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Days were passing by and Dave seemed calm, somehow a bit more collected in his behavior. He wasn’t fighting anymore. There was nothing to fight for. He accepted his fate, he deferred to the facts – this was the best he could do. He concentrated hard on his work. And though he didn’t avoid Martin, he never set his eyes on him, didn’t talk to him and pure sadness radiated from his eyes. He was broken – the light of his flame started to fade away and it’ll never flicker the way like before. No, not until he gets his heart back.
The tour went along, but the enthusiasm was missing from Mart. He did his job automatically, like a robot – without emotions. He couldn’t smile or laugh. He watched the world, the people around him with a dark gaze. He hated them. Maybe even more than any time before. It was always hard for him to make them understand him, to open up in front of them, but now he didn’t even want it. He got his life, the success, the devotion and love from them, and the unfair, cruel kick too, which nearly killed him. In the first few days the hole in his chest threatened him with eating him up alive, but since then it was just massively throbbing so hard that he barely could breathe. They ripped out Dave from there and his heart should have been there too, but the singer took it with him. And this hole could be never fixed again. From now on he’ll take it with himself forever as a memento of their burning and everlasting love, hidden from the unworthy gazes, torturing him silently.
Days had passed but Dave didn’t even notice that, he just let himself be driven by the happenings. He didn’t pay attention to it and came to his senses just when they were approaching to the end of the tour, when they had arrived in Düsseldorf, where they’ll have the last two tour-closing concerts.
‘I hope you’ll pull yourselves together for the last concert…’ Martin heard Kessler’s voice echoing in his mind. That was the moment when he realized that he couldn’t recall the last few gigs. When he tried his best to remember, he saw just pictures of the traveling, the flashes of lights, the blurred masses of fans and the dull hotel rooms. The tour will end soon, he sighed. In a few days time he won’t be able to see Dave even if he wanted, because they won’t be on tour anymore. Everyone will go back to their family. Except he. Of course he’ll spend some time with his kids, whom he saw a long time ago, but before that he’ll need a few days alone until he adapts himself back to the real world. Knowing that not just a corridor will part him from his love made him sad. He still loved him with his burning love. But he couldn’t do anything. He pushed away the remains of his lunch and was just sitting in the hotel’s restaurant, staring in front of him.
Kessler’s message - that they should pay more attention - had reached Dave too. To tell the truth Dave pulled himself together just for those two hours while he was on stage, but otherwise he was “off mode” – he didn’t remember who, when and what have told him and this drove the band members slowly crazy. He didn’t see Martin. It was as if his brain had erased his existence from his head – he didn’t sense or notice him. He didn’t exist. He had died – they’d killed him in Dave’s eyes. He missed him – or he would have felt that way if this curtain hadn’t been there, numbing the feelings and the world’s signals.
He was preparing silently. Everything was just a routine for him. But now – out of the ordinary – his mind was blank, no thoughts came as they usually did before. He let Peter and the others joke around and getting him into a better mood. He adjusted his shining suit once more in the common room then followed the others to face the 50,000 fans.
It seemed that life has returned into Dave for a short while. His long-missed self exploded onto stage and he began his performance – and the crowd, the beloved crowed, showed them on papers their message: they wanted them to come back. This touched him. He felt sorry for the time passing so quickly and that the end of that evening was getting nearer.
Martin was just watching the fans - it seemed that they were having a great time. By “Policy” they were playing with a whole field of balloons and after “Photographic” all those white papers in their hands with the words “Come back”… He was deeply moved by this much love. Surprisingly he enjoyed the show too. Somehow they’ve managed to move him out from his lethargy and his former self made a short appearance too. He let Dave touch and hug him whenever he could. He knew that he says goodbye to him and to the tour like this.
Before the last “Personal Jesus” on this tour Dave felt that he had to share his thoughts and feelings which were swirling in his mind. He thanked for the crew and the audience. He felt that this concert was way more different than the others before. They have been in the music business in the last 30 years and he still saw crowds.
Mart had to grin on Dave’s outburst and when he reached the end of his monologue, he was the one who stepped to the microphone and thanked for Dave. He knew that the singer’ll understand the hidden meaning of his words, but he was surprised from Dave’s reaction. He laughed out loud when this crazy, adorable singer went on his knees in front of him, not caring about the mass of their fans.
Dave couldn’t stop himself. When he looked to the side, he saw Martin. He saw him. His glistening skin, the adored messy blonde curls, the beautiful smile and the mysterious deep eyes, which have doomed him to eternal captivity. His knees went weak under the weight of Mart’s words then as he stood up, he didn’t even realize what he was doing – his arms just moved to embrace the blonde musician. The feeling of the other body’s warmth on his own skin filled him with life, which he used after “Personal Jesus” to force himself to be able to break away from the crowd. The fans didn’t even know that they literally helped him through the last few concerts.
