Eternally Wild

A book inspired by and dedicated to Michael Hutchence

Excerpt

     “I guess this is the part where things get difficult.” He sighed. “I knew it might be hard to explain.”

     “Excuse me?”

      Quickly, he sat back up. “How big of a Lush fan were you?”

     “They were my favorite band during high school and college.”

     “Was Johnnie really your favorite?” He narrowed his eyes. “Or did you just say that to rattle me?”

     “Yes…” She laughed lightly. “And yes.”

     Looking away, he picked a dandelion and twirled it between his fingers. “We were always so competitive with one another. Seems so stupid now.”

     “Who?”

     “Johnnie and me.”

     “You know him? Is he okay? I tried to search for information about him after I met you, but I found nothing recent.”

     His gaze went skyward. “Yes, I know Johnnie. We’re like brothers. Went to school together…created together…”

     “Come on, you’re taking this lookalike thing way too seriously.”   She nudged his leg gently. “Wait. I’ve got it. They’re making a movie about the band, and you’re playing Caesar. That’s it, right?”

     “You think I’m an actor?”

     She scooted closer, examining his face. Reaching out, she brushed back the curls from his eyes. “Have you always looked like him? Or did they perm and color your hair to look like his?”

     Roughly, he grabbed her wrist. “Look at me, Melanie. Really look at me.”

     “How do you know my name?”

     “I know things.” He loosened his grip on her hand and rubbed her wrist gently.

     She gazed into his eyes. Deep, dark brown eyes that seemed to penetrate her soul. Over his left eye, a small scar. In the band’s early days, they’d played the bar circuit, and one night a drunk patron had thrown a bottle at…Caesar.

     Her hands flew to her mouth as she gasped. Timidly, she reached out again, her index finger softly stroking the scar.

     “A drunk idiot. Thank God all I got was a scar. He could have put my eye out. Rhett and Johnnie beat the shit out of him while Kurt took me to the hospital for stitches.”

     Grabbing his wrist, she slid his jacket and shirt sleeve up his arm. On his underarm, just above his wrist, a tattoo of an angel resided there, with Caesar’s mother’s name. Naomi. She died of cancer when he was twelve.

     “Want to see this one?” He unbuttoned his shirt, exposing his toned chest. Musical notes with a verse from Lush’s biggest hit were inked over his heart.

     This is crazy! He’s not Caesar. Why would I even consider that an option? Caesar is dead.

     As she touched the tattoo, she took a deep breath, then slowly exhaled. “Well, you’ve certainly taken fanboy to a whole new level.”

     He stroked the top of her hand. “How do I make you believe?”

     “What is there to believe? Caesar Blue is dead.”

     “True.”

     “At least we agree on something.”

     “Is it so hard to believe that I’m Caesar Blue?”

     “We just agreed Caesar is dead.”

     “Yes. I’m dead.”

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