The Stale Taste of Recycled Air

Corona, Jagermeister and a drunken Tre

Adele sat gob smacked on the sofa, she had managed to squeeze every last detail out of me from the past two days.
"Wow Adele do you think you can get another motherfucker in that sentence?"
She pulled her tongue out at me and sipped her beer on the sofa.
"So how are you?" I asked her, also drinking my beer and glancing at the television where JT from Scrubs had just gone flying on his ass for the umpteenth time.
"Well apart from being insanely jealous of you, I'm good. Do you remember Tom who works at the bar round the corner?"

I searched my brain picturing a blonde haired dude who pulled the worst pint I've ever had in my life.
"Well I bumped into him coming home from work this afternoon and hello, he asked me out on a date."
"Nice. You work quick," I teased.
"Hey he's no Billie Joe Armstrong but yaw know..." she giggled, "HE DOES LOOK LIKE MATT SKIBA A BIT THOUGH."
I rolled my eyes, "Do you have to yell?"
"Sorry," she whined, flipping me off.
I returned the gesture.
"But come on, Skiba is hot."
I sighed. "We should go to a bar."
"Why?" she asked.
"Coz we're 26 and we are staying in watching Scrubs."
"So, I wanna watch 24 after this!"
"Do you have to yell?" she glared at me as I got up and threw her coat at her.
"You tit," she frowned at me.

We decided to go to a place a few blocks away. It was packed, there seemed to be people everywhere. We elbowed our way to the bar, already sweating from the heat that floated in the air.
After a couple of minutes a guy served us.
"There yaw go, two Coronas."
"Cheers, hey why the hell is it so crowded in here?"
I asked handing him the money.
"Coz we are the best place around."
"Yeah, no really." I snorted. The bar man chuckled at me,
"Few local celebrities in." He raised his eyebrow and served the guy next to me.
I shrugged, probably some local news reader or something.

I spotted Adele leaning on the cigarette machine in the corner and I handed her the beer.
"Cheers" she smiled slugging at it and checking out the guys around the room.
"This is silly," she sighed, "there is not one hottie."
"Mmm," I hummed in my throat, debating whether to buy some Camels or not form the machine next to me.
"HANG ON! Check out that ass whoa, I'd pay to ride that thing."
I looked up to see tight black jeans a few people ahead of me. I recognised those jeans, I washed them a couple of days ago, I recognised that ass...
"Billie Joe," I whispered.
Adele looked at me, she said something but it didn't register, my heart was bungee jumping to my stomach. I swallowed hard.

Suddenly I felt a sharp stab in my ribs and I looked at Adele who nodded towards me. I died at the face that appeared in front of me. Will.
SHIT. Was my immediate reaction, ex-boyfriend and Billie Joe in the same bar a couple of feet away from each other.
"Erin, hey." Will smiled his auburn hair cut shorter and ruffled.
"Hey Will," I groaned, barely looking at him but focused on the ass that was at the other end of the bar, hoping to God he didn't turn around.
"You look good." He smiled, drinking the clear liquid in his glass.
"Thanks, so do you." I mumbled.

Adele was taking all this in next to me; she exchanged a small nod with Will. They hated each other, Adele threatened to cut his balls off with a butcher knife once and ever since then, Will has always been well, not that keen on her.
I took in Will's features, his sharp nose, his grey eyes, compared to Billie; I wondered how I was ever attracted to him.
"What's that you're drinking Will?" I asked, not at all interested and wondering why he hadn't left yet.
"Gin and Tonic."
Adele snorted at this, and I knew she was thinking, 'the fucking woman'.
I stared at Will, wondering whether he'd mention his missed call, but he didn't.
"Well... Er... you heard that Green Day is in here drinking tonight? Well the drummer and the singer."
"Tre Cool and Billie Joe," I stated coldly.
"Yeah, well Erin..." I heard Adele pipe up but I stood sharply on her foot to prevent her from dropping in that I knew them, one of them especially, very well.
"I didn't know you were a fan." Will raised his eyebrows ignoring Adele's gestures to him.
"Yeah well..." I shrugged, "It was nice seeing you."
If he wasn't wrapping things up quick, I sure was.

"ERIN!" Tre Cool screamed and jumped on me, licking the side of my face.
"EW TRE!" I yelled slapping his arm. I felt Adele freeze next to me.
"HOW ARE YA!" He asked hugging me.
"I'm good, what the hell are you doing here?" I asked completely chuffed that he had decided to come over now Will was here.
"Getting wasted." He grinned, "Hey Adele" he waved at her, "Don't feel faint do ye?"
Adele smiled shyly and shook her head.
"Billie's down there Erin." Tre's eyes glinted.
He knew about us.
"Oh right." I smiled back, on edge in case he let slip in front of Will.
"I'll see you Erin." Will whispered, looking at Tre quickly.
"Who are you?" Tre asked abruptly.
Will shifted backwards clearly uncomfortable.
"That's Will, Tre, he's an old friend," I mumbled.
Tre smiled at me and offered his hand to him, "Hello Erin's Ex, I'm Tre Cool." Tre grinned as Will nodded uncomfortably and walked away waving at me and Adele silently.
I burst out laughing.
"Why did you say that?"
Tre grinned, taking my hand and leading me and Adele to the other end of the bar.
"Coz he wants you back, he wouldn't have come over otherwise and I know that Bill has seen you naked so..."
"TRE!" I snapped.
"What? You're more suited to Bill anyway, I mean, how in the name of holy hell did that loser pull you?"
"I wasn't protesting that I was..."
"Ssh," Tre snapped, "Wait there behind that guy, hang on."

