“Cause baby you’re a FIREWORK!!! Come and let your colors BURST!! OH! OH! OH!!” a hefty woman in her mid 30’s belted horribly off key. That was the fifth time tonight that Jared and Jenny had to sit through someone singing Katy Perry’s ‘Firework’ and that wasn’t even the worst one. The two had spent an hour watching people make total fools of themselves and what astounded Jared the most was that none of them cared they were just there to have a good time. Jenny even got up to sing along with a group of her fans who showed up after reading her message on twitter and hoped that they would get the chance to meet her. ‘Glad that I’m not the only one who stalks her twitter page.’ Jared thought to himself. He watched as Jenny interacted with her admirers and saw that she didn’t keep them at arms length but allowed herself to be approachable. If Jared didn’t know that Jenny was a singer with a following of her own, he would have thought she was talking to a group of friends cause that was what he was witnessing.
He was reminded of how he use to be with his fans before the band got huge in the States. He wasn’t as open as Jenny appeared to be but that was only because Jared was a shy person however he would make small talk with the fans after the shows, take pictures with them and sign autographs. He loved doing that and missed it. Kept him grounded to be able to actually converse with them and get their actual opinion on what songs they like or didn’t like. What they thought of their video’s and live performances. Twitter just didn’t compare to that real interaction with them. ‘I’ve forgotten about them. How messed up is that.’
“Jared are you still alive?” Jenny turned to see Jared with his head down on the table. “Yeah. I’m still here.” He picked his head up from the table and looked at her. ”I’m so sorry. Usually karaoke night at Larry’s Lounge is a lot of fun. I guess cause its Friday and everybody’s here. Whenever I come here its mostly on a Monday or Tuesday. Plus Jessie would come along with me but since Nate is back home I haven’t really hung out with her lately.”
Jared noticed a hint of sadness in Jenny’s voice when she mentioned not having hung out with her friend. Jared could relate. Since he was now single and Matthew was married the two cousins didn’t spend a lot of time together when they weren’t on the road. Matt wasn’t much for partying or going out anymore unless his wife, Johanna was with him tagging along. Jared understood that his cousin had a life outside of the band but he just wish that he didn’t feel like he was shut out of it.
”Sucks feeling like the third wheel sometimes.” Jared confessed, looking over at Jenny who nodded in response. “Its like everyone I know is getting engaged or getting married. Then there’s me, the single girl.” proclaimed Jenny. “I use to be engaged but now I’m like you. Its like what’s the rush?” he said. ”I know! I can’t stand it when people ask if I’m in a relationship and I say no and they have the nerve to get all Oh, don’t worry you’ll find someone.” That made Jared sigh with frustration. “I fucking hate that shit. I get that all the time from Aunts. I’m like don’t fucking pity me.” “Let’s just hope that no one starts getting pregnant yet or we really won’t here the end of it.” stated Jenny.
Jared nodded in agreement while taking a sip of his cran-vodka. “What time is it?” Jenny asked all of a sudden. Jared looked down at his expensive watch that he bought for himself as a Christmas present. “My watch reads 10:25. What are you bored with me already?” That made her giggle. “I don’t think anyone could be bored with you Jared.” For a second Jared thought he saw something in Jenny’s eyes that showed flirtation but pushed that feeling aside. He didn’t want to get his hopes up. “Do you have somewhere else you need to be?” Jared hoped not. He was having such a good time hanging out and talking to Jenny despite where they were at. “Yeah I do. See I need to get this tattoo on my neck fix. Look at it.” Jenny turned around, lifted her hair off of her neck and showed Jared the tattoo. Jared couldn’t tell what was wrong with it. ‘She’s talking about the tattoo, not her neck’ he reminded himself.
”What am I looking at?” he asked her. “See the elephant’s face surrounded by the stars?” “Yeah. I still don’t see anything…OH MY GOD! Its trunk looks like a penis.” This made Jared go into a fit of laughter. He couldn’t help it. He thought Jenny’s fucked up tattoo was the funniest thing he had ever seen. Jared didn’t even care that people were turning to look at him when they heard his famous high pitched giggle. “Holy shit. That’s funny.” he said while trying to gain his composure. “Jared people are staring at you.” Jenny whispered. “I don’t care. Show ‘em your tattoo then they will understand. You have a penis on your neck!” That made the giggles start up again. “Okay were leaving. He’s not laughing at you people.” Jenny stated to the other patrons when she got up from the table and heard people say how rude Jared was being. “He’s laughing at me. Jared lets go.” She gathered up her things and took Jared by the arm and lead him outside. “Aw man. I needed that. Thank you Jenny.” “Anytime.”
Jared felt good. He hadn’t laughed like that in along time. ’Shit! I was laughing at Jenny. She probably thinks I’m a prick. God I am such a prick.’ “Hey, I want you to know that I wasn’t laughing at you. I was laughing at your tattoo.” Jenny smiled at that. “I know that fool. I just didn’t want people to think you were laughing at them in there. You didn’t see there faces when they turned there heads at us?” He couldn’t help but laugh at that. “No, my eyes were watering. I couldn’t see shit.”
Jared looked over at Jenny who was digging though her bag and retrieved some lip balm and proceeded to dab it on her lips. So many indecent thoughts went through Jared’s mind, he couldn’t help himself. “Holy shit.” he whispered as he watched her. “You say something?” “Huh? Oh, I uh…you just reminded me that I forgot my chapstick at home.” ‘Nice save.’
