Part 4

Ian was pushed to the side. He felt the crowd around him surge, arms flailing, sweaty bodies slamming against him. The smell of cheap cologne and soft-scented deodorant filled fogged his mind. Where was he now? He looked to his left and saw a shirtless man boulder his way into the crowd in front of him, desperately trying to push towards the stage. To Ian’s right, he noticed a crowd of girls shaking beer cans and spraying each other, seemingly unconcerned about the amount of alcohol being wasted. One of the girls met Ian’s eyes and smiled, but he quickly turned back towards the performance in front of him. There, a man with a microphone was spinning on his back wildly, yelling harshly into the mic. A woman with a bass guitar stood nearby, her body swaying and bobbing as she methodically drew out a chaotic-yet-steady tone. The drummer behind her furiously worked himself over the tattered drum set. a large hole had been made in the drumhead, seemingly from the guitar strewn on the floor in front of it. The guitar’s wielder lay sprawled on the stage, unconscious or too inebriated to stand. Suddenly the song ended with a slap as the vocalist spun himself right off the stage. The bassist and drummer looked at each other, then ran to check on their companion. The venue erupted with a roar as chaos broke out. General infighting could be seen everywhere. But in the middle of a disaster, Ian found himself wrapped around a small brunette girl that smelled strongly of beer, and something intoxicating that enthralled him. She hoisted herself onto her toes and locked her lips with his, a kind of passionate embrace between two whose names were not even known to each other. Ian held her in his arms for what seemed like forever. He could tell that she had no intention of letting him go, and he felt the same. Something in his mind shuddered a kind of distant ping of pain that warned him not to become too attached to the overwhelming feeling of being with this girl. And when he opened his to gaze into hers, she and everything else was gone, and he found himself laying in his bed, tears streaming down his face.

Slowly, Ian pulled himself into a sitting position and laid back against the bedside wall. He wiped the tears from the corners of his eyes and looked at his pillow. Two large stains were clearly visible from where he had been sobbing in his sleep. Ian closed his eyes and tried to memorize everything about the moment. He tried to recall the smell of the place, but he smelled nothing. He tried to picture the stage, but saw only shadows and vague shapes. He tried to remember the sounds, but all he could hear was the fan whirring inside his air conditioner. But one thing sat clear in his mind: The girl. He could visualise the crease in the corner of her mouth when she smiled, the gentle caressing of her hazel eyes meeting his, the soft touch of her skin, but most of all, he actually felt the intense heat from her lips on his.

No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t get her out of his mind. He glanced at the clock. The holodisplay shown out: 0411. He had witnessed someone die just hours earlier, but instead of greiving, he was having dreams about kissing a girl at a concert. What kind of sick bastard was he? Was it normal to dream silly dreams like that so short after one experiences a tragedy? And why couldn’t he think of anything else, even now? Ian found that, even when he tried to picture Corbin’s face, it just faded right back into the dream girl’s.

Finally, Ian heaved himself up and walked to his front door. He didn’t even care that he was in his boxers; he needed fresh air right there and then. But when Ian pulled open his door, he saw a blur of motion and a pair of arms wrap around his torso. For a second, he felt a resurgence of emotion as the warmth from the small girl washed over him. But when he looked down, he found Marie clinging to him, sobbing.

“Marie?” Ian asked shocked.

“I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I know this is weird and I know you were asleep and I know I was rude before and I know that you probably don’t like me and I am so so sorry,” She cried into him. He felt her tears stream down his chest, catching in the hair.

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