Chapter 5

        Gray wandered the shadowy halls of the empty recording studio, not knowing quite what she was looking for. Jake, Mouse, and Brandon had left hours ago, after securing a promise from her that she would leave sooner than midnight. It was now 12:30, but she didnít want to go home to an empty house again.

        Actually, house didnít seem like quite the appropriate word. Try ďmansionĒ. She had bought it for show, right on the outskirts of New York City in a fashionable suburb when her first album had gone triple platinum and she had amassed a global fanclub made up exclusively of teenage guys. Just like the two expensive cars, a Mercedes M class and a BMW z-3, that sat in her four car garage, it hardly got any use. She preferred to sleep on the lumpy couch provided by Jive Records in the studio than at home in her plush, designer sheeted bed.

        After all, they say (she didnít quite know who), that home is where the heart is. An overused, cliched saying, but one so unbearably true. Her heart was right here, in this studio, in the music she wanted so badly to create, and so this was home.  The few times she and her boys argued, it was over her staying so long at the studio. ďLivingĒ, was the term used. And she wondered if anyone would ever understand her. She didnít quite think there was such a person. Hell, she couldnít even understand herself. Why would someone else care enough to try?

        She shook her head and stretched. Her bodyguard (Jiveís orders) had instructed her to call if she was leaving the studio. She turned off her ever present cell phone, and headed for the exit. She was perfectly capable of getting to the house by herself. She didnít need anyone to protect her. She hung tight to that pride, as she had over the years before.

        The years before were what she privately called the years before the light. The light was the world she lived in now. The darkness was her life before the fame. Although, that was not consistently true. Her life before one was not clouded with darkness. Somehow along the way to stardom, she had lost pieces of herself. Another celebrity appearance, another piece dropped. A new look. Another piece gone. Before this had all happened and her career hadnít taken off, she had known herself so well. She had been comfortable with herself. Every situation had been clear cut. And now she couldnít say the same. It was almost as if the metaphor should be switched.