Common Ground

Childhood friends, turned more, turned upside down


11. Advertising

“So he actually successfully planned a date?” Aviana asked after school the next day. We were sitting on the front steps of school while I waited for Trevor to drive me home.
“Yeah, he legit planned it all out; we got tattoos and it was like really fun. The guy was super nice and I don’t know…it was just really fun.” I said, nodding.
“I can’t believe he actually pulled it off and you actually got a tattoo.” Aviana said, shaking her head. “I know you have those two small ones so your parents wouldn’t see but this one is like not really small either so I’m sort of shocked. And I’m also shocked he successfully planned this.”
“I’m not; I think he just needed an extra nudge. Bethany gave him that.” Vienna said. “She sent her standards, her expectations, and he followed through. It’s not like she asked for a lot. She asked for a date once and awhile and she asked that he basically just do what’s natural in a relationship since he’s never done this before; so like yeah, I’m not really surprised.”
“I don’t know; it’s still Trevor.” Aviana said, rolling her eyes.
“Yeah, a part of you will always hate him; I get that.” I said, shaking my head.
“As long as you’re happy, that’s what I keep telling myself to be honest. I haven’t seen either of your happier and you’re slowly coming out of your shell again so like I really can’t be that mad. But still, you had to pick Trevor? Like why Trevor?”
“Oh shut up; you know why, Av.” I said.
“Yeah I know but still. Look at him.” She nodded to the other side of the parking lot where Trevor was walking out with Logan and Alex, acting like the typical obnoxious human he is. I giggled and just watched them.
“Yeah, he’s pretty great.” I sighed.
“So sickening.” Aviana said, rolling her eyes.
“I think it’s cute.” Vienna said.
“Of course you do.” Aviana said.
“You ready?” Trevor yelled from across the parking lot at me. I nodded and stood up as Matt walked out behind me. I got up as I waved goodbye to the girls and made my way home for gym night and band practice.
“Has it sunk in yet?” Matt asked me at the gym later that day.
“Has what sunk in?”
“The fact that you’re living with us for good now and that like…this is a thing?”
“I mean, yes and no. I love seeing Trevor all the time but I know, the whole honeymoon phase thing it going to wear off and like I know that he’s okay with re-doing his room to make it ours and all but I still almost feel like I’m invading his space so like right now it’s still kind of weird to me to be honest. Right now those are the only two thoughts I have on it. I’m sure more will slowly start to pop up as this all continues.”
“Yeah, I’m sure there will be. But you just have to live in the moment, you know? Like, he wouldn’t just agree to something to spite someone. He only does things he is okay with and you know that. I mean you know him more than anyone. You should know that by now.”
“I know I do, but at the same time like we’re together now, this isn’t like some fling, I’m not just his best friend anymore; we’re best friends and dating, now let’s throw on top of that, living together. I know he’s never been the kind of person to just do something to spite a person. If he doesn’t like it or doesn’t want to do something, he will say it, but what if he’s just literally doing this to spite me because we’re dating?”
“He wouldn’t do that, and you know that. You are over thinking right now. You know, as well as everyone else that knows him and you for that matter, he would do fucking anything for you, literally.”
“I’m sure he has some boundaries.”
“Nah, I don’t think so. I think if you asked him to kill someone for you he would do it if he knew it made you happy. That must be the one thing you haven’t seen in him yet.”
“What are you talking about?” I asked, confused.
“Every time you called, texted, he sensed you were upset, he dropped anything and everything he was doing, had planned, and went fucking running to make sure you were okay. He gave no fucks about anything else happening, he needed to know you were going to be okay. Like, you remember that day he raided Alexis’s room and stole all her Nicholas Sparks movies?”
“Yeah, I remember.” I said slowly.
“Like he knew you were having a bad day and he knew those were your favorite movies and so he dropped all plans to go to you and watch them with you while you cried about that one guy…fuck uh… oh yeah, Tyler; after you guys had that mini fling. He dropped fucking everything for you. He always has, and you can ask anyone and I’m sure they would all have their own story about how Trevor straight up dipped because you called or texted saying something was wrong. He would literally do anything for you.” Matt said, shrugging.
“I didn’t know that.”
“Of course not; he always told you he wasn’t doing anything. But you should know that he doesn’t do things just to spite you; he literally does things to make you happy.”
