Black Veil Brides - 7 Minutes in Heaven: Minute 4Katherine recalls the seven best moments of her life with Ashley Purdy.
Before Ashley even got to his door, we could hear the dogs barking. Their claws clicked and scraped with all the fervor the little anxiety stricken babies could muster with their daddy on the other side. Ashley looked back at me and rattled the keys in his hand. “It’s the sound,” He explained, “They start barking when I’m at the other end of the hall.”
“It’s not that they can smell you? I mean, dogs can smell really well right?”
“Well typically, yeah, but I doubt they can smell me at that distance. My theory? I think I have a pattern they recognize. I’ve tested it out. I walk up the stairs the same way every time and take out my keys at the top. I shake ‘em all the way to the door. That’s how they know it’s me. I’m certain.”
“Ah, that’s cool. I probably have a similar pattern and Karma greets me too, but she just rubs on my legs. I’m pretty sure she’s only asking for food though.”
He laughed, “Nothing like having someone to welcome you at home, right?” He stuck his key in the door.
“Right.” My thoughts went back to my house when I got home and Ashley was there with Karma to say welcome back. It was definitely nice to have someone there to come back too. I’d lived alone the last year, so I guess I’d just forgotten what it was like to have someone there.
Ashley opened the door and it was like watching little furry tornadoes whirling around his feet. “Tokyo! Killer! Hi guys. Did you miss me?” Their little bodies wiggled until I was sure they’d fall apart. “You can come in Kat.”
“Thanks.” It was difficult to know where to step, because where an empty space would be one second, it would be filled with excited, tiny feet and wagging tails the next. Seeing my dilemma, Ashley picked up the boys to cradle one in each arm and I thought he looked a little contradictory in that moment, with his tattoo covered arms holding two very cute, furry little creatures. They licked his face covered in black eyeliner and whimpered in happiness. His silky, black hair was currently smoothed down, but I had seen it spiked and wild before. Also, knowing his personality, the way he flirted and partied and seeing his stage image in pictures, gave a strikingly opposite image to what I was seeing now.
“Sit wherever you like. I have to feed these little guys and run through the house… make sure they haven’t left me any gifts.” Ashley said with a smile and a wink.
“Ah, okay.” I laughed, “Take your time! I’ll just sit over here with Marilyn.” I perched lightly on Ashley’s white couch right underneath a large portrait of Marilyn Monroe. My attention was immediately drawn to the art choice around the room. He had classic tastes with modern touches. I didn’t know if Ash decorated himself or had someone else do it, but I felt like I was in a home that could visually entertain me for hours. The furniture was bravely white for having animals and the bits of metal or chrome furniture and decorative pieces gave an air of modernism, but could easily have a fifties diner feel as well. The art on the walls, including the surrealistic painting of Marilyn Monroe completed the modern fifties feel.
This was so interesting! I suppose, with Ashley being a guy in a screamo-metal rock band, I imagined him living in a darker atmosphere with black, leather furniture, and elements fitting for a biker bar. I honestly expected a semi-dirty/disorganized place with clothes lying around including boxers and a bra or two. I wouldn’t have been surprised to see posters of the ladies from Sports Illustrated magazines, swimsuit editions or porn stuffed between the couch cushions, plastic ware and paper plates overflowing in the trashcan or a refrigerator abundantly stocked with alcohol.
This place was clean, and bright and open. It was big too which made me wonder if Ashley had more money than he had been letting on. He had big windows and hardwood floors in the kitchen. Lights decorated places that I wouldn’t even think to put lights, being the poor and moderate college student that I was. The carpet was also a relatively light shade… and clean! What sort of nut-job lived with a light colored, non-printed carpet with dogs in the house?! Did he keep this up all by himself? I suspected a maid.
“Admiring the view?”
I jumped with a quickly beating heart and turned to look at Ashley who had just emerged from the hallway.
“Er, yeah, kinda.”
He sat next to me and propped his feet up on the stainless steel and glass coffee table, with Killer and Tokyo close behind. So much for food. They must have missed him too much to eat. “Kinda? Is there something you can’t admire?”
I slapped him on the arm, to which he playfully shoved me in return, “Conceded much?” I laughed. “I like your house, I was just trying not to sound creepy by saying, ‘Yes, oh my god, I love your house! It says so much about you. Show me more!’ Or would you rather I stroke your ego.”
“Honestly? I’d rather you stroke my ego. It does feel pretty good.” He sent me an extremely suggestive look. “Tell me what you like about my house.”
He smiled at me shamelessly.
