Chapter 6 – Memory Lane Derailed
May 24, 2004 – Somewhere in Pennsylvania – Mutual Attraction’s Tour Bus – The Bathroom
“So, what happened between you and Wes?” Nikki asked, looking at me as I sat back down on the toilet seat.
“Wes, after a show one night, he started to act distant. When I asked him what was going on, he stated that he needed some space. I asked him why and he basically accused me of sleeping around with other people. It seemed to me that someone had put it in his head that when he wasn’t around with me, that I was getting my damn jollies from some fans. At the time, Marc didn’t know I was gay or I didn’t think he knew, but I knew he was the person that was filling Wes’ head with lies,” I said as she shook her head.
“How so,” she said.
“I don’t know why Wes didn’t see through his lies. Wes knew me and knew I wouldn’t sleep around with women,” I said as her mouth dropped open. “Marc told him that he was missing out on all the tail I was getting from the female fans and that if he hung around more often, he would be able to test out the female smorgasbord that I was experiencing.”
“Ewwww,” she said, shaking her head again. “The nerve of some people.”
“Yeah, okay,” I said, thinking back to the night that Wes confronted me about it all. “He confronted me about all the women I was supposedly sleeping with and I told him that he had to be mistaken. He clued me into what Marc had told him, the times that Marc had told him and I was totally pissed off about it.”
“What did you do?” She asked.
“I… Well… I accidentally outed the two of us,” I said as she shook her head.
“Oh? How did that happen?” She asked.
“I went to Marc and jumped down his throat. I wanted to know why he was telling such vicious lies about me to my friend. He asked what lies I was referring to, so I went into detail about what Wes had told me,” I said, sighing as I rubbed at my head. “Looking at things as a straight man, that wouldn’t have been a problem for him, telling my friend that I was making it with a different woman every night, so to him, that set the bells and whistles off.”
“How? From what we know now, he’s not so straight himself,” she said, looking at me as I noticed she was trying to keep from smiling.
“At that time, I didn’t know and Wes didn’t either,” I replied.
“Go on man,” she said, pointing her finger at me.
“So, he asked why I was so pissed off with what he had said. He said I shouldn’t have had a problem with what was said, unless I didn’t like girls,” I said as she turned up her nose. “So, he put the pieces together. He actually came out and asked me was I queer. He actually said, ‘Johnny are you queer?’”
“And you actually told him you were?” She asked.
“No, I didn’t tell him, but he kept pushing me for the truth and it slipped out,” I said, sighing as I rubbed at my head again. “I have an issue with people calling me a fag and a queer and I sorta popped him in the face and knocked him backwards on his ass. That’s how he got the scar above his right eye.”
“Ah,” she said with a smile. “So, what happened after that?”
“He figured that we were a couple. From what I later found out, after I had moved on, Justin told me that Marc had blackmailed him into not getting with me, the reason why he chose Emma over me. He felt that if we spent too much time together, people would figure out that I was an ‘ass pirate’ and our status would plummet overnight,” I told her as someone knocked on the door.
“Can I come in?” We both heard Glitter’s voice.
“What for?” I asked.
“I gotta pee,” she said as I sighed.
“J, you should’ve known at some point, sooner or later that someone would need to get in here for that reason. You might as well leave and go out there,” Nikki said as she looked at me with a crooked smile.
“Fine,” I said as I opened the door. “Excuse us.”
“What were you two doing in there?” Glitter asked, walking past me into the bathroom.
“We were just talking,” I replied as Nikki followed me.
“Okay,” Glitter said as she closed the door as we walked to the front of the bus and then took seats.
“So, go on,” she said as I looked at her. “Because we’re not in the small, private confines of the bathroom, doesn’t mean that history class is over.”
“Whatever,” I said as she smacked me on the leg. “Oh, alright then. So, after the fling me and Justin had, I found out what Marc had done. I didn’t care at the time, mainly because Wes basically up and left me and then decided that he didn’t want to be a part of my life anymore. So, things with us as a group started falling apart as well.”
“What happened with the group?” She asked.