I looked forward, not sure what to say anymore, thinking over everything. Yeah, Matt was right, I was over thinking this whole Trevor thing. I knew we could make it through anything and everything. It was a no-brainer. It almost felt like things were meant to work out the way they were even if it didn’t seem that way now. It may be a god damn rollercoaster right now, but the end is always the best part; the endings always end up perfect.
Later that night, we were back at the house at band practice and I was trying so hard to focus but all I could focus on was Trevor. I wanted to ask him if any of it was true. I was honestly that curious about all of this. I almost needed confirmation that he wasn’t doing anything just to spite me. It still nagged at me.
“Beth, focus.” Alex said, snapping his fingers in my face.
“Fuck; sorry.” I said, shaking my head.
“You good?” Tim asked.
“Yeah, just zoned out a little. Sorry about that.” I said, nodding. “I’m good.”
“Okay, well the next cover idea is Drag Me Down; I feel like that one would be fucking perfect. I think we could nail this one out but let’s hold off on that until after this weekend since Isaac got us another gig that we’re getting paid for!” Trevor said happily.
“FINALLY!” I’m starting to go broke.” Alex joked.
“Wait, you guys get paid for the shows?”
“Most of them, yeah. I mean, technically all of them but it’s all based off ticket sales. The venue gets a cut, Isaac gets a cut, and then we get the leftovers. As of late, they’ve been shit but the last show was a killer!”
“That’s good.” I said, nodding.
“You’ll be cut in this time since it isn’t a test run anymore.” Matt pointed out.
“Oh my thought process didn’t even go that far to be honest.” I said, smirking.
“But anyway, guys!” Trevor said, snapping our attention back. We all looked over at him. “So we have to get this shit on lock; same venue as last week and I think we may need Shannon again. I already posted the announcement on youtube and our website but sales are still kinda blah.”
“Got it.” I said, pulling out my phone.
“What?” Trevor asked, confused.
“Oh I’m texting Shannon now…” I said slowly. “Okay, good. She said she got this shit. Word for word what she just sent me.” I said, shoving my phone back in my pocket.
“Okay…and we still haven’t figured out how to make tickets available to the people we see literally every day.” Trevor pointed out. “I mean, the website, yeah, but we literally have 100 printed tickets as well and so far, nothing.”
“Oh, I can handle that.” I pulled my phone back out, texting Kaylee and Vienna.
“What can’t you handle?” Tim joked.
“Uh, I handle everything; it’s my job.” I said, furiously texting. “When I was a part of that music program I literally was the leader of everything, handling almost everything, or at least knew who exactly could handle it and yeah…I know how to do this shit.” I said.
“Fuck; you do Isaac’s job better than Isaac.” Alex joked.
“Yeah, no. I don’t want his job.”
“None of want you to leave, I can promise you that.” Matt said, rolling his eyes.
“Okay, settled. Vienna and Kaylee are on their way.”
“What, why?” Trevor asked, confused.
“So is Shannon so it’s fine.” I said, shrugging. “Is there anything else we’re having problems with?”
“Uh no that covers it for right now…” Matt said slowly.
“Okay cool; I told them to just come down when they get here so; what’s the set list?” I asked.
“Well that was the next order of business.” Trevor pointed out. “I was thinking we open up with like the cover we just made; the one that got you here in the first place- All You Know. So let’s that that through.” We all nodded, getting ready to go through that song.
“HERE!” Everyone yelled after we got through our third song, Maps.
“Hey!” I said happily. “Okay, here’s the issue; Shannon, advertising. They’re fucking struggling; I need you to blow it up just like you did last weekend. Kaylee, Vienna, ticket sales; holy shit do they suck right now. Kaylee, you killed it last time with your school and you go to school with Melissa so pass some on to her as well. We have like 100 physical tickets, the rest are online so like we need to get this shit done.”
“You’re website must really suck if you’re struggling this much guys; I’m going to start there.” Shannon said, grabbing her laptop.
“Yeah, I know Melissa said she had like a program thing tonight so I can give her a bunch; I’m sure after the few people that came last time, word got around and more will show up.” Kaylee said, nodding.
“Yeah and you know why you called me.” Vienna said, laughing.
“Exactly; you like can you guys really help us out?” I asked.