“Okay, then.” I looked around his house, “I… like… this Marilyn Monroe painting. Surrealistic. Fifties-modern?”
“Yeah, Marilyn was an original beauty, in my opinion. She had classic appeal. She was sexy, but it wasn’t messy, you know? Clean, fresh… I want to say pure.” His brow furrowed and he looked at me sideways, “Kind of like you actually.”
That raised a brow. “You think I’m sexy?”
“Oh definitely,” He said, “but it’s like a sexy I shouldn’t have. You’re out of my reach.”
“Intriguing.” I pursed my lips in thought, “Why?”
He smiled, “Don’t you want to keep stroking my ego?”
“Not after you drop something like that on me! Come on. Why am I- ‘a sexy you shouldn’t have’? Why am I out of your reach?”
He shrugged and rose from the couch, “Want to see the rest of the house? I could show you my music room.”
“You’re avoiding the question.” I argued, “Why’d you bring it up?”
“Hey, I’ll play you my guitar.”
“Seriously? You’re doing this?”
“Did I tell you I can sing?”
He really wasn’t going to budge, but I had to be impressed with his ability to withhold information. Ashley offered me his hand, which I took, and pulled me towards the kitchen. “You can’t tell me something like that and expect me not to ask questions.”
He squinted and handed me a whiskey glass from the cupboard, “Sorry?”
I accepted the glass, “I’m sure you are.”
I sighed. Okay, so he slipped and said something he didn’t want too. Unfortunately, he didn’t know a couple things about me. One, I was a very curious person. Once something interesting was on my radar, I tended to pursue it until I figured it out. Lumi hated that about me because there had been moments in our history where she’d tried to keep a secret from me; a surprise birthday party, the fact that my prom dress made my butt look fat, but she was a bad liar, so I always knew when she was hiding something. I was usually able to get the truth from her.
The second thing Ashley didn’t know about me and I hoped he’d be okay with, was that I was competitive. When people kept things from me I considered it a challenge. It was the equivalent of saying, ‘I know something you don’t know and I’m not telling you what it is. You can’t make me.’ Secrets were just begging me to uncover them.
For these reasons, I fought the urge to dig at Ashley. He obviously didn’t want to reveal all his thoughts to me right now. That was fine. It would be better if I didn’t force it out of him right now anyway and disturb this “New Friend” balance we had going. Maybe I could try again later, when we knew each other better?
“Okay, show me around. Play me your guitar. I promise to stroke your ego the whole time.”
“The whole time? Katherine, you’re so generous.” He flashed me that charmingly wicked grin just before he stuck his head in the fridge to scout out some drinks. He came back out with a bottle of juice, tequila and some red syrup flavoring.
I pointed to the orange juice and held out my glass. “Yeah, I’m a generous soul…” He popped in some ice cubes and filled my glass half way with juice, “Were you serious about singing?”
“Yeah,” He poured some tequila into his glass and mixed in the orange juice and grenadine syrup, “You really didn’t know that?”
“I only met you a few days ago Ash. Should I know this?”
He shrugged, “I guess I thought you knew since you’ve known Jake a while.”
“He never told me you could sing and I thought Andy was the singer. He and Lumina told me you all were in a band called Black Veil Brides and introduced me to your music. I listened to it. I like it and I guess that was it. Since I’d never met the rest of you, I suppose I didn’t look into it much further. I heard a lot about Andy, ‘cause Lumi and her mom talk about him all the time, but I didn’t know much about the rest of you until I met you. ”
Ashley looked basically confused at this, “So wait. Are you a fan of Black Veil Brides?”
“Of the music, yeah. I’ve known Jake a while, so I’m a fan of his epic guitar skills and I have loads of respect for Andy because of what I’ve learned through Lumi, but I don’t know much about you guys besides that.”
He stopped stirring his drink, “Are you serious?”
A laugh started to build over his confusion. There was obviously something I missed. “I’m serious! Why are you looking at me like that?”
He searched my face a moment before he shook his head in amazement. “Well shit…” He said, “That explains so much!”
“Like how I was oblivious to the fact that you all were more than what I heard from Jake and Lumi before I met you?” I stared at him, starting to feel a little stupid.
“Yeah, kind of.” He shook his head and resumed his stirring. I barely noticed when he traded his drink for mine and filled my glass with vodka and more orange juice. “I mean… there’s that, but I’m surprised Jake didn’t introduce you to us a long time ago.” He sipped at what used to be my drink. “Do you know how big we are?”
I paused, not saying anything because I was starting to feel a little clueless. The basic image I’d come to assume of Black Veil Brides was feeling less and less clear the more I talked with Ashley “Famous?” I guessed.
