Tour, tour, tour.
When I met H, he wasn’t touring yet. The band had just released their third album—and I don’t know why, but they always release their albums on November—and they were on a break prior to a slew of promotional tours and some gigs before the Christmas break. It was easy to manage because I know I’ll be seeing him after a week or two, sometimes just after one or two days.
But this was different.
When I saw H’s email with the subject FW: Tour Schedule 2011, I felt it was a bit ominous, a dark cloud in the sky floating over us.
Thought you should know where the boys and I will be. It’s the full schedule, with our flight times and the hotels where we’ll be staying. Let’s plan when we’ll see each other? :)
It was that time of the year, majority of which he spends on the plane, in hotels, and on the road. Touring 19 countries and doing 119 shows, he and the boys will barely have time to breathe. I scanned it, couldn’t grasp if there was any free time in between, so what I did was to plot it off in my own calendar.
(If H saw what I did, he’d probably say that it was the visual and researcher person in me that made me want to plot the dates on a calendar.)
A sprinkling of about 8 weeks of break scattered in the nine months’ worth of tour.
I exhaled slowly, placing my head in my hands as the calendar blurred in front of my eyes. H and I haven’t talked about how we’re going to do this—hell, we haven’t even talked about how we are in the past six months that we are seeing each other.
I thought of calling CF, but she was also leaving along with the boys. She’d be gone too, which made me even sadder. The closest people to me are leaving. I wonder if they’re going to take Lil too. (I hope not.)
I grabbed my phone, texting E. She had given me her number after we’ve met a couple of nights ago at my meet-H’s-friends-party-at-L’s-house. I like E, and she’s practically the nicest person I know. And when I saw her at the party, my heart quickly warmed up to her.
How do you do it? I asked her, and after thirty seconds, she was calling.
“How do I do what?” she asked after greeting me with a sweet hello. I greeted her back, and then sighed heavily before saying, “The tour.”
She let out a soft giggle, and then said, “Are you free? Meet me for tea—coffee, for you—in an hour?”
She’s an angel. NICEST person ever.
“Sure. Thanks E.”
When I got to the café, E was alone, already ordered what I learned later on was her favorite: earl grey with a pump of mint. I went straight to the counter, ordered a hot chocolate, and then went to meet her.
“E,” I said, and she rose up to give me a peck on the cheek. We sat down and she immediately reached out to give my hand a squeeze. It was coupled with her lovely, sweet smile, and I felt so comforted.
“The first thing you do is to get all your gadgets lined up,” E rattled off before I could even ask how she is. I knew it is exam season at the uni and she’s a pretty busy lady, so I was thankful she took the time off to meet me. “Email, Skype, text, Facebook—those will be your best buddies. I’d advise against Twitter though.”
“We’re not public anyway,” I told her, and her face, as readable as it was, just gave me a totally confused look. “You know, I never got that. You guys are official. But H keeps telling people he isn’t seeing anybody.”
“Whatever we have’s still young, E. I don’t think we can survive that much backlash from his fans if he tells people he’s seeing someone. You saw what his exes got when people knew he was seeing them.”
E shook her head, a sad smile on her face. “Tough that H is the nicest, most likeable dude from them lot.”
I nodded in agreement, and she drew her hand back, taking a sip from her tea. “Tip #2—I’m a bit of wary about this one but—you earn the miles. Get your passport stamped, apply for the visas,” E continued on her tips. “I’m not sure if you and H have talked about it, but I’d ask you first. Do you plan on being a stage girlfriend?”
I spit my hot choco back in my cup and look at her, amazed to say the least. “I plan on watching their shows, sure, but not as a girlfriend. I’m a fan of their band, E.”
“We’re both on the fence on this one,” E said. “The fans never liked it if you’re that girlfriend who hangs around the backstage. The girlfriend who follows them all around. So while I’d say go for watching some gigs to show your support, keep a low profile when you do. Since you guys aren’t public just yet, you can watch pretty much all the shows that you want. Once you go public, I’d think you’d have to cut down watching the shows.”
I nodded, although I’m not entirely bummed out about missing a lot of the shows. While I still can, I’m gonna watch a whole lot, but it’s not a big issue to me.
“Tip #3: work on yourself and your relationships. While boyfriend’s away, you get the chance to build your relationships with other people around you. So you grow. Take the opportunity to explore new things and have your own adventures,” she said with so much enthusiasm. I could see that she and T have learned to manage their relationship so well that they can have each of their own lives separately and together as well. “You have so much more to explore, K. So much more.”
I felt like I was listening to a learned person, someone who is way beyond her time. I could see now what T saw in her.
“You, me and P can go out!” she said excitedly. “I know you’re not a fan of shopping, but—”
I laughed, giving her a wink. “I am getting a grip of shopping, so I think I can tag along. You should see how G drags me around.”
E nodded knowingly. “Yeah, that girl can shop.”
We ruminated in silence for a couple of minutes before E spoke again, very serious. “And the last tip is the one that—on some days—I am having trouble working on as well.” I braced myself, and I then nodded for her to continue. “Trust. You trust, and trust, until you can’t trust no more.”
I groaned at this, even though I should have seen it coming. “While communication will always be a key to keeping a relationship going, trust is what will hold it together. Especially in your case. It’s going to be tougher because H isn’t really painted as the most monogamous person on the planet. He just looks at a woman and the tabloids say he’s already dating her.”
“Trust,” I repeated, and E nodded, her eyes understanding.
“It’s hard, I know, but you have to do it. You have to.”
I let out my breath, slowly, and then gave her a smile. I know it’s going to be a tough road, but I’m going to do it. I’m going to trust… because H is worth it.