Common Ground

Childhood friends, turned more, turned upside down


12. Just Another Friday

I was sitting on my bed, just rethinking over everything that had happened today. I had no idea what I wanted to do, or where I wanted to go, or where any of this was even going. Was I literally doing this for the moment or was I doing this for the long run? I had no idea, even in my own head. Like I loved music, to no end, but did I really want to be in a band or did I want to be behind the scenes like I always thought I would be. This was all just so may new thoughts coming up and I had no idea how to comprehend all of this.
“Are you almost ready to go?” Claire asked, walking in. “Alexis and Bree are about to leave, I mean so are the guys but…”
“Can I ask you something?” I asked.
 “Of course; anything?”
“Do you think I’m crazy for doing this?” I asked.
“Bethany…” Claire said slowly, sitting down next to me. “I don’t think any of this is crazy. I think you’ve always wanted to do this but it was always a Trevor thing and you didn’t want to take that something special away. But he also never knew so he has no idea how to comprehend all of this as well. Doing something you love is never crazy. You love singing, you always have; you’ve loved playing every instrument on this planet, always have, so why on earth would you find that crazy?”
“Because like everything I used to think like…I’m questioning all of it. Like do I really want to drop out if something happens, do I want to actually go to college, do I want to stay in the band, I literally don’t know what I want anymore.”
“What is your heart telling you?” Claire asked. I went quiet, not sure how to answer just yet. “Well, think about it and get back to me. Maybe we can figure something else out, yeah?” I nodded and looked out the window.
“I’ll let you know.”
“Okay; anyway I can help, I’m here, okay?” I nodded again and looked back at her.
“But to answer your original question, yeah, I’m ready to go if they’re asking.” I finally said.
“Okay good. Alexis and Bree are waiting. I think Trevor thinks you don’t want to be near him right now still.”
“Of course he thinks that.” I sighed and got up, slipping on sneakers. “Are you going to be there tonight?”
“I may show up to this one, I don’t know yet.” I smiled and nodded.
“Okay, so maybe I’ll see you later.” She nodded and let me walk out to where everyone was freaking out in the kitchen.
“Beth! Are you coming tonight?!” <Matt asked in a panic.
“Yeah? Why wouldn’t I be coming?”
“Trevor said you were mad.”
“I am mad but that doesn’t mean I’m going to ditch on a promise I made to all four of you.” I said.
“I told you!” Alex said. “She’s dependable.”
“Thank you for believing in me, Alex; it’s appreciated. But uh, I’m going to ride with Bree and Alexis.” I said, just as Trevor ran into the room. His face fell and I just stood there and everyone was standing there in an awkward silence.
“Okay, got the last of the boxes.” Emily said, walking in with Shannon and Sophie. “Wow, I could fucking feed on the awkward in here.”
“Okay well we are leaving now.” Bree finally said. I nodded, following them out, trying to avoid eye contact with Trevor.

