Ace (Band of Brothers #1)

By: Lyra Parish

Everyone constantly acted like I was heartless and that shit was starting to piss me off. I didn't do things for recognition. I didn't need it. I would have rather he not say a word about it.



California was hot, but Atlanta, oh my God, it was scorching. I was almost certain that my skin would peel off my body as soon as the heat hit my face. Humidity—I had not missed it since I moved from Texas. My shirt stuck to my skin and beads of sweat dripped down my face and chest. Being outside was miserable. After I grabbed my luggage and strapped my soft guitar case over my back, I stopped at a little place to eat in the airport before I met the driver that would take me to Aaron's Amphitheater at Lakewood.

The whole way to the venue I thought about how I'd be a part of the actual touring crew and stay on a tour bus. Not sure how Jules pulled that one off, but then again that woman had connections I only dreamed of having. One day I'd get there, as long as I didn't fuck this up and get myself blacklisted from every prominent magazine in the world.

The driver stood in a suit with my name on a piece of paper. I felt a little special. He grabbed my bags¸ but I kept my guitar and we headed to the Cadillac that would be my ride. Wow, I thought. Phase had done something right.

When I arrived at the venue, I became a little overwhelmed by the amount of people who were already waiting outside for the show. Though Band of Brothers didn't start for another 4 hours, the line wrapped around the building. As we drove around the back of the parking lot, I saw the arena had a whole Pantheon vibe to it with the large cement pillars holding the roof from the stage. My nerves were already shot, and by the time the driver stopped in the back by the line of buses, I was tempted to ask him to bring me back to the airport. But I swallowed, grabbed my suitcase, camera, laptop, and guitar, then tipped him.

I looked down at my phone and saw it was 2:45 pm and I needed to check in with a woman named Miley, the tour manager, so I could get my passes and bus assignments before 3:00 pm. Jules had written a note on the itinerary: DO NOT be late. She will eat your ass for breakfast. Great.

If I quit now, then I wouldn't have the disappointment of being a failure. There were too many personalities, too many people, which confirmed this wasn't my type of thing. My stomach was tied into tight, double knots; ones that would not be undone any time soon. I hoped I didn't get a stomach ulcer from all the stress.

I wheeled my suitcase to the sidewalk and left it there. If someone wanted to steal my clothes, have at it. My camera and laptop were strapped to my back and I carried my guitar. Those were the important things anyway.

I walked across the hot asphalt toward the back of the venue where technicians were scrambling around. In the distance, I saw a woman who looked a little older than me wearing blue jeans that were torn at the bottom, a pair of converse, and an old t-shirt. The closer she got, the more I realized the heat wasn't only kicking my ass, but everyone else's too, because sweat covered her body and her hair was stuck to her forehead.

"Excuse me, do you know where I can—"

"I'm her. Miley." She held out her hand and gave me a firm handshake. I could always tell the type of individual a person was by their handshake and thankfully she passed my test. When someone gave me a weak one, I always questioned their integrity. Odd, but it never failed. If there was one thing I learned in college, it was to be confident in your shake even if you're not confident in anything else. People will always remember if you give them the dead fish hand.

She looked over in the distance at a man who was wheeling my suitcase toward me.

"Can you take the suitcase and all of this stuff to my bus?"

I handed over my guitar and laptop but kept my camera. "Thank you."

"Do you want to walk and talk?" Miley asked as the man walked away.

She delivered the words to me as a question but it was never intended as one because as soon as she finished her sentence we were walking behind the stage. A radio was secured to her hip and every few minutes she would pick it up and speak into it with direct orders.

"Here is the backstage area. You are allowed over here behind the tape. Make sure to stay out of everyone's way. We're glad you’re here, but you're not to be a distraction. Understood?"

I nodded.

"There is a pit over on stage right if you want to get front shots." She pulled two passes from her back pocket with a lanyard that had Band of Brothers and their names written in different fonts along with Summer Tour. One said Journalist and the other said Photographer. I felt like Charlie in the Chocolate Factory when he was given a golden ticket. These passes were my golden tickets, but unfortunately it wouldn't lead to a day full of fun, more like weeks of nightmares.

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