Robert and Jonesy couldn't help but to stare into her eyes, them reflecting the sun, piercing inside them. But around those bright eyes were dark vivid lines. Formed from sleepless nights, endless work, sorrow and pain that she's been spending years trying to put behind her. Yet no one would ever know...
"Hi." Jonesy was the first to speak to Dianne, who looked at the grass below.
"You from around here?" She asked, trying to get that timid look off her face. The one thing she hasn't lost as a child was being so shy in front of strangers, not getting along well with much of the other college students or anyone at her job for that matter.
"No...but it's beautiful here. Seems like a great place to live." He continued.
"Oh...where you from then?" She asked, trying to keep some conversation going.
"England...we kinda move around a lot though." Robert interrupted, something about this girl looked oddly familiar...
"Really? Me too! I wanted so badly to stay but we had to move after the divorce...it's a long story really." She said, quickly turning her head away from the two.
"Us too...it's been forever since we've been back there. Seen our own families...slept in our own beds. God I miss that place..." Robert trailed off in his thoughts, getting flashbacks of those large forests he'd love to run in, that massive backyard where he still used imagination to fight the forces of evil...
"I'd go back if I had the money." She said, laying back down on the grass.
"We have the money, but we're sorta stuck here."
"Why is that?"
"We have a lot to do, places to go...many places to stop and many who expect us to be there. We can't just leave them and head to England, as much as we may of like to."
"That's too bad...you planning to head there after that?"
"It will be a few months, but afterwards that will be the first thing we'll do."
"Take me with you!" She said with a smile. Dianne looked up at Robert. His curly blonde hair, deep blue eyes. She's seen him somewhere before long ago...she knew she had. He had that childlike look that seemed so familiar.
"So you say you're from England?" She continued.
"Full blooded Brits."
"...What school did you go to?" She approached the front man with that lost look in her eye.
"I went to a lot of different schools actually...but the first one I recall is this boys grammar school. There were some girls who went there too-" That's when he stopped. That girl, the first one who approached him. The first friend he ever made, ever had. The first girl who fought for him outside. That long red hair, those sparkling eyes...
"NO! YOU'RE DIAMOND! MY GOD, IT'S BEEN YEARS!" He said, running and squeezing her so tight she was lifted feet in the air.
"Please...let me breathe..." She laughed as Robert let her go.
"You! I knew you looked familiar...you were the first boy I ever met. The first decent one, too. Your name...come on I have this one..."
"It's Robert. Well, my friends call me Percy or Robbie...but you can call me by any name. But Diamond...I like that a lot. You still go by that?"
"Well sometimes...not really...but it doesn't really matter anymore." She said.
"It should! What are you doing now?"
"I work two jobs, go to college, try to manage decent grades...looking for something to pursue that I like and nothing really fits..."
"I'm sure you'll find something. You must have a passion for something...everyone does."
"I lost mine years ago..."
"What can make you lose that?!"
"When my parents split, my world went with them. So did the love, the will to pursue any of the dreams I had when I was young..."
"You remember what they were?"
"I used to play instruments...a lot of them. My favorite was the flute. The recorder. You remember me playing it in music class, right?"
"Oh yes! You were the best in the class...everyone was jealous because you always got the biggest part!" He laughed.
"Well...I quit playing awhile ago. I don't listen to music much either...that was all I did when I was young."
"It's never too late...there's still time to go any route you choose. I say pick that recorder back up and see the magic that happens."
"It's not that easy Robert..."
"You never know...in fact, Jonesy did you manage to bring any of your instruments with you?"
"I have them all back in the hotel...just hope they're not all drenched from yesterday."
"I think Bonzo will have someone clean all that up if some manager didn't do it already...our instruments will survive anything. We know that already."
"Well it's been nice seeing you again Robert but I have to get back to-" Robert grabbed her arm.
"Listen...we may be able to work something out. Just hang with us for a bit...Jonesy here will buy you lunch."
"Come on...she's a deep friend of mine. The first one I laid eyes on. The one that I still have the memories of..."
