Farzana stepped out of the shower to the sound of the phone in her room going
off. She luckily was done with her shower, but as the shrill sound echoed
in the empty room she rushed to grab up the call just for the pure fact that
she wanted the sound to stop. She growled aloud as she grabbed up her towel
and walked across to the phone. "This is Farzana."
"Hey," the voice on the other end said.
The casual voice made her immediately know that she was familiar with the
person on the other end of the line. Her only trouble now was a failing memory
and the embarrassment of not immediately knowing who was on the line. "Who
is this?" she asked.
"It's JC," he said.
"Oh hey." She tucked her towel around her and took a seat on the bed to talk
when she realized that the conversation might actually be worth paying attention
"Did I catch you at a bad time?"
"No," she said trying to make her voice a little more friendly. She was glad
it was him, but had built it up in her head that it might be her father that
it took her a moment to calm down enough to be normal. Lately all her father
did was tell her how much she needed to come home to him and the family and
she didn't want to get into it at the moment. She'd had a great day and was
planning to write a little that night and she didn't want her mood ruined.
"I was going to head up the road to some clubs that my bellhop told me about
and I was wondering if you wanted to come with me."
Farzana smiled. "So is it that you're bored or is it that your lonely already?"
"What?" he asked.
"It happened to me. I got here and thought having nothing to do was going
to be the best thing in the world. That first day was torture," she explained,
"I mean I wouldn't blame you...its hard to have a day with nothing to do
when you're used to having twenty-million things to do."
A sigh came across the line, "You caught me...I mean I'm not lonely, but
I'm bored and I usually have a million people around and since I figured
that you were in the same boat so I thought we'd be bored together."
"Who says I'm bored?" she asked, "I never said I was bored."
"Ok then," he shot back with, "At least help me not be bored."
"I've got things to do," she said, "I was planning to write a little tonight."
"Write?" he asked, "You'd rather write than go out and party?"
"Unlike you some of us have to work at being geniuses," she said with a laugh
running a hand through her hair. The white towel against her skin made her
tan seem even deeper and compared to her dark hair and features she looked
exotic. It was a good day, she was having a pretty day, something she needed
more o these day. With none of the media or fans around she was lacking in
the compliment department. She looked at herself in the mirror wondering
how long it would take her to get ready if he actually convinced her to ditch
the writing and go out. She could probably throw it up into a bun or something
and throw on some jeans or something. She had to do laundry the next day,
but she still had something nice she could throw herself into.
"Oh stop," he said and sounded genuinely embarrassed.
"Sure JC," she said, "Like you don't know you're super talented. You have
more talent in your little finger than most of us have in our whole bodies."
She shouldn't have said bodies. It only did bad things to her mind. She'd
thought about him most of the afternoon while out by the pool. He'd looked
a little skinny in his clothes earlier that day at the counter, but she wouldn't
have passed up a chance to put her hands all over him if the moment arose.
She hadn't been dating anyone since way before she'd gone on tour and she
was starting to feel a little left out of the crowd when it seemed like everyone
she knew was getting together.
Another sigh. "Really Zana it's not that big of a deal."
She was about to answer when she noticed the name he'd called her. Everyone
was big on giving her nick names, but this one was a new one. She didn't
think she was on the nick name level with him. "What'd you call me?"
"Zana," he said, "Farzana is the artist and I feel like since we're not working
right now that you need a new name."
"Well what about you?" she said, "You're the one who is hiding out--"
"I'm not hiding out," he said. His defensive tone couldn't be hidden. She
could hear it even in the way he breathed. He started to take breaths in
"Sure JC," she said, "And you planned to come down here and be in the middle
"Well that was a spur of the moment thing to come to Key Largo, but getting
away was the plan for this vacation. I was planning to become a hermit at
home, but now I'm gonna become a hermit here UNLESS you save me."
"SAVE you?" That was a laugh. It should be the other way around. Deep in
the recesses of her mind she knew that if anyone could save her and her career
it could be him. He'd written enough hits to pull together a whole album
for her in about five minutes. That wasn't the way things needed to be handled.
She had to do this herself, if not to prove it to herself then to prove it
to her father.
"Yeah," he said, "Pllleeeaaaassseee?"
Farzana held her breath for almost a full thirty seconds before she sighed.
"Fine...I guess I can go out for a while," she said, "but I can't go to a
"I'm not old enough," she explained.
"Oh," he said and paused for a long time, "Well we'll go grab dinner. You
haven't eaten yet have you? Or maybe we can go dancing...SOMETHING has to
be better than sitting up here and you sitting down there."
"Fine," she said.
"When do you want me to come and get you?" He asked.
"Half hour?" She suggested.
"A half hour?" He asked.
"I just go out of the shower." The words were out of her mouth before she
could stop herself and it was the worst thing in the world to know that he
was probably, if he was like any other guy she knew, which he probably was,
that he was picturing her naked. Great way to start off a date, or rather,
"Oh," he said, "Well I guess I'll see you in a little while then.
His keyboard was laughing at him, as if an inanimate object could do that.
He'd taken a shower before he'd spoken to her on the phone and now had shaved,
changed clothes, and had run a comb through his hair more than a few times,
but he still had twenty minutes left. He'd begun to pace around the hotel
room until he came across his keyboard case. It hadn't moved since he'd left
it in the living room and now he wasn't sure he wanted to even touch it.
Walking around the far side of it he stared at it for a long time then reached
out and grabbed the handle. As if it was a sign from up above, he got shocked
reaching for the handle. He grabbed his hand back then wiped it on his jeans
before he reached again, this time grabbing it and carrying it to the table
before he could think about it too much and stop himself.
