High

Three young women have one thing in common: Music. They have their own issues such as suicide, alcoholism, weight gain and depression to deal with, besides their husbands rather fragile egos. These young women are going places, on their own terms and must overcome lifes’ obstacles. Do you think suicide, weight gain and fear will hold these woman down? No way. Beth must deal with her own inner demons and overprotective mother. She is in love with Jon, her guitar playing boyfriend. She is his muse, his inspiration for his music. He loves her except when she screws up. Stephanie has to learn to let go and shake off her abusive past, destructive parents and be free to love Ian, her bass playing husband. Heather is stuck in a humdrum relationship with Phil the pessimistic drummer and learns that breaking away sometimes is the payoff to success in the world. Catch up on all the hilarius girl talk in High.

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5. High

Chapter 4

 

The announcement hit the band like a bomb. Jon was going to Texas. It was a done deal, he’d be leaving Monday. Phil was crushed. Jon was his friend, he loved playing in the band and he wasn’t sure if Texas was the answer to Jon’s’ dreams. But it was worth a try, he had to admit.

 

Jon was young, had no ties and it was official that he and Beth were breaking up, he couldn’t handle any more of her drama. I was neutral on the situation. Of course I wanted the band to stay together but couldn’t deny that maybe Jon was better off in a bigger town, a town of guitar gun slingers and music agents on the prowl who were sure to see his talent and turn him into a mega star or demi guitar God. Did he have what it took? Time would tell.

 

I called Beth to see how she was doing. The phone rang twice and she picked up.

 

“Hello?” she said

 

“Hi Beth, its me, Heather.”

 

“Oh, hi….” She sounded sleepy.

 

“Sorry, did I wake you?”

 

“No, it’s this medicine I’m on makes me tired. I guess it’s an anit-depressant.”

 

“We were so worried about you.”

 

“I know. I’m an idiot.”

 

“No, you’re not…We understand.”

 

“Jon’s leaving.” She said bluntly.

 

“Yeah, I heard about that.”

 

“Well, screw him because I’m leaving too.”

 

“You’re going with him?”

 

“No, I’m moving to Brooklyn.”she said matter of factly.

 

“Brooklyn?” I was surprised.

 

“I heard it’s really way cool there. I want a fresh start, you know, no memories of the times we had together and all that shit. I need to get away.”

 

“Yeah, I can totally understand that…Are you sure you feel up to it?”

 

“Yes, I have got to get away from my mother, she is killing me.”

 

“Wow, alright. I am behind you if you need anything…You know you can always call me.”

 

“Thanks girlfriend. I will miss you.”

 

“Yes, we’ll all miss you too……Let’s have coffee before you take off, alright?”

 

“Alright.”

 

I hung up the phone. She was so fragile and then all this strength, strength to leave her home and run off to Brooklyn, away from her friends and family and Jon. I wonder if he knew yet. Of course he knew. I guess he was the first person she had told. Kids. They sure were crazy. Not like us old folks, all set in our ways, dinner at seven, chicken and mashed potatoes and green beans. It was so predictable and yet so comforting to be on our own little schedule outside from the madness in the world.

 

I went to the back room where Phil kept all his paraphernalia and rummaged through some boxes. I came across and old book of mine I had bought on the Internet. It was called, “ The Food Of Santa Fe.” I had forgotten how much I loved this book. It had beautiful color pictures of authentic recipes from the American Southwest. Dishes like Lobster Ceviche with Plantain Chips and Grilled Swordfish Tacos.

 

I would love to escape South Florida with Phil one day and head to Santa Fe. I could just imagine staying in a quaint little bed and breakfast, waking up to fresh coffee and croissants and spending the day rummaging through art galleries and antique shops, taking in all the fabulous art and native pottery and sculpture. Would Phil be into it? Highly unlikely. But it was one of my desires. There were things I wanted to do in life, places I wanted to see that had nothing to do with Phil. I walked into the living room where he was intonating an old guitar of his.

 

“Are you finished with that thing yet?” I asked.

 

“Nope. Do you like these stickers?” he pointed to a bunch of ratty stickers.

 

“I like the one with the Mickey Mouse on it.”

 

“Yeah, I like that one too.” He pressed it onto a drum.

 

“I talked to Beth, she’s moving to Brooklyn.”

 

“Really? Why? She planning on jumping off the Brooklyn Bridge? Ha, ha….”

 

I hit him.

 

“You’re an asshole!” He ducked, protecting his guitar.

 

“Don’t touch my guitar, you’ll hurt it. You destroyer.”

 

“I’m going to start dinner.”

 

“Good because I am hungry. I haven’t eaten a thing all day. There’s no food in this house.” He complained

 

“What about the cereal this morning and the wrap from Wendy’s this afternoon?”

 

“Ah, that’s nothing…..” What a moaner, he was always snacking. The man could eat constantly.

 

“Alright, call me if you need me….”

