Bright Lights | Teen Ink

Bright Lights

November 5, 2014
By HeyItsAri, Cuperino, California
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HeyItsAri, Cuperino, California
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Favorite Quote:
"Let them say nothing lasts forever."


Author's note:

 
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I took a deep breath as I looked at myself in the mirror. My outfit wasn’t too complicated but it wasn’t too simple either.

    I had on a strapless, knee length dress that faded from pitch black at the top to sky blue at the bottom. My make up consisted winged eyeliner, mascara, smoky eyeshadow, foundation, concealer, and lip gloss. My black heels were actually more comfortable than I thought. My hair stylist, Victoria, had done my straight, ash blonde hair in a waterfall braid this morning and took it out while I was getting ready. She decided that she didn’t like it in a high pony tail so she put my bangs in a French braid. Pulling my bangs back, you could see the pink and blue streaks I had put in my hair a year earlier.

    My name’s Shanaya Elizabeth Rose Callen, by the way. Call me Shay. I started out as Shay Elizabeth on YouTube, making covers and doing challenges and all the things that YouTubers do, ya know? I was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. I grew up with two other YouTubers you might know of. Their names are Christian and Crawford Collins. Sound familiar? Yeah, WeeklyChris and his brother.  When I was 15 years old, I moved to Orlando, Florida. And that’s where I met Riley and his brothers, Toby and Connor. I’m 17 now, Riley’s 18, Connor’s 20, and Toby’s 16.

    Anyways, after I started producing original songs about a year and a half ago, I got an offer to go on tour with Ryleigh Ledford, Jasmine Thompson, Alexi Blue, and Megan and Liz. Cue freakout? Am I right or am I right? The five of them are my idols, and I guess I’m their idol too? That’s what they said anyway. *whispers* But I don’t believe them.

    Kade, my manager, agreed that Toby, Connor, Riley, and our best friends, Braiden and Thomas, could come on tour. Braiden and Thomas are both 21. My parents couldn’t come on tour, though. My mom was in Japan negotiating a deal with a head of some company and my dad was in Germany doing the same.

    As of right now? I’m trying to compose myself before I go out on stage. Ha, get it? Compose? As in to compose music. No? Nobody? Ok.

    Honestly, right now? I’m freaking out y’all. This is the first time I’m going to be performing in front of this big a crowd. A knock sounds from the door of the dressing room.

    “Shay? Can I come in?” Riley’s voice floats through the air. I nod, but the remember that he can’t see me.

    “Yeah, come in Riles,” I called to him in a shaky voice. The knob turns and walks in Riley wearing dark jeans, a black long sleeve crew neck, the sleeves rolled up to his elbows, and his usual black vans. In case you haven’t noticed by the way I talk about him, Ri is my best friend. When I first came to Orlando, he immediately befriended me and made me feel welcome.

    When Riley saw the look on my face, he immediately strode over to me and engulfed me in a bear hug. By the way, Riley’s hugs are the best. He’s just like a big teddy bear that’ll make you feel awesome after one hug. They’re great.

    “Hey, hey, what’s wrong?” he whispered, stroking my hair.

    “Ri, I’m scared,” I whimpered softly, “I’ve never performed in front of so many people. 850,000 people Riley. What if I mess up? What if I fall? What if I forget the words? What if-”

    Riley cut me off, “Hey, you’re going to do great. Trust me, I’ve been there. When we performed at the iHeartRadio Music Festival, it was crazy. 4.2 million people, Shay. If we can do that, you can do this. You’ve performed at DigiFest before. Besides, I’ll be back stage. Don’t overthink it. Relax, go out there, have fun, goof off. Maybe even bring some fans up onto the stage. Do whatever the heck you want. It’s your show, isn’t it? Do what you usually do, Shay, rock it.”

    Riley rested his chin on the top on my head. Yeah, that’s how short I was compared to him, even with heels.

    “Shanaya Elizabeth Rose Andrews. You can do this. I promise.”

    “I love you, Riley. You know that right?”

    “I love you too Shay.”

    Ri pulled back and placed a soft kiss on my forehead before another knock came at the door.

    “Come in,” I called. Kade’s head popped through the door, his curly brown hair falling over his head.

    “You’re on in 10, Shay. I know this is the biggest crowd you’ve faced so far, but don’t worry, you’ll do great. We have a surprise for you, too. Kill it out there blondie.”

    And with that, Kade disappeared. I shook my head at Kade. He was always so spontaneous and forward with things that it was sometimes annoying. But he’s awesome and I love him.

    “Go get em Shay,” Riley planted a quick kiss on my lips and left the room.

    Woah. I blinked slowly. What. Just. Happened.

    Shaking my head, I took a deep breath and walked out the door. Let’s do this.

    “Hey,” I said to Toby, Connor, Braiden, and Thomas, “Where’s Riley?”

    The boys shrugged before coming over to me.

    “You nervous, Shay?” Thomas asked. I nodded, the paranoia coming back.

    “Don’t worry, lil sunshine, you’ll do great,” Connor assured, using the nickname that he’d given me when we first became friends.

    “Thanks Con,” I said, giving him a hug.

    “GROUP HUG!” yelled Toby, before tackling Connor and I. He was quickly followed by Braiden and Thomas.

    “Guys my haiiirrr,” I whined.

    “You’ll be fine,” Connor said, rolling his eyes. I smirked and reached out to ruffle up his hair.

    “Hey!” he yelped, “Watch the hair!” I looked at the rest of the boys and we burst out laughing. Connor grumbled something about him being bullied while we continued to laugh.

