you're trying to flip this on me?”

“Yes, there is. I don't want you to take something from nothing just to end up hurting yourself more in the end. I'm trying to look out for your best interest, believe it or not. If she didn't tell you any of this and you have no proof of it otherwise, where is all of this coming from?”


“It's whatever.” I shake my head and throw back another shot of whiskey.


“Exactly. That's your problem. You don't want to face any reality and you're not willing to accept that maybe you're the one in the wrong this time.”


“Mason . . . the last thing I needed right now is shit from the only person I have left to confide in.” I sling a couple of twenties on the table. “Drinks are on me. Thanks for being a friend and just listening at my time of need.” I stand up and walk straight out without giving him a chance to say another word to me.


I make it home and fall onto the couch.


Days have passed. No TV. No radio. No eating. No showering. No light. Just darkness and sleep on this couch that I've bonded with as my only friend. I don't want to see or talk to anyone. I just want to be alone. My phone that was submerged in toilet water on the plane sits on the coffee table. Thankfully it's not working so I don't have to deal with calls or texts. I've barely been up to piss, but since I've lived off of nothing other than liquor, I've visited the bathroom in a straight line from the couch . . . which is the most activity I've known for three days. I could lie here and die for all I care.


How is this possible? I've fallen so hard that I let the devil herself destroy me. There's no positive in this situation. There's nothing that can make this any better. I put my heart and soul in for it to be chewed up and spit out. I don't even know why I fell for love when I had the chance to just use her the same way she was me. I could have kept it simple, fuck a hot broad with no strings attached. Why couldn't I see her as just another bitch? To me she wasn't the bitch she turned out to be . . . she was a lady, a woman to be treated like a queen, to cherish and love. What a fucking misconception on my part.


I can't believe I was willing to change for her, willing to be what she wanted me to be. The only thing I wanted in return was the love I had for her. I've never knew there can be such cold-hearted people out there. I didn't realize falling in love with someone who doesn't believe in it would hurt so badly. I feel like I've been trampled over a thousand times and there's nothing that can revive me. I don't know if I'll ever be able to love again, this has ruined me. Everything's broken, I couldn't even get hard to jack off if I wanted to.


There's a sudden knock at the door.


Fuck off.


It's the fourth day of feeling sorry for myself. My mental and physical states have all they can handle of this dark depression I crashed into. I have to pull out of this shit, I can't live this way. I wake up and decide it's time to do something to make a change. It may be a long shot considering the foul mood that I've been in, but at least it's more worth the shot than all of what I've recently been attempting to attain.


I get the hell off of the couch and take my disgusting ass to the shower before I start this brand new day of new beginnings. I can't grasp how I could let her do this to me. I shower for thirty minutes or so, taking special care to wash away the filth that's gathered over the days of zombie-ism. I start to rinse off when it finally hits me what I can do to take my mind off of things. Get back into music. My love for music has never failed me. I get out and dry off to get dressed before heading downtown to some of the local venues I've performed at.


The first place I arrive at is where I began my venture with performing years back called Rico's. It's on the smaller side and located in the worst part of the city, but it's where the most down-to-earth musicians and lovers alike gather when looking for a place to connect. I remember my very first show here like it was just yesterday, my passion became a reality that night. This is something I should never give up, not for anything. I only wish I would've stayed focused the last three months, I had so much going for me.


I walk in the club and the atmosphere hasn't changed a bit since I was last in here. Dim lights, music on in the background, old fellow musicians having breakfast before they go off to other venues for their shows through the day. I look over at the tall bar stools lined up along the shiny bar and notice someone I haven't seen in years. As soon as she catches my eye, I can tell she's spotted me as well. We both walk towards one another to greet each other as old friends / business partners would.


“Adrian, wow, it's so great to see you after all this time!” She wraps her arms around me with a tight squeeze.


“I didn't expect to see you of all people still hanging around this place. How have you been?” I ask with a huge smile that I can't seem to wipe off of my corny face.


“Oh yeah, still same old me. Only difference is the artists I manage these days . . . they come and go, as I'm sure you know all too well.”


