Jack Barakat sang that song that touches him so deeply. The lyric was written by Alex Gaskarth based on Alex's experience, but why is it that he feels that every word is for him and about him? The incident happened 3 years ago, at the same place where he was performing that same old song right now.
"He woke up from dreaming and put on his shoes
Started making his way past 2 in the morning
He hasn't been sober for days"
As All Time Low performed this part of the song, flashbacks of 3 years back started recurring in Jack Barakat's head as if they are activated by the strumming of his guitar strings…
"ALL TIME LOW!"
The fans screamed at the top of their lungs to attract his attention and asked for his autograph when he stepped out of the pub which All Time Low was performing.
He agreed to the fans' request of signing autographs and photo-taking. And this was when he met her for the first time that night. Or rather, he noticed her for the first time.
"Hello Mr. Barakat, can you sign for me?" A lady with an air of elegance and sophistication asked him politely.
She looked different from all the other fans; she had this special aura with her. Also, she carried herself with great grace and confidence that Jack has never found in other women.
And she addressed him as Mr. Barakat, not Jack as what the fans will usually address him as. This made her stand out. Although she did not do it on purpose, she intended to seduce him with her alluring voice and beautiful bright eyes.
He could feel slightly her warm breathing on his hand when he was signing for her and she was standing so close to him, so close to the extent that he inhaled her perfume so much as if he had been mesmerized by a bewitching potion.
"Now this place seems familiar to him
She pulled on his hand with a devilish grin
She led him upstairs, she led him upstairs
Left him dying to get in"
He continued strumming his guitar as if they were the play button for his flashbacks.
After finishing with the autograph that night, he watched helplessly as she departed from his sight. He was stuck in the crowd of fans requesting his autographs and to take pictures with him.
And the night was over; at least his night as a guitarist of a band iwas over.
He finally had got some time of his own, some time of his own for soul-searching, reflection and telling himself that he should not lose sight of his goal.
As the other ATL members had their personal stuff on, he was left alone. Alone in a bar, he ordered his favorite shots from the bar-counter and enjoy the burning fire that was ignited by the marriage of his blood and liquor.
Up on stage, he was happy. He doesn't feel alone. His band members were with him and the fans were cheering for him. He truly felt like a super star. Yet the glamour faded like a fallen star when everything came to an end. And he is left all alone again, like Cinderella turning back into a commoner at the struck of twelve, all alone in the bar like so many other loners.
"Hi." A voice spoke into his ear.
He looked up from his drinks and saw a lady. He found the lady familiar, yet at the same time his memory data could not detect exactly who she was and where had he met her before.
Looking at his confused look, she continued, "I asked for your autograph just now. I doubt you remember."
It was her. The elegant and sophisticated lady that took away his heart for a few seconds when she was with him just now.
He was surprised to see her again.
"Oh! I remember. Hi... I'm Jack." He said, putting out his hand and waiting to shake hers.
"I'm Donna." She said with that same alluring, sexy voice that made his heart pumped at a faster rate as she shook out her hand to shake his. "Can you buy me a drink?" She said as she looked at him with her big and beautiful eyes that made Jack too difficult to reject her request.
"Sure. What do you want?" He asked as he signaled his hand to draw the bartender to him.
They started drinking and played guessing games. They shared stuff, Jack too. Those stuff that proved too private to be shared to anyone, even his band members- He told her. She had just met him and he told her everything.
And she on the other hand was mysterious, revealing nothing more than her name. She asked questions and Jack answered. Jack was glad that he could find someone who is willing to lend a listening ear, he does not care if she's going to spill it out or not; but deep in him, he believed she would not.
Without knowing at which part of the conversation or which topic they were at, Jack invited Donna to his apartment. A big no-no for a superstar like him; but for her, he did.
Reaching Jack's apartment, with both of them three-quarter drunk, the alchemy of alcohol started to show their power and they kissed passionately with each other the moment their eyes met. For a long, long time, their lips were pressing together indulging in the solace that the communion offered them.
