Rock Stars. Part Eighteen

It's time for Click to meet with Dim. Dreading the encounter, Click leaves everybody else behind and goes it alone.

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By now, with the skies growing darker over them all, Click knew that Dim would have been in and straight back out of the hospital, seeing as it was Dim and he generally disliked staying still longer than necessary. Dim lived on the other side of town, well away from the block of flats that Julia had opted to stay behind at. The drive was long and lonely, and the urge to get to his destination was not a strong one in Click's mind. Looking for something to do or someone to talk to, he drew out his mobile phone while waiting for a set of lights to turn green.

He tried to call Emily, but she didn't answer. This shouldn't have surprised him, but it did. It was likely that the Emily phone had been turned off in favour of the Harmony phone. She would be working, and this meant that Click certainly did not want to speak to her. So little did he want to speak to her that he scrolled down through his contact list to Harmony's phone number and started to call that. Again, she did not answer. This was upsetting.

The rest of the journey was equally uneventful. The closer that he came to Dim's home, the more black the skies became. Even the moon was hiding tonight. Rain began to land on his windscreen and trickle down to wash his wipers. By the time he actually arrived, the sounds of thunder had overtaken the skies, and the violent flash of lightning did not entice Click to leave the relative safety of the vehicle.

It was at this point that he finally got a return phone call from Emily's phone. He picked up quickly. Hello? he asked, even though he knew exactly who he was talking to.

Can't last a day without me, can you? announced a voice that had always been able to fill him with confidence. It's a wonder I don't go mad from the responsibility of keeping your spirits up. When I get home I'll perk your spirits with pouring of spirits, shall I?

Yeah, that sounds really good. I can drink and maybe just forget.

You're so original, Josh, Emily replied with a laugh. The sounds of outside and the rain in stereo could not drown her intoxicating charisma. Perhaps this was an affect that she had purely on him, but her profession suggested otherwise. So why the phone call? You know it's dangerous to interrupt a woman when she's shopping - especially when rain's about to stop play. I'm a woman looking for shoes; rain just means only the dedicated competition sticks around.

Click waited until his speaking partner had no words left before he began to make his own point. "I just need some advice before I go into one of those big life altering moments that could completely screw up the rest of my life and career."

"Shoot."

"I'm about to talk to Dim," he said first.

"Right. Dim being the potentially life ending and career destroying thing. That makes sense to me."

"Everybody else has agreed to really make a go of things and get serious if Dim pulls his finger out, does some work and actually shows some interest in his band," continued Click.

"I'd say your life is over then," Emily confirmed with a sarcastic laugh. "Look. I know you get a bit bent out of shape and that you exaggerate things a bit in case you end up failing. I know you. Thing is, you're excited about this. You want to do this because you want to be good at your job. I'll admit, Dim's a twat. He could completely f--k you over and leave the lot of you without something that you've worked your arse off trying to get, but if that's going to happen then it's going to happen. You just have to look him in the face and say what you've got to say. Don't be backing down now - you've come way too far."

Sitting, alone, in his freezing cold car, with the breath from his sigh escaping his lips as a mist, this was very helpful for Click to hear, but it wasn't quite enough.

"Come on, Click," Emily added. "You're a somebody now. I know you don't want to let that go."

A light came on in the house before him. It was surrounded by a lush and well built garden, containing jagged rock gardens, smooth paths and flowers with colours that could be seen even in the relative darkness of the night. The house itself was three stories high, built of perfectly formed red brick and of an old Victorian design. It was a beautiful house; the kind that Click was desperate to end up in, one day, when he didn't have to worry about bills, and unreliable people, and mould growing out of his walls because he worked too hard to spend time or money on himself. He had parked right outside of their home. There was no fence to block out guests or pets - these people had that much faith in their surroundings.

He could have that. Maybe, if he worked so hard that he had nothing left to lose, that dream could lead him right to the wooden door of his dreams.

"I'll call you back after I've done this," he told Emily, taking several slow deep breaths to steady himself. "Wish me luck and, you know, pray my balls don't end up separated in a couple of vices somewhere spiders and rats can get at them.

Amen to lack of bollock separation, said Emily, with a laugh. I'm sure you'll be fine. You're not exactly a world saver, but you have your moments. Break a leg and save a ball sack. Bye bye.

