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 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.