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(with Alec)


        You follow Ben backstage to the sound of “All My Love.” He’s walking fast but not fast enough. You wish you could bolt for the stage—you can’t believe you’re missing out on Alec sound checking!

        “Here.” Ben guides you through the last door.

        You can see the arena now! You’re almost at the—

        The song stops. And so does your heart at the sight of him.

        Alec is kneeling down in the middle of the stage. Adjusting his pedalboard, you realize as you get closer.

Image by Adi Goldstein

        He looks like a dream in a black-and-white striped t-shirt, his longish hair falling forward on either side of his face. You don’t think you’ve ever seen him wearing shorts before—maybe only in some distant paparazzi pictures taken without his consent.

        It’s an absolute privilege seeing him like this: being his natural self. You stop when you reach the foot of the stands.


        “Why—?” Your best friend glances back at you.

        “He’s working,” you say quietly. “If we get closer, we’ll distract him.” And he’ll be too self-conscious to be truly himself.

        With a sigh of resignation, your friend takes a seat in the second row. You sit beside her and Ben follows you, taking the aisle.

        James is standing closer to the stands, so he notices your arrival and gives you a warm smile. But Alec is too focused on his pedals to realize he has an audience.

        There seems to be a problem with the equipment, in fact. So Alec looks toward the back of the stage, gesturing for his guitar tech to come help.

        “This is gonna be more boring than you expected,” Ben warns.

        “It’s totally fine,” you whisper to him. You could spend your whole life in this place, just staring at Alec on stage.

        “You don’t have to be quiet,” Ben continues. “They’re wearing in-ear monitors—they can’t hear us.”

        “Oh.” You knit your brows.

        “Doesn’t he hear the fans at all during the show?” your friend asks.

        “He does a little bit,” Ben replies. “But he wouldn’t be able to hear himself if they didn’t muffle the audience. Didn’t James explain earlier how the sound mixing works?”

        “Briefly, yes.” Your friend glances at the restricted area at the back of the arena floor. “He said he’d show us what’s in there later…”

        “Let’s go now!” Ben stands up. “It might take a while for them to fix—” he looks at the stage “—whatever they need to fix.”

        As if he could feel his twin staring, Alec meets Ben’s gaze. And your entire soul lights up as he waves at his brother with the biggest of the smiles.

Alec Brock earpiece in ear monitor

        “Hey!” Alec shouts, throwing a curious look at you and your friend.

        Your heart beats out of your chest. Alec Brock is talking to you! Say something—he’s waiting for you to reply!

        “Hi!” Your voice comes out too weak. And when you look at your friend for help, she seems even more starstruck than you are. Her face shows shock and awe, like she doesn’t know whether to cry or smile.

        The guitar tech grabs Alec’s attention on stage, and as he refocuses on his guitar pedals, you realize the moment is gone. You had the chance to talk to your idol—to tell him how much he means to you—and you totally blew it.

        “Don’t worry, you’ll have more time to talk once he gets off stage.” Ben gives you a sympathetic smile. “Let’s go check the FOH while they fix the pedals.”

        “FOH?” Your friend stands up.

        “Front of House,” Ben explains, pointing at the barricaded space at the end of the arena floor.

        You follow them in silence, still mad at yourself for not being able to say hello to Alec. He must be thinking I don’t care about him. That I’m just a random person visiting backstage—like those PR students.

        “So this is Alec’s FOH Engineer…”


        You try to focus as Ben explains what Ryan is doing behind the mixing desk, or how Pete and the rest of the video team capture the concert from multiple angles. But as interesting as it all is, you have eyes only for Alec.         The urge to show him how you feel is stronger than anything in your mind right now. I need to talk to him again. He needs to know how much I care!

        The guitar tech gets up from the floor, and the whole band roars into action as if they’ve just been told to check if everything’s working properly.

        “One, two, three, four,” Alec shouts, facing his bandmates.

        And you grin from ear to ear as they start the chorus of “All My Love” again.

        You and your friend are squealing now, anticipating the moment Alec will turn around and reach for his mic. But to your surprise, he doesn’t. The band moves on to the second verse but still…no vocals.

        Ben can’t help but chuckle at your disappointment. “I told you it wouldn’t be as fun as you imagined.”

        You glance from Alec to him, then back to Alec. It’s so frustrating to hear the instrumental version of the song that you start murmuring the lyrics to yourself.