I watched as she left, still really upset. How was I supposed to go on stage, pretend everything with us was okay, and still have fun? Like I wanted to make sure everything with us was good before-hand. It was one thing if like Emily was mad but Bethany? Holy shit; I was going to be on stage with her, this wasn’t going to be easy.
“Are you okay?” Sophie asked me as we finished loading up Matt’s SUV.
“Yeah no, I am not.” I said.
“Look, maybe she will realize when she gets to the venue it’s going to be fine and it’ll work itself out but you can’t psych yourself out.” Sophie said.
“I’m trying not to.” I said, jogging back inside.
“You don’t seem to be. You seem very preoccupied.”
“Okay so maybe I am but this is still new to me Sophie; her opinion of me actually matters, when she’s mad, it actually matters, when she’s hurt, annoyed, whatever, it actually matters and that’s a whole new feeling to me. I don’t want these feelings when I go on tonight.”
“Then just pretend if nothing gets worked out.” Sophie said.
“With her? Yeah, no; there’s no pretending.”
“Well good, but still; just breathe, everything will work out, okay?”
“Thanks Soph, but I need to go now. I’ll see you there.” She nodded as I hopped into the car and we drove off.
It was a long, quiet drive this time, not the usual everyone is beyond hyped, freaking out, excited type drive. Everyone knew what was going on, it was unavoidable and it drove me insane. I wanted things to be okay. I never meant to hurt her and I don’t think I was ready to put on a fake face just yet for a shit load of people tonight. I wanted to see her, make sure she was okay, make sure we were going to be okay, and that was all that mattered to me.
When we got to the venue, we started unpacking and I heard Bethany doing vocal exercises while with Alexis and Bree. I could hear them chatting away and I was over here wanting to freak out. I was speed working, wanting to get this done just a couple minutes earlier so I could go see her instead of just continuing to freak out. 
“Are we going to do a last run through of Fate with Bethany?” Tim asked, walking over to me.
“Yeah we probably should.” I said, since that was the one song Bethany needed the most work on.
“I’ll go get her.” Tim said, walking off. I groaned as I made my way to the back room where everyone else was waiting.
Once Bethany and Tim got back, we did a couple run-through’s before we were all called to clothes and makeup. Bethany walked off without saying a word to anyone and it was driving me crazy that she wouldn’t even speak to me, let alone look at me. It was like she couldn’t stand being around me right now and as I said, it was driving me insane.
“Dude, just breathe.” Matt said to me as we walked away.
“I can’t…”
“You’re going to have to. We are on in an hour and she’s going to be with Alexis and Bree that whole hour and you’re just going to have to push through. You’re going to have to wait until after the show to talk to her.”
“I can’t wait that long…” I mumbled.
“You’re going to have to.” Matt said sadly. “Look, just breathe, focus on the music. Let the music just flow like always and as you both have said to me; music fixes a lot of things. Tonight, on stage, maybe that’ll fix everything, who knows. But it could at least be a start.” I nodded, looking back one more time before going in to get changed.

“My favorite female artist.” I looked up and saw Isaac walking in.
“Hello Isaac.”
“Okay, please fucking tell me this shit with you and Trevor won’t turn into a shit show on stage.”
“I can tell you on my end it won’t.” I said, shrugging. “I have a job to do, I’m going to do it to its fullest.”
“Thank god. Trevor’s freaking out though so that should be fun.”
“Why is he freaking out this much?” I asked, confused.
“I don’t know; something along the lines of you actually matter and he can’t stand seeing you mad at him and something about how he needed to know everything was going to be okay. I don’t know. I just need him fucking calm. He’s losing it.” Isaac looked stressed as hell and I sighed.
“Seriously? He’s this worked up about Bethany being upset?” Bree asked.
“Yes! Like what did you do to him?! Like one minute he’s more focused and on top of shit and then as soon as you guys have an argument, there’s no talking sense into him.”
“Isaac, relax. It’ll all be okay.”
“Okay, so the guys still think their wardrobe change is just like an intermission, right?” I asked, distracting him.
“Yeah, they still think that.”
“Good; keep it that way.” I said, nodding.
“Does Trevor know you look his song?” Alexis asked, smirking as Isaac walked out.
“Nope; but he can deal. It was crumpled in the garbage when I found it so I just did my own shit to it.”
“Dude, this is going to be great.” Bree said, smiling. I smiled and finished getting me dressed as Alexis finished curling my hair.

