LaDulceVida - The Sweet Life TEARS OF A TIGER ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Alone and afraid. I was 18, now. Juvenile detention was something like a sort of dream. I knew that I would be going to jail now. I remember the fear as I walked through the bars, being sent into the crowded jail keep. They had interviewed me all in vain, my mouth was as confused as my head was. I couldn't make out any words. "What you in for?" Someone had asked me. "I dunno," was the only reply that I could make. Besides that I was confused. The dark walls, the anger. I could see his face through the face of all these delinquents. I mean they all talked to me. I just sat there, knocking my head against the wall remembering how good he tasted and how bitter that taste had just become. How could he leave me with all those drugs? Not only that, but then he would tell the police that I was in the building. I didn't understand it. The disgust and blurriness was making my teeth grind hard against one another. I wanted to cry...so badly, but the faces around me weren't faces of comfort. I was in the eye of a storm, in any minute capable of being snatched up by one of the other guys in the overnight cell. The darkness and the insecurity was all overshadowed by the deep feeling that I might have been betrayed. There were 4 of us last night, but why was I the only one in jail. The dark bars, the fearful figures, everything was overwhelming me. WHY? WHY? WHY?! WHY WOULD HE LEAVE ME LIKE THAT! <Hello.> <Hey, Adrian is that you? Where are you. Jay has been asking about you.> I had only one phone call. I knew that I should have called Hype or maybe even Jay. But I was afraid and lost. I felt alone. I could only remember Eric's cell phone number, because he was the only person that could heal this loneliness that I was feeling all of a sudden. His voice on the other side of the phone was somehow comforting and somehow it was only a reminder that I was a loser. He didn't love me either. Me calling him was just a way of me thinking that our relationship was more than it really was. His voice made me angry, angry that I could not have him or Antonio. I could not have either, but I had no reason not to have either. Both Eric and Antonio were available, both having history with being with other men. Why was it impossible for them to love me? <Eric, I need you to call Hype.> <Adrian! What's wrong? You sound like hell? Where are you? You want me to come pick you up?> <He told me he loved me Eric.> I told him, almost haunted by the words that he has whispered to me the night before. I knew my voice has lost all meaning, almost like I was some kind of sad ass ghost. Maybe I was a sad ass ghost. I didn't know anything anymore, only that I was pitiful. The words that had almost assured me that I no longer had to be alone. Those were the words that had told me that for once I could be incredibly happy. It was only a dream, I noticed now. But I also realized that I was in a nightmare. <What are you talking about Adrian?> <I'm in jail. ANTONIO SET ME UP!> There was a silence for a quick moment and I felt the eagerness as the guard came over to give me a little warning that my time on the phone was running out. <Adrian. I'm gonna call Hype and get you out of there ASAP. You'll be cool. I mean I know you're tough. Just stick in there and we'll get you out.> <I should have listened to you.> <Huh?> <You told me that Antonio was no good. You told me that he was working for Robbie and was only using me because of Robbie. It doesn't matter. I'm a goddam waste anyway. At least I was happy for a moment. At least for a moment I was loved.> Suddenly there was more silence. <Look. Just hold on a little longer. I'm getting dressed right now. You can trust me.> "Time's up buddy," the guard told me and snatched the phone away from me. He hung up the phone rudely and gave me a push towards the jail cell. I was alone again, looking around at the dark walls and remember Eric's protective voice on the phone. He was such perfection. I mean the kind of guy that people used as an idol to raise their kids. He was strong, handsome, modest and most of all he was humble. If he were to become a millionaire there would never be a conceited bone in his body. He was the kind of guy that I wanted to fall in love with. No point, he didn't love me. I hated myself. I mean I wanted to hate Antonio but I couldn't. I found myself thinking that there was a possibility that the cop could be lying. Maybe Antonio didn't set me up. Maybe Antonio had just went out for a moment and was going to come back for me. It was a possibility. He did leave his drugs behind. There was always a possibility. I wanted to believe it so much. I wanted to believe that maybe since Eric could not love me, this guy would. I figured that maybe Antonio would be what Eric couldn't be. I mean, all clues pointed against him, but he had said that he loved me. I wanted him...............I wanted him...............or maybe I needed him. I needed him to fill that emptiness that was in my heart. I wanted the sex. I mean the sex was driving me mad to the point that I had dreams of it, but I wanted the love too. It was becoming almost obsessive at what I would give up to obtain those two things. I would have given up the band, given up the money and the fame only for a chance to be loved. I was the boy that needed love. