How to Be a Rock Star's Ex-Girlfriend (6 page)

BOOK: How to Be a Rock Star's Ex-Girlfriend
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fortable in her role as a stay at home mom. Even now that both of her children were out of the house, she still found plenty to keep her busy without joining the work force. I knew that once a week she met with a few other stay at homes. Once they had been play dates involving children and diaper bags, then car pools traveling to baseball games or speech meets, evolving finally into lunch at a new restaurant each week followed by shopping or a movie. It was a good excuse to get dressed up and out of the house. I can’t begin to imagine what she does with the rest of her time. I would probably pull my hair out in a few days!

Growing up I knew that I wasn’t going to end up staying at home. As much as I respect my mom and appreciate the time she had for us growing up, it wasn’t the path I planned to take. First of all, I didn’t want to have kids until I was at least thirty, if ever. There was too much living to do between now and then, children would only change my plans and hold me back. My mom had me at twenty-four, just a few years older then I was, and my brother at twenty-six. Even if by some crazy act of fate, I met and married the man of my dreams by the age of twenty-four, I couldn’t fathom wrecking the honeymoon stage by getting pregnant right away.

I was sure that somehow over the years my mom had felt the pity I tried to hide from her. I couldn’t help but wonder what she could have accomplished without us kids holding her back. Lucky for us, she never considered herself held back in any way, but the idea that I did feel that way caused a distance that neither of us knew what to do with.

Somehow in the few short hours that I had known Braden, I was already opening up about not fitting in. I don’t think I had ever even talked this much about my family with Cara and Sophie. For some reason I just thought Braden would understand. And I was right. He did really seem to get me. He even said that he had felt the same way.

He told me that his parents had never understood his desire to be a musician, making him feel a need to hide how much he wanted it. He took courses in other areas including accounting, journalism, and even cooking. His father was an accountant at a major firm and the only time that he had shown Braden any favoritism was when he had shown signs of following in his footsteps. As soon as Braden made the announcement that accounting wasn’t the career for him, the connection was severed. No more father-son lunches or pats on the back. There were a lot of quiet dinners in their household. No one knew what to say to each other or even if they should say anything at all.

Being an only child, I had pictured a doting mother, waiting at home with plates of cookies, homemade sweaters, and a story at bedtime. That was not the case in Braden’s childhood. His mom was a personal assistant to the president of a local corporation that owned grocery stores, the cable company, and various other businesses. Her job was very important, and she never let Braden forget that it came first. She was rarely home, and when she was, she was at her desk planning for the next day or making phone calls on behalf of her boss. There wasn’t much time for mother-son bonding or any patience for a son who wasn’t quite as ambitious as she was. What she missed was that in his own way, Braden went after what he wanted just as she did. That was why he was here now instead of back at school wasting his time and his parents’ money. As unhappy as it made his parents, Braden said that this was the first time he felt in charge of his future.

I was excited to hear some of his work. I am in no way a music connoisseur, my tastes range from hip-hop to classical without any rhyme or reason to what I like or dislike. While I usually leaned toward lighter rock, I was sure I could find something in Braden’s music that I enjoyed. There’s this appeal to seeing a band guy, he’s a little dangerous, a little mysterious, a little rebellious. It’s even better if you actually like the music he plays!

“What would you call your type of music?” I asked. “Is it really heavy?” I had heard some of the stuff that Dylan listened to, and I

assumed it was similar to what they played. There was usually hard rock pouring out of the Musicland gates before opening.

“I’m really influenced by all kinds of music, so some of the songs are totally different then others. But I’ve always been into rock, so I guess that I’d say our music was hard rock. It’s not like death metal or anything, so don’t worry!”

“Well, I guess I’ll have to come listen to you guys practice one of these days.”

“Cool. Dylan has a great set up since he rented a house instead of just an apartment. We’re turning the extra room into a studio. Pretty soon we’ll be able to record some demos!”

