They don’t know
And they don’t care
And they’d kill me if they could
Save them, and then save me
I can’t do it by myself
I’m not scared
Their ridicule has now become a tool
And it makes me stronger
** Mark’s Outtake **
Joey’s nervousness around Dad had disappeared. She seemed right at home now. I was sure it had something to do with their talk that night in his kitchen.
He took Joey back to the airport that morning because I had to meet up with the guys at the bus.
She had been worried about the argument Ponsi and I had before the show last night. I assured her we were fine, that we never stayed mad at each other long.
I had been right. Ponsi was waiting just outside, pacing. We both apologized at the same time.
Ponsi: I got out of hand.
Mark: Nah, you didn‘t. I mean, I all but attacked you.
Ponsi: Listen though, I’m not going to stop seeing Sarah. It’s not a big deal, we’re just hanging out.
I held my hands in the air and shook my head “I’m not gonna say I get it, but whatever man. I can’t tell you who not to see. Just be careful? And don’t say I didn’t warn you.”
Ponsi: Fairly warned.
Mark: And if she starts playing games or messing with Joey and me, I can’t promise I won’t step up and say something.
Mark: We’re cool then?
Ponsi: We’re cool.
He slung an arm around my neck pretending to put me in a choke hold as we boarded the bus.
It had now been two and half weeks since we’d seen each other in Ohio. I was supposed to be going home for two days this week in between shows, but Joey had just told me that her mom called and wanted to come visit her.
“I had no idea she’d take me up on my offer to come out, this week. I can’t tell her no, I had pressed her about visiting.” Joey said.
“I’ll still come. The three of us can hang out. Show your mom some of the sights?” I offered.
Joey: I can’t let you do that. And I know. I know I’m not being fair. I’m the one who threw a fit about us not getting to see each other enough while you’re on tour. But, this is a huge deal for her. She’s never left Indiana. And she’s already scheduled time off work.
Mark: You didn’t throw a fit. You expressed your feelings. And it’s okay.
Joey: So you’re not mad?
Mark: Of course not! You can’t help that she called on short notice. It’s your mom, she needs to do this.
Joey sighed: You’re so sweet to understand. And you know I want to see you like crazy. But things have been wild for you. Use these two days to rest. Or de-stress.
Mark: Two more weeks. Only two. And I’ll be home for a month.
Joey: I can’t wait! And I’m gonna make this up to you!
I could feel her blush through the phone.
“Hey, I didn’t say HOW I‘d make it up to you!” she laughed.
“Miss you, baby.” I said quietly.
“Miss you too.” she whispered.
After I knew I wouldn’t be going home, Isom and I scheduled a dj set at a club one of the nights we had off.
Isom wanted to stay and hang out at the club afterward, but I was ready to go. Sean stayed with him and I went back to the hotel.
I rounded the corner in the hall leading to our rooms and ran right into a lady causing her to drop and spill her purse.
“I’m sorry. Are you okay? Let me help you!” I knelt to help pick up her belongings.
It wasn’t until she spoke that I looked up and realized I knew her.
“Always the gentleman, huh Mark?” she asked.
I was face to face with Sarah.
“What the He—…” I stopped myself, she was crying. “What are you doing here?”
“I flew in to spend a few days with Ponsi.” she answered, wiping tears from her face.
“Oh. He hadn’t said anything about you coming.” I said.
Her face fell a little “He didn’t? Hmm. Oh, hey, I know why! He said you weren’t going to be here. That you were going home for a couple of days, so he probably didn’t think to tell you.”
“Yeah, I had a change of plans.“ I hesitated, but asked “So, why are you leaving his room so late? And crying?”
I noticed she had her suitcase.
Sarah: Oh, it’s nothing. He just let me come all this way to tell me he doesn’t think we should see each other anymore. I don’t know why I’m crying, it’s stupid. We weren’t even serious. It’s just…the rejection I guess.
We stood there awkwardly for a minute.
Sarah: Anyway, I should get going. He offered to let me stay there with him, said that we could just hang out. I mean, he was nice about it and all. But, I just couldn’t. I’ll get a room and leave out tomorrow.
I knew she was waiting for me to ask. And I really shouldn’t, after our history together. But, it wasn’t like anything was going to happen now.
I sighed “There’s no reason you should pay for a room this late, it’s only a few hours til morning. Do you want to stay with me? I mean, not ‘with me’, but in my room?”
She flung her arms around my neck “Oh, Mark! You’re the best!”
She hurried along behind me in too high heels that she had trouble walking in, pulling her luggage on wheels along with her.
“You won’t even know I’m there. I’ll sleep on the couch, a chair, anything.” she said.
Just as we were entering my room, Cubbie came out his door. He paused and raised his eyebrows at me questioningly.
Sarah went on inside.
I shook my head “It’s not what you think. It’s a long story.”
