Slight sexual situations ahead! 😉
So much was happening at light speed, my life literally felt out of control. It was like I was on this 3 D rollercoaster, cranking to the tip top point, knowing there was a thrill about to happen but also totally knowing it was going to make me beyond uncomfortable.
Thinking about my future would envelop me sometimes, forcing me to hide out from everything–my parents, my bandmates, my friends…even Zachary.
I sighed and chewed my pencil. My therapist told me to write down my thoughts whenever I felt stressed. Zachary was the biggest stress in my life when he should have been the most peaceful.
But our lives were going in two different directions and I just couldn’t fathom how we were ever going to get to the same path.
As soon as he came back in town from the game, we couldn’t wait to drink each other up. My body vibrated as his warm touch sent shivers through me. It was pure ecstasy.
But the mood entirely changed afterwards once I unloaded what had happened with Mateo and Hunter and the band, BLITZED.
“You’re mad, aren’t you?” I asked. I could feel the tension between us like there was this hidden minefield and one of us was about to step on a bomb.
Not looking up from his phone, he said, “No, I’m not mad.” But he still didn’t look up and he didn’t look at me. He was mad. I could feel the frost coiling around us. Winter had arrived and not just outside.
Okay so I was mad. How did she expect me to feel?
I’d finally found the girl of my dreams. Seriously. Me saying that was so out of character that it had been hard for me to wrap my head around it. I’d always dated around. Never had a serious girlfriend. But with Cheyenne it was different.
God, just being with her felt so amazing. Like we were one. I knew I had it bad when after the game, all I could think about was coming home to her, not celebrating with the guys or scanning for random girls.
I honestly had been thinking about shopping for rings, getting engaged once I hit the pros. In about six months. We’d even talked about it. She had actually told me she was going to look into acting gigs wherever I ended up and now she pulled this shit on me?
I didn’t want to get into it with her at that moment. I was still processing. But she wouldn’t let it go. “Zachary…come on. I know you. Tell me what you’re thinking.”
I glanced over at her. Damn. Why did she have to be so fucking beautiful? And why did she have to also be well…who she was? “What do you think I’m thinking?”
She flipped her hand. “Oh, I don’t know. Like it’s a stupid idea and I shouldn’t be so impulsive and this all could blow up in my face and I should slow down.”
Staring at her was like watching a butterfly molt from a cocoon. I knew I couldn’t contain her. People like her HAD to fly. And I was being this stupid selfish bastard wanting to have her to myself. But was that fair?
I wanted to say yes, dammit. It was fair to me.
But I just couldn’t.
I folded her hand into mine. “Babe, if your gut is telling you to do this–quit school and join this band then who am I to say a thing about it?”
“Really?” she asked, beaming.
Right then I knew I was going to lose her. I just clung to the notion that fate would somehow allow a miracle and we would end up together.
Zachary was so sweet about everything but he couldn’t fool me.
He was worried.
And so was I but…I just went with it, trying to push out reality for as long as I could.
He made a joke about me having to dye my hair black and get a ton of nose rings and ghoulish tattoos.
I loved how fun he was. He could always make me laugh no matter the circumstances.
We cuddled there on the bed, legs like noodles, playing footsie.
Then he pulled me close to him, stroking my cheek. “I love you, Cheyenne Day. I always will.”
The way he said it was like he was saying good bye. Tears welled in my eyes. “I love you, too,” I whispered.
He leaned in, giving me a soft, tender kiss. I never wanted to let go of him.
I decided I’d do everything I could to keep us together. He was my soul mate.
Winter break was upon us and Kian and I along with Phoebe made the long journey to Oasis Springs. (Phoebe didn’t get along with her mom so she usually ended up with my fam most holidays).
Both of them changed into their swimsuits right away. One thing about the desert–it never got below 60 degrees on cold days. I thought it was too chilly for swimming but Dad heated up the pool for us.
I steeled myself a bit, walking around my dear old house.
I had tons of special memories here.
Mom and Dad never changed. They both were still focused on their research and archaelogical field work. I was happy to know they’d be home this winter break.
And I had something to unload on them that I’d been putting off.
I smelled something delicious smoldering on the grill. “Grandpa!” I blurted, so surprised to see him. “What are you doing here?”
“Can’t an old man visit his son and family?” he smiled, eyes crinkling.
I wrapped him up in a hug. “I love that you’re here. Hope you can stay for the whole time.”
Squeezing me, Grandpa answered, “I’ll be here for a few days, pumpkin.”
Oh right…it was Grandma’s turn to visit us for Christmas. That was a touchy subject with him. I was so glad my parents loved each other. Split families sucked.
