By: John Marie
“You can do this Grace. You can do this Grace. YOU can do this Grace” I was saying to myself in my bathroom mirror. Tonight was finally the night. The night that I am so excited yet I’m so nervous about. Tonight was the night I was going to have my solo.
Putting on some lipstick and mascara, I had my signature punk-rock look ready for tonight show. As you can tell, I’m not like most girls. No, most girls in society today would be pouring their hearts out over Justin Bieber, saying that he is the greatest musician who ever lived. To me, that’s a load of crap. That honor would have to go to Kurt Cobain, my idol which led to me, my best friend Stacey, and Lily to form the band “The Nail Painters” I play lead guitar, Stacy is the bassist while Lily is the drummer. Stacy and I are both the singers and were a pretty popular local band, having gigs every Friday night at The Music Warehouse.
Looking over myself one more time, I was finally ready. I had mascara and lipstick on, a black tank top that reviled only a little bit but not so much to call me a slut, with a pair of black skinny jeans and my converse shoes. I kept my hair down, showing of the purple streak in my hair which I had gotten last week. Tonight was going to be great. I then Put a sweater over my head so my mom wouldn’t see what I was wearing and grabbed my ice-skates. You see, I have to lie to my mother every Friday, saying that I was going ice-skating with a few friends because she doesn’t approve of me being so outgoing. She wants me to be like my sister Tory, who was little goody-two-shoes, always doing what she was told and being moms “little princess” Sometimes, it’s like my band mates are the only family that I have…
Heading downstairs, I look over and see that my mom was watching T.V, having one of our many maids Becca dust the room. It makes us seem like royalty, something I personally hated.
“Mom, I’m going ice-skating!” I call out.
“Okay honey, I’ll see you later” Yeah, like she actually cared where I was. I rolled my eyes and headed out the door and to my car. Turning up “Heart-Shaped Box” to a high volume, I drove to The Music Warehouse, heading to the back lot where I went through the backdoor backstage. I went into the dressing room where I saw Stacy and Lily applying their make-up before the show. Stacy was the tall one with bright blonde hair with pink highlights and Lily had dark auburn hair with blond highlights. When I closed the door behind me, Stacy heard and turned around, a smile forming on her lips.
“Gracey!!!” she yelled and ran over to me, giving me a huge hug. I laugh and wiggle out of the hug. Lily rolled her eyes playfully and smiled.
“She’s been like this all day today” said Lily. I look at Stacy and she was right, she seemed a lot happier than usual.
“Why are you so happy?” I ask. Stacy turned around and blushed.
“I…I met a girl today” she said. Both mine and Lily’s jaws dropped as we squealed and hugged Stacey, jumping around with her. If you haven’t already guessed, Stacy is a lesbian. I first figured it out when she tried to kiss me when we were hanging out one night sophomore year. I was about to slap her right then and there if she hadn’t explained why she tried to do that. I guess that since I’ve given her so many hugs that year (I’m a huggable person, sue me) I guess that made her think that I liked her more than friends. I wasn’t judgmental of sexuality and still after that incident; we are the best of friends. If anyone in school tries to mess with her though, Lily and I both agreed that we would kick their asses.
“Wow Stacey! What’s she like?” I ask. Stacey started to blush.
“Well she had red hair and green eyes. She likes all the same things I like and yes…she is a lesbian so that means I’m clear” She squealed out. I couldn’t have been happier for her. She had finally found somebody and it seems that she has a pretty good chance at getting her. I wish I had something like that…well…with a guy but still…
“Umm…Earth to Grace” said Lily with a hand waiving over my eyes, snapping me back to reality “Are you ready to do your solo tonight?” she asked curiously.
“Yeah…just a little nervous though…” I said honestly, rubbing my arm which is something I usually do when I’m really nervous. Lily looked at me and pulled me into a hug, comforting me and caressing my hair. Lily always knew how to calm me down. She was almost motherly like, more like a mom than my own.
“Aww Grace, you’ll be fine. You have a beautiful voice and if anyone boo’s, I’ll kick their ass” I giggled a bit and she kissed my head.