“Syndi wasn’t happy being on the road with us so much, mainly because she didn’t get to see her husband or her kids as much as she wanted. I told her in the beginning that touring and performing long hours was a part of life when you’re a singer. She didn’t care at the time when I told her. It seems Syndi is more like Glitter, more concerned with the name and the fame. After the media started taking shots at her about not being with her kids, then her motherly clock kicked back in and she wanted to be a mom again. The main point of it all was she wasn’t happy and told us to find a replacement for her, thus you entering the picture.”
“Yeah, I remember those tryouts and such,” she said, smiling brightly. “But during that time, I saw you and Wes, so he wasn’t completely gone from your life.”
“No, he wasn’t completely gone, but those were just residuals,” I said as she shook her head and then laughed.
“So, what happened with Mo’ette? I never got the real story behind why she left,” she asked.
“Mo’ette got tired of putting up with the constant harassment from Marc about her weight. I had no problems with her and neither did the fans, well at least none that we knew of. Marc’s issue was that he thought she portrayed a bad image to the fans. He thought that she glamorized being fat, making a statement that being fat was okay. So he badgered her at every turn about her weight, telling her that she needed to slim down. It got so bad that he would actually pop up during meal ties and make her feel bad while we ate. He would say some horrible things to her. He would sit at the table and ask her stupid questions like, ‘Are you sure you want to eat that?’ ‘Don’t you think you can pick something that isn’t so fattening?’ ‘Do you think that’s going to help you lose weight?’ He actually called her ‘fat ass’ on stage while we were singing,” I explained as her eyes widened.
“He did what?” She said, squinting her eyes at me.
“Yes, he called her ‘fat ass’ while were on stage, performing one night,” I said as she shook her head. “After that, she called it quits.”
“I don’t blame her,” she said, sighing. “It sounds like he put you guys through hell.”
“Yep, that’s Marc for you,” I said as we both heard the bathroom door open. “So, before summer could start, you and Glitter were a part of the group and we had changed the name as you know.”
“So, what brought Justin back into your life and what about Todd?” She asked.
“Todd is only a friend,” I said as she crossed her arms across her chest and then looked at me strangely.
“Come on JT, don’t try to fool me here,” she said.
“I’m not trying to fool you Nikki; Todd is only a friend of mine. We never had a relationship beyond that,” I told her, lying a bit to her, but I promised him that I would keep his secret.
“So, you never slept with him? You never kissed him? Had any kind of sexual encounters with him?” She asked as I shook my head in the negative. “Really? He—he always gave me that vibe—that vibe that you two are really close—closer than you’re claiming right now, but I always put that thought out of my mind.”
“Good, there was nothing going on between the two of us,” I said as she smiled. “His wife would probably beat the three of us for thinking something like that.”
“His wife? He’s married?” She asked as I nodded my head.
“Yeah, he’s married and got kids to boot,” I replied, thinking about the last time we were actually together.
“Because he’s married and got kids doesn’t mean he can’t fool around with a man,” she said as Glitter walked over to where we sat and then joined us.
“So, what’s up guys?” Glitter asked as I looked up at her and then noticed the look exchanged between her and Nikki.
“No, you tell me what’s up. Why are you two looking at each other like that?” I asked.
“Ask your girl there,” Glitter said as she pointed at Nikki.
“Okay, what’s going on around here?” I asked.
“I’m in no mood for any crap that you’re ready to spew Glitter,” Nikki said as she pointed her finger at Glitter. “I’ve heard enough from you for one day.”
“Did I miss something here? What’s going on between you two? Why do I get the feeling that ‘Mutual Attraction’ is about to be non-mutual?” I asked, looking between both women.
“This heffa here believes the things that are being said about you in the damn media,” Nikki stated as she got up from her seat. “She believes those lies and wants you to admit to what’s being said.”
“I see,” I said, getting up as Nikki grabbed my hand.
“JT, don’t…” Nikki said as she held my hand tightly. “I believe you. The people that care about you, believe in you. If you say you don’t do that stuff… you’re not doing that stuff, then I trust in you. Fuck what she believes J.”
“She’s entitled to her opinion Nikki, just like everyone else is,” I said as she sighed. “If she believes that I’m a drug user and I sell and push drugs at all of our concerts, then that’s her belief.”
“But that’s not true and you know that. Because she believes it, doesn’t make it right. Her opinion isn’t fact JT,” Nikki said as she turned and glared at Glitter.