“I know I've been MIA myself for some time. It's nice to know you've never let go of what you love to do.”


“I don't think that could ever happen.” She smiles. Her voice carries over the small set up, “Hey y'all, look who came to pay a visit to his ol' stomping ground!” Her announcement gains everyone's attention and the majority that I know all welcome me with a loud cheers.


“Want to sit?” She invites me to where she was sitting at the bar before I came in.


“Sounds good.” I follow her over to the stools and order a small breakfast platter.

I've known Rachel for somewhere around five years. She used to manage me when I first started out, but had some personal things going on in the background that prevented her from continuing on at the time. When she did finally get back in the game, I'd already decided to self-manage for a while to get some experience on my own, so we hadn't seen much of each other since. We kind of had a thing for one another back then, it wasn't anything serious but was a fun fling of sorts. Of course, mixing business and pleasure never seems to pan out, unless you're just lucky.


She's close to my age, maybe a year older or so. She's obviously learned how to take even better care of herself and her business since we last spoke. Very pretty, always has been. Those long legs and that flowing auburn hair to match her light brown eyes. I have to admit, this is a very nice visual to help put my mind in a different place. We barely touch our breakfast as we talk and catch up on things.


“So how's your music been going?” She asks.


“Honestly? It hasn't been going at all for a few months now. Life got the best of me for a while and I took a random break from anything related. I'm really wanting to get back into the groove of things, though. I need to start writing some new lyrics and get in the studio for real.”


“Sounds like you got a solid idea of where you'd like to begin. Have you considered management?” She winks and takes a sip of her orange juice.


I chuckle. “Well I haven't had time to put much thought into that area yet, but I'd consider it if all the fine print of the deal is worked out to the liking of all parties involved.” I wink back.


She hands me her card. “My number's right at the top there should you ever be interested.”


“I have to go to get my phone replaced this afternoon . . . I'll text you my number when I have the new one in hand.”


“Deal.” She holds out her hand and grins.


We shake on it and turn to finish our breakfast before we head our separate ways for the day.


I end up at the phone company to get my new one and decide to call Rachel instead of texting her.


“Hello?” She answers.


“Hey it's Adrian. I know it's only been a few hours since I got your number but it didn't take long to get my new phone, so thought I'd let you know the digits . . . you know, in case you wanted to put them to use sometime.”


I hear her chuckle on the other end. “Okay, I'll store your number in my contacts. Thanks for letting me know. I'm sure we'll connect with each other at some point. Don't forget me when you're looking into a manager.” She sweetly says.


“Oh I won't. I was thinking . . . what are you doing tomorrow night? Would you be free for dinner? My treat.” I'm not even sure where that came from but I go with it anyway.


“Uh yeah, sure, that sounds nice. What time should I be ready?”


“How about five? That'll give us time to get to the spot and settle before the show.”


“Show?” She curiously asks.


“Yeah, it's a little comedy joint that serves the best seafood around. Thought you would like to join me for some good eats and laughs for the evening. I know I could use it myself.”


“That actually sounds wonderful. Thanks for thinking of me!” She happily accepts the invite.


“Great, I'll pick you up tomorrow around five then.” I confirm.


“Five works for me. See you then.” She agrees.


We hang up and I call to reserve our place for the next day to be sure they still had tables available for the show. I want to spend the rest of this day working on some music that I've put off for so long, but I figure that I should probably get in touch with Mason now that I've got my new phone and have basically ignored him since I walked out on having drinks with him days ago. I think I need to explain some shit so we can be cool and give us time to catch up. I could use some bro time anyway. Hopefully he's not too pissed at me to give me the chance to make it right. I didn't mean to push him or anyone away like that, I just needed a little time to go through the stages of fucked-up-heart-syndrome.


“Hello? Who's this?” He asks.


“It's Adrian. This is my new number.”


“Oh. Okay. What's up?”


“Just wanted to see if we can hang out sometime today.”


“You mean so you can sulk about your problems then hate on my opinions?” I can hear the annoyance in his voice.


