The sun was shining. Not scorching, but one of those glorious hazy early summer days. Stevie picked up a patio chair and carried it to the bottom of the garden. His dad’s perfectly manicured lawn was like a cushion under his bare feet. He sat himself down under the big old chestnut tree. This was his spot, his favourite part of the garden. Far away from the house, no distractions, the perfect place to think. He craned his neck back and looked up at the blue sky. He was always overwhelmed by the vastness of it all.
He remembered back to when he was five years of age. His grandad had taken him by the hand and led him to this very spot. He could still hear the words in his head.
“Whenever you need to work things out little Stevie, this is where you should come. Just lay back, look up at that sky and think. Soon everything will fall into place.”
He didn’t understand back then what old grandad was talking about, but as he got older he realised just how wise those words were. This place inspired him and today he would need all the inspiration he could get. Today would be a turning point in his life. Today a decision had to be made.
His exam results had come through that morning and he’d got exactly what he’d expected. A 2 – 1 in Biomedical Science. He now had his degree. Not only that but he’d received the phone call he’d been waiting for. He’d just been offered a dream of a job in the laboratories at the new private hospital in East London.
All great news. But then there was the band.
The band was important. Possibly the most important thing in his life. He played lead guitar and sang lead vocals. He also wrote their songs. They were good, very good. At University they’d become quite an attraction and gained a big following. They played twice a week on campus and had a regular midweek slot in one of the nearby pubs. He was sure one day they would make it. Make it big.
But he couldn’t do both. Not a full time job and the band. One had to go. The other three band members were unanimous. They’d decided to put their careers on hold for a few years and concentrate full time on the band. Only Stevie had yet to decide.
They’d already been offered two regular gigs. Friday afternoon and Sunday evening at the Crown in Lewisham. Another pub was interested in having them on Saturday nights and there was also a chance of a Wednesday evening slot at the Lamb and Flag in Shoreditch.
No way could he work all week at the Lab and then evenings and weekends with the band. Impossible.
So the decision had to be made. Career or the band. His heart said Band but his head said Career. Jobs were scarce and he knew he’d beaten hundreds of other applicants to get the job. Starting salary was nearly thirty grand, five weeks paid holiday and private healthcare. Job of a lifetime. He’d be mad to decline it. Plus, what would Mum and Dad say?
Well, he knew what they’d say. They’d go mad. They’d supported him financially through three years at University. He couldn’t let them down, could he?
He kept staring upwards, waiting for something, anything, any kind of sign. But nothing, just lots of empty blue sky. There wasn’t even a cloud to focus on. He closed his eyes and thought of his dearly departed grandad. “Come on grandad, tell me what to do. I’m in your favourite spot at the bottom of the garden. You told me that if I looked up to the sky everything would fall into place. Please grandad, tell me what to do!”
He was brought back to reality by the sound of his mobile ringing. It was Robbie, the drummer in the band. He answered.
“Hello mate what’s happening.”
“Everything’s bloody happening that’s what. You’ve only gone and bloody done it with that song of yours.”
“Whoa, slow down Robbie, what you on about?”
“You know that song you wrote and then last week we filmed ourselves playing it and stuck it on YouTube?”
“It’s only had nearly a bloody million hits in the last forty eight hours.”
“You better not be winding me up Rob.”
“Serious man, some bloke from Gamma records has been on and wants us to meet him tomorrow. They fucking love the song Stevie, your bloody song.”
“Get your skates on mate we’re all meeting in the pub in an hour, this is it Stevie. This is it.”
He hung up. He remembered writing the song in exactly the place where he was now sitting just two weeks ago. Yep “Infinite Sky” was a good tune. He smiled and shouted aloud up at the sky.
“Thank you grandad. I’m gonna be a rock star!”