Both were lonely victims of their mundane lives and they longed for this hug and warmth that had been deprived to them for a long while.
Jack is not a pervert or some desperate musician; he wanted to feel that he is loved and cared for. He wanted to know that someone is there for him, and he has someone to be there for. And he knew she is the one, that's why he brought her back and allowed the alchemy to act on its own.
She, on the other hand, is a great fan of All Time Low. She was always there at the concerts, their tours and their gigs. She was always the plain Jane that had never received another attention worth from anybody else.
Strangely, she has fallen in love with Jack. Yes, strange it might sound since she was not friend with him at all, but she just love the sight of him and the jokes he made when he is up on stage. Not forgetting that she is mesmerized by how serious and cool Jack looked when he played the guitar.
She was afraid that she might not have much time on this Earth anymore. Death was at hand and might take her away anytime. She recalled what the doctor told her when she went back to the hospital for a check-up.
"Donna, I'm sorry but your cancer cells are malignant. You need to get treatment immediately to save your life. Chemotherapy is the best choice right now."
She could not believe what she heard. Her mind was in a confused state and tears welled up her eyes unknowingly. She felt helpless; she did not know what to do.
"Does that mean I will lost my hair?" She asked, for fear that she would be catching weird glances from the public when she walked around with a bald head. She feared also the fact that she would be too weak to go for All Time Low concerts and that Jack will never notice her, especially because she was not attractive to begin him.
She decided to lose her virginity to the guy she loves before she dies and that is Jack Barakat. No one else but him. She dressed up for him and searched the internet for guides on how to be attractive. In a few weeks time, she was an attractive lady that turned every heads on the street.
She was hoping that Jack would stop her when she moved away after getting his autograph, but he did not.
She was depressed for the fact that she could not be with the guy she loves so much for even a second. So, she decided to drown her sorrow, the sorrow of knowing that she might die soon, in alcohol.
She stopped in front of a bar and she went in. And to her surprise, Jack Barakat was inside drinking as well. So she decided to walk up to him and say a few words. It was amazing; she does not expect that to happen.
She wanted to talk to him, and know more about him and spend the night drinking with him. The thought of losing her virginity to him was a fantasy that she could only imagine in her own head; she has not the courage to take this step at all.
She was all contented with the chance of talking to him and drinking with him.
Yet she did not expect her inner erotic desire to be fulfilled. Jack Barakat made the first move. He was falling head over heels for her, but she did not know it at all.
"Even though she doesn't believe in love,
He's determined to call her bluff
Who could deny these butterflies?
They're filling his gut"
He strummed his guitar even harder, with the addition of his rage.
She thought it was just another normal one-night stand that Jack Barakat probably had before with so many other women on the street.
She opened her eyes the next morning, and she was lying under his arm. He was just right beside her, deep in sleep.
She observed him; his sharp nose, his mouth and that beautiful face that seemed so out of reach to her once; yet it was just right beside her now. She could not believe her luck, everything seemed so surreal.
No, she cannot be selfish. She cannot make Jack Barakat date a woman who might die anytime soon. She cannot. Her belief in marriage was long ago diminished by her parents' failed marriage and those people around her. There is no true love, and everlasting. She does not believe in it, but she has no doubt that her love for Jack is true. She just cannot imagine the fact that Jack will be leaving her when he found out about her illness.
She moved her slender fingers up his face and touched his sharp nose, his closed eyes and his lips. He was so sound asleep, and looked with great innocence of a little boy.
Forcing herself to stop being selfish and indulging in her own desire, she got up and got dressed and left the house.
Tears rolled down her cheeks the moment she closed the door of his apartment and hurriedly made her way down the street.
The sun was shining bright and it was 9 a.m. Jack Barakat opened his sleepy eyes and felt the missing of the weight on his right side.
"Oh, where is she?" He asked himself with his sleepy eyes.
"Hey baby, are you preparing breakfast?" He shouted, hoping to receive a reply but apparently not.
He pushed himself out of bed and went out of his room with only his boxer on. The house was empty as it usually is.
