Never the Same

Prompt:  Eye Contact: Write about two people seeing each other for the first time.

The roar of the crowd was muted deep in the bowels of the arena, but it was still noticeable even over the bustle of the backstage personnel. He reached down to give the wrinkled puckers of fabric on his tightly-fit dark denim jeans a tug to straighten the edges where the hems broke over his scuffed boots.

He loved those boots. They were black leather motorcycle boots with the stirrup strap and rivets. They’d been through a lot of good times together from concerts to bars to bike rides. He could afford to own hundreds of pairs of shoes, but he always seemed to come back to the boots.

The boots meant freedom to him. With the hectic lifestyle he led with the band’s overloaded concert schedule, he seldom had any free time. When he wasn’t on stage somewhere, he was giving interviews or in a studio recording new tracks or holed up somewhere trying to make the jumble of notes and words in his head organize themselves into magic on paper or flow easily from his fingers and guitar’s strings. Riding his Harley was not something he got to do very often. If his manager had his way, he’d never do it.

He bit back the sigh that wanted to escape. Feeling sorry for himself wasn’t something he was going to give in to anytime soon. He hated that shit. Poor, lonely rockstar. No one would believe him if he were to give voice to that thought out loud. He rolled his spine back up as he rose to his full 6’4″ height.

He’d no sooner stood up straight when he was forced to bend again as the stylist flitted to a stop in front of him. She was a tiny bird of a woman. He doubted she even reached five foot. She reminded him of his grandmother with her green jeweled glasses and dyed black hair. She had to be nearly sixty, but she had been with them from the start and she was the only one he let touch his hair.

“Let me…,” she began, and he bent over a bit so she could reach his hair. He waited patiently while the twitchy woman worked her fingers through the rich tobacco brown strands of his choppy, shoulder length hair. Russet and amber colored highlights glinted throughout the thick strands. He was often asked who colored his hair, and he’d smile and say, “Mother Nature.”

As the pint-sized stylist manically fussed through his hair, his dark brown gaze drifted to watch the foot traffic he could see passing by out in the hallway behind her. It was always the same people – security, assistants, roadies, techs and various other hangers-on.

The woman finished his hair and turned to reach for a makeup case she had sitting nearby. She latched onto a huge, feathery brush and dipped it into some flesh-toned powder. When she went to take a swipe at his face, he quickly stepped back.

“No,” his husky voice rasped out. He heard a masculine snort of laughter at the same time she asked, “No? You’re a little dewy tonight, Dev.” The snort came again, and he looked up to glare at his friend, the band’s drummer.

“I’m good, Magda,” he told the stylist. He gave her a smile and she reached up to brush some powder she had spilled off of the form-fitting black band t-shirt he had on. Her small hands flitted across his stomach, and he waited patiently until she was satisfied he was presentable.

She hurried off to check on the other band members and the two backup singers. He raised a brow as his best friend snorted again.

“Magda had to touch the six pack!” Ricky chortled.

“Shut up.”

“Come on,” his friend, the jackass continued to rib him. “All the women want you. Did she touch your ass, too?”

“Shut the hell up,” he grumbled, trying not to smile at the goofy grin on Ricky’s face. He and Ricky had been tight since they were ten. Ricky had moved to his neighborhood and they had found themselves in the same fifth grade classroom. Their friendship had been inevitable when Ricky told him his favorite band was the Foo Fighters. He’d been stuck with the horse’s ass ever since.

“Devan and Magda sittin’ in a tree,” Ricky sang, and then stopped and quickly ducked, laughing as a lazy punch swung in the direction of his head.

“Five minutes, gentlemen!” a fussy voice interrupted their clowning around. He did sigh this time, and he flipped off the tour manager’s back as he rushed by and bustled through, gathering them all up to herd them towards the stage. Ricky laughed again as he saw the gesture.

One of the guitar techs brought him his Gibson Les Paul, and he stood still while the tech fastened the leather strap for him and hooked the wireless transmitter to the back of his jeans.

He thanked him and looked up as their bass player, Treat and their rhythm guitarist, Zach joined them both. They were all ready for the stage. Ricky made a fist, and he put his hand on top of Ricky’s fist. Treat’s hand covered his, and Zach’s went on top of Treat’s. Their two backup singers, Tiffany and Kayla, hurried over to get in on their traditional pre-concert ritual. They crowded in with the four guys and put their hands on top.

“We gonna kick some ass?” Treat bellowed, and they all yelled an affirmative response.

“Who’s gonna blow the rafters off?” Ricky cried.

“We are!” they all yelled.

They tossed their joined hands high in the air and broke for the door.  As lead singer and lead guitarist, he brought up the rear as they stepped out into the hallway.

He felt the hum of excitement as he strode towards the stage and the hometown crowd. They’d been a band for over ten years, and they were at the top of their game, playing venues all over the world. Even though they were world-famous, it was always good to come home again.

As nice as it was, though, it was true that every town and city had begun to look the same. The faces that crowded the stage, cheering them on, had begun to blur, and the playlist of songs sometimes felt stale. He had lately begun to wish for something more, perhaps a life beyond the stage, something he could call ‘normal’ in the chaos that surrounded him.

As he followed the band towards the stage, he noticed a crowd of dignitaries and VIP’s standing over near one of the arena’s hospitality suites. The crowd seemed to part at just the right moment, and there she was.

He stopped in his tracks as his eyes met hers. Her huge baby blues looked boldly back at him. Who was she? She was absolute perfection, her petite body exquisitely dressed in a vivid red dress and black platform stiletto heels. Her white blonde hair cascaded wildly down her back.

As he gazed longingly at her, the tour manager hurried back to push him along towards the stage and the waiting crowd. He refused to break eye contact with the glamorous blonde. He had to find out who she was. He needed to meet her because he knew his life was never ever going to be the same again.





5 thoughts on “Never the Same

  1. Layer upon layer of descriptive writing that truly brought this to life. From the snort of derision when Magda tried to dust his face, the smack upsides his head from his pal upto the moment his eyes connected you had me. Nicely placed words a good read, thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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