Calum were both starring at each other’s. The first one was uncomfortable under
his ex-band mate’s gaze and didn’t dare look him in the eyes. The other one was
too shocked to realize how uncomfortable he was making him.
At least, this is better than I thought it
would be, Michael
changed. His hair was longer and he had
grown older as faint wrinkles started showing on his forehead. His right arm was
covered with tattoos and he was wearing a formal black shirt with a loosened
changed too. And Calum had blinked once or twice and was really considering
pinching himself to make sure he wasn’t just daydreaming.
It came out more like a question and Calum was really unsure about how to
react. He gained his senses back and straightened his posture.
Michael replied as he was rocking back and forth on his feet. He licked his
lips and continued. “Yes, it’s me.”
gasped and walked closer to his ex-band mate and was now standing in the
elevator. He got close enough to smell the cigarette smell going off from him
and scrunched his nose.
Did he really change? Or did he just go and got
even more bad habits?
froze as he saw the look Calum was now giving him. He was judging him. Just
like he used to do. Just like 10 years ago. He was seeing the bad in him and
was disappointed, a look Michael knew oh too well. Michael swallowed hard and
felt his hands start shaking and his heart beat fasten a little bit.
“He’s late.” Luke said looking at the clock on
the wall that showed 4:39pm,
“Again.” Calum added rolling his eyes. “He has
probably forgotten that we even had a meeting today.”
“Or, he’s just screwing some girl.” Luke added.
Ashton who was reading lyric sheets looked up
at the wall and frowned. “We should talk to him about this.” He took his phone
out and searched for Michael’s name in his contact’s search bar. “I’m going to
“Talk to him about what?” Luke asked
incredulously standing up to get him guitar.
“About his bad habits.” Calum said taking a pen
from the table and tapping it against the wooden chair. “About partying, girls,
sex, his responsibilities…”
“Right.” Luke said sitting back down. He yawned
and rubbed his eyes before strumming some chords.
Ashton gave him a playful smirk. “Seems like
you aren’t getting enough sleep Luke. Does it have anything to do with the fact
that Isabelle had finally moved in with you?”
Luke frowned and rubbed his arm shaking his
head sadly. “No.”
Ashton frowned. “Trouble in paradise?”
Luke sighed. “She wants to move back to France.
She doesn’t like it here. She’s by herself most of the time since I’m on tour
and all her friends went back to France. We’re always on the edge these days,
Calum gave him a smile. “Same with me dude.
Karen’s been by herself taking care of the twins. She calls me up crying at
times, saying she can’t do it anymore especially since her mother moved back to
Chicago. Also, I feel like such a crappy dad. My kids made their first steps and
said their first words and I wasn’t there for it. For those important moments
of their childhood.”
“I’ve been having problems too.” Ashton piped
in. “Kim’s sick and Nadine recently went back to work with Sean being a newborn
too things are not going well at all.”
The three lads were lost in their own thoughts
when Calum spoke up.
“We can-.“ He stopped talking. “No.” He laughed
nervously. “That’d be crazy.”
Ashton looked at him skeptically remembering
his own crazy thoughts about quitting the band.
What they all didn’t know was that they were
all thinking the same thing: giving up the band for a better family life.
The studio room’s door opened and Michael strode
in with no care in the world.
“What’s up guys?” He asked plopping himself down
on the couch next to Luke.
Luke coughed. “Dude, what’ve you been up to?
You reek of cigarette!” Luke said between coughs.
Michael shrugged his shoulder looking at Luke
then turned his gaze and met Calum’s eyes. They were full of disappointment sadness
His gaze immediately changed and met Ash’s one.
Dissatisfaction and distress.
Michael bit inside of his cheek. He knew he had
done wrong. He knew he was screwing up but he didn’t know what to do about it.
Not when each one of them already had his own problem. He couldn’t just add
himself onto their lists.
you doing here?” Calum asked not commenting about the smell.
Michael didn’t know what to answer and looked at Ashton for help. That’s when
Cal noticed that Ashton was with them too.
Hey buddy! What’s up?” He asked enthusiastically.
Ashton replied just as enthusiast.
looked away. Even this sort of normal friendly greeting was too much for him.
Him, who was used to none of it anymore.