Friday, September 8th, 1989: I looked at myself in the mirror twenty minutes before the concert was scheduled to start. Who am I trying to kid? I look like an ugly child trying to be a woman. I thought. I won tickets and backstage passes to a Guns N Roses concert on the radio and I was hoping that one of the band members might find me attractive but once I took a look at myself in the mirror I lost all the confidence I had.

        I was just a loser sophomore in high school with more insecurities than friends. None of the band members would look twice at me.

        My friend Kelly and I were dropped off at the concert by her older brother James. What a show it was. It started late but once it got going the crowd was wild and the band performed their hearts out. It was my first concert experience and it will be forever in my heart and memory as the first time I felt a sense of liberation and belonging.

        Security escorted us backstage half an hour after the show so we could meet the band. "You got your breath mints?" Kelly asked. "I took two. How's my hair?" I asked. "Perfect. You look to die for." "Thanks, so do you." I said, even though I didn't believe I looked to die for.

        We walk into their dressing room and they're all sitting around like a group of cool misfits smoking and drinking straight from the bottle. It was the first time I felt like I was in the presence of real men, certainly a change from the high school boys I'm used to being around. These were full-grown, drug taking, party hard adult men and I get to meet them.

        Security walked out of the room and shut the door after us. Kelly and I stood there in the middle of the room while the guys just stared at us. Their drummer was the first to introduce himself. "Hi, I'm Steven." we shook hands with him and introduced ourselves. We went around the room shaking everyone's hands.

        When I finished shaking Duff's hand, I turned around to see Axl staring at me. He was the last to be introduced. He was sitting on the couch, one leg propped up with his arm resting lazily on it, and a crooked smile on his face. His eyes never left mine as I walked up to him. It felt like he was trying to see into me which was very uncomfortable and exciting all at the same time.

        "I'm Kelly." my friend said, trying to flip her hair and be flirty. She's always had a thing for Axl. Actually, she has a thing for everyone in the band. In fact, she'll pretty much have a thing for any guy in a band. He looked at her for a brief moment, nodded his head, and looked at me again.

        "My name is Brooke." I said in a voice that came out like a squeaky whisper. His eyes softened and his smile got wider. He slowly held his hand out to me. "Axl." he said in a low voice that the boys in my high school definitely don't have. I shook his hand, embarrassed by the fact that my palms were so sweaty. His were soft and firm, just as I thought they would be.

        "We're eighteen." Kelly jumped in. Duff snorted and said, "That's what they all say" before taking a sip of his beer. "You two look kinda young for eighteen." Izzy said. "Yeah but their fake I.D.'s probably say they are eighteen." Slash said with a laugh. I felt like they were making fun of us and I wanted to die. 

        "They're just messing around." Axl said, probably noticing how uncomfortable I looked. I nodded my head and said "Oh." Kelly laughed obnoxiously. "That's funny." she said. I really wanted to get away from her as fast as I could. I didn't want them to think that I was desperate for attention like her when we're complete opposites. 

        "So do you guys come here often?" she asked. "Pretty often since it's our hometown." Izzy said. "You got a boyfriend?" Axl asked, completely ignoring everyone else in the room and focusing all of his attention on me. I was so shocked I was nearly speechless.

        "Um...no. I don't date much." I answered. He smiled at me then abruptly stood up. "Well it was nice doing the show but I'm leaving now." my shoulders deflated with disappointment, which he noticed. "You wanna go for a ride, Brooke?" he asked me. My mouth fell open when I heard that. "A ride?" "Yeah. You ever been in a limo before?" "Not even close." I said. He gestured with his head to the door. "Well let's go then."

        He started walking to the door. He had such a powerful energy about him that I found myself getting up and following right after him without a moment's hesitation. "Brooke!" Kelly called. "Tell your brother I got a ride home." I called back.

        I followed Axl out of the building. He walked in front of me silently, not even turning around once to make sure I was there. It wasn't until we got to the limo and he opened the door for me that he turned around and gave me a charming smile. "After you."

        I grinned and got inside the car. He got in, closed the door, and told the driver we're going on a cruise. "So how'd you like the show?" he asked. "It was amazing. I didn't think concerts could be so much fun." I said. "Was it your first time?" I nodded my head. "You're doing a lot of firsts tonight, aren't you?" "Yeah." I said with a nervous laugh. "Anymore firsts I can assist you with?" he asked me. My heart began to beat faster because I could sense what he was implying. "Not that I can think of at the moment."

        Axl stared at me for a few seconds and then his lips began to curve into a smile. "You know you're really beautiful." he said. "Me?" "Well I'm not talking to the driver." "Oh...well thank you." I blushed so deeply I feared my face might be as bright as the Christmas sweater my grandma made for me when I was twelve that she still makes me wear.

        He and I continued making small talk with each other. I was so nervous that I didn't know what to say. I just answered all his questions in as few words as possible because I was afraid I might start babbling and sound like an idiot. I wasn't exactly the most experienced when it came to boys so imagine how terrified I am talking to a twenty-seven year old man.

        "Are you always this quiet?" Axl asked. "I'm really shy, I'm sorry. I'm just trying not to make a fool of myself." "Don't be worried about that. You're safe here with me. I won't make fun of you or think you're stupid. I just want you to be comfortable around me."

        He reached over and stroked my cheek. "Sweet, beautiful girls like you don't come around often enough." he touched a finger to my lips and I got goosebumps all over my body. Oh my, what if he tries to kiss me? I don't even know how to kiss. I thought. He scooted closer to me and brushed my hair behind my shoulder. 

        With a smile on his face, he leaned in and started to kiss my face then neck then shoulder. I put my hands in my lap and closed my eyes, trying to think quickly of something to do. Maybe I should touch him? Would he like that? I thought. 

        I reached my hand out and placed it on his leg. He responded by taking my hand and inching it farther up. When my fingertips touched the bulge in his tight leather pants I jerked my hand away.

        "Axl, I can't do this." I said. "Something wrong?" "I've never done this with a guy and I'm not sure I'm ready." "Well how can you know if you're ready if you don't give it a shot?" Axl asked. "I don't want to. Can you please take me home?" I wrapped my arms around myself and kept my head down. I felt like a big baby but I knew I couldn't go through with that. Losing your virginity in the backseat of a limo to a rockstar might sound like a dream come true to most teenage girls but not me.

        When we arrived at my house, he got out of the car with me. "I'm sorry if I did anything to upset you. I didn't mean to." he told me. "I know. It's my fault. I probably shouldn't have dressed like a whore tonight." he chuckled. "You're not dressed like a whore. I've seen a lot worse. You're a classy girl and I can respect that." "I'm really sorry I wasted your time." I said. "I don't regret anything that happened tonight, Brooke. I just hope I can see you again."

        After what happened I don't think I can ever see him again. "I don't think so. I'm probably not the right girl for you." I started walking up to my front door when I heard him call "You never know, Brooke. You might be the perfect girl for me." I turned around and gave him a smile and a wave before going into the house.

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