Chapter 21

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I slowly sit back on to the stool at the breakfast bar as I digest the words, that he has said more than once now, and let them finally begin to sink in. If it was not for Rob, I might not be alive right now. 

All of a sudden, everything that had gone on in the past between seemed so irrelevant and petty, but at the same time, it did still happen and while I am truly grateful to Robbie for everything he has done for me since yesterday, there is a voice deep at the back of my mind saying that there will always be a divide between us until we clear the air about everything that has happened and been said between us.

''Wow. OK, I am slowly coming to terms with all of this and to be honest I am slightly overwhelmed at the minute. I just have one question, what were you doing in Raffles last night?''

Momentarily he freezes, but then he relaxes and exhales heavily before turning to face me. 

''Listen, when I saw you out on your run and stuff and then we had that little altercation, for use of a better word, I felt terrible and I really wanted to apologize before I left for L.A the next day. I tried calling you that night but there was never an answ-'' 

''Wait....so that was you who kept calling me? And sending me the blank messages? How did you get my number?''

''Gary, I have the same number for you in my phone since the band days, I didn't know if you had changed it so I just gave it a go to see what happens. Then when there wasn't any answer, I took a gamble. Back in the day we always used to make New Years a two day event so I went around Chelsea and I spotted ye heading in to Raffles, so I parked up my car and put my hood up and went inside'' 

As I allow all of that information to sink in, I find myself speaking without even knowing it.

''So that WAS you at the end of the bar that I kept seeing. You always looked away when I saw you, didn't you?'' 

He bowed his head a little. 

''I wanted to say sorry again before I flew back over here, but then I saw that guy slip something into your beer and then I knew I c...couldn't leave you. You were drugged for goodness sake, Gaz. I'm not an animal''

Wow, this has been a mentally and emotionally draining day. I mean, I am truly grateful for what he has done and everything but we need to talk still. 

''Rob look at me, I am very grateful for everything but we still need to clear everything up from our past if we are going to move forward. How about we go out for dinner and have a proper talk, eh? How's that sound?''

''Yeah that sounds great. I'll book us in to the best place in town. But first we need to bring you shopping. You can't go out in chinos, mate. We're going to Rodeo Drive.''

***later that evening at dinner***

Rob and myself were out in downtown L.A at what he claims is the best place to eat in town. We had placed our orders, and were just getting down to talking about everything that had happened between us over the years. Rob was almost in tears telling me everything. 

He had been to rehab twice and that he was severely depressed and he couldn't honestly remember saying half of the things about me. I did believe him. But, was I right to? I've been told that is one of my downfalls; I'm always easy at giving people second chances, but this was different. This man had saved my life. I could be dead in a bush or something right now if it wasn't for him. 

After everything had been discussed and the score was finally settled between us, it was as if this weight had been lifted off my shoulders. A weight I didn't even know I was carrying around for probably the last 10 years. 

We talked for hours at the restaurant about everything; our new tour, possible new record and he told me more about his new record and world tour. He made it clear that he didn't want to lose contact when I got back to England, and I couldn't have agreed more with him. It felt amazing having him back in my life and I was not prepared to lose him again. No way!

After finishing up our main courses and splitting a naughty desert between us, we decided to go for a little stroll through the streets of L.A. I can't remember the last time I walked so freely through the streets of a major city. I mean now, anytime I step out of my house in London, I'm constantly looking at a camera or a microphone being shoved in my face wanting the next showbiz article for some shitty little tabloid or some pointless gossip website. 

We went to some ice cream parlour and grabbed two little tubs of ice cream and strolled towards Santa Monica pier. We sat down and let our feet dangle over the edge as we reminisced about the old days. The Take That days. From starting off in gay clubs in Manchester to performing at Wembley Arena in front of 15,000. There were so many highs and lows, and they weren't the bits that everyone saw, i.e the tours and TV appearances. 

Some of the best bits were on the tour bus and backstage at award shows when it was really just the five of us. We've all changed so much. I see a lot of change in myself. I've been very fortunate with the life I've been blessed with. Take That are going back on tour, the possibility of a new record and I'm in love with a beautiful girl. Shit! Michelle! 

''Rob?''

''Mmh? What's up, mate?'' he spluttered through a mouthful of chocolate ice cream. 

''Would it be OK if I flew Michelle out here? I mean, she must be worried sick at this point that there's been no word from me for 3 days after not returning from a night out with the boys...'' 

He looked at me with a mischievous grin and I knew instantly he was up to something. 

''I'm not saying anything mate, but you need to get your bum home right now.''

''What? Why?'' 

''Because Mr. B...you need to get some sleep. You need to be at LAX tomorrow at 11....I was planning to surprise you, but since you had the idea yourself, I feel you should know.'' 

I'm still not getting what he's saying and he can tell by my expression.

''Flight 429, 11AM tomorrow morning. Come on, let's get you home. The doctors say you need your rest, granddad...''

It's Complicated - A Gary Barlow FFRead this story for FREE!