This chapter is dedicated to my ‘Jork’. For being that person in the mirror and thawing my frozen heart. Also for being the most supportive friend and for helping me shape the characters and listening to me gush about Amy & her gang.
This one is for you. Hope you like it!
Few years Ago,
It was the night of our first full house. The largest concert in our career, in the middle of Checkers Street! The Checker’s Street which previously hosted, all the hottest stars, like the Witches Void, Fiona Hay, Gusts of Galileo to name a few.
I remember that night like the back of my hand. We were in our trailer, some getting ready, some pacing around nervously [cough Rishi cough], some practicing runs and matching pitches to the instruments.
While I was having a panic attack.
I gripped the chair, I was sitting in, tight. And forced myself to take deep breaths, when I looked up to the reflection, all I could think was how off I was looking.
I bit my lip as the nerves got to me. I swallowed hard and tried to hum to calm my nerves.
It was not until Rob had come and snapped me out of my trance, I realized that I was shivering.
I remember looking at him blankly, and mouthing the words ‘I cannot’.
The most difficult time when you are in the show biz is when you are just getting used to the spotlight. Sure, we had done ton of performances, but there was never anything at stake, there was no fuss about economy, popularity and fans.
God fans, their expectations, overwhelmed me. I didn’t know what I was supposed to do, wave or ignore?
The others either did not get the heat, or pretended they did not. Either way they did a splendid job at hiding it all behind. But like the loser I was, I let it get to me.
Rob was saying something to me. But I could not hear him.
Flashbacks to that one performance where I lost control of my voice and sang off tune, rushed to my mind. Or that time, I missed the choreo, or the time, I almost had a wardrobe malfunction under the bright light overtook my brain.
And I froze.
Rob ran and fetched someone, T I think.
She was saying something along “Breathe Amy” which was funny, because I was pretty sure I was. How do you stop breathing voluntarily? It’s impossible to do so, I wanted to reason.
Then it was Rishi’s turn, his warm brown eyes, assuring me, smiling and asking me to hum along with him. I remember him taking my hands and rubbing them.
I closed my eyes, crushed under the weight of it all.
“She is not responding” I heard his voice, but like he said could not respond.
“Where is Sam?” he asked again.
I knew that Sam was running late. I saw his texts just couple minutes ago, but my mind was too numb and my throat too frozen, for me to say anything.
Minutes later I was looking at my reflection, my arms clenched tightly on the arms of the chair.
My eyes were rooted on the mirror, mirroring all the times I failed as a performer.
Then there was someone behind me. I looked at him, and saw the same fear in his bright green eyes. But it was a different kind of fear.
Then he clutched my arm, and offered a sad smile.
“You look beautiful Amy, gosh mom is gonna tear up, looking at you”
Then he pulled out his phone and clicked a photo of us both.
“I am sending this to her. She is going to get it framed”
He kept talking.
“When we grow up, we can look back at it, and laugh on my stupid costume” he said and continued typing on his phone.
My breathing eased, and my lungs expanded, letting the air flow in and out freely. I looked up at the mirror.
Sam caught my eyes on the mirror and his expression softened, he tucked his phone in his pocket. He leaned forward, checked his face and adjusted his hair.
“This is nothing compared to what’s in store for us in the future” he said and stood up straight, then with another smile, pressed his hand on my head.
“Just remember why a' we doing this bub. Find your voice and show those peasants, how a queen sounds like. And don’t worry your family is right here to share your praise” he kissed my head.
“Get that through your thick skull” he shook my head, and I swatted his arm.
Then I felt tears on my cheeks. I looked at his face, ever so stoic but hiding so many emotions at the same time.
At that moment nothing mattered again. The expectations, the pressure, the costumes, the buzz. I just wanted to do what he said, sing with my family.
I smiled as he stepped back and let Rishi and T mother me.
Five minutes later, I finished a tiny bottle of water, shook my fingers, checked my mic, and got into my position. Next to Sam.
He gave me a confident smirk. I returned it.
“One minute” a stage hand announced.
I nodded, set my jaw, but then I heard the sound of shuffling feet. And felt someone kiss my cheek.
“Rishi” I hissed just as the curtains opened and Rob burst into laughter.
Our performance that night, was the biggest hit the town has ever seen, since eight years. The whole school showed up and we waved as we performed our hot new single.
"Don’t you forget to remember me”
The night turned out like Sam said, a small step leading and paving the way to a mountain top. I haven’t reached the top yet, not even the mid point.
I still want to continue on this journey, I just wish that I do not have to do it alone, but in the company of my best friend who has given me a home, a dream and a family.
Reminiscing about it has made me realize something. What we were doing, did not make sense.
All of a sudden our little detour on taking revenge on Sam, sounded like a pathetic excuse and a way of projecting MY anger.
I am not saying, that I would forgive him. I don’t think I ever will.
But this is not right. Hell, I did not even know, if the girls want to do this.
I just riled them up and filled their minds with poisonous dreams, which is why T is hurt and crying herself to sleep.
Which is why Rishi was all alone, grieving his father’s death anniversary.
Which is why Naina would not speak to us like she used to anymore.
Right now, all I could think of is our song.
“Don’t you forget to remember me”
Don’t you forget to remember me Sam.
Don’t you dare!
What have I done?
Ahh so emotional! Thank you so much for reading guys.This chapter is very personal to me. If you have any suggestions, feel free to let me know. And if you want to be a contributor, message me and let me welcome you to the team.
Follow my insta page; https://www.instagram.com/aparajithadarbhamulla/ to check out the cover art for "Don't you forget about me", and even catch snippets of me singing to some of the songs from the story!
Thanks again! Shout out to 'Jork' for doing the artwork, and being a constant supporter.