Havoc:Mayhem Series #4By: Jamie Shaw
A quiet chuckle escapes me as their drunken cackles echo down the city streets.
“You are so bad!” the girl in the fishnets says. “But I hear he never hooks up with fans.”
“Ever. You’d have better luck with the bass player.”
“But I hear his girlfriend is batshit crazy . . .”
“Crazier than you?” Fishnets asks, and Cheetah Print pushes her while they giggle and continue fantasizing about my cousin’s ex.
It makes me gaze down the sidewalk at Danica, wondering if in some alternate universe, we could still be friends. Maybe I’d actually have fun at rock shows. Maybe she’d stop being so mean. Maybe we’d like living together.
Maybe we’d even gossip about boys.
Presented with two options—banging my head repeatedly against the telephone pole until this night finally ends, or extending Danica an olive branch—I take a deep breath and walk back toward the club.
“I have an idea,” I offer as she hangs up her phone.
“First time for everything.”
Ignoring her jab, I ask, “Don’t bands like this have tour buses?”
While she stands there staring blankly at me, I wait for her to tell me what an idiot I am, or how stupid my idea is. But instead, the corners of her mouth start pulling up, and she smiles. Really smiles.
“See,” she says, beaming down at me, and she’s so sincerely happy, I can’t help smiling back.
“I knew you weren’t completely useless.”
“Didn’t I tell you he was hot?” Danica asks as I sit on the pavement in front of the band’s double-decker tour bus, picking a rock out of the sole of my sneaker. I scratch at it with my nub of a fingernail, mentally tallying how many times she’s said that word over the past week.
Mike’s band has gotten so hot.
They performed with Cutting the Line. Cutting the Line is so hot.
Mike wasn’t this hot in high school. Look at this picture. Do you think he’s hot? Hailey, are you even looking?
“Hailey, are you even listening?” Danica scolds, nudging my knee with the toe of her boot as I chip a short fingernail on the rock still wedged in my shoe.
I stare way up at her, wondering if she kicks everyone when they don’t give her their undivided attention, or just me. Was she this bossy with Mike when they were together? What did he even see in her?
“Yeah,” I finally answer. “He was okay.”
“Okay?” she scoffs. “Are you blind?”
I’m not blind. I just don’t feel like answering stupid questions at one o’clock in the morning. Of course I saw how hot he was. Everyone did. The girl in the cheetah print did, the girl in the fishnets did, and I’m guessing a hundred other girls did too, and each one of them will be jealous of Danica, and I’m pretty sure that’s exactly why she’s making me sit out here in the cold next to a locked behemoth of a tour bus. What does she want me to do? Congratulate her on how hot her soon-to-be boyfriend is?
“Adam was hotter,” I lie.
“Huh?” Danica scrunches her nose, and my expression changes to match her confusion.
“Who do you even think I’m talking about? The lead singer. Adam. Do you ever listen to anything I say?”
I free the rock from my shoe and stand up, dusting off the back of my jeans. We’ve been waiting out here for so long, my ass is numb and the rest of the fans have left. “If you’re so in love with Adam, why didn’t you date him instead of Mike?”
“Yeah, right,” Danica scoffs, and when I just stare at her, she rolls her eyes. “They have some stupid bro code or something,” she explains as she combs her fingers through the smooth hair hanging over her shoulder. “Mike was always in love with me, so Adam wouldn’t go for it. Believe me, I tried.”
I don’t even know how to respond to that, and I apparently don’t need to because Danica orders, “Stop looking at me like that.”
“Why are we even here?”
I can guess, but I’ve spent the past few weeks trying to give her the benefit of the doubt. Now, I’m tired, I’m bored, I’m cold, and any sense of self-preservation I had got smashed somewhere inside the pit of Mayhem. I don’t care if I make her mad or that she has the power to make my life hell—I just want an explanation for why I smell like armpit and can’t feel the tips of my fingers.