Well I haven’t done this in a while, for those who are interested in the fictiony aspects of this blog, this is the first three pages of a new book idea I’ve had, of course, the fact that my first has yet to achieve any attention and that my second and third are still in the works makes this a little hopeful but nevertheless, I hope you like it.
James took another sip of his mojito as he watched the band break into another Sinatra cover, even a thousand miles from home; he observed the world could not take its mind of the USA. The acoustic guitars and seductive tones flooding the night air made it easy to get lost in the music, and after a couple of drinks James had found himself completely fixed to the band, it was as if home was calling him, perhaps it was time to finally call it quits.
The Italian town of Alberobello held many delights but success was not one of them, he had travelled far chasing his dream, he had played the same instruments to different people over many miles and many months and yet there had always been the same reaction, that apathy, he noted, was a far cry from the absolute attention this band demanded, the beautiful Mediterranean warmth and the glow of the town’s lights made this night absolutely perfect, he could have died right there and he would have been happy, as cliché as it sounded.
Perhaps, he considered, he could take his guitar back to America and work in a different direction, perhaps he should get more into Sinatra, were he to get the same control over his audience as the Italian band had over him and his emotions, he began to feel himself well up as he anticipated a change he knew had to come.
Alberobello was absolutely beautiful; he could quite easily live there if he spoke fluent Italian and had enough money to avoid the struggles of getting a fixed job in a country where he still felt quite alien despite its comforts.
Perhaps his journey was over; perhaps his brother had finally won. Blessed with all the good looks and all the success one man could take in a lifetime, all James had wanted was to make a name for himself on his own, to show that he was more than just the brother of Ryan Addison, he was a human being in his own right, a human being with goals and feelings, one that wanted to be remembered when he was gone.
Alas, it would seem that his blind faith in his talents had gotten the best of him, in an industry that was essentially one long game of dice he had constantly been rolling ones while his brother had wowed the world with his multitude of double sixes.
And that was the worst thing about knowing that his pursuit of glory might have been over, months of touring the world on his own and he had never forgotten just how much he felt that he lived in Ryan’s shadow, it was more than just jealousy, it ruled his entire life.
As he finished his fifth mojito he considered calling it a night, the Italian women were far out of his league, especially in a place as picturesque as this, and he was not about to get any publicity from this band, he had plucked up the courage to speak to them before and they were not interested in affiliating themselves with anyone, especially someone as lacking in establishment and fan base as he.
As he fumbled around in his pocket to see if he had enough to change for one last drink however, he felt his phone begin to vibrate urgently, for a moment he was deadly excited, hoping that his constant flaunting of his musical prowess had finally earned him some form of reward, however, that was not the case, as he scrambled to pry his phone from his admittedly quite tight pocket the phone stopped ringing and instantly he knew who was calling him.
“Tight little…” He muttered under his breath, retrieving his cell and confirming his suspicions, his mother never wanted to use up her calling credit, especially not while he was so far away and the price was so ridiculous, what made it worse for James however was that he could not ignore the drop call, she would never find it in her heart to forgive him if he did.
Walking slowly away from the beautiful music, phone in hand, reception struggling to make his call a stray dog wandered towards him, it was a beautiful golden retriever, perfectly happy despite a piece of chewing gum firmly lodged into her fur. James gave the dog a hearty greeting with his free hand and the dog responded with a more energetic wagging of its tail. Hell, if she could be happy with nothing but strangers for company he could be happy working in a new direction. Suddenly he was feeling homesick, he knew that both he and his music belonged back in America and just as that odd sinking feeling began to hit him, his mother picked up the phone.
“James? Where are you?” The voice on the other end of the line managed between sniffs and whimpers, suddenly James wasn’t feeling so lax, he jogged a few metres away, the stray dog following him as he went, whimpering as if it couldn’t stand to be alone.
He gave it another rub behind the ears and its whimpering began to subside but it still didn’t look happy, it was almost as if it knew what was about to be said.
“I’m in Puglia Mom, in Italy, why? What’s wrong?” Suddenly James was feeling as if he had defiled his family, he was needed, and he was many hours of flight away from home.
The next couple of minutes were an amalgamation of hellos in their question form and muffled whimpers, James was worried sick and could not think of anything to say, he had never heard his mother so sad before, not since her father died many years ago when James was still in elementary school, this was bad, this was bad.
“Mom?” James’ voice began to warble, he wasn’t prepared to be left hanging, he needed to know what was wrong, but more importantly he needed to get back down there, back to the motherland, to the people who truly needed him.
“I don’t want to force you to come home but…” She managed before becoming inaudible again and James’ guilt began to climb up the ladder towards an all time high.
“I can come back Mom; if you need me I mean… please, can you tell me what the matter is?” There was no response for a moment, but after one loud sniff her voice began again, considerably deeper than how it usually sounded, holding back her emotions was no good, the monotone it created as an adverse effect gave away her hysteria.
“They’re saying Ryan killed himself… the police found him in his penthouse this morning, he had been dead for over twelve hours… he…” And she broke into tears again, this time however, she was not alone.
The stray dog standing with James began to weep, its adorable eyes showing the emotions that James only wished he could get out of his system, his shock was far too strong to process anything close to that, instead he stood there, open mouthed and pale in the face.
“I’ll be back by tomorrow, keep it together.” He managed before he had to hang up the phone, he couldn’t bear to hear his mother’s grieving, and he could barely believe what she had said himself. Ryan was invincible; he was world renowned, a hero to many, why would he kill himself?
It made no sense to him, but then again it had been several months since they had last spoken, and a lot could have happened in that time.
James shook his head violently at this thought, dismissing it from his own mind, no, Ryan wasn’t like that; he was happy; he had everything he wanted.
But did he? How well did he really know his brother behind the jealousy?
The dog standing by him began to look up at James expectantly and James stroked him once more as it seemed to do the grieving he could not manage in his shock.
“Thank you.” He whispered to it, knowing full well it could not possibly understand what he was saying. “But I’m going to have to leave now.” It seemed to accept this pretty well, as James walked into the night, still in a state of abject shock and terror the dog stayed behind as if she had accepted that she had played her part.
And as he made his way past the lush palms that skirted the sidewalks of a beautiful town he might never get a chance to see again, the grieving began to hit him, and he collapsed against a tree, unable to move for his disbelief and anxiety.