“If I’m guilty of those things, so are you two as well,” I said, looking at Glitter. “You two have been on the road with me, since we started things. So, if I sell and push drugs at the concerts, then you guys are just as guilty as I am. Not just my concerts, they are your concerts too.”
“Now wait just a damn minute,” Glitter said, moving closer to me.
“I think I’m going to go ahead and call it a night,” I said as I pulled away from Nikki and then headed down the aisle towards the bunks as Glitter just stood there, ready to get bitchy.
I can see this is going to be a long journey. With all the shit going on in my life right now, will all the things I believe to be glitter, turn out to be gold or just faux?
Scranton, PA – The Home of Heather Stewart – The Backyard
“Hey Shan, what’re you doing here?” Heather asked, walking over to the fence.
“Hey girl, what’s up with you?” The woman asked, looking at Heather closely.
“What makes you think something is up?” Heather asked.
“Let’s just say Caleb called and he said that you were upset,” the woman replied with a frown. “He thinks that there’s something wrong.”
“Everything is just peachy,” Heather stated as she shook her head.
“Does your current mood, have anything to do with your manager William coming over the other day?” The woman asked.
“Don’t get me started about William,” Heather stated as she kicked the fence. “That bastard needs to be shot or something.”
“Dang girl, what did he say?” The woman asked.
“He was a fucking jerk!” Heather snapped and then covered her mouth quickly as she looked around.
“Hush up, before Caleb hears you,” the woman said and then sighed. “What was so bad about what he said?”
“He told me I have to start over… I have to start all the way over,” Heather stated as she sighed and then shook her head. “He said that unless there’s some other way to get the world to notice me, then I have no choice but to start from the bottom and work my way back up to the top.”
“What? Are you kidding me?” The woman asked. “You were a star on an international TV show. Is he serious?”
“Yeah, he was being serious,” Heather stated as she looked down. “He said with my ten-year absence, no one knows me and doesn’t want to give me a chance.”
“Bullshit,” the woman said as she looked back at the house. “You are a star, you have a fan following.”
“From what William said, I don’t,” Heather stated as she looked back at the house. “My fan base disappeared when I had to disappear to raise my child.”
“I know that, but that doesn’t mean you’re not…” the woman said as Heather interrupted her.
“I gave up my life to have a baby,” Heather stated as she shook her head and then looked down. “The life I wanted, ended because I was a fool.”
“Say what? What’re you talking about Heather? What do you mean the life you wanted, ended because you were a fool? What are you trying to say?” The woman asked, looking at Heather closely. “That doesn’t sound right.”
“The life I wanted was taken away from me,” Heather stated as she shook her head. “I was supposed to be number one. I had the number one show in the primetime slot and I was the talk of the town.”
“I knew you were girl, but what’s going through your mind right now. Why are you talking crazy?” The woman asked. “I thought you had Caleb because you wanted him and you were in love with his father.”
“I had Caleb because—because I thought, I… Oh, never mind what I thought,” Heather stated as the woman looked at her strangely again. “It doesn’t even matter anymore now.”
“What doesn’t matter Heather?” The woman asked.
“Just forget about it,” Heather stated as the phone rang inside the house, interrupting them. “I gotta go get that. I’ll see you later.”
“Okay girl,” the woman replied, waving as she walked away.
Los Angeles, CA – The Home of Wes Ransom
What in the hell’s going on with John and his friends? Has he finally lost his damn mind? I’m sure he’s seen all that shit in the news, so why hasn’t he done something to stop that? Those rumors are floating through the damn media and the industry quickly and that shit can kill his career, quicker than an Asian hooker high on smack can lay her john, no pun intended there. If he doesn’t do something quick, he won’t have a damn career left at all.
“Why in the hell is he allowing this mess to go on the way it is?” I asked aloud, walking into the bathroom to start the water for my shower. “He knows the media is going crazy with this shit. If he doesn’t do something now, he probably won’t have to worry about anything at all; he just won’t have a career.”
A few days have passed and this shit is still going on. With all that I’ve read, why in the hell would he let this go on for this long? Does he want to lose his fans or what? I’ve known him for a long time and I know he’s not a drug user and I know he’s not using his shows to sell and peddle drugs throughout the world. Whoever started that rumor, that person needs their asses beat three ways from Sunday. Damn, he used to say that all the time. I really do miss him. I miss being with him.