 

Stephanie stepped out of the patio door into the garden. She loved her garden and had planted a vegetable garden there. Her favorite vegetables were all there, tomatoes, corn, squash, cucumber, watermelons, carrots, basil and green beans. It felt good to be eating natural, she felt it was better for her allergies and diabetes. Ian had helped, digging the garden and planting all the seeds for her. She felt so lucky. A strawberry plant was even starting to bloom. She felt so proud.

 

She went over to the little cage where she kept her two angels. Pumpkin and Muffin. They were two of the cutest little bunnies she had ever seen and she loved them to pieces. She cut a carrot and gave it to Pumpkin. He munched it hungrily. These were her babies…..

 

She felt good today, despite her allergy attack last night. She didn’t know what had set it off, but it had put her out, wheezing and panting for air. Ian had been out playing a gig so she was home alone. She felt like calling an ambulance but then the claustrophobic feeling went away and she had fallen asleep on the sofa, in front of the TV with her inhaler at her side.

 

Ian was out all the time these days She didn’t always go with him to his gigs because she was just so damn tired all the time from her job as a receptionist. She dreamed that one day she would have her own business designing designer handbags but that seemed like a far away dream, a distant goal that was somehow unattainable. She would work towards her dream one small baby step at a time….Like the weight. One pound at a time…..

 

 

 

We met Jon Monday morning in the Publix parking lot. Phil wanted to buy an old pedal from him to give him some cash for the trip.  Jon looked excited and seemed anxious to get going. We did the pedal deal and Phil gave Jon $100.00 bucks. We hoped it would help him on his journey. A man had to eat on the road, buy gas and sleep somewhere all that cost money, a commodity which Jon was short of at the moment.

 

“Thanks guys…I’ll call you.”

 

“For sure, we’re here if you need anything….”

 

We all hugged and Jon got into his black pickup truck and drove off towards the highway. For a minute I thought that Phil was going to cry or something. But he didn’t. I guess Phil felt a fatherly sentiment about Jon.

 

“He’ll be back soon, I’m sure.” I said reassuringly.

 

“Yeah. I’m not convinced that Austin is the answer for him. I am going to try to get his songs to my buddy in Nashville, they’ll appreciate his songwriting up there. I doubt those hillbilly’s in Texas will dig his tunes.”

 

“We’ll see.”

 

I wanted to be optimistic for Jon’s sake. But I was beginning to wonder if he was making the right move. So our band was over….Now what? Do we try to replace Jon with another guitar player?

 

Almost as if reading my thoughts Phil said, “I guess I might look for a replacement for Jon. I know a few guys. Nobody as  special as him though. Talent like that only comes around once in awhile.”

 

Time would tell.

 

 

Chapter 5

 

Beth stared at her closet. It was bulging with clothes, shoes, handbags and other stuff that she had crammed in there. What a mess! How to determine what to pack was becoming a big chore.

 

Of course her mother had flipped out when she told her she was moving to Brooklyn. But this was it. She had to move on with her life. She was twenty-five and tired of being treated like a coddled teenager.

 

Her friend Mike had called her to tell her that he was moving to Brooklyn too. An odd co-incidence, she thought. He liked her, he had always followed her around, sent her flowers, showed up at her doorstep. He was sort of a stalker in a safe way. She knew him and his family, his brother was friends with Jon, she wasn’t really totally creeped out by him but he was sort of weird. She hoped he wouldn’t become a problem in Brooklyn, where she intended to start her life over and remake herself, become a working girl in New York City, get a job, have a career, be serious and stop all the drama that she felt with Jon.

 

She loved Jon, almost to his very soul. She felt that they were soul mates, she had thought that they would have started a family together, bought a place and started their life. But his music was his life, she had come to know. She was second, music was first. He would never be the husband she was looking for. But part of her wanted him to be the one so much, the thought of living without him was what cause her to go off the edge, to try to end it all, to end the pain.

 

She packed up her suitcase with some clothes, threw some sweaters in there and some shoes. Her trusty old bear Freddy was on her bed, she threw him in there too, just in case she needed a friend in her bed late at night. He would keep her safe, she knew it.

 

Her mother knocked on the door.

 

“Come in” she said

 

“Hi…How’s your packing going?”

 

“It’s ok…I threw in Freddy.”

 

“A good idea…he’s been with you all your life. He’s a good friend. You can trust him.”

 

“Yeah Mom…”

Here it comes, she’s going to lecture me now, tell me I am making a mistake….Instead her mother handed her an envelope.

 

“I have this for you. Open it.” Her Mom handed her the thick white envelope. She opened it up. It was full of old, sweet smelling money.

 

“Mom?” she said in disbelief.

 

“I saved it for you…. I know you will need it.”

 

She threw her arms around her mother and kissed her neck.

“Oh thank you Mom…I don’t know what to say.”

 

“Just use it wisely honey.”