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "What were you thinking?!" Hype asked. I had heard the same question asked from Jay and any other person who knew that I had spent the night before in jail. All I did now was regret. I had gotten out of jail just the night before and was now already beginning on the 9 city tour. I sat now in the middle of Hype's Peter Pan bus heading to New York, with the rest of the band looking at me like I was some kind of pitiful victim. I was pitiful but I wasn't a victim. "I trusted him," I told him, then finished with, "I don't know why he would just leave me with all those drugs." Jay suddenly spoke almost like he was trying to defend Antonio, "Maybe there is more to the story." The whole room looked at him, almost like he had something caught up in his head. I had thought the same thing, in fact I still did. Antonio had told me he loved me. I guess that was my motivation to believe that he was innocent. I looked at Jay, wondering what was his motivation to think that Antonio was innocent of something like that. "What are you talking about?" Hype asked. "Well, have you tried calling him? He can probably confess to it if you contact him." I shook my head, trying to make him understand where I was coming from, "I've been trying all day. His cell phone doesn't work. His job says that they don't know where he is." We all stopped. I was looking at Eric. He was so silent this whole time. He seemed to be wanting to console me earlier when I reached out to him for help, but as soon as Hype and Jay came into the picture, Eric just went back into the shadows. Eric now looked at me and then down. His fine features were full of mystery. It was almost like he had seen things, horrible things. Memories seemed to be burnt inside him and now I could see that they wanted to come out. It was clear that he knew things, but it was also even clearer that he was not willing to share with us. Or was he? He seemed to have opened up back when all three of us had went to visit Mr. Knight at the Syndicate. I wondered if maybe he wanted us to dig into his past, but didn't know how to tell us. "Look," Hype explained, grabbing his coat as he walked to the door and turning to me, "I got the drug charges covered, but after the tour you still have a court hearing on trespassing. The feds are on my case already. I can't pull too many strings for you. I'm sorry." "Its ok. Thanks Mr. Williams." "As for the media. I am going to set a conference and call the publicist. " Hype left us on the bus, all three of us confused out of our minds. The media was going crazy with it while Mr. Simmons, our publicist, worked hard to probably turn this negative publicity into more sex appeal. Nina had walked in at that moment, as well as Ice. Then came Ormazd, our stylist (more Jay's stylist). He was the flamboyant, old-twisted-style-kind of queer. The classic, stereotypical gay guy. He had on the tight pants and the crazy hair style to match his flaming bright green shirt. They would be going on tour with us. Everyone was awkward to me now. They treated me like I was trying to poison not only my own career, but also their career too. Everyone treated me like that except Eric. When he did speak to me, he was gentle almost like he was talking to a dying leper. Jay said he was still just leading me on and that I should back away. I had watched Jay the whole time burning a hole through Eric's forehead. I could tell he didn't blame Antonio, me or the Syndicate about what happened. I could tell he blamed Eric. The bus was moving before we knew it. I had packed along all kinds of dumb shit that I would never probably bring anywhere else but still decided to bring it just for the sake of being prepared. For instance, I had brought a razor with me, even though Ormazd had like a thousand or more razors packed with him. It was just a time where I was excited and worried at the same time, so that brought forth only chaos. "Guess who's on the channel 9 news?" Jay called to me, almost 30 minutes later from his bunk. Then there were the bunks. They were so close that it almost killed me. One good thing was I was near Eric, but one bad thing was that I was near Adrian as well. Adrian had the WORST sleeping manners. The band's sleeping quarters were a lot better than the little cots that our employees slept in. We were all the way at the back of the bus and had 2 small bathrooms to share between 3 people. Our small beds were separated by translucent curtains that we hardly never used because they always got stuck. "More news on me? You would think I was Osama bin Laden..." "You can only wish we would be that famous one day," Jay said and gave me a smirk as he returned to his little portable television set. "Look, we are almost there," I told him looking outside to see the skyline of Manhattan and then turning as I saw the portal