Running Up That Hill – Day 5

“Bad news comes
Don’t you worry even when it lands
Good news is on the way
And we all float on OK.”

-Goldspot ‘Float On’

“Did you sleep here all night?” I was nudged awake the next morning. What was going on? I opened my eyes and staring down at me was Leighanne, looking deeply concerned.

I didn’t know what she had to be concerned over, I had just fallen asleep on the couch. It wasn’t that big a deal, was it?

“Yeah,” I said, sitting up slightly. “I guess I did.”

She sat down next to me, and I tried to compose myself and wake up a little. The couch didn’t make for a very restful sleep, that’s for sure.

“Are you okay?”

I turned to look at her. No Leigh, I’m not okay. What was your first clue? “I guess,” I shrugged, not knowing what else to say to her.

“Are you sure? You seem really out of it lately, you’re off in your own little world all the time and it’s starting to scare me.”

I sighed. Truthfully, I didn’t know what my problem really was. Under any normal circumstance, I would have been thrilled to have this time off. The fact that we had to stop the tour for AJ’s problems was really taking it’s toll on me. “I think it’s just the AJ thing,” I said.

“That’s all?” She questioned, like she didn’t believe it. I couldn’t really blame her, because I wasn’t telling her the whole story.

“I kind of miss the other guys,” I admitted.

She raised an eyebrow. “You were on tour with them for an entire year, Brian.”

“I know that. I just feel like we need each other right now.”

She continued to look at me with concern. “Nothing’s stopping you from calling one of them up,” she reminded me.

That wasn’t what it was truly about, but what she said did have some truth in it. Even if Leighanne didn’t really understand what was going on in my head, she was right about that part. If I did want to start connecting with Nick or any of the others again, I’d have to take that first step and give them a call.

“You’re right,” I smiled.

~~~

Papers, papers, papers. All I’d come out of the meeting with the day before were more things to file. Well, that wasn’t entirely true, but it sure felt like it.

I’d been offered a new tidbit of information that the record company hadn’t bothered to share with us. The launch of a greatest hits compilation. Naturally I wasn’t impressed with the idea. I didn’t like the thought that the group might be ending or even slowing down. Releasing a compilation album was not going to help that notion go away.

However, it seemed like it was already in the works. If there was one thing about the record company that really irked me, it was that. The big decisions that we somehow always managed to get left out of. It was hard for us to come to every single meeting since we were on the road a lot, but it wasn’t hard to get a hold of us to ask for our opinion. They just weren’t interested in our opinion. It made me feel like it was sort of pointless for us to go to the meetings in the first place.

I’m sure that was a large part of why the others didn’t bother to go, but I still enjoyed it. I hoped that eventually, by learning all this business stuff I’d be able to contribute and hopefully we’d be able to have our say in how the group was run. I just needed to keep learning about the business side of the entertainment industry before it could get to that point. I admit, it’s a little frustrating that we don’t have much say over our own group.

It was in major decisions like this, that we needed to be unified. I knew that the others were going to be on board that this was a bad idea as well. After sleeping on it, I decided that we just needed to get a plan together and present it to the executives.

I picked up my phone and dialed Kevin’s number. It rang a couple of times before he picked up.

“Hey,” he answered. “How was the meeting?”

“It was… interesting. I think that the four of us should get together and discuss it sometime this weekend. Or early next week.” It was weird hearing myself say ‘the four of us’.

“Okay… maybe Monday? Do we have to have Nick and Brian fly in? Maybe we can just do a conference call,” he suggested.

“Whatever you want,” I said. It’d be nice to have all of us get together, but a conference call would work just as well.

“Well we can talk it over with them and see. I’m sure Brian probably won’t want to leave Atlanta.”

“You’re probably right about that,” I laughed a little. Brian was turning into quite the family man. “I’ll talk to them and let you know.”

“Sounds good,” he said.

Not bothering to make small talk, we ended the conversation quickly. I took another look at the papers on my desk. Sighing, I picked up the phone to call Nick, figuring he’d be easier to convince to get to LA. It would be nice to see each other in person instead of just doing a call. I figured if I was able to tell Brian that Nick was flying in, he’d be easier to convince.

Nick’s phone rang and eventually went to the answering machine. Instead of leaving a message, I just hung up. I figured I’d just call him later, Nick was terrible at returning calls anyway.

~~~

“Who was on the phone?” Kris asked me before turning our attention back to the movie we had been watching.

