Enthroned in the front seat of the tour bus, he was staring straight ahead through his shades, having a superstar moment.
“Hello Darling,” I said teasingly, as I climbed up the steps and sat behind him.
Although he effected not to notice, he flinched.
“Oh dear, I’m in trouble,” I joked to the bass guitarist, Gary.
Gary raised his eye brows and smiled awkwardly but carried on to the back of the bus. I had put him on the spot and he did not want to get involved in our troubles. Maybe it was diplomacy, but I saw power politics at play.
In the roadside cafe Gary had been quite happy to make me feel like one of the band and joke about the antics of our diva. But here in the presence was not prepared to face the wrath or express any sympathy to the concept that maybe I was being treated harshly.
Feeling isolated and conspicuous, I carried on relentlessly.
“I have always been a massive fan,” I said with mock enthusiasm.
If this got through, he masqued it, sitting like statue.
“OK, I don’t exist, I mean I always knew that. True, sometimes I need reminding.”
I tried to remember exactly what I was in trouble for. I hadn’t done any more coke than him last night, but I had gone motormouth. I thought I had been hilarious. But I had sensed that I was irritating him and at one point that well practised icy stare had said nothing but hate. But hey, I was the love of his life and that’s the price you pay when your lover is complicated and has issues. And we all knew about his issues, they had gone double platinum and auditoriums full of adoring fans knew the words and sang along sharing every shred of his pain. With lighters held above their heads, it was like a candle light vigil and the outflowing of love was like a wave that crushed me every time.
Shit, they’ll all be singing about me on the next tour and what a twat I am.
I sunk deeper into myself. What the fuck am I doing here with him but never really with him? As always sitting by myself. There were no fans around now, no one was going to get that photo he so dreaded. How had I let him persuade me this could ever work? How had I let this emotionally damaged force of nature take dominion of my soul? I prayed that he would find someone new, dump me and put me out of my misery.
I woke alone feeling his absence like a part of me had been ripped out. I rewound to last night. We had fixed things, repeated our vows. But it was like neither of us believed them any more. But the passion had ignited briefly and at least for a while it had felt like our love was good.
But I could hear his concerned voice through the door talking to Jane. Bloody Jane, why could he never open up to me like that? Yeah, I knew, she was his oldest friend. She had always been there for him. But hadn’t I too?
When he wanted to cry or let out his hurt, I was honoured to be his shock absorber, his cushion. With Jane his pain was less operatic, but more sincere. And now, by the sounds of his hushed clipped tones, it was me who was the problem, the source of his sorrow.
The door opened and he stormed into the room, withJane timidly following behind him. I could tell that she did not want to get dragged into a fight.
He violently pulled back the duvet, exposing my naked body.
“See?” He said bitttetly.
I closed my eyes but felt their stares. It was like an autopsy and I was the corpse.
I could tell that Jane was every bit as uncomfortable as me, but she was trying to calm him.
“They do look like insect bites. I mean, they itch like crazy and when you scratch them, they can bleed.”
“Jane you are not getting this,” he said desperately, “I can’t lose him.”
But then I felt it as a certainty, I was already lost.