With a twinkle in his eye, Grandpa said, “So…how’s the band coming along? Any new gigs I should know about? I want to see you perform, you know.”
Stomach jolting, I looked around for Mom and Dad. I hadn’t told them yet and I wanted to present it to them my way. “You didn’t tell them did you?” I whisper screeched.
“That’s a secret between you and me. Don’t worry.” He winked. “But you should tell them sooner rather than later. Remember. It’s your life. Hold your ground. Know I’m rooting for you.”
That little speech did nothing to calm my nerves. He knew as well as I did this was going to be a fight.
Just then, I saw Mom and Dad come up from behind him and my stomach jolted.
After they both gave me a hug, Dad said, “So…only one more semester until you graduate. I’m so proud of you, Cheyenne.”
“Eheheheh,” I fake laughed. “Yeah. So…um…I’ve got some news.”
“Really?” Dad’s eyebrows raised. “Spill, sweetheart. You dumped your boyfriend and got a new one?”
I shook my head. “Daaad…no. But can we go sit down to talk?”
Ugh. They both had these silly proud-parental looks on their faces. I didn’t want to disappoint them.
“So, what’s up?” Dad asked.
Like diving into an icy pool, I just had to muster up the courage and plunge in. “I got this really cool once in a lifetime opportunity. I was asked to join this indie band that totally have two hundred thousand followers on WooTube and thirty five thousand followers on Simstagram. Isn’t that amazing?” Oh dear God I was blowing it. Calm down, Cheyenne. You’ve got this.
It was like a wave of understanding hit both of my parents at the same time.
Dad gave me a look. “If they’re that popular then they must tour, right?”
“What about school?” Mom chimed in. She didn’t miss a beat. You couldn’t get anything past her.
“I’m…um…going to take a small break, you know. I mean…an opportunity like this doesn’t come around very often. Heh heh. It’s like winning the lottery.”
“What kind of band is it, honey?” Dad asked.
“Oh, well, you wouldn’t understand this kind of music. It’s sort of like rock and roll, ya know? Like throw back in the old days.” I seriously didn’t think they’d like me joining a black rock band…it was a bit edgy and my parents were anything BUT edgy.
Already I could see the tension filling Dad’s eyes. “If it’s oldies then why would you want to join it? That doesn’t sound like they’re going to be very popular.”
At that, Mom jumped up. “It’s her life, Liam. Let it be.”
“I’m just asking some questions, dear.”
“Okay, ask away, but whatever you do…be nice.” She threw all kinds of extra sentences at him with her eyes. Mom was always my biggest supporter of acting when Dad didn’t like it and now, I knew I could count on her to help me out except instead of staying and being on my side, she left.
My parents had a rule that if they didn’t agree, they wouldn’t argue in front of us kids. So she let Dad say whatever and then later, they’d talk. Sometimes she’d get through but other times, she’d side with him. I needed to stay strong. Just like Grandpa said.
“So…what kind of contract did you sign? You probably need an agent, honey.”
Agent? Wow. Contracts? They never mentioned anything. “I’m um…you know…going to get paid by the gig. We split everything five ways.”
“Do you know how much you’ll get per gig and how many gigs a week? These things are very important, Cheyenne. How are you going to support yourself?”
Omg…he was rattling off a bunch of nonsense! I mean…I guessed I didn’t think it through but those guys made it out okay. “I’m…in the process of figuring that out.”
Then his tone changed. “So you’re going to throw away everything you’ve worked for, toss out all that money we paid for all your schooling for the past three and a half years, to join a band you honestly know nothing about?”
“Dad…trust me. I know what I’m doing. If it doesn’t work out, I’ll go back to school and finish. Okay?”
He shook his head. “No you won’t. Because once you stop, you’ll be out of the college mindset. You might do this for a few years, make a little money and for what? To barely make ends meet? What about acting, Cheyenne? That’s your passion. This band is just a flighty distraction.”
Ugh. He could be so unreasonable at times! Why couldn’t he support me for once in his life? He always had the delusion that I was going to end up like his dad or worse…his mother…who didn’t follow her real dreams and went on a whim with Grandpa to Del Sol Valley only to crush his whole family. “This is about Grandpa, isn’t it?” I almost yelled. “Well, I’m going to tell you once and for all I’m not HIM! I’m not THEM! I’m following MY path!” I flipped my hands. “Why can’t you just trust me for once?”
“I won’t support it.”
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Anger burst through me, making my eyes tear. “Fine. I don’t need it.”
Shaking, I bolted away from him. I couldn’t believe it was like I was a teenager, fighting with him over what I wanted to do in my life. Why wouldn’t he ever trust me?