There he was again. Standing around in the back of the hall, alone, leaning against the wall with his arms crossed, staring, watching.
Issay was used to being watched; it was all part and parcel of being a performer, a vocalist, a front man. But this particular person's gaze always caught his attention, whether Issay was looking for him or not. And if he was not in the crowd, Issay would just know. There would be something… lacking about the crowd.
Applause and a bow. The last song ended and when Issay looked up again, he was gone. No matter how much that particular young man appeared to enjoy the show, he never stayed for the after-show greet. He was an unusual fan, that man.
Issay could recall the first time he noticed that young man. It was a little impossible not to when he walked in right in the middle of a show. Judging by the wide-eyed expression that he had on, that time might've been the first show of Issay's that he had ever come to.
Since then, he had been showing up at lives, always hanging around in the back, unlike the first time when he actually joined the fray. Why he chose to stay so far away from the stage, Issay didn't know. It was the same with his intentional self-exclusion from the greet. Wouldn't fans usually love that? Perhaps he was a shy one.
There he was again but this time, he wasn't alone. There was a lady with him. Interesting. That was a first. Issay felt a weight drop in his stomach. Odd that seeing this would make him feel this way.
Focus. He had a show to put on. He heard the screams ringing in his ears, felt the heat of the lights on his skin, but his eyes kept straying to the two in the back.
The lady looked disinterested, the young man looked uneasy. It looked like a date that wasn't going too well.
Issay flipped his coat, taking it off with a flourish. He caught the man’s attention. And the lady’s. Issay met her eyes. He flashed a smile. She looked stunned. The man’s eyes were fixed on him once more. Issay looked away, turning his attention to the crowd before him.
The next time his eyes scanned the back, the man was alone. The lady had now joined the crowd. She stayed for the after-show greet. He did not.
The next time the lady came to his show, Issay noticed that she came on her own. But the young man did not show up. He found himself feeling surprised, and a tad bit disappointed. The man had always attended his shows that were held in Tokyo.
The lady seemed to have become a fan in her own right and she had begun attending more and more shows. The man, however, attended fewer and fewer. And even when both of them were at the same show, they never interacted with each other again. It looked like things did not work out. Issay almost wondered if the young man held a grudge against him for stealing her attention away. But that was just Issay doing his job well, wasn't it?
It still did not sit well with him. He almost missed looking out over the crowd to catch that familiar dark gaze watching him. Issay could hardly believe how much he missed it. So much so that he could feel it in this shared dressing room here. Could it be that the young man was out there? As part of the crowd waiting for the program recording to start?
Standing with his band, Issay swished the alcohol in his cup and drank it down. Perhaps it was just him, but that feeling grew stronger and stronger.
A soft, low voice came from behind him. “Um… Pardon me…"
Issay turned and looked at the man before him; with blond hair put up and makeup on his face, dark eyes darting around, betraying his nerves. He looked like he belonged to that other band in the room. They had their hair up in a similar style too.
On closer inspection, the man looked familiar too; his stature and especially those dark eyes of his. As the man took some time to muster up more confidence, realisation slowly dawned on Issay. The man met his eyes again and Issay flashed a smile.