“Good decisions come from experience,
and experience comes from bad decisions.”
Blaine 24, Viktoria 23
I was in the kitchen when our apartment door was unlocked, by the way it was done I could already tell something had happened, the way Blaine whistled as he walked in, I knew it had to be good news.
“Hey.” I offered, he returned the greeting with a smile and came to me, hugging me, picking me up in the air, twirling me around.
“Vik, we got in. This weekend!”
“The meeting I have been waiting for, our big opportunity!”
“What meeting? With whom?”
“With the guy who can help us. The music dude I told you about. Don’t look at me like that, not like all the other ones we met with over the past year, this one is for real, a big kahuna! That’s why it took so long for him to even want to see us. Not another nasty back alley studio, this is one everyone has heard of. It’s the PB14, so many legends are signed with them. He’ll see us, wants us to pick out three pieces we’ll perform for him that show the range we can do. I think I already know two … you have to help me with the third.”
“Wha- what?” I stuttered, while thinking ‘Not another one of those painful, humiliating auditions that go nowhere.’, suppressing a sigh. I honestly thought Blaine had put that fame-hunt to bed for good.
“Dang it, you are already making dinner. Will that keep? Can we have it tomorrow? We need to go out and celebrate.” he now said.
“Celebrate what, Blaine? This is a chance, but nothing for certain, just an audition or something like that, not a contract. You do not celebrate probabilities, especially not after all the let-downs we already had. We have no money to celebrate small events like that, especially not after splurging on that new coffeemaker. Right now, we could barely afford to celebrate a big one, like a birthd…” the rest of my protest was muffled by Blaine’s kiss.
“Enough of that now. This is not small, Vik, this is my chance, I can feel it! Our chance! This is the moment we have been waiting for, the one we look back to one day and remember that this was where our life took the big turn!” Blaine’s enthusiasm was unbridled, eyes glazed over, full on happy-lala-land for him.
Little did we both know that his words could not have hit the nail on the head more, just in a very different way he intended it.
It would be life altering. Significantly so. But I am getting way ahead of myself.
We did go to the appointment, we did perform, we even managed it flawlessly. Then, after being left to wait for quite some time, we were called into that guy’s office.
“Well guys, I am gonna be honest with you. You don’t sound half-bad, definite potential there, but I don’t think you are anything really out of the ordinary. The market is very saturated with aspiring talent, thanks to TV shows and radio contests. What I need is something eye-catching, intense, maybe even controversial. And no offense, I do see something there in you – uh, Blaine was it? You got the rough, rugged and crude down, and there is something sensual about you, this whole bad boy image all the chicks dig so much. Big time marketing op there. Yeah, but she on the other hand … I cannot even begin to think how to market a rock band consisting of two members, where one of them looks like her.”
The guy gave me a pitiful glance while shaking his head and I felt like a horse at an auction. The reject. The one that ends up sent to the glue factory.
“What? Me? What’s wrong with my look?” I asked confused, already very offended.
“Yeah, man, she’s gorgeous, what’s your problem?” Blaine’s protectiveness of me made him look and seem instantly angry too.
Nobody was allowed to say anything bad about me to him or within his hearing distance. He had laid out men for much less than that. Make no mistake, Blaine may seem like a big old teddy bear around me, but he had always been a troublemaker and never shied away from a fight. He often even instigated some just for the heck of it. Yeah, laugh it up, I really seemed to be one of those girls who fell for the proverbial bad boy, at least at first glance. Of course, if you know our backstory, you know it goes much deeper than that, and I had seen the other side of Blaine, the one only I was privy to. The vulnerable, caring and deeply loyal one.
Luckily, this time Blaine remained seated and didn’t punch this very influential music producer across the table from us. That took a lot of restraint, I would know, as I was mentally beating him up in my head myself – and I wasn’t a violent person normally!
“I personally would agree and have no problem with her per se, she’d be perfect if I ran a dating site, but from a rock music producer standpoint, her look just won’t fly. Even with some sluttier outfits and something done to her hair, there is just something about her that screams “fresh from the convent”. True rock music lovers don’t want to watch Mary Poppins bounce across the stage, which truthfully, I don’t even see her do. No offense, darling, but there is nervous stiff and there is naturally stiff. You are the latter and have zero stage presence. Even with you there, Blaine, I can’t see you make up for it, cos dude, you have presence alright, and I get the whole ‘opposites attract’ thing in relationships, but as a rock duet, nobody would take you two serious. If I were to sign you just because I think you two are nice people who deserve a break, you’d just end up tanking after becoming a laughing stock, and me along with it. I have a reputation to think of. So, it will be a no from me for your rock duo dream. Pity really, cos I do have to say your voice and what you can do with that guitar really was one of the best things I have heard in a long time, Blaine. And your voice is really good too, Veronica, just not for rock music. Try jazz or pop. My word of advice, take your act to some local businesses, hotel lounges and dance clubs love hiring amateur entertainment couples who are easy on the eye like you, you could fatten up your income some that way.”
