Celia

Country Music Fans Get Ready!

Chapter 2 of Behind the Strings is here!! Read and then share away my friends :)

If you still need to read chapter 1 click here

2

Front row, directly to the right of the stage. That was where the ticket that came along with my press pass had put me. I snapped a few pictures for my blog and jotted down some more notes as Logan sang. I didn’t sing along to either of his singles, but I knew the words to both of them. I had a countdown set so I wouldn’t forget and bought them both online the day they were released. Even if he didn’t want me to be, I still liked to think I was always his biggest fan. Maybe second-biggest, only to his mom of course.

The crowd cleared quickly once the encore was over and all had exited the stage. It had been a long night and was still far from over. If I thought the press conference was awkward, it was about to get worse.

Nashville: Behind the Strings was one of the hottest country blogs in the city. I’d been working there for a year now and had been given the official title of New Artist Media Manager. It was my job to introduce the world to the hottest newcomers of the industry. That meant mingling with them as much as I could. So after the concerts comes another perk of the job…the after party.

About an hour later there I was, walking through the lobby of the Opryland Resort to the ballroom written on the invite. I spotted him right away, surrounded by reporters, shaking hands and posing for pictures. I leaned my elbow on one of the cocktail tables off in the distance, sipping on some champagne I grabbed from a waiter who passed by. Once I came into Logan’s view, I watched him excuse himself and push his way through the crowd. My heart raced. I couldn’t read his poker face as he stepped closer to me.

“Twice in one night, huh?” he said as he placed his palm on the table next to me.

“Just doing my job,” I said.

“And what exactly might that be?” he asked.

“I’m a writer,” I said, “music blogger, to be exact.”

“I’m sorry, can you say that again?” he asked, raising his eyebrows.

He put his hand to his ear to make sure he had heard me correctly and stood there, waiting for me to repeat myself, but I didn’t. The only thing I did was continue to stare at him until he grabbed my hand and pulled me across the room and out through the hotel doors. Neither of us said a word as he led the way to the brick steps across the way from the lobby entrance. It reminded me of his parents’ 15th wedding anniversary party. That was when we snuck away from the black tie gathering and ran through the vineyards until we were both out of breath. Then we lay with our heads together, staring up at the stars. I think we were maybe 10 at the time. Now, over a decade later, we were standing side by side under that same sky, staring up at those same stars. But this time it was different.

“Logan?” I asked.

“Don’t,” he said as I stood.

“I didn’t come here to upset you.”

“Well I’m upset,” he said. “Damn it, Celia.” I walked over to him, placing my hand on his shoulder, but he pulled away. “The girl who wanted nothing to do with music. Who couldn’t even stand entertaining the idea of being a part of its world…now you live in it?”

“I guess I realized I was spending my life blaming music for all the things I lost instead of the people who took them away from me.”

“Oh, good for you. I didn’t try and tell you that dozens of times or anything,” he said rolling his eyes.

“Logan, it’s been five years. I don’t want you to be mad at me anymore.”

“Who said I was ever mad at you?” he asked.

“You haven’t talked to me in five years. Not a single return phone call, not even a text. If you’re not mad at me then what the hell are you, huh?”

“Hurt,” his voice rose as he turned towards me. “You hurt me, okay? You and I, we were supposed to be in this together, you know and you just…you let me down, left me to do this all alone.”

“I did not!” I said.

I had told him not to stay in Hamden for me. That I wasn’t ready to leave yet, but that there was no way I was going to be the reason he gave up his dreams. Yes, for nineteen years we were inseparable. Our mothers were in the same birthing room of the hospital. That was where it all started. Apparently going through labor together forms an unbreakable bond. We spent so much time at “Mommy and Me” classes, on play dates…you name it, we did it all together. But that didn’t mean the rest of our lives were going to pan out the same. He knew what he wanted back then, he always had. I was still trying to figure it out.

“You may as well have,” he said, “That’s what it felt like to me.”

“That’s the last thing I ever wanted. You were my best friend. You still are.”

I was about to grab his hand, when a young girl with curly blond hair, dressed in sequins, yelled out his name. That was his cue to return to the party.

“And the high life calls,” he said. “You coming back in?”

“I think I should probably get home.”

“Now? That’s kind of a long drive home this late at night.”

I shook my head. There was so much Logan didn’t know about the last few years of my life. The fact that I too had moved out of our small town was one of them.

“4817 Blueberry Hill Rd,” I said as he stepped away from me. “Can you meet me there tomorrow morning, ten sharp?”

“What’s there?” he asked.

“Just say you’ll be there, please.”

No verbal commitment, but I saw the nod before he turned away and if there was one thing I knew about him, it’s that he always did as he said. Like the true Southern gentleman his mama had raised him to be.

When I arrived home that night, I sat the laptop onto the couch next to me and pulled up the songs from Logan’s album. I scrolled down until I came across “To Walk Away,” clicked for it to begin and listened closely.

She held my hand while I was shaking

Searching the words I had to say to her

I looked into those eyes

Bluer than they ever were

Underneath that midnight sky

As the rest of the song played it became very apparent what he meant when he said this song “hit close to home.” Every line brought me back to that night he said goodbye. Suitcase in hand, standing on my porch. The only real friend I had ever known was about to embark on a new adventure without me. As happy as I was for him, it was hard to let him go. We had been through so much in all of those years, I couldn’t imagine how the next chapter of my life would start without him there.

The bridge played again and I lifted my fingers to my lips, remembering how his had so gently brushed against mine back then. We both lingered, our lips locked together until I finally pulled away. I was so young and so confused.

My head was spinning as the song continued to play. I could barely understand the words once again as the vision of him walking down the front steps clouded my mind.

She was already moving on

Before I was even gone

I knew there was nothing left to say

She didn’t feel the same

So I had to love her enough to walk away

He really couldn’t have written it any better. It described perfectly the events following that kiss. I cried, he left. I watched him go and he never turned back.

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