Song: Girl Don’t Go Away Mad (Motley Crew) – Don’t judge!
Josie threw the last Corona mug at the wall and the glass shards missed my head by an inch. These arguments have been daily for two months now and I was completely done with them. Josie didn’t understand if I didn’t practice, I didn’t write, the guys and I would never get a record deal. The gigs at dive bars playing covers only placates the twelve hour a day drinkers and lonely business folks looking to escape. If I sing “Living on a Prayer” one more time I might explode.
Josie is my high school sweetheart, the homecoming queen, head cheerleader. Our junior year she broke up with Jim “Buddy” Lang, the big football star because he was, in her own words, a dumb ass who only remembers football drills. She wanted someone with emotions, who was arty and would serenade “Heaven” from Warrant to her nightly.
She found me sitting on the bleachers strumming my guitar and humming one of the many songs I wrote that was going to be the next epic hit. My dark hair was tucked behind my ears and laid flat against the back of my favorite Anthrax tee shirt. She sat behind me, mesmerized by the passionate lyrics about sun tanning and halter tops. I glanced over my shoulder at her and that look was our first I love You moment.
We lived the teenage dream, ran away from our small town the day after graduation and moved to Los Angeles. Rented a studio apartment in North Hollywood where she worked at the greek fast food restaurant downstairs and I was a bus boy slash dishwasher for a small Italian café on Sunset. I made friends who were also aspiring musicians and we started jamming together late nights in an abandoned warehouse we found off of Las Palmas Blvd. Josie took pictures during day and wrote poems about each of them after her shifts. I promised her that one of her shots would be the cover of my first album that would go double platinum and make us rich.
The bills piled up, two pregnancy scares happened and today we dislike each other more than love. Josie wants to move back home, make up with her family and have me work at the local warehouse packing automobile parts for shipment. I wasn’t leaving LA, no way. The band and I were so close to getting a show at the Troubador playing our own music, making our own fans. Why did she want to ruin everything?
“I’m leaving Glenn, my dad and I talked, he wired me money to bus it back home.” She stated, slouching on the beat up futon dropping her head into her scratched up hands.
“That’s all you have to say, when?”
“I’m not leaving Josie, this is what I want, I love it here.” I sit down beside her draping my arm over her shoulders, rubbing my hand up and down her arm.
“So, this it?” she sobs, shaking. I pull her towards me and kiss the top of her head.
“Yeah, I think it is. Look, I’ll help you pack and drive you to the bus station…”
“Wow, you really want me gone, huh?” she proclaims in sarcastic ready for round two mode.
“No, I want you happy. This isn’t doing it, I’m not doing it. I’m sick of fighting, trashing the apartment in a brawl over me staying out three minutes after your curfew. What’s going to happen when I start to tour, have all night recording sessions? You will hate me and I don’t want that.”
“I don’t either, and I don’t want you to hate me. I have loved you for so long Glenn, but this whole thing feels like torture. I’m taking the 3:30pm bus back home. I already packed, you can have everything that is here. I need a fresh start, I want out of LA, I want… peace. I don’t want you to drive me, let’s just say bye here.” She pauses, rolling her eyes to the ceiling. “I guess I was kinda hoping you would join me, you know?”
“Yeah, I know. I’m going to miss you Josie Winter,” I gingerly cup her face in my hands ”the first love of my life, apple of my eye. I will never forget you.” I hug her close, tears drizzling down my cheek crossing the corner of my mouth, the salty sensation burning my tongue.
“I will miss you too Glenn. Become a big star and make me proud.” She says pulling away, rising and picking up the duffel bag I failed to notice sitting by the door.
She gives me a slight wave and leaves. The hardest part was letting go, the easiest part was the relief of it being over.