5 – A Year for the Ages [The Byzantine Souls Saga]


“A Year for the Ages” Movie Premiere

“With everything we’ve been through, I just don’t think going on tour right now is the best thing…” Keith stated.

Rachel continued to ignore him, staring out the backseat window. She failed to muster a single thought as she viewed other vehicles pass them by. Between her antidepressants, mood stabilizers, and antipsychotics she felt beyond numb, if that was such a thing. Though she could hear Keith speaking, she failed to listen to his words.

“I could take a sabbatical from the church… We could pull Storm out of school and we could go anywhere you want. It would be really healing for us… as a family.” Keith shared his thoughts.

Keith reached for Rachel’s hand, to intertwine his fingers with hers, but slid her hand in between her lap to avoid holding her husband’s hand.

Keith released a loud sigh. With attitude he said, “Fine. Go on tour. Ignore your pain.”

Normally, a comment like that would infuriate Rachel causing her to retaliate defensively… but she didn’t care. Caring took too much energy.

The SUV pulled up to the red carpet. As the concierge opened up the door, bursts of camera flashes helped Rachel put her smolder face on. The perfect combo of slightly squinted eyes and gently pursed lips to handle the photography light frenzy and looking great while enduring the photo fire.

Once Keith stood beside Rachel, she locked an elbow around his nearest arm and together they walked side by side. They posed for pictures in the designated spot. The approved press reps came up and asked Rachel a few questions.

“How did you feel being asked to write a theme song for this major motion picture?” Donnie Martinez asked, from Vibe News. The short man wore a shimmery silver suit,¬† with no shirt under his blazer. His long black har in braided pigtails.

“It felt like a great honor… Keith and I understand marriage can be tough, but when you find a good place, that is to be celebrated. The fact that this film shows the hurdles of marriage and the two parties determined to make the marriage work, I had to get behind that and I had to support that.” Rachel replied.

“Is it true you and the band are set to tour in a few months?” Nessa Carlo asked, a pencil thin, crimson, red-headed hispanic woman. She wore a long, flowing, black gown.

“Yes, we’re stoked.” Rachel answered.

“Have you found religion, Rachel?”

Smirking at that question, Rachel confidently answered, “I’ll never find religion. I must admit I am taping into my spirituality… due to everything going on in my life right now… but religion isn’t my salvation.”

“Keith! Keith! Why do you refuse to morn the death of your infant daughter?”

Keith had a rule. He didn’t talk to the media. Rachel grabbed her husband’s hand, “Thank you, everyone… good night…” Rachel added. She charged to enter the building dragging Keith inside.

Rachel’s bandmates sighted Rachel and rushed to greet her, but she blew them off, searching for an area to be alone with her husband. She could tell by the gait of his walk that the last question troubled him.

In the hallway by the restrooms, Rachel positioned Keith up against the wall, and he broke his countenance. As he wept, he rested his head on her shoulder, and she held him as he shook letting his sorrows out.

A few weeks ago, only a month after the death of Skye, their 4 month old daughter… Keith preached a sermon about refusing to be hopeless over his daughter’s death, but instead he rejoiced she was in the arms of the Heavenly Father… Normally, any sermon Keith preached he either walked it out or was in the process of walking it out. This one was a yet-to-be-fully-realized-preach.

Keith looked up at Rachel. Tears leaked from his eyes and snot drained from his nose, and he begged his wife, “I need you stay… don’t go on tour… please…”

“Okay,” Rachel whispered. Normally, she would feel guilty lying to Keith, but he didn’t know how important this tour was. The band just released their third album with the label. It was the most expensive one they’ve produced yet. The last album didn’t do as well as the label hoped. Only because of the band’s first album going double platinum, they were given another chance. Rachel still owed 40 million dollars to the record label, from the last album because tour sales did not pull through like everyone anticipated. To sustain their current lifestyle, Rachel needed to deliver on this tour. If Rachel didn’t make more money fast, in a few months they would be flat broke.

Broken Promises

Byzantine Souls wrapped singing “A Year for the Ages” and Rachel told the audience the band was taking a brief intermission. She threw the attention to her bassist and back up vocalist to share some original music as Rachel gave her guitar to a stagehand and fled the stage.