What happened last night cannot be just his dreams. He remembered it vividly, plus the headache caused by the hangovers was an undeniable truth.
He looked around the house and she was no where to be found.
He dropped himself on the sofa and saw a notepad on the coffee table.
Thanks for the night, it was wonderful and I will remember it for the rest of my life.
He smirked, giving a laugh at himself for being naïve to think that he had found true love.
"What the fuck does she think I am?" He dumped the notepad back to the coffee table. A card that dropped from it caught his attention.
He bent himself and picked the card from the floor.
It was her name card and written on it were her company address and telephone number.
"Why should I give her a call? If she wants it this way, so be it."
Yet an inner voice brought him to action contrary to what he told himself.
He washed himself up, changed and dashed out of his house and made his way to her company.
He was told by the receptionist that she had resigned 2 days ago. With his continuous pestering, he was given her apartment address.
He made his way to the address given to him.
Before he knocked, he took a deep breath. He promised to pluck up all his courage to tell her that what happened last night was not simply a one-night stand; it was genuine love.
He knocked on the door and finally the long expected answer came. The person that opened the door wasn't her. It was someone else.
"Hi, I'm looking for Donna." He asked, trying to sound as polite as possible, thinking that the lady could be Donna's mother or something.
"She moved out this morning." The lady said.
He was surprised with the answer provided to him and he asked immediately, "So, do you know where she went?"
"I don't know. I'm just her landlord." The lady replied.
Helplessly, he looked around the vast street and hoped that he would spot Donna. It seemed as if she had vanished in thin air all of a sudden, remaining only in his mind.
"Forgive me, I'm trying to find
My calling, I'm calling at night
I don't mean to be a bother,
But have you seen this girl?
She's been running through my dreams
And it's driving me crazy, it seems
I'm going to ask her to marry me."
He strummed his guitar and sing-a-long to "Have you seen this girl?" as he recalled what happened.
He looked around, combed every places he could think of but she was no where in sight. He tried the streets near his house, her house, the pubs and bars he could think off and whatsoever place. It seemed as if even if he turned the whole city topsy-turvy, she would not be there.
Jack was devastated and for a few months, he was still thinking of her.
It has been 3 years. Jack Barakat still thinks of her whenever he sings this song. But he has slowly learnt to let go and focus on what he owes now. He is singing the song that touches his heart so much, so true of what he had gone through.
Performing this song so many times has lessened his wound of this failed relationship. Perhaps to be precise, to prove to him that it was only a one-night stand.
"I'm not coming back (forgive me)
I've done something so terrible
I'm terrified to speak (I'm not calling, I'm not calling)
But you'd expect that from me
I'm mixed up, I'll be blunt, now the rain is just (You're driving me crazy, I'm)
Washing you out of my hair and out of my mind
Keeping an eye on the world,
From so many thousands of feet off the ground, I'm over you now
I'm at home in the clouds, and towering over your head"
But yet he hates it when she appeared in front of him again when he was just about to erase her off from his mind.
He was singing,
"Well I guess I'll go home now...
I guess I'll go home now...
I guess I'll go home now...
I guess I'll go home"
when he seems to spot her among the crowd.
He believes that she saw him looking at her and immediately, she made her way out of the exit pushing pass the crowd of fans. Again, like how the first time they met, he watched her vanished from his sight helplessly.
He was back in the same old apartment a few days after he met her again. He was preparing to go out for a drink with his band members.
When he opened the door and about to make his way out, he was taken aback. She was standing right in front and her gesture looked as if she is going to press the doorbell. She was taken aback too.
Indeed, she had been standing outside his door for 30 minutes and still had not the courage to press the doorbell. She was in the wrong to begin with, and what right has she to visit him now. What's more, she does not know if that night meant anything to him other than a simple one-night stand.
