Chapter 7: Always Seem to Be Meeting Up … Even Though I Don’t Want To!
"Oh hey, there’s Sarah and Sam," Daniel said monotonously.
He had been hoping they could go without Jason knowing Britt was there.
They walked over to the girls table, and to make things hopefully a little less awkward, Daniel sat down next to Britt, while Jason sat next to Sam.
"So… what’s up ladies?" Daniel asked.
"We were talking about men," Sam answered.
Britt rolled her eyes. Sam was making this worse.
"Ah…number one topic amongst women," Daniel said with a chuckle.
"You must drink a lot of coffee," Sam stated, pointing to the five cups he had.
"Only one is mine. The others are for a friend."
Suddenly, Sam checked her watch, "Oh no! I haven’t fed my pet for two hours! I have to go or he could starve to death!"
Daniel was speechless at her declaration. Before he could say anything, she was gone.
"That was uh, interesting."
Jason laughed a bit.
"Sam is like that," Sarah said, "But she’s such a great friend."
"Is Emmy with Matt?" Jason asked.
"Yes, both of them. I thought it would be nice for Matt to spend some time with her."
Sarah finished the least of her frappucinos, and set it back in the cup carton.
There was a few minutes of awkward silence between the four of them. Finally, Jason grabbed the bull’s horns and spoke: "You okay, Britt? You’ve been quiet this whole time."
She smiled faintly, "Yeah, I’m okay."
"is everyone ready?" Sarah asked.
"I’m good to go," Daniel said.
Jason and Britt stood up. Jason extended his hand, "Here, I’ll throw it out."
"Oh, thanks," she said handing him the carton.
"There’s room in my SUV for us all," Daniel said.
"I think I’ll take you up on that," Sarah replied.
"Britt, Jas? You guys wanna come?"
"I think I’m going to walk," Britt and Jason said at the same time.
"Besides, it’s not very far," Britt added.
"Okay. See ‘ya back at the arena."
Jason and Britt walked in silence for quite sometime.
"How did your hockey game go?"
"Bad. I lost."
She smiled a bit, "I guess Daniel’s brushed up on his skill."
"No," Jason laughed, "I just wasn’t focusing on the game."
"What do you think of Chad?"
"I think he seems pretty cool."
"Me too," Britt replied.
"Hey, uh, Britt… If that stalker is here tonight, I’m going to be off the stage, but keeping an eye out."
Britt stopped and turned to him, "I’m not a child. I don’t need a baby-sitter!"
Jason was taken aback. "No… I just thought it would help some. I… I wasn’t trying to make you feel that way…"
She waved her hand, "Just forget it."
Jason stuck his hands in his pockets. It was starting to get a bit chilly. "It’s getting colder. I don’t have any jacket to give you though…"
"I’m fine," she said shortly.
Jason looked at her short sleeved top and her cut off cargo pants. "We can walk faster and get inside."
She checked her Timex, "We’ve got time."
Jason just sighed. Britt picked up the brisk and was getting farther away from him.
Daniel and Sarah entered from the back door, and his mission was right off to caffeinate Aaron.
"No prob, Sarah," he said with a wink.
Looking around, he saw Aaron talking to Mark of Sanctus Real. "Yo, Aaron!"
Aaron turned and waved, "’Scuse me a sec, Mark."
"What’s up?" Aaron said, tossing the hair out of his eyes.
"I bought something for you."
"What is it?"
Daniel whipped out the big blue mug. "I call it ‘Daniel’s Coffee Frap Made With Love’… It’s all for you. Courtesy of Starbucks."
"All right! Rockin’! Thanks Daniel!"
"Think nothing of it," Daniel said with a grin.
Twenty minutes later Britt came through the door, Jason right behind, the door almost hitting him in the chest.
Daniel saw this and came over. "I can tell that was a disaster."
"She hates me."
"I can tell there is cold air -- lots of it. Between you both."
"I’m going to give her space," Jason said quietly, "she feels like a child, like I’m trying to baby-sit her."
"Ouch. That’s understandable then why you’re doing that."
"I’m going to go check the equipment for tonight," Jason stated, somberly.
"I’m going to hang around. I wanna see Aaron get high. Jonathan will probably help you though."
Jonathan and Jason sat in their dressing room, checking and tuning the equipment.
"So… what’s going on with Britt?"
Jason sighed. "I think someone maybe be stalking her."
Jonathan’s eyes got wide, "Really? Who?"
"I don’t know. I only saw the outline of the face."
"Does she know?"
Jason nodded. "She doesn’t believe me."
Jonathan was silent for a moment. "She could be in denial. Doesn’t want to think that it may be a possibility for someone to be stalking her."
