It Was Meant To Be

Molly dreams of two things: getting into her first-choice university and finding true love. Music-loving slacker Zayn also dreams of two things:winning the battle of the bands- and winning Molly.He is determined to make her fall in love with him.

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29. Different Direction

Different Direction

10th November, 10.10 am

Zayn's POV

While Mr Perry waxes rhapsodic derivatives, I'm checking out my new day planner. Ms Everman gave it to me last week when I was freaking out about getting all my apps done and doing make-up work and writing my audition piece. She said that organization is the key to success. So I'm getting organized or at least I'm trying.

"Mr Beller!" Mr Perry shouts. "Is there a particular reason your book isn't open?"

Since I have to get straight A's now, a bit of ass-kissing is necessary.

"Sorry. It won't happen again."

Mr Perry's expression changes from expecting me to retaliate to utter disbelief. "Uh...good." He looks at me as if he's never seen me before. "That's good to hear."

I open my book and turn to the page everyone else is on. The book makes this crackling sound like this is the first time it's ever been opened.

One thing I've perfected over the years is appearing to be enraptured by a teacher's lecture while thinking about other things. Which is probably true for most of us. I take a look around the room. You can tell that half the guys are thinking about sex right this second. Same with me.

Molly's breaking up with Andrew at the mall after school. Then she's calling Elizabeth to pick her up. I can't because I have practice. Battle of the Bands is next week, and we're still arguing about the damn drum solo Josh wants to add but this afternoon, Andrew will be finally out of the picture.

And then Molly will be all mine.

I couldn't sleep at all last night. I feel like I'm wired on thirty cups of coffee and ten Red Bulls.

School is eternal. Too bad Einstein's dead. I'm sure he would appreciate my latest discovery within the space-time continuum. The closer you are to experiencing a monumental event, the longer time stretches out. It makes you feel alone.

I still feel alone later in practice. Josh is trying to convince Mike and me that there should be a semi-improvised drum solo at the end of the song we're doing. It's "Feel Like Making Love," this old Bad Company song. It was easy to agree on. It has this hard jam session near the end that you could take in a lot of different directions. Only Josh wants to take it in this way different direction.

"It's gonna get out of control." Mike's trying to talk Josh down from the ledge of public humiliation.

"That's the whole point! That's what we want!" Josh springs up from his stool behind the drums. "Out of control chaos!" Josh waves his drumsticks in the air. "And the crowd goes wild!" He makes excited crowd noises.

"Dude." Mike wipes his hand across his face. "If the sound gets disorderly, no one will be into it. We have to reel them in slowly, and then build up gradually. We can't just burst out all loud like that."

"I agree," I say.

The song has this strong drumbeat during the choruses, and there's this crashing climax at the end. Josh wants to take the climax over the top and run with it. Like something you'd hear at a Metallica concert but it's too risky for a high-school showcase that we're trying to win. For a second, I regret shooting down the ideas to do "Heaven" or "D'yer Mak'er". But "Heaven" is this old Bryan Adams song that is way too safe and standard and Mike's vocals on "D'yer Mak'er" are scary. Let's just say we're not all that with the Led Zeppelin.

"The sound is strong enough just covering it the way it is," I say. "If we OD, it'll blow up."

"He's right," Mike says. "Let's run through it once as is, and then we'll see what's up."

Josh make a tooth-sucking sound. "Fine." He retreats to the drums, outnumbered.

The song sounds great. It should by now. It's only, like, the zillionth time we've practised it. I do backing vocals with Mike. The harmonies sound awesome and Josh totally kills on drums. We're good to go. As we're playing, I imagine blowing everyone away with our performance. Most of the kids at school have never seen us play. More important than winning is impressing everyone. I don't know why I care. I don't usually care what other people think but for some reason, now I do.

When I pull into my driveway that night, I notice a car parked across the street. Which is kind of weird since no one lives across the street. It's just these woods. I briefly consider investigating, but I want to get some lyrics down that I thought if on the way home.

The anxiety over what happened with Molly and Andrew is killing me. Should I call her right now? Or should I wait for her to call me? But that's ridiculous. I'll call her.

But I never get the chance to call her because as I'm walking across the yard, someone jumps out from behind a tree and runs towards me.

 

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