Chapter VI
Brad, get up buddy, the voice of his father lulled Brad's body from the dream he was in. The scent of cigarette smoke filled his lungs as he opened his sleepy eyes to see his father's smiling face. His eyes buried into Brad's soul, searching for something, as if he had lost part of himself within his son. His face was soft, yet when aggravated could scare even the toughest of men. He had eyes that, were not only passed on to Brad but able to swoon any girl he so pleased. He was fairly well built, not bodybuilding muscular but not fat either, and he could pick up Brad which was all he really cared about. He always smelled of smoke, for whenever he was out of the house he was smoking, but it never bothered Brad. In his hands was his black guitar, slowly he placed the one thing he worshiped into Brad's lap. There you go buddy, now you'll be just like daddy one day.

Blinking, Brad looked at Sophie, who was standing over him, watching contently. Her hair was up in a messy bun as always when she was doing something she didn't want to be doing, sighing Brad smelled his own vomit on his sheets. He heaved at the strong smell, making Sophie back up with a disgusted look on her face. Embarrassment flooded his body as he heaved again, this time bringing up the fowl smelling vomit. Coughing, Brad looked at Sophie as she scowled at him and handed the towel from the other side of the room to him. He whispered, mopping himself up a lil, forcing himself to stop heaving at the smell of the vomit.

Yeah, whatever, mom said you were sick. Her voice was annoyed and Brad looked at his hands that were shaking from the embarrassment. I'm just here because mom and dad went out for dinner and they wanted me to baby sit you. I was planning on going out to dinner with Ben but now I'm stuck here. Her face was turned away from him long enough for Brad to wipe his eyes, swallowing the second mouthful of vomit that had come up. I don't understand how you could be so stupid to do such a thing as to cut yourself, I mean how spoiled are you? Don't you get everything you want? God, you're seventeen, start acting like it, Sophie said walking out into the hall, pulling the door silently closed behind her. Brad stared at his hands for a long time after words, allowing the tears to run down his face in heated rivers. Turning his under forearm upward he looked at the swollen stitches on his arms, the tears stung as they hit and seeped into his skin. Each stitch was like the other, black and full of sickness, and pain. He felt the anger boil under the stitches, the blood rushed through his veins and he cried harder.

I'm sorry, God I'm so sorry. His sobs tired him as he looked at the blurry white hospital wall. He felt his heart throb in his ears, the blood rushing through his body forced painful beads of sweat out of his pores.

The lights blinded Brad as he stood there on stage. The cool neck of the guitar rested in his hand as he peered into the crowd, looking for the shapes resembling his mother and Sophie. The sound of an infant crying brought Brad's mind back to reality and the dark shadows loomed over him. His fingers moved freely against the strings as he approached the mic. It's breathtaking to think of you...

Jamie stood watching in the back of the church, and to learn that sometimes the only way out is through... Brad's voice wrapped around her body, pulling her closer. Jesse stood off to the side of him, watching him sing. The music bounced off the walls, it's mind numbing... to think of yesterday, I'd run to you now if I could... His lips pressed against the mic as he sang to the crowd. but things have changed... I'd heard you say it's enlightening...

Sophie sat watching Brad's face grow red as he sang, his hands playing the song flawlessly. His mother sat next to her and smiled at her son's voice. Her eyes flowed over his body, think of the breeze... To believe in things that we can't see...

Shutting his eyes Brad looked at his father, his smile radiating off the white walls. So here we go... Let's show them how to live... His father's voice echoed his as he played. The music of his guitar matched Brad's heart beat as he sang. Accept the pain, always forgive... Watch the sun go down, learn the sound of following... Lights burned down on his skin, sweat rolled off his face, all that's complete... Opening his eyes he watched the crowd listen, their minds echoed off the walls, hitting Brad like waves.

A smile crept onto Jamie's lips as she listened. It's breathtaking to think of you, and to learn without faith the sky isn't as blue... The grass blew along their necks as they laid, watching the clouds. Jamie's giggle rolling over the hills, Brad's breathing relaxed and gentle. It's mind numbing... To think of yesterday, we looked to the stars and dreamed we're airplanes... Brad's voice awoke her from the dream and she watched him play. I heard you say it's enlightening...

Brad watched the crowd as he sang, his fingers moving on their own. The crowd breathed as he did, he became one with them, think of the breeze, when you watch the sunset.... think of me... The room grew still at the pause, so here we go, let's show them how to live... His body melted into the guitar, his words seeping into the walls. accept the pain, always forgive... Watch the sun go down, learn the sound of following... All that's complete... His breathing staggered as he played the guitar solo, so here we go, let's show them how to live... Accept the pain, always forgive... Watch the sun go down, learn the sound of following... all that's complete...

Smiling, Brad held up the guitar as his mother snapped the picture freezing him in place behind a glossy covering.

Brad sat up, looking at the worn blisters on his hands from playing his father's guitar over the years. His palms were like leather, smooth with a rough sensation at first touch, blood throbbed in his hands numbly, his long leathery fingers twitching with the yearning to play guitar.