“Hell yeah; maybe I could even get my parents on this as like a favor.” Shannon added in. “That would be fucking huge for you guys.”
“Yeah it would…” Matt said slowly.
“We got this guys; no worries.” Kaylee said.
“You guys are the best; thanks.” I said, hugging Vienna and Kaylee before they left and Shannon just plopped herself on the couch downstairs, working on their website talking about how much it really did suck to herself.

As we got back to practice, I was shocked how well Bethany had this ability to bring people together. To me, that’s been music but never once have I watched someone be able to bring a group of people together to help when it didn’t benefit them in some way or another, and yet Bethany wasn’t kidding when she said she had that ability. Her leadership was incredible.
“Okay, so maybe we should go over this stuff a couple more times after school tomorrow.” I said after we wrapped up our third time through the set list.”
“Yeah I think we need it.” Alex agreed.
“Yeah, I second that.” Tim said, nodding.
“Okay, cool. Tomorrow then.” Matt said, nodding. I looked over at Bethany who had now joined Shannon and was going through everything with her and knew she would be fine with it. She looked tired as all hell but I knew she could fight through anything.
“Hey, how’s it looking?” I asked, walking over.
“Looks a hell of a lot better.” Shannon said. “This thing was a shit show before. No wonder no one could get to your tickets; it was the biggest hassle. But I hit up a friend of mine whose mom teaches at the tech school as a fashion design teacher about designing you guys some merch. She said she would get on that tomorrow and hopefully have like a t shirt or two by the time your show comes around.”
“The show is literally on Friday…” I pointed out.
“Yup; they work quickly. Just some basic t-shirts Trevor. It’s not like I asked for a whole fucking line of merch; shit. Oh and have you guys though of maybe burning some of your most popular songs onto a disc and maybe fucking sell them? Like what are you guys doing with your life here? It’s like you guys know nothing.”
“Typically Isaac handles everything…”
“He seems to books shows and hope for the best. If you guys want to get out there, you need to fucking make moves, not just sing a few songs and hope for the best.” Shannon said, rolling her eyes.
“It’s like you want this job or something.” Matt joked, walking over.
“Hey, I need a job. This would be a dream job.” Shannon pointed out.
“Wait really?” Bethany asked happily.
“Well hell yeah, but you guys suck right now so I’m good working for free but when you guys get like fucking huge, you owe me.” Shannon joked. 
“Okay, I’ll remember that.” I said, shaking my head.
“Anyway, I’m going to head out; I’m fucking tired and I’m sure you guys are too so I’ll see you guys all at school tomorrow.” Shannon said, getting up.
“I’ll walk you out.” Beth said, following her upstairs.
“Who knew she had that in her?” Tim pointed out.
“I sure as hell didn’t.” I said, shrugging.
“She’s definitely something.” Alex said, grabbing his guitar case. “I wouldn’t drop this one.” He said before walking upstairs to head home.
“Yeah, she’s got some serious dedication to this; you don’t see that every day; someone willing to make sure you get what you want.” Tim pointed out. I looked at Matt and he just nodded and shrugged.
“She knows we all have no issue dropping out, we all know she does, but she still cares enough to make sure you make it.” Matt said to me. I just stood there as she came barreling back down the stairs.
“Shit okay so like that was okay, right? Like I just figured the help was…” I cut her off, kissing her. I never realized how serious someone could be about something. “Okay, uh what was that for?”
“You’re the best.” I said, hugging her tightly.
“Um, thank you.” She said, hugging me back. “So I guess everything I did was okay…”
“More than okay.” Tim said. “I’ll see you guys tomorrow.” He said before leaving. I let Bethany go and she just smiled.
“Okay well I’m going to go shower and head to bed. I’m tired; goodnight Matt!” She said before heading back upstairs.
“Like that’s fucking dedication.” Matt said before heading upstairs. I stayed back, going through some of our practice runs for the show, wondering how on earth I would survive without her through this whole process and honestly I wasn’t sure I could.  

“What are you still doing up?” I mumbled, rubbing my eyes when I rolled over, seeing Trevor’s side lamp still on.
“Just got some good ideas…I needed to get them out…” He said, scribbling things down like crazy.
“Babe, it’s like 3 in the morning…”
“Yeah, I know.”
“Is everything okay?” I asked, concerned.
