Rock Hard: Making Good On The Bet

Continues from here.

The trip to Kansas City was uneventful and slow and not a forest in sight. Sarah and I spent quite a bit of time chatting, not just about the thing we had planned for that night about her business, her parents, my parents, Adam, Dean, our tour of New Zealand and general girl talk. We didn’t spent the entire time separated from the boys but we did have plenty of time to talk about the topics we wanted to.

At one point during the afternoon leg of our journey Mark called to us, “Hey guys check this out” He and Benji were sitting down the back of the bus near the toilets Mark had an acoustic guitar in his hand.

We all made our way down the back and listened to some riffs that Mark and Benji had been making into songs. They weren’t complete songs and they didn’t have any lyrics but it was more than Dean and I had been doing for the last few weeks. Immediately I felt guilty, it’s not like we were on the road to write music but at the same time it’s a good place to write as a whole band.

For the rest of the trip, which was only two hours, the five of us played around with riffs and beats, we didn’t come up with anything definite but that’s not to say none of it wont form part of our next album. We used Sarah as a bit of a sounding board for some of the riffs and tunes, she’s a little biased towards our music but generally a good sounding board when none of us can make up our own minds.

When we pulled into Kansas City it was business as usual, Adam went off to help the boys load in with the promise he’d be back before sound check. Dean and Sarah went off to their room for a ‘nap’ and I went off to my room for some bloody ME time. My only wish was that I stopped referring to it as ME time before it became part of my vocabulary as ‘like’ has become part of the teenage vernacular.

I was actually nervous about the gig, not because of the performance itself, that was a different kind of nerves, I was nervous because of the bet. Adam’s stage fright was well known, so well known it wasn’t even a joke any more and to make him stand up on stage was in some ways mean of me. Over the years we’d had him on stage a few times but he usually just stood there rigid and clammed up if he was asked anything, yet here I was going to asked one of the biggest questions ever. Not only that I was going to ask it having only been dating for a few months. Yeah, yeah I know, like Sarah said we were so close we may as well have been married for years but that still didn’t change things.

Somewhere along the line, just like when Sarah had convinced me this was a good idea, I began thinking that I could make it work, I could stop Adam from freezing up on stage and leaving me without an answer. I was running through what I planned to say on stage for what must have been the fiftieth time when Adam walked in the door making me jump.

“Sorry babe, I should have knocked or made a noise or something when I swiped the keycard.” he said as he walked inside and shut the door.

“It’s okay, I wasn’t paying attention. How did the load in go?”

“I thought I heard you talking to someone as I walked in? Load in up was good, should be ready for you guys at 5 like usual.”

We were good at holding multiple conversations in the same conversation.

“I was talking to myself. And no worries I’m sure we’ll all be ready.”

“Maybe we should hire you a friend to talk to. Save you talking to yourself all the time.” Adam replied with a smirk obviously thinking his insult was a good one.

“Well you better make it someone with a low IQ so I don’t lose my ability to talk to you lot!” I threw back.

Adam laughed but for some reason decided to stop the conversation there by heading into the bathroom. Sometimes I can be the sort of person that would speak through a door, or resume such a conversation when he returned but my heart wasn’t in it. I had more pressing things on my mind.

“Are you sure you are okay with the bet tonight?” I said when Adam came back into the room.

Although we had another discussion about it, Adam even questioning why I seemed so concerned about the bet he had to pay up on, he assured me that he was okay with the bet and would see it through.

“Just don’t strip me naked and make me chase you for my clothes!” Adam said at the end of the conversation.

“Don’t be silly, I’m not letting all of Kansas see what I see every night when I go to bed.” I said with a huge smile as I dragged him forward and kissed him on the lips.

“On bass give it up for Mangi,” I said into the microphone as I started introducing the band by their stage names which were of course Nordic gods. I waited a short time for applause between Mark and Benji. “On lead guitar and backing vocals Vali.” I then turned to Dean and introduced him. “On drums it’s the god of thunder and battle, Thor!”

That’s right dean had chosen the most obvious of all gods for him name. Then as the crowd cheered Benji stepped up to his microphone. “And lets hear a massive Kansas City roar for Hella on rhythm guitar and the voice of Magnhild.”

We threw guitar picks and drum sticks out into the crowd while they cheered, then after about thirty seconds I stepped back up to my microphone.

“A bit of hush.” I said as I used my hands in a downward motion trying to quieten the crowd down, they obeyed after a few seconds. “As you know there is more to a band that just the guys on stage, it takes an entire crew to make these shows happen. So why do you give a huge cheer for the crew.” The crowd obeyed, you know it’s a weird kind of power being able to control such a big group of people. “There is also one other person that works his ass off every night to make these shows happen. Without him Magnhild would not sound like they do. So please welcome to the stage and give the guy the biggest Kansas city welcome ever. Mr Adam Rhine!”

As the crowd cheered Adam walked out on stage, his composure was well and beyond what I expected. He walked out to the center of the stage, beside me, and took a bow. I couldn’t help but feel proud of him for overcoming his stage fright enough to get that far, I hoped I wasn’t going to ruin him for ever. I looked side of stage, Sarah was standing there urging me on.

“A bit of hush again please.” I called into the microphone. Adam tried to walk off but I grabbed his arm and pulled him back to me.

Someone in the audience called out, “Why? Are you going to show us your tits?”

Like I’ve said there is an idiot in every group! I responded quickly with. “Not until you show me your nuts!” The crowd laughed but we heard nothing else from titman. Then as the crowd hushed again I said. “There is one more reason why I wanted to get Adam up here.” I looked him in the eye and could see concern in his eyes. I got down on one knee, as corny as it sounds, and in full Hella regalia I said into the microphone. “Adam Rhine will you marry me?”

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