I made it through the first half of the show before we had an intermission, the only one we’ve ever had before but this was a long set list. However there was supposed to be someone going on for that, so I guess it was fine. No one seemed to know who it was though except the owners of the venue.
“THANK YOU GUYS, WE WILL BE BACK IN A HALF HOUR!” I said before walking off stage. Bethany walked to the other side where I saw Alexis and Bree looking ready to go hard real quick. I paused side stage and watched as they pulled on her clothes and that’s when I saw more people crowding her.
“Guys, what’s going on?” I asked. They all paused and turned, seeing what was going on.
“Oh my god…” Matt said as music started and everyone left Bethany’s side and she had a head mic on. I caught her eye real quick and she smirked as she started singing.
“Take a seat, right over there, sat on the stairs, stay or leave…” My jaw dropped as she walked on stage and people were starting to crowd back to the stage.
“So pull me closer, why don’t you pull me close, why don’t you come on over, I can’t just let you go. Baby, why don’t you just meet me in the middle, I’m losing my mind just a little, so why don’t you just meet me in the middle, the middle…”  Bethany was singing, getting the crowd really into it.
“Isn’t that your song…?” Alex asked.
“Yeah, I threw it out…it sounded like crap.” I said slowly.
“It definitely doesn’t sound like crap…” Tim pointed out.
“And it’s not about my pride, I need you on my skin, just come over, pull me in just baby, why don’t you just meet me in the middle, I’m losing my mind just a little, so why don’t you just met me in the middle, in the middle…”
After she finished the song, everyone was going crazy and she smiled as someone new came on stage.
“Ashes blowing in the air, our words on fire but we don’t care, yeahhh…” She kept singing and soon enough, her friend started rapping and she was getting into it with him and she was smiling and doing what she does, going with the music.
“Trevor, you need to get changed…” Isaac said, walking over.
“Why didn’t you tell me?!” I demanded.
“She said I couldn’t…she said she had a surprise for you…”
“What? What could that possibly be?!”
“She said something about the last song…”
“Get this shit done fast.” I said, running downstairs. The guys were staring at me as I sped changed before running back upstairs. The guys joined me soon after, watching her on stage, doing her thing. I had no idea she could literally do any of this on her own.
“Alright guys…” Bethany said, breathing heavy after a couple more songs. “I have one last song, I rewrote it and covered it with someone so special and here it is…” She sighed and the music started with one of our songs.
“I think that’s your cue…” Matt said.
“Nice to meet you, where you been, I can show you incredible things…” 
“You might need this.” I looked over and Isaac was holding a mic out to me. I grabbed it as Bethany was singing there and I slowly started walking out as she finished the first chorus.
“Cherry lips, crystal sky’s, I can show you incredible things, stolen kisses, pretty lies, you’re the queen baby, I’m your king find out, what you want, be that guy…” People started screaming, drowning me out as and Bethany smiled, holding her hand out to me as I reached for it. I smiled as I kept singing with her.
“Cause we’re young and were reckless, we’ll take this way too far, it’ll leave you breathless or with a nasty scar…”
After the song was over, the guys came back and everyone was still screaming. I looked at her and she squeezed my hand before walking away, over to Isaac, taking the guitar. I looked back to the crowd as they kept screaming and before I knew it, Bethany had started the next song, Alex, Tim, and Matt joined in as Bethany walked to the other side of me, still wearing her head mic and going along as if nothing had just happened, just continuing the show.
After the show, Bethany was working with a couple of the guys on the crew from the venue and another one of the bands that was there, giving them their guitar back and I could hear her thanking them. They kept trying to talk to her but she was persistent and just walked off to where the crew kept taking off all the mic hook ups and everything on her. I couldn’t take my eyes off of her as she was talking to them. I was shocked at how tonight went and how she literally blew everyone’s fucking minds tonight. I had no idea that any of this was going to happen but clearly some planning had been done for this to happen and how long it had been going on for, I had no idea.
When she was finally alone I started walking over to her slowly, still worried that she was still mad but before I could reach her, she made her way out to the crowd where she was immediately engulfed by everyone. I stood off to the side, just watching her and I knew for the moment, I lost her.
“Are you okay?” Matt asked me.
“Yeah I don’t think so.”
“Why not? I thought that was so fucking cool.” Matt said. “Especially how she turned your song into something fucking awesome.”
“Yeah that was impressive as fuck.”
“Okay so what’s wrong then?”
“Look at her…she doesn’t need me.” I said slowly.
“Trevor, really? You got her here and to be honest, I don’t think she would want to do any of this without knowing you were right there.”
“Did you not see her tonight? She…she was insane, incredible, do you really think she’s going to want to stay backup to someone like me?”
“What do you mean someone like you?”
“Someone who just hurts her…”
“You’re still on this?” Matt asked quietly.
“Well yeah; she had the time of her life tonight and I was just forcing my way through all of this. She doesn’t need me to get through anything…”
“I don’t think that’s true for a second. But that’s just my two cents. But you should really talk to her about that.” Matt walked off and I just stayed where I was, not sure what to do. She never really needed me, she could make her way on her own and I’d be damned if she ever wanted to go off on her own that I would be the reason she stayed behind with us.

