Good Girl

They aren't the popular boys of the school that everyone is fascinated with. They aren't the star football players or the highest placing students. They're a band who is trying to prove to themselves and their parents that they should be allowed to leave school to pursue their dreams. I, however, am not like them. I am a high honor roll student, who only focuses on school work and my job. I don't have time for these boys, I'm a good girl. Though, as they might say, "Good girls are bad girls that haven't been caught.".

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2. One;

As my mother trudged down for breakfast on Saturday morning, she sighs at the loud noises coming from the Hemmings' house next door. "I wish those boys hadn't gotten a drummer.” Her voice is annoyed, but she laughs after saying this. I pour her a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios, as I do every Saturday morning when she wakes, and she thanks me while taking a seat at our island, retying her robe as she does so. "Can you go talk to Liz about this? I cannot have those boys playing so loudly every weekend." As she complains, she pulls out her headache medicine and pops three pills into her mouth, using the leftover milk from her cereal to make the swallowing easier.

As much as I would like to protest bothering Liz about such a thing- because A) I like Liz a lot and she is always nice about my friends and I squealing in our pool, and B) I generally enjoy the sound of Luke's band's music- I oblige to my mother's request, because I rarely don't do something that my parents ask of me.

I walk up the stairs and into my bedroom, which is behind the first of many doors down a long hallway. I quickly throw on some clothes that are fitting for what I believe to be warm weather outside, and use the toilet before brushing my teeth. I yell a quick good-bye to my mother and father- who is now awake- before leaving for the Hemmings household. After all, I typically stay and talk to Liz, or Luke and Calum, when my parents request me to go over for something.

I knock on the door a few times, and as usual, Liz does not hear because of the loudness of the band. I walk in- something that I have done many times before to find Liz sitting at her island, reading the newspaper. I smile as I call her name, and she looks to me, grinning back at me. She nods to the seat across from her, motioning for me to take a seat.

We are far enough away from the garage that we can talk to each other normally, the sound of music just distant to us. I tell her of my mother's request and she tells me that I will have to talk to Luke and his friends about such a thing. She offers me a pancake, which I deny because I've already eaten breakfast, and head towards the garage, telling Liz that I will be back to talk with her when I am done out there.

I feel sort of embarrassed doing this kind of thing, much as I always do when it comes to my parents' requests of me. I’m a bit shy and awkward, so it’s hard for me to go and interrupt the boys. Liz knows how this goes, likewise, Luke does as well, and they try to be patient with me about it, knowing that I simply am doing what I do best: following my parents’ rules.

When I open the door that leads from their kitchen to their garage, four boys look over in my direction. I know three of them. Obviously, there is Luke, who has been my neighbor since either of us were born. Calum, who looks slightly Asian, is a boy whom I know from school, because he is in all of my honors classes, and the boy I’ve spoken the most with. Michael is a boy with crazy colored hair-it’s red right now, but changes every few months-, who I simply know as Luke's friend. The boy on the trap set, however, is one who I do not know- the one who my mother was complaining about just moments earlier.

"Hey, Lil. What's going on?" Luke asks as I close the door.

"Hey guys," I say waving to them all. "My mom sent me over."

Luke laughs a little, "I figured that. It's not every Saturday morning that I get a visit from Liliana Collins in my garage."

Calum chimes in, "Isn't it typically Sunday mornings?" This causes the boys to laugh, except for the drummer, who is not yet used to my appearances in the garage.

"Let me guess," Luke says, "We're too loud for your mother. And she would like us to be quieter?"

I nod, "You're a good guesser, Hemmings." I jerk my head toward the curly haired boy who still sits kind of awkwardly, staring in my general direction, "She wishes you'd get rid of him."

He frowns slightly, "I just got here!" This, again, causes laughter from the boys. I watch as he adjusts his bandanna to fit his head once again, and look away once his eyes meet mine.

