Poetic TragedyMature

I woke to find myself tangled up in my bedsheets with Adam snoring lightly beside me. I was still in a bad mood, I didn't want to look at him. I managed to clamber over him and escape the bus without waking anyone. A difficult feat since the place had become littered with food wrappers, cans, clothes and for some reason our own merch. As I hopped lightly down into the sun I looked around, the place was dead. There was no one around, it was never this quiet when I woke up. I walked around the empty space, the buses were silent, there were no technicians or roadies running around, no tour managers having important phone calls. Just me. It began to get a bit eery. I decided to head back to the bus. I might as well get more sleep. As I swung open our door I heard a voice around the back of the bus. I walked towards the voice. Hoping it was somebody I actually didn't mind speaking to. I saw a familiar pair of vans and sighed, it was only Adam.
"I'll call you later", he was saying, sounding a bit exasperated, "I promise. Ok?".
There was a long pause. I turned back to go to the bus, listening in on Adam's conversations was not my idea of entertainment. I stepped into the bus, Ben was up now too, he was sitting on at the little table eating a bowl of cereal.
"Hey", I sighed sitting down beside him.
"You're up early", he said.
"Couldn't sleep".
"Looking forward to today?", he asked placing his bowl down.
"What's happening today?", I said picking up a packet of cigarettes and taking one.
"We're all going to the beach!".
I groaned and lit up the cigarette.
"Hey you're up early", Jack said as he rolled out of his bunk, "excited for the beach?".
"Oh yeah", I said sarcastically, "sand in my hair, in my clothes, screaming children, the fear of being shit on by a gull. So excited".
Jack ruffled my hair and laughed.
"It's going to be awesome!", Ben exclaimed, "I'm going to build the biggest sandcastle EVER!".

I pulled my top over my head and shimmied out of my shorts before sitting down on the towel. Ben and Adam had already charged into the sea. Followed shortly by everybody else. I opened a magazine, one of the music ones Janey had lying around, and flicked through the pages.
"No swimming for you either?".
I looked up, Ryan was standing above me smiling.
"Nope", I smiled, "I can't swim".
He sat down beside me, I felt myself blush again, his shoulders were a lot broader than they looked with a shirt on. I instantly wished that I had more clothes on. The less there was,well you know.
"Anyone interesting in the magazine?", he asked me as he lit up a cigarette.
"Nope, just me", I sighed.
"Oh poor you", he said in mock sympathy.
I stuck my tongue out and lay back, the sun felt great on my skin. I almost drifted off until Ryan spoke again.
"So", he said slowly.
I opened one eye and looked up at him, he was now leaning back on his elbows.
"What's up with you and Adam?", he asked looking down at me.
"What do you mean?".
"Well, you guys looked a bit cosy last night", he grinned.
"Oh that was nothing", I said casually.
"You're not with each other?".
I burst out laughing and sat up to face him.
"No", I smiled, "not at all".
Ryan looked confused, I was used to confusion over me and Adam's relationship. I sighed.
"We're best friends", I said, "and sometimes we..hmmm..we relieve each other. We dated for like a month when we were 15 but it was too weird. What we have works fine".
"And he doesn't mind you with other guys?", Ryan asked, still confused.
"No not at all. He has a girlfriend at home", I shrugged.
"What!?", Ryan exclaimed, "does she know about you two?".
"Yes", I replied smiling, "needless to say she's not too happy. But, she told him she'd rather he slept with me than with some random slut who could have a STI".
Ryan nodded slowly, pretending to understand. He took a long drag out of the cigarette and blew the smoke out, nodding as he did. I got the feeling he wanted to say something else and I started to get nervous. I wished I had had some drink before I came but Jack had hurried me out of the bus, clearly so I didn't have time to get a drink.
"The first night we met", Ryan said looking at everyone else throwing a ball around in the sea, "you said that you didn't fall in love with rockstars, because of what happened with John".
I swallowed, that was what I had spoken to him about that night. I knew it would come up eventually, I had just been hoping it would be...well never.
"Yeah", I said slowly looking away.
"Is it why you drink so much?", he asked.
In that instant I wanted to scream at him but his voice, how kindly he spoke made me want to cry, made me want him to hold me while I cried.
"I just don't like to think about it", I said quietly, playing with the sand.
"Tell me about it", he said.
"What?", I asked whipping my head around to look at him.
"Tell me about what happened", he said, his eyes serious.
I never talked about it. I didn't want to, but then. I don't know why. It all spilled out.
"I was 16 when we got signed", I said calmly, "and our manager at the time booked us this show, it was in New York, some radio station were lauching something and they wanted 'upcoming talent'. So, we played and the audience were the elite. They were top music reviewers, DJs, record companies, extremely famous musicians. We were so nervous, like we had only played gigs in front of kids our age. This was a huge deal. So, we had a couple of drinks and stuff, we were a bit tipsy. After the show John came up to me and of course I was like freaking out. I didn't even like his band it was just cause he was so ridiculously famous. He spend the whole night talking to me and...well I felt so important, like here was this celebrity who could have any girl and he was talking to me and you know...", I took a pause glancing up to Ryan who was listening closely, I took another breath, "well I ended up, eh, I ending up sleeping with him...and afterwards, well he just kept in contact with me. He would call around to my house and bring me places, he bought me expensive things, he took me away on vacation".
I stopped talking, my voice was getting shakey and I did not want to break down in front of Ryan. He smiled and offered me a cigarette which I gratefully took and lit up. I took a few drags from it and looked out at Adam, Jack and Ben messing around.
"They're my best friends", I said smiling, "they didn't look down at me and John, they didn't think it was a weird relationship, well they never said it anyway. My parents weren't too pleased about it, you know their 16 year old daughter seeing a 35 year old man. A 35 year old married man, who openly slept around with other women and took drugs and drank. They told me "Erin, if you want to continue seeing this man you will not be seeing him in this house". So I left. It was so stupid, I moved out here. John set me up in this little bungalow and the guys followed me out. You know", I sat up and took another long drag from my cigarette, "I met his wife this one time and his daughter and, well his wife knew. She knew who I was. I could tell. I felt so disgusting, there was this woman, his childhood sweetheart, she was beautiful and their daughter. She was image of John, she had the curly blonde hair and these sea blue eyes. Well, John died a few days after that. Cocaine and alcohol in his system, overdose and all that", I felt my voice turn uncaring, "I wasn't allowed to go to the funeral, I moved back home, I just...My parents sent me to a shrink and now I take my anti-depressants and I drink so I don't have to think about the fact that the first guy I thought I loved was married, cheated on everyone, dragged me into this fucked up world of drugs and drink and sex and then died. He died, and left me behind to be him".

