Invisible Love Letter(4)By: Callie Anderson
The crowd roared when Nose Deaf, a local alternative band, appeared on stage. Axel’s band was fourth on the roster and the only cover band for the night. The first three bands were great, but I was excited to finally see Axel perform. As Flagpole, an all-female band, exited the stage, we moved from the bar to our usual table. I climbed on top of the picnic table so I could see the boys on stage.
The emcee tapped the microphone. “All right, everyone, let’s give a big welcome to Elephant Room!”
My hands burned as they slammed against each other. Kate, Monica and Leslie all followed, hollering at the top of their lungs, but then my voice trapped in my throat—like someone had squeezed my neck.
It was him.
The guy who had been running laps in my mind was now standing on stage with Axel.
“How’s everyone doing tonight?”
His voice erupted from the speakers and caused chills to run down my spine. Los Angeles was filled with millions of people. What were the chances?
“We’re Elephant Room, and tonight we have some special songs for you.”
Axel’s drumsticks rose over his head. Slamming them against each other, he counted to three.
I didn’t know his name, but when he sang it was as if I had known him all my life. His voice was soothing, yet hoarse. It pulled you in and made you focus on the lyrics. I couldn’t sing, nor could I play an instrument, but I knew talent when I heard it. He was the real deal, and soon I would be watching him perform all over the world—I knew it. I had this feeling in my gut that music executives would be lined up at his feet to sign him. He had that look about him, the look that most mothers would warn their daughters to avoid. The look that screamed trouble. The look that sucked me in.
Love, music, and me: the perfect, deadly combination.
“They’re really good,” Leslie shouted.
I couldn't speak.
I was unable to utter a sound because I was captivated by his voice.
According to Axel, this was their first time performing as a band, but the way they rocked out, you’d never know. Pete was the lead guitarist and backup singer—Axel had introduced me to him in the common hall. I had met Harry, the bass player, a bunch of times, he and Leslie had a thing. But the singer … him … he stole the show with his voice.
Any chance I had of removing him from my mind had gone to shit. I didn't want to walk in my mother’s footsteps, but that didn't stop me from wanting him any less. His voice lulled me, coiled around my body and held my attention through each melody.
It was only for one night.
He was born to be on stage. The way he got the crowd involved wasn’t something you could teach a person, it had to be buried deep inside you. He took his time, singing and moving around the stage to jam with the other guys. He had a sound the media would love, he could sing live and hold a note, and …
Well, he was fucking hot.
Thirty minutes and six songs later, Elephant Room said goodbye to their screaming fans and left the stage. My throat ached from yelling and cheering. The house deejay began spinning his mixed tracks and my mind raced. Axel would come find us, and he would want to know what I thought about his performance, but I couldn’t pull my eyes away from Starbucks-sexy-singer guy to even notice him playing.
Still standing on the picnic table, I spotted them headed towards us from behind the stage. Leslie tugged on my hand, drawing my focus to her. “You okay? Are you fucked up already?”
I didn’t want to admit what I was thinking, so I jumped off the table and landed next to her. “Who’s that?” I pouted behind Leslie and drew her focus from me. Axel had his arm around a lanky bleach blonde girl. She wore a white mini skirt, high strappy sandals and a tube top that pushed her breasts together. I’d seen her here plenty of times, but we’d never actually met. She was in a different guy’s arms every night. “That’s Back Alley Sally. The bar groupie you can usually find in the back alley fucking whoever was just on stage. And by the looks of it, Axel is her next target.”
I watched as Axel led her towards us. My heart began to race and my mouth grew dry as I noticed he had his arm wrapped around Monica.
Why did it feel as though I had been punched in the gut?
My eyes darted towards our wooden table. I located my lukewarm bottle of beer and chugged it. The hops tingled at the back of my throat. I squeezed the empty glass bottle to calm my nerves.
“So?” Axel’s voice boomed over the noise. “What did you think?”
“Y-You were great!” My voice seemed shaky. My gaze locked with Axel’s. “You guys were really awesome.”
From the corner of my eye, I noticed Monica drape her arms around his neck. I didn’t understand why it bothered me. There were plenty of nights when Monica’s moaning kept us all up, and the morning walks of shame seemed endless. So why was I surprised she’d hopped on the finest piece of ass in this club? And who was I to claim him as mine? I had nothing with him. I didn’t even know his freaking name.
“Thanks to Weston.” Axel raised his free hand and grasped his shoulder. Our eyes locked and my anger with Monica vanished.