When You Fall Asleep Tonight (Sequel To My Understandings)
I hit the last note of the final song, hoping to hit a spot that's weaker than I was a year and half ago. “We’re Sorry Not Sorry, thank you North Carolina!” I said with as much excitement as possible. But it was hard. I just didn’t have the energy and I still had two more sets to do. I trudge off the stage and onto side stage with a groan.
Everyone knows about Austin and I. But the one person I want to hear advice from, I can’t seem to find. The one person who probably understands this situation the most….is heading towards me?
“Kellin!” I run to him and pull him in for a hug. Letting my guard down along with my tears, I cry onto his shoulder. It seems like forever since I last cried. I’m tired of having to hold a tough face and act like this whole mess doesn’t faze me. I’m tired of being strong. I’m tired of having guns for hands because I’m not violent. This is not me.
“Ellie, sweetie, listen to me okay?” he says as he rubs my hand up and down my back. The tech managers keep stealing glances at us but right now, I could care less.
“O-o-okay.” I sniffle.
“I know you’re tired of being tough. I know you want to break down every minute you get, but you have to be strong. If not for your son, at least for yourself. So hold your head up high and know it's not the end of the road. Walk down this beaten path before you pack your things and head to a new home.”
I pull back and see Kellin staring right at me.
“At the end of the road you'll find what you've been longing for. I know 'cause my feet have the scars to show. I was lost with vague direction and no place to call home. No one to call a friend.” When I go to go back in his arms, he sets his hands on my shoulders and keeps a firm grip.
“It's time for you to press on. This is not your war. This is his war. Between himself and the people he wants to love. Set your sights to North and press on. This is not your escape. Crying is not your escape. Warped is not your escape. Performing is not your escape. Wash away what they thought of you. The fans, the press, Austin and Crissy, wash it all away sweetie. Your worst enemies will become your best friends.”
“Because in this place, we're all as good as dead. Because goddamn Ellie, behind the mask you'll find yourself alone but for now it's not the end of road for you.”
“Moooooovie night!” Max yelled as he walked through with a copy of 2012. We all groaned. We sat on the couch, huddled around the laptop on the coffee table and flickered off the lights. Our tour manager was already passed out asleep with our merch girl. They’re sisters. It’s cute.
“Did you hear?” Miley asked as the movie began.
“Shhh!” Max hissed at us. I ignored him.
“Kellin got married.” I squealed. “Ben got married.” I squealed a little more. “And everyone on AP thinks and wants you and Spencer Chamberlain to get together.” That shut me right up.
Spencer was the unclean vocalist for the band Underoath that disbanded a couple months ago. I’m cool with Aaron since I toured with The Almost once, but Spencer was a different story.
“They interviewed him and when asked ‘Which female vocalist would you go on a date with?’ he said and I quote ‘Ellie Schmitt from Sorry Not Sorry.’”
I mean it’s not like Spencer isn’t attractive, it’s just I’m not that Ellie anymore. “
Even Danny Worsnop said he would hook up with you.” I shrugged my shoulders. “Come on! Cute lead singers think you are attractive!”
“Shhhh!!!!” Max hissed again. Miley rolled her eyes with a huff.
“Who would you date if you weren’t dating or had feelings for Austin?”
“Easy, Shayley.” As weird as it sounds, no one knows me as well as Austin does besides Shayley.
“Who do you think is attractive?” I shrugged my shoulders.
“I dunno. Maybe the singer from The Color Morale?” she nodded with an agreeing look on his face.
“I can make something happen.”
“SHHHH!!!!!!” Max screamed at us.
“I had a thing with the bassist.” She said, ignoring Max.
“OUT.” Max stood up and yelled at Miley, pointing out the door.
“Finally.” She sighed and walked off the bus, more and likely went to Oli’s bus.
The next day, I slipped on a holey sweater and some shorts before leaving to explore parts of Florida. I’m pretty sure I have a relative living here. It was hot in the morning, obviously, but the wet sand between my toes just made me feel warm inside.
No shoes, no socks, no company.
Not that many bands I knew were here in the Orlando date. Just Beau’s, Oli’s, Matty's, and Kyle’s. but some bands I wanted to listen to were here, so I was excited for that.
I couldn’t help but think to last night and felt disgusted at myself for allowing this to happen. To allow guys to think I’m attractive. Yeah, the attentions nice, but A.) Spencer is like, 31 and we have nothing in common and we live like 3,000 miles away. B.) Just cause I said the singer from The Color Morale is attractive doesn’t mean I want to date him. C.) Danny is just going after his best mates’ sloppy seconds and D.) I don’t want to date Shayley.
You just don’t give a mother that kind of attention. I need to be near people who have kids like Kellin, Shayley, and Ronnie. If I want to be in the relationship road again, it needs to be a person with patient and isn’t party crazed like I was last year. A person with boundaries and responsibility.
A mature person, there. Mature.
But my child comes first, then my family, my band, best friends, fans, then finding a relationship. I mean, Alex and I stopped being friends, because of what? I was too busy working things out, I was oblivious to his feelings.
The sand felt soft and smooth under my feet as the sun rose over the ocean, giving the beach a pretty peach color.