door creek open and Eric walk in. "Hey Adrian," he slapped wrists with me and made his way to Jay's bunk, "Jay, did you put these in my basketball shorts?" I watched Eric empty a bunch of condoms out onto Jay's bed. It was JUST like Jay to hide condoms in your stuff. I was surprised that these condoms weren't actually used. Eric didn't look mad really. He looked a little embarrassed but had the biggest grin that spread across his face. Eric really had a thing about his basketball shorts too. I mean he had about 100 pairs of the same black basketball shorts. He loved the sport really, even though we rarely had time to actually play it. If you wanted to get his attention, you had to do it around his basketball shorts. Jay burst out into laughter, "Hey! I figured since we are in New York, we might as well all get some pussy." "Oh, you figured huh?" "Hey man, when was the last time you got some real good pussy? A month...a year probably..." I saw Eric's face get all flushed from a deep caramel to a copper red. Jay was so conceited that he actually always wanted to pressure other people into being more like him. "Lay off Jay. I'm sure if he wanted good pussy he can get it without your help." "Adrian, just cause you don't like pussy doesn't mean every other walking man doesn't like it either." "Fuck you, Jay." "Me? I was almost sure you wanted to fuck Eric." I couldn't believe he said that. Eric and I exchanged a quick look, before Eric started to join Jay inside an uncontrolled roll of laughter. My mouth had dropped open as I gave Jay the worst look in the world. He looked back for second, gave me a little smile and then got up to leave. I couldn't believe how embarrassed I was. He actually thought Jay was joking about it. I continued to stare at Jay like he was a piece of trash, until I picked up my slipper and threw it dead on his forehead. Jay walked up to me and I thought he was gonna punch me in my face, but instead he just tapped me on the shoulder...his laugh or Eric's laugh not failing. "Don't be mad. Look, lets all go out tonight," he said suddenly. "I really don't feel like it," I said, knowing that he would just go pick up some girls, anyway. "You are so boring. Eric, you coming?" "Yeah, sure." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I looked at Eric. He was trying to get acceptance more than I had recognized at first. He was still probably just trying to find his place in how things were developing. I couldn't be mad at him for exploring things like that. He probably did want pussy. I mean it really had probably been a long ass time before he had sex. Jay went to the front of the bus, probably to call his assistant like he usually did. That was when Eric walked closer and took a seat right next to me. I had seen concern in his eyes this whole time, but when he came that close to me, I realized that this concern ran deeper than I had ever known. He still had a smirk on his face from laughing so hard at Jay's joke. "You know that Antonio told me he loved me," I told Eric, bringing it up almost like he was asking about it, "Why would he lie?" I turned around toward the wall, feeling such anxiety and depression. I hated the feeling that arose every time Eric gave me that worried look, almost like he cared about me...but then I knew that it was just going to be another disappointment. I felt his hand slowly climbing up my shoulder, rubbing it and giving me a little push so that I could turn around. I looked back into his deep beautiful eyes. His manly body holding at me, keeping me as though he was going to let it all out. I could see complete trust in his eyes but also fear. I wondered what he was so afraid of. "You really wanna know?" I turned around and sat up almost with a quick excitement, "Of course I wanna fucking know." "Then ask the right questions and I'll answer." "What happened between you and Mr. Knight? How do you know him?" "It had all started the night that Damien's taxi fell off that bridge," he explained, his voice shaking with uncertainty, "I had almost killed the heir to the Syndicate that night." "Robbie?" "Yeah. Except, he wasn't the heir at that time. He was homeless. He had run away from his house and was sleeping in Grand Central Station. It was because his mother wouldn't allow him to be with Damien." I closed my eyes and turned to the wall, remembering Robbie. He was that wealthy guy who seemed to be holding even more power than Mr. Knight was at this time in the Syndicate. He wasn't the type that looked like he could live anywhere else but like a palace. He looked more than high maintenance. He liked Damien too? "I don't understand." "Well, Robbie adored Damien, more than I could really know," Eric told me and then turned around, "But the thing was they were supposed to be stepbrothers. His parents didn't like them being together, so they separated them." My mouth dropped open, in wonder. Every time Eric shared something, it was one of those BIG things. I didn't know why I cared so much. I just did. Robbie and Damien were going to be stepbrothers! I didn't know the problems between Eric and Robbie had anything to do with