The case was opened and the keyboard removed and placed carefully on the
long end of the dining room table. He pulled the cord out and set it on the
table in the front of it and put his lucky pencil and blank sheet music in
front of him. He didn't sit down and he didn't touch the plastic cover that
lay over the keys. That would be for later. For the moment it was a good
step to just set it all out and turned and walked away, escaping to the balcony
when the room seemed to lose all it's breathable air.
"Shit," he let out as he leaned against the railing. He took three deep breaths
and turned and went back inside, grabbing up his cell phone he dialed his
parent's house hoping that his mother would be home. He'd called her and
left her a message saying that he'd be in Key Largo, but didn't tell her
why or anything about his writer's block.
"Joshua Scott!" His mother practically yelled at him when the phone was picked
up in Maryland. "I called Todd and he doesn't know where you are. Alex is
your friend to the core and I love the boy to death, but even he wouldn't
tell me where you were. It's not like you Joshua. This can't be good."
Pacing across the living room JC stopped to take a break when it was his
turn to speak. "Don't freak out mom, I'm ok."
Her worry came out in the way she spit out the words that she'd probably
been waiting to say to him since the day before. "You're in Key Largo instead
of Las Angeles. WITHOUT SECURITY. It's got to be serious. I called the house,
but all I could get out of Bobbie was that she was upset with you and Todd
thought you were in LA which means no one is down there with you. What happened?"
It was a stream of language that left her gasping for air.
"Don't have a coronary ok?" He said with a smile, "I don't need a baby sitter
"That's not even funny," she stated, "I haven't had word from you since yesterday.
I didn't know where you were. Your father was about to hire a private detective
to come and find you."
"Mom I'm fine. Nothing really is wrong. Bobbie and I just have--we just have
broken up. That's all. It should have happened a long time ago, but it happened
while I was there so instead of sticking around to watch her pack, I told
Alex to take care of it and I got the hell out of Dodge."
"Are you sure?" She asked, "Do you want me or dad to come down and stay with
"No," he said, "I'm fine. I'm down here alone and trying to blend in with
the locals a little...ya know?"
"Are you sure?"
"Yeah," he said, "Mom...I'm fine. Really. I just need to be down here for
a while. I'll come up to Maryland and you can come down here, but I want
to hang out a while by myself...actually one of the opening acts Farzana
Jabbar is down here so we're gonna hang out a little, but basically I just
need to be alone and I need the peace and quiet."
JC was staring at the keyboard again when his mother startled him witih an
accusation that almost made him laugh aloud. "Were you cheating?" She asked,
"Is that why you and Bobbie broke things off?"
Cheating wasn't exactly what it was, but Bobbie had made it seem as if his
career was another woman and had spoken to him as if he'd rather be with
other people before he'd be alone with her. It was true, to an extent. He
got such a high from his work that it was hard to stay home with her on nights
when they would be together. He always had found himself over at Alex's in
the studio or flying from the house in LA to Orlando to work, instead of
being with her. Near the end he felt like he was doing things only to please
her and not to please himself and he knew that when she'd blown up at him
for not wanting to leave the house to go out with her that things were over.
All he'd had to do was say the words. It hadn't gone over well, but it had
happened and now he had to deal with life without the woman who'd been in
his life for years.
"No," he replied taking a huge breath as he took a seat on the couch. "Farzana
is on hiatus and just happened to be here. I saw her in the lobby this morning
and we made plans to get dinner, but basically I'm just going to be on the
beach for the next few weeks."
"Is that safe?" He could almost see her sitting there in the kitchen at home
in Maryland tense to find out information, but now seemed to be easing up
a bit. She probably wouldn't be calmed until she came to visit, which he
planned to have her do before he left to go back to Orlando, but for the
moment she needed to stay there and he needed to stay where he was.
"Yes mom," he said, "The town is so small and the resort I'm staying at is
aware that I want to be left alone. There is a private beach and facilities
here so I won't be caught out anywhere ok?"
"I still don't like this," she said.
"You don't have to like it Mom, but it's what I want."
"Are you SURE you're ok?"
"So can I hang up and know you're going to be ok?" He asked with a laugh
moving his fingers over the buttons of one of the remote controls, playing
a silent tune in his head. "I know I usually inform you better of this stuff,
but I was getting out of town as quick as I could and I didn't get a chance
"Yes honey," she said, "Just keep in touch ok?"
"I promise," he said, "Tell dad and Tyler and Heather I love them and I'll
see you guys soon...ok?"
"Ok honey," she said, "Call me in a few days, ok."
"Ok," he said, "I love you mom."
"I love you too sweetie."
When the line between him and Maryland was disconnected he tucked the phone
into his pocket and went back to the door leading to the balcony. Some clouds
had rolled in and it looked like it might rain, but he wasn't going to let
that ruin the night. He had plans and he wasn't going to stay home if he
had somewhere to go and someone to go with.
He looked at the clock once more and decided that he'd go downstairs and
find Farzana. He'd be a little early, but he didn't care. He needed out of
the silence for a while. It was going to take a little easing into the hermit
The elevator ride was short to the fourth floor and on his way to room 425
he passed a whole group of people without being noticed. He'd held his breath
the whole time waiting for some kind of reaction, but when it never happened
he let out the air in his lungs and practically danced his way to her door.
When he got there he thought about the flowers or whatever that a guy should
bring on a first date then cursed at himself. This wasn't at date. He wasn't
dating anymore. He was taking a friend with him to dinner and that was it.
No ties, no commitments, no relationships, just a whole lot of fun in store
for the evening ahead. Relationships were the reason for the mess that he
was in at the moment and he knew that if he didn't seclude himself from that
for at least a little while he was going to find it hard to get back on schedule,
like he wanted to be.