Two steaming bows of broccoli cheddar soup and two bows of salad sat opposite of each other on the smallest circle table in Panera Bread. With a cup of tea and a coffee, it could have easily been mistaken for a cozy date, but instead of a couple, my best friend Sarah sat opposite me. We were both too well-dressed for Panera: Sarah was in a pair of bright lilac cropped jeans with black sequin tank, and I was wearing snakeskin print jeggings with a burnt orange racerback tank. Where would be headed to all dressed up? A concert of course.
Thick dark clouds kept cutting off the sunlight that was inconsistently pouring through the window right by our table made me wish I had waterproofed my makeup.
Tonight was The Fray and Kelly Clarkson. We were mostly going for The Fray. Sarah had lived on their new album all year, and had gotten me hooked on their newest songs in the process. We had gotten these tickets only a few weeks after we had gotten our Coldplay tickets many months ago, and had spent the past three days hyping The Fray.
We took our time eating our dinner, out of the three concerts this was the only one where it was just the two of us and it felt good to slow down and move at our own pace. We had pavilion seats, so there was no rush to go and get a good spot on the lawn like we did for Train, and we didn't need to add in an extra hour to drink and preparty like we did for Coldplay. By the time we got on the road and the highway took us north, a steady rain had started. From the warmth inside of the car, I was glad I had ditched my original corset dress for pants and my leather jacket. This was Michigan: I had worn shorts in March and broke out the leather in August.
When we arrived at the theatre, I regretted not throwing an umbrella in the back of my new Ford escape.
"I don't even want to get out of the car," I sighed, watching everyone else walk up in sweatshirts and those disgusting plastic ponchos.
"Thank God we don't have lawn seats," Sarah said, "I'm putting my jacket over my head."
"So much for curling my hair," I said, taking one last look at the loose curls.
Jackets over our heads, we hurried to the entrance.
"Hey look, its 93.9, we used to listen to them all the time at work before we got evicted," Sarah said, pointing out a red booth.
"I do find it rather funny that you guys got evicted, I mean it sucks you're out of a job, but to pay absolutely no rent for over a year, what was your boss thinking?" I mused as my eyes slid across the radio station booths set up near the entrance. The thought crossed my mind for a fraction of a second, but no, it was impossible, it was-
"-If I wasn't going up to school-"
The green tent. 98.7, the radio station Ian worked for-
"-I would be pissed-"
Tall, short cropped dark hair, there was no mistake.
"Ian!" I hissed suddenly, cutting off Sarah mid sentence, and without further explanation I tore off across the entrance, "Ian!" I called louder as I neared the lime green tent, my leather jacket keeping the total downpour of rain from drenching me.
The tall guy turned from where he was standing outside the tent, "Hey!" he threw an arm around me in a hug as I reached him, "What are you doing here? Are you going to the concert."
No, I'm actually stalking you, what else would I be doing an hour away from home all dressed up? "Of course, I love The Fray, suckish night for it though," I ducked back under the cover of my jacket.
"Yeah, we're packing up," he nodded to where he was untying something on the tent, "You got lawn seats?"
"Pavillion, I wouldn't actually be here if I had lawn seats," I scrunched up my nose at the thought.
"Nice," he smiled, "You going to Jennifer's thing later?"
"Yeah, I'm making an appearance after the concert," Other than the concert of another favorite band, tonight was my other best friend Jen's birthday party, "So, I'll see you later tonight then?"
"Let me know how the concert is," Ian said.
"I'm getting out of this rain, I'll talk to you later," I replied, my heart pounding in pure shock.
"See you tonight!"
I turned and caught up with Sarah, who was staring at me from near the entrance, "Was that...?"
"What is my luck?" I cried out loud as soon as we were out of earshot, "Ian comes back from his summer in London and I run into him in the pouring rain totally on accident? Sarah, I had the perfect entrance to Jen's party planned: We would be more than fashionably late, I was bringing a hot friend," I motioned to her, "My hair would be windswept and I would have that post-concert glow. It was going to be the first time Ian saw me in a social situation, and I would make a brilliant impression, but this? No!"
"I can't believe it!" Sarah echoed.
"I'm in complete and total shock right now! Of course, its pouring rain, and my hair is gross, and I've got my leather jacket over my head for Chanel's sake!"
"Ok calm down!" Sarah said with a laugh.
"Can my luck ever get any worse!" I moaned as we found our seats under the pavilion, "I will actually introduce you to him when we get to Jen's, it's slightly important that my best friend meets the only guy I've ever hooked up with," I said with a dark laugh.
The opening band was shit. It gave me perfectly enough time to get my shock in check before Kelly Clarkson took the stage. I felt like I was 12 years old again, dancing around my room to my 'Breakaway' cd, as Sarah and I danced around and sang the lyrics at the tops of our lungs like total fools. I hadn't expected her part of the concert to be as fun as it was, but by the time she finished, Sarah and I both concluded that Kelly and the two of us could actually be good friends. We would be friends mostly on the account of the 'orange creamsicle' drinks Kelly was enjoying during her performance.
And then The Fray came out.
They played my favorite song, 'Turn Me On' and I danced like I had never danced before.
And then they plated Sarah's favorite song, 'Rainy Zurich' and she screamed so loudly when it began I thought my hearing would never recover.
And when they played one of their old hits, Sarah and I were screaming the lyrics so passionately that the middle school girl in front of us turned and blatantly stared at us.
Like we actually gave a fuck.
Then they began some ballad from their newest album, and Issac, the lead singer, came into the crowd to sing it, and he sang RIGHT OUTSIDE OUR ROW. We were literally less than a foot from him, I thought Sarah and I were both going to pass out. It was incredible, we both even touched him!
I never wanted it to end, but we had another party to get to, and the excitement didn't end when the lights turned back on.