To a FriendMature

Everyone was asleep when I climbed into the bus. I was glad, I felt so guilty. I grabbed a bottle of water from the fridge and sat on the couch. I drank it slowly, thinking. As usual, thinking. Maybe the guys would be better off without me, if I just stuck the next few weeks out, finish this tour, perform at our record release show, promote the new album a bit and then I could just end it all. Everything would be much better then, everybody would be much happier not having to follow me around all the time making sure I didn't fuck up even more. I finished my water and lay down, I had a plan. For once in my life I had a plan. Tomorrow was the first day of the end.

When I woke up the bus was empty, I had flipped onto my stomach in my sleep and was drooling onto one of the cushions (so attractive, so ladylike). I pushed myself up and sighed. It's not like I blamed them for not waking me, if they were angry it was justified. Sitting up I stretched my legs out, grabbing a cigarette from a nearby carton I popped it in my mouth. No lighter. I started rooting through the mess looking for a lighter or matches. I found one under a pizza box, I shook the box nothing inside it. I lit the cigarette and went into the curtained-off bathroom. I smoked as I flicked on the shower, the water wasn't very hot but I just wanted something to do so I got in anyway. I stuck my head out past the shower curtain and finished my cigarette before flicking it in the toilet. I put my head under the water, not cold enough to make me uncomfortable but not warm enough to make me comfortable. After washing my hair and scrubbing the bottom of my feet which after spending two nights walking around without shoes had turned black. When I felt sufficiently clean I got out, dried and dressed. I took my time getting ready to leave the bus, blowdrying my hair and instead of tying it up straightened it. I didn't know why, but I wanted to look healthy, like I wasn't feeling down, like I didn't have a thumping headache, like my insides felt raw. I examined myself in the mirror, Anthrax tshirt, denim shorts, pair of converse, my hair poker straight to my shoulders, my skin still as white as always, my eyes still grey, but even I could see it. It was all, dead.

"No ones talking to me", I said sitting beside Ryan who was eating a bowl of fruit (a rare sight around this camp), "I don't blame them".
"Have some melon", he replied pushing the bowl towards me.
I took his fork and stuck it into some melon pieces, it felt weird eating something healthy, it was the best tasting thing I had eaten in a long time though.
"They just need some time", Ryan said watching me eat, "give them a few hours".
"Janey's different Erin. She doesn't know how to deal with this stuff you know. She's just scared".
I rolled my eyes and pushed the bowl back to him and handed him the fork. He went back to eating as I lit up another cigarette. I saw Adam in the distance on the phone, laughing.
"I'm suprised she hasn't been out to check on him yet", I scoffed.
"Who?", Ryan asked.
"Oh, Lauren", I replied nodding towards Adam, "the girlfriend".
"That's the trouble with them isn't it", he said smiling, "always hanging around checking on you".
"Like you", I joked smiling at him, "you're my girlfriend".
"Well not yet", he frowned, "I'm still waiting on your varsity jacket".

