Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Chapter 8 {LYTD}


Oh hey.


Chapter 8

The first time Sam hit me, I didn’t see it coming. I knew he had a temper problem. I knew that he liked to yell and swear and hit things when he was mad, but I never expected one of those things to be me. I had never seen a flash of anger in anyone like I had in him in that flash. His eyes were almost red, like the Devil’s, and I knew I had finally uncovered a demon of his.

                        *                                  *                                  *

 I got used to the feeling of having my backstage pass lanyard around my neck because I helped set up and could watch my boy play the drums while making every other girl in the audience swoon at his charm and talent. Of course, they didn’t know I was backstage and they didn’t know I was his girlfriend, but that was okay by me. Whenever girls flirted with him, he acted all uncomfortable and did his eyebrow twitch and he would search the area for me, looking for an excuse to get away. I would just come over to him and watch as he put his arm around my shoulder and the girls’ faces would drop. It was a good routine for us; we both acted like crazy jealous fools sometimes, and showing that we needed each other like that calmed us down. But while Sam was popular with the girls in the crowd, I was popular with the boys in the bands.

It was a hot day, but I was stupid enough to wear jeans and a green tee with a black cami under it because I figured that there’d be a breeze. Yeah, try telling that to Arizona. We were hallway through the tour and had made it from New York to Arizona, traveling down the East Coast and across the South. This time of year got really hot, so the temperatures were in the mid 100-115’s almost every day. Yes, the heat was dry compared to the muggy torture of Massachusetts, but it was still not what we were used to.  The boys were gaining a fan base and loving every second of it. Plus, all of us had really become a family because the tour was a three week thing and we always set up together and kind of hung out together in the terrible heat. Nick and Matt were the closest to me because they played their set after us. While my boys played, I hung backstage with them and messed around, helping them with whatever they needed.
 “Hey Brooke!” Nick hugged me and smiled brightly when he saw me. Sam just waved. I knew he was trying to control his jealousy around them, since I insisted that I only liked them as friends only about every single night, and he was getting better at not taking our friendly hugs as a point that I wanted to break up with him. “Coffee?” Nick asked. He flashed his brilliant smile along with two deep dimples and handed me my starbucks. I had already had my morning wake-up cup, but it was cheap motel coffee, so my iced mocha really gave me the energy I needed to lug equipment and set up things.
“Thanks,” I said.
“I got a really big one because I figured you and Sam could just share.”
See Sam? He respected our relationship. He knew I was yours; you have nothing to worry about!
“Thanks man,” Sam patted him on the shoulder and went in for a sip. I swatted him away because I had even had my own sip yet. “Mine,” I said like a five year old. Sam shook his head at me like he was reprimanding my behavior. “Ours,” he corrected, taking a sip.
We sat down and Brian came under the tent from the van. “Um, you guys are playing right after lunch today and Nick and the boys are on after, okay?”
We all nodded. “So just get everything all set and relax for a while. We’re going to the merch tent right after, so Brooke and Kendall, be prepared to help Nick and Matt after their set too.”
“Okay,” we nodded.

When Sam went onstage, I handed him his lucky drumsticks and gave him a kiss. He always used the same ones because they were the ones he used the night he met me. That day he had just happened to buy a new pair and he says that it was their luck that brought us together. I gave him a quick kiss and they went out into that hot July sun to do what they loved.
I knew every single song they ever played and I still never got tired of hearing them. I had even tried to sing along, but the people backstage always looked at me funny and I got self-conscious. “Why’d you stop?” Matt asked. I jumped.
“Holy shit you scared me.”
He laughed, “Sorry.”
“I stopped because I can’t sing.”
“So what?”
“So… why would I submit myself to embarrassment?”
“Because you can.”
We started talking while he and Nick got ready to go on next. Nick was strumming his Taylor quietly in the background and doing his pre-show routine. He had to sing ‘Dust in the Wind’ to warm up his fingers. He was so innocent, and I think that’d what made him so damn adorable. “God it’s hot.” I proclaimed. I reached to the bottom of my tee and tugged it over my head. It was too hot for layers. “What is that?” Matt asked.
“Huh?” I turned my attention back to him, putting my hair in a ponytail.
He pointed to my jeans and what was peeking out from my waistband. It was the faded tattoo that Sam drew on my hipbone. The one only he was supposed to see. But… it was too late. Matt pulled at my waistband just to see what it was. “That. Did Sam draw that?”
“Mhmm.”
“Cute. You guys are pretty serious?”
“Yeah. We just celebrated our five month anniversary like two weeks ago.”
“Cool. You guys seem pretty into each other.”
I looked over to the stage where Sam was drumming away, his serious drumming face on. “Yeah, we are.”
“That’s cool.”
“Do you have a girlfriend?”
He let his dimples show while he smiled genuinely. “Yeah, but she’s waiting for me back in Minnesota. I, uh, miss her.”
“Aw, that’s so sweet. I never have the chance to miss Sam, I’m always with him.”
“Absence makes the heart grow fonder,” he said with a nod, heading back towards Nick and making sure his own Taylor was in tune. Charlie loved finishing off the set with ‘Give a Damn’ because it made everyone go wild and sing along.
When the guys were finished, they headed off backstage all sweaty and pumped from the show. I high-fived them all and told them they did a great job, but when Sam got off, he wasn’t pumped. He was quiet and had a stern stare on his face. I tried to kiss him, but he pushed me away and started walking. I grabbed his arm and turned him around to face me. “Um, okay. What the hell was that?” I demanded.
He didn’t say anything. I shook my head. “Seriously, what’s wrong?”
“We’ll talk about it later.” He said quietly, keeping his head down.
“No, let’s talk about it now.”
“I said we’d talk about it later, Brooke. I have to go to the merch tent.” He said firmly as he walked away. I just stared at the space where he just was in awe. What the hell happened? “You okay?” Nick asked right before he went up to play.
“Yeah… super.” But I don’t think he was convinced.

