The fucking rules for groupies
Have you ever been to a concert that was so good, you lost track of time and place?
Well, that's what was happening to me at this very moment. And all around me, in the crowded mosh pit full of fans, I could see it happening to others, too. I couldn't really explain the feeling if I tried, so I won't bother. Instead I'll tell you that I was watching the gig from very close to the stage, as close as I could squeeze myself without pissing anyone off, but not close enough to be one of the hardcore fans in the front row, who had probably stood there, waiting, for hours before the band even went on. I'd had better ways to spend those hours, myself.
Like at the bar, getting drunk enough to have this buzzing in my head. Bzzzzz… I could hear it now.
The band on stage had started a slow song, with a soft, catchy melody and lyrics that everyone in the audience seemed to know by heart. I was no exception; I was practically yelling the lyrics at the band, but, due to the loudness of the music, of course no one could hear me. As I sang along, swaying in sync with the crowd, I took a moment to just stare up at the band. I had always had a thing for musicians, and damn, were these guys hot.
The lead singer was who my eyes landed on first. He was blonde, with long, 80's looking hair – tonight he wore a bandanna and reminded me greatly of Axl Rose. It might sound stupid, but his face was handsome, and he pulled off the look very well indeed. I didn't pay much attention to the tall brunette standing next to the singer (the bassist, I noticed) or the guy sitting behind the drums (who I could barely see), but focused instead on drooling over the guitar player.
He was everything I wanted in a man, and more.
I watched the way he moved, the way his fingers maneuvered gracefully up and down the neck of his guitar, the way his lips formed the lyrics to the song as he stepped towards the microphone every now and then, to sing back-up vocals, his long black hair falling in thick curtains around his beautiful face... Sigh. I forgot to cheer as the song came to an end, and just lost myself in staring at Mr. Gorgeous up on stage.
As the band started another fast paced song I simply loved, I snapped out of my trance. My hand went back into the air, I forced my tired feet to move again, and let out a scream for absolutely no reason – I just felt like it.
From the corner of my eye I could see my best friend, Tina, jumping up and down, colliding with the people around her with every jump, her hand high up in the air and her lips forming the lyrics to the song. She caught my eye as I screamed and laughed at me. She lifted her hand, the one that wasn't already up, and beckoned me towards her. Somehow, we'd gotten separated in the crowd. I couldn't get through the mass of people between us without help, so I reached out and grabbed her hand; she pulled me through the wall of fans separating us, who barely noticed. We laughed at each other and I put my arm around her shoulder, so as not to lose her again, and together we kept jumping. I was already sweaty, severely bruised and losing my voice, but I couldn't bring myself to care.
I was told later that the band played for almost two hours, but all I can remember is, even after the second encore, not wanting it to end. But, like all good things, the concert eventually came to an end. The blonde singer yelled his final thanks into the mic; the whole band walked to the front of the stage to take a bow. I screamed as loud as I could, both hands in the air, clapping with the rest.
Then I turned to look at Tina, smiling happily. The wicked grin on her sweaty, yet gorgeous, face reminded me that our night wasn't over yet. Oh no. It was only just beginning. And suddenly I felt terrified.
Excited. But terrified.
"Remember what you promised, Holly?" Tina asked, shouting into my ear. We were still caught in the chattering crowd, moving an inch at a time in our attempt to get to the bathrooms.
"I don't know what you are talking about," I insisted, struggling to keep my face innocent.
She laughed and rolled her eyes at me, knowing that I remembered. She wrapped a friendly arm around my shoulder and spoke right into my left ear. "You are coming with me, Holly," she told me. And it wasn't a question.
I started feeling nervous now, because I knew there was no talking her out of this. I had already promised her that I would go. And somewhere in the back of my mind I also recalled the reason for my promise. The very good reason – the fact that I was bored with my life. I longed to do something stupid, something reckless and potentially dangerous. And a mosh pit just wasn't dangerous enough for me anymore.
"I know," I almost whispered, knowing that Tina could read my lips in the very likely case that she couldn't actually hear me.
She started screaming in excitement, jumping up and down, and making plans for what we were to do after the gig. I briefly wondered how she still had the energy to act so... bubbly. But this was Tina I was talking about, and she always had the energy. She was always planning her next adventure, never pausing to think, never wanting to be bored -- and I loved her for it. I really did. Because, if I was bored with my life now, I shuddered to think how bored I would be if Tina wasn't in it.