He disappeared into the crowd and I turned to Adele who had been silent this whole time.
"Holy Fuck..." she mouthed.
I rolled my eyes at her, hoping to god that she wouldn't faint when she saw Billie Joe.
Soon Billie appeared stumbling through the crowds, Tre's hands plastered over his eyes and corona in hand. He looked beautiful.
I gasped; I couldn't take my eyes away from him. Tre made a 'ssh' sign with his mouth as Billie stopped right in front of me.
"Tre seriously, what the fuck man."
Billie snapped and I had to hold my breath so I didn't laugh.
"Okay Bill, TA DA!" His hands moved from Billie's face and as green eyes focused on me, a smile grew on his lips.
"Erin," he whispered bringing me in for a hug and kissing my cheek.

I felt myself melting into his touch.
"What are you doing here?" he asked
"Well...err...drinking Billie, what about you?"
"The same." He giggled, not taking his eyes off me.
"That's such an amazing coincidence." He smiled.
"See, good surprise," Tre yelled, but we didn't answer. It was just me and Billie standing staring at each other in this little bubble.
Billie's suddenly snapped back to reality.
"Err, yeah, well...wanna drink?" he asked.
"No I'm good for a bit, thanks." I gestured to my half full corona.
It suddenly hit me that Adele was behind me and I whipped around, "Billie this is... "

She was gone. I panicked,
"You okay?" Billie asked hand on my shoulder.
"No Adele was just here a minute ago and... "
Where did she go? I frantically swept my eyes across the bar trying to spot her but to no prevail.
I grabbed Tre's shoulder as he finished signing some random dudes t-shirt.
"Tre have you seen Adele?"
"Your cute little buddy? Nah I dunno where she went."
I turned around in horror as Billie latched onto my arm.
"Hey, hey, come on we'll find her, she couldn't have gotten far."

My mind clicked to bathroom and I raced towards the ladies loo, Billie following me looking almost as panicked as me. God he was so sweet, I didn't know how he could get as concerned as he didn't even know her.
I swung open the bathroom door as Billie waited outside and I saw her sitting on the edge of the sink.
"Where have you been? I've been looking everywhere for you Del? I was introducing you to Billie."
Adele looked up at me, Corona finished.
"I...I bottled it, I can't speak to him."
"What do you mean?" I asked nervously walking towards her like she was a bomb about to explode.
"I mean...that guy out there; he's been like my idol since I was 10. I mean I love his music, I...I can't...I'm not fit to lick his shoes. I mean, what if he hates me? I'd kill myself, I'd rather never meet him than him hate me."

I brought my arms around my friend and hugged her. Normally I'd slap her face and say get a grip, but for some reason I understood where she was coming from.
"Come on Dele, he's the sweetest guy you'll ever meet. He got really concerned about you and he doesn't even know you." I laughed pulling her from the sink.
"Yeah only coz he likes you though. I saw the way he looked at you; you guys look so lovely together."
I smiled and kissed her cheek.
"Come on," I said softly, bringing her out if the toilet.
Billie stood up frantically from the wall he was leaning on.
"Did you find her?" he asked, his eyes darting to me.
"Yeah, Billie Joe, Adele, Adele Billie Joe. She's a big fan of yours Billie."

Billie grabbed Adele's hand and shook it.
"You have good taste," he joked.
Adele went ghost like as she looked at him.
"Are you okay?" Billie asked concern running over his face.
"I...I think she's a bit under the weather," I made an excuse; I couldn't tell him that she was so obsessed with him, that his touch was killing her.
Adele smiled at him weakly, "I...I think I have the flu," she gabbled at him.
"Oh, dude, that's awful and Erin dragged you out? Hmmm." He looked at me and grinned slightly. I cocked a silly grin too; he could smell an obsessive fan a mile away.
Adele looked at her hand that he had just released from his grip.
"I...I... "
She suddenly wobbled on the spot.
"I...think I'll get a drink and leave you guys to it." She sighed at him and walked away to order.

Billie turned to me after watching her walk away.
"Cute friend." He smiled.
"You've made her night; she's been a fan since she was 10."
Billie chuckled as he grabbed my hand and led me to a table where a few guys were sitting. I recognised one in the flat cap.
"Guys this is Erin, Erin you know Freese right? That's Mark and Stu, they work down at the studio."
"Hey." I waved sliding into the booth next to Billie. My leg brushed his and I inhaled trying desperately to keep my composure.
"Well Bill, we're gonna take off I think." Stu got up and high fived Billie.
"Nice meeting you Erin." Mark smiled at me.