“Yeah, everything is fine babe. Go back to sleep.” He kissed my head and I snuggled up to his side as he kept going as I drifted back to sleep.
The next morning, I woke up to Trevor sitting on the roof outside the window, playing guitar. I walked over to the window and poked my head out as I listened to him humming and messing around with different chords.
“Morning.” I said. He looked up at me and then looked at his watch, seeing it was time to get ready for school.
“You never went to sleep, did you?”
“Nope.” I crawled out the window, sitting next to him.
“It’s a nice morning though.” I said slowly.
“Yeah, it is.”
“Are you sure you’re okay? Do you do this like super often so I know not to like interrupt like I did last night?”
“Yeah only when I get super good ideas though is when it gets this insane. Normally I can scribble some stuff down and be good but like last night I felt like I just struck gold mentally.” Trevor said, smirking.
“Okay, good to know for next time.” I said, nodding. “But now we need to get ready for school.” He nodded as we crawled back through the window to get ready for school.
“Okay, so I sold a shit load, Kaylee texting me saying after last week’s show, it was like a no-brainer selling them at school; she also said Melissa was already out and was telling everyone to go to the website since it’s been updated.” Vienna said at lunch.
“Yeah and like the ticket sales on the website are insane. Not even kidding. Plus, my friends mom sent over the pictures of what the t-shirts will look like so I put out a preview of them saying like limited amount and coming soon so like everyone is trying to find out if pre-order is a thing but I don’t even know how many we are getting so I didn’t make that a thing. But literally I keep having to fix the site because it keeps crashing from the flow of traffic here.” Shannon said.
The whole lunch hour, we were all huddled around Shannon and talking about new ideas while the guys were god even knows where. We decided to ditch and head to the school yard so no one could bother us with their bullshit today. We didn’t even have time to focus on everyone else; we knew we had until tomorrow night to get everything perfect and that’s exactly what we were going to do.
After school, we were going over the set list so many times I thought I was going to literally blow my brains out. I knew this was never easy and not all of it was fun but this was almost too much. I was getting so tired and I felt like I was going to lose my voice just here in practice.
“Sorry to interrupt.” We all looked up and saw Shannon speaking into the little mic. “But I have something I think you’ll all want to see.” We all came out of the studio to see boxes on fucking boxes, on fucking boxes.
“What is all this?” Trevor asked. I started smiling and started ripping into them.
“SHANNON THESE ARE INCREDIBLE!” I screamed, throwing a bunch to the guys. Her friend’s mom managed to get all these done in 24 fucking hours and I had never been more impressed in my life.
“How many shirts are here?!” Matt questioned, shocked.
“About a thousand, all different sizes.” Shannon said. “You know, your sister really knows how to rally some troops too; Bree and a shit load of people stayed late after school just to get a whole other box done.” Shannon said, smiling.
“Shannon, you’re a miracle worker; so is Bree wherever she is.” I said.
“But I figured I would drop them off and you guys could get them there tomorrow. I already got Sophie and Emily to agree to help me sell them tomorrow, just so you guys know.”
“Literally, a miracle worker.” Alex said this time.
“But anyway, see you guys tomorrow and then tomorrow night for the show!” Shannon said as she headed out.
The next day at school, we were all sitting out in the school yard trying to figure out how to make all of this possible without taking away from the crowd space. Shannon, Emily, and Sophie were literally making sure every little aspect was covered here.
“Hey, you have a minute?” I looked up and saw Trevor.
“Yeah, sure.” I followed him to a quieter area and we sat down. “Is everything okay? You’re like super serious right now.”
“Why are you doing this?” He asked me and I looked taken aback.
“Well, why not? This helps get the name out there, and isn’t that all you ever wanted?” I said slowly.
“Yeah sure, but what about you? We make and you just leave the band? Have you even thought of what happens next?” Trevor asked, looking hurt. “I know they want you to stay, and I know for a fact I want you to stay and we all know this…dropping out, this isn’t going to be you.”
“Yeah okay so maybe I didn’t think that far ahead, but I was trying to think of you.” I said, not sure if I was hurt or offended. “Look, I’m going to head inside, I have a lot to do that I’ve fallen behind on. If anyone asks for me, just tell them I needed a break.” I grabbed my bag and walked inside, almost in tears. I went right for the library to finish some half assed done homework meant for later today that got shoved to the side for this.
