Bad for You

By: Candy J. Starr

When I think of her, I see her sitting in the sun, her head thrown back because she’s laughing so hard. In my mind, she wears a yellow sundress and a big straw hat. We were on one of our tours down the coast, playing to the summer holiday makers. Tex and Brownie and I, with Julie tagging along. She’s tanned and glowing in my memory, not pale from living in the night time shadows. That would come later.

I’d wanted to wrap her up and protect her. She’d be mine forever. But there was something she loved more than me, and that was the thing that killed her.

If only I could forget her.

I’d tried, God knows, I’d tried. On more than a few occasions, I’d met someone who I thought could be the one. Julie would be pushed to the past and I could start anew. But it’s hard to move on from something like that. It wasn’t just that she’d been the love of my life. When she’d died, all my trust had died with her.

So many times she’d promised she’d give up the gear.

“It’s nothing,” she’d laugh. “I can quit any time, so stop being such a bore. There’s plenty of time for all that when we get older.”

But Julie had never gotten older.

After a few dates, the doubts would creep in. Were they acting weird? I’d check their pupils, look at their arms for track marks. If they were late meeting me, I’d question them. I’d even go as far as checking their phone messages.

Every time it ended the same way.

“You’re a freak,” they’d say. “I can’t handle this.”

I never told them why. I never discussed Julie with other women. They just got sick of me constantly keeping tabs on them. I wasn’t possessive and I wasn’t jealous, not of other men. I just knew that my heart wouldn’t take another betrayal.

The thoughts of Julie made me morbid. I needed to get out of myself. I didn’t know many people in this town. I’d moved here with my band a few weeks before. We’d be hanging around for about three months to get down the new album. Stu Bailey, the producer I wanted for the album, had his studio here. We had a few local shows planned, mainly to test out the new material.

I’d been thinking about making the move more permanent though. I didn’t need those hometown ties. Make a fresh start, maybe find an apartment to rent instead of these generic hotel rooms. That might be the best plan.

I sighed and rang housekeeping to clean the room, then headed out to another bar.

Chapter 2.Daisy

“Do I look okay?” I asked Meadow. “Are you sure I look okay?”

“You look fab, Daisy,” she said. “It’s not like anyone is going to see us in that crowd anyway. We’ll just be faceless nobodies.”

I rubbed along my jaw, paranoid I had a makeup line.

“I know and this might sound strange, but I’ve got a feeling something special is going to happen tonight. Something magical.”

“Hell, are you sixteen years old? Magical. Jeez, the only magical thing I’ve got coming to me in life is getting a black cat to add to my crazy old cat lady collection. We’re spinsters. You’ve got to face it. The only way we’d ever get a guy like Devon to look at us is if he comes to visit an old people’s home.”

“Ha, speak for yourself. I’m nowhere near thirty.” I gave Meadow a pointed look. She was a year older than me. “Anyway, tonight, in my mind, I’m going to be sixteen again. I’m going to adolescent fangirl like there’s no tomorrow.”

Meadow laughed. “Hell, yeah.”

The poster of Devon still hung on my wardrobe door from back when he was the bass player in FORSAKEN. It was faded and the edges had become ripped and curled from being taken down every time I moved house but I’d had that poster for so many years now, it’d become an integral part of my decor. Home wouldn’t feel like home without it.

I’d seen him play a heap of times with FORSAKEN, before they broke up. I even got to see them play once after they reunited. A lot of people dismissed him as just the bass player but he was the one I went to watch. Tex, the lead singer, was sizzling hot. There’s no denying that, but Devon was something else. Roguish and wild, like a dark gypsy who’d steal your heart.

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