I remember when I first met him, when our eyes first met over that backstage room. I had taken my sister Lisa to see her heroes in action, and as it seemed, I had been more impressed than she.
He was beautiful. Truly beautiful. His eyes were so blue, so very blue, and his golden curls fell around his head like tiny halos. Angelic didn’t even begin to describe him. And then there was his voice…it was as though silver and gold had joined, and had been given sound. It was soft, it was melodic, and it was the most beautiful thing I have ever heard.
We spoke. We lost ourselves in each other, and we became invincible. We became as one. When he sang, he sang to me. When he smiled, he smiled for me. He lived for me, and I for him. We gave each other our forevers.
They ruined all of that.
They did nothing for him, only made him work when he was tired, or made him sing when he was sick. They made him dance when he couldn’t breathe, and made him tour when he had nothing left to give. So why did he continually choose them over me?
His family, they made him so happy. The happiest times of his life were back there in Kentucky with his mommy and his daddy and without me. Why was the happiest time of his life not here with me? Why was I shut out of his pleasant memories, as though I were the plague?
I had planned it all so perfectly. Our anniversary. The day we had met. It had to be special, just as special as our very first meeting. That is why my house was so perfect. I grew up here. I lived here and I loved here. What better way to share myself with Brian than to allow him into my past. He was not like Jack. He would never betray me, so he deserved to be given that privilege. Candles burned on the tables, just how he liked them, and cussions were scattered on the floor.
I waited forever, and he didn’t show. How could he forget me? I did everything for him.
He needs nobody but me, now, but I have to teach him that I will not be forgotten. I will not be taken for granted. I have left him alone now to teach him a lesson. Will he remember me when I get back? That is the lesson that he needs to learn.
Back in Detective Arling’s department was like a madhouse, Agents running around desperately trying to fit together the fragmented pieces of this puzzle, but seemingly to no avail. The pills had been taken to the lab, but would take awhile. At least if they knew what they were dealing with, they’d have the proper care waiting for him when they found him.
When, not if. Jenna Arling would never forgive her daddy if he didn’t save her Brian. She wanted to see him singing again, and how could he sing again if he was lost?
“Did we ever find out where that damned call was placed from?” Arling barked.
“No, sir, it was a pay phone.”
The tip-off guy was smart. He didn’t want to get caught. This probably means he was involved somehow. There was no way Ellie Day could’ve got Brian out of that room all by herself, no matter how powerful adrenaline could be.
Arling’s black hair fell into his eyes, and he brushed it back angrily. He was tense. He had been so close…
“I’ll be in my office. Call me if you need me.”
He slumped his way into his office, defeated and internally kicking himself for not getting there sooner. He’d have to call Brian’s families and let them know. He hated shattering their hopes again, but it was best to keep them in the know.
He hoped to God the tip-off would call back.
Eric tapped his foot nervously.
“Fuck”, he whispered. They’d been too late. He’d watched her take Brian just minutes before they showed up. Why the Hell couldn’t they have been quicker?
Dennis hadn’t seen his point about not being involved anymore. He’d helped her get Brian away in that black pick-up truck of his. God knows where they were taking him.
He thought about his options. He could either call the Detective again, or he could make a run for it before he got caught.
He looked at the sky for inspiration, but it didn’t give any. It just stared back at him, forever blue and bright. Like Brian’s eyes had stared back at him the last time he had saw them. Forever blue and bright. That was all the inspiration he needed.
Brian couldn’t stand up. He had tried and tried, but his body wouldn’t comply. He would just slump once again to the floor, his legs too tired and too wasted to allow him the pleasure. He felt sluggish, but he knew that was from the drugs he’d been given. If only they’d find their way out of his system, and then maybe he would have more control of himself.
He couldn’t believe that those people who Eric said were looking for him had done this to him. They were his friends, weren’t they? At least, that’s what he thought.
Then it hit him. What if they were looking for him to kill him? What if they wanted to finish the job and get rid of him forever. Was that what Eric meant?
“Ellie!”, he screamed. “Ellie come back. I’m sorry.”
