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The Road Trip

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The story of a road trip where Frances and Jack reconnect after eight months of the flight they shared together.

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Day 0 - Part 1


Call after call, interview after interview. This week has not been easy for me and everything seems to be accumulating since I made the statement two days ago. I should have waited but I just couldn’t do it anymore, I needed release and that was my solution, the only way I had to feel free once and for all. The band was okay with it, we’ve been thinking of it for a while now but now it was finally the moment.

Our reps on the other hand weren’t that happy, but it’s our decision after all, they had to agree.

We made the decision together as a band, we were in the fourth or fifth month of touring, exactly three months ago. We didn’t like what we were doing, it wasn’t the same. We agreed on finishing the tour, we had to. Even though the music sounded tedious, not even the loudest crowd could make me feel alive again. I didn’t understand at first - well, I still don’t understand - my only explanation is that I should do something else, something on my own this time.

It’s been a while since I started feeling incomplete. I don’t know the reason, it just happened. There were a few nights that I didn’t want to go on stage, or I didn’t care if I sang the correct lyrics or even care to hit the notes. There were days that it was too much, it was too loud and I just needed to be alone. The music started sounding foreign, the lyric, the girls screaming first row of the pit. I started hating each song we played. That’s why I decided to go solo, I can’t promote a sound that doesn’t define me. At least not anymore.

This brings a lot of pressure to my plate. I don’t have idea what I’m going to do, I need time to think everything through. I’m used to being rounded by the band, touring with them not only as band mates but as friends, writing and composing the songs with them. I definitely need a break, maybe that’s what I’ll do now. Take a break.

Maybe I’ll take a holiday, take my guitar with me and go to a deserted island and just compose whatever I want; Or stay at home for an unknown amount of time and not think about music for a while, it’s crazy to think that I purchased a house and I have only slept there for like five days tops. I seriously don’t know what I’m going to do, I have never taken a break before. Even during holidays, I was focused on writing and making new songs.

While I roll on this leather chair as I wait for the driver to arrive, I stare at a picture on my phone that I have as a background. It’s a picture of me and my mum while she holds Olivia, her cat. I can’t help but smile, I miss her a lot. I should give her a call, it’s been a while.

“Ready, Jack?” Claire pops her head inside of the dressing room and I just nod my head, following her outside.

“The schedule is free for the rest of the week and the label will see you next week, okay?” She says to me while I wave at the fans outside of the studio. “Be prompt, you know they don’t like tardiness.”

“I’ll be on time, don’t worry.” I say to her as I give her a quick hug.

“See you around Jack.” She says when I let go.

“Bye Claire.” I wave good bye at her as she walks away.

I walk to where the fans are to sign some autographs and pose at some pictures but the truth is I’m not feeling cheery, I want to rest and sleep. It’s been a rough morning of going places and fake-smiling at the cameras. After a couple of pictures I step back, giving them all a smile as I wave goodbye.

That’s something else that changed within me. I barely feel happy these days. Nothing makes me happy. Nothing.

I have never been a cheerful person, I’m known by my attitude and continuous cursing, but never I have been this empty. I’m empty.

Once inside the car I throw my body on the seat and take my jacket off, the weather has been horrendously cold these days.

“Where to now, J?” Clyde asks from the front seat. I take a moment to respond as he drives off the parking lot.

“Take me home, Clyde. Please.” I say letting a sigh out. I’m just so tired.

I take my phone out and unlock it, dialing my mum’s number. Every time I feel like it’s too much I call her, it’s selfish to only call her as an escape but I miss her. She’s the only person that can make feel like one piece even in the darkest times. She answers at the third ring, her voice instantly makes me smile.

"Jack! My dear! How are you?” Her voice is soft as ever, I really needed to hear her voice. “My boy, I have been waiting for your call!”

“Hi mum.” I say, taking notice of how the stress starts to dissipate by her words. “I’m great, going home right now. What about you? I miss you.”

“I miss you too baby, you know you always have a place here whenever you want to visit.” She says, even when I haven’t spoken with her in so long, she always brings my mood up, I love her. “I’ve been good, pretty busy with your aunt’s wedding. I’ve been in charge of the arrangements; she seems very happy.”

“A wedding? Aunt Marie?” I sit straight, my mouth falling to the floor. “She’s getting married!?”

“You haven’t called her? Oh, Jack! I emailed you last month with the news.” She wails on the phone; I can almost picture her facial expression. “I should have called you but I didn’t want to interrupt you while you were touring, you are always so busy.”

“Mum you can always call me. You know that.” I frown and run my hand through my hair, I hate to hear she thinks that. “When is the wedding?”

“This Saturday, that’s why it was weird to me that you didn’t call.” She speaks but I hear another voice in the background. “Jack my dear the tailor just arrived, I have to go. Will you be joining us?”

“Of course I will, I love aunt Marie.” I move my hand to take my packet of cigarettes out of my jacket, rolling the window a bit down. “Where is the wedding?”

