Status: This story is the sequel to Washed Out Rock Song and is currently active.

Washed up Rockstar

Chapter One.

I stepped into my childhood bedroom and looked around. It seemed like it was just yesterday I was throwing clothes around the room and sleeping in too late. And yet at the same time it felt like a lifetime ago. I laid back onto my bed. It was so much more comfortable than the crappy twin sized mattress that I had back home, but that was all that would fit in my small apartment. I turned to my right and noticed a pair of keys on the nightstand. I grabbed them. My old car keys. They still had the Hawaii keychain that Kira brought back for me from her cheer camp trip to the islands.

I thought my parents would have sold my car by now, but if the second pair of keys was still in my bedroom, it must still be sitting around.

I left my room and went downstairs. Nobody was home. My parents were at work. I went to the garage and flipped on a light switch. Sure enough my Honda was sitting there. I opened the two car garage door and got in the drivers side of my old car. I turned the key in the ignition, it roared to life. I smiled. I couldn’t believe my dad kept up with the maintenance on this thing.

I pulled out of the driveway. I wasn’t sure where I was going to go yet, but it was nice to drive around. I rarely drove at all in Chicago. I either took public transportation or walked. It was just easier that way.

I drove past the old high school. As much as I hated it there, I felt nostalgic driving past it. I pulled into a strip mall parking lot. I used to come here when I ditched class a lot. There was a new Starbucks on the corner. I got out of the car and went inside. I ordered an iced coffee and waited for it at the end of the counter. I looked around at the empty seats and tables. It was dead. As soon as school let out I’m sure it would be packed though.

I grabbed my coffee when it was put out and walked back outside into the Arizona air. I walked past a little maternity boutique that has been there forever and then past an eye care office. I stopped in front of an old music store I used to shop at and opened the door. It chimed letting the store clerk in the back know I was here. I went towards the back of the store near the vinyl. Sticking out amongst the various records was a We Have The Facts And We’re Voting Yes album by Death Cab For Cutie.

“Can I help you?” Someone asked behind me.

It made me jump and I dropped the album on the floor. I bent down to pick it up. “No, sorry. Just looking."

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you,” the store employee said.

I stood up, looking at the album again.

“That’s a great album,” he said.

I flipped it over and looked at the track list on the back. “Yeah it’s one of my favorites.”

“Mine too. I used to drive around listening to it all the time with my high school girlfriend,” he said as I placed it back where I found it.

I let out a laugh. “Me too.” I looked up at him and froze for a second. John. “Hi,” I said, quietly. I was embarrassed I didn’t look up sooner.

He laughed and leaned on the display shelf next to him. “Leah Dunn,” John sighed, “It’s been a while, huh?”

I suddenly felt very nervous and I could feel my heart beat speeding up. “Yeah,” I said, “I’m just here for-“.

“Kira’s wedding,” he finished for me. “Yeah, I’m the best man. The groom is kind of my best friend."

“Right, yeah,” I said, feeling stupid once again. Kira didn’t tell me John as standing up, but I should have assumed. I didn’t even think about him being there at all until now. “So, how are you?” I asked.

“I’m pretty good. How have you been? How’s Chicago?"

“I’m good,” I nodded. “Chicago’s great.”

It was weird, standing in front of John making small talk. At one point in my life this person meant everything to me, and now talking to him was awkward and uncomfortable.

“I’ll, um, let you get back to work,” I said, starting to walk towards the door. “But, I’ll see you on Friday then, at rehearsal?”

“Yeah,” he nodded, “I’ll see you then."