Chapter 1 Page 3 Meet the BandMature

The other guys and our few roadies helped me load up and we took off to hunt for a late night diner. There were always a couple by any interstate near a busy city, so we wove through the congested downtown streets back towards the fringe of town. After Trent's outburst it felt lame to make idle conversation, so we were all quiet for a change. Normally we bickered and joked around, especially after a show to get rid of the edge we all seemed to feel.

We were like a family after being together so much over the last three years. A crazy, aggressive, dysfunctional family - but the bonds have stood the test of time.   We pulled into the mostly empty parking lot of a questionable diner a few blocks away from the interstate.  I blinked from the over-bright glare of the fluorescent lights while we settled in a slightly sticky booth.

Paul grumbled in disgust while he rubbed his hands on his pants. "I hope we don't get food poisoning. This place is not hygienic." Unfortunately the middle-age waitress overheard his comment and shot him a pissed look. Not good for Paul - I hoped she wouldn't spit in his food. Raine gave her a charming smile and complimented her on the funky assortment of pins she had on her apron. She melted and was all smiles while we gave our orders.

Trent seemed to be in a daze and was picking at the seam on the cuff of his jacket. It was painful to watch someone in that much misery. I kept trying to think of something to say to help Trent with this situation; but everything seemed stupid or inadequate.  As the peacekeeper of our family, it was Trent's job to iron out this kind of shit.  None of us really had the diplomacy to carry it off, but I knew we loved him so we would try anyways.

"This is a really crappy situation. You can't take back the fact you know you will have a child running around out there one day. You could get a lawyer and fight them, or you can simply back off and let them form their happy little family. It's totally your decision. But neither of those solutions will get Shyla back," Raine surprised us all by breaking the silence. We all looked to see how Trent would react. He just stared at Raine, like he was slow to make sense of what was said.

"You know you're right. My first instinct is to raise hell. But lawyers are really expensive, and I know I don't have that kind of money. I'm just going to have really give this some thought," Trent said finally. He sighed and looked at each of us.

"What would you do if this happened to you? Am I crazy for being this upset?" He asked.

"No you're not crazy. I would be mad too. If that happened to me I would make a nuisance of myself until she finally gave me some kind of visitation," Paul answered passionately. "If I had a child I would want to at least have the chance to be some kind of dad." That made me stop and think. Maybe one or all of us have offspring running around out there. If the mother wanted to keep the child to herself, have an abortion, or just didn't know how to get a hold of us - then how would we ever know? What if Sophie would have gotten pregnant? How would that have changed things? I pushed the thought out of my head before I became even more depressed.

The End

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