"I think that could be part of it," Jason replied.
"What if he shows up tonight?"
"I don’t know… She doesn’t want me watching for him, so I’m not going too."
Jonathan nodded. "That might be best since she doesn’t want you to." He put his guitar back in its case, "Done. Everything’s ready."
"Thanks for helping."
"No prob. I don’t mind," Jonathan turned and flipped open his laptop lid.
Jason saw he was looking at a girls’ profile on MySpace. "Who is that?" he asked, curiously.
Jonathan turned a little red, "It’s this girl I’ve been talking to her online for about six months now."
Jason smiled. "Cool! What’s her name?"
"Jessie… We want to meet each other, but it’s hard between time for me, and money for her."
"Oh yeah, I understand that. Where is she from?"
"Florida. From somewhere on the Southwest coast."
"So, how come you couldn’t meet while we were in Fort Myers?"
"She wasn’t in town then. ‘Cause I had asked her about that."
"Oh okay. Maybe you could go down there and surprise her?"
"It would have to be after our touring… and we’re touring non-stop up to December! It seems like such a long wait."
Jason nodded. "Sorry, I wish it could be sooner."
"What time is it?" Jason asked.
"Whoah. The day has flown by so fast."
"I know, it has."
Jason yawned, "You ready for the show?"
"Heck yeah!" Jonathan said with a grin.
Britt peeked her head out, and looked out at the packed arena. She gulped. She was nervous and she had a bad feeling in her gut. She hadn’t seen Jason since she blew up at him earlier. She felt really bad what had happened earlier, but couldn’t bring herself to apologize.
Her shoulders slumped and she felt defeated. A hand rested on her shoulder, and she turned to see Matt.
"Let’s talk a bit Britt."
Matt held little Emmy in his arms, while he closed his dressing room door. "What happened earlier tonight, Britt?"
She sighed. "I really was a jerk with Jason. I blew what he said, to a point, out of proportion."
"Tell me more."
Jason was setting up the stage, when Chad came up.
"Hey… Jason right?"
"Yeah, that’s me."
"It’s so cool being here! I can’t tell you how excited I am!"
Jason grinned a bit, "That’s great! We’re all glad to have you. Do you know which bus you’ll be driving?"
"Yeah, um, I think Britt’s bus."
Jason stopped what he was doing for a second. "That’s cool Chad."
"Thanks! I don’t know her too well, but she seems really cool."
Jason nodded, "I don’t know her too well either."
"I’ll see you after the show then Jason!"
"Yeah, you too!" Jason replied.
"So, how come you haven’t apologized to him?"
Britt looked uncomfortable, "My pride. It’s like when I’m with him, I’m mean to him … and then I feel awful about it! But I can’t bring myself to apologize!"
Matt untangled Emmy’s fingers from his hair before continuing, "I’m not trying to be preachy … but I think you should apologize."
"You’re not being preachy. I know I should. I felt it right away. I always do, and yet my pride always wins out."
Matt gave her hand a squeeze, "Don’t let it this time Britt."
She smiled, "All right, I won’t."
Then little Emmy grabbed a hold of Britt’s hair.
Britt laughed, "Hey sweetie! I love you too!" She gave Emmy an Eskimo kiss, and Emmy giggled. "Thanks Matt. You always seem to have a way to help my nerves. I think that’s God talents given to you. One of them, anyway."
Matt just smiled, "Thanks Britt, no one’s ever told me that before."
Britt nervously walked towards Hawk Nelson’s dressing room. "Lord, give me strength to do this…."
She knocked on the door.
A wide-eyed Aaron answered. "Oh hey Britt, come on in."
"Aaron, are you okay?"
He twitched a bit, "Yeah! I feel great! I’ve got all this energy!"
"Your twitching, Aaron! Why don’t you sit down?"
"I am?" Aaron looked at his hand, which was shaking a bit, "Well, okay…"
He sat down on the sofa, but couldn’t seem to sit still, he was bouncing his leg constantly.
David sat in a chair, looking very sheepish and uncomfortable.
Britt was getting very concerned, "Guys, do any of you know what’s wrong with Aaron?"
"Nothing’s wrong with me, Britt. I feel fine! In fact, I have tons of energy! I’m ready to get out there and jam!"
She looked around the room, and noticed Daniel avoiding her gaze, and he looked a bit nervous.
"Daniel… do you know anything about this?"
"Let’s talk outside Britt."
Daniel followed her out the door, and closed it behind her. "Okay! I did it! I feel horrible about it!"
"You did it as a joke?"
"Yeah, sort of. To get him back for the whole ‘one tour bus’ idea."