“Nothing like that. Actually, I'd like to apologize for the other day and move on if you're cool with that. I didn't mean to act the way I did, I feel real stupid man.”


“I appreciate the apology. So what did you have in mind? My schedule's pretty much open today.”


“How about we meet at the mall in about forty five minutes? I need to find something to wear for tomorrow, something new.”


“What you got going on tomorrow?”


“Well, we've got some catching up to do.” I give a half laugh.


“All right man, I'll be that way in forty.”


“See ya there.”


Mason's been a real friend to me, he's stuck it out through all my bullshit and hasn't complained or gave up on our friendship. I can't say that about any of the other friends I've had through the years. I feel like even though Veronica didn't work out, I have her to thank for the friendship that I got out of it all. If it weren't for dealing with her, I'd probably never met Jenna which meant I most likely wouldn't had met Mason. Good things do come out of tribulations after all. I can't help that I'm a relationship type of person, whether it's love or friendships or family, I strongly believe in building relationships that have solid foundations for the sake of our quality of life.


“So what's been new with you the last few days?” Mason asks as he shoves in a bite of pizza from the food court.


“Well after wallowing in my depressive mode, I got through it by pulling myself back to reality. There's more to life than chasing after something that isn't right for me. I'm planning to get back into my music and focus on me for a while.”


“That's good. You need to let go of the bad and get back on track, so I'm happy for you bro. Is that what the new outfit is for? A show or something?”


“Not exactly. I ran into an old friend of mine, actually she was my manager at one time, and we're going out together tomorrow.”


“Wow. That was fast.” He drops the crust of the pizza on the plate and looks shocked.


“What was fast?” I'm curious to know just what he means by that comment.


“Getting over Veronica and moving on. I didn't think you'd be going out with another female so soon is all.”


“It's not that I'm completely over Veronica, but I do need to move on . . . you basically said it yourself. Besides, we're just friends and it's just some food at a comedy club. I figured it'd be nice to do something different with a fresh perspective for once. Not that yours is old or anything.” I chuckle.


“No I get it.” He laughs. “So who's this friend of yours?”


“Her name's Rachel, she's close to my age and we've known each other for about five years now. She works in music management and offered to get back in the groove of things with me if I needed a manager, so I thought we could discuss it all over an evening out. She's real cool, I think you'd like her.”


“Sounds like you have a plan. My only advice is to be careful not to get too involved on a personal level. I mean, you can do whatever you want of course . . . but keeping in mind your recent situation, I'd hate to see you go through any more complications with any female right now.”


“I'm happy to have someone looking out for my best interest and it's appreciated. No worries though, my mind's on the business aspect more than anything. We're friends, but I don't think there's something beyond that for real.”


“Well I hope you have a good time and get things rolling with your music. You deserve it man.”


“Thanks.” I take the last bite of my food and get up to throw away the trash.


Mason follows. “Let's find you an outfit and get out of this place. It reminds me of high school in here.” He laughs.


Mason being a few years older and someone with their head on their shoulders, I should take his advice more seriously than I have before. We hit two of the clothing stores and I find something simple but better than what I have in my old wardrobe at home. It's not that I'm trying to impress Rachel, I just needed something new to feel like I'm making a change in my life I guess. On the way out of the mall, Mason tells me to come by later if I wanted to hang out some more and we go our separate ways. I head home to work on a song that's been haunting me for some time now before it drives me insane. As I'm driving, my phone rings.


“Hey.” Jenna says as soon as I answer.


“Hey. How did you get my new number?”


“Mason. He said he'd just left from hanging out with you and I told him I needed to get in touch with you.”


“Oh okay. So what's up?”


“Remember that favor you owe me?”


“How could I forget?” I chuckle. “Yeah, I got you.”


“Can we meet up the day after tomorrow? I need you to help me pick out a gift for Mason, his birthday is coming up and I need some male insight.”


“I can do that. Just call me sometime before then to let me know when and where, I'll be there.”


“Okay, thanks so much. It'll be a big relief since I've been lost on what to get him.”


“No problem. As long as we're even now.” I laugh.


“Until next time.” She snorts.

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