I decided to hang out in my bus alone after my melon breakfast, nobody bothered me. They had found something else to occupy their time. For the first 2 hours its was peaceful, it made me feel happy that they had something else to do, it proved to me that they didn't need me around. But after a while I became bored with doing nothing. I dug out the bag of weed I had taken off Adam before and smoked a few joints until I felt light headed, free. I looked at the clock on the wall, barely still hanging on because of too many indoor volleyball games, an hour until we were due on stage. I let out a whoop and went into the toilet taking out my secret gin. I lay on the floor of the bus pretending I was outside, I drank slowly today, letting myself gradually feel drunk. After a while I saw him, lying beside me on the floor. I smiled at him, he returned the smile.
"Hi", I whispered, he didn't speak, again.
I sighed and looked back up at the ceiling, I wanted to hear him now. Seeing wasn't enough, I needed to hear him say something, anything. I love you, my name, how are you, even a hello would be good enough.
"Why don't you spe...", I stopped speaking as Adam appeared in the bunk hallway.
"Fuck sake Erin", he snapped, "the place stinks of weed".
I laughed and sat up reaching my hands out towards him. He rolled his eyes and took my hands pulling me to my feet, I staggered a bit but managed to stay up.
"Well waste not want not", I said playfully punching his shoulder.
"You shouldn't have taken it", he replied rubbing his temples.
"Why?", I asked swaying, "did you want it?".
"No Erin I didn't want it", he snapped at me, "but you know how much it hurts us to see you like this, you shouldn't have smoked it, you shouldn't have drank. What the hell do we have to do to make you see that?".
"Well don't worry", I replied looking at the floor, "you won't have to worry about it for much longer".
I stormed past him, bumping my shoulder off the wall, I kept walking though ignoring the pain in my side. I sniffed away tears but kept going, I made my way to the stage, Hot Pink were finishing up. I could hear Janey saying her goodbyes, the crowd screamed. I had to stop, a stitch had formed in my side and I wanted to sit, I dropped to the ground sticking my legs out in front of me. I sat forward reaching for my toes, John had disappeared and I was alone. I looked up, wishing he was around. I didn't know why he was gone now. When I needed him. I heard someone walking towards me, I could smell cigarette.
"You have a weird habit of turning up at my most vulnerable moments", I said turning my head towards Ryan, he offered me his hand which I took, he pulled me to my feet.
"I forgot to tell you I'm a superhero", he replied smiling.
I gave a small smile and we walked towards the stage. I saw Hot Pink in the distance coming from the stage, my heart started thumping, it was the first time I had actually seen them since the Jess incident, I had managed to avoid them like a ninja. They were only a few seconds away and with my nerves I instinctively grabbed Ryan's hand. He looked down at me and gave a reassuring smile, we finally walked by Hot Pink, a brief awkward moment, still on a high from the performance but everyone unsure of how to even look at each other. The exchanged brief hellos with Ryan and I caught Janey's eye, she quickly averted her eyes and kept walking. I heard them pick up their conversation once that had walked past us. My heart felt like it was in my throat and my stomach was knotted up. I felt my chest tighten as I replayed it in my head, I had imagined the scene differently. I thought that Janey and I would run to each other and hug and scream apologies, tell each other how much we've missed each other. I had convinced myself after giving her some time to be angry at me we would go back to being best friends. The reality had hurt and I was starting to realise that I may never be able to fix our friendship.
"Hey", Ryan whispered.
I looked up at him, we had arrived at the stage. All the sounds hit me at one, all the kids in the audience screaming, the roadies banging on the drums and testing microphones, I could see Jack and Ben waiting impatiently on the wings, jumping up and down. I suddenly realised I was still holding Ryan's hand, I let go quickly my cheeks burning up.
"Sorry", I muttered, "I wasn't paying attention".
"It's fine", he smiled.
"Well, I better go", I said looking over at Jack and Ben.
I started to walk away but Ryan reached out and grabbed my hand I turned back at looked at him, trying not to cry.
"I'm your friend", he said looking me straight in the eye.
I nodded and walked away again, his hand slowly letting go. I felt cold all of a sudden, I wanted to run back to him, I wanted him to hold me in his arms and tell me he would be there for me, but I kept walking, with every step I took the more I wanted to turn back. Before I knew it I was preparing to go on stage, Adam had joined us by then, gasping for breath after running from the bus.
"Erin", he said quietly just before we stepped on stage, "what's going on with you and Ryan?".
"Nothing", I replied briefly.
He looked at me suspiciously but didn't have time to respond as we were rushed on stage by a stressed out technician. We started up, playing our usual opening number, but I didn't feel like playing, first of all I didn't feel intoxicated enough to enjoy myself or feel comfortable enough to play 'Erin' on stage and secondly I kept thinking about Ryan, he made me feel happy and safe but I hated myself for feeling in any way attached to him.

Ryan's POV
I hoped she would turn back, run back to me, but she kept going, right up the stairs to the stage. Adam ran by me giving a brief nod, I returned the nod and decided to head back to my bus, we wouldn't be on for another hour and a half and I didn't feel like watching her tonight. It had become too hard to watch her perform knowing that she was feeling so low and angry, and yet that's what made her so incredible, she managed to turn her anger into beauty. A twisted, bitter, powerful beauty. However, no matter how beautiful or fascinating I thought she was, I couldn't ignore the drinking, which had slowly turned into drug abuse. I found myself wanting to save her, I wanted to fix her, I wanted to prove to her that there was someone out there worth loving. I wanted her to love me. I felt like a kid around her, like a 15 year old boy. When she grabbed my hand I didn't want her to let go, when she didn't let go I wanted to kiss her, whenever she spoke to me my heart raced, my stomach did flips. It didn't really matter though, she didn't fall in love with rockstars. She had made that clear, I had never had a chance.

The End

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