I headed over to the merch tent and saw the boys signing autographs and taking pictures and I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmingly jealous. Sam was putting his arm around other girls and talking to them, not looking uncomfortable because they were other girls but because he still wasn’t happy. I could see it in his face. His smiles weren’t real and probably no one else could notice, but I saw it. Kendall walked over to where I was and saw me staring at him. “What’s wrong?” She asked.
“Nothing.”
“Really? Sure seems like something.”
“Nope, I’m fine. Let’s just go finish listening to Nick and Matt so we can be done here. I want to leave this place.”
“…Okay…”
So we listened to them sing with their angelic brotherly voices and we helped tear down. When I was putting the wires back in their rightful places, Matt came up beside me to help. “Why aren’t you at the tent?” I asked.
“We want to get out of here, so Nick’s just doing it today. He doesn’t mind.”
“Oh…”
Nick came back with another coffee for me about a half hour later when we were loading our stuff up in the van. “Thanks Nick, I don’t know what I’d do without you.”
“No problem.”
“Is everyone ready?” Brian called from the top of the stage. “We’re heading to California!”
We all cheered and I saw Sam coming back from the van. He looked a little less tense than before but he still wasn’t being his usual charming self. “Let’s go.” He said stiffly. Everyone else packed up and waved to us as they left the parking lot. He grabbed my hand and dragged me along with him to the Impala. He opened the trunk and stood there, staring at nothing. I went to the trunk to meet him. “What the hell is wrong with you?” I said. “Seriously, what’s with the cold shoulder? What did I do?”
He roughly pulled down my waistband to show my tattoo. “This.”
“What about it?”
“You let him see it.” He said this like it hurt him, with his eyes down and a shake in his voice. I couldn’t tell if it was anger or sadness.
“Seriously? You’re mad about that? It was an accident. I was hot so I took of my shirt and my tank went up a little too much.”
“Oh, I saw the strip show. Very classy.”
“Sam, I wasn’t stripping. I was hot.”
Now I could tell he was mad. He practically exploded. “You had to wear those low fucking jeans and take off your fucking shirt so he could see it. I am the only one allowed to see that. Me.”
“I know, but I’m telling you it was an accident. God, Sam, you need to calm the hell down.”
It was sharp, it was loud, and it was quick. I reeled back on my heels a little bit, stumbling backwards and finding my balance my holding onto the back of the car. “Don’t you ever tell me to fucking calm down again.” He spat. I just stood there, put in my place, frozen. My hand instinctively went to the site where it stung the most. My cheek burned and throbbed.
Sam slammed the trunk down and let out a deep breath. It must have been the longest breath ever. He realized what he had done, because when he spoke, his voice was calmer, but he didn’t look at me. “Shit! Brooke, I’m sorry.”
I stood there as he kicked around some rocks beneath his feet. “Did you hear me? I’m sorry.”
But I wasn’t having it. I walked away.
“Brooke. Get back here. Please.”
“No!” I yelled, running across the parking lot to a group of trees. He came sprinting to me; he wasn’t even mad anymore. My face had released all the anger he had. “Babe, come here.”
I clenched my jaw and stared at him. He tried to pull me into a hug but I pushed him away. “Don’t touch me,” I held my hands up like a barrier. “Don’t. Touch me.”
He ran his hands over his face, frantically. “Baby, Brooke… I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean-“
“Just… give me like five minutes, okay? Go back to the car. Give me five minutes.” I said sharply. “Please…” I wasn’t going to cry. I was not. going. to cry.
I knew he didn’t want to, but he backed off and walked back to the car, stopping to kick the ground furiously. “Fuck!” I hear him yell in the distance.
I stood there trying to gather what just happened.
Did Sam just…?
Yeah, he did.
Sam just hit me.
Sam got mad at me, I told him to calm down, and he… hit me.
I couldn’t even believe it.
And I didn’t quite know how to get back in that car, but I did. I walked to the Impala, opened the door and slid in; slamming it in the process. I pressed myself against the window so I could be far away from him. I just needed time to think. “Brooke…” he said softly.
“Sam, I honestly can say I don’t want to talk to you right now. So… just… drive.” I took my iPod from my pocket and put in my headphones. Ironically, the first song that came on was ‘Face Down’ by the Red Jumpsuit Apparatus. I quickly pressed next and settled onto some Boys Like Girls. ‘Learning to Fall’ fit my mood, which didn’t even have a name. Was I upset? Was I angry? Was I sad because he just hit me? No, I was just… confused. Like, what the hell just happened? I never thought Sam would ever hurt me, because it just wasn’t like him. Even though he got mad sometimes, he was always gentle with me.
Maybe I was dreaming. Maybe I was going to wake up tomorrow and realize that I was right and Sam wouldn’t ever hurt me.  But as we approached California and Sam tapped my shoulder, I figured that I wasn’t dreaming. This was all real. “I’m stopping at In-N-Out.”
“I’m not hungry.” I said.
“Hun, you need to eat.”
“I’m not hungry.” I said again.
He shook his head and sighed. “Fine,” while he rolled up to the drive through and ordered something. I put my headphones in and continued listening to music. When I did get hungry, I took off my earbuds and looked in my bag for some snacks. Sam just gestured to the bag in his hands. “It’s a little cold… but it’s still food.”
“Thanks.”

Finally, when we got to the motel, the guys were all sitting outside in lawn chairs drinking soda. “Hey guys!” they said. I got out of the car swiftly, slamming the door behind me and went in quietly, only asking Nick where me and Sam’s room was. “Number twenty three,” he said. “Brooke,” he caught my arm before I could leave. “What happened to your face?”
My face. I hadn’t even checked to see what my face even looked like. I only knew that my cheek felt a little puffy. I smiled lightly at him, “I took a face plant when I got into the car,” I said. “I’m always tripping over everything all the time.”
I didn’t let him respond. I just headed to room twenty three and went to the bathroom to see the damage. There was a strip of purplish grey along my left jaw and cheek. It could pass as a fall, but I knew both Sam and I had to get our stories straight. The last thing I needed was for Brian to burst in and say, ‘I told you he was no good for you.’ And then laugh in my face. I mean, I’m sure it was an accident.
I changed into my pajamas and slid into bed, turning on the tv. Sam came in with a peace offering, a bag of crushed ice in his hand. He handed it to me and sat at the edge of the bed quietly, only turning around to look at me. “Brooke.”
“Sam.”
“I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean-“
I cut him off these words again. “I’m fine.”
“You don’t sound fine.”
“Well I am.”
“At least let me see it.”
I showed him my chin and then snapped it away. “There. You saw.”
“Brooke. Look at me.” I bit my cheek and was tempted to look, but I didn’t. “Please,” he practically whispered. “Please, just look at me…”
I gave in and looked into his eyes and he crawled on the bed over to me. He gently examined my face and let out a whimper. “Fuck, I can’t believe… you have to know. Babe, I would never hurt you on purpose. I just… got so mad. I don’t know what happened. Please, please forgive me.”
I thought about this for a second. “Before I do,” I said, knowing that I would have to forgive him because I just loved him so much. And I knew he loved me too. This was a one-time thing and it wouldn’t happen again. I knew he was sorry, I could feel it. Every movement he made said so. The way his voice was soft, the way he caressed my cheek, the way he was beating himself up about this. “I just have to know why.”
“Why what? Anything.”
“Why you automatically assume I’m trying to do stuff to piss you off and cheat on you. I mean, I was honestly just really hot and needed to take my shirt off. I didn’t plan on Matt seeing it. He’s like my brother. I have no interest in him whatsoever. He thinks we’re cute. He misses his girlfriend.” I said.
“Girlfriend?” he gulped. Now he really felt like an asshole. And he should.
“Yes, his girlfriend.” I looked at him firmly, “So why?”
“I… don’t know.”
“Fine.” I reached over the bed and turned off the overhead light and crawled onto my side. I got under the covers and turned away from him, so I was facing the wall. Sam shifted at the edge of the bed and turned the tv off so it was just us and the dark. Who knew when Kendall and Brian were going to roll into bed? I heard him get up and go outside and he came in a few minutes later and got into his sweats. The toilet flushed, the sink sputtered, and the bed wobbled when he entered the bed.
I knew he didn’t want to upset me even more by talking to me, but he couldn’t resist. “Are you awake?” he whispered.
I didn’t want to answer him, because I knew I could just pretend to be asleep while he thought and thought about what he did. “Yes,”
He rolled from his back to his side to me, but since I was rolled over too, he was talking to my back. I felt little circle patterns against my spine; little kisses along my shoulder blades. But, I wasn’t awake for long, because the silent kisses made me fall asleep very quickly.

