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The Scandals Of The Band
Some people are born to be famous.
Some people are born to be normal.
Some people are born to be geniuses.
Some people are born to be scandalous.
As for me, I don’t really know why I’m here.
Colin says I have the voice of an angel, but he can make me sound like a straight up rocker.
Luke says I have the brains of Einstein.
What do I say?
Ugh. Sometimes I don’t even know.
“Ella?” Colin huffed. “Are you even listening?”
I rolled over on top of my journal, blocking his and Luke’s view of what I wrote.
“I’m sorry, what were you saying?” I pulled my hair back into a ponytail, and glanced at Colin, he had his guitar in his hands and he seemed calm, happy.
“I was saying I wrote this killer love song, think something along the lines of a confused lover who gets what he wants in the end.” Colin strummed a few chords with a dreamy smile.
Luke gazed up from his AP Chemistry homework, “Seriously, why are we talking about a love song? We have homework you know.”
Colin’s face fell a little, he put his guitar down. “Yeah you guys do don’t you?” He sat in my computer desk chair and spun himself around.
“The joys of a being intelligent,” Luke said.
Colin’s eyebrows shot up, “Is that some kind of dig?”
“Hey Luke,” I interrupted, glancing at Colin, “What does this equation mean?”
As Luke explained to me what it meant, I kept my eyes on Colin he was scribbling in his song book, something he always did when he had something on his mind. Suddenly he snapped it shut and got up. “Hey, um, I gotta go.” He mussed his blonde hair and glanced at me.
I stood up. “You’re leaving? I thought you needed help with math.”
“Yeah, um, I remember I have something to do,” he scratched the back of his head.
“Oh. Okay,” I smiled and gave him a hug. “I’ll see you later,” I said as he shut my bedroom door.
“Why do you insist on hanging out with that guy?” Luke asked as he wrote down the equation for salt.
“What do you mean? Colin’s a sweet guy.” I said, sitting back down on my bed and running my fingers through Luke’s thick black hair.
“Eh, he seems like an idiot.”
“Luke, we are above average, he’s average,” I saw the look on Luke’s face. “Smarts wise, of course, he’s a fantastic musician.”
Luke snorted, “Try making a living off that.”
I shrugged, feeling a little hurt myself, Colin and I played together a few times, and sometimes day-dreaming what a life of fame and fortune would be like.
Sometimes I wonder if we could actually do it.
“I mean, baby you have a beautiful voice don’t get me wrong,” Luke said sensing my slight ping of hurtfulness. “And one day you’ll use it to sing our kids to sleep,” he kissed the top of my head and I smiled.
Luke was a fantastic boyfriend, a little cold at times and a little selfish, but he is good for me, great for me. We balance each other out, me being overly compassionate, him being uncaring. We butt heads sometimes, but it’s only because we are alike in the ways of our stubbornness. Luke is always right, even when he’s wrong. That’s the only bad thing.
“Hey El, is this equation right?” I glanced at his paper, the equation is wrong, but for Luke’s sake…
“Yes, of course.” I forced a smile and kissed his hand.
For his sake.
Walking home I realized I love the leaves in the fall. I love the colors. One thing I can truly say I love about life. That and music. Everything else I don’t understand. School, people, family, sports. Everything else just doesn’t make sense to me. I never really understood how people can live a normal life. Same job, same people, same route, same place, same everything. So boring. So normal. I could never do that. I seem like the poster child for normal, t-shirts, jeans, and blonde hair. Everyone looks in, they think I’m happy. Think I’m normal. They are wrong. I’m not who everyone thinks I am. Everyone knows the Colin I want them to know. The one person I tell almost anything to is Ella. She can relate. But she wishes she had my normal, stable, boring life instead of hers. Sometimes I wonder about that girl. She has so many sides of her, there is the music side, she is so passionate, once when she sang for me she began to cry in the middle of her song, but she kept going. She’s strong. Having a stepfather who beats you and a drunk off her ass mother would make you like that. Ella has never cracked. Maybe she has Luke to thank for that, he’s been there for over 4 years now. But hey, maybe I have something to do with that too, I mean, who better than your bestfriend to confide in?
I put my earphones in, and played the song Ella and I recorded. When I heard Ella’s voice, I had an amazing idea.
While buttoning up my shirt, I glanced back at Ella, hair still messed up and lying naked under covers.
“You realize you have to get dressed soon.” I smiled at her.
“Noooo,” she whined pulling the covers over her head. “I don’t want to,”
Laughing, I pulled the covers off of her. She rolled over making herself a taco in the blankets. “Baby,” Ella said gazing up at my underneath all the covers. “Can’t you blow off lacrosse? Maybe we can cuddle and watch some movies?” she got untangled from the covers and laid on top of them.
“I um, I can’t… You know that,” I gazed down at her naked body and bit my lip. “Do you have to that?”
