Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Half of Me: Chapter 3

Half of Me
by Paul Diaz

Chapter 3: The Wild Child

Two days have passed and Adam was really worried, he had been pacing the living room for over an hour. “You should call him again, he needs to eat” whispered Kristine. “He won’t listen, let him eat when he is hungry” Darlene replied as her phone rang. Before she could reach for it, Adam rushed towards her and grabbed the mobile phone. “Hello, David, yes tell me you found her” Adam said as he flashed a simple smile. That smile didn’t last as it quickly turned into a lonely frown. “I see…okay. Please find her” the young man whispered as he slowly put down the phone on the table.

Adam took a deep breath and looked at the two women; he then quickly turned around and went upstairs to their room. “Oh my God, I really don’t know what to do anymore. I have to attend to many things but I can’t leave him alone” Darlene said. “It’s okay, you can go. I will stay here with him” Kristine told her and Darlene stared at her. “Come on go already. Life has to move on, we can’t all be idle. You can come back later” Kristine said as she stood up and took the plate of food and walked towards the stairs. “Okay, but make sure he eats. I will send Henry later on to bring lunch” Darlene said. “Don’t worry about lunch, I can cook you know. Just go, I will take care of him” the young lady said as she walked up the stairs.

Inside the master’s bedroom Adam was seated in front of a study desk, in his hands was a photograph of him and Aimee. Kristine walked over and set the plate on the table. “Adam you should eat” she said. “I am not hungry” he replied. “Adam, please eat. Last night you barely touched your food. Do you think if Aimee was here she would like that?” the young lady said. “She isn’t here, I can eat when I know she is safe” Adam replied. “And when she comes back, you will be so weak for you have not eaten. Where will you find the strength to even embrace her?” Kristine said and Adam looked at her.

Kristine pulled another chair and sat down, she moved the plate closer to Adam and the young man looked at the plate. “It’s already cold” he whispered. “It’s because you are so stubborn. Do you want me to reheat it?” she asked. “No, it’s okay” he said. Kristine noticed the sad face Adam was wearing as he was eating. She knows her cooking was good but Adam was just not in the mood. She took the photo and moved closer to the young man. “Now, I hope you don’t mind, can you tell me how you two met while you are eating?” she asked and Adam looked at her and smiled.

Two years ago

The auditorium was packed and Adam was belting out the final line of his song. As he stopped singing the crowd all rose to their feet and clapped. The young man bowed and waived to the crowd, calls for one more song emanated and the crooner could not just leave and gave in. He looked at the orchestra accompanying him and signaled the song he wanted to sing. A few seconds later the crooner again serenaded the crowd with his enchanting voice. As the last note was hit he once again bowed for the last time and left the stage.

As he stepped foot at the backstage a man took his arm and escorted him towards the exit. As soon as they stepped out a mob of fans were already there screaming and shouting. They were all trying to reach for him but the man beside him and several other bodyguards shielded Adam. As soon as he entered the limo, Darlene was already there handing him a bottle of orange juice. The other man got in and closed the door, he tapped the window and the limo took off.

“Hey, you are new. Where is Jerry?” Adam asked the other man. “He called in sick sir” replied the man. “This is David Thompson, don’t worry he is a cop” Darlene said to the surprise of Adam. “Geez, so that means no more happy days for me huh” the crooner said as he looked at David. “Hey, I can’t go partying without a bodyguard so you have to come with me” Adam told the cop.

“Sorry, I have a girlfriend” David replied and the crooner laughed. “Oh so you are the loyal type, having a girlfriend has nothing to do with this so you are coming with me. I need protection, right Darlene?” Adam said as he looked at his assistant. “When will you grow up Adam? You are already 24 years old, you just can’t go partying or doing whatever you do” Darlene complained. “Can you think of something else that relaxes me? Have I done something that bad to ruin me? Relax Darlene, I am fine and even if I go partying I can still perform the next night” Adam explained.

The limousine stopped and Darlene frowned. “David will you please see to it he gets back to his apartment before midnight” she asked and the cop nodded. The two men got off the limo and stood still until the car drove away. Adam took a deep breath and stretched his arms looked at the small bar in front of them. “Lets go David, we have so little time left before midnight” he said as he wore his hood so he would not be recognized.

