Lykke lay the cherry-red six string in its case, closed the lid, and snapped it closed. It had been a good gig, she thought. Her playing hadn’t been perfect, but the small crowd at the hotel bar didn’t notice.
The boys in the band were busy packing up their own gear around her. She had been substituting with this group off and on for a couple months now, while their regular lead ax was in rehab.
She perched on her stilettos and called over to Aaron, the drummer with the various face piercings. “Aaron, what’s it going to be? Am I in tomorrow night?”
He was hunched over and unscrewing part of his kit but looked up in her direction. “Of course, luv. You rocked it tonight. The lads and I shan’t carry on without ya, luv.” He stood then and walked over to her. Took her by the shoulders and beamed. “Seriously. You killed it, Lykke.”
She smiled back. It felt good to be complimented. “Well, I can stay on a little while longer, I suppose. But.”
Aaron might have looked sympathetic, it was hard to tell with the jewelry mixed in his expression. “O’ course, luv. See you tomorrow night then.”
She took down her prized leopard print fur coat from a peg on the wall, shrugged it on, and picked up her guitar and strutted out of the bar. In the lobby, she asked the desk to hail her a cab. The kid behind the desk picked up the phone and then told her one was on the way. She crossed the lobby, heels clicking loudly on the tile, and walked out onto the streets of Stockholm. It had snowed while they were playing inside the bar, she noticed. The cold air braced her. She took out a cigarette and lit it. The nicotine would help revive her a little.
Taking a long drag on the cigarette and blowing it out, she watched a couple hurrying down the slightly slick sidewalk. She thought of her son, Sven, for the thousandth time that night. She missed him and knew her mother would need a break. Mom would also tell her she was getting too old for this. Mom had never understood her dream, had she? She took another drag. Maybe she could find someone else to watch Sven for a night or two.
Copyright © 2014 Eric Schweitz
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