“What was all that about earlier?” Harry Davis asked as Laura waltzed into the room in her black kitten heels.
“Well it seems, sir, that you booked two bands in for preliminary rehearsals in one of our best rehearsal performance suites at the same time.
“Who was that?” His hands fumbled around with pristine pieces of paperwork.
“Lossteel and 5 Seconds of Summer” Laura was still etched in the doorway
“Lossteel? Oh those kids who performed for us the other day? When was it? Like Wednesday?”
“Thursday sir, but yes Lossteel were rehearsing and when the other band arrived, Trevor tried to ask them to leave, but one of them put up quite a fight” She giggled
“Anyway, I checked the schedules and it turns out you double booked the rehearsal performance suite for the coming weeks that 5 Seconds of Summer are here. I moved Lossteel to one of the smaller rooms- the Creek studio. And informed them about it via email. I’m sure it’ll be fine.”
“Ah yes” Davis looked up from his paperwork and stopped shuffling his documents momentarily. “I still need to email them myself, don’t I?”
“Yes, sir” Laura took this as her chance to sit down in the plush leather swivel chair in front of Harry’s desk. She glanced around at the punk posters that lined the walls and the shelving units full of brightly coloured files and the elusive red walls that burned into her skin. Her gaze settled on Davis.
“I reckon they’ll make the cut, vibrant young band, potential, some shoddy acoustic pop choice with one of their songs, but nothing that can’t be fixed with one of our producers. What should I say… nothings final yet, but… no no, not quite the right tone.” He tapped away at the keyboard to his computer.
“How about ‘the meeting went well yesterday, we need to discuss the image further before any final decisions’”
“Perfect” he grinned typing it out “when’s my next free slot?”
“You have one tomorrow at half past four?”
“Great” and with that Harry Davis hit send with a disconcerting grin. Laura’s mouth curved at the edges, her eyes still firmly fixed on him.
“Guy’s! I just got an email! Do you reckon it’s from Harry?” Margo looked more like she was about to pass out, than die of excitement.
“Well I’m sure we’ll find out; it’s all you’ve been bloody looking at for the past 24 hours” Adam rolled his eyes. Ellen glared at him, but that soon turned into a smile.
“Elle, instead of gawking at pubic-head over here, can you please open this goddamn email”
“Jesus Christ Margo, why can’t you do it?”
“Piss off Adam, of course I will.”
The four of them rushed over to Margo’s bed and piled on to the dishevelled sheets. The room’s walls were cream and had various magazine posters of bands covering them, a signed Rolling Stones picture and strangely creepy childlike stickers in some corners. It was a particularly messy space; Margo’s organisation only stemmed so far and into almost every aspect of her life, other than at home. An electric blue acoustic guitar was propped up against the wall on the far left, surrounded by a mountain of useless crumpled up ideas and wasted moments. Beneath it were sheets of pre-existing material she had clearly been rehearsing. Along with goalkeeper gloves.
Eyes twitched and a dog bark sounded outside somewhere in the mass of grey clouds. A tree swayed in the gentle but building breeze. A pigeon shot past the window. Wind beneath its clattering wings. The sound unmistakable.
“He wants to meet us!” Ellen exclaimed, breaking the painfully long silence.
“What? Are you actually serious though?” Margo snatched the laptop back.
“No way! We ballsed it up big time though” Adam said, mouth wide open in disbelief.
“I’m for real guys, this could actually be the confirmation of our record deal!”
“That’s amazing” breathed Jose in his quiet husky voice. A man of few, but true words.
“No!” screeched Margo
“I thought you’d be the most excited” Adam laughed
“No, look! He wants to meet us tomorrow at four thirty, we can’t do that! I have my end of season awards ceremony! Jose and Adam, you guys have that birthday dinner out of central then, we were going to miss band practice for it! Elle, weren’t your parents dragging you along to some christening?”
“Shit, we’ll have to change it then-” Ellen began
“We can’t change it now! Do you have any idea how hard it could be to get another appointment? This guy is clearly busy and managed to fit us in right away. We can’t ruin our first impression. I mean, what if he thinks we aren’t committed enough and throws us off, we’ll ruin our chance before we’ve even had it!”