After saying their goodbyes Billie turned to me.
"So Erin, lets get some drinks and share."
"Share what?" I asked as he raised his eyebrow at me.
"Well...not a bed just yet, but you know I wanna know all about you, your family and stuff."
I smiled at him, "Okay, get me a Jack Daniels and Coke and we'll SHARE," I mocked as he rose and slapped my leg.
"I'm being nice."
"Well, lets get Jagermeister shots and then I'LL be nice." I grinned pitching his arm as he walked to the bar.

I looked across the room spotting Tre and Adele chatting, I grinned at them as another guy and girl joined in their conversation and Adele made a rude gesture behind the girl's back.
I could tell she had Tre-pulling intentions.
Billie appeared in front of me with the drinks.
"Go on then, move up." He frowned concentrating on not spilling the alcohol.
I moved up the booth as he carefully placed the drinks down.
"There yaw go."
"Thank you very much, that was quick by the way."
"What can I say I'm awesome." He rocked his head confidently. He picked up his shot as I did mine and we both knocked it back.
He coughed silently looking at me.
"Whoa," he laughed. "Nice touch."
I giggled at him.
"So, spill, life story so far please," He asked, picking up his drink and looking truly interested.
"Well, I was born in England, studied and lived there; I have a brother called Dave who I never see as he lives in London. My ma and pa moved to Greece when I was at Uni, and I and my cousin Adele decided to move out here five years ago to study and"

Billie's hand moved to my thigh. "Woa," he said, "That's interesting."
"Not as interesting as your life I'm sure."
"Hmmm." He smiled. "Well I was born in Rodeo, Cali, err, I have three sisters two brothers. My dad, Andy, died when I was 10, I dropped out of Berkeley High to start my band with Mike. We met Tre and formed Green Day. I met Adrienne in Minneapolis, we got married had two kids, now, err, erm, well... " he drifted off, taking a big gulp of his drink and squeezing my thigh.
"It's okay Billie, you took over the world and now you're here getting drunk with me."
He smiled at me.
"There is no one else I would be with." He giggled.
"You cheese," I teased placing my hand on his that lay on my leg.
"Was weird though, huh?" he asked moving closer to me.
"Of all the bars in all of the Bay area... "
"Nah, nah, nah," I teased holding his chin tenderly and bringing him in for a kiss.

It was so soft and I could taste the alcohol on his tender lips. Shivers ran through my back as his hand moved further up my leg.
"Billie," I moaned as he broke the kiss, my mouth excreting soft moans, my body completely paralysed at his touch.
He lifted his head from my neck a grin spread on his face like always.
"We're bad you know, this is a public place. Anyone could be watching this."
I bit my lip at his gravely tone, if this was anyone else I would have flipped my head back and laughed at the silliness of the line, but from Billie's mouth, this excited me, this made me want to be bad.

Suddenly the mood was cut as Tre and Adele plonked themselves down opposite us, looking very drunk.
"Erin," Adele slurred, "Can we go? I have to work tomorrow and ya know...I'm a bit drunk." She burst out laughing.
"I see that," I snarled, a bit angry that she ruined the prospect of me and Billie visiting the bathroom.
Billie grabbed my hand under the table, "Yeah Tre, let's get a cab with Erin and Adele."
Tre nodded, seemingly unable to make words, his eyes darted to me and he grinned evilly.
I laughed as Billie frowned at him, "Let's go Tre, how many drinks did you accept off people this time?"
We all rose from the booth and made for the door.
"ABA' I DUNNO, WHA ABA' DEL?" Tre slurred balancing on her shoulder.
"I'dsayatleast60," Adele stuttered as they both burst out laughing. Me and Billie exchanged parental glances and started laughing. He took my hand as we hit the sidewalk, waiting for a cab to roll by.
I started to shiver as I watched Adele and Tre dance dramatically on the streetlight.

"SINGIN IN THE RAIN YEAH," Tre screeched.
"You're no fuckin Gene Kelly!" Billie yelled at him.
"Lightweights," I muttered. Billie chuckled and brought his arms around my body. I leaned against his chest, thinking that the cab could take three days if necessary, just so I could be encased in him like this for longer.
But the cab did show up and we managed to get Tre and Adele safely buckled inside with us. I rested my head on Billie's shoulder on the ride home. He smelled so good.
I got of out of the cab and grabbed the sleepy Adele, she rested heavily on my shoulder. Completely out of it.
I sighed, "This is why we never go out," I whispered at Billie as he stood facing me on the sidewalk, that beautiful grin on his face.
"Yeah well... "
"IS THAT YOUR REAL NAME? DAMN DUDE IT SOUNDS LIKE ICE CREAM!" Tre's voice echoed on the silent street as he yelled at the Italian taxi driver.
We both grinned at each other.
"Night Erin, I'll see you tomorrow."
"Good Night Billie Joe." I grinned. Biting my lip to prevent an 'I love you' escaping my mouth.
He walked closer to me and planted a soft kiss on my lips. I wrapped my arms around the moaning Adele and watched as he got into the car and drove off.