"She just wants to know if you guys could try to practice somewhere else. Or, maybe, not at 8:30 in the morning. That's a bit early," I say, understanding that people who are not morning people, like my mother, are not content with loud rock music at that hour.

Luke walks over to me and slings an arm around my shoulders. I notice the large number of holes in his shirt, and poke at them, causing him to laugh. "You need to lighten up, Collins. Stop doing everything your parents tell you to do. Let loose."

Michael, who has been silent aside from his laughs finally adds to the conversation, "Why don't you come watch our gig tonight? I'm sure Luke here can set you up with good seats."

The drummer laughs, "Mikey, there were, like, twelve people at our last gig. I'm sure she won't be fighting for a great seat."

Luke shoots him a look, his eyes narrowed. “We totally had a bunch of people there. Don’t listen to him.”

I shrug, and feel a little uncomfortable, "I don't know. Our Bio midterm is this week, and I really should study for it."

The three boys groan. The drummer still looks slightly confused. "Lily, I know you've been ready for that mid-term for weeks. Plus, it's a Saturday. You're allowed out then, aren't you?" I sigh at Calum's excellent memory skills.

I look toward Luke and sigh once again- it seems to be my only emotion around these boys- before saying: "You're asking my father. And you can't bring them with you."

Minutes later we are sitting in front of my father and mother, with Luke apologizing for his band. He explains that they have a show this evening, and he would like me to come along as a guest. My father, at first, looks unhappy that he would even bring up such a topic. "Will there be alcohol?"

Luke laughs, "Of course not! It's not at a bar or anything. It's at a small venue. Our band has been getting a good bit of attention on YouTube since Ashton joined." I smile at this- the mystery boy now has a name to go with his face, and it's quite fitting.

My father's gaze drifts towards me as he asks: "What do you think?"

I know that I should go, because I said I would, and really, I don't have anything else to do for the night. "I'd like to go. Besides, I haven't gotten to spend any time with Luke lately, and I do quite like their music." I hope that my parents don't see past this lie. Really, I've never spent much time with Luke. But, I assume that they believe I am with him when I am talking with Liz about everything. So, my father reluctantly agrees to allow me to go.

 

The doorbell rings at 6:30, revealing all four boys of the band, whose name I have yet to learn. My father seems unimpressed with them, all have very visible piercings and holes in their shirts not unlike the one that Luke had on this morning. Before letting me leave, he makes Luke promise to keep me safe while we are out tonight. Within minutes, we're driving to the nearby venue where the boys will be playing tonight. Michael lets out a loud, dramatic sigh moments after we hit the road: "This is awkward."

I nod, signaling that I agree with him, even though, really, no one can see me. I've never talked to him that much, never even met Ashton before today, hardly talk to Luke besides at picnics, and only talk to Calum during school classes. So, yes, this is an awkward ride.

"Well," Luke laughs, "I think that Liliana here will be spending more time with us now. So, we should get to know a few things about her." Though I don’t verbally agree, I know that Luke is probably right. I’m not too sure what was different this morning when I entered the garage, but the atmosphere between me and them changed. So, the boys ask me questions such as my favorite animal, food, color and things of that sort. I ask them all for their answers to their questions after I've given mine, and in the thirty minutes that it takes us to get to the venue, we all know a little bit more about each other than we did when I was picked up, even if I can’t remember whose favorite animal is a penguin and who loves spaghetti.

The boys unload their gear and start to set up, while I awkwardly stand around. Luke gives me little errands to do (and by little, I mean little, because he feels bad about how socially inept I am), and I quickly befriend the stage manager of the venue, who helps me feel at ease. "Those boys seem like a lot of work, honey." She says this while laughing, and I do so as well.

"I wouldn't know. I've hardly spoken to any of them until today," I say with a shrug. She doesn't question this, but instead gives me orders on how to set up chairs that need setting up.

