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Schedule … I don't have one. I write when inspiration takes me and fly by the seat of my pants. Sometimes, I get too busy with life and writer's block that I can't confirm a definite schedule of updates. Just please bear with me through this story and process to get my story out. And, always know that one way or another I will finish if it kills me! ~Thanks CC
Song for this chapter – Against the Wind by Bob Seger
Summary: When you're Almost a Shooting Star, eventually over time, you turn into a One Hit Wonder. Follow Edward Cullen and his trials and tribulations as he finds the one woman who stole his heart. Can time bring the pair back together? Or were they be a One Hit Wonder themselves?
Let's see what Edward Cullen has been doing since the last time we left him.
Thanks for dannibags for correcting my errors, and for being awesome. Piesmom for making sure that everything is good before it's début. And, a special thanks to dancewithme for the wonderful banner.
Against the Wind
It seems like yesterday, but it was so long ago … as the words play on the radio, I instantly think of my Izzy. She was so beautiful; she was the queen of my nights. She was with me during my darkness and brightest period of my life, as we played along the road. I often regretted being a part of the Midnight Riders, but there wasn't anything in this world that I would change because it brought me to Izzy.
Sometimes, if I close my eyes, I can still see her standing beside Bertha as the wind blows through her long brown hair. I miss those days and often wish I could catch a glimpse of her, just once more in this lifetime.
We had shared our deepest secrets with one another, and somewhere during our time together, she moved something inside of me forever. I was too stupid to realize what I had until she was gone. We burned like wildfire burning out of control, but then there wasn't anything left to burn and nothing left to do.
Looking back on the first time she stood in my room, I remember what she said to me; how she swore I would break her heart. She had been right all along, but what she didn't know was when I did that, I would also break mine in the process. At the time, I didn't see it that way because I thought she would be with me forever, but I never counted my stupid ways and Kate. I spent half my life wishing that Kate would have never came to New York and wishing I could take back trying to ship them off. God, I can remember how she held me … oh so tight; wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then.
The years have rolled slowly past, and I've found myself alone. My parents did all they can to help me work through my issues, but it wasn't the easy life I was used to during my heyday.
Kate and I divorced right after my solo career started. I'd heard it from my mother that not to long after the ink dried on our divorce, she married Garrett. I wasn't able to locate Jasper, and never heard from him. Mike moved to San Francisco, never heard anything more about him either. Emmett was married and moved somewhere with Rose. I can't remember where I heard they ended up. And Jake … he was a big time writer for Rolling Stones. I guess riding around with the band really paid off for him.
It turned out everyone I thought were my friends were actually strangers in the end. When I needed them the most, no one cared or even bothered to check on me while I was in rehab. And, I found myself pulling further and further from home. I didn't care for living in Forks anymore. It seemed every time I was there, I would run into Kate and her son, Ethan, or Garrett. Seeing the both of them turned my stomach thinking of the time I wasted. I didn't want to live anywhere around those two ever again.
I'd lost my way so long ago, and worked through rehab. After my first stent in rehab, it took a year before I fell off the wagon. It was the weekend of Emmett and Rose's wedding, and one of the last connections I had to the band. Their wedding was the reason I lapsed the first time. I blamed it on the injury from falling off the stage, but the truth was I met a girl at the wedding. Who was warm and willing, and also provided me with the things I silently yearned for everyday of my life.
When I almost died at Jake's … believe it or not, I fell off the wagon once more after that incident. There were so many roads to go down, temptations everywhere, and being alone didn't help my mind when the temptations came calling.
At one point in my life, I lived to be in a band, and was a singer to live. I never worried about paying or even how much I owed to anyone. When my life finally spiraled out of control, it was refreshing to not be moving eight miles a minute for months at a time. I had broken all the rules and searched for Izzy again and again. But, every search always turned up empty. At the age of forty-six, I had pretty much given up on finding her. What were the odds that she wasn't married with a couple of kids by now?
After my third stay in rehab, I finally gave up those drifter days of looking for ways to make me feel like someone. Now, I have too much to think about. I had too many deadlines and commitments driving me against the wind.