“Where is Trevor?” I asked Matt at the after party. I couldn’t find him for the life of me and it was concerning me.
“He went home after the venue cleared out.” Matt said, shrugging.
“Why?! This is like his favorite part of performing!”
“Yeah, he said something along the lines of you don’t need him and you were better without backing him up.”
“What?!”  I almost choked. “Is he serious?! I thought he would like it…”
“Yeah, he did. He said you were great but he said he didn’t want to hold you back.”
“He thinks I want to go solo? Is that a joke?! It was one show, one intermission, and it sure as hell did not feel right singing without him. Fun, yeah maybe once and a blue moon but all the time?! Why would he think that?!”
“I don’t know; he thinks you guys are still fighting.” I sighed and looked down.
“Yeah, okay. I’m going to head home.”
“You know why, Matt.”
“Yeah but…”
“My boyfriend comes before a band, Matt; sorry to be the bearer of bad news but that’s how it is for me.” Matt shrugged and nodded as I got a ride home from Vienna.
“Trevor?” I called into the house when I got home. I didn’t get a response so I headed downstairs to where I found him playing his guitar in the studio. I sat down by the sound system, waiting for him to finish whatever it was he was so focused on. When he finally looked up, he looked devastated.
“Why are you here?” He asked through the mic.
“I came to see my boyfriend; the after party wasn’t any fun without you.” I said back through the mic on the table.
“You seemed to be doing just fine without me.”
“Yeah, that’s a funny joke.” I said, before walking into the studio. “Okay, so you upset me, cool, I had this planned for a week, I thought you would find it cool. I fixed up your song thinking you would like it, I ended it with the cover we have been working on together, thinking you would like it, I ended it like that to try and say I wasn’t mad, at all, I was over it. I just needed my time.”
“I think I need some time.” Trevor said, standing up. I paused, just looking at him.
“Okay.” I said, turning to walk away.
“Why didn’t you tell me?!” Trevor yelled after me. I paused before going up the stairs and looked back.
“Because I thought you would be proud of me for doing something you taught me; for doing something you’ve been trying to get me to do for years, leave my comfort zone, and I wanted to surprise you with it.” I said before shrugging and taking the stairs two at a time.
I went to my room, looking down at the crumpled up papers that I had found, almost ready to cry. I picked them up and read them over before crumpling them back up and throwing them in the garbage before falling over onto my bed.
“I’m losing my mind just a little so why don’t you just meet me in the middle…” I sang quietly to myself. I rolled over onto my stomach, starting to cry. I honest to god thought Trevor would find it fun and would like it, not take it this seriously. I had no idea this is what would happen. I pulled out my laptop and started googling online college courses for music production while I was still in school now so I could get a jump start on my whole damn life. I finally knew what I wanted.
After a couple hours of my research, I decided I couldn’t sit still anymore from all the thinking and crying I kept trying to stop myself from. I changed into my work out clothes and grabbed my keys. I just couldn’t sit here alone anymore; I was going crazy.