In case you were wondering, her plans at the moment included getting us both backstage. Those plans also included doing things that would officially make us groupies.
There's that excitement again. And there's the terror.
The queue to the bathrooms, when we finally made it there after a detour to the bar, was incredibly long. But there we stood, waiting patiently, sipping our beers, which of course made us have to use the bathroom even more.
"You know," Tina said impatiently. "We could just use the bathroom there."
I rolled my eyes at her, for like the millionth time that night.
"Do you have any idea how whiny you just sounded?" I asked, chuckling. Despite the butterflies in my stomach, I was feeling really good. It might've had something to do with the nine beers I had already consumed that night. Or the kick-ass concert I'd just seen.
I downed the rest of my tenth beer and set the bottle down on a table. "I'm not going anywhere looking like this," I pointed at my sweaty face. "I need a mirror... And I need to pee."
We both laughed at that, even though it wasn't that funny, earning some amused glances from the other girls in the queue. It wasn't usual to find me acting like a bimbo, but at that moment I really didn't care what I looked like to anyone else.
When my laughter faded away, I fell silent, thinking about what I was about to do. Now, you may be wondering how exactly we were going to get backstage in a concert this big. Well, let's just say that when it came to things like this, Tina knew exactly what she was doing. She was a groupie. In every possible meaning of the word. It had taken me a while to learn to accept her... um, hobby, when we had first gotten to know each other. But if I was being completely honest with myself, I had also been jealous of her from the start. When she told stories about rockstars she had slept with and bands she hung out with, I couldn't help but wonder if I could do that, too.
And anyways, who was I to judge her?
"Holly? Did you hear me?" Tina asked, bringing me back from my stroll down memory lane, as we moved one more step forwards in the queue. I noticed that we were now the next ones in line to actually use one of the bathroom stalls.
"Sorry, what?" I was looking in the mirror now and scowling at my reflection as I ran a hand through my long, messy hair.
It was Tina's turn to roll her eyes. "I said I kind of like the singer." Of course she did. "Who do you like?"
"Michael," I told her, without having to think about it. I'd had a crush on him for a while, and he was the other reason I had promised to join Tina tonight. The other being my boring life, of course.
"Which one is he again?" Tina asked, glancing at me in the mirror.
"The hot guitar player," I told her, sighing.
"The one with the long black hair?"
"Uh-huh," I muttered distractedly while rummaging through my bag for my eyeliner. I could have sworn I put it in here...
"He is hot..."
I glanced up from my bag sharply, becoming suspicious. "Don't even think about it."
"Okay, okay," Tina said, laughing.
The other girls in the ladies' room were not even trying to hide their curiosity now. They were openly staring at Tina as she, completely oblivious to the girls' shocked faces, smoothed down her super short skirt and pulled her top down just a bit more to expose even more of her chest.
I chuckled to myself. She was such a ho.
After using the bathroom and fixing our faces, we made our way towards the bar again. I was just following Tina, not exactly knowing what we were supposed to do now. She stopped walking before we reached the bar and took my hand, leading me into a secluded corner where we would most definitely not be overheard.
"What?!" I asked her, in response to the way she gripped my hand. And the look on her face, which showed worry.
"It's just the way you talk about the guitarist..." she paused. "You do remember the rules, don't you?"
I rolled my eyes. I was doing a lot of that tonight.
"Of course," I scoffed. "How could I possibly forget The Rules?"
It had only been a week ago, on the very fateful Friday night when I had agreed to try and be a groupie for one night, that I had first heard about The Rules.
I remembered it like it was yesterday...
Not Mike's – Mik's. (Don't ask.) It was a pub. Tina and I went there almost weekly. It had become a habit for us to sit around after work with a bottle of wine and discuss the lives of our co-workers. And ourselves, obviously. On that particular Friday night, a week before the concert, we were already on our second bottle of cheap white wine, when the conversation turned to my sex life. Or lack thereof.
"How long has it been?" Tina asked me, a weird glint in her eyes.
I shrugged, but said nothing.
"A month?" she asked.
I bit my lip.
I looked down at the table.
"More than that?" she whispered, sounding horrified now.
"It's none of your business, Tina," I told her firmly. Or at least I tried to sound firm. But I think I slurred, just a bit.