“Maybe you could play some shows around here. That dinner club downtown, it’s called Knight’s, I think, has live music a lot. We went one night and it was packed in there. I bet you could easily set something up through them. Or else Shaken has talent nights on Mondays.” I was sure that Dylan had filled him in on the local scene, but I really wanted to show him that I would support his musical path.

“I think Dylan mentioned Shaken, but he never said anything about the other place. I’ll bring it up to him and the guys and see how it goes. Thanks!”

“So, who else is in your band? Besides Dylan?”

“We have Tim, who plays drums; he’s a little older then us, twenty-five. We knew his brother who was our age. Then there’s Sam on the keyboard. When Dylan knew that I was coming back, he advertised for a keyboard player in the paper and put up flyers at the college and stuff. He’s cool, he plays really well, and he seems to have the same taste in songs that we do. And of course, Dylan plays bass, I play lead and sing lead vocals. We’re hoping that Sam can sing a little backup too. Dylan does okay, but our voices don’t always blend well!”

“Does this band have a name? And when can I stop by? Are you having regular practices?”

“Yeah, we’re meeting Sunday nights for sure, since the mall closes early that day. And then we try to pick another day, depending on everyone’s work schedule. That’s the hardest part since two of us work at the same store, but not always at the same time, Tim works days selling cars, and Sam goes to school. Crazy, huh? That may be why we haven’t come up with a name yet either! We’re too busy trying to get our music together to name ourselves. We’re still just ‘the band’!”

“Anytime you have to schedule around more then two people and their various lives, it’s a real challenge. I get headaches just thinking about making up the weekly payroll schedule, especially around the holidays! I bet half the time something comes up and someone can’t make it! Right?”

“That’s about it! At least we’re all taking it seriously. If one guy thinks it’s just for kicks, it makes it a lot harder to find practice times.” Braden looked over to the VCR, reading the time. “Speaking of practice, we’re having one in a half hour. By some crazy chance, I had today off and Dylan worked until four. He wanted to have a little time to eat before we got down to it. But I better take off. I hope you don’t mind?”

“Of course not. I totally understand.” I stood up and walked him to the front door. “Cara mentioned that we may go to a late movie tonight. You’re welcome to come with, if you’re done with practice. And if you want to.”

Braden gave me a quick kiss goodbye. “I’ll call you later, I mean it! I won’t just show up this time! If we’re finished with our practice, I’d like to go with you guys. I can’t really promise though, because sometimes we lose track of time and practice all night!”

“Well, thank you for the wonderful day! The picnic was a really good idea. I’m still not sure about your little joke, but I guess you’re off the hook now! Maybe tomorrow I could come to your rehearsal? Ask the other guys if they’d mind. And don’t worry about making the movie, practice hard and have fun. I’ll talk to you later. Bye!”

“Bye, Ava. I’ll find out about tomorrow and let you know.”

I closed the door behind him and walked back into the living room. Braden had helped me pick up most of the empty containers, only the pop cans and blanket remained. I quickly threw the cans into the recycling bin and the blanket in the laundry basket. I’d have to wash it next time I did laundry. After my warning about spilling earlier, Braden had bumped into his plate while laughing, dumping a pile of food. He had been so embarrassed that I had to give him a hard time about it.

It was getting harder not to get my hopes up where Braden was concerned. Attractive, sensitive, and a good kisser, what more could you ask for? He did appear to be the guy of my dreams, come to life! But we all know that dreams only come true in movies or romance novels, both of which I was addicted to!

CHAPTER 5
 

On our second date, Braden surprised me with reservations for a quiet dinner at the local Italian eatery and a single hot pink rose. While I gushed over the flower, he admitted that he had called the florist for ideas, not wanting to go with the traditional choice of red. He had said that he wanted something that would match my personality, my uniqueness. That boy certainly had a way of making me feel special. The whole night was perfect, the food wonderful, and the conversation easy and light.

We sat for hours in our corner table, sharing bread and small tastes of each other’s entrees. The soft music drifted around us, and I felt as if we were the only couple in the restaurant. The evening ended at my front door with a kiss that caused weak knees and a fluttering heart. Braden’s slow seduction was working so well that I knew I couldn’t say no if he asked. The fact that he didn’t made him even more irresistible.