I find their music to be very good, and even sing along to two songs that I've heard the boys practice a countless number of times. There's actually quite a bit of people here, considering the fact that the band is relatively unknown. At the end of the show, Luke screams into the microphone, obviously very hyped from all of the positive feedback that they're getting, "We're 5 Seconds of Summer and thank you for being amazing!"

After the show has finished, it is another half an hour before the boys are ready to head home. I am already nervous, because it is nearly eleven o'clock, but Luke continually assures me that he has already told my father that it will be late when I return home. Ashton takes his position in the driver’s seat of the van, and Calum takes the passenger seat. Michael, Luke, and I sit in the middle row of the van, and the equipment is shoved in the backseats and trunk of the van.

I am shocked when we pull into a McDonalds parking lot, because it is nearly eleven thirty and we still have a fifteen-minute ride back to mine and Luke's houses. Luke tells me, again, to quit worrying about my curfew. The other boys laugh at how "uptight" I am, but apologize quickly, to ensure that they haven't hurt my feelings.

We all make small talk while we eat, and everything goes smoothly until Calum opens his mouth to speak: "Do you have a boyfriend?" I sit shocked, and then start to laugh.

"What's so funny?" Ashton asks.

"Like I would be allowed to have a boyfriend. Oh, gosh no. My parents are bent on Luke quitting the band and me marrying him. He's the only boy they have ever liked." Luke also starts to laugh at this, fully aware that nothing romantic will ever spark between the two of us. "Why would you even ask that?"

Calum shrugs before, almost inaudibly, saying, "Ashton thinks you're cute."

As crazy as it might sound, I start laughing at this. I try to explain my hysterical laughter to the boys when I see Ashton's face fall, but this causes me to laugh even more.

Luke laughs hesitantly, "Gee, Lil. You could have just told Ashton that you think he's ugly, because he is, “Ashton makes a face at him. “You didn't have to laugh at him."

My laughter eventually dies down and I can tell the boys about it, "It's really not even that funny. It's just that, no one has ever told me that I'm attractive before, and he had you say it. Then I started laughing, and I thought it was funny that Ashton got so upset about it and kept me laughing." I start laughing again and this time Luke joins in.

"I think you're tired. It's much past your bedtime, Good Girl," Michael says with a wink, which once again causes me to laugh.

Luke sighs before saying: "Your parents are going to think I let you drink. Liliana, calm down. Stop laughing."

Twenty minutes later, I am left in the van with Luke and Ashton. Ashton is apparently the only one who can drive of the four of them. "Did you have fun tonight, Liliana?" Ashton asks, and I laugh a little, before saying yes.

"Do not laugh, Lil.” Luke’s voice is serious, and I realize that he’s actually a caring guy. “The last thing I need is for your parents to think you were out doing drugs or drinking. You didn't drink, did you?"

"Lighten up, Luke. I didn't drink. I just had fun."

Much to my expectations, my father is still awake when I return home, nearly at 12:30. Luke walks me inside the house and says goodnight to my father, who we could both tell was extremely tired. "Thank you for letting her come out, sir. We had a lot of fun."

I say goodnight and watch him as he returns to the car and I notice Ashton waving to me. I feel my cheeks begin to burn as I think about the fact that he told the others that he thinks I'm cute. I wave back and close the door.

"Dad," I say, chuckling, "I think that it's time for you to go to bed."

"I just wanted to make sure that you got home okay, Princess. Did you have fun?"

I nod, "We had a really good time, and they're quite a good band." In order to throw in something to make him feel safer, I add, "That boy Calum who comes over a lot for projects is in the band, too. He plays the bass guitar."

My father yawning, I hardly hear as he replies, "He's a good kid, too," before walking up the stairs and to his bedroom.

I'm nearly never awake this late, but from the buzz of the concert, I'm not tired at all, so I grab my laptop- the only thing I've ever bought against my parents' will- and check my social media- all of which they are unaware of.

Even though I only met him this morning, I can't help but to feel a smile spread across my face and my heart beat quicken as I see a notification on Facebook: Ashton Irwin requested to be your friend.

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