Chapter Thirty Nine

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 Dear Diary,

I was on a total high after the gig. I could’ve been floating in heaven for all I was feeling. I glided down the twisty corridors as if lifted along by the wave of people around me all the way back to the dressing rooms. As soon as we got inside Jimmy grabbed hold of my hand, his face beaming, and spun me around as we danced in time to the music coming from the next band on stage.

Leo perched on the arm of the sofa looking at his fingers whilst reams of people milled around him, sometimes trying to talk. As Jimmy and I twirled past him I leaned over to whisper in his ear:

‘Thanks for pointing out that weasel from yesterday… It’s so funny that they turned up…’

Leo raised his face but somehow his eyes could not meet mine. I think he might’ve tried to say something but I can’t be sure because nothing came out of his opened lips.

Jimmy grabbed my hand and we continued to waltz up and down the dressing room. I had the thought that I would have a good chat with Leo the next day.

As we danced unknown faces sprung up telling us how great we were, how fantastic the set was, how great my voice is, how gorgeous we are, how much passion we have… It made my head spin.

Tony burst into the room with his arms wide open.

‘Well, you guys… You. Were. Amaaaazing!!’

I couldn’t help but run up to give him a cuddle and a kiss on the cheek.

That shut him up for about a millisecond then he launched into telling us how everyone is going mental, how his phone is going off the hook, how we are the new stars of New York….

‘Wow,’ said Jimmy and I in unison.

Tony finished his speech and melted off into the throng. I couldn’t help but notice how hot the room was and how the crowd was getting bigger and louder by the minute. I needed some air. I ducked out of the room practically having to elbow my way through.

The corridors were also full of people – who they were I do not know. These people were also keen with their congratulations. It was hard to find a way out along all those corridors but I found that the further I got from the dressing room the less people there were. I wound my way along and tried a few different doors until I eventually found an empty corridor with a big metal door that swung open when I pushed it.

The night air swooped in on me. Aaah. I breathed it in. I stepped outside and found myself in an empty alleyway in between the venue and the next building. The orangey night sky sat above the tops of the roofs. The taxicabs left a yellow blur as they whizzed by on the street below. I stood next to the wall with my back to it and tilted my head, feeling the cool air on my skin.

As I looked down the alleyway I saw the tiniest bit of movement in the darkness, about twenty meters away on the ground, just beyond the piles of rubbish. I felt my chest tighten, unsure what it was. I looked closer. I saw it was a person, lying down, crumpled up, hardly moving. I felt the urge to run straight back inside.

Then I heard a soft moan, somehow familiar, then the glint of blood on the floor. A feeling of dread began to creep along my body. I took a few steps forward keeping my eyes on the body, praying it wouldn’t suddenly jump up. The moans got louder, moans of pain.

After a few more steps I could see the person wouldn’t be moving anywhere, let alone jumping up. Small rivers of blood ran this way and that. Instead of running back to the venue to find help, for some reason I felt compelled to go right up.

It was a guy, I could tell that much by now. His hair covered his face. He lay still, hardly moving, a young guy. Something about the way he lay or perhaps it was the glimmer of blonde beneath the dirt and blood in his hair.

I ran right up, kneeling beside him and pushing back his hair. Despite the streaks of dirt and the blood pouring from a cut along his cheekbone, I knew exactly who it was.

‘Oh God,’ I cried out into the blackness. ‘Farley.'

I put my face next to his.

His eyes flickered.

‘What happened?’ I said.

He let out a moan.

‘Who did this?’ I said, tears running down my face.

‘Amber…’ he said, rolling his head to the side. 'It was...'

‘It was who?’ I said.

‘The guys...’ he said, breathless.

‘What guys?’ I said.

‘Your guys…’ he said.

What?’ I said.

He fought to keep his eyes open.

‘I tried to tell them…’ he said.

‘My guys?’ I said.

‘The gig. In Brocksburn… I saw them there…’ he said.

‘Oh God, no,’ I said. ‘No, it wasn’t supposed to be you….’

My heart tore itself apart.

I bent over his body and I heard him say:

‘Help me.’

He rolled his head back again and closed his eyes. Dear, beautiful Farley. I looked down at the blood on my hands. Someone stumbled out of the venue door becoming an outline in the darkness.

‘Leo!’ I said. ‘Oh God, Leo. Help! Please help.’

He didn’t reply; he just ran straight towards us.

‘They got the wrong guy. It’s a mistake. It’s Farley... We have to help him,’ I said.

He came right up and stood over us, looking down onto me, onto Farley. It was as though he too was wounded except it wasn’t his body – it was his soul.

‘When you told me about the guy in the blue shirt,’ I said, looking down at the blue top Farley wore, now almost black. ‘You must’ve got the wrong guy, you must’ve thought he was the guy from last night…’

Leo dropped to his knees at the other side of Farley. He put his hands on Farley’s chest.

‘No,’ he said as tears escaped from his eyes.

‘I knew,’ he said. ‘I knew exactly who it was.’

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