Status: Active :)

Terrible Things

14 - I Wanna Sing, I Wanna Shout, I Wanna Scream 'Til The Words Dry Out

Alex’s POV

We’d been on tour for little over a week, and we were just getting into the swing of things. Jack would wake up at 8, get up and spend time with his kids, take them to a local attraction, just out and about, or play games with them back at the bus. At 12 we’d go get something to eat, the band, the kids and Immy, and hang out, talking about what we did this morning or whatever. At 2 we’d leave to go do a quick sound check, and Immy would look after the kids.

At 5 we’d play our set, to hundreds of kids. It was amazing that after all these years we still got such a huge reaction from the crowd. I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t missed it, in the 6 months we’d had off.

Jack would still jump around on stage like he used to, still make dick jokes, still laugh at me, and he would still be the butt of many of the jokes on stage and laugh about it. Only me and the guys noticed his heart still wasn’t completely in it, but we didn’t call him out on it, because we understood, he needed time.

The hardest parts of our day would be the meet and greets, and press. The meet and greets would mainly be filled with fans telling Jack how sorry they were for his loss, how they hoped he was better. Like he was fucking sick. I know I shouldn’t get angry or frustrated with the fans but it was hard. I felt like they were just trying to get information about him, to just get a reaction so they could plaster it all over tumblr. So to stop them gossiping about his life, about his kids and about Leah, he smacked on a huge smile, and assured everyone that it was hard but he was fine and thanked them for their concern.

The press weren’t so easy. Although Flyzik had made sure questions regarding Leah had been banned (real fucking diva I know), they still found ways of asking them. They knew that unless Jack wanted to look like the world’s biggest asshole for walking out of an interview, he had to answer them in some way. Luckily Flyzik hadn’t booked him on any solo interviews, so he always had me or Rian to help get them off that topic and onto the more pressing subjects, like if we were releasing a new album any time soon, or if we had a headliner coming up. Those were questions me and Ri could handle, and Jack could just sit there.

Of course there were the hardcore fans that noticed his changes in demeanour. In interviews he was quieter, had less to offer, on stage, his leap had less “bounce” and apparently when in conversations he “wasn’t all there”. I caught him reading about it one night, once the kids were in their bunks. He read over the comments, and then within 10 minutes he announced he was going for a walk. He walked out to the edge of the lot, and just sat down on the grass.

I followed him out there, not wanting to disturb his thoughts. So I stayed off to the side, just making sure he wasn’t crying, because if he was, I’d have been there in a heartbeat.

I decided to let him be and turned to go back towards the bus, when I heard a voice.

“Hey Jay,” came the voice, clearly addressing Jack. I turned to see a tall figure approach Jack, not instantly recognising the build. Jack started at the breaking of the silence before settling down after realising who had now sat beside him.

“Hey Austin,” he replied. Oh. Austin Carlile.

I smiled slightly to myself. Austin was one of Jack’s best friends outside of the band, they’d grown close back at Warped in 2012, and they remained tight for all those years. Austin had been that outsider who had helped Jack when he first started dating Leah, and Austin loved Leah just like his sister. He had adored her, and had been devastated when he found out about the accident.

He’d been on tour in England, and he dedicated ‘Second & Sebring’ to Leah that night. I’d seen the video.

He’d said “when I was 17, I lost my mom. It tore me apart. This morning I got a call that told me that one of the best women I have ever known has been taken from this world. She too was a mother, to three beautiful children, and my heart goes out to them and her husband. She was like a sister to me, and you were taken far too early from this world. Usually I dedicate this to my mom, but tonight I dedicate this to Leah. Keep smiling up there angel.”

I’d cried a lot when I saw that video. I know Jack had seen it as well, and he’d phoned up Austin that night, thanking him and just talking to someone who hadn’t been in the whole midst of it. In some ways Austin had been there for him, when even I couldn’t. And I appreciated that.

“Long night?” Austin asked Jack in the darkness.

“You have no idea Aust,” he replied, “more like long year.”

“It gets better buddy, I know it seems fucking ridiculous right now, but I promise you it will.”

“I want it to get better now. I’m so fucking sick of feeling like this, of feeling like I have to be happy when all I want to do is just curl up in a ball and cry. At least at home I could do that in private, now everyone’s around, constantly breathing down my neck, making sure I don’t break as bad as I did at the beginning.”

“No-one on your bus will judge you Jay, they understand that this isn’t easy for you,” Austin reasoned.

“But I don’t wanna be weak. I want to be strong again, to be able to hold my head up high and mean it. To smile, and to feel it. To jump, and be free again. I wanna be that asshole again from before I met Leah, the one who fucked up but didn’t give a shit. Now I have to be this strong person who’s dealing with this “tragedy”.” Jack vented. It surprised me, I had no idea he felt that way.

“But you can’t be that guy again Jack. You have Leo, Isla and Evie. They need you more than you realise. You can’t give up; they need you to be there for them. You need to hold Leo’s hand when he starts middle school, and drive him to his first date with a crush, but you also need to hold him when he cries because he screwed up. You need to tell Isla she looks beautiful when she leaves for prom, and to interrogate her boyfriend when she brings him home, but you also need to run your hand through her hair when she tells you how this guy screwed with her heart, and buy her ice cream to make it better. You need to be that guy who whoops and cheers Evie’s name at graduation, who walks her down the aisle and tells her again and again how proud of her you are, but you also need to explain to her why she’s going through difficult changes in her life, why every month she feels like shit. Those are all you jobs right now Jay, and yeah it’s shit because some of those jobs should’ve been Leah’s jobs. But now it’s all down to you. And yeah it may seem fucking shitty, but you can’t give up on them. They need you more than you can ever realise. I lost my mom, and it’s shit, but the best you can do is promise to be there for them for the rest of your fucking life. And that you’ll never stop fighting for them, because that’s what they’ll need. A promise.” Austin said. I heard Jack sigh, and he held his head in his hands, keeping his eyes fixed on the ground.

“I just don’t know if I can be that guy. I don’t want to disappoint them. I’ve fucked up enough.”
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2nd update in as many days :) kinda trying to make up for the fact I took so long updating before...

I hope you enjoy this, things are still hard for Jack, but I was wondering how people felt about Imogen? Do you like her, or do you want someone else to be there for Jack?

Comment, Subscribe and all that jazz :)

Thanks for reading :)

Title Credit - 'Read All About It' by Professor Green feat. Emilie Sande