You throw one glance at me, I can’t resist those eyes

Can’t wait to feel your skin, lock you in my arms

Too many witnesses here, no way to make you mine

You walk straight to me: “I’ll wait for you outside”

        Your friend follows you, moving to the beat of the drums. And when the band starts the chorus again, you’re too excited to contain yourself.

Nobody knows

Nobody needs to know

I’ll be your best-kept secret

I’ll give you all my love


Don’t say it’s time to go

Too soon to let you go

My heart is yours to keep

Let me give you all my love

        Alec finally turns around, his dimples popping out as he flashes you and your friend a smile.

        Your voice explodes as he holds eye contact, each lyric you scream turning into a plea for him to take the lead.

        Alec pulls out one of his earpieces but stays quiet in front of his mic. He lets you and your friend sing the entire bridge alone. Only then, does he give you what you so desperately want.


Nobody knows

Nobody needs to know

I’ll be your best-kept secret

I’ll give you all my love

        You close your eyes for a second, melting over his deep, powerful voice. You can’t get over the fact that he’s singing it to you. There are no other fans in the venue right now—he’s literally singing it to you!

        “I think I’m gonna cry,” your friend says with knit brows.

        You wrap one arm around her shoulders but don’t say anything. This is too much for you too—you’re afraid your heart will burst if things get any better than this.

Don’t say it’s time to go

Too soon to let you go

Who cares what people think, baby?

I’m all yours to keep

Just gotta take the leap

I wanna give you all my love

        The band finishes the song, and as you resist the urge to applaud, the arena goes dead silent. You glance around but Ben is no longer by your side. Somehow you and your friend have danced all the way to the first barricade, the one that separates the pits from the floor-standing area.       

Alec Brock The Tour - venue map

        “I wanna see you guys sing even louder tonight!” Alec grins at you, handing the electric guitar to his tech. “What do you want to hear next? Any requests?” He grabs his acoustic and strums a soft pattern.

        No More Lies! You have no doubt what to reply. But your friend is faster than you.

        “Only Stars!” she shouts. And Alec smoothly transitions from one chord progression to the other, starting the familiar intro of your friend’s favorite song.

        You beam at her excitement. You’re not even sad you didn’t get to hear “No More Lies”—you’re happy for her! You’re happy to be here, living this amazing moment with two of the people you love most in the world… You space out, staring at Alec.

        “Come this way.” Ben guides you to the side of the arena and finds an opening in the barricade.

        You’re in the right pit now, and it’s impossible not to dash for the stage—not to get as close to Alec Brock as physically possible!

        Alec smiles down at Ben, then focuses on you and your friend. Goosebumps rise from the tender way he looks at you. You’re both thrilled and terrified to have his undivided attention like this. To know that, if only for a moment, he’s all yours.

        The song ends in the blink of an eye. And after you shamelessly applaud, Alec turns to the back of the stage. “Do we have time for one more?”

         Oh, please! Please! Please!

        “I’m sorry,” Ricky, his tour manager, replies. “We’re running very late today.”

        Alec glances down at you, an apologetic look on his face.

        “It’s okay,” your friend says. “Thank you so much for “Only Stars!” It’s my favorite!”

        “You’re welcome.” He smiles at her as Ricky hustles him off stage. “See you at the show?” he says over his shoulder.

        “At the Meet and Greet first!” your friend shouts.

        “Oh, awesome!”

        Your chest tightens as he waves one last goodbye. Once again, you had the opportunity to talk to him—to let him know how much you love him, how important he is in your life—and you said nothing! What’s wrong with me? You squeeze your eyes shut and blow out a long breath.

alec 4.jpg

        “We’re closing the VIP check-in, Benjamin,” a woman says behind you. The crew member who let you in, you realize once you turn around. “They must come with me now if they want to take part in the Meet and Greet.”

        You flick a glance at your watch. It’s 5 PM already?

        “They can wait with me in the—”

        “No,” the crew member cuts Ben off. “They paid for this—we can’t take any legal risks by not following the protocol!”

        “All right.” Ben presses his lips together in defeat.

        Oh, no. This is it.

        This is the moment the fairy tale ends and you’re forced to go back to real life.

        “Thanks for everything, Ben!” Your friend wraps her arms around him. “This whole afternoon was a dream come true!”

        “You’re welcome.” He hugs her back, smiling shyly at you.

        “Let’s go?” the crew member says, already marching to the nearest exit.

        Not without one last hug. You rush toward Ben, squeeze him tight as if you might never let him go.

        “I’ll accompany you to the queue.” He strokes you back, encouraging you to get going.


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