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Coming this year.

Los Angeles, CA

     Leaning back in his chair, Jay soaked in his friends’ teasing, happy conversations through a haze of scotch whiskey. They sat around a large table at The Concord Club, laughing and talking as the world continued to spin for them. For him, the Earth had stopped turning the day of the car accident.

     Ignoring the food on his plate, he downed the last swallow of liquid amber and welcomed the burn as it scorched a path through his esophagus to his near-empty stomach. Everyone raved about Charla’s food when she joined them from the kitchen, but it had no taste to him. Nothing did. So, as usual, he’d only managed to eat a few bites and concentrated, instead, on maintaining his buzz.

     Burn’s parents visited from Manchester, and his mother sat next Jay. She talked to him, but her voice penetrated the haze as an irritating, high-pitched squeal, like a mosquito hovering at his ear.

     The place went quiet, and he blinked then gave his head a little shake. Burn had gotten to one knee next to Kendel’s chair, and delighted surprise lit her gorgeous face.

     “I’ve been used and tossed aside, and there were times I didn’t think I could live,” the lead guitarist told the woman he loved.

     Pain and sorrow sliced through Jay, Burn’s words a perfect expression of his own doubts about continuing on. He reached for his tumbler and found it empty. Turning it slowly, he disappeared for a second into the confetti sparkle of light reflecting off of crystal-cut glass.

     Then you came along, and your love saved me from myself.”

     V shouted, “Your love saved us from his shite attitude, too!”

     Izzy punched their front man in the shoulder, sparks flying from her ebony eyes. V chuckled and kissed her into a giggle.

     Burn glanced at them then returned his attention to his beautiful redhead. He pulled a ring box from his jeans pocket, opened the lid, and balanced it on his fingertips. “I can’t argue with him. It’s true. You’ve shown me what love, true and unselfish love, is. You’re my reason and my wherefore. You’re my first thought upon waking, my last thought before sleeping, and in every part of my time in between. I cannot think about my life without you in it. Can’t comprehend it, actually. Save my life again, Kendel, and make me the happiest man alive by doing me the very great honor of saying you’ll be my wife. Marry me?” Jay needed a drink. Badly.

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