When I did wake up, it was because Brian was pulling me out of bed. It was still dark in the room, but I could hear Kendall attempting to open the shades. “Nooo.” I protested, holding onto my pillow for dear life. When that didn’t work, I reached to the next nearest object that could keep me in bed; Sam. But he wasn’t there. “What the hell.” I exclaimed. I faced upwards at him. “Look, I’m up.” I said.
“Let’s go Brooke; we’ve got to get on the road. We’re playing at three and we have a three hour drive. Plus, that fall left a nasty bruise on your face. You look hideous.”
 “Thanks. Okay. I don’t care. I’m up. I’ll be ready in five. Now get the hell out.”
“Fine.”
I got up and went into the bathroom and brushed my teeth, combed my hair, threw it in a pony, and attempted to cover up the bruise that was on my face. But it hurt. And it was sore. By the time I was finished, you could only see a little bit of it, but I thought I did a good job of concealing it. I grabbed my duffle and met everyone outside where they were sitting on top of the van. “Hey sleepyhead!” they all waved.
I laughed. “You guys are hilarious. Hi.”
“Is everyone ready then?” Brian asked. We all nodded and headed towards our perspective cars. Sam was quiet. I got in and we kind of sat there for a minute. “Um,” he spoke up, though it was quiet. “I got you your coffee this morning,” he nodded towards the large cup of joe in the cup holder.
“Thanks,”
“Are you still mad at me?”
“Honestly? I’m over it. I don’t want to think about it anymore or talk about it anymore. Your just gonna have to promise me that you’ll back off about the whole Nick and Matt thing. And stop being so damn jealous; you are the one for me.”
 He nodded his head and bit his lip. “I promise. Nick and Matt are just your friends. I am the one for you.”
“Exactly.” I actually gave in and smiled smally. “So, can we just kind of forget this happened?”
He leaned over to kiss me, making his eyes scrunch up in a smile. “Yep. Forgotten. I love you.”
“Love you too, now let’s go to California!”
I tried to just push the way his face was so angry and scary when he hit me. I just imagined my Sam, the one who was jealous and it was cute; the one who just wanted me; the one whose kisses still made me swoon. That’s the Sam I wanted all the time.
By the time we had the windows of the impala all the way down; air conditioner on high, my thoughts on the day before were gone with the breeze with the wind in my hair.

                        *                                  *                                  *

“I heard you got into some trouble yesterday.” Matt said as we were walking toward the merch tent after the successful show.
“What? I didn’t get into trouble.”
“Really? Your boy wasn’t pissed that I saw your little tattoo?” he eyed me and my face suspiciously.
“Well… a little bit.”
“You shouldn’t let him get like that. We both know nothing was going on.”
“But he didn’t.”
“He doesn’t trust you?”
I thought about this for a second. “Apparently not.”
He frowned at me, “Well he should. You’ve never done anything wrong, right?” I shook my head. “Then he just over reacted. Don’t worry about it.”
“Okay, thanks Matt.”
“No problem!” he hugged me sideways as we reached the tent. “Babe!” Sam called, waving me over. I ran up to him and kissed him once. He was surrounded by a group of girls that were taking pictures with the band. Now I knew we were back to normal; he was uncomfortable. I felt the girls look at each other and asked themselves ‘babe? Why babe? Who’s she? Why is she kissing him? Grr.’ “Hey,” I replied.
“Um, Brooke, this is Danielle, Sarah, and Liv.” He said to them. “Ladies, this is my girlfriend Brooke.”
“…Girlfriend?”
I smiled triumphantly and responded, “Hey, nice to meet you. Are you from around here?”
“Yeah… we live just outside of town…”
“Cool,”
“Yeah. We, uh, really liked your cover of ‘I will follow you into the dark’.” The girl named Liv said. “It was cute, especially because you made it more upbeat. You can sure sing,” she batted her eyelashes at Sam. But, I wasn’t going to get jealous because he put his arm around me and kissed my cheek. “That song’s actually ours,” he looked at me.
“Oh.” Liv said. I guess she didn’t like it anymore.
“Well, ladies, it was lovely to meet you all, but we’ve got to hit the road soon.” Brian cut in. They hugged the rest of the band and high-fived Sam because he only had one free hand. Ha.

After that, we packed up quickly and were on the road again. “So, is it weird to say that I miss being alone with you?” Sam asked.
“Only because you want to make out.” I pointed out,
“Well…yes, that is true. But I still do miss it.”
“Hey, we get to share a bed every night, it’s the same.”
“Except Brian and Kendall sleep next to us.”
I rolled my eyes. “Well, we’re alone now.”
“Oh sure, let me just pull over on the highway.”
I laughed and turned up the music. “We can bribe Kendall and Bri to go out later.” I kissed his cheek and started dancing to the music. Sam grabbed my hand and we went off to San Francisco.

