I tiptoed up the stage so the teachers would see me. I was not prepared at all since I was wearing my track jersey and forgot my glasses inside my backpack. The band room is like the choir room but more high-tech and seems much bigger. Mrs. D put the CD in the player so I could start singing.
“What song are you going to be singing Jess?” asked Mr. Ceed, my choir teacher for the past two years.
“Death of the Bridesmaid,” I promptly whispered into the microphone.
Terror! At The Dance Floor or T!ATDF for short is by far my favorite band of all time. A decade ago they use to make slightly edgy music for young adults but then change their sound by the next album to sappy love songs. Ever since they change their sound on each album. So far, my favorite is the Death of the Bridesmaid album with memorable songs and deeper meanings. My parents wouldn’t understand, I never told them about my appreciation to the band. I didn’t even tell them that I was signing up for the talent show since last time I told them they embarrassed me by posting my 5th-grade performance on Facegram. The teachers judging me were Mr. Ceed, Mrs. D, the band teacher, Ms. Oakwoods, a special education teacher, Mr. Promer, a 9th-grade math teacher, and Mrs. Cider, an 11th-grade math teacher. For some reason, I always get anxious in front of small groups rather than large crowds. Crowds always made me feel joyful even though most of my traits are more introverted than extroverted. My nerves tense when the first notes bounce into my eardrum. I sang the song without irruption which was good. My pitch was also splendid but Mr. Ceed explained that I shouldn’t try to imitate him, Bailey Ulric. Bailey is the lead singer and now only original member of the band. I hurried back to the track to express what happened to my friends. I was defeated again and my dad drove me home.
I didn’t make it in. Once I figured out, my huge grin turned into a neutral gesture. Yet at the show, tears flowed down my face like a waterfall after a concentrated rain storm. I didn’t know what gone over me, I couldn’t stop crying. My friend, Emilia, got in with her own song on the guitar. I don’t know how she joined with a below mediocre singing voice. The talent show was completely boring since all the acts were slow pace and sometimes confusing. If I was performing, the school would be amazed how much power and energy I had than anyone else. I would be just like Bailey Ulric with thousands of spirited fans craving for amazing music. I inspire to do music as a hobby and be a geologist as my main job for the future. I’m fifth-teen now but in July I’ll be closer to be an adult and make choices on my own for once. One day I know people be screeching my name, Jess, Jess, Jess!
We should be out of school but the district decided to add an extra week because of all the snow days in the winter. It wasn’t even a surprise since we live in northern Canada. It was fine to me because I always eager to go. The last couple of days they delivered yearbooks and lottery prizes then pound us with the end of year tests for every class. All my friends promise me that we would hang out during the summer but I know that as usual, they will only come to my birthday party and not come again for the rest of the time. I hear the final bell knowing that I have straight As on each test and rush outside to meet up with my only male friend, Steve. Steve is a chill guy that has a gift for hacking and coding. He even told me once that a dude sold him a completely unusable gamer laptop, so he fixed the hardware overnight. To be honest, he’s so witty and smart that he melted my heart within in few days. It’s too bad that he must move out of the district, but I know that we’ll most likely hang out in the summer. But that thought quickly vanish like disappearing ink when he says that his mom won’t let him hang out with me. I ask Steve multiple times why but get many responses like ‘you should go home’ and ‘stop asking me’ until I ask if he’ll text me. He agreed and in return attacked him with one of my biggest bear hugs. I follow with a goodbye and left the campus as quickly as I could. Couple hours later when my older brother, Jamin, came home I get notified with a lengthy text from Steve. Once I read it, I instantly start expressing my feelings on intsabook.
Most of my friends came over for the party I hosted for my birthday. We went swimming, played games, and ate cake like most of my birthday parties go. I even had two of my best friends sleep over which was very cool. Of course I had fun, but something was different. I don’t know what it was. Usually, I ask these people if they want to hang out, but they only come on my birthday. I think that’s silly of them to do that since serval have been my friend for many years. Like Anne, she’s been my friend since the first grade and she doesn’t even answer my texts anymore. She says that her busy lifestyle and her reading addiction makes it hard for her to be on the phone even though Anne posts videos on instabook almost every day. I wish I can go back to when I was head over heels for Steve and nothing really mattered except for making jokes to each other. I’m still not sure if did really liked me. I want to meet or at least see him for one more time. His mom is a mean witch that is keeping us apart. If I have the chance I would search the whole town for him. We are definitely soulmates for each other. After the party it’s back to my routine of the internet, eat, T!ATDF, sleep, repeat.
