“I'd like to have your baby, Jake. I really would. I just don't know how I can get to where I want to be professionally, though, if I'm held back by being a mom.
Jake broke in. “A lot of people have families and careers too, honey.”
Brandee shook her head firmly. “I don't want just a career. I want to be a star! And I can get there. I'm tired of playing in front of Nora Denice and Fucking Lizzie! This trip is supposed to get me noticed, and it will. I can feel it, Jake!”
“Yes baby. I know you will. Brandee is going to be headlining at the best places. I just don't think you should close the door on having our baby at some point in time.”
With that last statement, Jake brushed the side of her cheek with his fingers. He couldn't ever remember thinking she was any more beautiful than she was right now. He knew that she was getting ready for the performance, and that this wasn't the time to press the issue. He finished with one last request.
“That's all I ask, Brandee. Just don't close the door on the idea of having a family with me.”
Brandee took the cloth off of her eyes and handed it to Jake. He knew without asking what she wanted. He went into the hotel room's rest room and cooled the cloth again with cold rushing water. He wrung the cloth out and came back with it to the bed, handing it to Brandee.
She smiled, “Thank you, honey,” “I won't close the door on the idea.”
Jake smiled and sat down on the chair that was adjacent to the bed as Brandee closed her eyes.
Brandee reconvened back at Arena Auditorium shortly before 5:30. The promised mandarin oranges had arrived from Cheyenne, so all was in place for a good show for the students from the University as well as the residents of the city of Laramie who would show up for the performance. The group felt that tonight was their night. Brandee had been off her game in Elko, and the crowd had been standoffish in Utah. From the sounds that they could already hear from the arriving crowd, they believed that this was going to be a large and enthusiastic gathering in Laramie. They could hardly wait to get out there.
Indeed, the crowd was enthusiastic. As luck would have it, Brandee was on stage the night after finals week had finished for spring term at the University. The students were ready to blow off some steam. Sales of the two groups' CDs were brisk, much more so than was usual before a concert even started.
The members of the group didn't know exactly what they were hearing, only that it was noisy out front. At about 6:40, the crowd had started a chant. Those seated on the right side of the main floor started by chanting “Nora! Nora!” Those on the left would answer “Denice! Denice!” making a communal noise that sounded like 5,000 people sneezing all at once. The balcony on the right would answer with “Lizzie! Lizzie!” Finally the balcony on the left would finish with “Brandee! Brandee!” This continued at increasing volume for 20 minutes or more, with accompanying stomps and whistles. It was mayhem at UW and the concert hadn't even started yet! The Cowboys and Cowgirls were ready to rock.
Brandee Evans may have had her faults, but the inability to read a crowd wasn't one of them. She knew as soon as she took the stage that this was not a night for crooning ballads. She took one look at the crowd and stepped back toward the drum kit, bringing her group into a huddle. Even at close range, she had to speak up to be heard over the din behind her.
“Let's rock the shit out of this place!”, she said to the enthusiastic faces around her.
Those eight words started the rockingest night of Brandee's career to date. They opened with “Honky Tonk Broad”, the song that had garnered their first standing ovation months ago in Crescent City. The Wyoming crowd was up for it,