“I should’ve never let Marc trick me into leaving him,” I said aloud as I stripped out of my clothes and then stepped into the shower.
We’ve been apart for a long time. Maybe now’s my chance. Maybe I can find out where he is and do what I can to help him out with this mess. Once I do that, maybe I can work on getting back into his life, getting him to trust me again. I know with how things ended with us, I know he doesn’t care for me, but maybe with some help from some of our old friends, maybe I can win him over and change the bad to something good.
“Maybe Wes, just maybe,” I said as the water rained down on me.
May 25, 2004 – Philadelphia, PA – Mutual Attraction’s Tour Bus
“Well good morning guys,” Justin said as he stepped up onto the bus, stretched his arms over his head and then yawned. “So, are you guys going to check into a hotel or what?”
“That’s something I don’t know yet,” Nikki replied, looking over at Justin. “Please tell me that you didn’t follow us all the way here, by yourself.”
“Yep, I followed you guys all the way here,” Justin responded as he yawned again. “What are you guys going to do today?”
“Don’t really know Justin,” Nikki replied, looking down. “You were there at the hotel. You know how things ended in New York. Do you actually see this getting any better right now?”
“I know how things ended, but that can be changed Nikki,” Justin replied with a frown.
“There hasn’t been any talk of what’s going to happen about the stuff in the media and I don’t know if we’re going to be performing here or not,” Nikki stated as she shrugged her shoulders and then shook her head.
“So, where’s JT?” Justin asked.
“I guess he’s still in his bunk, sleeping it off,” Nikki replied as Glitter walked up to the front of the bus.
“Well hello Mr. Tanner,” Glitter said as she waved at Justin.
“Hello,” was all Justin said, turning his attention back to Nikki. “Not to be pushy or anything, but go wake him up so you guys can get things rolling.”
“I’ll go wake him up, but it looks like you need to get some sleep yourself,” Nikki said as she looked at Justin closely. “When was the last time you got some sleep Justin?”
“Hmmm, that’s a real good question,” Justin said as he looked at Nikki and then scratched at his head. “But I’m okay, don’t worry about me. He should be our main concern right now.”
“Being that you haven’t had any rest, I’m going to worry about you, even if you don’t worry about yourself. Besides, you let me handle things with JT and you go get some rest, please,” Nikki suggested, pointing her finger at Justin as he smiled.
“Okay, fine girl,” Justin responded as he looked down and then back at her as he pulled a piece of paper from his pocket. “This is my number. If something happens or you need me, please don’t hesitate to give me a call.”
“Okay,” Nikki replied, taking the piece of paper from him. “Now go get some rest man.”
“That means I need to go find a hotel quick,” Justin said, turning around just as Vanessa walked onto the bus.
“Or you could just go back there and get into a bunk and go to sleep,” Vanessa suggested. “I’m sure there’s an extra one back there.”
“I’m sure there is, but I—I don’t want to create—create a problem,” Justin said, looking down.
“I don’t think it would be a problem,” Glitter said, smiling widely at Justin.
New York City, NY – The Hyatt – The Hotel Restaurant
“So, why am I here Heather?” A tall man asked, taking a seat at the table that Heather Stewart sat. “This better be important.”
“It is important,” Heather replied with a sigh. “This is all bullshit. It doesn’t seem to be working. Why hasn’t he made any appearances or anything? It’s like he doesn’t care about his career or something.”
“Come on Heather,” the man said as the waiter walked over to the table. “What did you really expect to happen?”
“I—I expect him to get what he deserves,” Heather stated as the waiter cleared his throat.
“Yes, I’d like to have a cup of espresso,” the man spoke, looking up at the waiter as the man smiled and then walked off. “You may want him to get what he deserves, but is that the best thing?”
“Yes, that’s the best thing,” Heather stated with a frown as she shook her head.
“Are you sure Heather? He’s famous right now and you doing what you’re doing, may prove fatal for the two of you, if he found out,” the man stated.
“I’m doing what I’m doing, because he forgot about me,” Heather stated as she shook her head. “I’m the one he forgot all about and left behind to be famous.”
