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Authors: Candy J Starr

Angie (4 page)

BOOK: Angie
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"Is the big guy turning up?" Eric-Mama asked.
I assumed she meant Spud.

Jack shrugged.
"I haven't heard from him yet."

"Maybe it's good if he doesn't turn up." Eric-Mama shook her head.
“He eats too much and he talks stupid.”

At least she had some good
sense.

"He's okay," said Jack.
"And he's a damn fine drummer."

“Are you ready for the tour, Jack?”

Jack nodded with a grin.

“You have packed warm clothes and enough clean underwear?
You might not get a chance to do washing on the road, you know.”

Jack grinned even wider.
He seemed to love this kind of mothering stuff. See, I’d hate it. I had enough of that at home and was glad to get away from it but I guess, for Jack, it was something he’d missed out on. He never, ever talked about his younger years but, from the one time I’d met his mum, she hadn’t looked like the nurturing, loving kind. She looked more like the “wondering where her next hit would come from” kind.

“And you don’t want to drink too much.
Maybe one or two beers is okay but you can’t play well if you get drunk.”

“Sure thing.”

This woman was so much a part of their lives and I wasn’t. I wasn’t one little bit. I could be gone in an instant and they’d all still go on.

“Mum, leave Jack alone.”
Eric laughed. They loved her fussing.

“Maybe I should check your bag.
And Jack’s. I bet you haven’t even ironed your things.”

Eric rolled his eyes at me.

“The gear is all packed in the van, ready to go tomorrow,” Eric said and she finally sat down.

“Just don’t blame me if you don’t look your best.”

Jack and Eric sighed, both in a very exaggerated way.

“Okay.
I’ve said enough,” she said. Which obviously wasn’t true because she kept asking Jack questions.

The whole time she interrogated Jack, Eric shot me looks that had my heart flipping out.
I buzzed inside with that feeling that you get with someone when nothing is actually defined and there are no words to express what you are to each other. Where you have hopes and desires and a kind of happy tingle that those things will become a reality but you kinda just like the feeling of nothing being definite too and you want to ride that wave of potential, holding onto those feelings, until the moment everything is spoken and it becomes an accepted reality.

“Leave them alone now, love,” said Eric-Papa.
“They are grown men and they’ll survive being off on their own.”

He smiled at Eric-Mama.
I’d forgotten he was even there until he’d spoken.

I
t kinda messed with my head that Eric would be going off doing this tour and I'd have ages of waiting before I'd see him again and maybe, during that time, he'd be out partying and meeting heaps of girls and he'd totally forget about me. It wasn't that I didn't trust him. Sure, if we were in a relationship and committed to each other then I'd trust him completely but we weren't, so that gave him a free pass.

A lot of people think I'm a pretty free and easy person.
They make assumptions when they see the way I look but I've never been into casual sex. I'm not all judgey about it. If other girls want to sleep around then what do I care? It's their vagina, they can do what they want with it. It just doesn't work for me. It's not a moral thing, it's just that the sex is usually not that good so I figure what's the point? Why make the effort with some guy I'm never going to see again? That's just a waste of good sleep time. But I wondered if, with Eric, I should maybe give him something to go on before he left.

"So
, is Wednesday night good for you, Metal Face?"

I turned to Eric-Mama, confused.
I'd been lost in my thoughts. Eric scowled at her.

"I mean, Angie...
” she added. “Is Wednesday night okay for you to come to dinner?"

"Yeah
, sure," I said.

Meaning I'd rather dunk my head into a bucket of entrails.
I guess I had to do it though. Eric wrapped his fingers around my hand and squeezed. I really appreciated his moral support. I mean it'd be her and me alone. No one else there to defuse the situation. That scared the hell out of me.

Hannah shot me a quizzical look and I gave her an "I'll explain later" look in return.

Then Eric-Mama loaded the table up with food and all thoughts except for getting that meat in my belly were forgotten. I loaded my plate up with food then noticed that, while Eric-Mama didn't actually say anything, she did give me a look of pure disdain. Even though I had far, far less food than Hannah. I mean, just because Hannah is naturally thin, why should she get to eat more than me? It wasn't right.

All
the biting my tongue and not saying what I really thought gave me an appetite. I was pretty sure it wasn’t healthy to subvert your feelings but I wanted to give it a chance, for Eric's sake.

As we ate, his
leg rubbed against mine. Just enough for me to know he was there, like a cat. I tried not to grin, which was easy while we were eating, but not so easy when my mouth was empty.

Halfway through
dinner, someone pounded on the door. Jack got up to open it.

"Hey, I'm not too late for dinner am I?"

Spud crashed into the room with a girl that looked vaguely familiar. I thought she was the girl he’d gone home with after the party on the first night of the tour. She clung to his arm, giggling. He grabbed a chair and sat down, pulling her onto his knee. She flopped around and knocked one of the bowls onto the floor then giggled. For a moment, nobody said a word. The girl had her arms around his neck and both of them seemed unaware of the disturbance they'd caused.

Eric-Mama jumped up to clean the mess but Jack motioned for her to sit down and grabbed a broom himself.

"Hi, I'm Denise," the girl said, looking around the table. "Wow, this looks awesome. I'm starving."

She grabbed some meat straight from the platter with her fingers
and put it in her mouth then licked her fingers and got another piece for Spud. Eric-Mama almost choked. I have to admit, I got a bit of satisfaction out of not being the most disapproved of in the room.

"Are you ready for the tour?" Hannah asked Spud.

