I followed Ashley closely as he stepped onto the bus in pursuit of his sunglasses. We had just finished performing and we had a Meet & Greet scheduled in a few minutes, in the hot July sun. To put it gently, it was hot as balls outside.
"Ashley, can we just talk about it?" I begged, shutting the door behind me.
"No," he said simply.
"Because you made it very clear you're uninterested and you're not ready." He said.
"Ashley, don't say I'm uninterested because you know I love you-"
"But you're not looking for what I am." He turned to look at me, finally. "I want to be with you, Andy. And you’re too scared to tell everyone that you’re gay-“
“Ashley… don’t…” I sighed and covered my eyes with my hand.
“No, Andy,” he said sharply. “I will. You won’t even say it to yourself and it’s ridiculous. Andy, you’re gay.”
“I…” I started, rubbing my eyes. “I’m gay.”
“Thank you. Was that so hard?” He planted his hands on his hips. “Now just do that on Twitter and we'll be golden.”
"Just.. give me some time," I said softly. "All I want is you, but… please… just give me some time.”
That was the truth. I needed Ashley. In the few months that we'd been together, he became my everything. He was my best friend. He was the only one I could trust with anything and everything, and right now, when I really needed him to understand, he couldn't.
"Time?" he said. I nodded. "I can give you some time..."
"Oh my god thank you," I let out a breath. “In the meantime.. can we.. I don’t know… maybe work on covering it up better? I mean…”
He came closer, tucking a stray hair back out of my face before his lips collided with mine- our first kiss since the one backstage before the concert several days ago. I missed the feeling. The taste of his tongue on mine and the feeling of my back hitting the wall as he pushed me backwards had me gasping for air. His hands moves fast from my hair to my chest to my ass to the alley between my thighs. I felt that familiar twitch and tingle and I was instantly hard as a rock.
“If we weren’t about to go to a Meet & Greet…” he growled in my ear before biting hard on my neck. “I’d fuck you right here…”
“So do it,” I whispered. “We can be… fashionably late.”
He kissed me hard again but it was very brief. His hand brushed across my crotch quickly and I shuddered softly.
“No,” He said. “We should go.”
He stepped away and all of the air was emptied out of my lungs. I went limp against the wall.
“Ok,” I breathed. He stepped away and put on his sunglasses and his Monster snapback. I checked my phone- we were already late.
We stepped off the bus together and started toward the M&G tent. Ashley tried to hold my hand again but I pulled it away and shoved it in my pocket. I tried to think of reasons to tell the fans.. ways to tell the fans… that we were gay.
I couldn’t possibly do it.
“Hey, there you are!” CC grinned as we neared the tent.
“Hey!” Ashley hugged him and started talking to fans.
“Andy, we love you!” A pair of blonde, freckled girls approached me with CDs in their hands.
“Oh my god you’re real,” one of them said, fanning her eyes that quickly filled with tears.
“Oh, oh!” I laughed. “Don’t cry!” I pulled her into a hug and she sobbed uncontrollably against my chest.
“Oh my god,” she said again.
“Do you want me to sign something for you?” I asked.
“Please,” she thrust the CD in front of me.
“What’s your name?” I asked.
“H-holly,” she choked. I signed it quickly and handed it back. When I glanced at Ashley, he was mid boob signing. I cleared my throat.
“Ash,” I barked. He finished signing and flicked his hair back to look at me. “Really?”
He laughed. “This is Natalie,” he said evilly. “She’s from..”
“Austria,” the girl said with a thick accent. She was dressed in high waisted, tight, leather shorts, fishnets, a tight fitting crop top and high heels.
Who wears that shit to Warped Tour? I rolled my eyes.
“How old are you, babydoll?” I heard his familiar lustful smirk in his voice. It was disgusting. Hate burned inside me. He called her babydoll. He always called me babydoll.
“I’m twenty three,” I heard her say.
That was the kicker. Ashley had her.
I tried to keep my lunch down as I signed piles of CDs, notebook pages, phone cases and pictures while Ashley flirted with the same girl for the entire Meet & Greet. I took selfies with fans, Ashley’s hands wandered just a little further. How could he actually be doing this to me?
