I went back to the great state of South Carolina and focused on my art, I never heard from Benny, but I had seen Luca, I saw him at a gig recently. Also, as I got invited to an art showing in New York I thought it was the opportune moment to see him again, nothing serious...
“Seriously, get a room...Cancer.” I grinned, remembering how none of his fans knew his name.
He looked at me angrily. "Who are you? You're not supposed to be back here."
"Oh, I have a pass; I'm one of your biggest fans." I rolled my eyes slightly, already sick of the charade.
"There are no passes,” he insisted and I nodded.
"Fine, I'll go." I sighed, "Good Luck, with...this." I smiled, "Hey Rayn." Wonder if he ever remembered me? It’s been so long since I’ve seen him after all.
He sat up, pushing the girl off him and stood up, ushering me outside. "What do you want?" he asked, closing the fire exit door behind him.
"I wanted to see how you were getting on, Luca. You're becoming quite the performer; I always told you that you had soul for this."
"I'm getting on great, thanks."
"Good to know, whatever happened to that guitar I got you?”
"It's in the van. I use it for acoustic sets. Why?"
"Wouldn't want anything to happen to a Martin," I laughed, "It's good to see you again Luca."
"Really? Last time I saw you, you hated me."
"Didn't I say how fun it was?" I sighed, "So, you not gonna introduce your biggest fan to your band? It's been ages since I've seen Rayn."
The fire exit swung open again and he gestured inside, "go ahead. I'm gonna help clear up our gear."
"Okay." I sighed, walking into the room again. "So you're Killing Phoenix. Heh,"
"Killing the Phoenix," Rayn grins up at me from his seat on the floor. Well, it’s an interesting name considering the tattoo on my back.
"Yeah, yeah... so, how'd a bunch of drug users start a band?"
"Cancer and Rayn moved over here and we found them jamming at an open mic night," Damien smiled.
"Aha. Interesting, so, why're you called Killing the Phoenix?" I sat on the couch, furthest from everyone, can’t help me from being curious can you?
"Cancer came up with the name," Damien shrugged, glancing at Rayn as he began to giggle.
"Huh, of course... And what of you huh? How'd you end up being Lu-- Cancer's new girl?"
"We met in a bar. And to think I used to be such a good girl," she laughs, lolling over the side of the sofa she was sprawled on.
I laughed uncontrollably, "yeah, of course.” I somehow managed to suppress my laughter as I continued. “Well, I'll let you guys do... whatever it is you're doing here, I don't want to get in your way."
"Stay!" Rayn grinned, "Have a line."
"I don't take drugs." I sighed; I just hope I wouldn’t have to think of a reason why.
"Shame," he muttered, sniffing it up on my behalf.
"Yes, a complete shame. I think I'll go say goodbye to Luca and go..."
"Aw, okay. See you at another show soon?" Damien asked, "Free ticket?"
"You'll miss me that much?" I laughed, rising from the sofa; I don’t think Luca would appreciate it.
"We love our fans. I'm sorry Cancer was a dick when you came in. He's not always like that, I promise."
"Don't." I snapped, swallowing hard. "You don't have to tell me that.” I paused and took a breath. “I don't think I'll be coming back, I don't think Luca would quite appreciate it."
"Shame," Rayn giggled again. He stood up and hugged me tightly. "Thanks for your support, though," he grinned tripping over as he took a step back.
"Support, support in what?”
"The band," he replied, recovering, "you said you were a fan."
"Yeah, of course I am. Anyway, good luck Killing the Phoenix." I sighed, walking out through the fire exit again. I couldn’t stand it; I thought I was ready... obviously not. I took deep breaths as I walked so no one would notice I was sobbing. As I walked, I saw Luca wheeling an amp over to a van, lifting it into the back without touching it.
"Oh... crap." I mumbled, wiping my eyes. "Hey, Luca. I'm going, I'll see you later, well, probably not, I dunno, It's up to you. I don't think you'll want to, but I would like to see you again, I guess..."
He shut the van doors and leant on it, facing me, lighting a cigarette. "Why would you want to see me? It's been like, two months since I last saw you, why now, huh?"
"I... I thought I was ready, I guess not huh?" I smiled weakly. "Plus, I had this art show and I thought it was opportune."
"Ready to come see someone you hate? Christ, you're as fucked up as ever," he said through a lungful of smoke.
"Yeah, of course I hate you." I sighed, wiping my eyes again. God, fucking stop crying wimp. "But here, I wanted to give you this." I mumbled, handing him a small, folded piece of paper. "I guess you did find someone as good a fucker as me and easier to keep." I sighed, "Don’t read that till I'm gone."
He took the note and shoved it in his pocket without glancing at it. "Sure."
"See ya, Muse... cool band name by the way. Killing the..." I turned my back to him, "Phoenix." I laughed, walking away.
"Cancer killed the phoenix," he muttered as I moved away.
"Then I guess you win the fight, but you forget...Phoenix's rise from the ashes." I smiled, waving a hand dismissively.
"Two months is a long time to be sitting in the ash, Gemme," he called, walking the other way, back into the venue. Hmm, he’s right.