Authors: Erika Van Eck
Tags: #novella, #prequel
A Caplin Brothers Prequel
Copyright ©2015 Erika Van
Cover Design by Erika Van
Cover photographs purchased
All rights reserved. No part
of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form without
written permission from the publisher, except by a reviewer who may
quote brief passages for review purposes.
This is a work of fiction.
Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are
either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a
fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or
dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
This is dedicated to anyone who has fallen.
You are not alone in your struggles.
s fall playlist:
Falling in Reverse- “Good Girls Bad
Escape the Fate- “Situations”
Atreyu- “Becoming the Bull”
Stone Sour- “Through Glass”
A Day To Remember- The Downfall Of Us
Falling in Reverse- “I’m Not a Vampire”
Atreyu- “The Crimson”
Hozier- “Arsonist’s Lullabye”
Deftones- “My Own Summer (Shove It)”
*For latest playlists follow me on
hen I was growing up, I never thought I’d become a drug
addict. I mean, who looks at their future and thinks, “Yep, I’m
definitely going to try every drug imaginable to get rid of this
hole in my chest.”
No one thinks that.
If they do, then they had a way
shittier upbringing than I had.
I grew up in Beverly Hills.
That alone probably speaks volumes. My family had
money. But the issue was
there was no support
I don’t think back too much to my childhood. I remember
glimpses before my parents died, and there isn’t one positive
memory in the bunch.
Sad, isn’t it? I’m not
saying there weren’t any good memories. I’m sure there were, but
I can’t summon one. The only
good memories are of Nate and some of our more entertaining
nannies. The only
thing I remember about my parents
their obsession with my and Nate’s appearance. I can recall one
instance when I fell from the tree in our backyard; I couldn’t have
been more than five. It was a rare occurrence when my mother was
actually home. I ran to her crying because I saw blood and it
freaked me out. She ended up being more concerned about the damage
to my clothes than to my injuries. After that, I wasn’t allowed to
step foot outside. She said if I was going to act like a pig then I
didn’t deserve outside play. Just goes to show you the kind of
mother I had. My family may have been wealthy with money, but they
were in no way wealthy in family values.
Their passing was a tragic freak
accident. They were on the way home from a charity event when my
dad lost control of the car and it flipped twice before a tree
stopped them. They died on impact.
I never cried. Even
I was a child when it happened, I don’t ever remember being
sad from their passing. I was only angry that they left me before I
could see the “nice” side of them. In part, I guess you could blame
how young I was and how entitled I grew up. There were times when I
thought something was wrong with me
Nate took it really hard.
He went through
year where he didn’t talk. If he
wanted to communicate, he’d write it out on a pad of paper. He
eventually grew out of it, but there has been something off about
him ever since. I guess you could say the same about me.
We ended up moving in with Grams
because she was our only living relative. Grams accepted us with
open arms, and she gave us the motherly attention that we craved. I
was sure my mother was at one time nurturing to us—I hoped so
anyways. Even before my parents passed, I used to imagine them
having different reactions to our situations. For instance, when I
fell from the tree, instead of my mother making a huge deal of the
fact that I ruined my clothes, I imagined her cleaning me up and
wiping away my tears while she softly sang to me. I eventually grew
out of those daydreams and just became a bitter guy.
My father was a lawyer for the rich and
famous, and I didn’t see him much. My parents fought a lot, their
memories were riddled with their nightly arguments. The wall
muffled the yells, but they always ended with my mom throwing
something, crying hysterically, while my dad grabbed his keys and
left. Their yells frightened me, but the second my dad left, Nate
would be there hugging my mom and drying her tears. He was ten. She
never hugged him back, but she didn’t deny him either.
At one point
very short time in middle school, I considered myself straight
edge. I refused to let peer pressure have any effect on me. That
was one thing about myself—I was stubborn as shit. Other people did
not easily sway me. If anything, I swayed them. I guess you could
say I got my persuasion from my hotshot lawyer father.
Instead of submerging myself in girls
or drugs like my other classmates were starting to do, I fell in
love with music. All kinds of music, though my main love was rock.
I loved how there was such a rawness to it. The bands that I
listened to put their hearts into their music. When they sang about
heartbreak, I felt it in my chest. When they sang about betrayal, I
felt it in my bones.