I wasn’t feeling myself, nor did I feel like performing tonight but I knew that a fight with Trevor couldn’t stop me from tonight so I would just have to suck it up but right now, yeah, right now I was not going to be doing that.

“Has anyone seen Bethany?” Emily yelled. She looked over at me, where I was still sitting, running my hands through my hair. “Trevor, is everything okay?”
“Like do I suck at being serious or something?” I asked her.
“Yeah, kind of; why?”
“I tried to ask Bethany a serious question and I’m almost positive I offended her.”
“Okay well, being serious was never your strong suit. What did you want to ask her?”
“Why she was doing all this, why she was trying to get us more momentum when I knew dropping out wasn’t going to be her thing…just stuff like that.”
“So you basically made her feel like shit for getting Shannon to fix your website, get people to help you guys get merch, get more ticket sales…”
“That’s not how I meant it though!” I said, throwing my hands down.
“I’m sure it wasn’t but that’s how I heard it as a girl, so that’s probably how she heard it too.”
“As I said, serious was never your thing. Look, just go talk to her; explain that’s most definitely not how you meant it and move on. I’m sure she’s around here somewhere.” Emily said, shrugging.
“Yeah I have no idea where she went.” Emily smirked and rolled her eyes.
“That’s a joke, right? There’s about two places she would hide from you; one is the bathroom, two is the library since you’ve never touched a book in your life.”
“Seriously, Em?”
“Yeah, seriously. Plus that’s where she always goes when she needs time to think.” Emily shrugged and walked off at this point. I sighed, making my way inside trying to hunt her down in the library, hoping to god I didn’t need to go break down the door of every girl’s bathroom.
I never realized how fucking massive the library actually was until I got in there. This should not have surprised me due to the size of our school but it still did anyway. I couldn’t find her by the time the bell rang so now I had to go over her schedule in my head.
“Aviana!” I yelled, seeing her walking into her class.
“Ugh, what?”
“Is Bethany in there?” I asked, peaking over her shoulder.
“Uh no, she went home.”
“Wait what?!”
“Yeah, I saw her walk out the fucking door and start walking like 10 minutes before lunch was over. She said she didn’t feel good but you know, she was fine before she spoke to you so…”
“Fuck, thank you, Aviana.”
“Yeah, whatever.” I ran outside and hopped into my car, driving the route to the house and saw her sitting on the side of the road. I pulled over and got out, sitting next to her.
“Stop being like me; it would make it so much easier to find you if you hid in the library.”
“I was there for a bit. Then I saw you so I left.”
“Okay babe, my intention was not to offend you…it really wasn’t.”
“Yeah well you did.” She wouldn’t look at me, only the ground and she was moving gravel around with her fingers. “You know, I only wanted to make you happy.”
“And you do! But I also don’t want to rush away literally everything. If this takes time, then it takes time and if it happens, cool, if not, cool. I want to enjoy the moment too you know. I also don’t want to feel like my girlfriend is trying to rush me out of the house…” I said the last part so slowly, not sure how she would take any of that.
“Rush you out?”
“Yeah, like try so hard to get us signed that it happens literally over-night…”
“That wasn’t my goal; my goal was to maybe expand your following, to get you guys to make more money since this is kind of what you do to make money; why on earth would I want to get rid of you?”
“Okay, well I didn’t know…”
“You never asked either. You just jumped right into getting signed, dropping out, and leaving me behind.”
“You were also the one who said you wouldn’t drop out and join us.” I slowly pointed out.
“Okay well you asked when I wasn’t in the band too.” She pointed out.
“So you would now?”
“Honestly, it’s something I’ve been thinking about. I don’t know for sure though to be honest. But everything I once stood by is in question now.”
“Why didn’t you tell me?”
“Well for one, again, you never asked, two, I also don’t have a straight answer to give you so how would I be able to tell you if I didn’t even know?”
“Okay…you have a point but all of this aside, I don’t want you mad at me when we go on stage tonight.
“I don’t know Trevor; that I don’t know.” She got up and got in the car. “Drive me home please.” I sighed following her, driving her home.
When we got home, she disappeared into her “room”, leaving me alone so I went back to what I was working on all night. I had no idea how to handle this, and I knew she needed space. It hurt to not be able to just fix everything, but I knew sometimes, sometimes she needed her space too.

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