                        *                                  *                                  *
August

            It was two weeks since our little “issue” and my bruise was gone and it was our last week with everyone. We were heading back home on the tour, so we were in Nebraska and heading up towards Nick and Matt’s town of St.Paul to do a show in three days. Matt was really excited about it because he finally got to see his girlfriend. He showed me a picture, and she was really cute. She and Matt really looked like the cutest couple. She had long sandy brown and her name was Charlotte. He had told me all about her when I asked, and I told Sam all about her too, to make him not so jealous of Matt and my friendship.
And to add to the good times, we finally got some alone time. We hung out on our bed while Brian and Kendall went out for dinner with Nick and Matt. Charlie and the boys opted out and when they asked us if we wanted to go to a show for one of Charlie’s Irish friends, we still said no. After that, everyone figured we wanted to have some time to ourselves, so they left us alone for the night.
Eventually though one thing led to another and I was without a shirt, and so was he, revealing his tattoo. I traced my fingers along it gently, making him shiver. “I want a tattoo.” I said, matter-of-factly. Sam straightened up. “Seriously?”
“Yeah.”
“Because I can just keep drawing fake one’s for you.”
I laughed at him. “Nope, I want a real one.”
“Really?”
“Yes! Why don’t you believe me?”
“Because you got green when I got mine.”
“You’ll be there; I’ll be fine.”
“Belly button piercing is another option.” He leaned down and kissed my belly button, tickling me down and continuing. His lips were heading south, but he knew when to stop. My shorts were still on, so he just tried to graze his lips along the tattoo he gave me. This tattoo said, ‘Perfect’ on it.
I slapped his face and he dramatically acted as if I had had taken him down, but only so I could crawl on top of him and return the belly button kissing favor. It was a weird thing about him. He had this weird thing for bellies. I thought it was quirky, other people (SARAH) would think it was weird. This was why hooking up is done in private. “I’m not getting a belly button piercing. Get over it.”
“Not even a little tattoo there?” he grabbed a pen from the side table and drew in fancy tattoo cursive underneath my belly button that said ‘Cute’. I giggled and collapsed next to him.
“No way.”
“Where then?”
“Wrist.”
“Okay,”
“You think it’ll be cute?” I asked. He looked at me puzzled, like I just asked a stupid question.
“Anything on you would be cute.” He kissed the inside of my wrist and smiled. Then I fell asleep next to him until it was morning.

After we were dressed and went to Denny’s with everyone, Sam announced. “Brooke is getting a tattoo!” and almost everyone cheered. Except Brian. He didn’t look too happy. The Debate was ecstatic, and Nick looked as innocent as always. Matt rolled his eyes and said, “It’s illegal right? Because you’re seventeen?”
“Yep.”
He sighed. “I know a guy that will do it for you.”
“I have an i.d. anyways; otherwise I wouldn’t be able to get into half the clubs.”
“True.”
“But where?”
“Home; I got mine when I was sixteen and so did Nick.”
“Wait- Nick has a tattoo?”
Nick smiled and let his dimples shine. He looked at Sam, to make sure it wasn’t inappropriate that he was going to show me. Sam okayed it and he brought the collar of his shirt down to reveal a left peck tattoo that had ‘blessed’ on it. Matt had one on his bicep that wrapped around. I never expected them to have tattoos. Ever. Especially Nick.
“Wow, now I feel out of the club.”
“We all have tattoos.” Charlie said.
“Me too,” Kendall agreed. I knew she had one at the back of her neck (which you could never see unless she wore her hair up).that was a little heart and her name. She was dared by her friends to do it when she was drunk and she did.
“Alright, well then I’m going to get one.”
“Brooke…” Brian had to add his two cents. “I really don’t think getting a tattoo is a smart idea.”
“Come on Brian…”
“No, Brooke.”
I was getting a little mad at him. Why did he think he could boss me around? I didn’t like when Sam did it. “It’s a good thing I’m not smart then isn’t it?” I snapped. Immediately I regretted it. “Sorry.”
He held his hands up. “No. You’re right. If you want to get tattooed illegally, be my guest.”
Sam tightened his grasp around me and whispered, “You okay?” Into my ear. I turned to kiss his cheek and whispered “Yes,” into his. He kissed me back and everyone gagged and threw napkins at us. “Gross!” They teased. We just laughed at each other and finished up eating.
Today was our day off, so we decided to go to the beach.
We arrived at the Lewis and Clark beach place and found a spot next to the volleyball net. Sam sat down on our beach blanket and took off his shirt. He revealed his perfect tattoo. I whistled. “Damn, you lookin’ fiiiine.” He patted the blanket and I sat beside him. He put his arm around me and kissed my hair. “You smell pretty,” he said.
“Thanks?”
He kissed it again and let his fingers wander down my back to the bottom of my shirt to tug up. I was getting hot, so I took his tug as a sign that it was bikini time. I yanked my shirt over my head and threw it with my stuff. “I’ll race you to the water!” I kicked off my shorts quickly and darted through the sand and into the cool Nebraska lake. Sam raced after me and beat me into the water, diving in and getting his floppy hair all wet. He looked very cute. I wrapped my arms around his neck and he kissed me. Everyone else joined in the water but did the same gagging thing as earlier. “Jesus, stop with Public Displays of Nausea.” Charlie rolled his eyes. Nick and Matt dove in and now I really saw their tattoos in the sun. All my boys were getting stared at by the girls around. I did happen to roll with a very good-looking boy crowd. Kendall was equally as popular with the guys, and so was I, but they were probably turned off by the fact that Sam’s tongue was in my mouth the entire time.
We played beach games, went swimming and had an overall great day. I missed the beach, and I thought it was sad that this was the first time this year I had gone swimming. We all ate ice cream, and by the time the day was done, we were tan and tired.
                        *                                  *                                  *

“Why are you videotaping this?” I asked Nick as he got an up close of my face before I got my tattoo. I was clutching Sam’s right hand for dear life. “Babe. Let go, he hasn’t even started.”
Nick was laughing and filmed himself for a second. “Everyone, this is Brooke, getting her first tattoo.”
I rolled my eyes and narrowed them at the camera. “You hate me.”
“Hate and love are equally as powerful.”
“Shut up.”
“Ready?” The guy asked. I nodded, even though I wasn’t so sure. The place was legit, and the guy was really nice. Matt had signed my mom’s name on the paper even though the guy was the same one who did Nick and Matt’s tattoo.
The needle didn’t actually hurt as bad as I thought it would. It was like a four on the pain scale out of ten. It was seeing the needle indented into my skin that scared me more. I thought Sam’s hand was going to pop off when he said, “Hun, you’re not having a baby. Can you please stop breaking my hand?”
I relaxed. “Sorry.”
The man finished in about fifteen minutes and when it was over, Sam handed me my coffee. Nick was laughing hysterically and Matt was sitting in the sidelines just watching. I gulped down the large iced mocha and wrapped my arms around Sam’s neck, kissing him hard on the mouth. “Thank you for being here.”
“You can thank me… by getting your bellybutton pierced!” he smiled.
“Or other things,” I countered quickly.
“Other things work too.” He raised his eyebrows like he was saying ‘oohlala’ and kissed me again. Nick put the camera back on himself and said, “There you have it. Brooke Zamrock just got her first tattoo.”
Sam kissed my cheek and gave a ‘woo’ to the camera, and then… it was done.


Smiles,
Leslie

Monday, November 26, 2012

Oh. Hi there.

HEY!
HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Um, well, hello!
I've been super super busy with school and work and procrastinating.
There have been no photoshoots for a long time (YIKES!)