Inside the bar they took a table at the far end, Adam quickly ordered for drinks as David sat quietly looking around. “Hey will you relax, you are too tense” Adam told him. “Sorry, it’s part of the job. It’s my first time doing this” David replied. “Hey, lose your tie, and will you please relax. Look around you; do you see notorious looking people? Come on drink with me, yeah don’t give me the you are on the clock excuse” Adam said as the pitcher of beer arrived.

For three hours David watched Adam gulp down mugs of beer, he took a couple of sips from his own mug and just listened to Adam rant about many things. “Sir, its almost midnight and I think you have had too much already” David said. Adam who could barely open his eyes looked at his new friend and nodded. “Yeah, hey could you reach for my wallet and pay. I just feel so dizzy” Adam said and David did as instructed.

A few minutes later the two were outside waiting for a cab. Adam could not barely stand was leaning on David; the cop making sure the crooner’s face was hidden. A few minutes later they arrived at Adam’s apartment, David had no choice but to tuck the singer in bed. He wanted to leave but felt it was better to stay so he took out his mobile phone and called his girlfriend.

“Hi, you won’t believe where I am. I just tucked Adam Bowfield in his bed” he whispered. “Shhhhh…he is asleep. I covered for Jerry, that damn fool didn’t say he was guarding a celebrity” he added. A few seconds later David walked out of the room and his face suddenly changed to a worried one. “I am not lying; I am really here at Adam Bowfield’s apartment. I am not fooling around, I want to take a picture and send it to you but I think that is against the law so I can’t. Why don’t you believe me?” David asked but the call had been dropped. He took a deep breath and scratched his head; he knew he could not just leave Adam alone.

The following night Adam and David was at the same bar, this time the cop was matching the singer’s pace in drinking. “Hey Adam, oh is it okay if I call you Adam?” David asked. “Of course, you seem to be in a drinking mode today. What gives?” Adam replied. David gulped down his mug and wiped his mouth, “Girlfriend issues, hey are you holding back? Where are the girls? Where is the party?” asked David and Adam laughed.

“This is the party, this is what I do” Adam said and David laughed. “Oh come on you don’t have to hide it from me. Forget I told you I have a girlfriend, come on spill the beans and bring them out and take me to them” David said. “Oh, okay, let’s just drink some more and I will take you to one” Adam said and David was excited.

Two hours later the two found themselves at a grocery grabbing a couple of six packs. David was tipsy so he just slouched at the counter as Adam was paying. “Oh come on, Henry is here” Adam said as the limo pulled over in front of the grocery. The two quickly got in and David was surprised. “Oh so we have to take a limo to the girls eh” David said. “Yeah something like that. I called for Henry since we could reach that place faster and safer” Adam explained as the cop slouched and shut his eyes. “Henry, you know the place?” Adam asked. “Yes sir, Darlene told me” the driver replied and the limousine quickly drove off.

A few minutes later Adam was knocking on an apartment door, slouched on the ground was David who was clinging to the six packs. The door opened and the woman stood there surprised. “Hi, I believe this is your boyfriend” Adam said as he pointed at David. The young woman didn’t even bother looking her boyfriend, she had her jaw dropped and eyes wide open. “Adam Bowfield” she uttered softly. “Yes, that’s me. And your boyfriend was not lying. He has been with me for two days” Adam said.

“Oh…come in come in” the woman said as Adam and Henry helped David up and they entered the apartment. David sat down on the couch and looked at her girlfriend, “Oh, now do you believe me?” he asked as the woman was still shaking her head in disbelief. “Sir, I shall return to the car now” Henry interrupted. “No, stay here and drink with us. If that is okay with the lady of the house” Adam said. “Oh I don’t mind, its okay” the woman said. “Sir, I don’t drink anymore. I would appreciate it if I could get a cup of coffee” Henry said. “Yes I shall make you one, oh please sit down. David snap out of it and entertain them” the woman said as she left for the kitchen.

