Honey, I Love Your Love the Most


He was never suppose to see me.

It's the night before his show in Vegas, so I assumed he would be doing things to get ready for it. I never expected him to show up at the same bar as me. My heart starts hammering in my chest when I see the all too familiar aviators and trucker hat. The dark chocolate brown curls peeking out from underneath the hat that I use to love to play with so much. I know it's him and I know I have to get out of here quick before he sees me. As if he can read my mind, his head turns in my direction and I can't look away. The first thought that runs through my head is how am I going to get out of here now?

He turns to take his drink from the bartender and I use that as my escape. I turn to the door and bolt without a second thought. I take off down the side alley to the parking lot where my car is parked and get in with shaky hands. I sit in the drivers seat for a few minutes, trying my hardest to collect myself and slow my heart rate down to normal.

Maybe this is the worst idea I've ever had. It was spur of the moment when I saw that he would be in Las Vegas at the same time as me. I wanted so badly to see him again even after all of this time. I miss his smile and his laugh and I thought maybe seeing him from the crowd while he does what he loves most on stage, I would be able to let him go. Because I could see just how happy he really is now without me in his life. I've regretted leaving him the way I did every single day of the past three years.

I finally collect my thoughts and start the car and drive back to the hotel I'm staying at. When I get up to my room, I'm greeted by strong arms wrapping around my waist and a kiss being placed on my shoulder. I turn to see my fiance, Andrew.

"I missed you. Did you have fun shopping?" he places a kiss on my lips and I smile.

"I did. Las Vegas sure is different than Granite Falls. It's a little overwhelming, actually. So many people everywhere." the overwhelming part definitely is the truth even if he doesn't know exactly what I'm overwhelmed about. He lets out a chuckle and heads towards the kitchen.

"You're right about that, hun. I could never live in a city like this. Are you sure you're going to be okay by yourself tonight? I feel bad leaving you here all alone."

"I knew what I was getting myself into when I decided to go on this trip with you. You have important things to do. I know that." he pulls a bottle of whiskey from the refrigerator and pours some into two glasses. My mind flashes back to the memory of Eric taking his drink from the bartender. Whiskey and Coke, I'd almost bet money on it. That was his favorite drink.

Andrew brings the two glasses over to the couch and sits down while motioning for me to sit beside him. He hands me the other glass and I take a sip of the strong liquid. It burns all the way down my throat and I welcome the feeling.

"What do you boys have planned for tonight?"

"Well, Alex wants to go to the Bellagio and gamble, of course. You can't come to Vegas without gambling. Then we may go out to a club or something. Typical bachelor party. Nothing for you to worry about, babe. I'll behave." he kisses my lips one more time before standing up. "I should probably jump in the shower."

"Don't think you're flying all the way to Vegas for your bachelor party, mister." I call after him in a teasing tone as he walks into the bedroom.

"Of course not! I'm thinking more like Mexico for mine. You know, a little out of the country fun." he peeks his head around the doorway and blows me a kiss. "Love you, baby."

"I love you, too, you silly man."

After I hear the shower start running I walk over to my purse and pull out the single ticket from the envelope that has been tucked neatly in the side pocket for two weeks.

Eric Church Live in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand
June 16, 2007

I smile softly to myself even after today's events. I get to see him onstage tonight doing the one thing he's always wanted to do his whole life. That alone makes me happy, even if I can't have him all to myself like I use to.

"So I'll see you in the morning?" I ask as Andrew pulls on his jacket and grabs his car keys.

"Yeah I'll try to be back at a decent time so I don't wake you up too early. Probably around eight." he pulls me against him by my waist and kisses me deeply. When he pulls away he has a huge smile on his face. "I can't wait until this is us doing this. The week before our wedding. I really can't." I smile back up at him and hug him tight.

"Me neither, babe."

"I love you. I'll see you in the morning. Don't hate me for leaving you alone." he winks at me as he makes his way to the door.

"I could never hate you. Just have fun but not too much fun, you know." he rolls his eyes.

"I'd never do anything stupid. I promise."

"Go. Have fun. Love you." he finally makes it out the door and I walk to the bedroom to take a shower. Once I'm out I pull on a simple pair of dark skinny jeans and a pink button-down tank top that's see through and ties in the front. I top the outfit off with my cowboy boots and a pair of brown aviator sunglasses. I leave my hair down and wavy and do my make up more naturally since I'm not a huge fan of make up to begin with.