“Thanks Lily” I said as I pulled away and walked over to the couch and picked up my guitar, strumming my tune to see if I had gotten it right. Just then, the owner of The Music Warehouse, Jimmy Bradford, came in.
“Hey beauties” he said. Jimmy was a very sleazy but lovable man. He had a mop-top along with his blue jacket and red tie “You guys are on in 5” then he left. That’s how he is, saying only a few words and then leaving us on our own. I faintly heard the crown, energetic and chanting our name. A sudden rush of excitement flowed through my veins and all of the nervousness that was in me suddenly disappeared.
After the 5 minute wait, we were finally called up on the stage. Looking out at the crowd, The Music Warehouse seemed to pack over 150 people tonight and about 100 more walking around for meet-and-greets or buying merchandise. The crowd though was basically ecstatic when we walked on stage which made me smile widely. Stacey and I grabbed our guitars and Lily headed to her drum set before I screamed out to the crowd “WHAT’S HAPPINING ARLINGTON MASSACHUSETTS!!!” which was replied back with cheers and applause. It didn’t take us long to start our set.
“Singing through the pouring rain
Washed up down the rusty storm drain
I sit there and count every drop
Every drop a tear, a tear for Dear Scott” “Dear Scott” was the first song in our set, which always went over well with the fans due to it’s popularity with girls who had gone through bad breakups. This included a rocking guitar solo from me, playing really fast, shaking my head side to side, and making my hair swing all over the place.
“Face your fears, come to life
Do not face the dreaded knife
You only make the haters win
Call us up, will kick em’ in the shin!” “Come to Life” was our next song, basically telling people not to cut themselves over how people thought of them. This song caused many people to rise up their arms, showing their wrists that had our lyric “Face your fears, come to life” on them which practically made Stacey smile due to her writing almost the whole song. I crowd surfed on this one, considering how my guitar and I weren’t heavy and that people absolutely loved it when I did it. It’s a tradition every concert for me to do that.
“In my bed with a paper and pen
Wondering how my words should be said
Writing for hours, using up my lead
I realized that to me, you’re dead” “Pen and Paper” was about how a girl was going to tell somebody whom they hate that they were dead to them for something terrible they did. This song included a rocking drum solo by Lily, hitting the drums as fast as she could at the end of the song which caused a loud applause from the crowd.
Finally, it was time for my solo and my heart started to beat ten times faster than normal. I considered hiding backstage but before I could, Stacy came, wrapping an arm around my shoulders and bringing me to center stage.
“Ok, for our final song, this one will be preformed by our own Grace Sanders!” I gave her the glare that meant “I’m going to get you for this!” But then I looked out at the crowd with a smile forming on my lips. Loud cheers were erupting from the crowd and I did here a few whistles. Typical men.
“Ok guys. Um…this is a song that I wrote about my life and past issues. Hopefully you can connect with it” and just like that, I started playing, singing my heart out since I was the only one playing.
Why did you leave me?
Why did you leave me with her?
Why did you OD?
And push me away like some dirt?
Papa, daddy, I wish you were with me
I wish my prayers were heard
As I try and try to look inside
All I find is my deep shattered heart
As I try and I try, as I look inside
All I feel are the tears beginning to start
Papa, daddy, why is she so angry at me?
What did I ever…do to her?” I finished the song, a tear silently rolling down my cheek. At first, I didn’t hear anything but the unsteady beat of my heart. I looked over at Stacey, her eyes red and puffy then I looked out at the crowd, the sound of huge cheers, cries, and applause flowing back in my ears, I smile and say a quiet “thank you” before the band and I waved and bowed. We then proceeded backstage, where i slid on my hoodie and washed my face a bit. When I was done, Stacey came up and gave me a warm hug, kissing the top of my head.
“I know how hard that was for you to sing…but it was beautiful” I smile, a few tears forming. She then let go of me, smiling.
“So, do you wanna head back home or check out the next act?”