”Oh.” Jenny looked down at her chapstick, “Uh, do you want to use some of mine?” she asked but Jared could sense some hesitation in her voice. “No thanks, I’m good. No offence but I am kind of a germ/hygiene freak. I can’t use other people’s chapstick or drink out of the same glass, can, container etc. It just freaks me out.” declared Jared. ‘However I let people think that I have no problem putting my dick in every vagina I see.’ Jenny sighed with relief, “Oh good, I’m the same way. You never no idea where people have been, you know? Could end up getting some cold sore. Did you know that a cold sore is a form of herpes? How crazy is that!” “Yeah I know. 4.0 GPA remember.” “Of course, how could I forget.” Jared gave her his signature smirk.
He was captivated by her and what she was able to bring out of him. He didn’t know that he could have so much fun that didn’t involve getting shit faced drunk or hooking up with random girls. “Next time we should go to Lonnie’s Western Room. That’s a great place to go karaoke and your going to get up there and sing.” Jenny informed him. “I don’t sing.” “Were you not in there. No one could sing.” “You can sing.” “Yeah but I wasn’t singing my best. I didn’t want to be some show off.” “Well we’ll see. Where do you have to go and get your penis tattoo fixed? I didn’t think that a tattoo parlor would be open this late?” “They aren’t, I have to go to Buzzy’s.” “Buzzy’s?” Jared asked. “Yeah.” “But that’s a biker bar.” Jared warned. ”I know.” She said very nonchalantly. “Well…why…aren’t you scared?” “Why would I be scared?” “Cause its a biker bar. Shit happens there.” Jared started to tense up. He didn’t want to get into any trouble tonight. ”Oh my god, you pussy. Are you afraid? You don’t have to come along if you don’t want to.” “Hey, I am not afraid.” he uttered. “I’m just looking out for you. You never know what the fuck can happen in places like that. “Jared implied trying to come off cool and calm. ”Well look at you my knight and shining armor. How sweet. Look we’ll be fine. The people that hang out there are pretty cool. As long as we don’t make trouble, they won’t make trouble. Tit for tat.” Jenny explained. “Alright. My car is over here.” he said pointing across the street. ”We could just walk its not that far. Just a couple of blocks from here. Your car will be fine.” She reassured him.
Jared looked back at his car, wondering if he should take Jenny’s word for it. He really loved that car. ‘Fuck it. If something happens to it I have the money to get it fixed or replaced.’ “Alright lets go but if you fall on your ass from the slippery sidewalk then I have the right to laugh and say I told you so.” He informed her as they made there way to Buzzy’s. “That’s fine. Just so you know that if I indeed do fall I will be taking your ass with me.” retorted Jenny as she held onto Jared’s arm. He liked the feel of her touch even though he was wearing his navy blue Burberry coat that he has had for two years and is always photographed in. But still it felt right to him. Like she was suppose to be on his arm.
“Does the guy who is going to fix your tattoo not work in a real tattoo parlor?” “No, Joe doesn’t have his own place yet. He freelances from time to time, Buzzy’s being one of them. This is the only time I could get it done. He is very popular around here. Nathan has even had him do some of his tattoos.” “If he is so good then how did he manage to not catch that your elephants trunk was shaped like a dick?” Jared really wanted to know how someone who is suppose to be a professional and apparently the best tattoo artist in Nashville make a mistake like that.
”We were hanging out one night. We were drinking a little and he wanted to know if he could tattoo someone while being buzzed. So I volunteered to have him try it out on me. He did a good job except for the trunk.” Jenny explained. Jared couldn’t believe that she voluntary put herself in that situation. Never in a million years would he do something that stupid. ‘That’s the pot calling the kettle black. Wouldn’t you say?’ He told himself. But still he tought Jenny was smarter than that. ”That was really dumb. He could’ve totally fucked up. What would you have done then if he did?” scolded Jared. “Jeez, you sound like my Dad. Look I trust Joe. He’s one of the few people that I do trust these days. He wouldn’t have fucked up.” Jenny said defensively. Jared dropped it. The last thing he ever wanted to do was make Jenny upset. He wanted to be one of those people that she could trust and judging her friends or what she did in her own time was not the right way about it.
The two walked the rest of the way in silence. Comfortable silence Jared noted. He liked that. Everybody always felt the need to talk. They just couldn’t shut the fuck up for one second and enjoy silence.
”Why are people afraid of silence?” Jared asked out loud. He seriously wanted to know but didn’t expect to get an answer from Jenny. “Cause people are afraid of their own thoughts, I guess.” she replied. “That makes sense. Prefer to hear the voice from their mouth than the voices in their head.” suggested Jared. “Now if the voice is yours that doesn’t mean your crazy right?”
He looked over at Jenny when she said that. He paused and thought for a moment. ‘Shit I talk to myself all the time. That can’t mean that I’m crazy. I mean I am crazy but not I-need-to-be-in-mental-hospital-crazy. “As long as the voice doesn’t tell you to stab someone then I think you’ll be fine.” Jared pointed out. “Oh shit, black ice watch out.” warned Jenny. “Good eye. That would have been embarrassing if I fell. I hate falling in front of people.” professed Jared as he lead Jenny and himself over the slippery pavement. “Man I fucking fell the other night.” Jenny spoke, “I had free time from the studio so I went back to my house and saw that my roommate didn’t take out the trash. I mean it was over flowing. How hard is it to take out the trash? Anyway I went outside and as soon as I walked onto the pavement my ass hit the ground. Hurt so fucking band.” “That’s fucking scary. You’re lucky you just fell on your ass and not your head. Fucking could have ended up in a coma.” “Well thankfully I didn’t. All I got was a bruised ass and ego.” “You don’t have an ego Jenny. Trust me I have an ego so I would know. But you, you’re humble and modest. I can tell.” Jenny gave him a smirk. ”Oh you think you got me all figured out huh? Well buddy you’re in for a surprise.”