There she was.
Drunk and delectable, trashy and delicate, tough and sweet, elegant and slutty. Courtney Love, kinderwhore queen of alternative rock, riot grrrl, and some grunge, was making a beeline for me.
She hated me.
Well, “hate” was both a strong and weak word. She would only support me with music—often she bitched at me about not having talent, even though I could play both drums and guitar, and I could actually sing, thanks—and against the Establishment. Everything else was just short of war. I was Frances' godfather, though, despite her protests, and I had a thing for bassist, Mel.
Ah, Mellissa. Quite different from the angry harlot that appeared oddly calm as she elbowed her way through the throngs of alternative rock stars.
We always put on a good show for Mel. Signed was an unspoken truce, and any time the girl was around, we made nice until she left for popcorn or a drink, and then we'd be back to ripping each other's throats.
Today was nothing different, I would suppose? I blinked and suddenly she was before me.
“David,” Courtney said curtly—or was that kurt-ly? She was wearing a cream-coloured lace dress that was practically see-through, bright red lipstick like a fire fighter, and a hairstyle that was the lovechild between Siouxsee Sioux and an albino ostrich.
“Courtney,” I answered, politely enough, instinctively tensing as I set my drink on the bar's counter. The last thing that I needed to do was drench Courtney in beer. Last time that happened, her dress became honestly see-through—and she was intoxicated enough to indulge the crowd—and my mother wouldn't talk to me for a week on accusations of being “un-chivalrous.”
“Look, David,” continued Courtney, coming close in a manner that was just short of either affectionate or seductive. She paced a gentle hand on my shoulder and took a deep, shaky breath before looking up at me with those piercing, inquiring eyes, whose irises fell somewhere between mint and pistachio.
“How about a truce, all right?”
My jaw dropped a little.
“Taken aback” was not quite the correct phrase. After numerous bar brawls—well, more like heated disagreements—and name-calling to rival Beverly Hills: 90210, she wanted a truce? I opened my mouth to say something, to say anything, but, in typical Courtney fashion, she cut me off before I could get a word in, waving her hands around like a mad woman.
“For Frances, okay? And Mellissa, because, well, she really likes you, you know? Of course you do, you conceited fuck.” Courtney playfully punched me on the arm before her own dropped to her side. “And for—” Her voice faltered, fresh waves of grief that had been suppressed for a year and a half escaping her control. I knew what was coming for I had faltered often when faced with mustering up enough courage to even speak his name.
“Kurt, you know?” Courtney nodded, trembling slightly, but now over that stumbling block. “It's probably, um—” She hiccupped and let out a short, sharp laugh. “Killing him to see us at each other's throats. He's probably up in heaven, screaming `shut the fuck up already before I come down and kick your sorry conceited asses!'”
At that, I couldn't help but laugh, and she gave me a half-smile, and I felt a pang of—what was it? — camaraderie? I returned her smile, for I felt in my heart that it was genuine.
She gave my arm a quick squeeze before offering “Let's start over, then?”
I nodded. “Agreed.”
For the first time in my life, that night, I did what was once unthinkable and repulsive. I leaned in and received Courtney's honest embrace.