“My name is Viktoria and this will do for me. Thanks for your time and for wasting ours. And my word of advice to you: next time you want to insult someone, do it over a free dinner or at least at a cafe.” I hissed, purposely over-enunciating my name, as I jumped up and headed for the door, where I stood looking at Blaine who hadn’t moved.
“Ok, thanks then …” he now said as he rose up off the chair, looking and sounding like a kid whose balloon was popped.
I thought this would have been the end of it, while I never wanted to be famous or perform, I was hurt by that rude dismissal. Stiff? I wasn’t stiff. Ask Blaine. He’d confirm gladly that I could be very flexible. Wait what?! Oh my goodness, I even started to sound like him now. Erase and rewind that please.
Well, over the next few days things went back to normal, or at least so I thought.
Then came the ‘Groundhog Day’ moment.
Don’t act surprised, you knew this was coming, didn’t you? I swear, we even wore the exact same clothing as the last time, which wasn’t really that surprising considering our limited funds, which limited the content of our dressers.
Anyway, like before I was in the kitchen preparing dinner when the door was unlocked in a very ‘excited-Blaine-sort of way’. I turned to find him rushing towards me.
“I did it! It’s in the bag, babygirl!” he exclaimed as he pulled me into his embrace, covering my cheeks in kisses.
“What is?” I asked confused, smiling still.
“Got the contract! He actually signed me. Soon I will be the main breadwinner for us.”
“Blaine, what contract? Did you get another job?”
“You are looking at Studio PB14’s latest star: the amazing, the one, the ONLY – Blaine Cameron! The next big rock music legend.” he flourished.
“Wait, what? They signed us after all? What was that insulting speech all about then? Trying to press what they pay us?”
“Oh, right. The not so great part of the news. Uh, babygirl, not us. Just me. He called me earlier, wanting to see me. When he offered me a contract I got real excited, but then when I saw he wasn’t signing you too I was gonna walk. Then got to thinking, you always said you didn’t really want to do this and I know I kinda talked you into it all. I had to make a decision or he’d pull the offer. So I took it and signed on. I figured you wouldn’t care, maybe even be relieved, knowing you hate being up on that stage, but at least I can get us some decent money so we can finally move out of this shoe-box with its collection of the world’s worst neighbors ever.”
I said nothing, but Blaine’s enthusiasm was halted by my reaction. No, this was too much now. As supportive as I always was of him and his dreams, this was the drop that overflowed the bucket.
Without even as much as running it by me first, even with just as little as a phone call, Blaine had gone to sign his life away, and OUR future, to chase his dream.
Then just confronted me with the fact after all was said and done.
It felt like he had just carelessly left me in the dust. What little family I had all lay buried in the local cemetery in Forgotten Hollow, I was the only one alive to tend to the graves and my roots were here in the region, in Windenburg to be exact, less than half an hour by car from San Myshuno.
One thing was for certain, his hunt for fortune and fame wouldn’t take flight here in San Myshuno. This place has financial institutions, fashion businesses and such. To get established in the music business, you’d have to be in Del Sol Valley, where the music agents, producers, film studios and all that were, and where aspiring musicians and actors went to make their way to the top. Or not. Either way, he’d have to leave here – and I wasn’t going to.
How could he have done this to me, to us, and still be so nonchalant about it?
Yeah, that’s right folks, this was the exact moment Blaine and I had our very first major fight. And it was be a big one. Epic. Things were said that would be hard to ever take back, terrible things. I’ll spare you the gory details but it ended with him packing a duffel bag and leaving, slamming the door shut so hard the dishes in the kitchen cabinets rattled eeriely.
Then he was gone.
And stayed gone.
This was not really unusual behavior for Blaine, that’s what he had always done when things got tough and he wanted to avoid more confrontation. That’s why I hadn’t seen him for years when he was 16 and I 15, after hormones set in and it became clear that our feelings for each other went from a brother-sisterly love to – well, what it eventually had become. He had left then and our paths only cross again by sheer coincidence years later.
But now we were a couple. Or were we? After this fight and his weighty decision, I couldn’t say for sure.
Of course I tried calling him on his cell, but it went straight to voicemail each time until his mailbox was full. Either he turned it off or – more likely – it was out of juice, since I found his power cord in our apartment.
I was so lonely without him, miserable, missed him terribly, but was also very hurt, mad and too proud to run after him now. Plus, if a Blaine Cameron went into hiding, not even police had ever managed to find him. I figured this may have been his way to say goodbye without having to say it, after realizing there could be no us under these circumstances.
Still, with every sound I heard outside my door I sprung to attention, clinging to the hope it would be him, returning. It never was.
I wouldn’t see him again until some weeks later, on TV, performing live in Del Sol Valley, thousands of miles away and even if I had been so inclined – which by now I missed him so much, I may well have been – I couldn’t have flown there to get him to tell me where we stood, as I would have been barely able to afford a bus ticket to the next town over.
So, was this the end for Blaine and Vik?
Would our story become the one of a famous Blaine – maybe one day paired up with some famous starlet or another musician like him, while I was left behind scraping together the shambles of my dreams, that once used to be our dreams, left to only record the tale of the great superstar Blaine Cameron?
Sure looked like it.