Read Ace's Fall Online

Authors: Erika Van Eck

Tags: #novella, #prequel

Ace's Fall (6 page)

BOOK: Ace's Fall
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I knew when we signed our contract with the
label that we were rushing into it, but we were a bunch of eighteen
year olds from broken homes who were excited to have a rock ‘n roll
career and lifestyle. We wanted to be famous.

We got our wish but at a cost. I’ve always
liked to party but when you’re in a rock band on tour, you’re
practically given a buffet of drugs. I took it easy at first but
one thing led to another and it ended up sending me down the road
of the bitch, heroin.

For the first time in my life I felt free. I
didn’t have a care in the world, except to get more heroin. It was
euphoric, my head was clouded with the feelings I so desperately
craved. When I was high, I actually liked myself. But after the
high comes the low, the craving for more and the self-loathing when
you can’t get enough. Sure I liked myself while I was in my
delusional bliss, but did that matter if I hated myself sober? So I
decided to stay high.

I put them through hell seven months ago
when I was on a drug binge, (surprise, surprise) and we were
supposed to perform at a sold-out show in NYC. I don’t remember it
but there was enough media around that what happened next is pretty
hard to deny. I do remember that before I went on stage I shot up a
particularly big dose. I was chasing the original euphoria, I just
wanted to feel that way again. I had been drinking earlier in the
night as well, which didn’t help matters of with my memory of the
event. I can remember walking out of the dressing room but after
that it’s all blank until I woke up strapped to a hospital bed.

According to multiple reports, I was about
to go onto the stage when Zee tried to stop me and talk. Zee and I
don’t have the best history. He’s the lead singer of a fellow rock
band called Ignite. They started around the same time we did, we’ve
gone on tour with them a few times, and the other guys in the band
are actually really nice guys. The members have been rotated out a
few times. Zee is known for his bitch fits, and if a bandmate gives
him shit, he kicks them to the curb. Zee has always had a pissy
attitude toward me, and I’ve never known why, but it’s not
surprising considering his track record.

After he approached me, we were talking for
a minute and then he put his hands on my shoulders. No one was able
to hear what was said but according to reports I started throwing
punches. It took three guys to pull me off of him. Which was
impressive considering how much heroin was in my system.

Zee never pressed charges so nothing came of
the incident except for my wake-up call to get clean. I can’t even
remember what the guy said, it had to be something bad for me to
react that way. I was taken to the hospital just as a precaution
until the drugs were out of my system. I went to jail for a couple
of days, only until Zee decided if he wanted to press charges or
not. During those two days I began to go through withdrawal. I
decided at that point that I never wanted to feel that way again so
rehab was really my only option.

Rehab wasn’t exactly smooth at first but
eventually I began wanting to fix myself. Bettering myself for the
band was my ultimate goal, and I worked my ass off every day trying
to get better. When I was going through withdrawal I didn’t think I
would survive. I thought that my time was up and I was going to
succumb to the healing process rather than the drug. The irony
isn’t lost on me.

I shake the memories from my head and take a
deep breath before asking Bill the question I’ve been dreading “Was
it the band’s decision or the record label?” I have to know. I’ve
known these guys since I was thirteen.


I’m not really at liberty to say,”
Bill answers reluctantly.


You guys are royally fucking me over
right now. It’s the least you could do. Answer. The. Question,” I
growl. I stop pacing and take a deep breath trying to hold myself
together.

He sighs. “Listen, the guys were given the
option to stay with the label with an increase in pay as long as
they dropped you, or keep you and go to a different label. At this
point I don’t think I have to tell you what they chose. You’re a
liability that no big label wants take on. Look, I’m sorry it
happened like this. Really, I am. I hope to see you do great things
in the future, but it’s not going to be with this band or this
label. Good luck to you.” With that, he hangs up without even a
goodbye.

I throw my phone not caring what it crashes
into and then roughly rake my fingers through my hair. “DAMN IT!” I
punch the nearest wall sending my fist through the drywall. My
brother’s going to be pissed considering it’s his house I’m staying
in, but right now I could care less.