BUT!
I do have these creations I've started making. 
MY OWN BOWS!
At work I normally get compliments on this pink polka bow I wear.
I decided, "HEY! LET'S MAKE SOME BOWS for the CHRISTMAS SEASON!"
So I looked up how to make them and found a great tutorial
^THERE!



SO much fun.

And movie news.
Casey, Sarah, and I went to see Wreck it Ralph (AWESOME!)
And Casey and I went to see Rise of the Guardians (AWESOMER!)

And in school news.
Today in the worst class ever, we had to write a poem as a group.
My group was: Amanda, Bethany, Bri, Julie, and Me.

Travels of a Drunkard
Intoxicated eyes of blue.
Got pulled over when he flew.
Temper's clashing.
No escape.

Simmering in his stale, slim cell.
Off his bunk is where he fell.
Frequent friend
of the cage.

Surprise to him; one more chance.
Who shows up? His ex-romance.
Smouldered exchange.
False Alarm.


THE END.

Chapter 8 (I think) will be posted Wednesday.
And Friday will have an I Fancy Friday.
And they're British!
YAY!

Smiles,
Leslie

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Chapter 7 {LYTD}

Oh. Hey.
I know.
I've been MIA.

But... look! It's CHAPTER 7!

UPDATE.
[I get to choose classes tomorrow.]
[Sarah and I made the best meal ever]
[I am losing my voice from screaming to One Direction's new album(which is amazing)]

the end.

Chapter 7

            Everything worked out almost perfectly for the next few months. Sam’s temper had finally calmed down along the lines of jealousy, the boys were starting to really play; they started opening for bands that weren’t exactly famous, but were up and coming. Everything was just… smooth. Anna and her half-sister started going to therapy for their ‘issues’ and Brian was finally coming to terms that Sam and I couldn’t be broken up. All of this time, he had never liked that we were together. He expected for me to have my heart broken already and he expected that he’d have to team up with Anna and Collin to take him down. But no, Sam and I were going strong.
            He was there when I graduated in the top ten of my class. He was there when I fell in my heels and twisted my ankle, staying with me while it heeled as we watched movie after movie after movie. He even agreed to go to prom with me, because he never went to his. He looked gorgeous in his tux; though he swore he would never wear it again.
Our summer was going to be absolutely sun filled and fun, because we (The Debate, Kendall, Brian and I) were going on a road trip for the band. They were trying to get gigs around the west coast and mid-west region to ‘broaden their horizons’ (to make more money, there were only so many places we could play for around New England) and Brian was in college for management, so he agreed to help out the boys. My mom was weary of letting me go, because she still wasn’t too keen on Sam, but my dad really liked Sam and had started not being such a drunk, so he convinced her to let me go.
Before we could leave though, Sam wanted to get his first tattoo. We had been talking about getting them for a while, because we were serious about where we were going in the long run of our relationship. We had been talking lately about our future and we were right on track with each other and he was glad I was going on their “tour” with them. I think even if my parents would have said no, he would have made me go anyway, no matter how much trouble I could have gotten in.

                        *                                  *                                  *

July

“Are you sure you want to do this?” I asked Sam as we walked into the tattoo parlor in South Boston. There was a whole bunch of people getting their lips and cartilage pierced.
He smirked hopefully at me, “You sure you don’t want to get your belly button pierced?”
I just stared at him and patted him on the shoulder. “Nice try babe, not gonna happen.”
“A guy can dream, can’t he?”
“Sam?” a skinny guy with a few tattoos called. Sam stepped forward and squeezed my hand so I would come along with them. I shook my head slowly, “I don’t want to see you get tattooed!”
He pouted at me, giving me his puppy dog eyes that he knew I couldn’t resist. “Okay, okay,” he kissed my cheek and led me to where the job was to be done. He only winced a few times while it was being worked on, and I watched as the needle was pressed into his skin. He kept squeezing my hand, but I think it was more or less because I was feeling queasy and not because it hurt. He could see I was getting a little green, and even though I looked excellent in emeralds, this color green was not attractive. “You okay?” he asked. I just nodded and swallowed, trying not to look like I was lying. “I’ll buy you a coffee after this,” he said. I nodded again, and just prayed that it would be over soon.
After it was finished, we paid the guy and he told us how to take care of it so it would look the best. Sam walked funny down the street with his right arm over his head the whole way, holding my hand with the other. “You okay?” I asked.
 “It hurts like a motherfucking bitch.” He replied.
“Well, it’ll look good when it’s all healed.” I assured him. He opened the door for me at starbucks, and I got my afternoon cup and we sat down. He needed a haircut, because it was staring to get even more unruly compared to normal, but he liked it that way. He thought it made him look more “drummer-like”. Sometimes I think my boyfriend is delusional; most of the time I’m right. I didn’t mind the hair, because it made him look a little older and like he was really part of a band. Plus, it gave me more to tug on when we hooked up.
While I was drinking, Sam kept staring at me. I’d be looking around the place because we fell into a routine where just being around each other was enough to make us happy. We never had to say anything, and we had this whole silent language thing going on. But today I could feel his cinnamon eyes staring into me, so I turned to face him again and asked, “What’s wrong?” thinking I had a foam moustache or something while he shook his head. “Absolutely nothing. I just think you’re beautiful.”
I nodded at him like he was insane, because he was and said, “Okay,” really slowly. Then I thought about his tattoo and how excited I was to see it all finished; I had helped pick it out, and we thought it was perfect for him and for us, because the statement was so true. He got it on his right side of his torso, from a few inches under his armpit to right above where he wears his pants, and it read “If love is not madness, it is not love,” it was a quote from Pedro Calderon de la Barca, the Spanish playwright. And we thought that because he’s so temperamental about everything and it just… works for us, even with the fighting, that it would fit him perfectly.
“What are you thinking for yours?” he asked.
“I don’t know yet. Maybe my hip, maybe my wrist.”
“Mmm, I’d like your hip…”
“Of course you would. You’d like to be the only one who could find it.”
“I’m a guy; of course I’d enjoy finding it…”
I just shook my head as he beamed at me, raising his eyebrows. “Come on,” he said, getting up and putting his good arm around my shoulder. “I have an idea, let’s go home.” I shook my head and sat back down.
“Unfortunately for you, you can’t have any skin to skin contact for a few days.”
Whenever we say ‘let’s go home’ we pretty much just mean the apartment. I was there all the time, especially with school out. But I’m not allowed to spend the night more than twice a week and I had to be home by ten a.m. Sunday mornings because we now did things as a ‘family’. Dad had stopped drinking so much, and he and my mom were going to a marriage counselor, so I had to go along with it so he wouldn’t relapse. But Sam’s bed was more comfortable than my own and I liked his company much more than my mother’s, even though all we did was sleep and talk and kiss; sleep and talk and kiss; it was a good routine for all of us, especially since I blatantly told my mother Sam and I weren’t even at risk of having a baby. He really wanted to be good for once and not rush like he did the other *gulp* four times. Whatever, I was over it.
“That’s okay; we’ve got to get this thing all cleaned, right?”
“Yeah,”
“We can pick up a redbox and just chill.”
“Okay,”
We made our way home and I helped clean his tattoo like the guy said. I was pretty grossed out though, because there was so much… puss everywhere. “How will you even get a tattoo?” he asked. “You get so queasy…”
“I’ll be fine.”
He chuckled lightly, “Whatever you say.”
We sat down on the couch and watched Inception, and I still couldn’t understand it, even though we’d watched it about eight thousand times. At one point Sam got up, grabbed something from the kitchen, and came back. I was lying down in his lap and I felt his hand creeping towards the waistband of my shorts. “What are you doing?” I smacked his hand away. He tried again, holding his other hand behind his back, keeping something from me. “Nothing,” he said.
“Liar! You’re up to something. Keep your hands away!”
But now it was a battle. He slid his hands right to the waistband and tugged for a second. “Brooke, just trust me okay?”
“Tell me what you’re going to do!”
I mean, seriously, he was trying to put his hands in my pants, how could I trust him?
“It’s a surprise. Nothing bad, just please… shut your eyes.”
“What?”
“You like not knowing what’s coming. Just shut your eyes.”
I gave in, closing them. “If you go an inch lower, I swear, I will never talk to you again.”I felt him get up and hover over me, feeling his breath against my lips. “Liar.” He whispered, kissing me once; making me want more. But he kneeled down beside me and found where he wanted to be. I felt something cold on my hip, and when it was finished, he lowered himself over me and kissed me once more. “Open.” He said. I found where he had just been and saw that Sam had drawn his own tattoo there. It said, “Sam wuz here,” with an arrow pointing to it. I “I like it,” I stated. To which he replied, “Good,” like he always did.

