End of Part 2
“And I thought he was a typical Karaoke singer,” I said to Joelle. “Instead, he turns out to be Johnny, the unbelievable. Have you ever seen anything like that?”
“Yes. Be careful of him,” she warned. “Guys like him are dangerous.”
“Johnny, dangerous? I doubt it,” I said, laughing.
“Mark my words,” she said. “That man reeks of danger.”
One song and he was gone. He left without returning to his table.
Johnny came back to Maxine’s the next week and many times after that. Once in a while, he showed up with friends, but most of the time he came alone. Johnny wasn’t the best Karaoke singer around, but he quickly became the most popular. His smile and energy were infectious. As his repertoire of songs grew, so did his fan club. He stopped sitting alone in the corner as his popularity increased. People liked him and wanted to be around him. On our nights off, Joelle and I started going to other places where he sang just to watch him perform. We became Karaoke groupies. All anyone knew about him was that he sang Karaoke at least three or four nights a week in local restaurants, clubs and bars. He kept his private life private. Everyone called him Johnny. Everyone, except Joelle and me, that is. To us, he was Johnny Danger.
Joelle and I followed him from club to club for almost two years. We got swept up in the Karaoke fever and the allure of a young man we knew nothing about. He was like the Pied Piper of Karaoke. His circle of so called friends was bonded together by one common thread. We were drawn into the group and readily accepted. Mesmerized by the atmosphere we found so exciting and wanting to be more a part of it, Joelle and I started singing. We loved every minute of it and reveled in the attention. Soon, some of our own friends came to cheer us on and the Johnny Danger fan club grew.
One night Johnny didn’t show up at one of his usual haunts. Joelle and I didn’t think anything of it at the time. He could have been sick or on vacation. None of us knew what he did for a living, but it was possible that he was away on business.
The following Sunday, Johnny wasn’t at Maxine’s either. He had not been seen anywhere on the Karaoke circuit in over a week. It seemed odd, but not alarming. Two more weeks went by; soon it had been a month since any of us had seen him. Upset by rumors about his mysterious disappearance, Joelle and I stopped going to the other clubs. Sunday nights at Maxine’s weren’t the same anymore. We all missed him.
“Do you think something happened to our Johnny Danger?” I asked Joelle one night. “Or, do you think maybe he just lost interest in singing?”
“I don’t know, Sara. I said he was a strange one right from the start.”
“That’s true. I hope he just got tired of it. Maybe he moved away or got a job working nights.”
“Maybe he didn’t even have a job and he found one,” she said, shrugging her shoulders.
I refused to believe any of the stories that were going around: that he was an undercover cop, involved in something shady, murdered, died in his sleep, committed suicide, was homeless. Some said he was discovered and went to Vegas. Joelle thought he was probably married, his wife found out about his Karaoke life and put a stop to it. I chose to believe that explanation, as it seemed to be the lesser of many evils.
It’s been several years since Johnny stopped coming around. None of us ever saw or heard from him again. I really believe he’s somewhere out there, still singing his heart out.
© 2016, Lina Rehal. All rights reserved.
The author has granted WritersCarnival.ca, its affiliates and syndicates non-exclusive rights to display this work.