A/N: Since it gets annoying to continually say she's writing, everything in italics is what she wrote down to say, mkay? Mkay.
Oh my god...Austin Carlile...
I looked up at him, my lips slightly parted as I studied him and his gentle smile. I tried apologizing, my mouth kept opening and closing, but no sound ever came out. I blushed a light pink and took my notebook out of my bag, quickly writing down
"I'm sorry if I caused too much of a commotion, I was just upset at how she was treating the other girl...no one should be treated like that" His smile faltered a bit as a look of realization crossed over his features, instantly smiling widely again and making my heart skip a beat. I swear, his smile is the source of happiness.
"It's totally fine, I heard and saw everything that went on. Thank you for standing up to her and helping another fan, it's nice to know someone is willing to stand up for a stranger. Plus you handled that very well for the situation." He hugged me tightly and held me tighter when I stood on my tip-toes, burying my face in his neck as I gripped his shirt tightly in my fists. Tears slowly made their way past my tightly shut eyelids, soaking the strap of his Slipknot tank top. When I pulled away, I wiped the tears off my face and smiled apologetically up at him.
"I'm sorry." I wiped the tears that refused to stop falling, reddening the corners of my eyes. Thank god for waterproof makeup. He chuckled and shook his head, bending down to hug me again and whispering something in my ear.
"Don't worry about it, seriously. Meet me back here when warped ends." I nodded a bit and pulled away, getting my things signed before heading over to the Pierce The Veil stage. My heart was beating at a mile a minute and I felt nauseous, but in a good way. I just got two hugs AND congratulated by the Austin motherfucking Carlile! I took a deep breath and relaxed, putting my signed items and notebook back in my bag, enjoying the rest of my day at Vans Warped Tour 2014.
~Later, after Warped ends~
I went back to the Of Mice & Men tent, listening to Second & Sebring on my phone, full volume. The sun started setting over the trees, mixing with the clouds to create a sky full of purple, orange, yellow and blue swirls. With an amazed smile, I pulled my Nikon D810 out of its case in my bag and snapped a picture and examined it, biting my lip in excitement. It was one of my best pictures yet! I could add this one to my portfolio as well and use that to get into college, maybe I'll become as famous as Adam Elmakias someday? I smiled softly to myself, shaking my head. That's never going to happen. My thoughts were once again interrupted when a hand gently rested on my shoulder, making me jump and spin around. If I didn't have the camera strap around my neck, I wouldn't have a camera. Once again, I found myself face-to-chest and looking up at the man that towered over my 5'4 frame. I smiled softly and put my camera away, waving awkwardly which caused him to chuckle and smile.
"I didn't think you'd come." He said softly, sitting on the table that was still set up as I took out my headphones and draped them around my neck, over my shoulders. I pulled my notebook from my bag, flipping to a new page in case I needed to reply. Conversations get really awkward really quickly when you don't talk...Austin smiled softly and patted the empty side of the table, inviting me to sit beside him. I took my place beside him, sitting in the middle of the empty space and crossing my legs Indian style, blushing a light pink from my awkwardness and looking at my lap.
"So, how was Warped?" I smiled and began writing.
"Amazing! I've been waiting for a few years to come back again, it's the one day where I can be care-free and meet the ones who inspire me so much" he chuckled and smiled widely.
"I'm glad we inspire you, who's your favorite?" I bit my lip and thought about it.
"I can't pick a favorite, that's not a fair question!" He read it and laughed, making me smile widely and bite my lip. There was something about his smile, his laugh, just his overall aura that instantly cheered me up. For the next few hours, we sat and got to know each other, my answers and questions in writing of course, and had an overall good time. Every time he'd laugh, he'd cover his mouth and snort, causing my smile to grow wider as I hid my face behind my notebook. That's been my way of laughing for the past six years. Once we calmed down, I noticed the sky was black and the fireflies were out, blinking and flickering throughout the air and sky. I smiled softly and watched them, my eyes looking all over as I remembered catching them in jars with my sister-in-law and nephew in the back yard. I looked down at my lap and smiled softly, tears pricking the back of my eyelids.
"Nevaeh, can I ask you something?" I nodded and looked back up at the sky, staring at the moon and stars that were starting to show through the clouds. He took a deep breath and looked over at me.
"Why don't you talk?" He asked softly, my heart stopped beating and I froze. No one, outside of my direct family and a few select friends, knows why I stopped talking. I looked over at him and blinked, a single tear falling from my eye as I remembered the incident six years ago. The one incident that had my life crashing down around me. I feel like I can trust him, not because he's famous or we've been here talking to each other for well over two hours, I just had a feeling. I took a deep breath and pulled out my phone, going through my pictures until I found the one I was looking for, handing my phone to him before taking out my notebook and beginning to tell him my story.
"My brother, Brett, and I were best friends growing up. He was my literal superhero. He did anything for me when I was young. If I was upset or crying, he'd pretend to beat himself up to make me laugh and then we'd go to the park or watch movies. If I had nightmares, he'd let me sleep in his room with him. He left when I was 8 to go live with his girlfriend, Christine, because he got her pregnant. They were so happy together, even more so when they found out they were going to be parents. She was really scared because she was only 17 at the time and he was 20...my nephew, Adrian, was born 8 months later. He was so tiny and had a hole in his head that wasn't supposed to be there. The doctors didn't think he was going to live especially since we couldn't pay the medical bills, but he did. He was such a happy child, always laughing and smiling, obsessed with cars and planes. They were the picture perfect loving family. Brett left for basic training right after Adrian's third birthday and graduated that summer. Brett, Christine and Adrian were moved from our little apartment to base in Fort Hood, Texas and I didn't see him again until that winter. They came back over to Florida and he picked me up from school, in full uniform, the last day before Christmas vacation in 6th grade. I was only 12 then. I was so happy I got to see my superhero again, it was the best day of my life. We went home and played basketball, walked around the neighborhood and went home to battle on the x-box and watch ESPN. They got married that summer but I couldn't go because I was staying with my dad for that summer.
Six years ago, the summer after my 14th birthday, I was waiting on a Skype call from my brother. I hadn't seen him in two years because he was deployed in Egypt and he just got home and I was really excited to see him again. I was really upset when he didn't call or answer, but I brushed it off thinking he was out with friends or family, celebrating that he was back so I just brushed it off and waited for the Skype call. Instead of a ringing, I heard someone pounding on the front door. When I opened the door, Brett's drill Sargent, Sargent Michael Cramer, was holding a box and looked like he really didn't want to be there. I said hi and looked down at the box, I'll never forget what he said after that...he told me that someone had attacked the base and burnt down my brother's house. Brett, Christine, Adrian and their dog Sarah were found in his room on their bed, holding each other. They died of smoke inhalation while their house they were asleep. He handed me the box, we saluted each other, and he left, leaving me to spend the day going through their box of stuff while crying to myself. My superhero and his family were taken from me by a drunken idiot and I spent the rest of the year going to therapy. It didn't help though. Now, I always wear his dog tags and the bracelet and necklace he gave me for Christmas that year that he picked me up from school. They mean so much to me. Brett was only 24, Christine was only 20 and Adrian was only 4 years old. My father was never really in the picture at any point in my life and Brett was really protective of me so it was like he was the father figure in my life. So, in all reality, my brother, my best friend, my superhero, my personal soldier, my anchor, my father figure and his family were taken from me. That traumatized me six years ago and I haven't made a sound since..." By this point, tears were falling freely down my cheeks as I remembered the news cast that afternoon about their deaths. His house was engulfed in flames. Other houses were damaged but still standing as his turned to ash.