(Memo to self – stop reading stupid fairy tales to little sister. Memo to others – this is merely a vague idea of what could have been a good story.)
“Turn that horrid thing down, Leah!”
Leah groaned. The bitch-mom was always being a pain in the ass about her music. Then again, the bitch-mom was always being a pain in the ass about everything. Honestly, Leah never did figure out what her father saw in that woman, she could never figure out how blinded he got, all men got, by Victoria’s looks. So blinded they overlooked everything else. Everything else. It was probably the only thing Victoria had going for her, her looks, and she was making good use of it.
Just two months, just two months, just two months…
The mantra was getting old, but it still filled Leah with hope. Two months, and she’ll be off to college, away from Victoria and the mansion-of-emptiness they shared while her father spent most of his time in Japan, doing some sort of business or another.
When she came downstairs for dinner, Victoria was already sitting in her seat at the head of the table. Leah almost visibly flinched from the look she got as she walked into the room. Ever since a modeling agent, or someone pretending to be one, approached them a few days ago, and offered Leah a job, only turning to Victoria afterwards, the woman has been looking at her weird. Leah couldn’t see what the big deal was, it’s not as if she accepted the job, or even believed the creep was a real agent. But Victoria has been acting even bitchier than usual ever since.
“Are you going somewhere tomorrow?”
The question startled Leah, Victoria rarely spoke to her unless she had to, and hardly ever in such a conversational manner.
“Yeah, I think so. Need to pick up a dress for Haley’s party.” Victoria nodded, and that was the end of it.
The next morning, Leah went to the garage, and was just opening her car door when-
“Take the Volvo.” It was Neil, Victoria’s PA. Leah never could figure out why a woman who hardly did anything that remotely resembled a job needed a PA, but nevertheless, she had one. He was also her personal trainer, and took care of their cars.
“I hate the Volvo.”
“Take this,” He threw a wad of cash at her, it landed on the hood of her hybrid and she picked it up. “And take the Volvo.”
“Neil, what the hell?”
“The hybrid’s gonna kill you. Breaks are gone. Victoria’s orders. I don’t know what you did to piss off that woman, but she doesn’t want you around anymore. So take the cash, take the Volvo, keep a low profile and don’t come back. Because she will get you dead if you do.”
“You’re not serious.” It wasn’t even a question, but Leah put the money into her purse anyway, and stepped away from the hybrid.
Two days later, the Volvo was sold, her credit cards lay in pieces in a dumpster, and Leah entered what was to be her new home – an overpriced one bedroom which she had no idea how she’s going to afford. She dyed her hair black and cut it short, just in case, and was surprised that it looked better than the blondish-brown she had before. She got a job at the first bar she walked into, which amused her more than anything, because all she had to do was unbutton one of her buttons, and wear a skirt. The pay wasn’t going to be enough to pay her rent, though.
She came in earlier one day, the boss asked her to help prepare for a concert they were having that night – some new band was playing. That’s how she met the guys. There were five of them, and they weren’t that bad, really. Leah watched their rehearsal more than she did anything work-related.
How the fight started, she didn’t know. She was out back, throwing something away, and when she came in, a table was broken, and Matt, the keyboard player, was cursing and holding his bleeding right hand.
“For fuck’s sake, Matt!”
“You’ve got to be shitting me!”
That’s how Leah got her second job. All these years playing piano finally proved their use, and within an hour, she was filling in for the keyboard player. It turned out she was better at it than Matt was, and by the end of the night, he was out of the band, and she was the official new keyboard player for On Borrowed Time. It wasn’t too long until she moved into a room in the house they were all sharing, saving up on some rent and time commuting to rehearsals.
It was a relatively calm existence for Leah, without Victoria’s constant bitching. For a brief period of time, she hooked up with Will, the bass player, but it wasn’t working out for them. They co-existed rather peacefully, though.
When they signed with a label a few months after she joined, they all went out partying, drinking, and when they got kicked out of the bar; they just went home and continued until morning. By the time their first single came out five months later, Leah had forgotten about Victoria, and keeping a low profile.
That’s why she didn’t see it coming. When the guy at the bar that ordered her a drink looked familiar, she didn’t think twice about where she’d seen him before, she just took the drink. Even while her vision was getting blurry, the colors getting funky and she was having trouble figuring out which way is up, she didn’t make the connection between the guy at the bar, and Marty, the guy who used to cut their lawn and hang off every word Victoria uttered.
“Leah?” She didn’t know where the sound was coming from, couldn’t tell whose voice it was. She tried to take a step, fell, and then everything went black.
A slow, steady beep penetrated the darkness, and then there were other sounds. A buzzing. Footsteps, getting closer and then further away. She focused on the sounds closer to her.
“I think she’s waking up,” Voices, familiar voices, but she couldn’t place them.
“She moved! Dude, she just moved!” Leah knew that voice. She turned towards it, opened her eyes, closing them again immediately against the brightness. Slowly, she tried opening them again. Yeah, she knew this voice – Will. And Jack was there, too, and Nicky. Two were missing, she realized, Mike and Jesse. And there was someone new; Leah paused when she noticed him. A white coat – a doctor. She focused on his name tag – Dr. Charles-
“Leah?” Her eyes snapped up to his when he said her name, and she was surprised she didn’t notice how utterly blue his eyes were. “Good to have you back with us.” He smiled, and Leah was distracted again. She smiled back, said: “Hi.”
(And they lived happily ever after. Or something.)