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Michael

I've always enjoyed my life as a celebrity. I like the rush, the excitement, the adrenaline, the way I feel when I'm on stage, playing a guitar or singing into a microphone that's loud enough for an arena of thousands of people to hear. I like the fans; their screams when they see me walk outside with my guitar strapped to my back, or the way they crowd me and beg for pictures. It's nice knowing that I'm appreciated, because I was never appreciated as a child.

You see, I grew up without any siblings, it was just my parents and I. In this case, my mum and I. My dad was never around, because he was too busy at work to spend time with his family, but we caught on to his lies at one point and found out that he was actually fucking his assistant the entire time. My mum divorced him immediately upon finding out, and it left the two of us in despair and a lot of anger. She stopped talking to me, started acting cold -- bitter even, and I felt like a disappoint to her. So I stopped trying to bond, stopped trying to communicate, and I dropped out of school to join a band.

And I'm not lying when I say it's the best decision of my life, except, there's a catch. There always is, I guess, but it's worse than the usual deal-breaker or type of commitment you have to go through to actually live your dream. I have groupies, and at first, it was nice, knowing that people threw themselves at me because they had wet dreams about me and wanted to get laid. I liked the idea of it in the beginning, because it made me feel loved, appreciated, accepted.

But when I realized that most of the fans were only in it for my body, rather than me, I wanted to give it all up. It made me feel sick to my stomach knowing that I was being used, that I was treated as a sex object rather than a guy with an angelic voice and guitar skills. It's never what I wanted, entirely that is, but I couldn't just end it. Not when it's what I was known for, not when it made people notice me. I guess forcing myself to have sex with people who threw themselves at me was a form of self harm, but I didn't really care. There was nothing worse that I could possibly do to alert myself that I'm fucked up in more ways than one, but whatever.

It was only three in the afternoon when my band and I had soundcheck. One of the security officers handed me my ear piece as he practically pushed me onto the stage while talking into some weird device to communicate with the men outside, who were keeping people out of the arena. I was up to start talking first, since everyone knew who I was, more than the rest of the band, really. I was the lead singer, after all.

"So hey, I'm Michael, and I'm in a band called Life In Motion and on the drums over there is Ashton, who at the moment goes by Ash, and over here on the other guitar is Luke, who's the backup singer for our soundtrack, and last but not least, this is our bassist, Leslie. She's a keeper, ladies & gentlemen." He then winked at the camera that was standing right in front of him, just before strumming a string on his guitar. "The first song I'm going to perform is Jet Black Heart."

Michael was forced to stop playing by Andy, who was operating the sound projection. "Could you speak a little louder in your microphone?"

"I'm speaking as loud as I can," Michael rolled his eyes, "I don't want to yell, for fucks sake."

It was making me angry. He always did this on purpose, because he wanted to see how worked up I could get before the show, since emotion was key to a good and successful concert. Besides, Andy and the members of my band wanted the fans to feel something more than adrenaline and excitement. We wanted to be connected as much as possible.

"Try again, in three, two, one."

"Hey everybody, my name is Michael and-"

"Stop," Andy rolled his eyes, "I've had it with this. Just start the song." It was annoying me how much pressure he was putting me under, but I couldn't do anything. So I just closed my eyes and began to sing the song that means the most to me on our album, 'City hearts don't get me the way you do'.

"Everybody's got their demons," I started off the first line, admiring the way my voice echoed through the arena. I couldn't fucking wait to hear the fans singing.

It was only an hour later when we were finally done with practice, and sweat was brimming down my face. I needed a shower, but of course, there wasn't one in a freaking stadium, so I had to deal with the smell of salt and deodorant that didn't even belong to me, but to Ashton. "Don't forget that for tomorrow nights show, you'll have a fan come into your tour bus to interview you."

"When did this happen?" Ashton quirked, using his drumsticks to make a beat against the cushion of the chair he was sitting on to cure his boredom. "I don't recall being scheduled for an unauthorized interview."

"It's authorized from a competition a company held, okay? We'll be with you the entire time, so if anything happens, we will take care of it."

I felt a little better after hearing that, but it still worried me. I wasn't the best in interviews, but Leslie was worse. She always kept her mouth shut, or would lay her head on my shoulder whenever she was upset. Everyone thinks we're dating, and it's kind of funny.

"Alright, kids. Let's go get something to eat before your show tonight."

"Don't 'Believe In Miracles' and 'Castaway Shadows' need to practice for their set?" Leslie suddenly asked, catching everyone off guard. "Andy has that covered, now let's go before you get dehydrated or die from starvation."

Sounds good to me.

Even if I wasn't really happy, I dealt with it anyway. It'd be nice living a life that isn't famous for once, not hiding away from fans in fear that they'll mob us. Just being a normal guy, for a day.

That's all I ask.

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