“Very.” He nodded.
I frowned, “How did I not know this?”
“Lumina’s fan girl crush on Andy didn’t give it away?”
“I’ve seen her fan girl like this over guys at school! I didn’t question it!”
“What about the party? You didn’t notice all the groupies?”
I thought back to all the girls hanging all over Ashley in the pool, the crowd surrounding Andy and Jinxx, the people asking Jake for autographs or people asking Christian to show off his drum skills. At the time, I thought that Black Veil Brides was starting to get big. I thought, ‘good for them’. I didn’t think they were really famous. I recalled Sammi Doll talking about the band going on tour. I thought it was just small city, big town type stuff. I thought they were an emerging group.
“How did I not connect this?”
“I don’t know, but if you’re a fan of Jake and Andy, but not me, we’ve really got to even out the balance.” He laughed, and gulped the rest of his drink, “This is kind of weird. I haven’t had to tell anyone I was in a famous band in a long time. Either, I meet fans, or I meet haters, or I meet other bands who don’t care either way.”
“Well, I’m sure there are a lot of people who don’t know who you are.”
“Oh, of course, but there’s no way, anyone who are longtime friends of the members of our group, could possibly not know about our band.”
That was probably true. If they were really as big as he said, I should have known this from Jake… and Lumina. Could they also have assumed I knew about this band too? Was I really that ignorant?
“You know,” I said and sipped at the concoction Ashley had made for me, “Now that I think of it, Jake didn’t invite me to that party where I met you guys. He always invites me…”
“No he doesn’t.”
I looked back at Ashley who was staring intently at me. “What?”
“There have been several parties at his house over the years that he hasn’t invited you too, and I know that because I’ve never seen you at any of those parties when the band has been over.”
“Did he think I wouldn’t like you guys?”
“Dunno… I’ll have to mention this to him, though. It’s all kind of weird.”
“Yeah…” I handed Ashley my empty glass.
“More?” He asked, taking my glass. I shook my head and leaned away from the island counter in the middle of the kitchen.
“I’m good. You should definitely even out the playing field and show me your awesome guitar playing skills though. I’m obviously behind on my BVB knowledge and you should catch me up.”
“Ah, yes!” He said, coming around to meet me on the other side of the island, “My skills. It disturbs me to know you are unfamiliar with them. I’ll have to fix that.”
“Yes please!” I said, attempting to lather on the admiring fan girl act. “I feel so neglected not having your musical talent to brighten my dim Purdy-less world.” I pouted and pulled off my best puppy dog eyes, “You should sing for me. I promise my life won’t be complete without it.”
His eyes darted to my mouth and then to my eyes. For a second, I thought he looked seriously affected with the way his smile relaxed and his eyes got that extreme focus. I was temporarily impressed by my own acting skills, but then he huffed and rolled his eyes to the dogs staring up at us a couple feet away in front of the hallway. “Now that was just sarcastic.”
I laughed and blushed.
“I mean come on. Are you serious?”
I tried to cover my giggles with a cough or two but my smile wouldn’t leave my face, “Actually I was serious. I do want to hear you play your guitar and sing,” I danced a little closer to him in hopes that he’d see the sincerity in my eyes? Could people see sincerity on a person’s face? I hoped so. “I was trying to…” I raised my hands to form quotation marks, “stroke your ego,” I shrugged, “…but I’m a bad actress.”
The look on his face was a cross between shock and feigned grief, “Oh… Wow! So you’re not impressed with me at all?! You’re just acting.”
“No, I just came on too strong! It was baaad!”
He laughed at me and I hit him on the shoulder.
“Shut up and just show me around your house!”
“You promise your life won’t be complete without it?” He couldn’t stop laughing.
“No, no. Tell me how neglected you feel without my musical talent to brighten your dim Purdey-less world.” Even the dogs started to join in upon seeing their master laughing so much. They wagged their little tails and yipped.
I turned and acted like I was going to leave, but Ashley grabbed me by the arm and pulled me down the hall towards his music room. He continued to laugh and hugged me as if to say, ‘It’s all good.’ Honestly, I wasn’t really upset by his teasing. It was just too fun to play along with him and he even responded back like I hoped. I loved having friends who I could tease who would tease me back. It was hard to have fun with people who took life and relationships too seriously. Those people simply couldn’t laugh. I suppose, I regarded the people who could laugh with me to be people I’d be more willing to be close too. So far Ashley was nice to laugh with and that made me feel closer to him.
I liked it.
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