“But we can’t-”
“Ellen, someone has to! Seriously, this is our only shot- what if we don’t get another offer for years, oh shit, I’ll have to take my medical degree- I don’t want to be a fucking doctor-”
“Calm down! Jesus, I’ll go”
“But the christening-”
“I’ll get out of it somehow”
“Thank you Elle! Please keep me updated! Seriously, I mean it, if I don’t get at least five text messages from four thirty to five thirty, I will honestly breakdown mentally.”
“Calm down, it’ll be fine. Better go and work on my parents about now… So I’ll message you guy’s tomorrow, let you know how it goes. See you later.” She grabbed her bag and made to leave. Adam stared after her, Jose looked half-asleep under his curls and Margo bit her bottom lip in anticipation.
A chandelier hung from the ceiling of a basic square room that was lavished in indulgent furniture. In the middle was a deep brown wooden table, with twisted legs and chairs to match. The seats of the chairs were lined with white circular fringing, making them look like expensive doyleys. The pattern on the pillow was cream and white and swirled round so that if you stared at it too long your eyes were drawn in and your mind would go completely blank for a minute or two. At the back of the room was a brown circular clock that unnervingly matched the exact colour wood as everything else. A desk of the same design was to the left hand corner, topped with pictures of a wedding day, a little girl and a golden lamp with a shade as bleak as the paintwork. Long curtains draped over the windows, with gold spirals trickling down cream silk. But despite the room’s best efforts to look royal, it was a middle class man in dress robe; something just didn’t quite fit.
Around the table sat two people. A man in his mid-forties and a woman of the same age. He wore a pale blue shirt, tucked into some corduroy trousers, with some slip-ons on his feet. He had greying brown well-kempt hair and pale blue eyes. The woman had cropped brown hair and eyes of the same alluring shade. Her long-sleeved top matched the colour of the walls and her pale brown capris almost matched the room’s décor. Almost. She had fluffy slippers on her feet and was reading over a newspaper, with diamond shaped glasses perched on her nose.
The front door burst open and in strolled Ellen who was wearing a black t-shirt with laced up sides, blue skinny jeans that had rips in the knee and gold vans, dotted with glittering sparkles.
“Hello darling, how was the date with your friends?” said her mother
“It wasn’t date, it was a band meeting, je-” her parents were oblivious
“How are they all? How’s Adam? Charming boy, wish you’d invite him round for dinner more.”
Ellen scoffed “as if”. Taking off her bag and hanging it on the rack by the door, she paced into the faux-luxury dining room. “I actually have to ask you something”.
“Don’t walk on this flooring with those dirty shoes Ellen”
She huffed. If she didn’t actually want something she would have made a sarcastic remark or fought back, but the circumstance proved she couldn’t. Removing her shoes, she continued.
“Mum, you know I said about the meeting with the record label”
Sighing deeply, with her husband glaring over to Ellen too, putting down his Sudoku pad, she breathed “yes”.
“Well the guy, Harry, said it went really well and he wants to meet tomorrow about discussing our image and figuring stuff out… he’s a busy guy and well we need to go so he knows we are serious.”
“Well, serious for now, but you need a real job Ellen- you don’t want to be playing in bars your whole life do you? Plus it’s the christening tomorrow”
“It’s not playing in bars! Jesus, this is the biggest punk label in the UK, this is our shot at hitting the jackpot and actually making something of this band. I know it’s the christening, but what’s more important, a once in a lifetime opportunity, or a boring ceremony where some jumped up spiritualist in a dress pours water over a baby’s head?”
“It’s more than just water Ellen, it’s welcoming the baby into our family as well.”
“We don’t even know these people!”
Her dad spoke up, and there was no way she could argue with him, but by god would she try.
“Ellen I agree with your mother, this has been planned since before the baby’s birth, we have to go and that’s final. Get your other friends to go instead.”
“Baby! You don’t even know its goddamn name! That’s how pathetically related we are to these people. Plus they can’t, they are all busy too. They are depending on me! They need me to tell them it’s all a go!”
“Well we have both said no so that is that. Go and tell that to your friends.”
Letting out a shriek of annoyance, Ellen ran up the stairs, making sure her footsteps were extra loud. Slamming the door to her bedroom, she leapt onto her bed, pulled out her phone and furiously typed a message out.
‘It’s all fine guys! I’ll see Harry tomorrow at 4:30, let you know how it goes xoxo’
Her thumb glided over send.