I can’t stay in this house—I feel like I’m
going to suffocate. When I feel this impending doom over my head I
know the chance of a relapse increases. My career and well-being
can’t afford that right now. I have to get away.

I snatch my wallet and iPod off the
nightstand, grab my guitar off the bed, and head out of the room. I
walk down the hall and into the kitchen where my brother sits at
the breakfast bar on his laptop typing away.

Since I’m on an extended visit without my
own car I ask, “Where are your car keys? I need to borrow your
car.” I make an attempt to sound calm but my voice shakes with
frustration. If anyone can see through my façade, Nate can.


What’s wrong? What happened to your
hand? I thought I heard noise back there, but I thought you were
trying out a new style of music.” His mouth lifts into a side smirk
but his joke falls flat. My current state of mind isn’t absorbing
jokes at the moment.


I can’t talk about it right now. I
just need to get out before I do something stupid.” Which is the
truth. Already, my past addictions are starting to taunt me. They
sound more appealing by the second, and I have to try to run from
them. The only thing that can take the urge away is music. If that
doesn’t do the trick, I don’t know what will.

He releases a breath. “Okay man, do you want
me to come with you?”


No, I need to be alone. I’ll talk
when I get back.” I’m already pissed, but I’m trying to hold back
so it doesn’t seem like I’m taking it out on Nate. He means well,
but the ground beneath my feet is crumbling, and I have to try to
figure out how to stop it.

He hesitates. “You know if you need me, I’m
here.”

He reaches in his pocket to grab his keys
and then he hands them to me. “Whatever it is, it’s not worth a
relapse. Take a step back to get yourself together. You got this
bro,” he says as he pats me on the back.


Thanks man.”

I walk to the garage and get into Nate’s
pickup truck. I hop in and hook my iPod up to the sound system and
put on the loudest angriest song I can find. I need the
distraction. I back out of the garage and go to a place where I
know it’ll be quiet.

I’m glad I don’t have any connections to my
old life in this town. It would still be easy for me to find drugs
if I wanted to, people know who I am. Not only was I the face of
the popular rock band Spades, but I’ve also been all over the
tabloids this past year for my indiscretions and rehab stint. We
had three records that all were number one. Every song we put out
shot straight to the top spots on the charts, but the fame caught
up to me and so did my demons.

As I drive, I let the music blur my
thoughts. I just want to get to my destination and let out my
emotions the only way I know how.

I park the car and grab my guitar before
locking up. I start my trek to the best spot in this town.

Nate moved to Vacaville a few years ago, and
I visit him as much as my schedule allows. My residence is
technically in Las Vegas but since rehab it doesn’t feel like home
anymore. But this place feels like home. I feel a connection to it
on some deep level that I can’t even begin to explain. I feel like
this is where I’m supposed to be.

I discovered this spot when I was visiting a
couple of summers ago. Nate recommended this recreational park
because there are a bunch of trails, and he said it was a decent
location to get some writing done.

I continue to follow the paved path until
the small dirt trail comes into view. I turn right and with wide
strides I continue up the steep hill until I am on top. The view is
spectacular. My thoughts have already slowed as I take a lung full
of fresh air. Up here you can see the hills spotted with trees. The
freeway is in the far distance, but it’s not bothersome. Down below
there’s a large pond encircled by trails and trees with a small
parking lot along the lower left side. I can see spots of people
walking the paths, and I can’t help but wonder if they’ve come here
to clear their thoughts too.

I take a seat at the bench and begin to let
my thoughts free.

How could the guys do this to me? What am I
going to do now?

I knew we’d been growing apart for a while
now but I would have never guessed that they would ever do
something this low. I’d never admit this to anyone, but my heart is
breaking. I haven’t dealt with this feeling before. Sure, I’ve had
girlfriends in the past, but I’ve never cared much beyond them
putting out. These guys were my best friends since I was a
teenager. Losing practically a lifelong friend is just as
heartbreaking as losing a partner, especially when it’s because of
betrayal. I never questioned their friendship; I’m not sure what
the label did to get into their heads, but it had to be something
huge for them to turn their backs on me.