She flew off to Germany to get treatment for her cancer and it took one whole year. For the remaining 2 years, she had regular follow up and check ups and these gave her ample time for her hair to grow back. She was declared healthy and free of cancerous cells after the 3 years although she still need to have regular follow ups. She decided to look Jack Barakat up and tell him the truth, and also at the same time declare her love for him. Though she might not succeed, deep in her heart she wants to at least give it a shot. The idea of nearly losing her life has taught her to cherish the moment even more. She was contemplating about many issues from the time she boarded the plane back to America to the time she was standing outside his doorstep. It was partly because of Jack Barakat that she put up with the torture of undergoing treatment and all- She just want to meet him in person again although she thinks that he will never fall in love with her, the real her, not the seductive one that she made herself up to be to attract Jack 3 years back.
Jack opened the door and saw Donna. Although she dressed differently and with a different hairstyle- much more simplistic and conservative- he still remembers how she looks like, for her face is the one that had been appearing regularly in his dreams for 1 year plus. He was shocked to see her and was at loss of what to do. Yet at the same time he was angry, angry for her disappearance.
If only he knew, he would not be so angry.
"Jack..." She said in a low, trembling voice.
Silence followed for a while.
He was angry, so angry that he could not contain his rage anymore.
"Why did you bother to return when you chose to leave in the first place? Why? You're like a thin air, without warning and reason, you disappeared in this Earth. I looked everywhere for you but you were gone! Where did you go? And why bother to return now? Didn't you treat what happened the other night as a normal one-night stand that you can better it off with as well with any other guys? HUH. TELL ME! Why did you bother to come back? You think it's cool to have a one-night stand with me, because I'm in a famous band? All the girls desire it and they can't get it. That feeds your ego huh?" He yelled at her right in the face.
"You looked… for me…?" She asked in a trembling voice, taken aback by Jack's words and reaction. She could not believe that Jack looked for her. She even thought that he probably would have forgotten about her now.
"Yeah. Something for you to boost about again huh? Telling the world you slept with Jack Barakat from All Time Low or he's your sex toy huh?" He yelled again after hearing her answer. "Get the fuck out of my sight, you bitch." He yelled at her, and after he finished, he slammed the door right in her face and returned to his apartment.
Tears rolled down her eyes with his harsh words. She does not know she had hurt him so much, she does not know he treated that night seriously, and she thinks he is right. She should just go away.
After slamming the door, he leaned his back against the door he just slammed and looked blankly at the living room as his tears rolled down like a running water tap down his cheeks. Slowly, he bent down, putting his head to his knees and hugging the latter with both his hands. He hit himself with his hands, frustrated at all that had happened. Why, why does she appear again when she chose to leave him that morning? Why does she appear in front of him when on his side, he is trying real hard to erase her off his mind? He threw the keys that he was holding in one of his fist across the living room and continued crying. "You suck, Jack Barakat…" He said to himself, weeping away. "AHHHHH!" He broke out a loud cry and his whole face seems to be covered with tears.
No, he cannot let her slip through his fingers again. The girl that has been on his mind daily, he cannot. He told himself. He stood up suddenly, grabbed his keys from the floor and dashed out of his house. He looked around the empty street and there is no sign of her anymore.
Fact is, she had been hiding behind an alley and hoping to see him for the last time. She was surprised he came out, and seemed to be looking for her. But she perished the thought at that instant as she believed that he hates her now. After seeing that he was no longer looking at her direction, she came out of her hiding place and turned to leave.
"I'm sorry Jack…" She whispered to herself and turned her back to leave.
At that moment, more tears rolled down her teary face.
He looked around and she was no where in sight. Once again he is devastated. He made a sudden turn of his back and saw her back-view that was leaving.
He dashed towards her, grabbing her arms from the back and turned her to face him. With both his hands holding firmly on her shoulders he told her, the girl that has been appearing in his dream and he longed to hold, "I'm sorry for all that. I don't need to know why you left anymore. It's now that matters. I love you and I hope you stay." After finishing his words, he pressed his lips upon hers, pulling her closer to himself and embracing her with his strong arms.
She was glad of everything, and she closed her eyes to enjoy the magical kiss as a tear rolled down her eyes.
Once again, they pressed their lips closely together in each other's embrace, kissing passionately, but this time, with a lot more love.