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I Can't Be Here

I looked around and took all what was happening in. Alex was back up on stage where he belonged with his best friends in the entire planet. Mickie was back in the booth with Vinnie. Matty and the other guys were standing just off stage, waiting for the right cues. Then there was me. I stood in the back of the venue, watching as my husband wooed the crowd just as he had tried to woo me. The hurt in my heart was still way too fresh for me to comprehend. It hurt me when I thought about how he had said the simple statement “I love you, Lisa.”
I took a deep breath and tried my best not to cry. I was way too in over my head. My husband was almost a stranger to me, and I was just now realizing it. How stupid have I been this entire time? How in the world had I missed what could have been going on behind my back for so long? I wasn’t sure if there even was anything going on behind my back.

“Killer, how’s it lookin”

“Good, Matt.” I replied with a heavy heart. “They’re killing it tonight.”

“How are you?”

“Alive,” I muttered. “I think I’m going to take off from the concert early, okay?”

“Uh… do you want to be the one who tells your husband that?”

“Tell him to go fuck himself,” I rolled my eyes and shut off the radio before Matt could even respond. I turned around and made a b-line for Vinnie and Mickie. Mickie was sitting on the stool, barely even paying attention to the concert anymore. She was too into what her phone had on it at the moment. Vinnie was talking with the other Merch guys in the back. I walked around and sat down next to my best friend. She looked at me in a confused manner.

“Are you okay?”

“No I'm not fucking okay!” I yelled. “And I'm tired of hiding it!”

“Okay.. good” Mickie’s eyes grew wide and she nodded in agreement. “We’re leaving aren't we?”

I closed my eyes for a brief moment because I knew that without a doubt, Mickie would always be on my side. Despite everything else on my life, she'd always be the one that had me.

“Yeah, let’s bounce.” I stated, tossing the radio into her chair. Vinnie looked over at us with an understanding look and gave us a nod. With his approval, I walked out of the venue with Mickie trailing behind me.

“Not that I'm complaining…”

“My life is a lie!” I finally busted. “I’m living like this made of version of myself and I can't handle it anymore. I can't be this girl that does a reality show or tours with her husband because he wants her too! I…. Sto morendo dentro”

Mickie looked like she was in pain.

“Mac.. why didn't you say something?”

“I couldn't,” I whispered. “I don't feel like I'm allowed to feel like I'm dying inside.”

Mickie’s arms wrapped tightly around me and I began to cry at some point. I wasn't sure when but I had stopped being who I wanted to be. I started to be who Alex wanted me to be. I felt more like a lap dog than his partner and I didn't want to admit that to myself, let alone anyone else.

“You are more than allowed to feel that way.”

“Mickie, what do I do?” I asked earnestly.

Mickie chewed on her bottom lip before giving her shoulders a light shrug. She looked just as lost as I was feeling. I felt completely fine, a bit disconnected, before the show then suddenly I wasn’t. Alex and I had a great night together. We were actually doing really well, at least I thought that we were.

“Mac….. I think you need to put your foot down. Obviously running away isn't an option but if you need to not be here…. then don't.”

I nodded my head and walked to the bus that we were on for the night.

“I can't…. I need to do something. I feel…. distruttivo… come la dinamite”

“I… hair! That's the one thing that you can be a litttttlllleeee distructive with.”

“I have a head full of extensions….”

“I….. cut them out,”

“My hairs going to be above my shoulders!!”

“So?” Mickie shrugged.

I chewed on the inside of my cheek and nodded my head. Mickie smiled deviously and ran into her bunk to get a pair of shears that she had. I set up a chair next to the table in the back lounge so she could easily look at my hair and see what to do. My legs bounced nervously until my best friend came back into view.

“This is a horrible idea,” I admitted.

“Eh, regrets are for the weak,” she winked before taking a strand of my hair. “Are you ready?”

I nodded. It was an emotional decision and I knew that. But I couldn't bring myself to stop. I needed to gain some kind of control, in whatever way I could get it.

And for once I didn't care about how Alex was going to react.


“Mac, what the HELL?!” Alex yelled when he walked into the bus. “What did you do?!”

I jumped and saw the look on my husband’s face.

“I cut my hair off,”

“Why?” He asked, looking incredibly hurt.

“Because I wanted too,” I admitted. I took a deep breath. “Not everything is about you, Alex”

He looked so caught off guard. He looked over at Mickie and she just shrugged.

“Can you give us some privacy?”

“Oh NOW you want privacy?!” I yelled. “What about the privacy that I've wanted?!”


“No! I can't do THIS anymore. I can't be followed around anymore! I can't be this celebrity figure! I CAN’T do it anymore, Alex.”

Mickie stood up and quickly exited from the back lounge area. In the whirlwind of emotions, I had stood up and was waving my arms everywhere. Alex stood speechless, not sure of what to say. It was odd when he didn't have an opinion on what was happening. He took one deep breath after another.

“Why didn't you say anything?”

“I DID. you just don't listen to me!” I yelled again, but I sat down. I was exhausted of the emotions that were going on. “Alex…… you're selfish….. and I'm a doormat.”

“But I love you.” He furrowed his brows and came over to sit down beside me. “I love you so much,”

“Ti amo anch'io” I sighed slowly. “But I'm tired of fighting with you. I want us to be okay again…. I want us to talk”

Alex took a deep breath.

“We’re under contract to do at least three seasons of the show.”

I put my head in my hands and I finally let the tears fall freely. I couldn't do it. I couldn't be the Mrs. Gaskarth they all wanted anymore.

“I can’t” I brokenly admitted.


“Alex I want to go home.”

“We only have a month to go,”

“No, I’m not asking.” I stated. “I’m telling you. I'm going home for a little while. I don't know if I’ll come back for the remainder of the tour… but I'm going back to Baltimore.”

“Just like that huh, no discussion?! You've just decided that this is what we’re doing?”

“Yeah. Just like you decided all of this.” I stated.

Alex looked hurt beyond words. He stood up and walked toward the door of the back lounge. Before he left, he turned around to look at me.

“I don't know if I can forgive you for this.”

“Non mi aspetto che il tuo egoistico cuore mi perdoni.”

He took a deep breath.

“I can't understand you, Mackenzie!”

“That's how I feel! Like we are constantly on two different pages! You live your life like your single for the most part and I live mine like I don't have thoughts of my fucking own! Dammit man up or get out!!”

Alex turned around and left without another word.
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It's been a very long time, but I've recently realized that there needs to be a conclusion to Mac and Alex's story that I never really felt was finished. I'm currently working on that.

ALSO MY FUCKING FRIEND IS AMAZING AND CHANGING PEOPLE'S LIVES IN INNERCITY LOS ANGELES. donate to her page because she's a saint and anything helps, even a $1.
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