“Edinburgh. The groom it’s from Scotland and she loved the idea of placing the ceremony there.” She says but I hear the other voice on the line once again. “Well baby I’ll see you in a couple of days. Okay? I love you.”

“I love you too mum.” I say, placing the cigarette on my lips and looking for the lighter.

“Oh, and Jack... I think you should bring a date.” She points out, making a pause. “That’s like the theme of the wedding, everything and everyone comes in pairs.”

“Oh. I’ll have to think about it.” I chuckle, shaking my head at the thought. “Goodbye mum.”

I sigh once again, this time feeling ten times less stressed than five minutes ago. I can’t believe my aunt Marie is getting married. She’s almost sixty years old but she still has a young spirit, she’s amazing. I wonder who’s the lucky lad, I bet he’s wonderful too.

As Clyde drives, I give up on lighting my cigarette, I can’t find the lighter and I don’t really want it to be honest. All I have in my head are the last words my mum said to me.

“You should bring a date.”

Ha. A date.

That’s another thing I have to work on, I haven’t been stable with someone in so long. I’ve been jumping from girl to girl the past few months. I’m not proud of having a new girl each month but I’m just not happy with any of them, they are so... Fake. Fake superficial plastic girls, more focused on looking good for the cameras than caring for something else. It’s not my fault, I really try.

For some reason they don’t understand me, the real me. They only try to impress the famous celebrity, the rockstar. That’s not the real me. One time one of the girls fell asleep while I was telling her a story about my childhood. I just lost hope.

I can’t wait for the day I find the right girl, one that has something inside of her brain besides being obsessed with make up or shoes or Instagram. I would give anything to just have a good conversation while I hold her to sleep, caressing her hair as I recite poems or songs, have her breathing hitting on my ear the whole time. God... I’m so alone.

Where am I going to get a date? The wedding is in three days, I should be leaving tomorrow if I want to arrive on time to spend some time with my family.

A date.. I wouldn’t take a random girl and introduce her to my mum or my family, let alone one of my previous dates. Not happening.

“Here we are.” Clyde says opening the garage of my house, I didn’t even realize we were in the neighborhood.

“Oh.” I wake up from my thoughts, blinking a few times. “Alright.”

“Would you be needing me this week, sir?” He asks as I open the door.

“Oh, no, Clyde. Take the rest of the week off, I’ll see you next week.” I say stepping out in the cold, taking my jacket with me. “And don’t call me sir, you know I don’t like that.”

“Okay Jack.” He says adjusting his cap. “I’ll see you next week then. Take care.”

“You too.” I nod my head turning around to get inside, it’s freezing out here.

After making myself a cup of tea I sit in the living room staring to the garden outside, the dark greyish sky is starting to get even more cloudy. Maybe it’s going to rain soon. I stay in silence for long minutes, just enjoying the calmness of the solitude.

Who am I kidding? I don’t like being alone. It’s too loud. That’s why I always end up with random girls late at night. Not this time, I need to find a date, a serious one this time.

I walk to my room and sit on my bed, taking my boots off.

Mentally I run a list of possible dates I could bring. There’s Jane, last time I saw her was last month and we didn’t end up in bad terms, that’s a good thing. She’s still not a girl I would want to introduce to my mum, a model that has worked with Playboy it’s not a cute profile.

I then take my jeans off, laying down on the bed.

There’s Vivian, the blonde Luke introduced to me. Well, now that I think of it, she’s definitely not an option. She’s a nice girl but she threw her phone at me when I told her I didn’t want anything serious. We didn’t end up in good terms.

I then take my shirt off button by button, standing up from the bed and walking to the bathroom. I stare at myself in the mirror for a moment, looking at the ink covering my body.

Sometimes I forget I have these amount of tattoos on my skin, they all mean something, even the silly punny ones. Here’s the rose I did for my mum, her favorite flowers. The swallows, representing me and my sister flying together for the rest of the eternity. The moth I did because I lost a bet to Ed, I have grown fond of it though. Then I have the deer in the forest that...

The deer in the forest.

An image of a pair of blue eyes return to my mind after so long, a beautiful laugh and the most irresistible lips on this planet. I remember her. Frances, the girl with the most unique name and even more unique personality. I... I totally forgot about her.

“Fuck!” I groan out loud, now remembering the promise I didn’t keep.

I promised to call her the day I met her, I never did.

I totally forgot; I remember that day clearly. I had an interview that morning, it was right before starting the tour, when we released the single. I left the radio station that morning and went straight to shoot. I was so busy that I forgot. Fuck, she was... She was perfect, I remember the entire flight perfectly. It was just a few hours but it was more than enough for me to know her.

It was more than enough for me to open up to her, something that I never do. Why did I let this happen? How?

Suddenly everything starts taking place. This has to be a signal and I have the perfect reason to call her, at least I have to try. And fuck... I have missed a girl like her, so carefree and sincere.

I will call her, right away.

She’s the one I want to take to the wedding. She definitely is.

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