Being In The Band

Being In The Band
By Sarah
Chapter 9

        ‘Dear Tommy,
        'Ever since the first day I found out about your new band member, Lizard as you affectionately call her, I was slightly jealous.  I thought that she was lucky to be working on the same stage as all the guys and with the other band members who are just as talented.  And then, I went to your concert in Michigan.  I realized just how hard it is for someone to be up on stage and play the keyboard for so long, playing so many songs and still managing to have fun.  So, this letter is to say congratulations to Lizard, welcome to the world of glitz and glamour known as the music business….’

        Tommy smiled as he skimmed over the rest of the e-mail, spotting the usual comments and questions that arrived each day in the band site mailbox.  He clicked the save button and made a mental reminder to reply to the letter later with the answers to the questions the girl had asked, only really giving the answers because she was so nice about it.
        And nice about Lizard.
        It had been nearly three weeks since Lizard had joined the tour and she was doing excellent.    The fans received her well, the band loved her, and she got along with everyone on tour.  Everyone except for Nick, that is.
        ‘I don’t know what his problem is; he’s usually the first one to make a new friend on the tour,’ Tommy thought as he closed up his laptop.  He walked under the stage and to the entrance/exit and made his way out to the arena and to the hallways, wandering around pre-show, checking out the people already crowding the way.  He smiled at people and agreed to a few photos and autographs when people recognized him.  He felt flattered by the attention, considering he didn’t get it on stage anymore, he liked that he could still get it when he was trying to be normal.
        ‘Normal…what exactly is normal?’  He asked himself as he walked to his seat in the VIP section.  ‘Is normal what these people have?  What the guys have?  What Lizard had?  What exactly is normal to us?  Can anything even be considered normal?’
        "Hey, mind if I sit here?"
        Tommy looked up and smiled at the person.  "Shouldn’t you be underneath, practicing or something?"  He asked.
        Lizard shook her head as she sat down next to him, pulling her dark green windbreaker closed to cover her costume.  "Nah, it got kinda boring under there, I decided to check out the view from up here."  She looked around slowly and drank in the sights of the hundreds of fans already lining the arena.  She finally rested her glance back on Tommy and he smiled at her, nearly chuckling at her childish excitement.
        "You know, the first time I found out about how famous these guys were, I was watching the World Music Awards, I believe.  These guys won an award and I believe it was best group or people’s choice, I don’t really remember, but I remember seeing the crowd go insane for them.  All these people going crazy for five boys doing something that was, to them, just a game, having some fun in the free time of their day.  And now, I look at these guys and the response they get from the fans, and I still see those five boys that just wanted to go out there and have some fun.  They just wanted to sing for everyone and show everyone what they could do, wanting to make them feel better.  And it worked, now they do it nearly everyday, making millions of people happy and having fun doing it.  That, I believe, is the best point in life.  When you can make people happy by doing something that you love to do," Tommy said, gesturing around the arena as he spoke, noting all the fans.  The girls holding up signs, pictures, posters, toys, stuffed objects, and almost anything else they could think of that somehow pertained to the guys.  He was never not amazed at the feedback, it was almost as if they needed the guys to live.
        Lizard was silent, sitting back in her chair and looking around the arena, her excited look beginning to fade.  After a few more minutes, Tommy saw her take a deep breath and turn to face him.
        "He said to me that he would take me out to dinner the next night, right after he got off the plane and came home.  He promised to take me to dinner.  And she went to get him from the airport.  There wasn’t anything wrong, the car had just been fixed, the roads were clear, the weather was good, and yet, they still got in that accident.  Of all the roads, of all the times, of all the people, Tommy, it was my parents," she said, looking down and wiping away tears.  "I was never really close to them, but it was the principle.  They were my parents.  And even though they’d gotten divorced so long ago, they still remained friends.  And of all the things to happen, they get in an accident.  My parents, dying because some inconsiderate piece of shit fell asleep at the wheel."  She spat out the words, her voice lowering to a more modest level, but the anger and sadness still showing through.
        "You know it wasn’t suppose to happen, Liz, it wasn’t their fault, and its over now, it happened so long ago.  I know it’s hard, just let go of it, you’ve been doing so well," Tommy interjected, giving her a sympathetic look.  "Maybe you’d like to talk to someone.  Not a doctor, mind you, but someone a little closer.  Why don’t you talk to Kevin?  He lost his father to cancer a few years ago, he’d understand.  He would know how you’re feeling, he’d help you deal with it," he said quietly, leaning towards her and putting a hand on her shoulder.
        Lizard shrugged away, standing up abruptly.  "I have to get backstage, it’s almost show time," she said, wiping away her last few tears.  Tommy sighed and watched as she hurried away, walking down the steps quickly and going to the floor level, and then to the stage barricades.  She held up her pass and was let through, going straight to the curtain on the side and disappearing.  Tommy sat back in his chair and winced as the lights in the arena dimmed, covering an ear from the noise level.  He watched the concert from beginning to end, thinking, and only noticing that Lizard barely cracked a smile.

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