A New Beginning

Stage Fright

Not wanting to sugar coat anything, the first meeting between Jimmy and Johnny was slightly frosty, but being such great friends, they soon got over their problems and were back to normal again. That was a couple of days ago. I was now watching as the two of them played a bit of Primus to ease their boredom. The guys brought much entertainment to me whenever I watched them play. They always exuded this confidence that was just undeniable. My while body wanted to go up to Jimmy and have my way with him, but I didn’t want to get hurt again. This being said, I guess I should bring up Derrick, the pretzel man at the mall. His number came in handy the day after he had given it to me. He’s a really great guy. We have the same tasted in music, both hate “barbies”, and desperately want something exciting in our lives. Johnny thinks that I like to shop a lot, but the truth is I just hang with Derrick while he works. There’s nothing like getting free pretzels. None of the guys know about Derrick, but that’s going to change soon. The guys were approached a while back to play at a new bar in downtown Huntington and I planned on bringing Derrick to the gig. Did I also mention that Derrick is a fan of The Rev? Yeah, I thought it was funny as well. Derrick didn’t need to know about what Jimmy and Ihave had. Besides, knowing the guys, he was bound to find out somehow. A harsh tapping on my head awoke me from my thoughts.

“Earth to Layla. Did you hear a word we just said?” Johnny huffed impatiently.

“Yes?” I said, although not sure at all.

He groaned before he repeated himself. “I said that the rest of the band will be over in ten minutes so that we can go through our set. Then we hit the bar! So if you want to call Dylan, tell him to leave the pretzel stand now.”

“His name is Derrick.” I said, instantly regretting it.

“So Zacky was right? He did see you chatting up that dude in the food court! Wow, you’re really easy to get information out of. I want to meet this boy.” he said with a bit of interest.

I kept my gaze on Johnny only so that I wouldn’t look at Jimmy, whose gaze was burning a hole in me. Damn Zacky and his stupid need to live in the food court. I should have bribed him with free pretzels. Fatty would have taken the bait for sure. I made a quick exit to my room, leaving the two to wait for the rest of the band. His intent glare was still on me even though I was a floor above him. I felt so guilty for doing this to Jimmy, but he had it coming to him when he stuck his tongue down that tramp’s throat. Bitterness filled me as I sat in my room. I needed to get my mind off Jimmy if I want to have a decent night.

The Bar

I sat backstage with the rest of the guys as I waited for Derrick to come through the door. Jimmy hasn’t so much as given me a glance let alone acknowledged my existence. Why was this driving me so crazy? Right, I forgot, I was hung up on him big time. The thick metal door clicked open and in walked Derrick. He was wearing a gray Volcom shirt with dark, skinny jeans and he also sported his trademark beaten, green Converse. The black beanie he wore on his head hid the mop of blonde hair that was usually unkempt. Thoughts of Jimmy disappeared as I ran up and gave Derrick a hug. I totally forgot the guys were in the room until I heard someone clear their throat.

“Right,” I said awkwardly, “guys, this is Derrick. Derrick, this is Avenged Sevenfold, my brother’s band.”

My first thought was that they were going to ambush him and kick his ass, but I was surprised to hear Derrick’s voice break the silence that had enveloped the room.

“Ok, I know you guys probably want to kill me right now, but you wouldn’t want to hurt a fan would you?” he said with a smile. “Hey, Zacky, you forgot your hat in the food court today near the taco hut. It’s in my car whenever you want it.”

Zacky’s face turned red as the guys laughed at him. Derrick looked at me confused, but I just shook my head. He would become aware of Zacky’s insatiable appetite soon. As the laughter in the room died down, so did the front the guys put up for Derrick, well, not all of the guys were fine. One quick peek at Jimmy and I saw him shooting daggers at Derrick. Johnny was distracting Derrick with discussions on his bass, so I took the time to talk to Jimmy. Just as my luck would have it, right as I sat down, one of the Berry’s came in and took the band away. Brian was the last to go through the door and he turned around and looked at me before exiting.

“Keep your eyes open for a familiar face.” he said with a wink.

I was so confused right now, but I brushed it off and drug Derrick to the side of the stage. They decided that they were going to play some fan favorites, so the first up was Beast and the Harlot followed by Unholy Confessions. They slowed it down a bit and let Zacky sing and play Seize the Day. At one point Johnny stole the mic and demanded a huge circle pit as they played Second Heartbeat.

“How the fuck are you doing Huntington?”

The people went nuts as Matt addressed them. These were some diehard fans in the crowd tonight.

“God only knows how many people out there Google us on a regular basis,” he said while pausing to let some ladies in the crowd scream, “so you might know who I’m talking about. The next song goes out to Layla, Johnny’s little sister.”

Derrick plugged his ears as I screamed when the opening notes to And All Things Will End came through the speakers. Johnny knew this was my favorite song by them. I’m not sure how they were going to top that in my mind. As the song came to a close they went right to their new stuff. Almost Easy and Scream really got the crowd going.

“I hate to be the bearer of bad news,” Matt said, “butt this is our last song of the nigh.”