By the third official date, lunch at the mall food court, I was hooked. I was a regular at the band’s practices, their first groupie! The other guys didn’t seem to mind since Cara came with me most of the time, and she had more then enough energy to flirt with all of them.

Our schedules were never very compatible, the nights I worked, he had off, and vice versa. If anything, it made the time we had together more important. We crammed as much as we could into each outing. After practice was over, even if it was two o’clock in the morning, we’d get something to eat or watch a movie until we fell asleep.

Unlike most guys I’ve dated, Braden’s number one priority didn’t seem to be sex. After three weeks of seeing each other with regularity, we had yet to sleep together. We had cuddled and slept in each other’s arms, but no sex. I was beginning to wonder if he liked me, but didn’t like me in that way!

I know a lot of women who won’t admit that they want sex just as much as a man does, but not me! I was a late bloomer, losing my virginity at eighteen and a half to the previously mentioned college boyfriend with the ‘mommy’ issues. My friends were slightly earlier then that, Sophie to a mystery boy she met when staying with her Grandma the summer we were sixteen, and Cara at seventeen to the cute neighbor boy who cut their lawn and shoveled snow for them in the winter. As interested as I was to find out what all the fuss was about, I felt like Cher in the movie Clueless when she says “
I’m just not interested in doing it until I find the right person. I mean, you see how picky I am about my shoes, and they only go on my feet!”
The boys I knew then were totally unsuitable. This wasn’t something to just get over with! And while Dane wasn’t the love of my life, he was really nice, very hot, and until his insanity started to show, just the right candidate for a first love. It took me exactly three days after we broke up to realize that I wasn’t in love with him, it was the idea of first love that I was into. No hard feelings though. Like I said, he was a decent guy.

So now I was faced with what to do about my current lack of a sex life. I could wait it out, knowing that sooner or later he had to make a move. There wasn’t anything about Braden that suggested that he was too shy to initiate some action. He totally had that hot, bad boy thing going on. Maybe he thought I wasn’t ready. But I was giving him signals all the time! Leaning in, letting my hands wander up his leg when we were sitting close, softly sighing when he ran his

hands up and down my back. What did I have to do, spell out I want to get laid with the magnet letters on my fridge?

I would never do anything that obvious, so that led me to take advice from someone with more experience in that area, Cara.

Ever since the neighbor boy had stumbled upon Cara tanning in her back yard, blocking the shed that held the lawn mower, no man had been safe once she set her eyes on him! She had managed to snag men from all walks of life.

There was Danny, the college football hero from our hometown. Just weeks after tossing neighbor boy aside, Danny’s friends had a party to send him back to school. Cara made a point to show up late, wearing Danny’s old high school football jersey, carefully cut apart and sewn into a very short, very tight dress. She strolled up to him and whispered in his ear that she was his biggest fan, could she get an autograph? It worked. For about a month, she visited him at college on weekends, cheering him and his team on to victory. Then, as usual, the appeal of an older, long distance boyfriend wore off, and she ended things. I think he still called her once a day for a semester, trying to fix whatever he did wrong!

After Danny, Cara dated high school boys for a while, until she met Trevor at the mall. Sophie, Cara, and I were shopping for Winter Formal dresses when we spotted Trevor in the music store. He was head to toe black leather with a slight mullet going on. Aside from the poor choice in haircuts, he was gorgeous. He was also at least twenty-five to our seventeen. Cara marched right up to him and launched her attack. She as yet to admit what she said to him, but ten minutes later she was riding away on his motorcycle, yelling to us that she’d be right back! Lucky for us, she came back twenty minutes later, only slightly windblown, with Trevor at her side, ready to follow her to the ends of the earth. He lasted until he refused to be Cara’s date to Winter Formal, claiming that he was too old to mingle with high school kids. Although he was right, he was too old; Cara found it to be a poor excuse and dumped him on his ass. By the way, he was twenty-six and not pleased that a seventeen year old girl had left him!

BOOK: How to Be a Rock Star's Ex-Girlfriend
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