Are We There Yet?

You’d think we’d be used to this by now. Traveling together I mean. I mean you have me, trying to write a new song on my guitar. On the other side of the bus, you have AJ singing along to that lyrics show I can’t remember the name of. We did an appearance on it. I’ll remember it later when I’m not trying to think of it, I’m sure. Howie’s in his bunk. Typical.

“Briiiiiian, whatcha doooooing?”

And then there’s Nick.

“Trying to work on my solo album.” Sort of. I wrote a lot of songs that never made it anywhere; it just was a passion of mine. I loved doing it. Always have, and I always would.

“Are we there yet?”

I bet you’re wondering how old he is.

“No.” I replied, jotting down a few chord progressions I liked in my notebook.

“Are we there yet?”

Wanna take a guess at his age? We normally have separate busses. But it was Nick’s idea for us to bond and travel on one bus again. Like back in our beginning days. He’s my best friend and all, and I liked it too. But I’m starting to forget why, honestly.

“Nooooooooo!” AJ sang.

“Are we there yet?”

Bet you wouldn’t guess thirty would you?

We felt the bus stop. I glanced outside. We had to have broken down. Cause there we sat, in the tour bus that always costs more than it’s worth, in the middle of the road. We had the worst luck with busses honestly. I swear on all that’s holy that for every tour we’ve been on, we also have a bus breaking down story to go with it.

“Why’d we stop?”

“I don’t know AJ.” Love the guy, not the questions.

“Are we-”

A jerking motion cut him off. We were thrust forward; each of us grabbing whatever was closest so we didn’t go flying as a result. Suddenly Nick wasn’t looking so bored and amused. Howie was actually awake now, and halfway onto the floor. To be truthful, I’m impressed it woke him up. Howie was a sleeper. When he wasn’t with his family, or singing, he slept. I’m not even kidding. Sometimes I wondered if he wasn’t a relative of Rip Van Winkle or something.

“What the hell!” AJ yells, like any of us could actually tell him. I love the guys, don’t get me wrong. But sometimes…well, we’re like family in every sense of the word. We couldn’t live without each other, but we also drive each other crazy. Constantly.

The bus was rolling; I could hear the tires squealing. I felt something collide with us, towards the front. I’m sure it took out our driver. The impact was too harsh not to. What happened next, it felt like slow motion. It wasn’t, but I swear for me it was like one of those Matrix moments. I could see my guitar and notebook flying out of my hands. I grabbed for the table which thankfully is bolted to the floor. Nick, who wasn’t holding on tight enough, fell out of his seat. His head slammed up against the window as he rolled. All I could do was stare. Stare at the blood trailing along the wall as he slid down.

I didn’t see AJ, till after. I only heard his scream, and the sickening crack that followed. Suddenly I didn’t hear AJ’s yells or screams and complaints anymore. As the bus continued to roll, I saw his limp body get tossed around. It reminded me oddly of a goldfish accidentally out of the bowl, flopping around helplessly.

Howie, Howie was being tossed all over the bus. Similar to AJ. Him, I worried less about. I could still hear him yelling. I felt myself be swung every which way. I winced as random things we had in the bus (Playstations, Wii, computers, you get the idea) got slammed into me. I knew I was bleeding, I knew I was bruised. But I was okay in the overall sense of the word. When the bus finally stopped moving, finally stopped rolling, I was the one able to let go from the table and land easily on what used to be the roof. I heard screams, but they weren’t from any of us. They were from those outside the bus. Had to be.

I looked around. “NICK?!” No answer. I ran forward, stopping at the first crumpled heap I was able to see. I flipped it over. There, instead of the normally jovial, blonde-haired-blue-eyed-kid- trapped-in-a-thirty-year-old’s-body, I saw nothing but a rag doll. His face was covered with the blood that now stained his hair. His eyes were open, blank and unseeing. I knew the truth, but I shook him anyway, unable to accept it.

“NICK!” I checked for a pulse, and it was as I figured. There was nothing. Tears burned my eyes, but I kept them in check. I had two more brothers I had to check on first.

“AJ!” I yelled. I almost tripped on him, actually. He was right by Nick but I didn’t notice nor expect him to be. His head was at an odd angle. There was no motion. I knew from the angle alone there was no possible way for him to be alive. His neck had snapped at some point during the crash. The tears made my vision blurry, and I still refused to let them fall.

“Howie!?” I screamed once more. My voice had gone hoarse. I wasn’t sure if it was from the tears I withheld or from all my yelling and hollering I’d been doing. I didn’t care.

I walked forward. This time I actually stepped on his body. I felt the bile rise up to my throat, suddenly thinking that the KFC we’d picked up before going on the road had been a pretty bad idea right then. Why did my mind go to something trivial like this? I think I’d finally been thrust into shock, to be honest. I stepped back, completely horrified.

Howie had gotten the worst of it. My guitar, my guitar had been forced into the back of his neck. I have no idea how it happened, only the force that must have been required. His face was frozen in time, a look of shock, terror and agony all blended into one. Now the tears fell, my brothers were dead. I felt like my heart had been ripped from my chest, and stepped on before my very eyes so I could watch the blood ooze out of it slowly, and the beating flesh get smeared into the ground.

I’m not sure how I walked forward, ignoring whatever it was crunching below my feet. I sniffed, noticing something funny. My eyes grew wide. Gasoline.

“Brian?”

“Brian?”

I looked around, looking for the source of the voice…






“Brian?” A hand shook his shoulder, forcing his eyes to open. He jerked, staring over at Nick, his heart beating a mile a minute. “Huh?”

“Dude you fell asleep at the table and started snoring.”

“Oh…thanks Nick.”

The youngest and usually most hyper member of the group shot him a smile. Brian glanced down at the table. There sat his notebook, a song half written. He looked over and saw the guitar at his side. A smiled formed, as he decided now may be a good time to start writing. It’d get his mind off that weird dream he had.

“Briiiiiian, whatcha doooooing?”

“Trying to work on my solo album.”

“Are we there yet?”

“No.” He replied, and then froze. Nah, it couldn’t be could it? That was just coincidence.

“Are we there yet?”

“Nooooooooo!” AJ sang.

“Are we there yet?”

He glanced outside, his heart beat rising yet again as the bus came to a stop in the middle of the road.

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