The minutes that passed felt like hours. She had never seen so much anger and pain in one man’s heart. She was nervous, she knew that he wouldn’t lay a hand on her but she couldn’t help but keep some kind of guard up.
She sat down with him on the sofa, they had their feet up next to each other’s while they faced each other from either end. The blanket that covered them gave a slight bit of comfort to the situation. He wasn’t quite as intimidating while sitting under a dolphin blanket.
“Where were you when you found out?” Jay asked.
“I uh, I was at work.” Abigail started. “I was just about to finish my lunch break when I got a phone call from Richard. He didn’t make much sense other than that I had to get to the hospital immediately. I told my boss that I had a family emergency and left without waiting to hear what he had to say.”
“So you got to say goodbye?” Jay asked softly.
“Yeah, thankfully. It was horrible to see her that way though, part of me wishes I didn’t have to.” Abigail explained.
“I was at uh...” Jay had to compose himself. “I was at her side. When it happened everything went black. I remember coming around and seeing her crawling over to me. I scrambled for her, as I got to her she collapsed. I held her in my arms and felt my eyes going heavy. As we were laying there I remember her telling me one last time that we were Bonnie and Clyde, to which I replied ‘together until we die.’ I was sure that was going to be the end.”
“I never knew you were with her...” Abigail spoke quietly.
Jay nodded silently as his eyes went slightly glassy. Abigail’s eyes began to well up as she thought about it. She realised then that his anger wasn’t because he was angry she was gone. His anger was because he had been right next to her, and the universe decided so cruelly to take her and not him.
“Jay?” Abigail tried to get his attention.
Jay suddenly snapped out of his daze and looked at Abigail. He smiled and exhaled slowly. She smiled at him effortlessly.
Once again the sun had begun to rise before they were able to fall asleep. It seemed like the right time to be wasting times eternal sunshine. They wasted the next few days together just laying around lazily eating copious amounts of food and talking about everything. After a perfect few days they had to go back to reality. Abigail had to return to her 9 to 5 in retail and Jay had to hit the road for two weeks.
Jay stood with his bandmates Brad, Jimmy, Harry and Gavin. Their partners all stood with them in the final few minutes before their tour bus arrived to take them around the country for 14 days. Brad was overly affectionate with his partner, Jimmy was sat on the curb talking to his partner, Harry and Gavin were making the most of their time taking silly group pictures for the journey. Jay stood there watching them and smiled to himself. He checked his watch and looked down the road to see if there was any sign of the bus.
“Jay!” A familiar voice called from the distance.
He turned around to see Abigail running down the road to him. As she reached him she jumped into his arms tightly.
“I thought you were working?” Jay asked.
“I was, I got off early to make sure I could see you before you go!” Abigail explained slightly out of breath.
“I’m honoured. Are you going to be okay?” Jay questioned.
“It’s only two weeks, I’m sure I can manage it. I can call you whenever if I need to.” She smiled at him.
“If you need me to come home at any point, let me know and I’ll be right back.” Jay offered.
“I would never ask that of you.” Abigail stated as the bus turned up behind Jay. “You’d best get going. You’ve got a long two weeks ahead.”
Her beautiful big blue eyes sparkled as she looked at him. He watched as her perfect little smile highlighted her face.
He pulled her in tightly to say goodbye, she gripped him and felt a whirlwind of emotions. As she let go she smiled and kissed his cheek.
“Go.” She said quietly before turning away.
Jay quickly grabbed her hand and pulled her back around spinning her into his arms and kissed her like it was the last thing he would ever do. As their lips slowly unlocked from each other her breath was shaky. She opened her eyes slowly and looked at Jay.
“Took your time.” She spoke softly.
“All about timing.” He smiled. “I’ll be home before you know it.”
Jay turned and got onto the bus with his bandmates and Abigail began to walk back to her car. As she sat in the driver’s seat she let it sink in that she finally kissed him. She rest her head on her steering wheel and exhaled slowly. She then sat up slightly laughing out of shock and embarrassment. Her heart was racing, it was a powerful rush she felt.