He was terrified of being alone. He didn’t like the thought of people being after him, and he didn’t even remember why. He didn’t want Ellie to be one of them. He felt safe as long as she loved him. She’d never let anything bad happen to him.
“I’m scared, Ellie. What if those people come after me? Please, I’m afraid. I don’t want them to kill me.”
Ellie had been sitting outside, crying as she listened to him whimper. She had ignored him…until now.
The door flung open.
“Oh baby, they won’t hurt you as long as I’m here. I’ll protect you from them, I promise. If they come, I’ll keep you safe from them. Who knows what they might do?”
Brian looked up into her eyes, the picture of a broken man-child. She was his mother, his father, his lover and his friend now. She was his everything.
“I love you Ellie”, he cried. Her heart melted.
“I love you too, baby.”
“I don’t care who you are, where you’re from or what you did, as long as you love me. That’s all that matters.”
She closed her eyes and smiled….until she realised where those words had came from.
“I don’t know where they are, but they left in a black pick-up truck heading North.”
Detective Arling noted it all down, gesturing furiously at his officers to get a trace on the location. They gave him a thumbs up, signalling for the tip-off to be kept talking. They had officers in the area waiting to pick him up, forcefully if needed.
“Do you have any idea where they may be headed, or what their intentions might be?”
The voice was hushed; almost whispered.
“No, but I can tell you that she is willing to do anything, and when I say that, I mean it….”
Arling listened carefully as the sirens began to get closer. They reached their crescendo as they found their target.
“What the…?” Eric gasped, confused.
“Put your hands up, sir, where we can see them”.
The receiver began to swing furiously, banging against the side of the pay-phone, as his hands were raised high in the air. He held his hands up in blame, metaphorically as well as literally. He was getting what he deserved…
AJ dreamed of Brian as he slept.
“Come on, Bone. You know you want to.”
AJ smiled comically, raising his arms in the air where his smaller friend could not reach. The baseball balanced on his middle finger.
“Do I? Do I really want to?”
Brian’s smile vanished.
“Yes, you do. You do want to find me….you do want to save me.”
The tone of the dream changed completely. It was no longer light hearted and fun. It was no longer just an innocent memory of a baseball game that happened months ago. It was no longer a snapshot of the beautiful memory that was Brian.
He shot up, sweat pouring from his forehead. He awoke to find Kevin sitting on the end of his bed…and the feelings of anger rushed over him once more.
“He wasn’t there, was he?”
Kevin shook his head.
“Well, then. We are going to go see little Ellie’s friend, like you said back then, and see if we can find him ourself. I will not let him down for any longer.”
Kevin didn’t even try to calm his distraught friend. He knew that it was useless. Deep in his heart, he knew that they could find him. As long as they stuck together and stayed safe, they could find him, and they could bring him home.
“Where did those words come from, Brian?”, Ellie said, her tone threatening and her face set in stone. Brian just looked at her.
“From me. They came from me.” He was tired, and he didn’t have it in him to search for the words any more.
She shook head. They hadn’t came from him atall. They had came from Howie, and if he remembered Howie’s lyrics, what else did he keep inside?
“You’re lying to me, Brian. How much do you remember?”
Brian reached his hands to his head.
“I don’t know. Nothing. Something…not enough. What did you do to me? Why are you acting like this when you told me that you were there for me?”
Ellie shook him hard, as if she were trying to forcefully trying to put the information into his head, lodging it there so it never escaped.
“I didn’t do anything, Brian. It was your precious friends who you loved so much and you cared about so much and you needed so much.”
Brian tried to pull away from her, but she held him tight between her grasped hands. She shook him, and she made him dizzy. She made him feel light-headed. He wanted her to stop, but she didn’t. She shook him…harder and harder.
“I don’t want to hurt you, but you’re leaving me no choice. I can’t have you treating me this way…” Ellie was mad. She was distraught. This person wasn’t Brian. It wasn’t perfect, and it wasn’t him. Brian was all she ever wanted, and she had been given somebody else. He looked like Brian and he sounded like Brian, but his mind was just not there. She couldn’t stand to look at this thing and know that this was the shadow of her love. This is what she had turned him into. Her plan hadn’t worked out at all.