Battle Born MC, Las Vegas Chapter
The bass vibrates through the room from the loud speakers and devours the crowded, loud bar. I help Jenn, my sister, by holding her hand as she walks up the steps in her stripper heels. She walks into the lights of the stage and in front of the mic like she’s ready to lay her soul bare out there for the crowd. The guys catcall for the blonde, dark queen dressed in all black leather as she waits for me to set up. I stand off to the side and pick up my guitar, then place the strap over my head and around my back.
Jenn closes her eyes, scrunching them shut, and bobs her head ever so slightly to the drums that begin to tap out the beat. My fingers hit the strings of my bass guitar. The first cords I play are to Zombie by The Cranberries, and, soon, Jenn starts belting out the lyrics. Her eyes pop open, the darkness she excludes absorbing the crowd not only with her intense brown eyes, but also with the pain that’s so raw, the bar quiets down, and her deep tone seeps into each one of them. Her voice is like an intoxicating drug.
Her husband, Saint, from the Battle Born MC in Reno, sits up front and center with his cut on, and his arms crossed over his chest. He matches her intensity, his electrifying gaze not only matching her depth into hell, but also his love. She spears him with her eyes, and the connection they always have is felt around the room. Each person in the bar looks to her and then to him, clearly seeing who they are to each other.
Jenn comes down once a month to do a set with us, and every time she delivers a knockout set. She’s been through so much more than me, and I respect her for it. Music is her escape from the darkness she’s endured that continually tries to pull her under.
After the song ends, she and I take turns singing separately, and some songs we sing together.
I’m standing in front of the mic as Jenn prepares to join the band for the final song. She picks up her guitar, throwing the strap across her body at the same time that I start belting out the lyrics of Forgiveness. I hadn’t been planning on this to be the final song. It is a piece I wrote a while ago as I was thinking back to a time when I was young, and memories started flooding my head.
When we were young, and I had you.
When I had the right to hold your hand and kiss you goodnight.
If only you could forgive the boy I was and love the man who wants to be with only you.
Only to be with you…
I hear a glass shattering in the crowd and see a girl with bright red hair hustling through the crowd and out the door. Instinct takes over. I jump from the stage with my heart hammering in my chest. It knows that it’s her, my forgiveness.