"You know we have a lot to do tonight...the gig's in less than a week."
"We already have the set list and everything, it's not as if we haven't gone through those songs a thousand times before."
"He'll get here when he gets here. Don't worry about them. They will always be...it's not every day when you see a long lost friend from way back when..."
"Yeah, I get it. I don't think it'll matter much to them anyway." Jonesy looked at the girl who paced around in circles, unsure of whether to leave the boys to themselves or to stay for awhile longer.
"I need to go.."
"Where?" Robert persisted her to stay, and in a way he was right. She knew it. Where would she really go from here? Continue on the hell of a life she was living, or just take the day off with her best friend from grade school? The boy who welcomed her when everyone else had turned away? She said nothing, but followed the boys down the hill, down the street. Into an abandoned hotel in the middle of the city.
"Come on! I must introduce you to my family!" Robert led the girl up the flight of stairs into their room, on their balcony sat Bonzo and Jimmy Page with bags of groceries and cases of beer.
"ROBERT, WHO THE HELL DID YOU BRING IN THIS TIME?! We have no time for this now..." Screamed Jimmy when he saw the girl, her backing away and glancing up at Robert.
"It's okay, Jimmy. She's a friend...a real one. I've known her for years and I swore I would never see her again..."
"Oh...sorry to scare you like that, then." He continued to strum his guitar, Bonzo staring out in the city.
"Way to welcome in new guests, Jimmy." Robert scoffed and turned to Dianne.
"Jimmy's had a bit of a hard time since arriving here...but out there are him and my friend John Bohnam, but everyone just calls him Bonzo. You can too. Oh, and that other man you saw was John Paul Jones, but he prefers Jonesy. He's more of the quiet one of us all."
"I'll try to remember those names...they're all sorta strange."
"Different...but so are we. Normal people are boring anyway, aren't they? You live a fulfilling life by going out and taking risks...doing things out of the ordinary. Living each day like it's your last..."
"That's hard when every day is just work, stress...living hell if you ask me."
"See? Those lines under your eyes...looks like you haven't eaten in awhile either."
"Yeah, but that's not a problem. What are we here for anyway?"
"We have a lot of things back here we experience with...you said you had that passion for music. I wanted to get to know you better, give you that will. Life...music IS life! You need it back..."
"It's been too long...I can't play. Sing..."
"You don't know that until you try! Please do it...for me." He said, heading into Jonesy's room and grabbing a silver flute, handing it to the girl who's hands were shaking like mad.
"I can't do this Robert."
"Just play anything. I've never touched one before, but your hands...they did miracles. Those notes were so lovely...you were only a small girl and you played better than the people I saw on stages!"
"That's not true...it's okay. Thanks for showing me your friends and stuff, but it's much too late for this."
"I'll do anything...just play a few notes...think of something and express it through that sound..."
"I...-" She closed her eyes and imagined herself as that young, free spirited girl in music class, playing that flute. The other kids and teacher staring in awe as she would match the pitches perfectly on a single try, playing songs by ear that she had never heard before. Those sweet songs that she hadn't heard in forever.
That one song on the radio. The one where that man understood how painful life was, his cries out to the world, those same feelings...she still never knew what it was or who sang it, but as touching as it was she still remembered it. Her lips reaching the instrument on their own, her fingers curved around it; she began to play the first few bars, the singer staring in awe. She shocked herself in doing something she hadn't for
over a decade...but she missed this more than anything. Tears began to swell, everything she had she put in this song...whatever it was. It seemed as Robert did as he started to sing some of the words.
"My tears they fell like rain...don't you hear...don't you hear them falling...don't you hear...don't you hear them falling?" He pleaded, her fingers moving faster, the song building in intensity.
"Since I've Been Loving You...I'm about to lose...my worried mind." And that voice. That cry of brokenness that sounded so alike, resembled everything she heard. All the instruments, this group of friends, enough money to travel the world and England...this was more than just some men who hung out together for fun.
"You knew this song..." She said after she finished, Robert standing in disbelief and amazement.
"I wrote it."