Chapter 4

Fast forward to the year 2000, four years later, in New York City


        Silence reigned. She had caused it, only by stepping into the people filled room. The simple black dress she was wearing was officially in style, because she was wearing it. Women sighed with envy over her poise and exquisite beauty, wanting her perfect tan for themselves.  Men drooled over her perfect body, thin legs, and perfect face.

        She didn’t seem to notice that all eyes were on her as she made her way gracefully to the other side of the room, where three very lucky men were to be graced with her presence. She acknowledged no one else’s existence. That’s the way she was. Quiet and withdrawn, you felt as if you were presented an enormous gift if this girl…woman, deigned to look at you, wave at you, or, best of all, stun you with a glimpse of her mysterious half smile.

        The three lucky men rose as she approached, and offered her their hands in a formal greeting. Instead, she did something so natural but yet so uncharacteristic of the person the people in the room thought she was. She hugged them all, both her arms thrown over their shoulders and she was giving them most genuine smile that the people had seen grace that perfect mouth. Just when they thought they had her all figured out, she went and did something they couldn’t understand, as if she was purposely throwing them off track. And so they wondered, yet again, who this person was.


        Gray Whittaker sat down at the table, seemingly oblivious to the scrutinizing stares of other party-goers. The little “I don’t know a thing” look was all an act, as far as she was concerned. She knew she kept the world and the media guessing. She knew how closed off and apathetic she was. And she knew that she intrigued people. She didn’t try to, that wasn’t what she wanted. But for reasons unknown, people were drawn to her. And the problem was that they wanted to know everything. Too much.

        So Gray kept up the oblivious act. If the media thought she was oblivious to the attention, then the less questions would be asked and the less she had to fear. She focused on the young men in front of her, another confusing aspect of her life, according to tabloids. As a rule, she considered everything printed in tabloids trash. But for once, she was finding humor in the suggestion that she and the 3 young men were “romantically involved and that she was playing them all.”. The suggestion was ludicrous, and fairly hilarious. Her management had laughed it off, and so had she.

        “Gray? Are you even pretended to listen to me, or are you thinking again?” That question came from Mouse Woods, her pianist, a 5’3 shrimp with beautiful hands.

        “Again? She’s blowing brain cells like crazy. She thought just yesterday,” Jake Woods, her drummer, commented.

        “Maybe that’s the smoke coming out her ears,” Brandon Clearly chimed.

        She rolled her eyes. “That was lame,” she deadpanned. Only these guys were allowed to joke with her like that. They sobered immediately.

        “We know,” they chorused.

        She smiled at them, amused. Yes, they were lame. Yes, they were Neanderthals, at times. MOST of the time, actually. But they were the closest thing to family she had, and besides, she sounded her best when she played with them.


        Let’s pause a moment, and introduce you to Gray and her life. She wasn’t always like this, but you’ll find out more about that later on. Gray is just that, the name that goes on the cover of her CDs. She doesn’t consider herself a singer. She prefers the term musician with a microphone(a private joke between the boys and her). She doesn’t like to put a label on her sound, but if you ask me, I’d say it leaned more toward the angsty/punky rock genre, instead of pop. But seriously, she’s not a singer, because she’s not in it for the fame, the sex, or the money. She’s 22. She’s not into deluding herself. She’s in it for the music. She puts the MUSIC in musician. Or pick an adjective. Passionate. Talented. Some people would tell you perfect. She’s not. But you don’t need me to tell you what Gray is all about. She’ll do it herself, probably more eloquently than I ever could.