Hey ho, let's go!
Thanks you guys who reviewed again. You’re lovely. Please keep it coming, feedback is like the blob of whipped cream on top of a stack of yummy profiteroles.
“No,” Mikey says, shaking his head. “Never. Not in a million years.”
“Aw come on!” Frank persists. “It’ll be hilarious!”
“For them, maybe,” Mikey shrugs. “We’ll be the laughing stock of the entire student body.”
“We’re already the laughing stock of the entire student body,” I point out. “So what have we got to lose?”
“That’s you you’re talking about. I still have some degree of dignity left.”
“No you don’t Mikey, everybody thinks you and Frank are sleeping together.”
I roll my eyes. Honestly, am I the only one who knows anything that goes around in this place? “Of course they do. But no one says anything because they’ll have no chance at getting into Harvard if Mikey stops doing their homework.”
“Seriously?” Mikey looks disgusted. “Me and Frank? Ewww!”
“Erm, excuse me?” Frank raises his eyebrows in protest. “Gays do have feelings, you know. And now that I think about it, we’d make a great team, Mikes.”
“You stay the hell away from me!”
“Come on Mikey, please?” I beg him. I’m practically on my knees here. “It’ll be fun!”
“It‘ll be socially scarring.”
“Ray!” Mikey whirls around in desperation. “Ray, back me up here!”
Ray, surprised at having his opinion asked after twenty minutes of ignored silence, looks up from the Batman and Robin he was reading. “Gee, I dunno,” he shrugs. “Do we not want people to hear us play?”
“Of course we don’t!” Mikey cries. “BECAUSE WE SUCK!”
“WE DO NOT SUCK!” Frank roars back. “WE’RE A DIFFERENT KIND OF GENIUS!”
“RAY CAN’T PLAY A SINGLE BEAT IN TIME,” Mikey yells. “GERARD FUCKING FAILS AND ALWAYS HAS DONE AND I HAD NEVER PLAYED THE BASS IN MY LIFE UNTIL LAST MONTH!”
I fucking fail at everything.
“ONLY BY LOSING CAN WE RECOGNISE A WIN!” screams Frank.
“WE’RE NEVER GOING TO WIN ANYTHING!”
“THE SEX PISTOLS NEVER WON ANYTHING!”
“THAT WAS BACK IN THE SEVENTIES, NO ONE WON ANYTHING!”
“THE SEVENTIES PRODUCED SOME OF THE BEST MUSIC OF ALL TIME!”
“BECAUSE EVERYONE WAS TOO DEPRESSED TO DO ANYTHING ELSE!”
“ARE YOU SAYING YOU DON’T LIKE THE SEVENTIES?”
“MAYBE I AM!”
“ALRIGHT!” I step between Frank and my brother who are both red in the face and breathing heavily. “Quit it! Honestly Frank, does it really matter if Mikey likes the 70s or not? And Mikey, what’s with all the negativity? We’re really not that bad!”
“No we’re not that bad,” Mikey pushes his glasses back up his nose. “But we’re definitely not that good. And we’re not good enough to play in front of a bunch of assholes in Gucci to get into a musical production none of us want to be in!”
“Getting into the musical isn’t the point,” Ray says suddenly. He looks pretty hurt at Mikey’s reference to his drum skills. “Making a stand for rock and roll in the face of tyranny is what counts.”
“Here, here,” Frank applauds. “Well said.”
Mikey looks furious but there’s something there that knows he’s lost. He glances from one face to the other, the words he wants to say cramming against his brain in effort to get out. “If,” he says carefully. “If I do the audition with you, you gotta promise to leave Heather alone.”
Frank and I glance at each other. Heather watches us from the corner, her head cocked to the side, her eyes stretched wide open as always. Frank sighs. “Fine.”
Heather grins wickedly. I flash her a dirty look but say nothing.
“And,” Mikey continues, grinning at me. “You gotta take out the trash every day for a month. And do the dishes.”
“That is so not fair!”
“Gerard, don’t see it as unfair” Frank says, laying a hand on my shoulder. “See it as taking one for the team. We’ve all got to make sacrifices. It’s time for you to do your part.”
I look quizzically at Frank. “And exactly what sacrifices have you made?”
Frank chews his lip, thinking. “I’ve had to stand Alex up four nights in a row to practice with you guys,” he says finally.
“That’s hardly a sacrifice, considering you don’t even like the guy.”