A few minutes later everyone was at the living room, David was beside his girlfriend and Adam was across them gulping down a bottle. “You still have not introduced me to your girlfriend David” Adam said. “Yeah, ah this is Beverly, and as you can see she loves to paint. She is an art instructor” David said and Adam smiled at her. All around the apartment were beautiful paintings but Adam kept looking at the one at the center.

“So now are you still mad at me Bev?” David asked and the lady frowned. “I believe you but still you were with but you know there are rumors that he is a wild child. Oh sorry I meant no offense” Beverly said and Adam laughed. “So tell me Beverly when you hear those rumors what do you think I do behind the cameras and spotlight?” Adam asked and Beverly crossed her arms and pouted.

“Rich and fame, booze and girls and I don’t what else. So far the booze was right” Beverly answered and Adam again laughed. “Will you believe me if it’s just the booze?” Adam asked as he opened another bottle. “I am sorry but I don’t believe you” Beverly replied. Adam grinned and again focused his attention at the painting; it was a portrait of what seemed like to be David.

“Ever since I was discovered I kept on singing. It is true I earn a lot but honestly I don’t know how much I have. I didn’t bother asking, and you know what you have a bigger apartment than I do” Adam said. Henry nodded his head and Beverly leaned back and listened. “After I sing I go back to my place, nothing has changed. I am still alone like before. I should be happy but I am not. Ever since I became famous, oh not to brag, I seemed to lost my freedom. I can’t do this, I can’t do that. My time is not mine anymore, and I do have an assistant, sort of a manager who tells me where to be, what to do and even what to wear. So do you think that is fun?” he added.

“I find solace in drinking, I don’t know why but it’s a sort of escape. If I don’t drink I can’t sleep because there seems to be something missing in my life and the harder I think about it the more I don’t know what it is. I am me but I feel there is really something missing in my life” Adam told them. “With all the money I could think of so many things I can buy but I really think hard if it would really make me happy” he added.

“And what have you bought lately?” Beverly asked. “Nothing. I don’t even own a car; the clothes I wear are all given to me. The good thing is they pay me to wear them though” Adam said and they all laughed. “So it’s just the beer and alcohol?” Beverly asked. “Yeah, every time I say I go party my assistant gives me pocket money. Two hundred dollars, just for booze and a taxi ride back to my apartment” the crooner explained.

There were several minutes of silence due to Adam’s revelation. Even Henry silently enjoyed his coffee while David seemed to have gotten his senses back and opened a bottle of beer. “I noticed you have been staring at that painting, it’s not for sale” Beverly joked and Adam managed to smile. “That painting is David, and there is another one at the far end that looks like him again. I count three paintings of him” Adam said.

“Eight actually, the others are at the bedroom” Beverly said and the singer was surprised. “Would you like to see them?” the young woman offered. “No thank you” Adam said as he looked at David. “Yesterday you were so scared when I said party. You were relieved when you knew it was just drinking. Last night you brought me home, I overheard your conversation. A while ago you drank with me, you looked like you had a big problem” Adam related as he looked at Beverly. “He loves you so much, and I can see you love him too. I envy both of you” he added.

Beverly and David looked at each other, they suddenly kissed and Adam smiled at them. “I want to enroll in your art class” Adam suddenly said and everyone looked at him. “Are you sure? Painting involves dedication and patience, you just can’t say you want to paint or you are willing to learn to paint” Beverly explained. “I want to learn to paint, I want to do the same one day to the one I will love” he said as he again stared at David’s portrait.

“Adam I don’t think the art class can accommodate irregular schedules. I know the class should fit in to your schedule” Beverly said. “No, this time I will decide what I want. My schedule will adapt to my art class. So give me the form and I will sign it immediately” Adam told her and the woman was ecstatic. “You really are serious, I can tell” she said. “Yes, I want to do something worthwhile for a change” the singer said.

“This is unbelievable, if you are going to really enroll then you would be the second celebrity to do so” Beverly told him but Adam stood up and went around the room and observed the paintings. “Will I be able to paint as good as you?” Adam asked. Beverly stood beside him and looked at the painting of David.

