Lovers of Starlight, part 2 episode 20 of “The Starlight Trilogy” by Thea Washington
The characters in this story are fictional and not intended to depict the present or future of any individual.
The character “the Rock Star” is based on Adam Lambert.
Most of the videos in Part 2 reflect Lover’s favorite music (R&B, soul).
They were selected to enhance the story but are not required for your entertainment.
Chapter 36 — THICKENS
The Rock Star was up all night, angry with Lover yet regretful about what he’d done to him. He couldn’t believe it. He didn’t want to believe it. He’d actually thrown a chair at him, a chair that had hit him. He wanted to know how Lover was but his anger kept him from that. Besides, who could he call who would know?
He’d been angry before. He’d been angry at Lover before but he’d never gone after him like this. It was that last view of Lover after he’d thrown him down, cringing in the corner, terrified that he was going to hit him. Or worse, stab him. He’d never seen Lover like that. It wasn’t the raging or even the chair. It was the knives. There was something about the knives …
Any minute he expected the police at the door, there to arrest him for assault. Maybe even domestic violence. He wouldn’t deny it. He’d done it. He was sure there were bruises to prove it, fingerprints on the chair. He deserved anything Lover decided to do to him. But he was sure about one thing. It was over.
Even so, he knew he needed help. He’d been out of control and no way had the right to hurt him like that. Words are bad enough. Throwing a chair at somebody? There was no excuse.
He laid down on the bed. First, though, he left a message and set the alarm for 7:00. He figured the Reporter would be up by then.
The phone rang at 6:45. He’d be right over.
He listened exactly like a good friend should as the Rock Star told him what had happened. The concern on his face looked so authentic. No one would have suspected the glee he was hiding, the victory he’d been celebrating all night.
No one knew about that except the Demons.
“He should have told you.”
“I know. He should have. But he didn’t. I can’t believe he did this to me.”
“He betrayed you.”
“Yeah, you’re right. I do feel betrayed.”
“What do you think will happen now?”
“Well, to tell you the truth, I’m surprised the police haven’t arrested me.”
“You think he’d do that?”
“He should. I assaulted him. That’s a crime.”
“I don’t think he will.”
“Because it’ll be a big mess. The tabloids’ll go nuts. And he gets paid big bucks to keep his clients out of the tabloids. How’s it gonna look if the man they go to for protection can’t protect himself?”
The Rock Star was so messed up he believed the Reporter.
“Maybe you’re right. This whole thing happened because he was protecting himself. He kept saying he did it for me. Bitch.”
“What can I do for you? Name it.”
“I don’t know. I don’t know. If he doesn’t call the police, well, I guess I wanna keep it out of the papers.”
“Why don’t I keep an ear out and, if I hear any mumblings, I’ll let you know right away.” He added for effect, “And I’ll quash anything I hear.”
“Thanks. You’re the only one I can count on now.”
“Aah,” thought the Reporter. “How sweet it is.”
The next few weeks were turmoil for everyone involved. The Intern told the Reporter that Lover was taking some time off after completing his part in solving the Broadway Client’s problem. (The Reporter saw no need to reciprocate and tell the Intern what had really happened.)The Exec was staying around for a while to clean up the last few things that needed to be done for her. The Intern also said Lover’d asked the Exec to fill in for him while he was away.
The Exec moved in with Lover for a while, tending to his wounds and his broken heart. He never did convince him to call the police. Lover’d been protecting the Rock Star so long it was a hard habit to break. The Exec flew to New York, stayed a couple of days and flew right back to L.A., telling his staff there’d been some complications and he didn’t know exactly how long it would take to smooth them out.
The Reporter, knowing the real story about what had happened that night, thought all of this kind of fishy. He asked the Intern to call Lover’s condo just to see who, if anyone, answered. He could make the call from a pay phone late one night. He didn’t have to say anything, just let the Reporter know.
He was very happy to find out it was the Exec. So were the Demons. This was going better (worse) than they’d hoped. They whispered into his diseased soul that he should hold on to the story of that night. After all, reporters can always use a good story. Sometime.
He congratulated himself on his good idea. The Demons didn’t even mind.
The Rock Star put on his “performance” persona and seemed to be his usual happy self. A few people who knew him thought something was off. The Guitarist decided to find out what it was. They met at a favorite, private bar.
“What’s up with you?” asked the Guitarist.
“What do you mean?” answered the Rock Star.
“I don’t know. Something’s off.”
“I’m fine. What’s up with you, grilling me?”
“Look, I’ve known you a long time. I know when something’s not right.”
“Oh yeah? Like what?”
“Like you haven’t mentioned Lover.”
“Well, there’s nothing to mention.”
Uh oh. The Guitarist knew this meant trouble. “Whatdaya mean, ‘nothing to mention’?”
The Rock Star knew he wasn’t gonna leave this alone, that he might as well tell him.
“We broke up.”
“You WHAT?” The Guitarist was so loud people turned to see what was going on.
“Keep your voice down. I don’t need a bunch of publicity right now.”
“What happened? I thought you two were back strong.”
“I thought so, too. But I found out something, something he should have told me but he didn’t.”
“Like what? I mean everybody knows he was straight-on faithful to you all that time you were gone. Everybody knows that.”
“No, it wasn’t anything like that.” The Rock Star stopped, gathering his thoughts. “You know how everybody seemed to know I was coming back?”
“Yeah, I heard that, too.”
“Well, it turns out he manipulated the whole thing.”
