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Sleep Walking Past Hope

Chapter 4

We entered the club as a pretty large group. It was Jukka, Chachi, Jarppi, Jarno, HP, and I. It was dark inside, and playing “Killing Lights” by AFI. I immediately liked the atmosphere. A cocktail waitress recognized the men in our group immediately and sat us at a table in the VIP section. In America, Jukka and Chachi would get recognized every so often, including me sometimes but the Jukka and the rest of the Dudesons had one hell of a following here in Finland. All day, throughout the airport, hotel, and now this club we were receiving curious stares.

“Mitä juomia voin aloittaa?” The beautiful blonde haired and blue eyed waitress asked us. I didn’t understand her but she must have asked about our drink order as the table started rattling off their liquors of choice.

She turned to me, and I froze. “Um, I’ll take a vodka cranberry.”

“Sure, I’ll be right back with your rounds.” She nodded and smiled. Thank goodness for her understanding and speaking English. It seemed most people in Finland did actually, although I was expecting it at the hotel considering the staff work in hospitality.

“When are Jussi and Jyrki arriving?” HP asked.

“Should be here any moment now.” Jukka answered. I was excited to be meeting some of the boys from The 69 Eyes. I’ve always heard so much about them from Jukka but haven’t gotten the chance to meet them as of yet. They hadn’t seemed to travel to the US as much as the others have. Just as I finished my thoughts, an older man with jet black hair spiked in every direction jumped over the back of the couch I was sitting on scaring me half to death.

“The Helsinki Vampires have arrived” He bosted in one of the strongest accents I heard yet. The group laughed and the men immediately exchanged hugs.

He reached me and smirked. “Wow, I wish Jukka would have told me he was bringing such a stunning woman here tonight.” He stuck his hand out and I took it, he shook it and pulled me in close to give me a hug and kiss on the cheek.

“Nice to meet you.” I smiled sweetly. If this was anyone else I would have been slightly creeped out but I’ve heard many stories of Jussi and his antics. This was half expected.

“The pleasure is mine, my dear, I’m Jussi and this is Jyrkie.” He introduced while still keeping an arm around me and bringing me to the other addition to our now rowdy group.

45 minutes or so have passed and everyone was now on their third round of drinks and the show hasn’t even started yet. I was thoroughly enjoying myself, I was tipsy and didn’t have a care in the world. The brief moment of insecurities I was feeling earlier in the night dissipated and was now replaced with flirty confidence. The magic of what a few drinks and a complimenting rock star could do.

“Your gonna love the show Raya, HIM is definitely your style of music!” Jukka shouted at me from the other side of our large table.

“Oh, you aren’t familiar with HIM?” Jyrki said surprised. I just shook my head no.

“Is Ville joining us later?” Jussi asked the group.

“Yeah after the show he’ll join us!” Jarno answered.

“Who is Ville?” I asked bewildered. I never heard them mention his name before now, and I thought I knew all about Jukka’s friends from the hundreds of stories I’ve been told over the last few years.

“HIM’s frontman, he is a good friend of ours!” Jussi answered.

“I haven’t seen him in years, it’ll be good to reunite” Jukka smiled.

A few minutes passed and the lights dimmed in the club and everyone screamed with excitement. The show was about to start. I could see the shadows of the band members join the stage and the club seemed to roar. I got goosebumps from the sound. HIM was clearly a loved band here in Helsinki. The beginning of drums began to sound and the strobe light focused on the singer. I felt the breath hitch in my throat.

“So this is Ville.” I whispered.
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