“Do what?” Ella asked raising her eyebrows teasingly.
“Look like that…” I leaned down to kiss her.
“You could stay,” She purred holding onto my shirt collar.
“I can’t,” I pulled her hands off my shirt.
She sighed and looked down, her signature sign of disappointment.
“Babe, look, I’m sorry…” I began.
“No,” she interrupted me. “I know sports come first, like normal.”
“I’ll call you after practice.” I said, knowing fully well I’d wait till three hours after practice to text her. Keep her guessing, keep her yearning.
“Okay,” she rolled over onto her stomach and I pinched her ass before slipping out the door.
Yearning is good. Guessing is good. Especially with someone like Ella. She’s loyal. She’s dedicated. She’s stable.
After Luke left I lay in my bed with his t-shirt on, the worst part of Luke being here was when he had to go. I hated him leaving. I hated anyone leaving in all honesty. I guess it’s the curse of being abandoned. Whenever he leaves I memorize every little detail, just in case. In case of what? Yeah I don’t really know. But I do know is I hate when he leaves, he is so warm. With him I feel so safe, that normally doesn’t happen, not for someone like me. Not for an abandoned kid. When we first started dating it was hard, little Mr. Perfect coming in my life and seeing a train wreck. The train wreck girl. The girl who on our first date had a bruise on my face and lied to him saying I fell down the stairs. When in reality the stepdad, Greg, got angry and threw me down the steps. Luke will never truly understand it though. He has a nice family, two sisters and great parents. Normal parents.
This was something not even Colin really understood. He had nice parents. But that wasn’t good enough for him, he wants fame. I understand that. He was never normal, he is different, which is good different is good. Colin wants something spectacular, an amazing life, full of fun and goofing off, but as Luke would say that isn’t practical. What is practical? Colin is talented and music is his literally life. He would give up everything for it. I guess I admire that. But that’s all that would make him happy. The fame, the music, the fans.
Interrupting my thoughts there was a knock at my door and then before I could say come in Colin burst in.
“Ella! Oh my God I have the greatest news, you will nev-” he stopped when he saw me in Luke lacrosse shirt, messy sex hair and bare legs. “Um,” he glanced away from my legs and stuttered. “Did I interrupt something?” he asked.
“No.” I said quickly suddenly embarrassed. “Luke left. Can you, uh, turn around for a sec?” I asked in desperate need to get covered all the way.
Colin nodded and turned his back to me, I put on some leggings.
“So,” I said, sitting back down on my bed and motioning for Colin to join me. “What’s the news?”
“I can’t sit it’s too exciting.” He was so excited his eyes did that little glow thing they did when he was singing or playing his guitar. “Do you remember my aunt?”
“The one who is constantly getting remarried or the lesbian one?” I asked raising my eyebrows kind of confused.
“Constantly getting remarried.” He said, I nodded “What about her?”
“Well her new husband works for RockStreet Records!” he looked at me with such light in his eyes I was slightly confused.
“RSR? That’s awesome but what does it have to do with us?” I raised my eyebrows at him.
“Well I emailed him the song we recorded!” Colin practically was jumping out of his skin with excitement.
“You what?” I widened my eyes at him. “Colin! You know how I feel about people hearing my singing!”
“Listen, you sounded fantastic, he loved it! He said if we want he can play it for his boss and they can put it on the radio! We just need a name, and a ride to L.A to meet them. This could be our shot!”
“Whoa. Slow down. He’s showing it to his boss? They’re putting it on the radio?” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, I mean sure we day dreamed and joked about being famous I never thought it would actually happen, especially in the span of what 4 hours?
“YEAH! We just need a name!” Colin pulled out his song book. “Oh my God I wrote down so many options it’s hard to choose!”
“Colin…” I began but Colin’s cell phone ringing cut me off.
“Hello? Hey Uncle Zack!” he shot me a thumbs up and turned around. “Really?... No way!... Wow they want us?... Our name?... Waiting For The Moment… You like it too?... Yeah. L.A… By Friday?... Hell yeah!... Alright… Okay… See you then!...Bye.”
“What was that?” I asked excited and confused all at once.
“What was that! What was that! That was Zack calling to say his boss loves us, the song will be on the radios by Saturday and GET THIS! Want to know who was in the office with Zack’s boss when he played the song? SMASHTOWN! Want to know who wants us to open for them this tour? SMASHTOWN! Oh my god. Oh my god. Oh my god.”
“Colin, what about school? What about our parents? What about Luke?” I asked wide eyed. This was amazing.
“Smashtown will pay for tutoring, our parents they’ll be so proud, and Luke… Luke will get this is a huge opportunity. El, you could pay for college with the money you make off this.”
I glanced at him, he was right; a music gig would seriously help out finically. Especially on that involves opening for the biggest punk band in the world.