Many people in the crowd heckled Matt, but come on, they played one hell of a show. I hope they go out with a bang tonight.

“I mentioned this girl earlier, but can we have Layla Townsend on stage?”

If it hadn’t been for the encouraging words from Derrick, I would never have gotten to the stage. I heard a couple of wolf whistles, which earned the crowd a huge flip of the bird from Johnny. Matt swung a sweaty around my shoulders as he continued to explain my presence on stage.

“The Rev informed me that Christ’s sister has a fairly decent voice. So we’re going to ask for her assistance on the last song.”

I was too stunned to even glare at Jimmy as I watched him behind his massive drum set. He sent me a warm hearted smile that sent the butterflies aflutter in my stomach. Matt gazed down at me, as if asking me if I was ready. Quickly, I shook my head and froze up even more.

“Ok guys, she’s a tad shy, so she needs you to help her out on this one.” Matt employed the crowd.

Once the crowd started to cheer for me I knew that there was no way that I could back out of this. I sighed in defeat as I grabbed the mic from Johnny and stood off to the side. The cheering increased as they got situated to play. Wait, I don’t even know what I’m singing! Soothing sounds from a Clarinet filled my ears as I heard the recorded intro to A Little Piece of Heaven start up. Great, I would be doing background effects. Don’t be stupid Layla, you get the duet at well. Matt’s voice carried the lyrics wonderfully as I stood waiting for my part. I still can’t believe that Jimmy did this. Was this another part of his plan. His plan was going no where. I would show him how this was done. Jimmy’s part came up and at the right time I screamed loudly into my mic. Johnny gave me a smile as he encouraged me. My hips started beating from side to side as I got into the rhythm of the song. The strong upbeat that Jimmy was producing made for an awesome groove.

Smiling right from ear to ear, almost laughed herself to tears.

With a sinister laugh I brought Jimmy into his chorus again. The guys all went to their microphones and sang along with Matt. Johnny ran up behind me and roared “Eat that shit out” and continued on stage. I became more adventurous with my movements as the song continued. This wasn’t so bad, it’s actually quite pleasant. As Matt sang the main chorus, I finally realized why Jimmy had me out for the song.

You had my heart, at least for the most part.
Cuz everybody’s gotta die sometime.
We fell apart, let’s make a new start.
Cuz everybody’s gotta die sometime, yeah.
But baby don’t cry.

The violins erupted and the song began a steady climb to why I was up here. Taking the opportunity, Matt quickly introduced me on the duet, along with Jimmy. I was slightly angry that Matt gave up his part of the song. Oh well, this couldn’t be terrible.

I will suffer for so long, What will you do? Not long enough.
to make it up to you. I pray to God that you do.
I’ll do whatever you want me to do Well then I’ll grant you one chance.
And if it’s not enough, If it’s not enough, if it‘s not enough,
If it’s not enough, not enough,
I’ll try again, try again,
and again. and again.
Over and over again.

As the rest of the guys took over the evil chanting, Jimmy and I held our intense gaze. His face was blank and it was extremely hard to read his emotions. Jimmy broke our contact by looking over my shoulder. To see what he was looking at I followed his stare and discovered Derrick watching me. He gave me the thumbs up and went back to watching the rest of the band. I turned my attention back to Jimmy to see that he looked hurt. Wow, I feel like a total bitch right now. The song blared on as we moved on to Zacky’s big solo. Jesus Christ, was there no end to this song? I swear to God that Jimmy wrote this song just in case something like this happened. Zacky acted his part as the priest and guess who had to sing the vows? If you guessed Jimmy and I, then you are correct. During the rest of the song he never took his eyes off me, even when he had to sing. It warmed my soul to have his eyes on me again, although once the song was over I knew it wouldn’t happen for a while. As they finished off the song I ran off stage and into Derrick’s open arms. I’m not sure why I did this, but it was almost involuntary.

“You were amazing out there.” he whispered into my ear.

I gave him a smile as I waited for the guys to come off stage as well. The guys came back in a line and each of them gave me an appreciative hug. Jimmy threw his sticks out in the throng of thrashing fans before he turned on his heel and came back. I wasn’t going to wait for his hug. Running up to him I jumped into his welcoming embrace and threw my arms around him. He held me tightly against his body and swung me around in a circle. I felt him bury his head in my hair and mumbled something. A look of confusion graced my face until he repeated himself.

“I hope you know that was all for you Layla.” he said, almost sadly.

“Yes, I do Jimmy.” I responded quietly.

“Rev, get over here for a picture now.” Johnny roared behind us, interrupting the moment.

“It’s never too late to forgive.”

Jimmy’s words lingered even as he walked away. I had always thought that once a cheater, always a cheater. This had to be different though. He was proving himself so much. I felt Derrick slip his arm around my waist and this started my other dilemma. What do I do about Derrick?

“I think The Rev likes you.” he said as if it wasn’t a big deal.

All I could do was give him a shrug before he drug me behind the guys who were leaving. What have I gotten myself into?
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