I was able to match a song with
whatever I was feeling. I always had earphones on. When I didn’t,
I’d be singing to myself or drumming my fingers on the nearest
I always had an interest in
music. Even at a young age, my parents could see it. They put me in
lessons, and I excelled. One positive thing they
for me before they died.
When Nate and I went to
live with my Grams, she saw that music was the only time I focused.
I had a lot of anger issues, even before my parents died, but once
they were gone, I began taking it out on everyone.
I started directing that energy toward music, but
it took a lot of help from Grams to get there.
I met the guys of Spades in middle
school. Liam and Walt had been friends since early childhood.
Paulie was in a few of my classes, and we became friends quickly.
Each of us already played instruments, so that was how we ended up
forming Spades. I didn’t want to be the singer at first. I liked
writing songs, but I wasn’t comfortable being the front man—I
wanted to be the lead guitar. I was supposed to just fill in until
we found someone else, but that never happened, so I remained the
We sucked at first.
sucked. Eventually, with a hell of a lot of practice, we got
better. In high school, we won multiple
of the band
competitions, which just encouraged us to practice more.
supportive of our venture. So supportive, in fact, that she let us
rehearse in the garage. All of the guys seemed to love coming over;
they’d always leave with a new dirty joke and a home-cooked meal
filling their bellies. Next to them, I grew up rich, as they all
to lower class families.
Out of all of the guys
Paulie and I were the closest. Even if we didn’t
have practice, he’d come over because he wanted to “hang out”. I’m
not saying he
but I know there was more
reasoning behind it than just that. Often, he would show up
school with a fat lip or a black eye. He always had an excuse
for it, and
never so much as hinted at his home
Once we all got in high
discovered unchaperoned parties. Along with those
came alcohol and eventually drugs. My “straight edge” mentality
went out the door at that point. We began with just drinking and
smoking weed at only the
but that soon escalated to a habit. Paulie and I
would get high almost every day before school behind the bleachers
on the football field.
When we weren’t in school
we were elbow deep in our music. Each of us
became obsessed with it. We had a band notebook that we’d pass
around to each other to work out our music ideas during school. We
were so preoccupied that it was a miracle any of us
The summer after graduation, I met
Bree. She became a great friend to all of us, and she was an honest
critic. She was gorgeous. We all noticed, though each time one of
us made a perverted remark, she’d have an equally snarky
I swore to myself that I
would never be the kind of guy to get comfortable in a
relationship. I wasn’t the type to be tied down. In
I didn’t want a relationship, period. I was going to sleep
with whomever I wanted and not feel guilty, and that was that. I
was on the cusp of my music career exploding, and I didn’t need to
worry about who I was leaving behind. I wanted to move forward and
not look back.
That was why it surprised me when Bree
and I started what some might consider dating. It started off at
just meeting places as “friends” but that soon changed when sex was
added to the mix.
Bree was a great
but she was an even better lay. And as much as I tried to
fight it, Bree’s constant advances eventually disintegrated any
reluctance I had. She wasn’t a pest about it, but we partied
together often and whenever substances got into your system, your
Soon after we started
sleeping together, the band started gaining interest from numerous
record labels. By the end of
we had a gig lined up
at The Troubadour, which was one of L.A.’s hottest music venues.
The show was an annual event they did for up-and-comers. Rumor had
it that there were going to be some of the best labels in
The night finally came and
the place was packed. Even Grams and Nate were in attendance to
cheer me on. It was the first time in a long time that I felt some
semblance of happiness. A fog of hopelessness had always surrounded
my life. Every
was to try to clear the
I’d finally found it; music was my
Our first song started a
but the rest of the set went smoothly. We seemed
to feed off each other’s energy along with the crowd. By the time
our last song finished, the crowd was roaring in
Nothing could have taken the smile off
my face that night. That was the purest form of high, and I’d be
chasing it for years to come.
Soon after we finished our
set, but before we weaved our way
the crowd, we were
approached by a representative from RockOn record label.
Great set! I just wanted
to introduce myself. I’m Bill from RockOn records. We’re looking
for a fresh new sound, and you guys are it! I’d love to arrange a
meeting so that the rest of the execs can hear you. Here’s my card;
give me a call to set up the date and time. Don’t forget to bring
your most recent demo.”