After hearing the doorbell, followed by a series of knocks, I played a short melody on the grand piano in the foyer (Erica and I live in the "rich" area of town, but it's not like we're billionaires or anything). I immediately had known who it was. When Erica lived here, we would hang out a lot. When she came over, she would knock a special rhythm so I knew it was her. I would then run to the piano and respond.
A short, stacatto melody would mean, "Sorry, I'm busy."
A lingering, classical melody would mean, "I'll be out there in a minute, let's hang out somewhere else."
And finally, a smooth, jazz tune would mean, "Come on in."
I played an excerpt from the recent jazz piece I was teaching myself. It was four pages long and extremely difficult, but I needed something amazing to audition for the well-rounded music/acting/singing summer camp I hoped to gain a scholarship to.
The front door opened and Erica stepped in. I had been planning to visit her, after I noticed the moving van next door.
"Hey!" She smiled, her hazel eyes surveying the room. It was the same as when she left, which for some reason caused her to relax.
"Er, so great to see you!" My longish jean shorts wrinkled as I leapt up, and hugged her.
"You too! Did you get my email?" She fiddled with her long dark brown braid, which reached her lower back. I admired her outfit, jean short- shorts splattered with paint, which had probably been an accident she turned into fashion. A blue tube top underneath kept her loose white tank modest. I decided not to mention her chubbiness from elementary school was gone, her pale arms and legs were thin while still short. I doubted she was much taller than 5'2".
"Yeah, I saw it a few minutes ago. I'll definitely be there." I smiled as I pulled her upstairs to the attic, my music room. We used to have a little band, we would both sing and I would play different instruments depending on the song. She can play pretty good piano and sometimes guitar.
"So I'm guessing we're gonna practice?" Erica laughed and picked up the guitar, strumming a chord.
"Which ones do you remember?" I asked, pulling out the stool underneath the keyboard and choosing the setting so the drums "played" along with me.
"I think I can still do Drive By.....let me practice for a minute." I pulled out the music for Drive By by train, one of our favorite songs to play. In fifth grade it had been massively popular. We had a singing arrangement too, with harmonies and everything. Of course, we're both probably altos, so that's kind of hard. She has the higher part in this song, anyways.
"Ready." She sat down on the window seat and nodded to me. She started into the quick intro, and then I started singing,
"On the other side of a street I knew,
stood a girl that looked like you.
I guess that's deja vu but,
I thought this can't be true cause,
You moved to South LA or,
New York or Santa Fey or,
Wherever to get away from me."
She then sang the next verse, her voice slightly higher than mine,
"Oh but that one night,
was more than just right.
I didn't need you,
'till it was all through.
But I was overwhelmed,
And frankly scared as hell,
Because I really felt for you."
I joined in with the keyboard and we sang the chorus together,
"Oh, I swear to ya,
I'll be there for ya,
This is not a drive by-y-y-y-y.
Just a shy guy,
Looking for a 2-ply,
Heavy bag to hold my,
When you rule me,
everything is groovy."
She laughed at that line, and we sang the rest of the chorus together and finished the song. Her guitar was shaky, but still pretty good.
When we finished, we laid on the soft rug and talked.
"So how's Dom?" She asked carefully.
"He-uh-we broke up." Erica and Becka were the first to know I was gay. Aaron can be slightly prejudice, and Lauren and Devin would blab it to the whole school.
"Really?! How?" Erica looked genuinely surprised.
"He just wasn't committed. Dom kept saying he needed more time to think about whether he was gay or not. After we dated for nearly a year with him so unreliable, I called it off." Dom was my ex-boyfried. We started hanging out in sixth grade, after Erica left. The summer before eighth grade, we started dating but broke up right after school ended this summer.
Dom had dark hair, nearly black. His eyes were chocolate brown and he was only a bit taller than me, with tan skin. I needed to stop thinking about him. We didn't work out.
I turned back to Erica, finding her reaching under the drums ad pulling out an old school newspaper. On the cover, Becka stood on the verge of tears, covered from head to toe in spaghetti sauce. Erica gasped and turned to me.
"A prank from Lauren." I said shortly. Erica clenched the paper until her knuckles turned white.
"What?" She said softly, covering her face and groaning.
"You know how Becka became sort of a loner. Lauren's gotten so much...meaner lately. Probably fighting with Devin again. I wonder if now their relationship is just for popularity. Anyways, Lauren targets Becka a lot. Sometimes Aaron and I but not very often. I don't know what we ever did to her, so watch your back." I turned on his phone and sighed, "I have practice for that play I auditioned for. I'll text you later."