The trip back to the hotel was only about ten miles from the stadium, and I had begun telling Joe bits and pieces of my story. I’ve always had a way of pouring my heart out to total strangers, but If let like I knew him. I was especially at ease talking to him.
There were hundreds of girls screaming when the limousine pulled up in front of the fancy hotel. Police officers lined the walkway to the inn, and once Joe got out of the lim, he offered his hand to help me out. When the girls saw me, they booed. It was embarrassing, yet a little flattering, but it didn’t cheer me up at all.
“Ignore them, Lori,” Joe said loudly so I could hear. “They’re just jealous.”
This was strange to me. No one had ever been jealous of me before, but I just blocked the unfriendly shouts out of my mind. The busboy took my bag from Joe, and led us into the tall building. We were greeted by a man I’d seen on television and in books many times: Peter Work, the tour manager for the Kids. He quickly took Joe and me into the nearest conference room.
“Who’s this, Joe?”
“This is Lori. She was sitting on the curb at the stadium when I went back to get my jacket. Her parents kicked her out, and she needs a place to stay. I thought I’d help her out as much as I could.”
“Hi,” I said quietly, because the look on his face wasn’t exactly what you would call friendly.
“She’s from the streets? Are you crazy?”
“No, she’s not ‘from the streets.’ She’s only fifteen, and she got kicked out last night because she went to see our show when her parents had grounded her from going.”
“Well, I don’t know, Joe,” said Peter.
“I’m really sorry to cause problems. I’ll be back on the streets as soon as you leave anyhow. I don’t need to stay here,” I offered, not meaning a word of what I had just said.
“You’re not going anywhere, Lori. Peter, we’re going to find her a job.”
“I don’t know, Joe. I’d expect Donnie to do something risky like this; not you. By the way, he and Danny are out looking for you. Your mom missed a call from you tonight. She’s worried about you.”
“C’mon, Lori. Let’s go call my mom.”
We went up the elevator to the fourteenth floor. There were police all over that hallway.
“Is she with you, sir?” one of the officers questioned.
“Yes, she is,” Joe said politely.
We walked to room 149 and went in. A cool breeze hit me as the door opened, and the smell of leather filled the room.
“You can take a shower or something if you’d like. I gotta call my mother,” Joe offered.
“Okay,” I said. I had to get out of these clothes. After all, theses were the same clothes I had sweated and cried in hours ago at the concert.
AFter I got out of the shower, I put on a pair of shorts and a t-shirt since it was almost 6:00 by now. When I walked out of the bathroom, Donnie Wahlberg and Danny Wood were talking to Joe. All three of them looked at me, so I figured I’d interrupted them.
“Sorry,” I said. “Do you want me to go back in there?”
This story was written when I was in high school. I am now the author of the women’s fiction series, Emi Lost & Found. Read the first 2.5 chapters of the first book, Lost and Found, on Amazon.com! Lost and Found, Time Stands Still, and Never Look Back are available in paperback, or for your Kindle reader and Nook!