“Where’s Bethany?” I asked as I watched Matt walk inside. 
“I don’t know; I saw her driving down the road as I was turning onto the street.” Matt said. “Are you guys still not talking?”
“I kind of told her to leave me alone…”
“Yeah that fixes it all. But no, I have no idea where she went.” Matt said before going upstairs. I stood there trying to think where the hell she would go this late and then it hit me. I grabbed my keys and started guessing my way to the mountain, not even bothering to change. I was flooring it, trying to get there before she got too far away.
When I got there, I saw her car parked but not her. I looked over at the path and how ark it had gotten and I knew I was going to have to get up there. I sucked in my breath, mentally preparing myself. I sighed, showing my stuff in my pockets and started my way up the trail.
When I got to the top, I saw Bethany laying there, staring at the stars, tracing them with her fingers. I sat down next to her for her to only look at me.
“You made it up without dying?” She finally asked.
“Barely.” I said. “Look, I’m really sorry…”
“I don’t know why you’re sorry; I should’ve asked.” She said, not moving.
“No, no you didn’t need to ask. I was just over the top because I was still upset and it took me off guard and I jumped to conclusions that aren’t realistic and I took out all that frustration on you.”
“Yup.” She wasn’t offering up much but I needed to just hug her right now.
“Babe, come on…I don’t know what else I can do. I was insanely proud of you tonight, I was jealous I couldn’t have that kind of effect on people the way you do, I wish I had half the talent you do, and I wish I never opened my mouth at school today…”
“You know Trevor, you do have fucking talent. Our talents are fucking different when it comes to music and our style is mildly different and shit, that was the scariest thing I’ve ever done. I didn’t like being up there without you, it didn’t feel right. But you know, yeah, it was fun. I won’t deny that. But it’s not like I magically decided I was going to do this on my own. I don’t want to do this on my own. I like being around you, Matt, Alex, Tim, everyone; the thought of doing this alone is petrifying and something I would never want to do, but for 30 minutes, yeah, I had fucking fun. And no, you shouldn’t have come at me the way you did at school, it did upset and hurt me, but I still fucking forgave you. I just needed some time to cool off and granted I wasn’t ready to be all happy go lucky at the show, and wasn’t ready to talk but damn, I put it all aside so we could have a kick ass night and you just made me feel like I ruined it.”
“You ruined nothing; if anything you made it better and I didn’t appreciate it the way I do now, now that I had thought it over and thought back on it.” I said. She pushed herself up on her arms, still not looking at me.
“I just wanted to make you happy.” She finally said and I looked back over at her. She was shivering so I took off my jacket and put it around her shoulders.
“You did, you do, make me happy.” I said slowly. “I was just acting like a jackass.”
“Yes you were.” She said, pulling the jacket onto her arms.
“I’m glad you agree.” I said, half smiling, hoping this meant she wasn’t angry anymore.
“Yeah.” She said simply, still looking out at the stars.
“I see why you like it so much up here.” I finally said.
“What do you mean?”
“It’s peaceful, it’s clear, I feel like I can actually think up here.” I said, shrugging.  
“Yeah, it’s nice.” She was still being short with me, but she didn’t sound as angry anymore.
“I’m sorry.” I finally said, quietly. She looked over at me as I just looked down. I didn’t want to upset her anymore; I wanted us to be okay and I didn’t know what else to say to make it better.
“Do you want to add anything else to that?” She finally asked.
“Good; cause I’ve literally just been waiting you to say sorry without making excuses.” She said. I looked back up at her and she was smiling at me.
“Was that so hard?” She asked sarcastically.
“Yeah, a little!”
“You’re ridiculous; let’s get home, it’s getting cold out and god only knows how long it’s going to take to get your ass back down this mountain.” She said, standing up. I stood up with her and grabbed her arm.
“You know I love you.” I said.
“I love you too, Trevor.” She said, smiling. I smiled, leaning down to kiss her before giving her a hug.  This was all I wanted, and apparently all she wanted too.

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