Martin bends down, fixing one of the velcros of his running shoes. His chest is heaving with accelerated breaths from a straight stint along the beach walk. He then leans against the wooden railing, glancing over the picturesque pier, stretching his legs – one after the other. For the last day of the year it’s a quite mild morning. The mobile in the pocket of his hood-shirt buzzes and he quickly searches for it.
“Dad, you promised to wake me and take me running with you!” Viva’s slightly annoyed voice lets him chuckle. “Good morning, Sunshine!” She just huffs something back, obviously still half asleep. “Sorry, luv! You looked so peaceful in your sleep. I didn’t have the heart to disturb you.” He brushes a damp curl off his forehead. “Shall I bring in anything for breakfast?” “If you still want some of the Cantaloup melon you better get some more. I declare it mine!” The blond man snickers. “Alright. Nothing else for my princess?” “Ah, no. I’ll get the car ready soon.” “Don’t want to spend New Year’s Eve with your old Dad?” He fakes some disappointment and hurt. The girl at the other end giggles. “Daddy, you know I love you but I prefer partying with friends my age. OK, see you here soon. I’ll kick off the coffee maker. Don’t forget to take a shower. You’re smelly after sports!”
“You really want to go to Times Square?!” Jenny raises a brow. David adjusts his expensive, black cashmere scarf- He’s not really the one for all the masses – except performing on stage. “Yep. Did you see my black leather gloves?” His wife grins and presents the required items in her hand, waving with them.
The air outside is cold and crisp. A few tiny, icy snow flakes swirl down from an illuminated night sky. The couple melts in the crowd of cheering people, cuddling against each other. “Is that one of Mart’s?” Jen eyes Dave’s black, woollen, knitted beanie a little closer. He scowls a little. “Does is look so odd?” “No, no – it’s great for your incognito!” She pecks a kiss onto his left cheek. “It’s somewhat wicket we spend this time without the kids and family.” “Well, your mom was quite fond of the idea taking them – after I told her the reason why.” Jennifer fixes him. “You have secrets? She didn’t mention anything. I was already wondering.” Now Dave places a short but intense kiss onto her nose tip, twinkling at her like a little school-boy. The countdown isn’t that far away any more. The volume of voices and sounds around them increase, all the colourful, flickering lights seem to increase in intensity. Exactly at midnight Dave tightly embraces the slim woman at his side, whispering into her ear.
“Happy New Year, Angel! Do you want to marry me again on Valentine’s?” She squeezes him a little more and her answer is a deep, passionate kiss. “I know you. You already made some arrangements, right?” “Sure did.” He grins and kisses her again. Then he shouts into the crowd: “I love this woman!!” “Dave, are you mad?!” She quickly covers his mouth with her hand. When he’s able to speak again he leans over. “Baby, all these people are witnesses of my love for you! I’m serious!” Then he winks. “Though they are not aware of it.” Fact is nobody around them is paying attention. Everybody is busy with partners and friends – hugging, kissing, toasting, singing. The New Year starts with kind of busy accord. Things only could get better, right?
Martin looks up from his turntables, adjusting the headphones. The crowd in the posh Santa Barbara club keeps moving. Apparently he’d chosen the right set of music. A look onto his Hublot tells him it’s just three minutes to midnight. Nervously his eyes wander over to his fellow resident DJ who’s preparing to take over with the countdown. I don’t want to miss Dave’s call!
He already texted him three hours ago, not getting a response so far. He will be busy with Jenny, of course. Still – this thought hurts. No logic could ever bring him peace.
“Ten, nine, eight…” He nearly misses his prompt and then quickly croaks a ‘Happy New Year’ into the microphone, still caught in his thoughts. With a fast stride he’s through the cheering masses and escapes to the backdoor. Fetching his iPhone he breathes sharply in. Dave finally answered. Before he can read the complete text the device buzzes.
“Happy New Year, Curly-Wurly!” The sonor baritone immediately kicks in and the blond man shortly feels lightheaded. “Same to you, my Dark Angel!” He bites his lips to add another ‘I miss you to bits’ line. Stop being such a sissy, Mart! The timbre of his voice must have given him away though. “Baby, I know.” A little sigh at the other end. “You’re just the one feeling lonely in a bunch of thousands of people. Who should know better than me? Look, this year is going to be a roaring one…the tour and all!” “And all?” “Yes, all the good things we do not know happening so far!” “And the bad?” Martin has an odd rumbling in his stomach. Maybe he’d just not eaten enough. “Marty, life’s going on either way.” A female voice in the background. “Dave, baby – do you come back to bed soon?” Mart lowers his head and closes his lids for a moment. He feels sort of betrayed though there’s no real reason for it. “Curly, I love you and I feel you tightly around me, you remember?” His voice tones down a little. “Touch me and recall our promise.” Like a reflex Mart’s hand slips into his crotch, under the leather material of his pants, his fingertips meeting the massive ring.
Alan puts down the receiver. His daughter’s cheery voice still rings in his ear. I don’t see that this is going to be a happy year.
“Yes, I’m a grumpy, old, stupid bastard!” He picks up the empty vodka bottle from the table. “Good luck it was only a third left.” He feels pleasantly lightheaded yet not really juiced. “Fuck, I know it’s no solution!” Out off a sudden he smashes the item against the nearest wall, it surprisingly not exploding into smithereens. It just leaves a visible indentation. Musing if he should stay awake for the next hours till it would be the New Year over the pond he yawns. Glancing at his mobile he feels tempted to activate the alarm clock. “Why are you doing this to yourself?”
The electronic, recurring sound makes him stir on the couch, the plaid must have slipped down to the floor some time ago. It’s five minutes till midnight in New York. He pops his mail menu open. After reading what he wrote he hesitates to press the ‘send’ button. No, no more of this crap! With a fast click he deletes the message. “I really hope that one day in the future we will be able to talk like friends again, David.” He doesn’t bother to set the alarm again three hours ahead.