Tina looked thoughtful now, the mortified expression fading away. I took a long sip from my glass, looking down at the table and frowning to myself. I did not like the look on her face one bit. It gave me a weird, foreboding feeling, like she was plotting my murder or something.
"I have a plan," she said then, and I was forced to look into her eyes again.
"You always do," I said, scowling.
She ignored me. "We are going to that Storm concert next week, right?"
I nodded. I was really looking forward to the concert. Storm was one of my favourite bands of all time.
"You should come with me," she said. Her eyes still had that glint in them.
"Come with you where?" I asked, feeling confused. We were already planning on going to the concert together.
She looked at me like I was missing something obvious. Which I was. "Come with me backstage, of course."
"No way!" I blurted out, laughing so hard that some wine came out of my nose. I quickly wiped my face on my sleeve, trying to be discreet about it. And failing.
Tina gave me a disgusted look, but I could see the smile threatening to show on her face, as her lips quirked.
"I'm serious," she told me.
I looked at her like she was insane. Which she was. "But I'm not a..." I paused, looking around the pub suspiciously, "groupie," I finished with a whisper.
She wrinkled her nose at my tone. "You make it sound like such a bad thing."
I just shrugged. I didn't think it was a bad thing. When she did it.
"It's just what you need, Hols," Tina said simply, using the nickname she only used when she was trying to sound nice. "Good sex with a gorgeous rockstar."
I thought about it. Having good sex with a gorgeous rockstar didn't sound like a horrible way to spend a night. Maybe... NO!
I couldn't. And even if I could, you know, go through with it... Well, who's to say any gorgeous rockstar would even want me? I didn't voice out this thought, though, because I knew Tina would hate it. She didn't like it when I talked about my ugliness- no, that was the wrong word. I wasn't ugly, I knew that. I just didn't see anything special about my dark brown hair and plain green eyes. I was just, you know, plain.
God, how I hated that word.
Tina was talking again, and I forced myself to pay attention, not really wanting to hear what she had to say anymore. But then the unexpected happened – what she said actually made sense to me. "You are bored with your life," she said. "You need to do something fun and unfamiliar. Something you never thought you'd do." She smirked at me. "And wouldn't you just love to fuck that hot guitarist whose pictures your always staring at online."
Oh God, she knew about that?
I felt myself blush, but my imagination was suddenly running free. In my mind, a very attractive long-haired rocker named Michael was naked. He lay on top of me, kissing my neck, his hands travelling up and down my naked body...
And then it just sort of came out of my mouth. "Okay. I'll do it."
Tina let out a girlish shriek. "Awesome!"
She started babbling on and on about the gig and how 'totally awesome' it was that we were going to 'party with the hottest new band around' and then of course 'fuck their brains out'. I tuned in and out of the conversation, thinking about what the hell I had just agreed on. Also, I hadn't completely let go of the fantasy I was still playing in the back of my head…
"Okay, Holly," Tina said suddenly, grabbing my hand and my attention. "There are three rules," she told me, very seriously. So seriously, in fact, that it was hard for me to keep a straight face. The second bottle of wine was already gone, which also made it harder for me not to crack up.
"Really?" I asked, the corners of my mouth twitching. "And what are these fucking rules for groupies?" And then I broke down completely, laughing out loud. "Fucking rules..." I breathed, gasping for air.
"Are you done?" Tina snapped, as I wiped tears from the corner of my eye.
Surprised by her tone, I immediately shut up.
"There's actually only one rule. The rest are more... guidelines," she went on, ignoring my laughing fit.
"Go on," I said, now actually paying attention, though my lips were still twitching.
"First of all, if..." she paused to smirk. "No, when we party with the band, it's every woman for herself. If one of us wants to leave, she doesn't have to worry about the other."
I nodded. That made sense. She of course meant that if one of the guys in the band asked her to go have sex, she wouldn't have to waste time informing me that she was leaving, or making sure I was OK. I, on the other hand, thought of it this way: if I got cold feet, I could bail and she wouldn't have to know.
"Second," she said, smirking again. "Hands off the lead singer. He's mine."
I just smiled, agreeing. The lead singer was not the one I wanted.
Then she got serious again. "And most importantly," she trailed off dramatically and I found myself leaning forward in my seat, paying attention with every fibre in my body.
"Do not, under any circumstances, fall in love."
I was relieved. That wouldn't be very hard.
Dun, dun, DUN.
Edited 10/17/09. No major changes. Read on, it gets better ;)