There are times in your life when like, you swear everything's moving in slow motion, and that if you could just like wish hard enough, life would stop…and you'd just be like…frozen in that moment forever. Every minute with Jordan Catalano was like that…
5 years ago…
"Kinda like this?" I questioned, holding the guitar awkwardly in front of me.
"No, not really" Jordan chuckled, sitting behind me and wrapping his arms around me. "It's more like…this" he breathed against my neck, adjusting my fingers to the correct position. If I had to be honest, that moment was like the only reason I asked Jordan to teach me how to play.
Jordan and I spent almost every night the summer after our senior year holed up somewhere alone; his room, my room, the loft, parked in his car in the middle of nowhere, as long as we were able to be together we didn't care where we were. High school had given us many hard moments, countless break ups and even more make ups, and now here we were heading in opposite directions in a matter of months, a realization neither of us ever admitted to ourselves. We had decided that we were just going to be together while we could, and deal with August when it came.
"Who taught you how to play" I asked without looking up from the chord I was so desperately trying to perfect.
"No one" he softly answered, pulling my hair to one side of my neck. "I guess it's like…the only thing I've ever been naturally good at" he kissed me softly on the neck and then laughed silently.
"What's so funny?" I smiled turning my head to look him in the eye.
"It's just like…I mean, I guess it's not the only thing I've ever been good at" he joked moving his hand from my hand to the side of my face. He traced my lips with his thumb, and then kissed me softly.
The thing about Jordan's kisses is that they are like soft and sweet one minute, and then like hard and rushed the next. They say so much about him and who he is, that I always end up feeling like he's sharing a part of his soul with me. I loved his kisses.
"Angel-food…hello?" Rayanne said trying to grab my attention, "Where's your head at? Come on, we're on in like minutes".
"Sorry," I blushed, putting my guitar down and turning to her "I was just thinking" I sighed and headed to the mirror to fix my hair and makeup.
The fall after we graduated, me, Rayanne and Rickie moved to New York. I was studying writing at NYU and Rayanne was desperately trying to make it on Broadway. She was good, but so were a lot of people, and she was having a real hard time. One night, in an attempt to keep her safe in the apartment instead of some bar down town, Rickie and I convinced her to stay in. I started messing around on the guitar that Jordan gave me as a reminder of him (like anything could ever erase him from my head), and she started singing. Somehow things clicked, and we spent more and more time creating our own sound. It started as a way for me to keep a piece of Jordan with me, but after a while it became more about the music and what I was creating with my best friends. We started playing for the public, dive bars mostly at first, and then it just snowballed into this real band that people were requesting to hear. We were signed a year later, and I dropped out of school to tour Europe the following spring. Now back home for the first time in two years, I was finding it harder and harder to keep my thoughts off the boy who started the whole thing years ago in the loft. Jordan had found his own success with music in LA, but on opposite sides of the world, we slowly lost touch.
"I thought you were going to stop doing this to yourself" Rayanne sighed and sat down at the mirror with me.
"I know, I just…I can't make myself get rid of that guitar" I sighed "besides, I've written some of our best stuff on it. It's like, magical".
"You're talent isn't tied to him" she said grabbing my shoulders and forcing me to look her in the eyes "I know that you guys don't have the sense to either commit or cut each other loose, but you have to stop torturing yourself. I'm worried about you".
"Rayn…" I started only to be interrupted by Rickie running into the room.
"What are you two still doing in here; you should be backstage like yesterday. Ange-don't forget that you guys changed the intro to the encore number, Raynie-I had them fix the lighting so no more excuses to forgetting the bridge for the cover. Go, go, go…" he demanded pushing us out of the dressing room.
As far as tour managers were concerned, Rickie was the best. He was firm with Rayanne, knowing exactly how to reign in her wild side, and he was gentle with me, spending many late nights talking with me on the bus as we drove from city to city. He became this surrogate boyfriend for me, attending many events with me as my date, supplying all the emotional benefits of a boyfriend without all the complications of putting your heart on the line. His partner Alex was wonderfully understanding, and found a connection with Rayanne as a recovering addict himself. The four of us became this family of support and love that we rarely ventured out of.
"Did you tell her yet?" Alex asked finding Rickie pacing the hallway outside of the dressing room.
"No" he said hugging Alex and not letting him go "How am I supposed to tell her that their bands were just picked up for a joint summer tour? I mean, they're not even the same genre, I didn't think this would ever happen. Maybe I can still get them out of it" Rickie sighed pulling away from Alex and getting his Blackberry out of his pocket.
"It's a benefit tour honey," Alex soothed, taking Rickie's phone and putting it in his pocket. "There's going to be like 20 different bands there, and all the proceeds are going to amazing causes. This is important for Rayne."
"I know I just worry about Angela. Her heart is already so exposed; I don't want her to get hurt"
"I love you for that, but you can't protect her forever." Alex whispered.
"I can try though" Rickie replied, allowing himself to be wrapped up in Alex's embrace.