“What?” The Guitarist immediately knew the Rock Star didn’t know that he’d sort of known, too. He decided to keep it that way since Lover was the only other one who knew that. Lover would never rat him out. Like Starlight, he’d want him to be there for the Rock Star. He’d bet money on that—and he didn’t gamble. In fact, he was thinking about how alike this situation was to back then, only with the roles rearranged. The Rock Star evidently hadn’t figured that out yet.
“Yeah, he put this plan together to start that buzz about how I was coming back and how I was gonna blow everybody away with the new music.”
“Well, that’s what happened. What’s the problem?”
“The problem is that if I had known the whole thing was manufactured, not real, I would’ve stayed on the mountain.”
The Guitarist was confused.
“So let me get this straight. The only reason you came back was because you thought people wanted you back? Your letting Starlight go wasn’t part of that? Your feelings for him wasn’t a big part of that?“
“Right.” He tried to look righteous but the Guitarist could see right through it.
“That’s bullshit. I don’t believe that. You’re saying that if you’d thought that people wanting you back wasn’t true, you‘d have stayed up there regardless of how much you love him? And how much you wanted to come back anyway?”
“First off, what difference does it make? I mean the fact is you’re back and in more ways than one. Everybody’s happy, I mean really happy about that. Even you’re happy. With Lover. So what’s the problem?”
“He should have told me, that’s all.”
“Man, if I told my wife everything I’d be divorced. The same goes for her, probably.”
“You don’t get it, do you?”
“I guess I don’t. From what I hear, you weren’t up there doing anything anyway. I mean it’s not like we’ve seen any work you did while you were up there. No music, no lyrics, nothing. Unless you were writing your autobiography but I don’t think so. Everybody knows you can’t spell worth a damn. Spelling and cooking are not your strong points, my man.”
The friends shared a good chuckle and called for another round. After it arrived the Rock Star got quiet. The Guitarist could see this was gonna be bad.
“That he didn’t tell me? That’s not all of it.”
“OK, what else?”
“When I found out I went over there. I kinda lost it.”
“What do you mean, ‘kinda lost it’?”
The Rock Star lowered his head, shaking it from side to side. He took a deep breath.
“I hurt him.”
For a minute the Guitarist wasn’t sure what he meant. But the look on the Rock Star’s face began to make it clear.
“I hurt him. I threw a chair and it hit him.”
“Aw man, this is bad. You better start from the beginning.”
So the Rock Star did, leaving nothing out. The yelling, the raging, the crying, Lover attempting to explain, the cringing in the corner, the whimpering, his anger, Lover’s terror. The stuff he’d smashed, the stuff he’d thrown off the counter. Turning the table over. The chair. Grabbing Lover by the shoulder where the chair had hit him. Storming out after telling him it was over. Everything.
Even about the knives. Something about the knives …
When he was done, the Guitarist was dumbfounded. “I can’t believe this. I cannot believe this. This isn’t you. What were you thinking?”
The Rock Star shrugged. “That’s just it, I wasn’t thinking. I’d just found out and I went crazy. All I could think was, this was just like what he’d done when he didn’t tell me about Starlight.”
The Guitarist remembered that night. They’d all been worried about both his friend and Lover, all that screaming and crashing.
“But I thought you told me Starlight wouldn’t let him tell you. And you know how she could get. If he’d have told you any sooner, she’d have kicked both your asses. And remember, he broke his promise to her to tell you.”
The Rock Star was unrepentant. “I don’t care. He should have told me. I don’t care what he promised her.”
“Man, if he had told you about her, you never would have done that tour. And she couldn’t do that to you. She loved it when you were happy. And you gotta admit, you were really, really happy.”
“Man, who’s side are you on?”
The Guitarist raised both his hands. “Hey, I’m on love’s side.”
“Yeah, love’s side my ass. Some love.”
The Guitarist thought he’d better move things along. “So how’d you find out about the rumor thing, anyway?”
“Oh. You know that Reporter from ‘Rolling Stone’? The one that did those articles about Starlight and me?”
“Yeah, I remember him. Young dude, kinda pretty. Would’ve been your type back in the day.”
The Rock Star laughed.
“Yeah, he would’ve. Anyway, we were finishing that second article, you know, the one about my comeback? I started telling him about how everybody seemed to know I was coming back before I did and how I thought that was kinda weird. So he offered to track it down for me. And he did.”
“So, what did he find out?” This was the part the Guitarist was interested in.
“Well, he tracked it back to this TV Producer in New York who heard it from the Exec at Lover’s office there. Seems Lover had just been in town and must have asked him to help by telling the Producer. The Exec and Lover go way back, to grad school. And everybody knows the Producer has a big mouth. Lover figured he was telling the truth, that I’d be coming back and that when I did, the music was gonna be amazing. And that’s how it got started.”
“Wow. That’s some plan. And he did all that to get you to come home?”
“Yep. He said staying on the mountain was ‘killing’ me and that he’d have done anything to get me outta there.”
“Hm. On one hand it sounds like he was trying everything he could to get you back here to save your ass. On the other, it sounds like that really pisses you off.”
“No, see, here’s the thing. He says he did it to save me but I don’t think that’s true. I think he did it because he just wanted me back with him.”
“Man, what difference does it make? Of course he wanted you home. He loves you. He knew you’d be better off here than up there. What am I missing here?”
“He should have told me. This is my life. I run it. He should have told me.”
“Hey, well, you think about this, man. Lover’s the reason you do have your ‘life’.”
Starlight was one of the Perseid meteors. It was as close to Earth as she dared get or else she’d be tempted to intervene. Things were going to get worse before they got better and all she was allowed to do now was glitterize and observe. No more manifesting, no more communication with either of her boys until it was done.
Tomorrow in “Lovers” – Things get set up (and so do people)