“Wow.” I said completely dumbfounded and amazed. “Us. On tour. With Smashtown.”
“You better go talk to your ‘rents we have to be in L.A by Friday, RSR is emailing me our plane tickets!” Colin practically skipped out of my room.
The next day, Thursday, my mother told me this was a fantastic opportunity and that I should take it, I had packed up some of my stuff, and called Luke and said after he was done practice to come over. Around four, I began to walk to the lacrosse field at my school. Practice ended around four thirty so I could surprise Luke and maybe we could go get milkshakes. I smiled at how proud he would be, that sparkle in his eyes when I did something he was impressed by. I couldn’t wait to see it.
A little before four thirty I got to the field, it was empty, there were only a couple cars in the lot, and one was Luke’s. I walked toward with a bit of a spring in my step. As I got closer I realized Luke was in the car, with a blonde girl, they were kissing. I widened my eyes. I recognized the girl almost immediately, a girl named Kate who was on the girl lacrosse team. I turned around and began sprinting back toward my house. I didn’t want to see that sparkle in Luke’s eyes. Or Luke ever again.
“Thank you so much so giving me a ride home Luke,” Kate Suns said as she shut my car door.
“Yeah, no problem Kate.” I mumbled back.
“We don’t exactly live close so I really appreciate it.” She smiled at me and did that weird fast eye blinking thing.
“You live near Ella, so I don’t really mind.” I said back to her fumbling with my keys.
“Can I ask a question?” Kate asked sort of quietly.
“Um, sure.” I said turning my head to look at her.
“Do you ever get bored of Ella? Ever want to try something…or someone new?” she tilted her head and raised her eyebrows.
“I mean, I don’t really kn-” I was cut off by Kate kissing me and for a moment I found myself kissing back. I pulled away.
“What the hell?” I said to Kate. “I think you should find another ride.”
“I…” she said.
I started the car and she got out. I sped off.
“Yes Colin I’m packed…I know our plane is bright and early…no I’m fine… seriously…it’s nothing… just nervous… no…no I haven’t told Luke…why? Well maybe he won’t care…I don’t know… okay… see you tomorrow…bye.” I hung up the phone and laid on my bed, I can’t believe yesterday Luke and I made love in this bed. Wow. I wonder how long he has been with Kate… ugh. Don’t think about that. Don’t think about him. Stop it Ella. Good.
“Ella?” Luke said coming in my room. “Your mom let me in, why aren’t you answering your phone?”
“I was on the phone with Colin.” I answered back, rolling over to have my back toward him.
“What did you have to tell me?” he asked I could tell he was smiling. Son of a b****.
“I’m leaving tomorrow. Colin and I are going on tour.” I sat up and looked at him. He looked shocked and confused. I explained everything, in a deadpan voice.
“You are just up and leaving?” he said with angry eyes.
“I know about Kate.” I said. “I saw you guys. How long has that been going on? Are you sleeping with her? Is that what…who you do after practice?!”
“Jesus, Ella no! She kissed me, I pushed her away!” he was getting angrier.
“Did you?” I asked searching his eyes. “Because from what I saw you were kissing back, getting into it. How could you?”
“How could I?” he exclaimed throwing his hands up. “YOU ARE LEAVING!”
“Maybe if you didn’t take me for granted I wouldn’t be leaving!” I said tearing up. And what happened next absolutely shocked me, Luke backhanded me.
I stared at him, and touched my face.
“Ella… oh my god…” he came toward me.
“Get out.” I said slowly.
“Ella… please I’m sorry…” he said with tears in his eyes.
“Luke. Get. Out. Now.”
He backed out of the room very slowly, “Ella… please…” I walked to the door and slammed it in his face.
Friday morning I woke up bright and early, five thirty in the morning to be exact, I was so excited I couldn’t even contain myself. I was bouncing off the walls. I practically was skipping over to Ella’s house at 630 to get her.
“Hey!” Ella said with a smile when she answered the door.
“Ready?” I asked with a smile plastered on my face from ear to ear.
“As I’ll ever be.” She had a weak smile on her face. I didn’t question it; it was probably just the nerves. So off we went.
The airport was hell but exciting all at the same time. I just couldn’t wait to land, we flew first class and the whole time Ella and I made jokes about what our classmates were doing now. Sitting in algebra, eating lunch, listening to Mr. Mackle the principle saying the announcements in a false excited town. When we landed we knew what hotel to go to and what restaurant to meet the members of Smashtown, uncle Zack and his boss for dinner, but we had no idea how to get there. At the luggage carousel, we saw a shofar with a sign that read: ELLA & COLIN.
“No way!” I nudged Ella and nodded to the guy.
“Well what do you expect?” Ella said. “We are rockstars.” She winked at me and I laughed.