His blonde man was still under the spell of the concert and let happiness and relief fill his heart one last time – they could finally get over and settle this. Bit from “settling” another kind of settling came into his mind. Yes, he should finish that one too. For good. His stolen, fake good mood slowly disappeared as he looked at his exhausted but cheerful band mates leaving the stage. After a few slaps on his back Dave headed for his dressing room, rubbing his wet hair with a black towel. Mart followed him. Now or never!
Before the singer could have closed the door, Mart pushed it in and pinned the surprised and confused singer gently to the wall, pressing his glittery mouth deliberately but tenderly against Dave’s lips. Dave’s shock slowly evaporated as he let himself go and was just tasting and tasting the sweet lips.
His attacker grabbed Dave’s wet vest and upper-arm firmly, first kissing him slowly then in a rush – drinking in Dave’s whole being, his scent, his presence, his taste, the warmth of his body and energy. Through the kiss he sucked out everything he could. He didn’t want to leave him here! He so didn’t want to do it! He wanted to… he wanted to do so many things! But could do just one: he broke the kiss and looked into the cloudy, adored eyes for a few moments then he let Dave go and hurried out of the room. He was on the run.
Dave stepped to the door and watched him disappear around a corner. He knew that though this was their third goodbye, this was the final one. They could leave each other just in three “rounds” and the parting was still not complete. Because they’ll have something which will always bind them together. Their love won’t stop, they’ll have “just” to suppress it. Just. He promised. He’ll wait for him…
He didn’t look back. He threw his things into his case and what he needed into his bag, quickly changed his clothes and went back to the hotel the way he was. After a quick shower – to stop his thoughts – he started packing again. He knew that he’ll have to go to some club because of the last big after party, but until that he had to busy himself with something. He didn’t want to freak out. No, not yet. He buried his feelings deep inside and he didn’t care that he couldn’t swallow or breathe. He didn’t let out anything. Through the years he became an expert of how to repress his feelings. He didn’t know how he’ll survive the forthcoming period of time.
Soon they were in that club where they had to appear. With much difficulty he forced a smile onto his face and now he was glad that Dave ducked this party as well. At least Mart hadn’t had to crave for him from a distance – or worst: from close. He would not have been able to stay in one room with him after that kiss.
Dave packed his things at ease. He wasn’t in the mood of going home, he didn’t want to leave his love behind, and he really didn’t want to see his wife. He was scared. The future was so unsure and he had to face it alone. Old and nice memories were haunting him. The first kiss, their first lovemaking, the night when he realized that he’s in love, the feeling that he felt safe with Martin and the songs, all those songs written for him and about them! How will be he able to live like this? Knowing that in some kind of forms every damned record they made will remind him on his loss? And they will do that, he knew well, he knew his smart mate – with his lyrics he just told what he felt. Dave was already afraid of the next recording session – if there will be one at all…
He didn’t wait for the others. He left a message on the reception in which he shortly said goodbye to the band – it was quick and impersonal. He would not have been able to face a real farewell. The burning pain in his soul didn’t matter – even if it made his beast squirming inside of him – he just wanted to get as far from Martin as possible.
Andy told him that Dave had left without saying goodbye, alluding to tiredness and that he really wanted to get home. Mart didn’t even remember when his red-haired friend had told him this. He made a cynical face. ‘Yeah, sure… he really wanted to get home…’ he thought picking up his bag. They were about to leave for the airport. He suspected how cold things will be between Dave and Jen for a long while… He couldn’t imagine how Dave will have the strength to face Jen in this broken state, how will he be able to look at her or touch her… He would not have been able! No, he didn’t want to go into this deeper, cuz he felt that the cold anger was already boiling inside of him. And this kind of anger was more dangerous by him than its fierce pair, which just flares up and quickly fades away. He felt the cold dagger go deeper into his aching heart. Everything was lost.
Nearly the whole flight skipped his mind. He didn’t know what the future will bring – whether there will be a new album or tour at all – now he felt sick even from the thought – he just wanted to get home and hide from the world. He wanted to sleep. He was so fucking tired…
After a few hours he opened the main door and stepped into the empty house. Standing in the door he froze and gasped for air as it dawned on him that he was alone. Completely alone.
Dave opened the door of their flat. The kids jumped happily into his neck. This made him smile and he hugged them immediately. Jen walked closer too, but he stopped her with one cold look. The buried anger he felt for her was threatening with flaring, but he didn’t want it to happen in front of the kids. Jen swallowed hard but stopped. She suspected that something like this will happen, though maybe she had a little hope until now. That look frightened her.