                        *                                  *                                  *

“Brooke, you had better call me.” Mom said to me as she hugged me goodbye. “You have a cell phone. Use it.”
“I know mom, I know.”
“And please… don’t come home with a baby.”
“Mom, it’s only a few weeks. Don’t worry about it.”
“And you have your card?” Recently, mom had given me a prepaid card with five hundred and seventy-six dollars on it for the road. This would help cover hotel rooms, food, and anything I wanted to buy along the way.
“Yes mom, I have everything.”
She hugged me like a mother and smiled. “Keep your sister updated too; we don’t want her having a heart attack and losing the baby.”
“Mom,” I rested my hand on her shoulder and assured her. “I know, I have everything under control.”
“Okay. Bye baby.”
“Bye mom.”

I rolled my eyes and headed towards the car, where Sam was planted on the hood. He slid off and met me with a deep kiss, taking my stuff and then throwing it in the back seat. “You ready?” he asked impatiently.
“Yeah, what’s wrong though?”
“Nothing, just a little short on time. We gotta go like now.”
“Okay, put your foot on the gas then.”
He nodded and squealed his tires as he headed for the highway.


                        *                                  *                                  *
            By the time we got to New York, it was 12 and we were running late. Traffic was horrendous and Sam was getting a little angry. Alright, so he got a lot angry. His favorite word was fuck! And his favorite finger was the middle one, but this was something I was used to. Sam had no issue expressing frustration, irritation, or flat out anger. Today he was impatient and angry, so I hit the mother load. “Get the fuck out of my way!” Sam shouted at the car in front of us. He beeped several times and I tried to talk calmly, “Sam, we’re going to make it.”
            “Not if this guy doesn’t get out of my fucking way.” He spat. More beeps.
“He can’t go anywhere either.  Sam, we’re fine.”
Brian called me just then. He sounded a little rushed. “Where are you?”
“We’re stuck in traffic.”
“Um, okay… are you close? We’ve got sound check.”
“I don’t know where we are to be honest.”
I heard Charlie yell in the distance, “Give the phone to me.” And Brian did because the accent filled my ears. “Tell me you’re almost here.”
“Um… we’re almost here.”
“Really?” he sounded hopeful. I popped that bubble.
“No. I don’t know where the hell we are.”
“Brooke, I need you to get the hell over here. We’ve got soundcheck and we can’t do it without Sam.”
“I know but…”
“Find a fucking parking lot and get over here.”
“Okay! We’re coming!” I slammed my phone shut. Sam was still honking away. “Jeeze, I think they think we’re sitting here just making out or something.”
“Not even that would make me less irritated right now. Get the FUCK OUT OF MY WAY!”
For some reason, I started laughing. Sam looked over at me and I was laughing hysterically. Even though he was extremely frustrated, when he spoke there was a humor in his own voice. “What the hell is so funny?”
I could barely speak.
“I said, what is so funny?”
“You. This. Everything.”
“Everything?”
“Sam. Look at where we are.”
“In traffic.”
“And where are we going?”
“To Rock House Anthem.”
“To do what?”
“Play a show?!” he wasn’t quite getting where I was going with this.
“No. Yes, but no. We’re in New York, going to play a show that starts a tour. A tour! That’s huge. And we’re here, stuck in traffic, yes. But how much time do you think we’ll be able to spend with each other on the tour? I’m not an idiot, Sam. I know you have responsibilities to the band that don’t involve hanging out with me.”
He frowned. “Wait. You don’t think you’ll be with me?”
“Well, I’ll be with you. But you’ve got to sign stuff and take pictures. You’re in a band that people actually like. You’re kind of popular. And absolutely unable to resist.” I leaned over and kissed him on the cheek.
“I want you with me.”
“Don’t worry about me. I’ll be with you.”
He kept my gaze and looked at me seriously. “You’re right,” his eyes softened and he nuzzled into me. “So, so, right. Sorry, babe.”
“Pump in the tunes. There’s a Parking Lot a few blocks from here according to my phone, so we should get there in who the hell cares when. We’ll walk to the Club. Your drums are already there. Let me call Brian, kay?”
“Sounds like a plan.”
I dialed and he answered right away. “Are you here already?”
“No. We’re going to a Parking lot a few blocks away and we’ll walk as quickly as we can. We’re not the only people on this tour, tell the next people to go in front of us.”
“Brooke…”
“Brian. You don’t have a choice. We’re not there.”
He groaned. “Fine.”
I put the phone down. “Music.”
He plugged in my iPod. William Beckett’s ‘Walk the Talk’ EP carried us through the traffic.

