Track 30: Good Ones Go

Track30button“I don’t understand,” Big Man said blankly.
      “What’s there not to understand? I said I’m good,” Mack put up his hands defensively as he spun around in the chair at the studio mixing board.
      “You got robbed! She took your chain. She took your watch. She took a goddamn car and all you are going to do is sit here and say ‘I’m good’?”
      “If that is all it costs to get rid of that crazy girl, I feel like that’s the price I’m willing to pay.”
      “I’m not saying you have to press charges. Amber doesn’t deserve those things. At least get them back from her,” Big Man urged.
      “Manny. Look. It doesn’t bother me, so it shouldn’t bother you. I’m over it. Let’s move on.” Mack smiled at his mentor and friend. Manny just shook his head.
      “I don’t know what has gotten into you lately. You’re letting girls rob you. You’re all happy and shit, and you are passing up on models. I don’t get it.”
      “Hey, what can I say? I had a good trip back home. It was just what I needed to reset my mind and clear my head a little.”
      Big Man leaned back and smiled like he had figured something out.
      “Oh, I get it. I get what this whole thing is now. You ran into Alisha, didn’t you?”
      Mack knew what he was implying, “It wasn’t even like that.”
      “So you did see her. I knew there had to be a reason for the sunshine coming out of your ass. Go home, get a little old school booty, come back ready to work. I see your game.”
      “I told you it wasn’t like that. We just had dinner. That’s all. She has a man.”
      “That has never stopped you before.”
      “Well, this is different,” he said partly defensive, partly playful.
      “Alright, alright. Whatever you say. Seriously though, be careful. She really messed you up last time,” Big Man said out of honest concern for his friend.
      He had known Mack since his first single. He had been there for all the ups and downs with Alisha, and he didn’t know if Mack could survive another epic fall out. The boy’s biggest flaw was the one that made him such a successful R&B artist; he had a massive heart. He fell in love hard and fell out harder. All of the joys and pains flowed out in his music and his fans responded. His vulnerability and honesty were on constant display. Yet Big Man knew every time he got hurt he would sink a little lower. Each time it was harder to pull him up out of it. He feared the day Mack would spiral too far out of control to be saved. At some level, he knew there was only one trigger that could get him there, only one person who could push Mack that far over the edge: Alisha.
      “It wasn’t her fault. I made her wait. I pushed her away. She just…it’s complicated. I don’t want to talk about this anymore. Let’s drop it.” Mack’s good mood instantly plummeted.
      He knew what he wouldn’t see but he checked his phone anyway; still nothing from Alisha. Not a phone call, text, or even an email. There had been no contact since dinner nearly two weeks ago. He wondered how long it would take for her to leave Sean and come to him. Then, for the first time, he let himself wonder if she would come for him at all. Maybe I had done too well of a job deflecting her and in reality, pushed her further into Sean’s arms. Would they finally set a date for their wedding now that I confirmed she should be with Sean? The thought sickened him. He wouldn’t let himself believe it. He couldn’t lose her. Not now that he had finally come to terms with reality it was her he had wanted all along.
      Pushing aside the idea, he made his way back into the booth and put the headphones on. “From the top,” he told Big Man through the microphone. If there was one place he knew he could find comfort and direction it was here, in front of the mic. It was the only place things always made sense. It was the only place where nothing ever changed.

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