I’m glad that summer is almost over even though it’s my favorite season I can finally focus on something, not Steve related. Recently there’s been a boy that lives in the neighborhood named Sheldon that wants to hang out with me and Jamin more. I met him a year ago, but he’s been more my brother’s friend more than anything else. It’s a weird combo since he’s a senior and Sheldon is a tenth grader. Jamin is getting busier each week because of our parents forcing him to get a driver’s permit, so I must play basketball with him. Sheldon is a nice kid, so I shouldn’t complain.
It’s hard getting used to waking up early but after a couple days, I start getting ready for another successful year. This year is the first I’ve been in honors classes. I wasn’t qualified for math because in ninth grade I didn’t quite understand most things. Still I was accepted to honors English and Science this school year. I met a new friend named Sara during English when I saw she was wearing a Terror! At The Dance Floor shirt, we clicked like pieces to a puzzle and started talking more often. My overall happiness started to sky rocket again.
Every year the school has a fall/winter dance, so they can buy new equipment for classes, hallways, etc. I decided to go with my new group of friends Sara, Alex, and Suzy. Surprisingly, everything went well, and I had good time dancing to overrated pop songs. As the night started to end, I perceived the sudden darkness and eeriness of the night even though it was only seven o’clock. I walked home, trying my best not getting frightened until I found Sheldon walking alone behind me. I swiftly get on right side of him. It felt like we talked for hours even though it was probably like ten minutes. I didn’t realize that I followed him to his house until I noticed that my house on the other street. That night was when I knew he was also my friend.
Sheldon and I keep talking often during and after school ever since we conversated that strange night. He’s a sweet guy with weird interests. Sheldon likes tennis, anime, video games, and animals. The weird thing is that he hates potatoes. I mean that is literally crazy because poutine is my life. Also, he’s wicked smart like when he was in fourth grade, he signed up for an intellectual contest for high schoolers and got first place. He’s my only friend who comes over to my house to see if I can hang out with him. Anyways the talent show is back again and I’m not very sure if I should audition or not. Maybe if I ask someone if they help me with backup vocals then I can finally show my talent to the school. I know, I’ll ask Sheldon tomorrow. I mean he’s right across from me in the choir on the men’s side.
Practicing with Sheldon has been great so far, he’s back vocalist and guitar and I’m the lead singer. I feel so good when I can hit every high note in our original song, We Don’t Care. Everything is set for success, but I don’t know if everyone would like it. My parents, Sheldon’s parents, and even the neighbors’ dogs love our song. I don’t know if I can handle singing in front of the whole school. Gosh, I regret this.
As I strolled in the band room, I immediately remember last year. Structure, instruments, and even the teachers were the same. I thought I was going to get a panic attack, but Sheldon comforted me back to sanity. I back was probably arch to the extreme and I handed the CD to Mrs. D.
“Don’t be nervous,” explained Mr. Ceed. “You’re going to do great!”
Our mixtape booms out the speakers and Sheldon perfected his opening part. I unhinged my jaw can try my hardest to hit every note. As I look around they were amazed at how much power my voice could project that way before which even surprised me too. I felt like I was going to collapse on the floor. They even had nothing to say afterwards. When I left the scene, I instantly bear hugged Sheldon in the hallway. The last time I hugged someone like that was last year with Steve. He didn’t run away, make a face, or try to push me away. Sheldon seems to love that interaction too.
I and Sheldon walked up together with our eyes closed. This board was going to tells this if we were good enough for our peers and good enough to be a duo/band (we haven’t decided). I was petrified to reopen my eyes I didn’t want to know.
“Wait! I don’t want to see it. I know I didn’t make it again,” I claimed, “I don’t want to cry in front of you.”
“Hey, it doesn’t matter if we perform or not. We can still make more music in after high school.” Sheldon assured me.
I nod even though he couldn’t see it. I was so attempted to grasp his hand, but I thought it would cringy.
Finally, I open my eyes and see our names first on the list. I was so excited that I just had to do it, I gave him the enormous kiss I’ve ever given to anything even bigger than my parents and stuff animals. Most saw the scene and I got so embarrassed I instantly ran into a restroom stall. My heart was racing, and feet were trembling. All of my emotions were coming out of me at once; regret, excited, nervousness, satisfaction, and most of all panic. I didn’t come out until the first-minute bell rang. To my surprise, Sheldon was still there waiting for me.
“Wha- what are you doing? You should be in class,” I explained, “I so sorry you probably don’t even like me in that way.”
“Nah it’s ok,” he said, “I wouldn’t want my first kiss to be with anyone else.” He began blushing so much that his face turned into a red tomato. Then handed me a piece of paper with a star in front of the page. “I made it last night.”
The back of the page read ‘We known each other for two years and you seem like a cool person to hang out. And I was wondering if you want to be together for this year, eleventh grade, and maybe forever. In other terms do you like-like me as much as I do?’
“Yeah,” I responded back. “I think it’s obvious by now.”