“Howie,” I said. “He wants all of us to get together to discuss the meeting he went to yesterday.”

“The meeting you were supposed to go to?” She said with a grin.

I shook my head. “I wasn’t really supposed to go to the meeting, I just had the option… and I chose not to.”

Not a minute after she had pressed play on the remote, the phone rung again. This time Kris answered it. It didn’t really matter, because it turned out to be for me.

“I guess you’re popular today,” she laughed as she handed me the receiver. “It’s Brian.”

“I guess so,” I said, taking it from her. “Hello?”

“Hey, how’s it going?”

“Not bad,” I paused, wondering what he was calling about. It had only been a couple of minutes since I’d talked to Howie. “Did Howie call you already?” I asked skeptically.

“What? No… why would he be calling me?”

So Brian was just phoning me up randomly That was kind of odd. “He went to a meeting with the record company yesterday and said that we should get together to discuss it. I thought that it might be better to just do a conference call.”

“I can come to LA if you want,” he said quickly.

“Uh okay, you don’t have to. We can just do a call.”

“No, I’d like to come in and see you guys. Monday?”

He was acting really weird. Normally on our time off he couldn’t distance himself further from us. Him being so gung-ho about getting together was a little out of character. Then again, all of us were acting a little weird given the current situation. “Yeah, that’s fine. You should give Howie a call, he’s the one organizing this whole thing.”

“Of course, entrepreneur Howie,” he laughed. I did too.

“It’s a good thing one of us is taking on that role,” I said. It was fitting that Howie was getting interested in the business world. He always did enjoy talking about the industry and was very good at it.

“Well, I guess I’ll give him a call then,” he paused. “See you soon, Kev.”

“Yup, bye,” I hung up the phone and hoped there would be no more interruptions.

~~~

Where was I? I sat up too quickly and nearly blacked out. Okay, mental note, do not ever sit up that fast ever again! Looking around, I realized I was in my basement. How the hell did I end up there? Why did I not go to sleep in my room.. or at least a bed?

Making my way over to the bathroom on the main floor, I looked at the clock on my VCR. 3:00 pm!? How did I manage to sleep for so long? I guess that’s what happens when you party until the bar closes. Which is what I think I did.

Once I got to the bathroom, I looked at myself in the mirror. My face was all messed up from sleeping on the floor. Damn carpet! I rubbed it, trying to make some of the marks go away. It didn’t really work. I sighed, the worst part about drinking was the hangover the next day. Turning on the tap, I splashed some water on my face. That made me feel only slightly better.

I debated having a shower, but instead I decided to go watch some TV. Dammit, it was my time off and I don’t have to shower all the time if I don’t want to!

As I walked down the hall to the living room, I could hear the sounds of the TV. That was weird, I could have sworn I turned it off before going out.

“Hey,” Chris said as I entered the living room. He was just sitting on my couch, watching my TV. Why was he here still, or at all?

“Morning,” I muttered as I sat down on the couch next to him.

He laughed. “It’s hardly morning, I hope it’s cool that I hung out here until you got up.”

I shrugged. What else could I do? We both watched the TV for a couple of minutes. For some reason Chris had the Sci-Fi Channel on and was watching a rerun of Star Trek. I could deal with that, Star Trek was cool.

I wasn’t paying much attention to it, though. I was too busy trying to remember what had gone on the night before. I remembered meeting Chris, and I remembered drinking with him at the bar. What I didn’t remember was how we got back to my place or anyone else who may have come with us.

“This is going to sound weird, but what did we do last night?” I asked once the show went to a commercial. “Did we, um.. bring anyone else back here with us?”

“No,” he replied. “No one came back here with us.”

I gave him a weird look. “Wasn’t I supposed to be your wingman?”

“I didn’t say we didn’t sleep with any chicks. I just said we didn’t bring anyone back here,” he said with a cocky grin on his face. I was supposed to be the one with the cocky grins!

I crossed my arms and continued giving him a weird look. At least, I tried my best to give him a weird look. “You didn’t drug me, did you?” I blurted out. Smooth!

It was his turn to give me a weird look. “What? No, I’ll leave that to your crazy fans. If you must know, you were too paranoid to bring anyone back here and convinced a girl that that bathroom stall was good enough.”

I thought about that for a second. It did sound like me… I didn’t like bringing weird people back to my house, because then they’d know where I lived, and then they’d never leave me alone. “But I brought you back here?”

He shrugged and turned his attention back to Star Trek. “I guess you trust me.”

I wasn’t so sure about that.

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