"Hell yeah. What do I need to do anyway? Pack up the drums and a spare pair of jocks. It's not that much of a drama. Denise has it all covered, she'll just chuck my stuff in with hers."

Hannah's jaw nearly hit the floor.
So did Jack's and Eric's. What was the deal? If Spud wanted to take some chick along for the tour, who cared?

"We only have two rooms booked." Hannah's voice
sounded tight like there was something in her words she wasn't saying.

"Yeah.
Jack can bunk in with Eric and we'll have the other room. No sweat."

Weird glances went around the table like some crazy game,
one I didn't even know the rules of. Did Hannah feel bad because she couldn't go on tour and now this chick who'd hooked up with Spud had decided to go?

"That's not possible," said Hannah.
"You know that's not possible."

Duh? Why was
it such a thing? It really was a
thing
.

"Look, it's not often I'm on Spud's side but this is a whole drama for nothing
, right?"

Nobody said a
nything and I remember that whole Jack-secret thing that I obviously knew nothing about because it was too secret to tell me but it was obviously bigger than I’d imagined. He was totally a werewolf. There was nothing surer. When I looked at him, I could see it. There was something lupine about him. And I'm pretty sure I'd never been to a Storm concert on a full moon. Wow, that was totally it.

That made me the dumb chick, the one who is kept in the dark long after everyone else knows what's going
on. I so didn't want to be that chick because seriously, that chick is usually the first one to die. Oh my god, I had so much to live for. I could never fulfil my potential if I got ravaged by a werewolf. On the good side though, it'd mean no dinner with Eric-Mama.

I waited for someone to talk.

"Of course Jack can't share a room. He is a nice boy but if he has nightmares, he might attack Eric." Eric-Mama shook her head and glared at Spud.

What the hell?
Nightmares? That was not nearly as exciting as him being a werewolf.

"Jack, mate, you have to get over these stupid nightmares.
Or can't we spring for a room each?"

"We can't afford it," said Hannah.

She didn't get to say much more though because, before she could elaborate, Jack got up from the table and stormed out of the apartment, slamming the door behind him.

Hannah sighed and ran after him.

"That's your fault," said Eric-Mama, giving Spud an evil look. "You are a stupid boy. Why can't you leave
her
at home? There are plenty more women on the road. She's no one special."

Denise jumped up.

"Hey, I resent that."

Poor girl, she must
’ve been wondering what she'd walked into. Neither her nor Spud seemed too concerned though, they just kept stuffing their faces with food. A lot of words hung in the air without being spoken. Eric-Mama gathered up plates and took them in to the kitchen. I did the only thing I could. I picked up my cigarettes and headed for the garden.

Eric followed me out.

"Sorry about that. I'd have told you but it wasn't really my secret."

I took a drag on my cigarette.

"Of course. It's none of my business."

Inside, I could see Eric-Mama clearing the table
, snatching away bowls while Spud and Denise still tried to grab food out of them. She wasn’t going to let them eat anything if she could help it. If I thought Eric-Mama was mean to me, it was nothing on this. A less oblivious person would combust from the look in her eyes but Spud wore obliviousness like a shield. It was his super power.

"So, his nightmares are pretty bad, huh
."

"They aren't nightmares." Eric looked at the ground. "He has night terrors.
They’re really bad. He has no idea what he’s doing, it’s like he’s dreaming and has turned into someone else, but he can get a bit violent and crazy. Especially when he's stressed – and, on tour, he's going to be stressed."

I mean, it really was none of my business but they’d all had this secret and no one had said anything to me.
Hannah was supposed to be my friend and she’d kept all this to herself. Not that I’d wanted to know in a sticky-beak kind of way, I just felt sad that she hadn’t thought I’d support her.

S
till, it wasn’t about me. People were hurting and I wanted to fix it all, rescue them like they were injured puppies.

"Can he take something?
Aren't there meds for this?"

Eric shrugged.

"Who knows if he'd even take them if there were?"

I finished my cigarette, not talking but thinking.
There wasn't anything I could do but it felt wrong to just ignore it.

Spud bashed on the window.

"We're going now," he called out. "See you on the flip side."

With that, he and Denise were gone.
Typical Spud, disturbing everyone and then leaving. And who knew what was going on with Jack and Hannah?

"She'll probably get sick of him and leave after the first few nights."

I assumed he meant Denise and not Hannah. Probably.

"I'll see if your mum needs any help in the kitchen," I said.

I walked back in and helped Eric-Mama clear the table. She'd made so much food and it'd all been outstanding. She should relax and let me clean up, even though it wasn't my house. Actually, Jack and Eric should be cleaning up but, since she didn’t actually stop me from helping or snap at me, I figured it was a step forward in our relationship.

I stacked the dirty plates in the dishwasher.

"I hope those boys will be alright," she said.

For a moment, she didn't look like a fierce dragon waiting for a chance to take a shot at me but like a concerned mother.
To be honest, I didn't blame her now that I knew about Jack.

"I'm sure they'll work it out," I said.
"Hannah will arrange something. Maybe Spud and that chick can sleep in the van."

A twitch of a smile flickered at the corners of her mouth.

When we'd finished cleaning up, they decided to head home.

“Eric, I’ve packed some food in containers.
Take it with you so you have something wholesome to eat on the road. I don’t want you living on junk. You’ll get sick and maybe put on weight.”

She hugged him goodbye.

“Make sure Jack has something to eat when he gets back. He needs to keep his strength up. And Hannah too.”

BOOK: Angie
13.52Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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