“I want to see this new band” I said as we all headed out. We went to the crowd section where we signed some autographs before the act came on. I saw Jimmy standing over at the bar and I headed to him quickly before the show began.
“Hey, great show tonight” he said, taking a sip of his tequila.
“Thanks Jimmy. So, who’s this new act that you signed?” I questioned.
“Ah their this band from Seattle, Washington. They have been traveling around performing at small clubs before I stumbled onto them when my friend told me about them. Supposedly people have been calling them the ‘New Nirvana’ so I decided to audition them tonight” I raised an eyebrow. The new Nirvana? That couldn’t be. Nobody could beat or even replicate the greatness of Kurt Cobain. I went back into the crowd with Stacey and Lily, where the band of three took the stage. The drummer had jet black hair with about a gazillion tattoos running down both of his arms. The bassist also had black hair but he was wearing a shirt and tie with black jeans. But the one I focused on was the lead man.
He had what seemed to be icy blue eyes with short brown hair. He wore a sleeveless green shirt and black jeans with black Converse shoes. He wore fingerless black gloves and was carrying a beautiful black Les Paul. I couldn’t take my eyes off of him.
We expected that they’d call out to the crowd to get them all fired up like we did but…they were silent. The front man took out a cigarette and lighted it, puffing out a smoke before he pulled his guitar strap over him. Someone from the crowd called “SAY SOM ETHING!” and everyone else were in silent conversation, questioning them. The singer, with the cigarette still in his mouth, squinted his eyes, looking out at the crowd. He looked back to his band mates, who all nodded and with one last puff of smoke, he began. His hands moved over the guitar strings quick and fast and sounder like a familiar tune.
“Is that…Smells Like Teen Spirit?” I thought to myself, and sure enough, it was. The rest of the band came in, playing the kick-ass tune before the singer came up to the microphone.
“Load up on guns
Bring your friends
It's fun to lose and to pretend
She's overborne and self-assured
Oh no, I know a dirty word
Hello, hello, hello, hello, how low?
Hello, hello, hello, hello, how low?
Hello, hello, hello, hello, how low?
Hello, hello, hello ,hello
With the Lights out it's less dangerous
Here we are now entertain us
I feel stupid and contagious
Here we are now entertain us
A mullato an albino
A mosquito my libido
Yeah!” He sounded almost exactly like Kurt Cobain and I couldn’t help myself but jump and dance to the tune. Everybody had their fist in the air, banging their heads and jumping around, cheering and singing along with him. They were playing the song amazingly and it was really like Nirvana was playing it live. I then felt arms around my waist.
“Hey sexy” he said and grinded himself on me. I turn around and pushed him away.
“Get off of me!” I yelled over the crowded lot of people. I turned around to see the band before the man viciously grabbed my arm, turning me towards him, crushing me to his chest.
“Come on baby, you know you want me” He said and crushed his lips onto mine, biting my lips. I kicked him in the leg and tried to run away. He grabbed me again though, holding me uncomfortable close, continuing to kiss me all around. All of the sudden, the lead guitar stopped and I heard from the mic “GET OFF OF HER!” The man and I turned our faces around and saw that it was the singer yelling it. That was enough distraction for me to wiggle out of his arms and run but yet again; he grabbed by arm and punched me in the face.
I fell to the crowd, holding my left eye which was in so much pain, tears already forming in my eyes. I tilted my head up a bit to see the man smiling but then I saw somebody running toward him and knocked him down, punching his face in. It was…the singer. The man then was pulled up by security guars, his nose bleeding. I then felt somebody pull me up so that I was sitting, pushing the hair out of my face. I opened my eyes, well one eye since the other one was swollen and all I saw were those blue eyes staring at me. Security came and took the man, who’s nose was bleeding by the way, away and then the singer who looked at the crowd and then, at the top of his lungs, sang the last few lyrics of the song.
A DENIAL!” which caused a huge reception from the crowd as he was being pulled away by security, followed by the rest of his band and Jimmy. I then vaguely saw Stacey and lily rushing towards me before I silently passed out…
© Copyright 2017 John Marie. All rights reserved.
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