“Daddy, daddy, now you came back for good, didn’t you?!” Rosie asked happily, already in his father’s neck, while the slender Jimmy was waiting for his hug patiently.
“Sure, honey, I won’t go anywhere” Dave smiled, while he lifted up his daughter and hugged Jimmy too. No, he can’t go anywhere. Because of the kids. Martin was right.
“Cool!” Jimmy hugged him back and Stella gave a peck on his stubby, careworn face.
“Are you tired?” she asked frowning after examining him better.
“Maybe a bit. But I satisfied a lot of people and finally I can be with you, so it doesn’t matter.”
“Good then!” she gave him an angelic smile then nuzzled to his missed dad.
Of course Jen knew that he lied, but didn’t say a word. She felt herself a bit lost as she was standing there in the hall with her hands folded in front of her chest. And maybe she tried to prepare herself for a possible conversation as well… If Dave was willing to talk to her at all.
David let the kids go, picked up his bags and passed his wife without a word to go to the bedroom and unpack his stuff. He didn’t want, but he could only think on Mart.
It hurt Jen that he haven’t said at least a “hi” to her, but what did she expect? She was still surprised that he came home at all. She decided to go back to the kitchen and finish the dinner, leaving Dave for the kids.
He knew that they’ll have to make things clear in the sake of the children – or at least they’ll have to start sorting things out. He knew that they’ll have more than one conversation with Jen before he’ll be able to see what he wants. He has to consider a lot of factors here, he’ll have to ponder things and decide just after that.
After Jen had finished dinner and served it up, she forced down just a few bites, watching Dave chatting lightly with the kids – he even laughed on some funny anecdotes they shared with him. But he avoided looking at her. She bent her head sourly and pushed around a piece of cucumber with her fork. This’ll be though. She could feel the tension in the air.
The whole evening was quiet. If Dave wasn’t with the kids, he couldn’t put the thought out of his head what Martin could be doing in that moment. But as the night came closer another thought formed in his mind: can he sleep in the same bed with Jen? He didn’t want to be alone with her. He saw during the evening that she tried to approach him a few times, but he always managed to avoid her. But when the time came to go to bed he couldn’t go on like this.
Jen – wearing her light nightie – was sitting on the bed, turned towards the window. She just checked on Jimmy. It was nearly impossible now to drag Rosie away from Dave and she insisted that he should get her to bed. Jen could understand her. She always adored her dad and she had missed him so badly during the long tour. Those few days when she could see him weren’t enough for her at all.
She crossed her naked legs and sighed. She was waiting. For a moment she thought that she could pretend to be asleep, but she saw no sense in avoiding the problem. She didn’t want to deepen it even more – if it was still possible.
Dave stepped into the bedroom, but he felt there like a stranger. He should not be there – he didn’t want to be there. He knew that other bedroom well where he wanted to be in that moment. He looked at his wife, but his eyes were cold, nearly hating. He walked into the bathroom to take a shower.
Her throat felt suddenly so tight! He avoided her again. But in the same time the first sparks of resentment appeared in her brown eyes. She hoped that Dave didn’t think that they can go on like this forever! Dave soon was finished with his shower and walked back into the room – wearing his sleeping-trousers – and slid under the cover. Jen hasn’t turned towards him as she was sitting on her side of the bed, watching her hands on her lap as – after a few minutes – she sighed and asked: “David, how long do you want to avoid talking to me?”
“I just want to give you time to realize what you’ve done with your decision” the cold answer came.
He hit the right spot, but she didn’t let it show. “Why? You think that it was so easy for me?”
“Yes, I’m sure you suffer more than me, whom has a torn heart and soul because of you” her husband threw out “Maybe you can understand this. If you have a heart at all.”
This hit the roof by Jen and she turned toward him halfway “Yes, I HAVE a heart! You’re not the only one who can have feelings!” she throttled down her voice in fear the kids could hear it.
“You have no idea what you’ve done!” he hissed back “You had no courage to come and see me when Andy called you? You had no stomach to see me in that vegetative state?! And the thing you’ve done to Martin is simply unforgiveable! He drinks again because of you, only because of you!” in his anger he jumped out of bed and looked at Jen with the red flames of hate in his pitch-black eyes.
“Yes, you’re right, I had no courage! Are you happy now?” she looked up at him angrily too “This whole situation scared me to death! I’m sorry that things had turned out this way. I didn’t want to push you or Martin that deep. But you have to understand that this isn’t just about you two! I have to think on the kids and myself too!”
“It’ll hurt during my whole life – can you understand it?!”