Eventually we did get there. We parked in the lot and got our ticket (We were making Charlie pay), took each other’s hands and headed to the club. Of course we had to stop for a starbucks. It was my afternoon pick-me-up. I was a girl in need.
As soon as we got there, Sam was whisked away to his drum kit. Brian was too busy to yell at me for stopping for coffee when we were on a schedule, but Kendall came over and sat down on the chair. “You finally made it.”
“I know. Traffic was terrible.”
“Yet you stopped for coffee.”
“Kendall…” I shook my head.
“I’m just messing with you. I don’t care what you stopped for. Sex, buying a puppy, buying a bone for that puppy…” she smirked. “Sorry. You still are unaware of the inside joke about bones and puppies…”
“Do I even want to know?”
“No. It’s sick. Your boyfriend has a sick mind.”
Brian was yelling something at the guys to test their instruments. I had just noticed that there were a lot of people just hanging out inside this club. The tanned legs jumped up beside me. “Oh! Come meet everyone.”
“Everyone?”
“Well, yeah, we’re gonna be with these kids for the next three weeks, we might as well get to know them.”
“Hey guys!” she yelled, dragging me over to them.
“Hey Kendall.” One guy with long blonde hair waved. He looked like a typical pop-rock band member. “Who’s this?” he nodded in my direction.
“Oh! Guys, this is my friend Brooke.”
“Hey Brooke,” all the guys nodded. Yes, they all nodded. So I did the same. “Hey.”
“Where you from?”
“Mass.”
“Cool. We’re from San Diego. The Nodders.”
“Is that your band’s name?”
They all, well, they all nodded.
Long Blonde spoke. “I’m Drake. That’s Paul, Pete, and Carter.” He nodded over at the guys in the circle with him. They all had visible tattoos and were dressed in typical band garb: skinny jeans. Teeshirt. “What band are you in?” the one named Pete asked. He was a bright ginger. Very Ed Sheeran.
“Oh, she’s not in a band, Pete,” Kendall shook her hair casually. “She’s like me, with The Debate. And don’t get any ideas, she’s got a boyfriend.” She eyed him. She leaned in and nudged me, “Pete is the resident whore. I’ve been with them one afternoon and he likes girls that walk.”
“Alright. So, stay clear of Pete. Got it.”
“A boyfriend? Damn, Kendall. Don’t you want to introduce me to someone interesting..?”
“Thanks,” I stood awkwardly.
“She interesting. “ Kendall defended. “Just not your type.”
“All girls are my type.” He smiled.
“Even the taken?” I asked.
He winked. “Even those.”
“Don’t flirt too hard, Pete. The Boyfriend’s coming this way. And the last guy that flirted with her got his nose broken.”
Pete laughed, not knowing that she was completely serious. Sam wrapped his arms around my waist from behind and kissed my cheek all smiley. “You done already?” I asked.
He rolled his eyes. “They weren’t even ready for me. They made us walk all that fucking way for a technical problem. They can’t get Derek’s guitar to plug in right.” He looked at The Nodders.
“Sammy, you punch pretty hard, right?” Kendall laughed.
“…I suppose…”
“See?” She gave Pete attitude.
“I’m Sam,” they all introduced themselves. In the background we heard Derek’s guitar. “SAM!” Charlie yelled. “Let’s go!”
So off he went, crunching his face into a smile and pecking me, then picking up hid drums and drumming away.

It turned out that the lineup of this tour was amazing. Of course, from the North East was The Debate, the West Coast was The Nodders, from the South East was Alex Cubed, from the South West was Handle Me With Care, and from the Mid-West was The Hopeless Romantics. All of the bands were voted into the tour and all had a distinctive Alternative Rock sound. After the show, the guys signed autographs and took pictures with their new fans. Kendall, Brian, and I stayed behind with the other band’s people and tore down everything. Eventually we all went out to meet each other. We were hungry. Shows did that.
                        *                                  *                                  *

Right away, I found out who my friends were on the tour. The guys from The Nodders were pretty cool, but Pete got a little creepy. He literally hit on everything with legs. Sam didn’t like him too much, so when he simply looked at me and said, “Stay away from him.” I didn’t see it as anything except him protecting me from a tool. The guys from Alex Cubed were pretty into themselves. They were all named Alex (big surprise) and they all had fangirls that were irritating and followed them around.  Handle Me with Care was a band of heartbroken smoldering guys with a terrible track record with women according to their set lists. Then, finally, the Hopeless Romantics was a set of dimply brothers from Minnesota. They had a softer acoustic edge than their touring counterparts and sweet voices that made all the girls swoon. Out of everyone else we had met, those boys and I had a connection. Right off the bat we got along and I could be myself around them. Nick was only three months older than me, and was practically made out of apple pie. He had the innocent glow of youth oozing out of him, making him absolutely adorable. His brother Matt was nineteen and equally as sweet, but he was more carefree.
When it came to going out after the Philly show, the ‘Drunkards’ aka Scott, Charlie, Derek, all The Nodders, Kendall, two of the Alex’s, and Justin and Joe from Handle Me with Care wanted to go out and party.  Brian wasn’t a part of this group, but he had noses on keeping an eye on Kendall. They had quickly become best friends since Brian started ‘managing’ the boys and were each other’s better halves. The ‘Norms’ aka me, Sam, Sean, Alex J, Flynn from HMWC, Nick, and Matt decided to have a quiet night in.
We all put in money for pizza and piled into the joint rooms. None of us were really hard drinkers, so we just chilled in front of the tv and got to know each other. I learned about the girls that were stalking Alex Cubed, Gantry and Mackenzie, and how they’d been crazy fans since the beginning. “Hmm,” Sam thought. “We don’t have any fans like that.”
“You’re right.” Sean agreed. Sean was so quiet that sometimes he could be quite invisible. He normally had his iPad out and practiced new intros or chord structures on the keyboard app. Tonight he was actually sitting with us.
I looked at both of them with my eyebrows crinkled. “…Thanks.”
“Oh, no, you don’t count.” Sam waved me off.
“Um, excuse me?”
“I mean, yeah, you’re a fan, but you’re my girlfriend so it doesn’t count.”
“Really, Brooke, you practically live with us. You’re not a fan of the band. You’re a part of the band.”
“Oh…” I felt slightly flattered. “What about Kendall?”
Sean shrugged. “Well we’ve known her for a while and she’s also a part of the family. Same with Brian. We mean fan fans.”
“Oh, yeah, sure…”
“But we do love you.”
“You’d better. But, you obviously have fans... otherwise you wouldn’t have even been on the tour…”
“Hm. She’s a smarty,” Matt smiled.
“Right? Brains and beauty. I’m a lucky man.” Sam kissed my cheek.
We popped in a movie and hung out for the night until everyone fell asleep right where they were sitting. Earlier, we had agreed that The Drunkards would stay in their own room to not disturb the designated drivers of traveling day. I slept pretty good up and until I woke up to hear Alex and Flynn snoring on the floor next to me. I stretched up on the bed, seeing the bed being still made and Sam and I lying on top of it. Sean was sleeping with his feet by Sam’s face and hogging up half the bed. The clock next to me read 5:30, which meant I slept a decent amount, but I was a little irritated that I couldn’t sleep longer.
My first instinct was that I needed coffee, so I quietly tiptoed around all the boys passed out on the floor and outside and looked at my options. It was dark out still, but there wasn’t much life around the motel. No Dunkin Donuts, no starbucks, nothing. So I found Sam’s impala and sat on it until the sun started to rise, slipping in my headphones and letting This Providence take me into the morning.
I heard the shifting of gravel next to me and turned to see Nick coming towards the car. I took off my headphones and watched him stretch up. “Good morning,” he yawned.
“Morning.”
“Have you been out here long?”
I nodded. “Probably. What time is it?”
“7.”
“Yeah, once I wake up I’m up, so I’ve been out here for a while.”
“Mind if I sit?” I scooched over and he hopped up on the hood with me. “So, hi.”
“Hey,”
“You look exhausted.”
“That bad?” I laughed.
“Not bad, just… tired.”
“I’ll look a little bit livelier with coffee in my system.”
“You have a caffeine thing?”
“Morning, afternoon, night. It’s an addiction.”
“I’m like that with cocoa.”
I looked at the curly brunette with the sweet blue eyes. “Of course you like cocoa.”
“Is that a bad thing?”
“No, it’s just very you, Nick.”
He frowned. “Is that bad? Matt’s always making fun of me for it, but he loves cocoa too. It must be a Minnesota thing.”
“You think?”
“Well, in the winter we’re playing in the snow, shoveling snow, or playing hockey… so it’s generally pretty chilly.”
“And you need cocoa to warm you up.”
“Exactly,”
“I just need coffee in general.”
“Good to know. When you’re unhappy, I’ll just bring you coffee.”
“You already know the key to my friendship and you’ve been with me for about three days.”
He just sat with me all smiles while we watched the daily bustle start to pick up outside the motel. “There you are!” Sam called, coming over. He eyed Nick suspiciously. “Whatchya doing?”
“Just sitting. I woke up too early again.”
He turned to Nick. “This poor girl can’t fall back asleep after she wakes up, especially when it starts getting light out.”
“This guy can sleep anywhere, especially when there’s a… nope, he can sleep anywhere. I hate him.” He leaned over and smooched me once, nuzzling into my nose. “But then he’s all sweet and I love him again.” He leaned back with a big smile on his face.
“You’re a smart girl. Speaking of, want to get some coffee, babe?”
“Yeeeesss!” I practically growled. I turned to Nick, “Want to come along?”
He shook his head, “Nah. Thanks though. I’m going to go annoy Matt. He loves when I do that in the morning.”
“What, he’s not a morning person?” Sam asked.
“Absolutely not. It’ll be hilarious.”
He hopped off the hood and waved. “Happy caffeine.”
“Happy brotherly annoyance.”