“So how you holding up?” Brad sat down with Jay in the back of the bus about an hour after they departed.
“With what?” Jay asked.
Brad just looked at Jay with nervous eyes.
“Oh.” Jay clocked onto what was being asked. “I’m surviving, ya know? It’s difficult, but I’ve gotta stay strong for her.”
“You and Abigail?” Brad began digging.
He smiled to himself and looked at Brad.
“She’s been my rock throughout this whole thing. She thinks it’s been the other way around but she is the only reason I’m staying strong, ya know?” Jay began tearing up.
Brad hugged Jay.
“I’m proud of you man. After everything, you have held your shit together so well.” Brad complimented.
Once the bus pulled up at the first stop they unloaded their equipment and dragged it into the venue.
“Holy shit!” Jimmy shouted as he stood in the middle of the stage and heard his voice echo.
“This is huge!” Gavin observed as he placed his amp down and stood next to Jay.
“Day one of the dream ey boys.” Jay said.
They set up their equipment and played through their soundcheck before going off to find somewhere to get food. As they sat down in the local Subway Jay clocked a group of teenagers notice them.
“Oh no.” Jay said under his breath.
“What?” Harry looked around.
The group seemed to get excited and nervously approached the band.
Jay sighed deeply, while Jimmy and Brad turned to welcome it. Harry looked at Jay and laughed lightly. Gavin was still ordering his food and watched from the till.
“Excuse me...” A young girl asked nervously.
“What’s up?” Harry replied.
“Can we get a picture with you?” She asked.
“Why?!” Jay questioned slightly louder than he meant to.
“Ignore him, rough day. Course you can.” They stood up and took a group photo with the group of teenagers.
“We can’t wait for the show later!” One of them stated.
Jay just walked out of the Subway and stood in the street. He watched the cars go by and pulled his phone out and text Abigail.
Hey, so we’ve done our soundcheck and we just went out for dinner. Already been stopped by a group of people wanting pictures and stuff. I’ve been doing this for years, but you’d think I’d be used to this shit by now. Nope. Still sucks.
“So shall we head back” Brad asked.
The lights were on, they stood there in front of a sold out crowd. Their instruments rang in the introduction song. As soon as everything kicked in the crowd lost their minds. The entire room moved from front to back. People were singing along so loud the band could hear the crowd better than Brad and Jay’s actual vocals.
“So how’s everyone doing tonight?” Brad shouted out to the crowd through the microphone.
The crowd roared in response. Jay climbed up onto the monitor and began playing the bass intro to the next song.
Abigail sat on her parents front porch step. The stars were out and the moon highlighted the clouds. The air was chilled. Her father walked out onto the porch, he had a beer in his hand. He perched next to her and handed her one. Abigail smiled and opened it.
“You okay?” He asked her.
“Of course.” She lied and looked at him.
“You know, sometimes I think you’re the spit of your mother. Then I realise that you’re sometimes a little too much like me.” He explained.
“What can I say, I was born to start the apocalypse.” Abigail joked.
Her father smiled and nudged her then took a sip from his drink.
“I once went through exactly what you’ve had to in the past few months.” He explained.
“How did you get over it?” She asked.
“I didn’t. The truth is, nibblet, you never actually get over those kinds of things. In reality you learn to live with the pain, and learn to live with their memory in your heart.” He told her.
“Who did you lose daddy?” She was tearing up at the sound of pain in his voice.
“Just like you, I lost my best friend when I was eighteen years old. I lost her to nature’s cruelest torture.” He opened up.
Abigail rested her head on his shoulder, his arm wrapped around her to keep the evil in the world away from her.
Jay was laying on his uncomfortable poor excuse for a bed on the tour bus, he text Abigail asking if she was awake. When she replied he just called her.
“Hey,” he said quietly. “How was your night?”
“It was nice. I went to see mum and dad, they were celebrating their anniversary. I managed to have a really deep conversation with my father.” Abigail explained. “How was the show?”
“It was crazy. It was sold out, everyone knew the words and the atmosphere was unbelievable.” Jay explained quietly.
