CHAPTER 1: THE HUNTING
"Are you sure we should be doing this?" I whispered urgently to
my friend Heidi, grabbing onto her arm to slow her pace.
We were walking briskly through crowds of people, lost in a sea of mini-dresses and flannel, toward the backstage concert area. We had just witnessed probably one of the best Nirvana concerts ever played. The energy was rough and raw; untamed. It had affected me, but I couldn't say the same for Heidi. Truthfully I don't think she really cared at all.
"We have passes." She replied nonchalantly holding hers up. It reflected in the dim lighting like a low burning candle.
I looked down at my own, turning it over in my hands. "They're fake."
Heidi turned to me, completely stopping. "Do you want to do this or not?" She demanded. "Do you want to take a risk and possibly have the time of your life?"
"Here we go." She pushed me forward towards a large security guard checking backstage passes. We were next in line.
"I'm sorry, girls." The muscled guard said to two girls in front of us. "I can't let you in." They turned away disappointed and stalked off, waiting for another opportunity to sleep past the gates.
I gave Heidi a stern look. She rolled her eyes and strolled toward the guard acting as if we weren't about to do something illegal that we could be thrown in jail for. The guard looked tough; like he had been in the army before, or at least an ex-con. I had to laugh thinking how ironic it wouId be if this felon ending up throwing our asses in the slammer.
I held my breath and stood next to Heidi as the guard studied both of our passes. "Hmm..." He looked up at us suspiciously, not seeming very convinced of the flimsy paper.
"I was sure happy when I won these." Heidi said putting on a smile. "You know, it was for that radio concert they've been having all week."
Surprisingly the guard grinned back at her, sporting a missing tooth. "You both can go ahead." I was pretty sure he was hoping Heidi would find him later for a belated 'Thank you'.
"Thanks; you're wonderful!" Heidi gushed, rushing past him and pulling me along with her.
"Thanks; you're wonderful!" I mocked her quietly, and laughed.
"Hey, at least we're in."
"What are you going to do now? Start a music debate?" I asked. "You don't even really listen to Nirvana."
"Well, they sound scary." She said seriously. I held back my laughter by biting my lip. "And besides," she continued, "I want to find that gorgeous singer of theirs."
I sighed. "You know, maybe he wants to be left alone." I remembered the way he looked performing on the stage tonight. Just the way he carried himself seemed like he was cryin out for someone, or at least a little peace and quiet. "He looked so sad."
"All I noticed was his pretty face." Heidi grinned like the Cheshire Cat. "And who knows? Maybe I could cheer him up." She winked at me and adjusted her too-short black dress and reapplied her cherry red lipstick.
I looked down at what I was wearing, feeling utterly plain; black skinny jeans, ripped converse, a black tank top, and a loose, unbuttoned flannel shirt. Heidi and I were total opposites.
"What's his name anyway?" Heidi asked as she combed through her hair, using her fingers as a makeshift brush.
"Oh. He's Kurt. Kurt Cobain."
"Mmm. I like it." Heidi grinned as we headed off into the crowd once more, getting shoved around a little more than was necessary.
"There's his band mates Krist and Dave." I pointed out to Heidi, giving her some quick information so she wouldn't be totally lost on what was going on.
"Wish me luck."
"What are you--?"
But she didn't even stop. Heidi strode away, clacking in her high-heels acting like she owned the world. Like a knife, she cut through the group of girls that surrounded Krist and Dave and immediately had them laughing and charmed by her spell.
"Figures…" I muttered, breathing out in a puff of air.
"Some friend." Someone spoke right next to me. I jumped in shock, knocking shoulders with the stranger. "Shit, I didn't mean to scare you."
"It's fine." I said, turning toward the stranger and waving away their words.
"I'm Kurt." The man introduced holding out his hand. And sure enough it was Kurt Cobain standing right next to me.
I shook his rough hand softly. "I'm Ally." Looking at him for a few seconds, I still held onto his hand in mine. He had dark circles under his eyes that looked a little purple and it was obvious he was completely exhausted. "Are you alright?"
"What?" Kurt asked surprised.
"Uhm… are you okay?" I asked unsure, rephrasing the question. His strange response only made me think that I had said something wrong and unknowingly offended him.
"Oh, I'm fine. Just a little tired." Kurt told me. I could tell he was holding a lot of things back. It was like a dam filled with water, everything clogged up but waiting to burst through at any moment. "I was wondering why you asked…"
"Well," I started. "It just seems like something is bothering you… I noticed earlier on stage."
He paused for a long time before saying, "You're the only person to ask me."
"No, no." Kurt spoke. "It's nice of you." He paused again, and then spoke quicker, getting some troubles off of his chest. "It seems like I'm always shuffled from place to place, room to room all the time. No one even stops to ask how I am. It's either to tell me I have to go on stage or letting me know that I'm their own personal God." He rolled his eyes, and then avoided my gaze as if he had said something wrong.
"That's really sad…" I said quietly. "It must be a hard life."
"What about you?"
"You seem uncomfortable." Kurt immediately picked up on my uneasiness. He leaned forward a little, creating a little sheltered shell for us,"Is it me?"
I shook my head, motioning around the room. "It's all this. I always feel out of place. I don't mean to moan or complain, but… hell, look at me." I spoke frustrated, gesturing to my outfit. "I'm not those girls."
I motioned towards a flock of girls in short, tight dresses and skirts with makeup that would make a clown look plain. They were hovering around Kurt and I, staring at him as if he were some circus animal on display. Honestly, I was surprised they didn't start throwing peanuts at him. It was terrible.
"You don't have to be them." Kurt told me looking at me. His electric blue eyes brought an intense aura to the gaze.
"Maybe I should ju--."
"Hey there, I'm Heidi." Heidi rudely interrupted the conversation, pushing into a small opening next to Kurt's side. She made sure both of their arms touched each other. "I see you've met my friend Ally. You must be Kirk."
"Kurt." I corrected under my breath, groaning internally.
"Kurt, I mean." Heidi giggled, flipping her hair. "Sorry."
As Kurt replied to Heidi, I just grew more and more frustrated. "I don't even know why I'm here." I said quietly to no one in particular.
Realization struck me; why was I here? I didn't want to pretend to be something I wasn't. And I knew for sure that I didn't belong around these girls. Kurt turned slightly to me as if he heard what I was thinking.
"I'm going home." Heidi didn't hear me through her rapid-fire talking. Annoyed, I said, "Heidi." The words were more sharp than I intended them to be.
"What?" She grudgingly tore her attention from Kurt.
"I'm going back to the apartment."
"Oh, so soon?" She asked. The look in her eyes told me to get out and preferably hang myself on the way.
"Yep, sorry." I said abruptly. Kurt continued to watch me, and I shook his hand hurriedly again, "It was nice meeting you, Kurt." It took him a moment to withdraw his grasp.
"Wait, Ally--." Kurt said.
But I had already turned and made my way through the crowd as if I didn't hear him. Heidi had him now, as she had so many others before. I sighed; Kurt would become just another prize to hang on Heidi's trophy wall.