When we got in the car and started off in search of my morning fix, Sam had his hand on my knee but was quiet. He was focused on the road. No music, no words. Just him being focused. It was weird. We found a starbucks a few blocks away and bought my venti Americano with no room for cream. Sam just got an iced tea, and I picked up a hot chocolate for Nick. When I told Sam who the cocoa was for, he got all uptight. “You’re not starting the jealousy thing with Nick, right?”
“Why would I?” he asked, sounding annoyed. “I mean, you just met the guy and you’re already bringing him drinks. Why would I be jealous of that?”
I rolled my eyes. “Oh my god, you’ve got to be joking.”
“Brooke. Do I sound like I’m joking? I don’t like it.”
“He’s like a little puppy, Sam. He’s my friend. He’s like the Collin of the tour. When you guys aren’t around, who am I supposed to hang out with? He’s a nice guy; harmless, I swear. Not a dangerous bone in his body.” I held up his cup. “He loves cocoa.”
“Well, why were you out so early with him?”
“Couldn’t sleep. He woke up early. Just casually talking. You’ve got nothing to worry about.”
“You promise?”
“I promise.”
He wrinkled his nose. “Well… okay. Fine.”
“You good?”
“I’m good.”

*                                  *                                  *

One night, Sam and I were just hanging out in our motel room while everyone had gone out to dinner. For some reason I wasn’t feeling well, so Sam opted to stay back and take care of me. To prepare he brought a box of Joe and borrowed Charlie’s guitar. Even though he didn’t play guitar in The Debate, he still played really well. Sometimes when they were writing songs and he couldn’t dictate what he was thinking, he just grabbed a guitar and played it for the guys. Concept-wise, he and Charlie came up with the ideas. Sean liked to create cohesive chord progressions, and Derek and Scott just went along with it, adding different things for different sounds.
Tonight he sat on Kendall and Brian’s bed –that’s who we shared a room with (Sean, Derek, and Scott shared the adjoining room) - and strummed lightly.
I was all bundled up in Sam’s hoodie and sweatpants because it was freezing in the room. It was too hot for Sam so we had the air conditioning on (It was July, I couldn’t blame him) but I was so cold and stuffy. I had my cup of coffee in my hands and sipped every few seconds, just listening to him strum. He looked at me and chuckled. “What?” I asked, curious.
He played a chord and sang, My dear darling, a cup in her hand. She’s my favorite girl, she’s my biggest fan. She follows us around in our silly band. She’s perfect.
She puts up with all my jealousy, my foul mouth, and fucking everything that I do wrong she thinks is right. She deserves this.
A cup every morning, a cup every night. I’ll buy her a latte just to treat her right. Her caffeine fixation is almost as addictive as she is to me. Coffee is her kryptonite, she is my guiding light, I’d be in the dark without her by my side.
I just smiled at him. “Did you just make that up?”
“Yes ma’am.”
“You’re amazing.”
He put the guitar down and crawled over to me, wrapping me in his arms. “Not as amazing as you.”
“You’ll get sick, babe.”
“I don’t care. What have I said before? Your germs are my germs?”
“It still remains the nastiest quote ever. But okay…” We just cuddled for a while and he reached over into his jeans for the sharpie he always carried with him. He looked from my eyes to the sweats I was wearing. “Can I draw another tattoo?”
“My hip is your hip.” I laughed.
“We’re conjoined. That’s a little weird, babe.”
“Just draw it, damnit.”
He laughed as he lowered the waistband and wrote the word Germ Infested on my skin. “Nice…”
“And let me know when this one fades. I’ve got loads of ideas, kay?”
 “Alright,” he reached up to me and kissed me once.
He looked at me seriously. “And make sure, no, promise me that no one else ever sees these besides me. You are mine. Mine, mine, mine. You are deliciously and miraculously all mine.” He started lifting up the hoodie and my tee underneath to kiss my stomach. “Mine.”
I returned his serious gaze. “I promise I am all yours. Yours, yours, deliciously and miraculously yours.” He kissed me a little more and nodded. “Deliciously mine, alright.”




 YEAH&SMILES,
Leslie