They spoke for hours on the phone, when they finally hung up Jay went straight to sleep. Abigail on the other hand sat up on her laptop and looked back on the years she spent with Elizabeth. She looked over her old videos and photographs smiling to herself.
Jay sat at the back of the bus playing an acoustic guitar with a pen and some paper next to him. Brad came over and sat with him.
“What’s happening?” Brad asked.
“I just felt like writing a new song.” Jay replied.
“For Elizabeth?” Brad questioned.
“Partly.” Jay replied as he quickly jotted something down.
“Want some help?” Brad offered.
“Sure, I’ll show you what I’ve got so far.” Jay started playing his new song.
Brad and Jay were there for hours playing together to make the song perfect.
The next few shows were average and not much really happened on the road. They made sure to keep video diaries of each day and show to upload to their Facebook page so the fans could see what was happening.
Abigail would check back every once in a while to see how things were going. It looked like Jay was having a lot of fun, but in each phone call at night it seemed like he was struggling a little more. Before they knew it they were on the final date of their tour. It was a long two weeks but it was worth it.
Jay and Brad took center stage. All eyes were on them.
“This next song is a new song that we’ve never played before. We’ve been writing it on the tour bus the past two weeks and I thought tonight would be the night it would be worth sharing.” Jay announced.
As the heartfelt acoustic guitar started the crowd began to shine lighters in the air. Jay smiled to himself.
“We would climb mountains, claim the brightest stars, lost ourselves in fountains, cause that’s just who we are.” Jay began.
“I never thought you’d leave, I always dreamt of you and me. I wish that you could see, the man you helped me be.” Brad continued.
As the song went on the crowd were swaying with their lighters in the air. There wasn’t a single dry eye in the room. Especially not Jay’s. The raw emotion behind the song made the entire room move.
As the song came to an end there was a familiar face at the back of the venue. Jay smiled to himself. She waved softly and smiled back.
When the set ended Jay immediately approached Abigail.
“I can’t believe you’re here.” Jay was so happy.
“I had to make it to at least one show. This was the closest one to home. I’m so glad that I came tonight of all nights. Your new song is absolutely amazing, all of it was.” Abigail replied.
Jay just hugged Abigail tightly and didn’t respond. He held her for a minute and then he felt his entire body relax as he let go.
“I’ve missed you.” He spoke quietly.
“I’ve missed you too.” Abigail replied.
Soon the band was once again bugged by strangers wanting photos with them all. It was Jay’s worst nightmare, he hated human interaction if he didn’t know the person, it made him extremely uncomfortable unless it was on his terms.
“Wanna go for a walk?” Abigail asked holding out her hand.
Jay took her hand and left the venue swiftly, Brad saw as he looked up from the crowd of fans and smiled to himself.
“So what have you been doing while I’ve been gone?” Jay asked.
“Working mostly. I visited my parents like I said the other day, but I’ve just worked as much as possible. It’s an easy way to keep my mind off things.” Abigail explained. “How’s the little tour been?”
“Well, mostly it’s been quite fun. The shows have been awesome, we’ve played with some great people, but it’s difficult being crammed in one place with the same people for fourteen days without a break ya know?” Jay explained.
Abigail led Jay down the side of a river before stopping to lean on the safety rails.
“So, your new song...” Abigail began.
“It’s not just about her.” Jay quickly cut in. “It’s about you as well. The first half is about how it’s been hard missing that part of my life, and then the second half is about how despite it all I’m happy with the newest chapter so far.”
“So it’s partly about me?” Abigail softly asked.
“Yeah.” Jay answered moving in closely wrapping his arms around her.
Abigail smiled and felt the butterflies in her stomach go crazy.
Jay’s phone buzzed, reminding him they had to pack up the equipment and head home. They began to head back deep in conversation.
When the final bit of equipment was back on the bus Jay turned to Abigail.
“So...” Jay said as he rested against the side of the bus.
“What now? Are you able to come home with me or do you have somewhere to be?” Abigail asked.
“We’ve got an interview with BBC Radio One in the morning, then I’ll be home by the evening. I can come by your place if you like?” Jay suggested.
