The Cell Phone Story

The Farewell
The Return
Thanks and Dedication

"The Zephyr Song"

Fly away on my zephyr
I feel it more than ever
And in this perfect weather
We'll find a place together

Eleven months into the tour and they finally know where she lives, who she is, when she was born, and how many death threats it will take to unglue her. She can feel the thread sliding from her seams as she lifts the cell phone from her pocket with one hand, dialing the digits to a familiar number as the other shaking hand holds the last of the recent, threatening messages.

Fan backlash. He'd warned her and she'd shrugged him off, but it hurts now and she needs to hear his voice, needs to hear him say that it doesn't matter and that he doesn't think she's half as horrible as their letters make her out to be.

A month ago, they didn't even know about her. Now, they hate her and it's all she can do to summon the energy not to hate herself.


His voice brings forth the tears that she couldn't cry only moments earlier. "Nick?"

"Baby? Sam? Are you okay? What's going on?"

She closes her eyes so as not to stare at the large, looming "BITCH" written on the back windshield of her car. "I'm...I'm...God, Nick, I'm sorry to bother you in the middle of the day like this..."

He shakes his head at the men beside him and walks into a corner to hear her better. "It's fine. Sam? It's fine, baby. Just tell me what's wrong."

"It's...they...dammit, Nick, they know about me!"

His voice is full of the calm that she long ago lost control of. "Who knows about you, Sammy?"

"Your freaking fans!"

"Shit." He closes his eyes and runs a hand over his face. "What happened?"

"Letters, threats, you name it."

"How long has this been going on?"

"A few weeks. Maybe more. But someone got inside the gate, Nick. Someone got inside the gate, and now they've branded me as a bitch with shoe polish and my nice little Toyota Camry."

Shit. "Baby, I'm so sorry..."

"Nick, what happened? What did I do to make them hate me so much?"

He sighs and closes his eyes against the pain in her voice and the tears he knows are sliding down her cheeks. "Nothing, honey. They're just jealous because you're the one I go home to."

"But they make it so personal..."

"It's not about you, baby. It's about me, okay? Trust me, if they knew me, they wouldn't care who I went home to."

She sniffles. "Stop. Don't insult yourself to make me feel better. This isn't about you, this is about the fans leaving shit on our doorstep."

"I'm sorry, Sam." Despite the apology, his heart soars at the fact that she won't let him continue down the path of self-deprecating humor. Now that's love. "What are they saying?"

"That I'm a bitch, a slut, a whore, a shit, a gold-digger, a...God, so much. Thirteen-year-old girls shouldn't know words like that."

"Nor should they use them with people they don't know," he mutters quietly. "I'm so sorry, baby. Just know that they aren't all like that."

"I know. Hell, I am a fan. I should know. I just...I just wish they could love you without hating me, is all."

"I know, Sam."

She sighs heavily, the product of a deep breath and too many tears. "And I miss you."

At this, he smiles, because he can finally relate. "Oh, honey, I miss you too. Trust me, if I could, I'd erase the rest of the world just to be with you right now."

"Take a vacation?" Her voice is so hopeful that he has to laugh.

"Hell, yes. A bedroom getaway." He pauses. "Believe me, I don't intent to move from the master bedroom for at least a week after I get back."

"And what of me?"

His grin is contagious. "I don't want you moving either."

"Like the song?" She says with a small chuckle.

He nods. "Yeah, just like the song. I'll have all I need in that room."

"Our own little Eden."

"Absolutely. Baby, I'm so sorry about the fans."

She sighs. "It's fine." A precious pause, and then... "Well, it's not fine, but it shouldn't matter like it does. I don't usually let it get to me, just...the car, and the fact that you're not here, and the fact that the damn tour has another month, and..."

"I'll be home for Christmas."

Her heart stops. "Home for Christmas?"

He laughs. "Yup. Who knows? We may even have a white Christmas in Florida this year."

In her mind's eye they are sitting together, surrounded by friends and singing carols in front of a strong, bright fire. Snow lines the windows as steaming mugs of cocoa blow wisps of smoke towards the fir tree.

"I love you, Sam."

His voice brings her back to reality momentarily, but she can still smell candy canes and Christmas. "I love you, too. Thanks for calming me down."

"Anytime. However, I really have to get back to work. I was kind of in the middle of a meeting when you called..."

She covers her face with her hand in embarrassment. "God, I'm sorry. Apologize for me, will you? Just tell them I was hysterical, or sick, or something..."

He laughs. "All of the above?"

"Sure. Shit. I'm sorry, hon."

"Not a problem. I'll call you later tonight, okay?"


"And Sam?"

She sighs. "Yeah?"

"Remember, you're the one I'm coming home to. Not them."

"I know."

"And if they knew you like I do, they'd think you were the most wonderful woman in the world."

She rolls her eyes at him, but he knows she's smiling. "Good-bye, Nick."

"See ya."

"The Zephyr Song"
lyrics and music by the Red Hot Chili Peppers