I've been working on Mike and Hannah's story. On 7/23, I posted "Just wrote a chapter of the whole band hanging out and giving each other crap."
Here's a sample of that. It's a Sunday and the band has a rare day to chill. Mike's POV:
The guys were coming over for the basketball game, if they could pry themselves from their women long enough. Aaron showed up first, a rarity since he was chronically late.
“’Sup, bro. I brought the beer!” He was the youngest of us at twenty-six and still talked like a skater kid. Or surfer. I wasn’t from
“Counter.” I shut the door.
“Awesome, you already got pizza.” He made a beeline for the box.
“Hands off, vulture. You’re the first one here.”
“You got plenty.” He bit into a slice of pepperoni. “And dude, that’s why I’m never getting married. Bet you they bail on us again.”
That would suck. “Jake’s the only married one.”
Aaron shrugged. “Bob might as well be. Red snaps her fingers and he comes runnin’. She must be some piece of ass…”
“Dude. Manners. Celeste is family.”
“Pfft, Bob wouldn’t mind. He’d say ‘damn right!’”
“I wouldn’t mind what?” Bob asked, coming in. My bandmates didn’t need to knock.
“Aaron’s just being himself,” I said. “Beer?”
“Always.” Bob grabbed a bottle and planted himself in front of the TV.
“I was sayin’ it ain’t great odds for you formerly-single guys to show up,” Aaron said.
“Like I’d miss the NBA playoffs.”
“See?” I said.
“Okay, I’ll grant you that one, but Dylan and Jake will bail.”
“Nah, Dylan will make it,” Bob said.
“Bet you he’s in Big Bear.”
“They both texted me today that they’d be here,” I said.
“And that means so much when Flaky Jake is on daddy duty,” Aaron said.
“I’m gonna tell him you said that.” Bob grinned. Jake hadn’t been unreliable in three years and hated the old nickname. Though he had canceled on a lot of invites since becoming a father a year ago.
The door opened and Dylan walked in. The bassist was freshly shaven.
“See, he did go to Big Bear!” Aaron said, pointing at Dylan’s face.
“What are you on about, twerp?”
“Aaron’s just jealous of all the sex we’re having,” Bob said.
Dylan shook his head and set a bag on the counter. “The wings you ordered, good sir.”
“Thanks.” Yeah, we were millionaires, but we were still regular dudes. We just ate better quality pizza and chicken wings now.
It was halfway through the first quarter when Jake burst in—with a baby carrier.
“Aw, not the kid!” Aaron said. “Dude, this is supposed to be bro time.”
“Beth woke up sick this morning, so I promised her a few hours of uninterrupted sleep.” He dropped a diaper bag. “I can set her in your room, right?” he asked me.
“Yeah…sure.” I didn’t mind the kid, but Aaron had a point. We didn’t get to hang out as just the band much these days, and now we’d have to keep our volume down to not wake her.
“The munchkin is out cold, so she won’t be a bother,” Jake said, shutting my bedroom door. “You didn’t let Aaron eat all the pizza, did you?” Aaron flipped him off.
Once all five of us were settled on the sofa, it was like old times, with food and beer and good-natured insults. The Coachella Festival had been our first big gig since Jake became a father. He wanted to be there every day for the baby’s first year of life, so where our lead singer went, so did we. Sure, we’d still been busy, but Jake insisted on tucking his little girl into bed every night.
It meant we hadn’t toured since January 2012, and even with all our success through the years, the record company was getting antsy. Everyone knew Jake had been writing new songs, so there’d been constant pressure to get back in the recording studio, and two years later, everyone wanted to know when they’d get the new album. We all got asked about it, but he always took the brunt of the pressure as the face of the band.
It said how much Jake had changed that he didn’t give a fuck.
Bob was a workaholic, so he’d always had side projects. Dylan spent more time on his English degree. Aaron did what single young rich guys do.
I played in some sessions, dated some, and organized these game nights, but honestly, I’d been bored. Maybe another reason I’d gravitated to chatting with Hannah.
“Hey. Earth to Mikey. We need more beer.”
“So get off your ass and go to the fridge.” Aaron was our annoying little brother. Could you tell?
“Shit,” Jake muttered, and went to the bedroom. Well, at least it was half time.
He came out a minute later for the diaper bag, then went back in.
“Uh-oh, you’re gonna need a gallon of Febreeze for your bed, Mikey. That kid lays bombs,” Aaron said. Bob smacked him upside the back of his head. “Ow, what?”
“I hadn’t hit you yet today.”
“All the time, man. All. The. Time,” Bob replied with a grin.
“We’re well aware,” I said. Bob and Celeste had been caught having sex in public more times than I could count.
Jake came out of the bedroom and shut the door. “Just a wet nappy.”
“The rockstar that changes diapers. You’re so whipped.”
“We all know Beth and the pint-sized princess are the best thing that’s happened to him,” Bob said. “Our boy’s a hopeless romantic.”
Since we all had a sweet tooth, I served brownies in the second half. Starbucks’ double chocolate chunk type was epic and I bought out all they had this morning.
“It’s going to be hell in the gym this week,” Jake said.
“Okay, old man.”
“I’m thirty-one, wanker, not over the hill.” Thirty-two on June 1st.
“Shut up and watch the game,” Bob said. He was the most into basketball of all of us. We just used sports as an excuse to hang out and get indigestion.
Jake still couldn’t get us Americans into soccer.
He came back a minute later with the yearling and her stuffed lamb. Once he sat down, she scooted onto Dylan’s lap. Odds were good he’d be the next to have kids. The bassist was a sucker for any tiny thing in pigtails.
“Not a word,” Jake said. “And watch your language.”
“I know, I know.” He still flipped Jake off, though.
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