“I’d like that.” Abigail smiled.
Jay smiled back, he watched the sparkle in her eyes. He leant in and kissed her gently before getting back onto the bus and having to leave.
Abigail didn’t mind, she finally saw his band, she got enough of a fix for the night and she would see him tomorrow.
The bus came to a jolted hault throwing Jay out of his bed. As he hit the floor he was gone. The floor was covered in glass, his hands covered in blood. She was crawling over to him, he screamed her name as he reached out. The closer she got the further away he was. He screamed a heartbreakingly pain fuelled scream as he couldn’t reach her once again. He couldn’t lose her again, it wasn’t fair.
Brad had dived onto the floor and cradled Jay in his arms as he laid screaming in a hallucinogenic flashback episode. He tried his hardest to calm him but he had to wait it out. Gavin and Harry were in shock seeing how badly Jay had been triggered. Jimmy had to step off the bus for a second as he tried to compose himself, it had freaked him out seeing Jay in such a state.
As Jay finally came back to reality he stayed in Brads arms twitching in horror.
“It’s okay, you’re not there. You’re with me. It’s over.” Brad tried to comfort him. “Talk to me Jay. Tell me what happened. Jay?”
Jay laid silently waiting for his body to restore itself to normal. He eventually had enough strength and motivation to get onto his feet.
After arriving Jay was still apologising to everyone for what happened. Everyone was fully supportive, they made sure he knew that they understood what happened and it wasn’t his fault. They were all lead to the live interview room where they were handed headsets and sat around the microphones ready to go live on air.
“So welcome boys! We’re honoured to have you on the show!” Syd the presenter announced.
“Thank you Syd, we’re honoured to be here!” Brad responded.
“So, how’s it all going? You’ve literally just finished a small tour if I’m not mistaken?” She asked.
“Yeah, we had twelve shows in fourteen days. It’s been a long old two weeks but we’ve had fun and we have met some amazing people and played with some incredible acts.” Gavin answered.
“That’s awesome, so this is all in promotion of your new album that comes out in a few weeks called Dive Right In, can you tell us a bit about it?” Syd asked.
“Well, this is definitely something for Jay.” Gavin said
“It’s uh, it’s probably the most heartfelt record we’ve written. There’s some very personal songs on it, but it doesn’t stray too far from what our previous album was.” Jay explained.
“When you say it’s got very personal songs on it, are you referring to the incident that hospitalised you a couple of months ago?” Syd hesitantly dug into the story.
“Well, no. There is one song that relates to it, but we’re not sure if it will be on the album yet or not.” Jay closed up.
“What was it like for you all knowing that something so tragic hit so close to home?” She looked at Brad and Gavin.
Jay’s jaw began to tense. Brad looked at Jay and sighed.
“It was definitely one of the hardest things I have ever had to face in my life. I’ve been through a lot with Jay, ever since we were kids. The moment I found out I rushed to the hospital and made sure I did everything I could to help him.” Brad explained.
“And I understand that you lost...” Syd began.
Jay got up and walked out as he knew what was about to come up. He stood outside and rest his back against the door frame. His head in his hands as he tried to compose himself.
Abigail was at home listening to the broadcast. As soon as she heard the question she felt her heart drop. The radio fell silent for a moment, but that moment felt like forever.
“Yes. I uh... We... Lost a dear friend. She was my partner in crime, the Bonnie to my Clyde.” Abigail heard Jay eventually say.
Jay stayed stood at the door but this time inside the broadcast room.
“And the song we’re playing today is actually partly about the entire situation. About how it’s hard to deal with life without her, but how I’ve something so good in my life right now that I’m actually surprisingly happy in the new chapter but I hope when she looks down she understands that the world spins madly on.” Jay stated.
“That’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever heard.” Syd complimented. “Well when you guys are ready, we’d love to hear it.”
Abigail and her mum sat listening to the song over the radio. Her mum cuddled her from over the shoulders as she began to cry at the song sat at the table. She kissed her head and held her tightly to make her feel safe.
“I wish she could hear it.” Abigail stated.