“David, who’s more important to you? Mart or your kids’ chance for a normal future?” she stood up too and her hands fisted.
“This is the only thing which keeps me here. But you have no clue what you’ve taken from me. You have no idea.”
“So then from now on it’ll be like this between you and me?! Hm?!” she took a step towards him “You’ll look at me with hate when people won’t see it? If you look at me at all?”
“You thought that I’ll come home and everything’ll be like before? Look at me! Do you think I look like someone who’s okay?!” Dave pointed at himself. He was still thin, because the situation hasn’t changed much.
Jen went silent for a few moments then took a deep breath to calm herself a bit. “No. I wasn’t hoping for this. But I don’t want to completely lose you, David. Don’t… don’t you see that I’m so fucking jealous on him?” she pressed out the last sentence with much difficulty. She wanted her husband to see that she made this decision not because she wanted to torture him.
“You know with this you didn’t make me love you more… You rather pushed yourself into my hatred. Because you didn’t believe me, you couldn’t believe that I loved you the way you were and as we were with Martin. You can’t imagine which kind of things we have lived through and you were able to tear it into pieces during one single night! I would not have thought that you can be this cruel, that you want to possess me this much. But you won’t possess me, ever, cuz you just simply can’t. I gave my heart to someone else!”
Jen had to inhale sharply hearing the last sentence. She thought that she’ll suffocate from the sudden pain she felt. “Why? Wasn’t it evil from you that you didn’t give a shit to my feelings?! That you had been lying to me through all these years?! Don’t overdo the role of the martyr, David! You aren’t the only ones with your precious ‘love’ who can suffer here!” anger flooded her mind at the end, which was unlikely to her “What did you expect? That I’ll clap my hands together for your sick relationship?! Although… I didn’t expect anything else from your dear Martin’s sick mind…” she added disdainfully – it was all the same. She couldn’t think clear from anger.
Dave couldn’t take it anymore – his body was shaking with anger. His voice burst out of him: “I’ve got more from him than I could ever get from you! You had ruined him because of your jealousy! You’re a selfish monster, Jennifer! Maybe even worst than me! When did you support me the way he did?! You pulled me out of the pit of drugs, but after that? And this ‘we tell everything to each other’ mania of yours… You really thought that it can work?” he laughed “If I had known how this will end, maybe I would not have took you as my wife at all. The prize I had to pay wasn’t worth it” he went on with the haze of anger on his mind.
Hearing this Jen pressed her trembling lips together and looked at her husband with a shocked and painful expression. This was way of a low blow and she felt the sobbing tightening her throat. Her vision got blurry from the tears which welled up in her eyes and a few quick drops already ran down her pale face.
“You… shouldn’t… have… said… this…” she pressed through her teeth then – trying to keep up her composure – she nearly fled from the room, slamming the door shut. She didn’t care anymore if the kids woke up. ‘Go, go, go as far away from him as possible!!!’ a voice shouted in her head. She couldn’t see where she was going from her flowing tears. At the end she found herself in the guestroom. She locked the door behind her and pressing her back to its surface she slid down onto the floor while her painful sobbing broke out of her accompanied by a few bitter yells. Her shield fell into pieces and she was just sobbing and sobbing there unstoppable.
Dave didn’t feel sorry or mercy for her. He silently walked to the bed and crawled back under the cover. He felt lonely – so fucking lonely. He was just half a man. His family fell apart, his love couldn’t be here with him and the world was slowly crumbling down around him. Only the band has remained for him. If he loses that too… there will be really no reason for him to live. He looked to the side, but there was no-one next to him. He grabbed the empty sheet. He felt himself getting colder and colder with every moment, as if the life was slowly fading away from inside of him, making him senseless for good.
“Somebody… please help me…” he whined quietly then darkness fell upon him. He started falling and there was no way to stop it.
Next to the couch the umpteenth empty glass hit the surface of the table in the half-lit living room. He took the pot from the ashtray and inhaled the smoke deeply, keeping it down as he lifted his red eyes on the flat-screen. He listened to the beloved voice with his cloudy mind. It was some kind of an interview. Mart didn’t really pay attention to his words, he didn’t understand what he was talking about, he was just focusing on the tone of his voice, his laugh and mimicry. Usually he very rarely watched such things or listened to their own songs, but now he had to! He wanted to see him at least this way, although in the last 30 years they’ve spent together he had time to burn every part of his face and body into his mind. If he closed his eyes, he saw him. He slowly exhaled the smoke and stared blindly at the ceiling. His face flinched when Dave’s laugh reached him. Compared to his state he reached quite quickly for the bottle – he didn’t bother with the glasses anymore. He won’t be able to bear it.