Los Angeles, CA
Pierre sat with Chuck’s itinerary in his hands. He dragged his fingers through his hair as he tried to sort through the emotions that were fighting for his attention. The whole thing was getting worse as his friend handed him the information for the tour. The only good thing, really, was the support band. Fools Rush In had a refreshing sound; he had several of their tracks on his iPod on repeat of late.
Though all that paled in comparison with the fact that this trip was even happening. Luckily for him, Chuck wasn’t pushing the point too much. He was currently on the other side of Pierre’s apartment absently straightening the photo frames that hung in a line along the wall. Pierre lifted his gaze, watching him.
“Wish you wouldn’t do that, Charles,” he said, gaze belligerent. Chuck glanced back at his friend and just shrugged before turning to look at him directly.
“The guys want to meet up this afternoon.”
Pierre grimaced. “And, do what?”
Chuck shook his head. “We need to rehearse the songs.”
Pierre sighed, leaning back on the couch, but not before tossing the pages of the itinerary on the low coffee table in front of him. Just the thought of putting voice to the music they’d written made Pierre sick to the stomach. It was too close, too real and he didn’t really think he was ready for it. And, at any rate…
“Tabernac, I’ve an appointment this afternoon.”
Chuck raised his eyebrows. Pierre shook his head, not wanting to elaborate. Sometimes, though, the other male didn’t know when to let up.
“Can’t you change it?”
Pierre snorted and said, “No. This is my regular. I won’t get to see her again before we leave.”
Chuck lifted an eyebrow. “Her?”
Pierre frowned. “Dr Farrar. She’s my…counsellor.”
“You’re seeing a shrink?”
The singer grunted and looked away. Thankfully Chuck didn’t push any further and just let out a sigh.
“You could come after?” He walked over to sit opposite his friend. “You need to be there for a bit, at least.”
Pierre lifted his shoulder in a noncommittal gesture. Chuck sighed, standing again.
“Well, come, if you can. I’ll see myself out.”
The singer lifted his hand then dropped it again, fixing his gaze on the itinerary again. Chuck sighed again and walked out the door.
* * * * *
“You for fucking real? Pierre’s seeing a shrink?” David’s eyes were wide open the lashes that framed them seeming to stand out from the shock of Chuck’s explanation for Pierre’s non-appearance.
The drummer nodded as he sat behind his kit, testing the nuts on one of the hats. “Yeah, so he may or may not show up later.”
David stood just looking at his friend. The disbelief in his expression was a bit much for Chuck to handle, though.
“David, seriously. He needs it.”
David rolled his eyes, muttering. “That’s an understatement.”
Chuck stopped what he was doing and glared at the bassist. “You know what, I know you can’t stand his shit right now, but he’s still our friend.” He continued glaring at the younger male until David turned away to get his bass.
Jeff and Seb arrived at that moment, saving Chuck from having to say anything more.
“Hey, dude!” Seb grinned, lightly slapping a hand against David’s shoulder. The two youngest members of the band side-hugged, smiling at each other. “When did you get here?”
David pushed a hand through his hair and said, “Couple of hours ago. Flight was delayed, otherwise I would’ve been here even earlier.”
Chuck laughed and said, “Good thing you didn’t. I wouldn’t have been here.”
“LAX is awful as always,” Jeff commented as he started unpacking his acoustic. Then he said, looking at the drummer, “Where were you?”
“He may or may not be here, ‘cos he’s seeing a shrink,” David added with a smirk.
Chuck said, voice sharp, “David, don’t.” The bassist grumbled but didn’t elaborate. Neither Jeff nor Seb appeared surprised though. The younger of the two just shrugged and the other smiled a little.
“Hope it helps,” Jeff said as he sat on a stool while tuning his instrument. Chuck couldn’t have agreed more.
* * * * *
Pink roses. Not the usual affair in a doctor’s office. But, Lachelle Farrar wasn’t your average doctor. Pierre decided that the very first time he saw her. The long flowing, flowery dresses she wore and the head band with the daisy stuck in the top, very sixties flower child, really. Though she was actually younger than him. Yeah, a shrink that was younger than him. But, she was a professional. So, age was of no issue.
The pink roses though…
“Do you like them?” Lachelle’s soft voice refocussed him and he smiled tightly at her.
“Yes. They were given me by another of my clients.” She reached out a slender hand to stroke at a petal. Pierre observed the motion then met her gaze, brow furrowing.
Lachelle leaned back on her chair, smiling at him in a genial manner. “So, you want to talk about her?”
Pierre closed his eyes. “No.” Which wasn’t entirely true, but he didn’t want to just spill his guts. It was Lachelle’s job to draw him out, after all.
She didn’t take the bait, though. At least not directly.
“When do you go to Australia?”
Pierre slid one eyelid open, eye dark. “This weekend.”
“How long for?” Lachelle’s questions were usually designed to get him talking, but for now she was just going for the facts. Pierre opened his other eye, sitting up.
“Two weeks. Long for a promo tour, but it’s a big country.”
Lachelle jotted down a couple of notes. The pad on her lap had seen better days, the wire spiral sticking out at the ends. Pierre’s gaze flickered down to her scrawl and then he looked at her face again.
“There’s no way I’d bump into her. We’re not even going to Perth.”
Lachelle met his eyes. “That’s where she lives?”
Pierre snorted and said, “You know that.”
She didn’t react to the aggressive tone in his voice, just wrote another little note.
Pierre glowered at her, standing and shoving his hands in his pockets. Her gaze shifted to him and something flickered in their depths. But, she just smiled, inclining her head toward the stretch of carpet in front of the large double-glazed window, overlooking the busy street outside. Pierre took the invitation for what it was and started to pace along its length.
“Do you think you can describe your feelings right now, Pierre?”
Pierre’s jaw tightened. This was the hardest part of the session. Always. Past sessions he clammed up and Lachelle would have to end it there because she had other clients…
“Even if it’s just one word.”
And, that was the best way to handle him…
“Sad.” It was the first word that came and it suddenly dawned on him that he had never, up until now, admitted that feeling, not even to himself. He stopped pacing and looked at Lachelle again. “I’m sad.” He frowned. “Maybe even depressed. Though, I’m obviously not qualified to make that kinda diagnosis.”
Lachelle’s soft laugh didn’t make him angry for some reason as she said, “You’re qualified to know yourself, though.”
Pierre shook his head. “You’d think so. But, all I know is that I’m a mess. And, I fucking miss her.”
Lachelle regarded him with a level expression. “What’s her name?”
Pierre blinked as the corners of his mouth turned down. “Don’t you know?”
She shook her head, a gentle gesture. “In the whole time I’ve seen you, you have not once mentioned her by name. It may help.”
Pierre turned his gaze back out on the street, a faraway look coming to his eyes. “I…” He shook his head almost in anger at himself. “She…”
“Pierre?” Lachelle’s tone was gentle. He exhaled on a harsh breath.
“Marly. Her name’s Marly.”