After I grab my ticket and phone, I head out to my car and drive to the concert venue. I pass the Bellagio on my way and I can't help but feel guilty at what I'm doing to Andrew. Even if I'm not actually seeing Eric, I'm still wishing I was and that's just as bad.

I manage to get parked and make it inside with no complications and that's when the nervousness hits me even though it's ridiculous because there's no way Eric would ever spot me from up on stage. I run my fingers through my hair and shake off the sick feeling in my stomach. I make my way through the crowd that isn't nearly as big as it will be in an hour or two. I'm glad I got here early because I want to be as close to the front as I can be. With a little shoving and getting bumped into, I manage to make it about seven rows from the front of crowd. Now all I have to do is listen to the opening band and wait.

He takes the stage and my breath leaves my chest so fast I feel like I've been punched in the stomach. He's wearing his aviators, of course, his trucker hat and a black leather jacket with a scarf draped over his shoulders. He walks up to the microphone and begins playing the familiar tune of "Before She Does" and I raise my hands in the air and sing along with his beautiful voice. I push the thoughts far from my mind when I begin to wonder if he wrote this song about me.

His fingers glide along the neck of the guitar like he was born with it in his hands and I'm captivated from the very first chord. When the song is over he walks to the edge of the stage and scans the crowd from under his mirrored shades. The crowd goes crazy for him and the smile that covers his face makes me grin like a fool myself. He really made it. He's really loved by all of these people.

He steps back to the microphone and plays a few more songs before speaking to the crowd.

"Now the next song I'm going to play for ya'll is one I wrote way back when I was just out of college. It's a song that means a lot to me because it's the one that really made me who I am as an artist today. It was my first single. It's the reason why I'm here today on this stage here in Las Vegas performing for all of you crazy people." he strums a few random chords on his guitar as he stares out at all of us. "I knew a girl way back then. She's the one who pretty much forced me to send this song in to be heard. And believe it or not, they loved it." as he's scanning the crowd his gaze stop near where I'm standing. I can't tell exactly where because of the sunglasses covering his eyes. My heart starts thudding in my chest a lot like it did back at the bar but right here surrounded by all of these people, there's no where for me to run. He steps closer to the edge of the stage as he continues to stare.

There is no way this is happening.

"I want to thank her." he finishes his earlier statement after turning back to the microphone. "I want to thank her because I wouldn't be here if it hadn't been for that." he plays the intro to "Sinners Like Me" and I can almost feel the tears forming in my eyes at the memories that swarm through my mind. All of the nights laying in the sand by the pond while he played this song over and over again, trying so hard to perfect it. He never thought it was good enough, but here he is playing that very song at this sold out show.

"Well now maybe, who knows, one day I'll settle down, and give my dad a grandson of his own. And when the doctor smacks him, he'll probably take a swing, cuz he comes from a long line of sinners like me."

The tears roll down my cheeks without me even knowing it as he sings his heart out up there on stage. When the song ends he walks over to the side of the stage where a few of the road crew are standing and says something in one guy's ear while pointing out at the crowd. Eric walks back up like nothing happened and starts playing the next song which is "Guys Like Me." The next thing I know there's three tall security guards pushing through the crowd all around me. One takes my arm gently and leans down to my ear.

"Eric wants to see you after the show." he manages to get out loud enough for me to hear over the music and cheering of the crowd.

"Why?" my head starts swarming and the people all around me are suddenly too close for me to breathe.

"Didn't say. Just said grab the brunette in pink eight rows back." I let him lead me out of the crowd and around to the entrance for the backstage area. I stop in my tracks and look for an escape.

"I can't." I say to the one holding onto my arm.

"Most women would kill to be in your position right now. Pretty sure he has never just picked some random girl out of the crowd and brought them backstage. Be grateful." I can tell this guy has no patience for me and my nerves. He thinks I'm just some random fan who got lucky, but if only he knew. He takes me into a room that says "Eric Church" on the door on a piece of paper. Once I'm inside I see it's his dressing room. There's a couch, tv, a door that I assume leads to a bathroom, and a mini fridge. "Make yourself at home. He'll be off stage in a little while. There's cold beer and water in the fridge and the bathroom is through that door over there." he points towards the door on the other side of the room and I nod, unable to say anything because I've lost my ability form words.

Once the security guard has left, I sit down on the couch and stare at the tv that isn't even turned on. Then I remember the mini fridge full of beer. I stand up and open the door to it and see a dozen Bud Light bottles. I grab one and pop the top quick and easy. I chug half of it and start pacing. I tip the bottle back up to my lips and down the rest. I'm going to need all of the courage I can get.
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