Once we got to the hotel, Ella and I were full blown giddy, two seventeen year olds having the time of their lives and we haven’t even performed yet. It was amazing L.A was so much different than New Jersey. So much busier and more excited. No color changing leaves but that was okay. Still perfect. Still amazing. We found our rooms, they were so tricked out, Ella’s room was conjoined with mine. A bed room, a fully stocked kitchenette, a flat screen, a bathroom on either side, separated by a wooden door.
“This is raaaaaad!” I said.
“Oh my gosh,” Ella said from her side. “This is amazing, I absolutely love it!”
“This is so perfect. Okay, lets rehearse a couple songs for tomorrow, our very first show!” I smiled at Ella she looked a little down though. “Hey.. El? What’s wrong?”
“Luke and I got in a fight, and before we did I put a ticket and a plane ticket in his mail box and I wrote our room number and I want him to show and then again I don’t and I’m really upset and all I want to do is sing.”
She was really upset, I looked at her and brushed some hair out of her face, “Then lets sing our hearts out beautiful,” I smiled.
And so we did.
“Mom?” I said as she was washing dishes.
“Yes Luke?” she was scrubbing a lasagna pan.
“Tomorrow, Ella has here first gig, in L.A. She left me a plane and show ticket, and an extra hotel room reveseration.” I lied about the hotel room, but I did know what hotel and what room, El might be mad, but she wouldn’t leave me to fend for myself in L.A.
“Oh really?” My mother looked at me with excited eyes. “That sounds awesome, you’re going aren’t you?”
“Well yeah. I am aloud?” I asked kind of shocked.
“Of course!” She beamed. “It’s Ella. I love Ella. Take video and send it to me of her show.” She nodded to her phone.
“Yeah, sure.” I said, I turned around to go back upstairs. I had packing to do.
“Yo, you guys are on in ten.” The stage manager said to me I felt my blood pumping; I grabbed my lucky guitar pic and kissed it. I glanced at Ella who was fixing her microphone. She looked absolutely sexy in her concert gear, a tight (in all the right places) leather mini dress, black heels, her dark brown hair were in loose curls, her brown eyes looked almost black from the all the smoky black makeup on her eyes but it still looked downright hot. She glanced over at me staring and flashed a smile. Before a new it I started strumming, the drumming started drumming and Ella started singing.
I felt it in my blood.
The music was just going through me.
I felt so free.
I looked out into the packed crowd, they loved us so far.
I saw a couple making out in the far back of the lawn.
I glanced over at Ella who was hitting a high note perfectly.
And suddenly it felt like something was missing.
But I kept going, kept strumming, and when my part was there I sang.
Five songs later we were done, we got off stage. Everyone was cheering for us.
They loved it.
After the concert back at the hotel, I was still on a concert high.
“Wasn’t that fantastic?!” I practically screamed.
“Yeah,” he smiled at me.
I looked at him and raised an eyebrow. “Are you happy?”
“I’m standing in a paid for hotel room, just getting done a concert with Smashtown.” He bit his lip and glanced down.
“You didn’t answer me.” I said suspiciously.
“I guess something just still feels missing,” he said with a shrug.
I began to get angry, what else could this kid want? “What else could you want from life?!” I said scanning his eyes.
Colin gazed at the floor and didn’t say anything.
“Ugh…I can’t believe this; I left everything to help you make your dreams come true!”
I marched into my side of the room and slammed the door.
I had to keep reminding myself to close my mouth throughout the whole concert… Ella was amazing. She did so good…no great…no amazing…absolutely perfect. I couldn’t even believe it I was beside myself. She was so emotional and the way she sang so beautifully rich and her high notes were perfect. One song was about a cheater, ironic. Part of me wonders if she wrote that on the plane. How could I kiss Kate? How could I hit her? I adore her. And maybe acting heartless and macho really isn’t the way to go. Maybe I should actually show her. Will she even talk to me? I took a deep breathe, only one way to know.
“Taxi!” I called; time to go win my girl back.
About an hour later there was a knock on the conjoined door, “Ella?” Colin called, “can I come in?”
“Free country,” I said back still annoyed. Not even thirty seconds later I felt Colin’s weight weighing down one half of my bed.
“Ella,” Colin mumbled, mumbling was something he did when he was nervous. “I figured out what was missing... I figured out what makes me happy...”
“What is it?” I sat up facing him, a little annoyed considering this kid always wanted more and more.
“You,” He said.
I jerked back a little. “Wha-”
Colin caught me off guard his kissed me, for a split second Luke flashed into my head, but at this very moment he was probably feeling up Kate, so I kissed back, hard. Colin kept kissing me and then pinned me down I wrapped my arms around his neck. I kissed him deeper, more passionately. He grabbed my thigh. Still kissing me he started pushing up my dress to the very tops of my thighs.
“What. The. F***.” Luke said standing in the doorway.