I call it ‘Day One' because it's the day my life began. Not in the typical sense - technically, my life had begun sixteen-point-five years prior - but this was the day I was born again. I ‘saw the light', if you will.
Really, though, there was no light. There was only her. And hot damn, was she ever sexy.
One look in her direction, and I belonged to her forever. It was love at first sight, I swear. I never believed in any of that bullshit until it happened to me.
I was thinking about it - the way we locked eyes, and how I might someday tell our grandchildren about it. "I was at a rehearsal with my brothers," I'd say. "We were one of the performers at an award show. There I was, strumming away on my guitar like it was nobody's business, ignoring all of the eyes watching me in the stadium - you get used to that after a while, everybody's eyes on you - and then my amp unplugged."
Not a big deal, but I saw crew members begin to scamper towards me to help, as if I was completely hopeless. I can plug in a fucking amp, thanks very much.
"I bent down to plug it in," I'd tell the little ones (they'd all be listening to me intently, hanging off my every word), "and on my way back up, I caught a glimpse of her."
And that did it. I never looked back.
"She was giggling with one of her friends, a photographer. They stood right in front of the stage. Then she looked at me, and her smile was bright and her cheeks were rosy..."
And I fell in love.
"And I knew that one day, I'd ask her to marry me."
Then my mesmerized grandchildren would ‘ooh' and ‘aw' and she - my wife - she'd sit on my lap and we'd smile at each other and continue to reminisce.
Needless to say, nobody was too impressed with me when we finished the song. It's hard to pay attention to anything when you realize you're staring into the eyes of the rest of your life, so naturally, I messed up a few times.
"You botched the whole thing, idiot," my brother, Joe, mumbled to me afterwards.
"You'd think it was our first time playing the song," grumbled brother #2, Kevin.
"It was only a rehearsal," I told them patiently. Christ. A guy who's just fallen in love should be given a break.
"Try not to stare off into space during the actual performance, then," Kevin instructed.
I wanted to tell him that I wasn't staring into space, I was staring at this beautiful girl - this girl with honey-coloured hair and brown eyes that had a little sparkle in them, eyes that told me we were destined to be together forever - but I kept my mouth shut. That was between me and Mystery Girl, anyway. We had secrets, even though I didn't know her name.
The thing about Kevin is that he never shuts up. He'll talk and talk, even if no one is listening. You can give him a blank sheet of paper and he'll make a whole speech out of it. My dad says when Kevin was four or five, he'd talk himself to sleep. He wouldn't cry himself to sleep or rock himself to sleep or sing himself to sleep - no, he'd talk himself to sleep.
By consequence, this makes him the worst listener in the entire world. I'm convinced of it. I don't even bother talking to him anymore because everything I say goes unheard. The funny thing is, he doesn't even notice. If the world dissolved in fire and ice and molten lava and left everyone dead but him, he would go on with life as if nothing had happened, talking up a storm the whole time.
That's the reason I didn't tell him about the love of my life. I'm the kind of guy who says only what is necessary; a guy who makes every word count. In this respect, Kevin and I are complete opposites, and since every word I say to Kevin doesn't count in the long run, I don't waste my time.
(Don't get me wrong - he's a good guy, and I don't mind him. You get used to a person after you've lived with them for sixteen-point-five years. We get along because we've learned to work around each other. I've learned that not even stapling his lips together can shut him up, and he's learned that his pointless drabble means nothing to me - not that it stops him from talking my ear off on a daily basis).
So, on the ride home, as Kevin rambled on about my poor performance, I thought of Mystery Girl and our future together. It was then that I realized I hadn't even bothered to talk to her. I didn't know anything about her other than the fact that we were getting married; I didn't even know if I'd ever see her again. I was pretty sure that she'd read in my eyes that I loved her, and she felt the same way - still, if we never met again, a load of good that knowledge would do.
The problem with my inability to ramble incessantly means that often, a lot is left unsaid. I expect people to read between the lines, but sometimes, people just aren't that smart. Still, I should have at least introduced myself to Mystery Girl. I should have said something witty or thought-provoking to make her want more. I should have done some sleuthing to find out her name and address.
Instead, I stared at her like an idiot for two out of the four minutes of our performance, playing the wrong notes and letting my jaw drop like a fool as I envisioned the faces of our nine grandchildren. So much for a good first impression.
"I gotta hand it to you, Nick," Kevin was saying from the backseat, "After the worst musicianship in the history of music, you managed to walk out of there with a stupid smile on your face, like it didn't even matter that you looked like a total joke. Good for you, buddy. Stay proud."
Le premier chapitre. Always so exciting. I said mid-January, but apparently I lied :) I'm doing a few things differently with this story, and one of them is shorter chapters. Some chapters will be really short, but it's quite possible that some of them will reach their usual length.
By now, I'm sure you've figured out who is narrating the story. I'm not sure how everyone will feel about Nick - like a lot of my characters, he's one of those "you hate him or you love him" kind of guys. So far, he tends to have a few nasty opinions.
Since chapters are shorter, not all the characters have been properly introduced, and the whole plot hasn't been set up or anything. Nonetheless, it'll happen sooner than you think - I already have a few chapters written that I have to go over, and I hope to post them quickly (a perk of having shorter chapters!)
As always, thanks for giving this a read, and I hope you'll stick around for more.