    “Shay! You’re on in 2 minutes!” Kade yelled, appearing behind the curtain.

    “Go get ‘em Shay,” Toby said giving one last hug. Then Connor gave me a hug, then Thomas, then finally Braiden.

    “You got this, Shay. You’ll do amazing. I know it,” Braiden whispered in my ear.

    “Thanks Brai,” I said softly, “I’ll see you after the show.”

    I released Braiden and made my way over to Kade.

    “THANK YOU AND GOODNIGHT LA!” Megan yelled into the mic.

    “SHAY!” Kade yelled, “You’re on.”

    “Good luck Shay!” Liz yelled, but I was already running out onto stage. I grabbed the mic from Kade’s outstretched hand has I took my place. The stage was dark and the House of Blues was silent. Smoke from the smoke machine surround me. Here goes.

“WHAT IS UP LOS ANGELEEEESSS!”

    I was momentarily blinded by the lights flashing on. The crowd roared.

    “How are y’all doing?” The crowd screamed again.

    “Ok so this first song is called ‘Someday.’ Dedicated to-”

    I paused. No way. No. I’m dreaming. That can’t be him.

    Aha, but it is, sitting right there in the first row.

    “C-Chris?” I said. He grinned at me. Only then did I notice that next to him were Crawford and their sisters, Kirsten and Karisma. ‘Someday’ was a song that Chris had written and sang to me when I left Canada.

    “You know what? Chris come up here,” I said. He smiled and climbed onto the stage.

    Kade ran out, handed Chris a mic, then ran backstage again.

    The first note played and I began to sing. I saw Riley out of the corner of my eye. His hands were balled up into fists. Hmm. As soon as I turned my head and gave him a smile, he relaxed somewhat and gave me a thumbs up. I grinned and looked back at the crowd, my nervousness fading away.

    When it got to the rap, Chris took his cue and started rapping. I couldn’t help but smile at the verses that he’d written years ago.

    I started singing in unison with Chris and we finished the song. As we finished the last melody, the crowd cheered for us. Chris waved and handed Kade the microphone again. He gave me a hug and jumped off the stage and back to his spot.

    I noticed that a girl was staring at me with wide eyes, as if unable to believe that I was actually there, performing live in front of her. I smiled and said, “Hey, why don’t you come up here?”

    Her jaw dropped. ‘Me?’ she mouthed, pointing to herself.

    “Yeah, you,” I nodded, smiling.

    The girl made her way to the bottom of the stage and I helped her up onto the stage.

    “What’s your name?” I asked her, putting the mic near her mouth.

    “Uh, Katie,” she said nervously.

    “Well, Katie, you have no reason to be nervous. I mean, it’s just me right?”

    Katie blushed. “Just you? I’m talking to the Shay Elizabeth Callen. How can I not be nervous?”

    “Don’t worry about it. I felt the same way when I first met Anthony Ladao.”

    I followed Katie on Instagram and Twitter and secretly gave her my number, which when I did that, she gave me a wide eyed look. I just smiled at her and gave her a wink.

    I continued goofing off on stage and doing what would do at DigiFest and by the end, I was extremely tired.

    “THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH! GOODNIGHT LOS ANGELES!”

    I ran backstage and fell into Riley’s arms.

    “I’m so tired,” I whispered. Riley chuckled, sending vibrations through my body. I layed my head on his chest, exhausted.

    “Shay?”

    “Chris!” I exclaimed, releasing Riley. I ran at Chris and jumped into his arms, wrapping my arms around his neck.

    “I missed you.”

    “I missed you too, Shay.”

    “Ahem, ahem, we’re still here guys,” a voice said. I laughed and let go of Chris.

    “Hey Crawf,” I said, hugged Crawford. I hugged Kirsten and Karisma.

    I heard someone cough behind me.

    “Oh, um, guys this is my best friend Riley. Ri, these are my other best friends from Canada, Chris, Crawford, Kirsten, and Karisma.”

    They shook hands and greeted each other with smiles.

    “Shay was super nervous before she went,” Riley pointed out.

    “Riley!” I hit his arm playfully.

    “Doesn’t surprise me,” Chris joked, “She was always the quietest and shyest one.”

    “NO SHE’S NOT!” Toby yelled, walking towards us, Connor, Braiden, and Thomas trailing behind him.

    “Says the one who just yelled across the room?” Riley retorted.

    “Hey!” Toby whined. I laughed and ruffled his hair.

    “HEY!” Toby yelped again, “Don’t touch the hair!”

    “God, you are just like Connor.” Connor gave me a look but I just smirked at him.

    “Um, hi?” Crawford said, more questioning than greeting.

    I laughed at Crawford’s expression.

    “This is Toby and Connor, my brothers, and Thomas, our band’s drummer, and Braiden, our guitarist,” Riley explained, “Guys this is Chris, Crawford, Kirsten and Karisma.”

    “You realize you just met us and know you’re already introducing us to other people right?” Kirsten joked.

    Riley laughed, “Yeah I know.”

    I noticed that Karisma was staring a Toby with her mouth slightly open. I bumped her with my elbow and wiggled my eyebrows at her. She blushed and elbowed me back.

    “Shanaya!”

    I whirled around. No way.

    “Mom! Dad!” I ran and hugged them. Today is just full of surprises huh?

    “You did amazing sweetheart,” my dad say proudly.

    “How are you guys here?!”

    “Our boss let us come home early for our daughter’s first concert,” my mom explained, looking at me fondly, “Why wouldn’t he, right?”

    Finally, finally I was with everyone that I loved. Finally, this experience was complete.
 



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