His lids are still heavy and the pounding in his head is not pleasant at all. It’s like working against a viscous, flexible yet durable barrier. The mind seems to be bouncing like a rubber ball – forth and back - not being able to decide wether to sink deeper or come up to the surface. The voice near by seems familiar yet on a different channel of his radar. He’s a badly calibrated satellite in an orbit not yet in touch with the real world.
„David, shush – yes, that’s it! Wake up!“
With some more effort, drawn by that smooth, male voice, he manages to open his eyes finally and meets another pair that stares back at him. The amber-green irises radiating, giving him a tiny twitch in his heart. Then it’s like tons of debris suddenly fallen back onto him. His personal 9/11. He didn’t see the plane coming – the one with Martin’s name all over it. The horror must be that obvious in his looks that the man bending over the bed quickly blinks and then averts his now glassy eyes.
Dave swallows hard and then reaches for his mate’s hand.
„Look at me, Curly. At least have the guts now to face it – face me.“
He turns and grabs the water bottle Mart left on the side table a while ago. Emptying it in a few gulps he leans back against the headboard and waits in silence.
„What else could I say that would not ruin the last shreds of our friendship, Dave?“
„Martin, you don’t have to defend your actions – I just want to understand. Why?“
„Shouldn’t you also ask Jenny that question? It needs two as you well know.“
„Don’t worry about Jennifer now – I want YOUR input.“
The blond curly man seems very uncomfortable with the situation and nervously tousles his own hair with two fingers. Thoughts seem to be chasing themselves in his busy brain.
„Now?“ Dave’s eyes pierce him with an intensity he’s not used to.
Martin shoots up from his chair. Dave lies on the sheets, eyes closed, mumbling incoherent words again and starts to roll dangerously close to the edge of the bed. Gosh! I must have zonked out! He got me there! I wouldn’t be able to answer his questions!
„Oh fuck, my head is killing me!“ Slowly opening his eyes Martin meets the muddy olive irises and stabilizes Dave’s position on the mattress.
„Take it slowly. No need to rush.“
The brunette man appears a little disoriented first yet then the past hours must flash back into his troubled mind.
„I need to call Rosie!“
Martin is alarmed. He gets the water bottle from the night stand and offers it to his lover.
„First get your channels completely on air, Dave. I will search for your mobile, hang on.“
„If you’re on the roll anyway you can book me a flight to New York – the next that opens up.“
„Mart, I need to know! I can’t sit here with those horrible thoughts, playing the happy singer of Depeche Mode. Recording starts the day after tomorrow, right?“
„We can postpone it for a few days...you really want to be with me in the band still?“
Martin can’t help himself and sinks down onto the comforter, sobbing.
„Honestly – I don’t know. Ask me again after I checked things back home.“ Dave sighs and then places his naked feet onto the carpet, sitting next to his friend now.
„Don’t you want to know why, Dave? How I could be such a bloody prick?“
A hand touches his chin and then the dark haired man turns Martin’s face into his direction.
„I have the feeling you’re not really sure about it yourself. All that shit happened. There’s no way to change it back. I’m going to fix what I possibly can and I won’t spare Jen a few painful questions.“
He moves a few inches closer.
„My heart bleeds – yet I love you. Tell me everything that moves you in all openness and sincerety when I return. I will come back. This is not gaining power over me – I don’t want it to destroy all I worked so hard for. I will not allow it! Pray for me that I’m going to be strong enough, Curly.“
When Mart wants to kiss him he turns his face slightly so his lips land on his cheek.
Jenny nearly lets the eggplant dropl into the kitchen sink when Dave pokes his head through the door frame. She didn’t hear the key in the lock as the ambient music lulled her into a relaxed mood.
„Jesus, David! Did anything happen?!“
He makes a few quick steps towards her and she lets all slip off her hands, dries her hands and drags him into the usual embrace. Her female senses cannot be tricked though. His stubble brushes over her delicate skin, his lips sucking her into a deep, longing kiss. When he finally let go she adjusts herself in his arms and takes a deep breath.
„Martin told you.“
He raises a brow and then nods like in a trance, shocked yet also thankful for the direct approach.
She fixes him, waiting for some further reactions and then simply takes his hand, dragging him to the couch in the living room.