Alex is Frank’s boyfriend of three months. He’s good-looking. He’s smart. He’s athletic. He’s fucking awful. Even Frank thinks so.
“Those are my terms,” says Mikey. “Take it or leave it.”
I scrunch my face into the evilest look I can make as I mutter “Deal. But you better play your fucking heart out.”
“Done,” Mikey nods and he looks pleased. Frank claps his hands together in a very excitable, very camp fashion.
“Okay,” he starts with the air of one undergoing a major military operation. “We’ve got one hour before the audition starts. I say we’ve got time for a quick practice before then. Come on, I think our English classroom’s free.”
Let me quickly brief you on what’s going on in our heads.
Frank and I think it would be totally oh-my-god-I-think-I’m-going-to-cough-my-lungs-up hilarious if our band auditioned for parts in the school musical by not only playing a fairly morbid and creepifying song about a mass-murdering psycho but by playing it very badly. Obviously none of us want to get the part and obviously none of us are going to; we just want to see the look on Ms Maitland’s face and the faces of the angel-esque ultra-humans looking on.
Ms Maitland is the head of Drama by the way. She thinks she’s some kind of legend just because she was the mentor of a kid at this school who went on to become a famous actress and make millions of dollars. She’s forever trying to inspire us with her talk of “releasing your inner dragon”. In fact, her Drama classes remind me a lot more of sex than actual Drama but maybe that’s because I’m an action-starved pervert.
So yeah, we think it would be one hell of a funny joke. Mikey disagrees. Ray has no opinion; he just likes hitting things. And we’re gonna do it. In an hour.
The place is pretty packed. Apparently everyone wants to see the new would-be additions to the A-list. Aw shit, people I know are here! Johnny Reese from my Math class and Michelle Lloyd from my History class...As I scan the faces in the crowd it’s one in particular that causes my heart to stop in my chest. It’s Samantha. She’s here. Now.
Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, FUCK!!!
How could I have been so stupid? I knew she was in the production. She gets the solo like, every year. And she always comes along to every audition because she’s so committed to the group. And now she’s going to see me looking like an idiot in front of all her A-listing friends.
This. Is. Not. Happening.
I whirl around to face Frank who is looking down at the crowd with excitement. “We’re not doing this.”
Frank’s eyes widen. “What? Why not?”
“Have you seen who is sitting in that audience?” Frank shrugs. “Samantha!”
Frank blinks. I raise my eyebrows with impatience. “Samantha Rose? Love of my fucking life? The one I can’t even talk to without spewing up crap about platypuses?”
“I know who she is, nimrod,” his face is impassive. “I’m just wondering why I should care.”
Eugh, I hate him sometimes! I groan and turn around to slam my head into a wall. Unfortunately the wall turns out to be a prop made out of cardboard and falls to the floor.
“Gerard, it’ll be fine,” says Frank reassuringly. “Better than fine. It’ll be hilarious. And Samantha will think so too.”
“Sure,” he nods. “I mean, if I were Samantha I’d have had enough of hotshot showbiz characters and look for some variety in my life. I bet she’s looking for that variety now.”
“I bet you’re crazy.”
“Well, maybe,” he claps his hands together, ready for business again. “Come on guys, let’s get set up.”
Mikey was right. This is a terrible idea. And now I’m gonna wind up doing chores for nothing.
For such a long queue it starts to thin pretty quickly. As we draw nearer and nearer the front I can feel my palms are sweating. Behind me I can feel Frank’s shallow, nervous breaths on my neck. I turn to look at him oddly.
“Dude,” I whisper. “You’re totally breathing on me.”
“I’m sorry,” he whispers back. “But you smell really good.”
“What the fuck, Frank you can’t just say things like-”
Oh God. That’s us. Breath. In, out, in, out. Feeel the music. Feeel it. Jesus, why am I so fucking nervous? It’s not like I’m trying to do well! I look over my shoulder. Ray is nervously playing with his drumsticks. Mikey’s arms are folded across his chest and he’s staring at some chick in the crowd. The chick turns out to be Heather who has graciously turned up to watch us fall on our asses. Frank is bouncing on the balls of his feet, a ridiculously eager expression on his face.
“Ready to rock?” he asks me.
I grin, feeling the nerves slip away. “Always.”
And we step onto the stage.
So once again, thanks for reviewing. Question: are the chapters too long? Should I cut them down a bit?
Next chapter up Monday.