Convincing Constance (The Blow Hole Boys)(5)

By: Tabatha Vargo

It brought back memories of the times I’d spent with the band when I wasn’t in school. Of all the times I sat with Lionel, the lead guitarist, as he taught me how to play. Beating on the drums with Kid whenever he’d let me near his set, which wasn’t often.

I learned a lot from the guys of Black Daze, including how to take shots when I was fifteen. I had some good memories, but with the good came the bad, and when it came to teaching me things, Jack, the bass player, and also my mom’s new fuck buddy, showed me things I never wanted to learn from him. Things that involved his filthy hands and secrets that I was never supposed to tell.

Those secrets molded me into the cold bitch I’d become—the girl that no one knew, the girl that never let anyone close. The girl that felt like crying every time she even heard the chords of a Black Daze song. He’d ruined me—made me afraid of life and the people in it, and I’d never forgive him or forget… never.

The crowd went wild when the song ended. I handed over the guitar and hugged the lead singer before stepping down and heading straight for the back of the bar. I needed to get home. I wanted to get away from the smells, the sounds—the memories.

“Damn, that girl can play.” Leo laughed into the mic. “The apple don’t fall far when it comes to that one.”

The noise of the band and the crowd melted behind me the closer I got to the door. I was almost out when someone grabbed me by the arm, stopping me. I looked over with my fist tight, ready to swing.

“Can I have a word with you?” the stranger asked.

The colored lights above him shined across his bald head, making it sparkle. I looked into a pair of beady eyes covered with thick black glasses as I grabbed his fingers and twisted them so he’d release me.

“Get your fucking hands off of me or I’ll rip your balls off and feed them to you,” I said with a growl.

He held up his hands in defeat. “Woah. I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have grabbed you like that. My name’s Gary Steele. I work for Music Line. I really enjoyed your solos. I was curious if you’d be interested in playing for a few of my colleagues?”

Music Line my ass. Why would anyone from a massive label be in a shithole like Icehouse?

I looked down at him since I was at least a foot taller and rolled my eyes. “Yeah, I know exactly what kind of play your colleagues are into, and I say hell no.”

I turned to walk away before he stopped me again with a gentler hand.

“Seriously, dude, do you like the taste of your own balls?” I said as I snatched my arm away.

He shook his head with a smile. “Please. Take my card. If you decide you’re interested in playing music, give me a call.”

I took his card and read his name on the top under the Music Line logo. By the time I looked up, all I could see was his back as he left the bar.

Sure, I loved playing. And I knew I was damn good at it, but it was something I did for me. I had no interest in being in a band or playing for people. My guitar and the songs I played were for me and me only. It was my therapy.

It was a lonely drive back to the apartment. I told the girls I was leaving, but they were too worried about getting to know the band. Maybe it was because I was raised around musicians, but they did nothing for me. Although, in my defense, I hadn’t really met a guy who did.

Men were animals who didn’t know how to keep their hands to themselves. Why would I consciously put myself in a predicament where I was with one all the time? Screw relationships with a big rubber dildo as far as I was concerned.

I was asleep when the girls came falling into the apartment. Without a care for me, they turned up the music. It wasn’t long before I could hear Leo and Rick’s familiar voices mingled in with Shay and KC’s. The girls were determined to get in with the band, and I guess they did.

Creeping out of bed, I went to my bedroom door and locked it before climbing beneath the covers. I had to start job-hunting the next day, and I needed as much sleep as I could get. I appreciated the girls letting me stay with them, but I silently prayed I could find a job that let me afford my own place.

Two weeks later, I still had no job, and Shay and KC were on my ass about rent money. I was screwed and tattooed, and as badly as I wanted to sink into a depression, I knew I had to keep going. There was no fallback plan and no one to catch me.

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