“Yes, but it will take time” Beverly replied. “I have time, I will make time. I want to do this” Adam told her. “Well I will be expecting you at nine in the morning sharp” she said and Adam looked at Henry who was already jotting down the appointment. “Hey look I have a painting too” David suddenly said as he walked towards the flat screen television. At the back he brought out a small framed painting to which Beverly laughed at the sight of it.

David felt embarrassed but Adam took the painting and stared at it. “What is this supposed to be?” he asked. “It’s a dark night, and that is me and Bev walking under moonlight” David said as Beverly kept laughing. “You are teaching him to paint?” Adam asked Beverly. The woman shook her head and giggled. “I didn’t even know he tried to paint, I am just surprised” she said.

“He tried to do what you do best. He had no training but still he did paint. It may not compare to the beautiful paintings that you have but among all paintings I see in this room I would buy this one” Adam said and Beverly was shocked and ashamed. “Sometimes it’s not what the eyes can see that is important. In this case it’s the effort, the reason behind the painting, and that reason I think is what I am missing in my life” Adam explained.

“And what reason is that?” Beverly asked. “Love, its what you two have that I don’t” Adam said and he smiled at the two. “Here, you can have my painting” David offered. “No thanks, I think you should be proud and post that at the wall. Some people may criticize it, they may never understand. What is important is you both know why that painting exists. It’s getting late, I have to go now in order to wake up early” Adam told them as he walked towards the door. Henry opened the door and nodded at the couple, “See you at nine sharp then” Adam said as he bid the two farewell.

The following morning Adam and Darlene were rushing down the halls of the art school. He was already one hour late, he had to attend a scheduled event at eight and it lasted for almost two hours. “First day in class and I am late, so late” Adam said. “Don’t worry they can understand” Darlene said as they reached the classroom door. “Good luck” she said and Adam opened the door and entered.

Beverly was giving a lecture; she paused and nodded at Adam. The young man nodded back and smiled at everyone. “I am sorry for being late” he said and walked towards the back of the classroom where he sat down. Beverly continued her lecture and Adam looked around the classroom and someone caught his attention.

A young woman with long red hair, she tapping her pen on a notebook, she suddenly turned her head and their eyes met. For a moment their eyes locked, she was pretty and once she smiled at him, Adam felt something different. His lips trembled but he managed to smile back. He quickly looked away and took a deep breath. The woman was three rows in front of him, she never looked back but Adam never removed his gaze even if it was only the side of her face he was looking at.

Two hours later he saw the woman stand up and get her bag. Everyone was standing so Adam quickly stood up and he didn’t have a clue what was happening. Everyone was getting out of the door, he wanted to catch up with the woman but Beverly suddenly appeared in front of him. “You were an hour late but its okay at least you came” she told him but Adam just watched the woman walk out of the door.

Darlene entered the classroom and approached Adam who was still frozen. “Adam are you okay?” Darlene asked. “You! I missed an hour in class. Starting today you make sure this is my priority. Cancel everything that gets in the way of this class” Adam instructed as he quickly raced out of the room. Darlene was still in shock but Beverly just grinned and patted her shoulder. “Is he always like that?” Beverly asked.

“No, I am so shocked to see him that way. This is a first” Darlene said. “But is this a good thing?” Beverly asked. “Actually yes, I am supposed to feel bad that he scolded be but somehow I feel good” Darlene said and the two women laughed.

“I envy my colleague who is going to be their instructor. I really wanted this class since there are two celebrities” Beverly related. “Two? Who is the other one?” Darlene asked. “Aimee Patterson” Beverly answered and Darlene was surprised. “The pianist? Oh I thought it was just someone who looked like her, so that was her?” Darlene asked.

“Yes it was her. Oh maybe that is why Adam is so interested in this class” Beverly replied and Darlene laughed. “I don’t know, I have seen so many pretty girls but he never showed interest. It’s not that Aimee isn’t pretty, she is indeed pretty. There are much prettier girls but Adam never pays attention to them” Darlene related. “So you think he is…” Beverly asked and again they both laughed.

“I really can’t say because he is so secretive. He is just like a robot and obeys me. But this is the first time he ever told me what he wanted. Maybe this art class is really important to him. I don’t know he chose to enroll in art class but somehow I have this feeling that big changes are about to come” Darlene said.