Honestly For You 5
Meredith's gaze ripped away from the image in the mirror and she looked at Adrianne who was standing behind her looking at her with a worried expression on her face. She hadn't known she'd been sitting there so long, but she found when she looked up that the sandwich that Adrianne had been eating was now almost gone. As Adrianne put the last little piece in her mouth, she smiled.
Instead of speaking she grabbed up the cup of tea in front of her and took a sip. She'd woken up feeling fine, but her throat had been feeling raw and her head had begun to hurt just after her sound check. She didn't know if it was a cold coming on or if it was nervous, but she was praying that it didn't turn into laryngitis before the night was through.
She downed half a cup in almost one drink. It was cooler now, being that it had been sitting out for so long, but the lemon and the honey would still work. "Yeah?"
"You got lost there for a second," Adrianne said.
Her voice stuck in her throat so she took another sip. Her eyes slid to the mirror again, this time concentrating on the way that her hair had been styled. Before she'd been staring at her eyes, noticing how they didn't look like her's anymore. They were dramatic with deep lines and enough glitter for three people. This time it was the curls that had caught her attention. She'd sat earlier in curlers feeling like an alien, but she felt more out of this world with the curly hair than with the contraptions in her hair. She knew that things were going to turn out ok and that the dramatics were going to be worth it, but staring at herself looking this glamorous was making her feel strange.
"Clearly you aren't," Adrianne came around and stood between the mirror and the director's chair she was sitting in. Her friend was standing there in jeans and a t-shirt and a jacket. She looked comfortable with her hair in a pony tail and normal make up on, something that Meredith wished she could have. "What's wrong?"
"Justin hasn't called me," she said staring for a moment at the security pass that her friend had plastered to the thigh of her jeans. She thought that it was horrible that her best friend had to wear a pass to see her. She'd always felt strange about having to wear one for Justin, but she'd put up with it because she was dating him, but to have her friends go through that, being on the other side now, made her feel strange. "I wish he'd call me before I go on."
"Awe girl," she said and leaned and took her hand. She swung it back and forth. "You're just nervous. Don't worry...things are gonna be ok. Maybe he went over to JC's or something and they're working and he lost track of time. You know how he gets."
"Yes." She started to hear her own breathing and she knew she was becoming paranoid when it didn't come out right. She should have been breathing on the four counts not every other count. When she started to think about timing she started to think about the song that she was starting out with and forgot for a moment the set list that she planned to use that night. Her eyes went wide and she grabbed for the sheet of paper and ran over the names of the songs quickly before she said, "I know. I know how he gets, but he told me he'd be here."
"You're gonna do great tonight girl." Addy took the piece of paper away from her, probably due to the strained look on her face. "You're a big pop star now. You don't need little old Justin--"
"I'm not a pop star," she said and took the paper back from her. She felt like she was in school again and wanted to cheat by writing the set list on her arm or shoe or something so she could cheat. "Or at least I don't feel like one. I need Justin. He was the one who started this--"
"Five more minutes," he said.
"Justin," she said again.
"Five more minutes, Mere," he repeated not looking up from his work.
Before he knew what was happening Meredith was standing on the other side of the glass from him, inside the studio.
"What are you doing?" he asked speaking into the microphone.
Meredith stepped up to the mic and spoke, "I'm gonna sing this because you don't seem to be hearing me when I speak."
"I'm sorry," he said, "I didn't mean to ignore you. I just said that it was going to be five more minutes."
"That was almost an hour ago," she said pointing at the clock on the wall behind him. "I know that you're busy with the new album and stuff and I know that this is important, but your brothers have been in town since yesterday and it's getting hard to be with those two and try to explain that you're coming home soon."
"Fine," he said.
"Good," she said.
Meredith stopped before she moved away from the microphone looking as if she might hit into something or break something if she moved, "What?"
"Sing for me," he said.
"Excuse me?" she asked.
"Sing for me Merebear," he said, "Please. It's my birthday."
"Oh no," she said, "Some of us are born for that kind of thing, but this little songbird has no voice."
"Whatever you," he said, "Just sing for me."
"No," she said again.
"Please," he said and began to pout.
"You're not going to let this go are you?" she asked.
"No," he said and crossed his arms over his chest.
"Fine," she said.
"Ok," he said, "Just take the headphones off the stand, put them on and I'll play the song and you sing."
"What?" she asked, "You aren't going to record this are you?"
"You sing Kareoke all the time at Joey's--"
"Hey, that wasn't my fault and that was only once--"
Justin held up two fingers.
"OK fine, two fingers, but I was drunk and I didn't mean to get that into it."
"You were on the table," he said.
"Do you want me to sing or sit here and argue with you?" she asked.
"Hold on a second, I want to get these settings right."
"You're not going to show this to anyone are you?" she asked.
"Maybe," he said, "You never know when I might need to get a new job," he said.
"Is Pest a job description?" he asked.
"I'm gonna be a producer Merebear," he said, "And you're going to be the next pop-star."
"Yeah right," she said rolling her eyes. "Don't hold your breath."
This time it was a male voice that distracted her from her reflection. For an instant she thought that it might be Justin, but after a moment she saw movement in the mirror and her eyes slowly moved to the spot in the mirror where she could see the door and found Dean leaning in. He wore all black and had his headphones around his neck. "Yeah?"
"You've got a half hour," he said with his deep Boston accent. From the deep rasp in his voice she could tell he'd been smoking that afternoon, a habit that she'd teased him about earlier. He coughed. "Wendell just went on and the band will be ready in about twenty."
Meredith swallowed the lump in her throat and sipped more tea. She smiled for him and for her mother who was now watching her as well as Lynn who was getting up to come over to her. "Thanks Dean."
He moved his headphones back onto his ears and winked at her. "No trouble."
Taking a deep breath Meredith pushed herself from her chair and moved across the room. She had on all her stage outfit except her t-shirt. She walked over to the small couch that her father was currently occupying. "I hate to make you guys leave, but I need to put my shoes on and do my warm ups."
Lynn took over then switching from mother to manager. "It's ok honey," she said, "I'll show your parents and Addy their seats and we'll meet up with you tonight when you're done."
"Thanks Lynn," Meredith said with a shaky voice as she pulled the black running shoes towards her. She would later change into heels, but for the moment it was all about the running shoes. She had a dance number the first two songs. "Hey Lynn, can you get Mari and Trina in here?"
"Sure honey," she said.
"Can you tell Dean that we'll be out in a minute?"
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