that same dead boy. It seemed now like that dead boy was the center of this whole entire thing! Eric continued, "I never could stand their relationship. I mean besides the point that I had feeling for Damien, him being my first love and all. The only man I ever loved. I also hated what Robbie was making Damien into. He was introducing Damien to the 'gay' scene, bringing him to hang out at the Syndicate and later on even work at the Syndicate." "You hated Robbie?" "More than hate." "And I guess Robbie hated you too." He gave a little laugh, "You have no idea. I mean, I knew Damien loved me. I also knew that Damien had feelings for Robbie. In the end, I won Damien. Robbie had started to give me threatening phone calls and all that when I moved into an apartment with Damien. He had gone homeless and had been divorced by his family because he figured he could come back and win Damien. I had already had Damien though and I wouldn't let him go for anything." Eric got up and walked away, standing up and leaning against the wall. I could see his clean wife beater, holding tight against his muscles. He didn't look like the type to love another man. "What happened the night that Damien died?" "Wrong question," Eric told me. "Hmm..." I said. I had no idea how to ask the question a different way. I looked at Eric wondering if he was hurting to hear about Damien being dead again. Instead of seeing sadness in his eyes, all I saw was a lost look like he was remembering. "Damien isn't dead," Eric told me, then looked across into the bus, "I'm not crazy. I know that he isn't dead. We promised each other that we would do everything together. We would live, breath and die together. Damien never lied to me. He can't be dead..." It hurt to hear a little, that he was still so stuck on this boy after so long. He was talking to me as a friend. He didn't realize that I would give anything to be loved by him like Damien was. "Ok, Eric," I told him, "What happened the day that Damien disappeared?" "That day was full of emotion. I mean a lot of emotion. I had...ah...I had proposed to Damien," He said and my eyes bulged in wonder, "He accepted of course. Happiness. We were having dinner with my family. I remember how my father tore at Damien that night. Anxiety. Then Robbie came to the door." "It must have been overwhelming for Damien. Right?" Eric looked down, balancing his masculinity and his emotions at the same time, "I guess. I mean, I remembered him reaching out to me. But I wouldn't hold him. I mean the guy that I loved this whole time was reaching out for me. I had such anger at seeing Robbie's face. I knew that Damien had nothing to do with actually bringing him here. I was reminded that as long as I had the memory that Damien had once felt something for Robbie, I would always feel like Damien wasn't always mine alone. I didn't let him touch me..." He looked like he was going to say something else, but then just stopped. He had buried his head on his legs, completely looking down. At first I looked at the top of his head and wondered if he was crying. There wasn't any whimpering or anything like that, but there was just a feeling that I had. If there was anything that I didn't want to believe, it was that Eric loved Damien so much. I didn't want to believe it, but now it was clear as day. I, on the other hand had become almost completely full with jealousy now, "Damien left didn't he?" "Yeah," he said and I knew that he was crying because his voice was cracking so much, "He walked away from the room and Robbie ran after him. I ran after Robbie. I remember taking a butcher knife with me. I was going to kill him." "What stopped you?" "Mr. Knight." "Why was he there?" "Well, he was Robbie's ride. Mr. Knight always had a relationship with Robbie. Mr. Knight saved Robbie. I was fine with it, you know? I mean Robbie's life isn't even worth taking. When we found out that Damien's taxi fell of the bridge, Robbie blamed me. He said that Damien would be alive if I hadn't stopped him from chasing after Damien. Robbie became heir to the Syndicate and promised that he would destroy everyone that ever loved me, just like I had destroyed the guy that he loved." "Jesus...you mean ME don't you?" Eric suddenly lifted his head and began to laugh, almost like Jay would. I saw the tears in his eyes from before begin to dry up in laughter. "Yeah, for some reason he thinks that you love me," Eric laughed and I gave a little laugh too, "He went out of his way cause he probably thinks that we are together. I think he paid Antonio or maybe blackmailed Antonio. He is wasting his time though. He's an idiot, you know?" "Yeah, I guess," I said suddenly, "Is that why that night that I kissed you, you didn't kiss me back?" "Adrian..." I got up and leaned close to him, putting my hand on his hand and grabbing it tightly. He stopped talking when I did it, but then pulled his hand away from mine and looked away. Was it possible that this was probably the reason that he didn't do anything? Perhaps he was actually doing this to protect me...you know, like in the movies. In the movies the heroes would act like they