“I didn’t ask. But, if you say so.” Cubbie replied.
* * Joey’s Outtake * *
I called Mark last night and he didn’t answer. I thought it a little odd, given he had the night off, but figured maybe he and the guys had gone out or something. I hoped he was doing something fun. I was still feeling a little bad for cancelling our visit.
He text me this morning and said he was sorry he missed my call, that he and Isom had done a dj set. He was tired afterward and crashed.
Mom was liking California. We went to the beach the next three days in a row.
Mom: I think I could learn to love it here!
Mom: Yeah. I saw some cute townhouses near the beach. I’d love to walk down and watch the sunset every evening.
“You saw some townhouses? Are you looking for a place?” I laughed.
She took in a breath “Well, I wasn’t going to say anything until I was sure.”
Joey: Until you were sure about what?
Mom: Well, I came here, to kinda get a feel for it. To see how I liked it.
Joey: You’re thinking about moving here?
Mom: Would it bother you?
If someone would’ve asked even a few months ago, I would’ve been uneasy about it.
Mom: I mean, not ‘here’, specifically. Maybe nearer the ocean?
Joey: Mom! It wouldn’t bother me. I’d love to have you close! But, this is huge. You’ve only taken it in for a few days. And what about your job?
Mom: I’m so ready for a change. I’m sure I can find something to pay the rent. I’ve also…kinda been talking to a guy at a local art gallery about showing some of my work.
Joey: Seriously?! Why haven’t you told me?! That’s great!
Mom: I don’t know. I didn’t want to jinx anything, until I knew. I’m supposed to go meet him and look at the place tomorrow.
Joey: I’ll take you.
Mom: No. You go on to work. I need to learn how to get around this place. Columbus, Indiana it is not.
Joey: No, it’s definitely not! Are you sure?
Mom: Yes! I have a bus schedule.
I laughed “Okay, okay, but if you get lost, or need anything you call me!
Mom: Thanks for the confidence.
“Hey, I didn’t learn my way around in a day. It took some time. Still does some days.” I wrapped my arm around her and leaned my head on her shoulder. “I’m sure you’ll do just fine.”
“Thank you.” she smiled.
About a week after mom had gone back, my phone rang in the middle of the night.
A drunk Isom was on the other end “Joey! Iz that chyou?”
Joey: Yes, it’s me. Are you okay?
Isom: Where. Are. You?!
Joey: I’m at home. In L.A. Where are you?
Isom: I’m at a parteee! You should be here!
Joey: Is someone there with you?
I could here music and laughing.
Isom: There’re lots of someones here.
Joey: Are you at a club?
Isom: Nope, A party. Hey! There’s Mark! Mark! I’m talking to your girlfriennnd.
I heard the phone shuffle around.
Mark: Why’d you call me on Isom’s phone?
Joey: I didn’t.
Mark: Well, thisss isn’t MY phone!
Joey: He called me. Oh my gosh are you guys ever drunk!
Mark: Yeah. I think we are.
Joey: You think? Do you know where you are?
Mark: Hey, Isom, where are we?
“At a parteee!” Isom yelled from somewhere.
Mark: At a party.
I laughed “Yeah, I kinda got that. Is there anyone there with you who isn’t drunk?”
“Umm…” Mark was quiet a second. “Yes. Yeah. It’s Andy. He’s not drunk.”
“Can I talk to Andy?” I asked.
Joey: No? Why not?
Mark: ‘Cause you’re MY girlfriend.
Joey: I am your girlfriend. Do you know anyone else at the party?
Mark: Nope, I jus’ know the guyz.
I could tell there were lots more people there than just the guys.
Joey: Go hang around with Andy, okay?
Mark: Okay. He’s a pretty cool guy.
Joey: Yes, he is. You’ll call me tomorrow, okay?
Mark: I don’t wanna say bye yet.
Joey: You don’t have to.
Mark: I wish…that you were here. Right now.
Joey: And I wish you were here.
It sounded like somebody called his name.
Mark: I guess the guyz are leavin’ now.
Joey: Alright. You should go with them.
I trusted that Andy would get them back to the bus, or hotel, or wherever they were going.
I heard Isom “I need my phone back,”
Mark: I gotta give hiz phone back now.
“Say g’bye already. Byyyye Joey!” I heard Isom close to the phone.
Mark: Stop rushing me, dude!
Isom: Dude! Iss MY phone!
It sounded like Isom was literally pulling on it.
Mark: Hey, I gotta go! Love you!
Joey: Okay, bye! Love you too!
And he was gone. I sat back against my pillows, my hand over my mouth. I couldn’t breathe. What had I just done?
Hey, sweetie! Thanks so much! I actually have the next part ready. Hope you enjoy! ;)
OH My GOd!! 😍💙💗💖💟💓💜💛💚💞💕💘💗