 

“I will Mom, thank you.” The tears started to roll down her cheeks and soon she was sobbing. “I’m so sorry for all the trouble I have caused you.” She blubbered.

 

Her mother hugged her tightly. “It’s all right honey, it’s all right….”

 

She wiped her nose on her sleeve.

 

“How about some tea?”  her Mom said.

 

“Ok.”

 

 

 

 

Jon checked his watch. He would be due in Jacksonville any time soon. The plan was he would stay with his buddy Paul and then drive the rest of the way tomorrow at dawn.

Being on the road sure gave a man time to think. He thought about all the friends and family he had left behind. He thought about his girl. He didn’t know how he felt, it was like his insides were all torn up. He wanted to make it, he knew he had to break away, to be seen and heard somewhere far away from home.

 

He called Phil on his cell. “I’m in Jacksonville man.”

 

“No shit? Already?”

 

“Yeah, time just flies when you’re having fun.”

 

“We miss ya already man.”

 

“I’ll be back, just don’t know when……” his voice trailed off slightly shaking.

 

“I like your pedal.”

 

“It was a steal…”

 

“It’s going right on EBay.”

 

“I’ll bet it is.”

 

“I’m sure I’ll double my money.”

 

“You always do you cheap fucker.”

 

“I love when you compliment me.”

 

“It’s my pleasure.”

 

“Alright, say hi to the cornpones in Texas for me.”

 

“I will…..”

 

“Talk to you later dude.”

 

We were home, in for the evening. Phil was watching TV in the living room, some Western or something. Some annoying film I wouldn’t watch if you paid me to. I find when cowboys and Indians are involved I can pass on it unless Robert Redford is in it. Phil was concerned for Jon being on the road. There were some wildfires that had sprung up in Texas and over four hundred and fifty homes had already been destroyed. He was worried that his pal might run into some trouble.

 

I was busy on the computer, scouting out publishers for my children’s book. I had the story written, but no illustrations. There seemed to be hundreds of so-called vanity publishers, people that took your book and your money. I had to watch out for these scams.

 

It was good to be home for a change. Usually we were out at some bar, loud noise, music, drinking and drunk people. Home was quiet. We could concentrate on the cat and relax for a change. I didn’t mind being home at all.

 

I made myself a nice, hot cup of tea. My favorite tea was English breakfast. I loved the deep, rich taste of it. I grew up on Red Rose teabags, with the little figurines inside. I did enjoy a hot tea while cruising the net.

 

The phone rang in the other room. I could hear Phil’s voice rise. What was he talking about? I tried to listen but only caught tidbits of his conversation. Phil came in the room.

 

“It’s Jon…” he said, looking worried

 

“What is it?”

 

“He’s been in an accident.”

 

I froze in my chair. “Oh my god! Is he alright?’

 

“Yeah, he’s okay but his car is totaled…. Some woman hit him. She’s blaming him though, making it out to be his fault. She was drunk.”

 

“Jeez!”

 

“He’s got insurance.”

 

“Thank God for that.”

 

“He’s coming home.”

 

“Really?”

 

“Yup. He doesn’t like it out there.”

 

“I don’t blame him…..”

 

“I am kind of disappointed though.”

 

‘Why?”

 

“I thought he would stick it out, try to make it big. I had high hopes for the kid..”

 

“Hey honey, sometimes that’s not how it goes, sometimes you do what’s best for you at that time in your life.”

 

“I know. I know. Glad he’s alright.” He sighed.

 

 

So Jon was coming back. The band was back together again. Only now Beth was gone. And she wouldn’t be coming back…Or would she?

 

 

Stephanie sat at a table at The Olive Garden. She looked around. It was a Tuesday afternoon; around 4pm. Nobody she knew would ever see her here. She ordered the Never- Ending Pasta Bowl and a diet Coke. She turned on her Blackberry Playbook and went to Face Book. She clicked on his picture. There he was…Her soul mate. She read a few of his posts, mostly boring stuff. She looked at the pictures of his wife and his kids.

 

She felt evil, like some evil home wrecker that was about to commit a terrible, terrible sin. She did it…. She pressed the private message button. She could not believe she was doing this. It was the sneakiest, most lowly thing she could do and yet there was no stopping her.

 

She wrote. “Hi Brad. It’s me, Stephanie. I have been thinking about you and hope that you are fine and happy. I miss you. I would like to hear from you and catch up on old times.  Steph.”

 

That wasn’t so bad, she wasn’t wrecking any home. She was just catching up on an old friend. An old friend she yearned for with every fiber of her body. She wondered what he would think of her if he saw her. Would he still desire her? Would their feelings still be as intense as they had been? Or was it all in her mind?

 

Her Never-Ending Pasta Bowl arrived and she dug in. Food. Her friend. Food that always accepted her and kept her from loneliness. She would diet tomorrow. Right now she was way too stressed to not eat. She needed the caloric intake.

 

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