There were only two people from my time with Midnight Riders that made a reappearance in my life, Jasper and Alice, aka Tink. When he found me, I was barely surviving in my sobriety. It didn't take long for me to blow through what little money came in from all my solo royalties when I abused drugs. So being the entertainment on a cruise ship took me from temptation. I had strict rules in place for myself. I never got off the ship unless my tour was over, and I never socialized with others or anyone who I thought could be involved with drugs. I limited my rehearsal times, and didn't offer much to anyone. And if I was having a rather difficult day, I locked myself away in my stateroom until show time.
Jasper found me while on his honeymoon. I was passing the bar after my performance, in the lounge on the Caribbean Cruise ship from Florida to Cancun, when I heard someone call my name.
"Edward Cullen," he shouted above the noise in the busy lounge. I turned to see who was talking to me since aboard the ship I used the stage name Tony Masen.
"I'll be damned, look Alice," Jasper said, walking towards me and hollering over his shoulder at a dark haired woman. She spun around with a look of shock on her face, and then it cooled. Apparently, she still wasn't over the whole Izzy thing. She nodded, but never stepped over to us.
I clasped Jasper's hand and asked him to have a drink with me. He ordered a beer and I ordered Coke. Alcohol was something else I had given up along the journey of my life and a way to guarantee my sobriety. Every day I had to decide if I want the drugs or a career.
He talked about where he went after he left the tour, and how moving back to Seattle was the best thing for him. He went with a no name label and helped to get bands on the road. He asked about me and what I was doing and of course, I pointed towards the stage. Telling him about my latest gig here on the cruise ship, it wasn't glamorous, but it paid the bills. It also got me out of LA and Forks. I could have moved to New York or Vegas; somewhere were the music industry was really booming, but I knew the temptation would be there.
It was then that Jasper asked about my writing ability, which had been lacking back in the day. But, now I mostly used the memories of Izzy to craft my songs. Hell, the whole show on the cruise where all originals I had written either about her or for her. The only song that had ever really made it anywhere was 'Gypsy Woman.' It went Gold, but it was the only one. I had an album that went straight to number one on the billboard charts, but it was blown off the following week when the King of Pop released his latest song. To say the least, I was what everyone called a 'One Hit Wonder'.
Jasper and I chatted until his drink was gone, and I couldn't in good conscious keep him from his bride during their honeymoon. So, I left the bar, leaving Jasper to be with his new bride.
After my show, Jasper handed me his business card, and asked that the next time I was in Seattle to look him up. I told him I would, but I really wasn't interested in getting that close to Forks. It wasn't until my contract was up with Caribbean, that I had no other choice. I hesitated for months on end and when I couldn't wait any longer, I called Jasper.
I was older now, but still running against the wind.
During my stent in rehab, I taught myself how to play piano by ear. Trust me, I had lots of time on my hands. I also learned how to write and read music. I explained those things to Jasper, hoping there was something he could find for me to do. Jasper was the head of Artist Development. I quickly told him I never wanted to be in the spotlight ever again. He agreed especially with my addiction history. He handed me a cereal box and a picture of the character.
"What the hell is this?" I asked, looking at the box in my hands.
"This is your trail run …" he said smirking at me "… Here's the thing Edward … you don't want to be in the spotlight, and I can understand that. However, if you are truly interested in doing something in the music industry, you are going to have to write me a catchy jingle for this cereal."
I looked at the cereal box, trying to figure out some way to make this work. This was the last thing I had going for me. Of course, I could go to Vegas, but the prospects didn't sound all that good.
"You have two weeks to get me something. General Malt is a big food chain and if we could get this contract, Isa …" he stopped, when my head shot up at the last syllables he said.
"Mrs. Wolfe would be most pleased if we could get this account and be able to produce all of their jingles for them. Plus, she wants to pick up a couple of contracts for movies."
"Here's your moment to finally shine as an artist, writer, and reformed person, Edward," he said.
I left that day with the box of chocolate cereal determined to impress both Jasper and Ms. Wolfe.
The first day with my new cereal was the worst. I didn't have a piano in my small apartment, and every time I started to strum my guitar, the neighbors would scream through the walls. Staring at the box for hours, without being able to put words or notes to anything I come up with, was infuriating. I was struggling to come up with words that weren't wrapped around the image of Izzy in some way.
