All was quiet backstage until Lindsey turned up.
It was a rare occasion that her husband played a show so close to home. Well it was sometimes on the other side of the country, not that she minded in the slightest though, it gave Bandit a chance to see her Grandparents. And Lindsey would take any chance to see her husband play as she could.
Little Bandit would stay close to her Mother, shying away from anyone she didn’t know. That was until they reached the dressing room of her Father’s band.
“Daddy!” A very surprised Gerard looked up from that night’s set list to see his Jamia, his wife and his little daughter who ran across the small room to him. Scooping her up into his arms Gerard could smell her rosy aroma. “What are you doing here? I thought you guys were coming next week.” He put down his squirming daughter and hugged his wife, “Well we thought that we would surprise you boys.” He looked over at Frank who had Jamia in his arms, as if they hadn’t seen each other for eternity. "I missed you," and he grabbed Lindsey wishing that they could stay like that forever.
Lindsey wouldn’t always bring Bandit along to the shows, if she didn’t know the other band members well she felt uncomfortable enough without having to worry about Bandit too. Jamia was still reluctant to bring the twins to a show but since both Lindsey and Gerard were musicians it only felt right to bring Bandit along from a young age, and she loved it. Even though she complained of the noise half the time she was getting use into it. Often hiding in the storage crates she was handful to keep an eye on. But Lindsey always kept on saying to herself that it would be worth it in the end. She would have given anything to be able to grow up around a big touring life like this.
Most of the time little Miss Way would be cunning and slip away from her Mother’s watchful eye (mush like today) and try and find her uncle if he wasn’t in sight. Mikey was always watching for his little niece when she was at a show since she loved nothing more than to find his bass and try and play it without much success. Having no kids of his own and unsure if he and his wife ever would, many thought that he would have nothing to do with his older brother’s daughter. Those who truly knew Mikey knew that he adored Bandit and loved nothing more than to take her side stage when the opening acts were playing. She would point and giggle and get all excited as the crowd sang along, as if she wanted to join in. Mikey was sure that she would one day, she had too much of her father in her.
He returned to the dressing room with little B holding his hand where Frank and Ray were doing more vocal warm-ups. Of course little Bandit wanted to join in, with Frank taking over the baby sitting duties Mikey went to find his wife.
Having twin girls of his own Frank loved it when Bandit came to the shows. With Jamia still hesitant of bring them along he loved it when he got to show his best friend’s daughter around. And like every time she comes along he repeats the same thing over and over: next time she’ll have Cherry and Lily to play with. That’s still yet to happen but as time goes by he feels as if the more Lindsey and Gerard let Bandit come, the softer Jamia becomes. Frank pulls the little giggling girl onto his lap and hands her his guitar. He holds her tiny hands in his and gently strums away. She looks up at him and her eyes are wide with glee. Ray starts up the opening for Na Na Na and Frank helps little Bandit try and play along.
It was about half-way through when Gerard joins in the act, making Bandit smile and giggle like a kid in a candy store, and for her it was. Frank looks up to find a crowd gathering: Jamia stood against the doorway smile and mouthed, “Next time,” and gave a smile. Lindsey held a camera and was filming the two most important things in her life doing what they loved best.
Behind her Mikey had an arm around Alicia and by the smile on his face Frank guess he had finally talked some sense into her. About time too, they all knew how much Mikey loved little B and he would make the best father.
With her little dark ringlets and curious fingers Bandit was trying to play Frank’s guitar on her own. Not making as good of a noise she turned to her Uncle. “Can I?” she pointed to his sparkling silver bass that was leaning on the wall. Lindsey had gotten her own bass out a few times and with her kind Uncle letting her play too, Bandit was becoming a keen bassist. Of course she loved the bass more only because it was louder and made herself sound better. “Sorry B, maybe next time,” he leaned down and she came and gave him a cuddle. “But please Uncle Mikey,” she looked into his eyes. All that Mikey could see was a day back when he and Gerard were younger and Gerard was looking exactly like that because Mikey wouldn’t let him read his favourite comic book.
A lot of things had happened that day and that was what made Mikey go and get his bass for his niece to play. “What do you want to play B?” But the only response was little Bandit’s hand taking his and gently strumming making a deep rippling sound.
“Shouldn't Uncle Mikey be doing that to you,” Gerard said to his daughter. After looked up to her Uncle she smiled and said, “No I need to show him to play.” Laughter filled the small room as Bandit continued to show Mikey how to play his bass, as if he hadn’t been playing it for the past 10 years.
“You guys are on in 10,” a stagehand poked his head in the door and was off before anyone could blink. “Come on Bandit, time to leave Uncle Mikey to get ready,” Lindsey held out her hand but was shocked when her daughter walked straight past her to the father.
“Daddy, can I come with you?” He crouched down in front of his daughter.
“Bandit you know that I can’t let you come on stage when we’re performing. I really wish I could take you but it wouldn’t work.” Bandit's once gleeful smile fading and a tear started to form in her hazel eyes. “But I promise that I will take you on stage when you are old enough. You have a talent for being on stage and you will come on one day. You understand?”
She finally looked up into Gerard’s eyes and smiled, “You promise Daddy?” “I promise, with all my heart,” she took his hand in hers and followed the others to side stage.
Gerard kissed her little hand and went out on stage with the rest of the band.
Lindsey came out and pulled Bandit onto her lap, sitting in a spot that held the perfect view of the stage but so none of the audience could see them. With her little earmuffs on Bandit could do nothing more than to watch as her father sang his heart out to the sold out arena. As they got half way into the set Lindsey took off Bandit earmuffs and handed her a microphone. “This next song is dedicated to the most amazing little girl in my life. I promise you will get here one day honey.” As everyone started up The Kids From Yesterday only a few could hear as the little girl with a big dream spoke into the mic, “I love you Daddy.” Gerard turned and smiled at his little girl and blew her a kiss, a single tear rolled down his cheek as he sang out; a single tear of hope, love and a young girl’s dream.