It was a little after midnight, in Lyon, France and a little after 3 pm yesterday in L.A. Rachel raced back to her greenroom. She used tissue to dab some of the sweat off her face. She used her phone to vid chat Keith. Keith didn’t answer. She called again. Still no answer. She then called her sister-in-law knowing she would be at Storm’s 9th birthday party. Everly picked up.

Happily, Everly smiled, “Hey! You called!” She sounded half-surprised.

“Keith isn’t picking up. He must be busy, but I said I would call.” Rachel shared her defense.

“Originally, you said you would be here… so much for that…” Everly jabbed. “For a son you fought so hard to take back, your mothering is lacking a bit.” Yes, Everly threw that direct shade.

“Can you just find Storm and let me wish him happy birthday?” Rachel asked.

“Sure can,” Everly smiled.

“Get off the phone!” Rachel heard Keith’s voice say. “Who are you on the phone with anyway?”

Keith stepped into the camera on the phone, purposely looking to see who his sister-in-law was talking to. When he noticed it was Rachel, he cleared his throat, “Hey honey…”

The sight of her husband warmed her heart. Touring in Europe made it monstrous to connect long distance. “Hey…” Rachel smiled.

“Storm is in the pool, being the life of the party, how about you just call tomorrow.” Keith suggested.

In a second, Rachel got pissed. Keith wasn’t happy that Rachel broke her promise to not go on tour. The entire six months she’d been away, he found ways to get back at her, and not letting her speak to her son at his birthday party was one of them.

“Storm can get out of the pool for two minutes,” Everly said to Keith as she walked away from him and charged toward the symphony of children laughing and screaming as they splashed about in the pool.

“STORM!” Everly called out. “Your mom is on the phone, she want to wish you happy birthday.”

Rachel couldn’t hear Storm word for word, but he pleaded to not get out of the water, which quickly saddened Rachel… but she understood… she was a lousy mom… she should have never begged her brother to give him back.

When Storm was 2 years old, and Rachel knew she wanted him back… She and Keith hired a lawyer. They took Everly and Danny to court, but they were losing. Rachel’s lawyer said the only way they could win was to get Storm’s biological father involved, since he didn’t sign away his rights, only he could contest the adoption and give Rachel and Keith a fighting chance. But that also meant, Rachel would run the risk of Storm’s biological father wanting shared custody, if not full custody. Since Rachel gave Storm up once, his biological father could have had a winning chance all those years ago, and Rachel still would be without her son…

Therefore, as a last resort, she went to Danny playing the sister card. By some miracle he bowed to her will and convinced Everly to release Storm back into Rachel’s custody. It sort of worked out, a couple years ago, they found an egg donor, got a surrogate, and they had a beautiful handsome boy of their own… Weston Dan Javier Fern√°ndez. Actually, Rachel originally agreed to be the surrogate when the time came, but as usual, her career prevented her from doing that. Another promise broken by Rachel.

Everly tried one more time to get Storm to speak to Rachel, but it didn’t work.

“It’s alright Everly, thank you for trying. I love you. Say hello to Danny and Weston for me please.” Rachel said hanging up rudely.

A heaviness fell on Rachel… Rachel stopped taking her meds a couple months ago… Performing like a zombie did make for a great experience… Rachel needed to feel to connect with the music, since she went off her meds, fans and the media can’t stop talking about how fantastic the shows have been. The only downside was Rachel couldn’t control her feelings and often her emotions shifted with every encounter with every individual… not good…

Trying to feel anything but sad, Rachel beat her thigh with a few fist pounds… and once she felt a little angry, she cracked her neck and knuckles, shook her hands out, and rushed to get back onstage to perform a few more songs to officially end the night. At the after-party Rachel was definitely getting wasted… maybe high too if anyone had a stash of coke…


Donnie Martinez stood in front of a wall of screens. Wearing a shimmery pink suit this time, with a white turtle neck underneath, he shared the latest scoop from his European connection.

“In Madrid, on Byzantine Souls final stop for the Relentlessly Lost Tour, front runner Rachel Noelle was caught cheating with a stagehand. Rachel’s husband may be the Saint of L.A., but how long will he continue to put up with his wife?”

NEXT WEEK ON 12.22.2019


“Dare You Try” hands down is the band’s best song! Nominated for a Mega American Music Award in three different categories- Best Song of the Year, Best Pop Song of the Year, and Best Song by a Duo and/or a Group.

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