“It’s really pretty out here.” A figure plops next to me and a piece of blonde hair flies in my face. “I’m Jenna.” She turned around and flashed a smile at me.
“Ellie.” I say. Jenna had two sloppy buns on the top, near the side of her head and the rest of her hair was hanging down. It was almost white blonde and she spoke with an accent.
“What band are you with?” She picked up a clump of wet sand and squeezed it, letting it fall right through her fingers.
“Sorry Not Sorry. We’re like a Pop-Punk band.” She smiled.
“What band are you in?”
“Tonight Alive. A Pop-Rock band.” She smiles. “McDougall.” She sticks her hand out.
“Schmitt.” I shake her hand.
“Sister of David Schmitt. I’m fond of Breathe Carolina’s work.” She flashes me another smile. “Now why are you sitting here all by yourself?” I shrug my shoulders.
“Second day of Warped and I’m already mopping around.” I chuckle.
“Second day? It’s like day 40.” She laughed.
“No, we just got here, along with Issues.” She nods.
“Hey, why don’t our bands hang out today? You’re like one of the few females here. Unlike that whore Makayla from Courage My Love.” She rolls her eyes. She then stands up and offers me a hand. Unlike Taylor who was – and is – down for a party and clubbing anytime, Jenna seemed more chillax, more calm, and I think that’s the type of person I need to hang out with.
I followed Jenna back to the venue when she towed me towards a black tour bus. I could hear guys laughing and talking with accents just like Jenna’s.
“That’s the rest of my band. We’re all from Australia.” She opened the tour bus and all the guys looked my way. “Hey guys, this is Ellie-”
“You’re Lights!” One guy with long blonde hair said while pointing at me. my eyes widen as I stared at him with shock.
“Uh, yeah. My um, solo career.” Jenna looked at me.
“You have a solo career?”
“Yeah, Lights.” But how’d he know my solo, Pop career may I add, in the first place?
“Oh, cool! Okay, that guy who, surprisingly knows that,” She cuts a smirk to him. “Is Cam. The guy next to his is Whakaio. And then there’s Matt, also known as Matty, with the cast on the arm. Uh, where’s-”
“Courage My Love’s bus.” ‘Cam’ replied. Jenna rolled her eyes and sighed. “Well, you still down to chill?” She asked.
“Totally!” I said. She flopped on the couch and patted the spot next to her.
“Tell me about yourself Ellie slash Lights.” She smiled a pearly white smile. Her question caught me completely off guard.
“Oh, like what?”
“Age!” the guy with the cast asked me.
“Here, I’ll go first.” Jenna said like I didn’t speak English which made me laugh. “I’m twenty. I’m from New South Wales, and I’m a vocalist. And you are……”
“Twenty six, I’m from Denver, I’m a mother to a baby boy, and I’m a vocalist slash guitar player.” I replied.
“WHAT!” The cast guy, whom I remember as Matty, screamed. “You’re old!” I was taken back.
“How am I old?!” I said with a laugh.
“The oldest is Whakaio and he’s 22!” I was taken back. And shocked. “
My God, you’re all a bunch of twenty year olds in a band!”
“And this is Ellie meeting Tonight Alive,” we turned around, Jenna, Matty, Whakaio and I to see Cam holding out his phone. “This is going everywhere.”
I walked towards my performances with a smile on my face, and also with every member of Tonight Alive following behind me.
Today has been one of the best days I’ve encounter. Jenna was such a fun and nice girl. Although she’s still basically a teenager, they made me feel like one. Pranking other bands, taking stupid looking selfies, and making weird food and then having Matty eat them. We even recorded him vomiting.
“Ya know, you’re pretty rad. Is the rest of your band this cool?” Jake, the missing member of TA, asked.
“Not as cool as me, but, they’re up there.”
“I wonder how you’re kid is gonna be when he grows up,” Jenna said, daydreaming off into another world. Jenna is super girly. Since she used to hang with Taylor a lot, she has a lot of fashion sense.
She knows how to have a laugh and when to be mature. Although she’s barely twenty, her and her band are a lot of freaking fun.
“Ellie! There you are!” Miley runs towards me hand in hand with Oli, with Ryan and Max trailing behind her. she stops short when she see the five members trailing behind me. “Um, hi.” She says.
“Guys, this is Jenna, Matt, Cam, Jake, and Whakaio from Tonight Alive.”
“Hey Cam.” Silence.
“Jenna, you guys, this is my band, Miley,” I say pointing to her and Oliver. “Max, and Ryan.” Jenna smiles after I pass Max and Max blushes slightly at her name.
“Really wish we had time for an introduction party, but Ellie, your performance?” and so the ten of us trudge towards the Tily’s stage. Jenna and Max standing closer than needed.
That’s when fans start to part ways for us when they see us. I held a smile on my face as I lead everyone to my performance, stopping short on side stage so that the TA members could see.
“You wanna stick around for our band performance?” I asked.
“As long as you stick around for ours.” Jenna smiles. I stick my hand out and she takes it, shaking it.
“Deal.” I look and see Miley ushering me over to stage. I run on stage with the biggest smile on stage. Keyboards were already set up and all I had to do was speak into the microphone.
“Hello Orlando!!!!!” I start off with my favorite song of all times.
ONLY 5 MORE CHAPTERS LEFT!!!!