didn't love you, but only to protect you from the big bad villain. In our case Eric was the hero and Robbie was that bad guy. "I don't care about Robbie," I told him slowly and then sat up, so that we were facing each other, "He can't do anything else to me now. I mean, I'll stay away from the Syndicate. I think that Robbie is right...Eric, I think I care about you..." I didn't know how he was gonna react this time. I wasn't touching him this time and he didn't seem like he was moving. He just looked down, his facial expression so complicated that I couldn't read it. He had no facial expression. I more than cared about him. I loved him. He just looked down, down the floor of the moving bus. "I love Damien," Eric said soberly, "But if I 'could' love you, then I would. I'm sorry." "Your not fucking sorry!" I said angrily, pushing him against his chest as hard as I possibly could, "You are worse than Antonio. At least he made me feel like I was human...even if for a little while!" "First off, never put your hands on me again! If you want me someone to lie to you than go back to Antonio. I can't. I don't have those feelings for you." "You bastard!" I called out to him, feeling my chest rushing with blood. This was all I wanted! I only wanted to tell him how I felt! This was all I ever wanted. "You are confused, Adrian," Eric told me and then looked back at me, suddenly getting a little more calm even though I was so angry at him, "I understand what you want. I can't give it to you. I'm sure there are so many others..." I hit him. Not just like a push. I mean I hit him in his face. I could see him lunge forward. Eric was strong, stronger than most guys his age. He probably could kill me if he wanted to. I could feel his hand grabbing onto my collar and pulling me closer like he was gonna knock the hell of me! I had no goddam fear, only anger. I only had sincere and pure anger as he pulled me closer. I turned my cheek so that he could hit me, "GO AHEAD! Hit me!" "I'm not gonna hit you Adrian," he said, angry but still trying to keep his cool, "You're not worth it to me." I could feel him slowly getting up, but I don't know what came over me. I wanted to stop him. I tried to pull him back down, but he pulled away. That was when I got on my knees and went in front of him, almost like I was some kind of slave. My heart was already in pieces and it dripped with blood. I grabbed onto his heels and clutched on it. "What are you doing, Adrian? Let me go!" "Please," I begged him, crying my eyes out suddenly, "I need you. You don't understand what I feel about you. Ever since we were little kids I loved you. Please...please..." He pushed me hard enough for me to fall off of him and send me on my back across the floor. My sorrow and anger were not mixing well now. I was angry all over again. My body was shaking, I mean my hand couldn't stay still. That was how angry I was. My nerves had gone out of control that I looked like I had Parkinson's. I watched him walk away from me, almost like I imagined Antonio would be walking away from me. I pounded my hand against the floor, wanting him to come back and to answer to these emotions that I was feeling so badly for him. "You goddam tease!" I cried out after him, not knowing what else to say, "COME BACK HERE!" He had opened the door letting all my anger out. I saw Ice run inside the room all of a sudden, as well as Ice's assistant guard that I never even knew was one the goddam bus. They looked at me like was I crazy! No, they were the goddam crazy ones. Their eyes pierced through me trying to judge me, but I wasn't even worried. I looked right past them trying to look at Eric. He played me around this whole time! He told me this story for what? He probably knew that I would get so goddam shook up if I found out that he was so close to Damien! It shouldn't have gotten to me like that, but it did. Jay grabbed me by my hand, "Adrian stop screaming!" "Kiss my ass, Jay!" I told him, which was amusing enough to make him laugh. I pushed him out of the backroom and slammed the door in front of all those nosy assholes thinking that they knew a goddam thing about me. None of them knew what I was going through! None of them knew what I felt. I looked through my bag for that little journal that I wrote. I picked it up and looked at the picture of Eric, the one that had him without his shirt on posing for THE SOURCE magazines. My fingers wrapped around it, almost like I was about to rip it out and then my eyes went over the words inside the article attached to it, it read; Source: Where did you guys meet? Eric: Well we were friends since were young kids. Jay is cool now, but Adrian and I were always real close. Me and Adrian, we are best friends. I wouldn't trade him for the world. If anyone understands me, it would be Adrian. I looked at the article almost wanting to cry. I closed the diary. I couldn't rip up the picture. I just looked at it and groaned. He said that if he could love me, then he would. I wish that he could have found it in himself to do that. I wanted to cry at the pure thought. I was always so emotional...always too emotional.