“If I remember correctly, he didn’t forget about you Heather. You two got into a fight, that you started and then you left, because you couldn’t handle the truth,” the man stated as he looked at her closely. “You are not a part of his life Heather. The only thing that really connects you to him is Caleb and that’s only if Caleb is really his son.”
“How dare you,” Heather said, glaring at the man. “Caleb is his son.”
“Okay, how do you know that?” The man asked, the expression on his face speaking volumes to Heather. “Has there been a paternity test performed in the last ten years that I don’t know about?”
“A paternity test isn’t needed. I already know that he’s Caleb’s father. That’s something I never ever have to wonder about,” Heather stated as she shook her head while pointing her finger in the man’s face. “JT’s his father and pretty soon, the whole world will know that bit of information also.”
“Why would you want the whole world to know that Caleb is his son?” The man asked. “Do you really think that’s going to put you back into the spotlight and make you famous again, like him? Is that how you plan on getting back into the spotlight Heather, well is it?”
“The world should know that their precious, sensual soul singer has a past,” Heather stated as she looked down.
“Girl, the past you’re trying to say he has, he doesn’t have,” the man stated as Heather shook her head. “We both know that you did something ugly to get Caleb here. JT wasn’t even aware of what was going on when Caleb was even conceived.”
“Regardless of that, he’s still Caleb’s father and there’s no reason for you even bringing that up,” Heather stated as she pointed her finger in the man’s face again.
“Why are you so damn adamant on the whole world knowing about you and Caleb all of a sudden?” The man asked, looking at Heather as if she were crazy. “Are you that damn anxious to get back into the damn limelight, that you’ll reveal your dirty schemes to the whole world of how Caleb actually got here? Come on Heather, really?”
“It—it has nothing to do with that Ken,” Heather stated as the man shook his head.
“Really Heather? You know, if you tell the world that Caleb is the son of a popular singer, that’s going to put the spotlight on both of you for an undetermined amount of time,” the man said as he shook his head. “But, I warn you Heather, if you do that, you need to have your facts straight, before you continue going through with all of this.”
“I do have my facts straight Ken,” Heather stated, pointing her finger in the man’s face yet again.
“Well, I’m just letting you know right now, that if you don’t have your information in order and JT isn’t really Caleb’s father, like you claim, he can more than likely sue you for slandering his name. If you’re not being truthful, we both know he’ll win his case against you,” the man stated with a small smile on his face. “For your sake, I hope Caleb is his son as you claim he is.”
“I’m not worried about that Ken. I know for a fact that he’s Caleb’s father,” Heather stated as she took a sip of her drink. “JT Poole is his father and it’s about time that he started doing right by him.”
“How is he supposed to do right by someone that he doesn’t even know exists? He doesn’t know about Caleb,” the man stated as the waiter returned with his order. “Thank you.”
“Will there be anything else?” The waiter asked, looking at the man.
“No,” Heather answered, waving her hand dismissively at the waiter as he turned around and then walked away, pushing the drink cart away from the table. “So, now I have to figure out what my next step is going to be.”
“You’ve already got things started with trashing him in the media. With all the things I’ve read and seen, everyone actually believes him to be a drug user and a pusher, using his shows to distribute drugs to everyone worldwide, through his tours. Why did it have to be drugs Heather?” The man asked. “I’m sure that all he has to do is take a simple drug test to dispute that and nip it all in the bud.”
“That’s true, but he hasn’t done anything so far,” Heather said as she shook her head. “He hasn’t done anything at all. There must be something else going on. If it were me, I would’ve done everything I could think of to clear my name when all of this started. My plan was to get the fires boiling under him and then add more fuel by adding me and Caleb to the mix.”
“Sometimes things happen with people, that doesn’t allow for them to clear up a problem when it presents itself. I’m sure you know what I mean Heather,” the man said as he tapped his finger on the table.
“Whatever Ken,” Heather said as she shook her head.
“Yeah, whatever Heather,” the man said, opening his jacket and pulling out a small case. “Take a look at all of this and you’ll see what I mean.”
“What is this?” Heather asked, looking at the man closely.
“Just look at that stuff and think about all that you are doing, while you rest up from your plane flight,” the man said as he took another sip of his drink and then got up from the table.
To Be Continued…