I start strumming my guitar to a familiar
tune that I like to sing in my darkest moments. I played it a lot
at the beginning of my rehab stint when I wasn’t comfortable
talking to anyone. I begin singing “Bleed” by Cold. It’s so fitting
for this moment, I don’t really want to bleed, obviously, but I
want to show everyone what I’m feeling. I feel crossed, cheated,
betrayed, sad, fucking pissed. In this moment, music is my only
cure. I sit here for a few hours until I feel calm enough to talk
to Nate about what’s going through my head and the unfortunate
situation I have found myself in.

I should be used to people ditching me by
now. It has happened my whole life. The only people who have stood
by my side are my brother and grandma. Through everything they have
been my fucking rocks.

When Nate and I were kids our parents
weren’t around much. We grew up in L.A., our dad was a high paid
lawyer for the rich and famous, and our mother was a socialite. We
were raised by our nannies, and our parents were rarely home. When
they were they made us feel like inconveniences. We were never good
enough for them. Don’t let the wealth fool you, some of the
wealthiest homes are some of the most broken. Even through their
negativity Nate was my light. He takes any situation and squeezes
out the positive.

When I was nine my parents were killed in an
accident. It’s a subject that Nate and I don’t talk about often
because it’s not something we like to relive. I feel guilty because
my feelings toward my parents are still bitter, but I guess in a
strange way it’s because I miss them. After they died we were sent
to live with our grams who is our mother’s mom. My mother didn’t
allow her in our lives, and I’ve never known why. From the moment
we started living with my grandmother, I’ve loved her. She’s the
most caring individual I’ve ever met.

When I get back to the house Nate is yelling
obscenities at the football game that’s on TV. By his tone I’m
assuming his team is losing. At commercial he notices I’ve walked
in and pauses the game to talk.

I begin pacing the living room and start to
tell him what happened. It’s hard not to get pissed off all over
again but somehow I manage to stay relatively calm.


Dude, look at it this way, it’s a
fresh start. From everything. You were the face of the band, the
fans will follow you. Especially when the media gets ahold of what
the guys did to you.”

I stop and take a seat on the couch across
from Nate. I rest my elbows on my knees and bring my hands up to
rub my face in frustration. “It’s not just about the music, man.
They just stabbed me in the back for money. How the fuck am I
supposed to react?” I try to keep my voice calm, but it’s bordering
a yell at the end. I’m starting to feel like a whiny bitch over the
whole situation. I’m pissed the hell off and I have no idea how to
even begin to cope with it all.

Nate begins telling me how it’s better this
way, and I’ll be able to branch out on my own and be the musician
I’ve been craving to be.

And he’s right. The last few years I’d been
trying to experiment with different sounds and the label had no
interest in hearing it. They wanted what they signed. They wanted
what they knew would sell money- rock music with a hint of pop.
There’s nothing wrong with that, I actually started off being
passionate about it, but then the record label kept shooting down
every new idea I had. I wanted passion in my music, I wanted
reality to be laced in every note. Whether it was pain or
happiness, I wanted my music to speak for me. But that “wouldn’t
sell” so I began to not care how the music sounded. I would put out
what they paid me to put out and that made me miserable. I’m not
going to blame the label for my drug addiction, that was my fault,
but they didn’t help it either.

I should have seen this coming, but I had
been so focused on my recovery that I never stopped to think about
what the label would do. They made it sound like they’d support me
through it all but I should have known they’d dump me the first
chance they got.


I have this friend who works at a
little recording studio in town. It has all the equipment you’d
need, and it’s super low key so the media shouldn’t be anywhere in
sight. I say you record a few tracks. Start recording your own
album and show those bastards what they just lost. I can call her
up and see when there’s an opening.”

BOOK: Ace's Fall
11.11Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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