"I didn’t think it would effect him this drastically! What do I do Britt?"
"Well… I think I’ll talk to Aaron, tell him I think it’s best if he doesn’t play tonight, and maybe you can ask Mark if he wouldn’t mind playing in Aaron’s place?"
"Sounds good, Britt. Thanks a million!"
Britt went back into the dressing room, and sat down beside Aaron. "Aaron, listen, I think you should sit this one out. You have so much energy, it’s not good for you, and I think you should just rest."
"I feel fine! I want to play Britt! I have loads of energy which will help to make this our best show yet!"
Mark listened as Daniel explained about super-caffeinated Aaron, and how he got like that.
"You’re so bad Daniel… But in regards to covering for Aaron, if he’s not up to it, most definitely."
"Thanks so much Mark! You don’t know how much I appreciate this!"
Daniel rushed back to his bands dressing room. "Good news -- Mark agreed!"
"Bad news -- Aaron insists and wants to play."
"What?" Daniel looked at his watch, "Maybe it’ll have time to wear off?"
"Hmm… I don’t know… How many different types are in there?"
Her eyes got wide, "I don’t know Daniel…"
"Thanks for the help Britt."
"Sure, anytime…" she paused, "um… would you happen to know where Jason is?"
Daniel grinned a bit, "Last time I saw him, he was going to do a sound check with Jonathan."
"Okay, thanks Daniel."
She looked for Jason onstage, but didn’t see him anywhere. Spotting Chad, she came over to him. "Hey, um, Chad, have you seen Jason anytime?"
"Yeah, he was just onstage with me not too long ago."
"Do you know where he went?"
"No… Can I help you look for him?"
"Would you? I’d really appreciate it."
"Sure. How about we try back behind the stage?"
Britt and Chad started to head backstage, when a voice softly singing was heard.
Britt stopped and peered around the corner.
Jason was sitting, his legs dangling over the backside of the stage.
She felt herself stuck. She couldn’t move as she listened to him sing.
"I see those eyes, and the pain behind the browns… the things no one sees, and only you feel."
She felt a tear slip down her cheek. She knew what he was singing was about her, and it was beautiful… and at the same time too much to take.
More tears came, as he continued:
"I just want to help, I just wanna be there for you. But, I feel like you want to keep me ten feet away…"
She sighed. "I have been really mean to him… and he doesn’t deserve that…"
Jason stood, and she gasped and hid behind the curtain, smacking right into Chad.
Jason emerged and saw them both. "Uh… hey guys," he said, a little uncomfortable with the predicament.
Britt quickly moved away form Chard, but not without Jason noticing Chad smell her hair.
Jason furrowed his brow in concern.
"Hey Jason," Britt said quietly.
"Are you ready to start tonight?"
"As ready as I’m going to be," she paused, "you may also want to go see how Aaron is after Daniel’s joke."
Jason rolled his eyes, "I told Daniel that wasn’t a good idea."
"He’s pretty wired," Britt replied.
"So… Chad told me he’s driving your bus."
"Oh? Really?" Britt said, surprised.
"Yep," Chad interjected, "speaking of… I’m gonna go make sure everything’s working properly for Oklahoma."
Britt watched Chad leave, and then turned back to Jason. "I didn’t know my other driver quit. Maybe he’s sick…"
Jason shook his head, "Usually they’ll tell you."
She shrugged her shoulders, "There’s a lot going on right now in life. Chad’s the least of my worries. I just hope Brian’s all right…"
Jason was starting to get irritated, "I’ll talk to you later Britt. I’ve gotta go check on something."
"Oh okay… Yeah. Well, tell Aaron I said to take it easy."
Jason nodded, as he exited through the back door.
Chad was examining the oil stick when Jason came up.
"Hey," Jason said. "I just wanted to tell you, thanks for being so gung-ho about all this. It’s making things so much easier for Britt, and I know she’ll probably tell you herself when some of the pressure and stress fall off her shoulders."
"I know what that’s like. It’ll get better."
"Yeah," Jason said nodding. "I’ll catch up with you later, Chad."
"Sure thing, Jason! I’ve got some song ideas I’d like to pitch to you."
Jason just nodded. Opening the backstage door, he watched Chad until he turned back to the bus. Letting the door slam, Jason hid behind Jeremy’s tour bus, watching Chad.
It looked like he had either pulled something out or disconnected something. Jason scowled, his view wasn’t good enough to be completely sure from where he stood.
Chad slammed the bus hood, and Jason quickly hid. He was waiting til he heard the backstage door slam… but it never came.
His eyes froze with fear, when he felt a hand tap his shoulders…