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The Main Offender

..His side of the story....

....Her side....

...The meeting…

Profile: Declan O'Riley, introvert with a cause

Profession: Lead singer

Attitude: Stuck in ways of sadistic joy

My talent only goes as far as to annoy

It had been quite a stretch since The Anarchists last performance, a much needed break following a tour that was more draining than fun, and there was no better place to get back on that horse than the Sky Lounge. The night club had been very supportive when booking gigs was more of a challenge, plus the drinks weren't half bad. Putting a cap on his anxieties about getting back on stage after an extended period of doing nothing at all when asked to open for a considerably 'bigger' band of the moment, he slipped back into the performer persona with surprising ease. Holing himself away from this wasn't doing much for his mental health, and it turned out playing a show was just what he needed to get a better handle on what was next. Not to mention, money was money, and he had more than his own well being to think about these days.

A solid, more subdued show compared to the older days when bloody noses and ripped clothing were part of the experience, the audience didn't seem to mind. Even if they were the biggest hecklers in the world, it wouldn't have bothered Declan much, already well adjusted to dealing with that and far too in the zone to care. Music happened to be the best therapy there was for him, one of the few things that worked in lifting his spirits save medication. He'd already accepted that he wasn't going to kill himself, not with his young son in the mix, but battling major depression regularly was no easy task to live with. Life wasn't meant to be easy, as it turned out.

Photo: StockSnap / Pixabay

Emerging from backstage some time after the band had wrapped up, always one to linger there a while, forever traumatized by potential stragglers, he wasn't pestered much, thank goodness. A good chunk of the people were there to see the other band, and the ones that happened to be fans seemed sane, so maybe his luck was turning around. After a longer than necessary break from this side of his life, the casual chatter with strangers wasn't anywhere near as unbearable as it could be. It was a rotten attitude to have towards people that were just being kind, and he was trying to change that little by little. Still, there was a part of him that wished he could turn invisible at will, his imposing figure always the first to draw attention compared to the rest of the band. The all black attire and don't talk to me vibe could only go so far when you towered over everyone.

Not quite prepared to head home, coaxed into having a drink with a couple of band mates at the bar, he slouched his shoulders in an attempt to look smaller on the stool, sipping idly at his whiskey and eying the main band playing. Ear popping loud, he was unphased; temporary deafness came with the territory of this life. Besides, he kind of enjoyed the almost high feeling of loud music where it felt like you became one with the sound. So dazed, uttering a low 'yes' or 'no' to Richard's incessant rambling, he hadn't noticed he'd reached the end of his drink until he was hit by the disgusting taste of melted ice cubes. Faced with the choice of sitting at the bar empty handed or ordering another, it was pretty much a no brainer, turning to hail the attention of the nearest one. He had to respect the stress that came with the job, though it felt like ages since the days in Ziggy's. “Could I get another?” Tapping his glass, he offered what he hoped to be a friendly smile, digging his wallet out of his jacket. “Whiskey, please.”

Profile: Kenzie Viera, flirt & fun

Profession: Barmaid

Attitude: I wanna touch the sky

I wanna fly so high

The nights had started to blur together like an endless fog in Kenzi's life. It was the same routine, the same drunken idiots shouting at each other even though they were two feet away from each other. She couldn't even tell you how many times she'd heard all the current popular songs. She could pretty much rap Anaconda just as well as Nicki Minaj and had Taylor Swift's love life (or lack of) engraved in her head. Thank God that Sky Lounge sometimes brought in local acts so there could be a change of pace. It was part of the reason she had picked this of all the bars in town. They just didn't support DJs and there was no grand piano to greet people in the lobby. The people that played here could just play whatever the hell the wanted. It was much more exciting than a dude or chick just standing there in one spot doing nothing, and Kenzi didn't care who saw her jamming out in support. She wasn't one to stalk, but she'd pay her respects if she ever bumped into anyone who could do that kind of thing. Most of the patrons were busy cramming as close as they could to the stage, waiting for the show to start so finally it seemed like there was a lull in drink demands. Kenzi was slightly amused to see them all group together, packing in like sardines in a can. She gathered her curly blonde locks and threw them into a sloppy ponytail, then adjusted her low cut top (her boss encouraged most of their female employees to wear them to attract business). If she had it her way she'd be wearing some comfy pants and a sweatshirt. It wasn't that she minded showing some cleavage, it was more so that she would rather save getting dressed up for a time when she actually wanted to go out or meet someone. Working at a bar was as good a place as any to find someone to share company with, but it was hard to focus on just one person when other people are constantly shouting out for refills and demanding attention. With the opening band beginning to play, Kenzi recognized them after a while from the fact that they had played here before, it had been a while but she could definitely recall a song or two. Plus their music really wasn't all that bad, more tolerable than Igloo Australia that was for sure. Kenzi bopped around behind the bar, the influx of people much more manageable than it was no less than 10 minutes ago. Oh, if only she'd been around for the bloody shows, where just straight up screaming was part of the routine and Richard slid his hands down the keyboard like they were octopuses having a seizure. She poured herself a shot as well as her coworker (because fuck it, she was having fun) and smiled at the familiar burning in her stomach and down her throat. The other bartender stared at her in admiration but Kenz' preferred to just pretend that he wasn't there, she was far too interested and distracted by the music to pay any attention to the wanna-be hipster. The show wasn't excessively long, though they were only the opening band, but most of the remaining people packed it, not wanting to lose the spot they had fought so hard to get. Only a few brave souls ventured out to get another drink, though she was sure it would only last 15 minutes tops with people bumping into them and all. It was a welcome relief for her, now she didn't have to work as hard which was always a plus. When the first band emerged and the main act had started, it didn't slip Kenzi's view. She watched them carefully from afar, trying to gauge what type of people they'd be. Some of them left right away, but a few stayed, at least that had to mean they weren't total sticks in the mud. She tried not to seem obvious when the tall one of the bunch sat down, the hipster took care of their first round as she was too busy tending to an older gentlemen who didn't seem particularly interested in being there anymore. Once he was gone and she had collected his bill and tip, she heard someone speak up and tap their glass. Hipster co-worker was about to get it but Kenzi cut him off almost rudely. “Sure,” she smiled back, reloading the glass with ice before pouring more whiskey in, and slid whatever money he had taken out to pay for it back to him. ”Tell you what, I'll pay for your drink if you tell me your name,” a coy smile spread across her face as she placed his refill in front of him. She propped an elbow up on the bar and rested her head in her hand. ”Between you and me, I'd pay for your drink regardless if you told me your name. Nice fucking work up there.”

This story is courtesy of Bihac Calling.


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