Ryan's POV
I felt the anger in her voice, all the bitterness of this girl. I felt angry for her, she was only a kid. She kicked at the sand a little and smoked her cigarette, I noticed her nails all bitten down, the skin raw and cracked. I looked at her face, bags hung under her eyes, she looked drained and unhealthy. Her body, usually covered, bore the signs of many nights of tripping up, bruises littered her skin. It was amazing how a story could open someones eyes up to what another person was like. She looked up at me, her cheeks red, she gave an empty smile.
"I was suicidal", I told her, "this business can do that to you. All the travelling, the pressures, the people you meet. I was drinking everyday, taking my meds. I completely understand you. I know how frustrating it is when people try to give you advice, or tell you to "just stop". But Erin, you'll end up hurting yourself, and those guys love you".
I smiled and nodded out to everyone. She gave me a smile this one was meaningful.
"Everybody on this tour worries about you", I continued, "we all care about you".
We sat in silence, I couldn't believe she was only 19. Nobody should have to go through what she had gone through, never mind only being 16 when it happened. I wanted to hold her and make her feel better, but now I understood why she ran away that night. She was scared, she was scared of getting close to anyone, she was scared to stop drinking, she was scared to let her guard down, to let anybody know who she really was. I didn't want her to be that girl, the one everyone knew was the train wreck, the unstable one. I wanted to know her on a personal level, I wanted to know every little stupid thing about this girl. I wanted to know right now.
"Where did your surname come from?", I asked her smiling.
She stared back at me, confusion etched across her face.
"You're crazy", she laughed.
She reached into her bag and pulled out a bag of grapes, she offered me some and popped a few in her mouth. We ate in silence watching everything around us.
"It's Irish", she said suddenly, "my surname. My parents are from Wexford. They came to Brooklyn in the 80s".
"Cool", I said smiling, "it must be nice to have interesting heritage".
"It's not that interesting", she laughed, "it's just Irish. People have an odd perception of what it means".
"Can you speak Irish?".
"An bhfuil cèad again dùl go dtì an leithris?", she said raising an eyebrow and grinning.
"What does that mean?", I asked unsure of what was coming.
"Can I go to the toilet", she said smiling, "that is the extent of my Irish".

The End

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