The phone clicked into the dial tone and Click turned it off, just in case it interrupted him at some crucial moment. The next few of those were both crucial and potential dangerous, and he needed to have his full attention on them. A second later, he had turned it back on again - nervous that he might miss an important phone call.

He got out of his car quickly, intending to get where he needed to go before he lost his confidence, but that didn't work out. As it turned out, the house he had been eying up was not the one owned by Dim and his family. Their actual home was four doors down. This one had a fence, and a garden overgrown, strewn with empty beer bottles and crisp packets. The weeds growing around the actual building could not hide the green marks at the base of it, and yet the place still looked remarkably preserved. It was a beautiful Victorian house, it was just completely neglected. This could probably be said of anything owned by Dim though.

By this point, he had been out of his vehicle far longer than he had intended, and the rain had managed to soak completely through his shirt so that it could assail his skin and chill it to the core. Shivering came soon after; uncontrollable and unreliable. He wrapped his arms around his body and, as another flash of lightning burnt at his squinting eyes, set off towards his target with fear in his heart.

As he began to walk up the uneven pathway that could lead to his doom, his phone began to buzz again in his jacket pocket. This was an untimely annoyance, but it was also something of a lifesaver. There was a tree that could provide shade for him in Dim's near tropical garden, and he rushed towards it. Ignoring the mud that flew from the ground around his every step, and the wet slap of his trousers on his legs was difficult, but he had no choice in the matter. Comfort was not something that he was particular used to.

Once under cover, he withdrew the offending object from it's usual pocket. The screen told him that the number was unknown, but he answered it anyway, feeling more daring because of it.

Why are you being so slow about this? inquired the voice emerging from the receiver. Just get on with it and get back here, and bring some more alcohol with you, we're running out.

Of course, it was Julia, running out of supplies that were essential to her enjoyment of the moment. Silently, Click wished that he hadn't answered. I haven't had the chance to start talking to him yet, he responded quietly in case somebody in the house he was approaching heard him. I'm kind of busy here; you shouldn't be calling me. I have to focus, so just get some alcohol from a shop around there. There'll be plenty of places that do beer.

You're a f--knut, Julia through back at him. It sounded as if Matthew Cooper's secretary was not only drunk, but well on the way to being out of it. The time on his phone screen told him that he'd left them almost forty minutes ago, and that was long enough for Jerry to get anybody drunk. You should be sorting out the real priorities right now. Dim'll sort himself out. He's a good boy really. What? No? Alright, no, he's a A what? Oh right? He's an arse-muncher according to the boys. We had coffee. We put whiskey in it and that made it much better.

Julia, I'm sure this is really important to you and everything, but I have to go, Click attempted again. He was still under the relative safety of the garden tree, though it had started to drip slowly onto his head. Now though, he could see the drawn curtains of the windows more clearly, since the lights had just come on from behind them, illuminating the fact that there was indeed a room there, and people that he was supposed to be talking to. I don't want to be too distracted when I talk to Dim, and it's freezing out here. I'll do whatever, just please let me do it-

You're taking way too long about this, Julia told him. She followed this up, in a commanded tone, with the first of many orders that she gave him. You should come back this instinct and help the band that you manage instead of pining after the failure that came before it. You might actually get beyond just being a shit manager if you can put some focus where it's supposed to be. We can-

His thumb brushed the red button on his phone, and then moved quickly to turn it off. Knowing that he should have just left it off to begin with, Click put it back in his pocket and did his best to force himself to forget about it. The curtain had been pulled to one side, and Dim's face, still a little bloody, was watching him with an expression of fury.

If Dim thought that he had reason to be angry, Click was looking forward to letting go of everything that he felt about his own day today.

7 comments sorted by best / new / date

    The_Raven
    Goddammit, gotta wait a week before we see how this goes down. Your flow in this piece was good man. Julia gets on my nerves, but Click is manning up. This is good.
    Konkordmusk
    You should come back this instinct and help the band that you manage instead of pining after the failure that came before it.
    I think instinct is supposed to be instant. Even though she's drunk haha. Absolutely brilliant story, however.
    Daviec
    How did his phone ring when Julia called, right after he switched it off after his call to Emily?