Not being able to use my apartment and not having the money to move, I walked the streets of Seattle, looking for any lounge or establishment with a piano. Something … anything to get me started. I walked into the Fairmont on Fifth Ave, praying they had a lounge. Heading back to the bar off the main entrance, I was in luck. Not only did they have a lounge with a piano, there was no one playing. I sauntered over to the bartender, flashing her my crooked smile, I asked if she would allow me to tinkle her ivory keys for a while. She blushed; it really was a cheesy line, but it worked. For several hours, I worked on getting the notes and sound right and tried different words that would work.
I thanked the bartender when she closed that night. She had given me her number, and asked me to come back to her place. I turned her down as smoothly as possible, hoping she would give me another day to work on the piano in her lounge. With my sheet music tucked under my arm, I thanked her and headed home. In life, I had learned the hard way, I thought as I walked down the street home. My heart and soul belonged to Izzy, wherever she was in the world, but not only that … I needed to be clean and sober for this job. That was one of Jasper's requirements, and I didn't know the bartender well enough to guarantee I wouldn't be tempted in some way.
Every day, I visited the lounge and every day, I entertained some of the patrons with songs. The manager of the Fairmont asked if I would mind playing there every night. I quickly accepted his offer. When the lounge was empty, it allotted me the time to work on things for Jasper. And when the lounge was full, I played songs for patrons and earned some spare change.
After my first cereal jingle, both Jasper and his boss, Mrs. Wolfe, were impress. I never got to meet her, but knew she was the Senior VP of the company. She would always send a glowing message through Jasper about my work and encouraging words that helped me while writing. To say the least, working for Howling Wolf Record Label was always interesting. I composed songs for artists and movies, and worked on jingles for commercials; it was fulfilling. I was free to write what I wanted and basically worked from home. I no longer needed the lounge, having purchased my own piano and a home that didn't have neighbors screaming at me to keep it down. It was both a blessing and a curse. It was a blessing while working on my writing, but a curse when I had nothing to work on and was trapped in the walls of my house alone.
During those times alone was when I thought of Izzy the most, but the downfall to being alone and thinking was the thought of drugs. I often pondered using them to ease the boredom and fill the void in my soul. The only way I worked around that was the lounge. Even though I had my own at home, I would go to the lounge every night and play for the guests there. Some nights it helped to keep my idle hands and my mind busy.
It was a typical Tuesday night at the lounge. I had stepped outside to smoke. It was the only vice I hadn't been able to successfully give up, yet. Actually, I didn't have any plans of quitting anytime soon. I stubbed out my cigarette and walked back inside. Tuesday nights at the lounge were usually slow, and I didn't do much other than hang out at the bar and talk to Ben. I took up my usual stool and motioned Ben to get me a coke just as a guest walked up to the bar.
"Scotch on the rocks," the young boy asked. He didn't look a day over seventeen, but it wasn't my place to meddle. Ben was a good bartender and he would check to make sure everything was okay. I turned back to my own drink and focused on writing down a couple of notes and words for my latest project.
The young boy checked out age wise and sat quietly sipping his scotch beside me. I didn't pay many people attention unless they specifically asked for me to play something. So I wasn't giving the fellow beside me much of my attention as I thought and wrote down notes.
"Is the piano player here tonight?" the young fellow asked Ben as he wiped down the bar.
I look up at Ben and watched as he jerked his head my direction. I looked over to the young boy, and really looked this time. There was something about him that looked oddly familiar, but I passed it off as nothing.
"I play the piano here. Is there something you would like to hear?" I asked. It threw me a little that the young gentleman would be requesting a song. Usually the young adults who shuffled through here left as quickly as they came, not finding the music I played all that fulfilling.
The young lad was rather confusing; he shook his head and gulped down his scotch. I turned back to my work, but heard him inhale deeply, only to blow it out seconds later. I looked over at him again to make sure he was all right.
"Hey man, are you okay?" I asked. Maybe the fellow needed to talk or something. But I thought that was in the job description for Ben; God knows I had shared things that bothered me from time to time.
"Uhm, are you Edward Cullen?" he asked, worrying his lower lip with his teeth.
"Yeah," I replied a little perplexed that this boy would know my name.
A/N: So, the first chapter of OHW … well, what do you think? Do you have any ideas of anything yet … who do you think Edward is talking to at the end? As always, don't forget to follow and … leave some love.