After my three day trip out of town with C, YF, and FM, I arrived back in town to see that PR’s band was performing as part of a little local music festival.  He published it to social media, so I could not pretend I did not see it.

We’d been in touch, flirting here and there, but deliberately not speaking for NYE.  He’d sent me a late night text “Nice thoughts. 🙂 ” on the Wednesday before we left, which is always delightful, and we texted every day at least once.

When we got back, and I saw his post about his show, I shot him a message teasing him about it, and essentially giving him the opportunity to tell me not to go.  We exchanged messages back and forth, joking about how terrible they are, and then he shot me a song from their new album they’re currently recording.  An unmastered track.  It’s a big deal to hear something so raw, but I actually loved it and heard an interesting element I love . . . which I mentioned to him, and which he loved that I’d heard it and noticed.

The show was scheduled for mid-week, so the day before I checked in again to say, hey, what time are you on? Both because I wanted to know, and because I wanted to give him the opportunity to tell me “nah, it won’t be fun” meaning every other woman I am pursuing is going to be there, so please don’t come.  He told me, specifically, when they’d be on.  Okay, so I guess I should go then.  His message also said he was traveling the next day, so it would be an early night for him.  In other words, I might see him at the show, but not after.  Not a problem, nor was it my expectation, but interesting that he wanted to clarify.

I contacted three girlfriends to come with me, and I told each of them . . . I have a crush on a guy in a band, so I am going to his show to pretend I don’t like him.  Each of them were SO excited.  We then declared it girls night and decided we’d go out for happy hour first, and then hit dirty rock clubs for the festival.

My friend and neighbor AT picked me up and we drove to FM’s office so I could give him my key or something.  We invited him, but not really, and he declined saying he was going to meet up with D, who I was still not really speaking to.  I’d invited D to join us, saying we were doing champagne and then the festival. She declined on the shows, but said maybe she’d meet up and suggested a place that was doing a champagne special — which was amazing!

AT and I showed up ahead of everyone, and drank a bottle of champagne as everyone else was an hour+ late.  She wanted to hear the epic three-part first night with PR story.  We had a blast.  Next in was C, followed about 30 minutes by . . . D.  Yeah. So, there’s that.

Ahead of time, I’d told the girls who were in on it, that if D showed, we’d skip PR’s show.  But the more I thought about it, the more I thought that was stupid.  He wanted me to go, I wanted to go, and D should get the fuck over it.  My mother, with whom I was speaking ahead of time, essentially told me the same thing, though with less profanity.

So, now D and C are there along with me and AT. It’s a little awkward as it’s my party and D and I aren’t really talking.  We eventually move from the bar to a table and more people start to join.  D invited FM, which felt like a block to me, as she knows better than anyone that FM and I were an item, but we’re well into a champagne bacchanal at this point, and I also don’t really care.  Because FM showed up, C invited YF, who is her new boyfriend and the fourth of our foursome.  There are other random guys and girls and we end up with a group of 10 or so.  Among our group: 6 bottles of champagne.  And like oysters and frites.  Yeah, it’s an epic drunken bacchanal.

We walk the 4 blocks to the club where PR’s band is playing.  I did not tell D that’s where we were going. I expected her to know, as again, it was a public invite and I don’t know if FM or someone else told her.  Essentially, I was really freaking nervous to see him for the first time since boxing day, and I had no idea how many other women were going to be there.  I was happy to have had so much champagne.

PR had sent me a message around 830,  which I did not get until the middle of the night, that said “… I strongly suggest you get hammered and lower your expectations as much as possible.” Done and done.

So, we were both happy I’d been drinking.  We walk in and there are probably 75 people there.  We are a little confused when we walk in because there is an inner stage and an outer stage, and it takes a minute for us to figure out where the people are.  We walk outside and there is a band playing and they’re pretty good, but we go back in for drinks.  AT and I are standing at the bar when PR comes up.  He’s adorable, to me, with part of his gear on him.  I introduce him to AT and I don’t know how I greeted him, but I probably hugged him awkwardly.  It all felt awkward, but good, and he is genuinely happy to see me.

We all stand around outside and are having a little too much fun in between bands.  When his starts, my girlfriends AT and C go with me to the front of the stage and we are dancing and being extremely good fans.  Which is never the attitude I have in clubs, where I typically maintain a cool, disinterested demeanor as befits my professional responsibilities.  Here, however, I am dancing with my very attractive girlfriends and we’re having the best time.

From stage, PR acknowledges me at least four times with a point and a wink.  Each time, the girls and I audibly squee.  YF, who is like my little brother — and is now C’s boyfriend, comes down to dance with C and occasionally to yell PR’s first name in a high-pitched voice.  Little brother stuff.  But we’re having a blast and so is the band . . . and they’re surprisingly good.  It’s a great show and by the time they finish there are about 150 people there, which is great for midweek.  More random friends and acquaintances of mine show up because we’re there (the joy of checkins) and the whole thing is awesome.

When they’re done, my friends and I return inside. After a few minutes, I walk back out where I think PR is talking to AT.  (I was a little tipsy, some of the transitions I don’t remember.)  Anyway, it’s dark and another band is playing.  I go to hug him and he says, no, I am sweaty! so of course I hug him anyway, and then kiss him on the neck.

The fact that he’d acknowledged me so publicly and repeatedly let me know that there were no other women there . . . or at least no other women who mattered.   He, of course, loved it, and we walked in to get a drink.

I figured out the best place for us to sit where we could be together, but not be in the mix, and I spot a lone booth next to a non-functioning photobooth.  We sit and talk and kiss and talk and kiss and it’s wonderful.  I survey the scene and everyone is happy and chilling and we’re able to spend a lot of time together.

I look at him and I ask him when he’s back, as I knew he was leaving the next day for a business trip. He says he’s back on Friday, so I tell him … tell, not ask … “you’re taking me to dinner on Saturday.” He said okay, how about your favorite. I said, great, let’s say 7.  We’re both excited about this, but I am immediately concerned it’s not happening, although I report to my friends that we’re going out.

He is clearly thrilled that I came, that I brought so many people, and that my girls and I were so enthusiastic. He loves that I am there and he is very publicly affectionate with me on his turf.

We continue to talk and kiss and eventually, AT wanders over and sits next to me, and FM wanders over and at some point announces he needs to go grab his bag from the office and just leaves.  As FM now lives with me, and down the street from AT, we take this as our signal.

I stand with PR in the middle of this club, in the brightly lit part and kiss him passionately, and caress him in a way only he can see or feel.  He whispers to me, smiling “you’re trouble,” and we smile and say we’ll see each other on Saturday.

===  Several things happened post-show or started there, but I did not find out until two days later.  I lost my phone and the girl both FM and YM are seeing somewhat secretly picked it up and brought it to YM’s place.  That meant I missed PR’s text soon after I left: “Trouble.” Or his follow-up to my super late follow-up. after I’d seen it in my email, that I am no trouble at all, “I totally beg to differ; shouldn’t you be in bed?!” sent at 228 am.