„It was under your dressing room’s shower.“
She tries to hold his view, knowing she’d need all the courage and honesty she could muster at this very moment.
„When you resumed the recordings for ‚Ultra’. Remember you had your own room with en suite bathroom and all? Taking time outs with Geoff, replenishing energies during the frustrating process of gaining your voice back? Martin really tried a lot to keep you afloat as well, just you didn’t recognize it. I really liked him the first time we met. He’s so different compared to you – like the opposite sides of a medal. Yes, I don’t know why, but I felt the connection between you two before you even allowed the thought into your conscience. Well, that fateful day I drove to the studio to pick you up – as usual. Knocking at your dressing room’s door there was not reply so I entered. There was a silent sobbing coming from the bathroom and in the first shock I assumed something must have happened to you. So I dashed into the room, finding a stark naked, not really sober Mart crouching in one corner of the shower cabin, the water cascading over him. We both must have stared at each other like aliens for a split second. I closed the valve. The temperature was icy I can tell you. He didn’t want to tell me why he was in that state. He just got up to his feet and came staggering towards me. I just could hold him before he was tripping on the slippery tiles. There was no time to gather a clear thought as his lips were already on mine. I will never forget the expression in those green eyes, still reddened from crying. The taste of beer and tobacco didn’t really turn me on, but something in my brain must have clicked as I didn’t hinder him to let his hands wander under my t-shirt and then under my skirt.“
„He can mesmerize you with his fucking eyes – there’s no escape from them. I sometimes wonder if he could stun animals, too – just fixing their view.“, Dave cuts in, his voice low and slightly in awe. Looking back into Jenny’s eyes she continues.
„It was just a matter of seconds and he had me against the tiled wall. I think you do not need any more intimate details.“ She lowers her head for a moment and when her eyes meet her husband’s again they are teary.
„I swear it didn’t change anything concerning my feelings for you, David! I just...I couldn’t say no when he approached me again and again. Yes, he’s a good lover – but you should know best by now. I can only tell from my female perception. We had some rough patches, Dave – you know that well. Getting clean and sober isn’t easy for all involved. There were times I really felt helpless though you relied on my strength. You trusted in me, layed your soul at my feet. The experiences that tie us together, binding the fibres of our both existences...I never lost them. What about you, David? I’m not blaming you for the way you were and are. I’m not looking for excuses cause I gave in willingly and consciously. I needed those stolen moments with Martin – as much as he seemed to have inhaled them. No, I never saw myself at Suzy’s place, yet it didn’t take long to get a tiny insight what she must have been suffering through with him. I should have stepped back as long as I could have – yet I can’t tell you if that would have been really possible at any stage of our weird relationship.“
„Do you love Martin?“
„Do you still have feelings for him, Jennifer?“
„We ended the affair with the tour. I couldn’t look into my own face in the mirror any longer. Yes, I had sort of feelings for him, but for him...well, he called it ‚fuckfest’. I tried to see it as that – something physical. Maybe you men can handle it easier. Women seem not to be able to get out off such things unaffected. Well, we decided we’d stay friends sort of.“ She swallows hard. „Dave, I accpeted your proposal finally cause I loved you and still do to this day. I took it as a heavenly sign that I got pregnant that quickly.“
Dave clears his throat, hesitating yet then brushing with his hand through his short, dark hair.
„Didn’t you ever spend a thought that Rosie could have another father?“
She covers her face with her hands, her slim body shaking now in despair. He watches her, suddenly experiencing that wellknown feeling of numbness again. He should comfort her, take her into her arms – yet he isn’t able. The rift between them just shows up, with all it’s ugly face.
„I couldn’t believe when Martin told me he had you the same day, before I returned from the meeting with Geoff. No, he would have kept a lid on it. There’s another one pulling some strings in the background. I’m just telling you as Martin can keep secrets bloody well. If he wouldn’t have been forced he would never ever have spoken.“
Like a reflex his left hand smoothes over her long, hazel hair now.
„We’re not going to tell Rosie, but I’m going to do a test as soon as possible.“
„She’s my daughter, no matter – but I can’t live with this shadow, I want the truth.“
Jenny reaches for the tissues on the couch table.
„What’s going to happen to us?“
David sets his dark, sad eyes on his wife and his mind and heart are having kind of battle deep inside.
„What do you think, Jennifer?“