“Hey,” Jinxx patted my shoulder from behind me. I turned around. He looked concerned. “Are you ok?”
“Y-yeah…” I nodded.
“No you’re not.” He said simply. “I know you. And I know what’s bothering you. Come on… let’s go get a drink.”
“O-ok.” I said softly. “Yeah, lets go.”
He walked with me to a little vendor and leaned against the counter.
“Can we get two beers?” he asked.
“Um… I’m not allowed to serve alcohol,” the man said carefully.
Jinxx scoffed and pointed to me. I was standing a few feet away with my arms folded “Andy needs a beer.”
He seemed to recognize me then. His eyes widened. “Oh! Oh I’m so sorry, you’re… you’re… Black Veil Brides. Wow.. I’m a huge fan-”
“Thanks,” Jinxx said, cutting him off subtly. “Can we get those beers now?”
“Yeah!” he reached below the counter and produced two bottles which he handed to Jinxx, who popped the caps off against the counter and handed one to me. I sipped slowly and walked with him.
“I’m sorry,” he said.
“I know what Ashley’s putting you through and that’s really shitty.”
“Oh it’s ok… He’s always been that womanizer I guess I shouldn’t be surprised… I mean I guess I thought I meant something to him but..”
“No I mean the whole coming out thing.” He took a long drink and looked at me. How the hell did he know about that?”
“I uh…” I wiped my sweaty hands on my jeans. Damn, it was hot out here. “Y-yeah… Can we talk about this not so in-public?”
“Oh, right.” He veered off in the direction of the bus. When we reached it, we could hear the moaning from ten feet away. “Or not.”
“Dammit,” I sighed, speeding up my pace and yanking the door open. “ASHLEY!” I screamed.
It was silent.
Moments went by that felt like hours before Ashley emerged, a confused Austrian girl, wrapped in a blanket, stood several feet behind him. He was buttoning his jeans. I breathed heavily, trying desperately to control my anger- and not cry.
“Ashley, what the hell?” I spat.
“What?” He flicked hair out of his eyes. “Just doing what you asked. Covering up better.”
“Yeah, this is not exactly what I fucking had in mind and you know that.” I tilted my head back slightly to keep the tears from falling. “You said you’d give me time.
He looked at me with burning eyes. “Well your time is running out fast, Sixx.”
“It’s been an hour and a half!”
“Better work up the courage to speak, then.” He said.
“Wow that’s rough,” CC said with barely a whisper. It was just past three a.m. and the other guys were all passed out. Jinxx and Jake had gotten absolutely wasted and Ashley had retreated to his bunk immediately after our fight- which had actually gotten kinda physical, I’m not proud to admit. I threw a punch right as CC and Jake came back to the bus. Apparently Jinxx had tried to warn them of what was going on but they didn’t listen. And then they pulled me off of my boyfriend before I could do any real damage.
“Yeah…” I wrung my hands together. “So I guess now… I’m not sure… If we’re not broken up, we will be soon.”
“Well..” CC chuckled. “When you punch your boyfriend in the face…”
“Yeah. The relationship is generally over the second your fist hits their jaw.”
“Maybe you should consider just… I don’t know…coming out for him?”
“But how?” I sighed. “If he doesn’t even want me anymore, what’s the point in coming out?”
“I don’t know…”
“I just need to focus on getting over him I guess…”
“That’s gonna be kinda tough, don’t you think?” he said. “You see him every day…”
“Yeah…” I admitted. “But I have to do it. He’s not mine anymore… and that’s just the way it is…”
I couldn’t do it. My eyes flooded and tears ran down my cheeks. I coughed and sputtered. Holding it in was just too much. Ashley was everything I wanted and the only thing I wanted. He was an asshole and a terrible boyfriend, but I loved him so goddamn much. CC rubbed my back soothingly while I reached for the bottle of vodka and downed a heavy portion of it, straight. It was disgusting but numbing and numb is what I needed.