“What the hell is a quadratic equation?” Stone asked, visibly frustrated with the math homework he was currently trying to do. Emphasis on trying.
“Maybe if you actually paid attention in class, you would know.” I half-joked.
“You suck.” He stuck his tongue out at me before looking back down at his notebook. “Ugh, this is pointless.
“Not really Stone, if you wanna be a scientist you gotta know this stuff.” I reminded him.
“Ugh I know.” Frustrated, he ran his fingers through his hair and exhaled loudly. He was about to say something else, but was interrupted when the bedroom door swung open.
“Uh hey.” My other older brother came into the room and my stomach dropped. After our fight I had told him I didn’t want anything to do with him. I was mad at him, I still was but I regretted cutting him out like that. We’d been best friends for our entire lives.
“What do you want?” Stone snapped at him, making Lake wince.
“Uh, well my band has a gig this weekend at the under twenty-one club downtown, and I wanted to invite you guys.” Lake nervously twisted his hands, it was obvious he wanted to try and make things right with us.
“What makes you think we wanna come?” Stone glared at him.
“I-I don’t know, you don’t have to come if you don’t want to. I just wanted you guys to know you’re invited.”
“We don’t wanna go to you’re stupid gig, okay? Leave us alone.” He glared at Lake again before turning his attention back to his homework. Lake looked over at me with a hopeful expression.
I didn’t know what to do. On one hand, I didn’t want to say yes. I really didn’t wanna go to the club and see those people who ruined my brother. Also, I didn’t want to piss Stone off by accepting the invitation. But on the other hand, I wanted to support my other brother. I didn’t hate him and I didn’t plan on keeping him out of my life forever, I just wanted to punish him for the way he treated me.
“I-I don’t know, I might have homework.”
“It’s a Saturday night.”
“I’ll see.” I answered, making his eyes light up.
“Cool.” He said calmly, not letting his excitement show in his voice or expression. But I knew him better than anyone. It was obvious he was excited, he wanted me back in his life and he wanted me at the gig. And honestly, I wanted him back in my life as well. We’d have to see how the night of the gig went.
“I can’t believe you dragged me to this. Why did you even wanna come?” Stone huffed, visibly annoyed in the line for the under twenty-one club.
“Because he’s our brother despite the mistakes he’s made. This is important to him and I wanted to be here for him. Also, it sounded fun.”
“You really wanna be here for him after he picked drugs over you?” He spat angrily. My stomach dropped, the way he said it made me want to cry.
“I, uh, he tried to apologize.” I answered shakily.
“Did you accept?”
“No, but I think he’s suffered long enough. I want to reconcile.”
“I think you’re going too easy on him. He should be disowned for the way he treated us.” He frowned and shifted his weight uncomfortably.
“Well, I think you need to be a little more forgiving, Stone. He’s our brother. He’s gonna make mistakes, we can’t hold this over his head forever.”
“At least try to have fun tonight, okay?” I nudged him and smiled. “You don’t even have to look at the band.”
Tensions were high in the dressing room. We were all pretty nervous, the only people we’d ever played for was Skye and Ama, and now we were about to play in front of a whole club of our peers. It was pretty nerve-wracking.
Well, it was nerve-wracking for all but Freesia. She was completely calm as she adjusted herself in the mirror, her main concern right now was her makeup.
“Do you think my eye makeup looks okay?” She turned to the rest of us with a worried expression.
“It looks fine, Freesia.” I assured her.
“How are you not completely freaking out right now?” Allium asked, the worry very apparent in his tone.
“Dunno, I guess I don’t mind being the center of attention.” Freesia smiled at us.
“You’re not even a little scared?” Thistle asked. I looked over at him and I could see his hands were shaking.
“Nah, we’re gonna do great.” She smiled at us. As soon as she finished adjusting her make-up, the dressing room door cracked open and a woman stuck her head through the opening.
“You guys need to start setting up, they’re gonna start letting people in in five minutes.”
“Thanks, we’ll be out right away.” Freesia answered. The woman nodded and left, and Freesia turned to us excitedly.
“You guys ready to rock?”
“Hey guys, we’re Time Association. You guys ready to rock?” Freesia repeated, this time to the people gathered on the dance floor. They all cheered and we started our set.
My eyes scanned the room as I played the familiar song. I soon landed on two figures out on the floor. My siblings had actually shown up to the gig. My heart swelled, I thought they would never want anything to do with me again. I finally felt like there was hope for us.
I continued to play with a new-found happiness. I hadn’t felt this great in a while.
The crowd that came out to see us wasn’t very large, but they seemed to be enjoying us a lot. Everyone was dancing, there wasn’t a single person sitting down. It was the greatest feeling I’d ever experienced, these people were dancing to our music, these people liked us. I wanted to feel like this for the rest of my life.
And from the looks of it, we might be able to.
After we finished our set, we decided to join the party. They started to play some club music, which obviously wasn’t as great as us but was still fun to dance to. We all gathered in the corner, cooling down before we started to dance. Well, all of us except for Allium and Ama, who were currently glued to each other by the mouth.
“We did awesome!” Thistle exclaimed excitedly.
“I know, I can’t wait until we get to do this again.” I grinned as I laid my chin on Freesia’s shoulder.
“We might be able to play here again soon, I’ll talk to my dad’s friend.” Freesia offered.
“I hope so, I think everyone liked us.”
“Yea, we really did.” A fourth voice chimed in from my left.
I glanced over and saw Skye standing there awkwardly. “Can we talk?”
“Yea, sure.” I smiled, I never thought I’d hear her say those three words again. She grabbed my arm and pulled me away from the group, over towards the bar where we were practically alone except for a random couple making-out.
“You guys are really great.” She said, I could just barely hear her over the loud music.
“Thanks, and thanks for coming tonight. I’m really glad you guys could make it.”
“Me too. I wanted to talk to you, I’m sorry for the things I said, I didn’t really mean it when I said I never wanted to talk to you again.” Skye admitted apologetically.
“I’m sorry too, I shouldn’t have yelled at you like I did.”
“So does this mean we’re cool?” She asked.
“You’re not mad anymore?”
“No, I mean, you are done with them right? You did the band thing, now you’re gonna focus on school. You can’t stay with them and do drugs for the rest of your life.”
“Woah, woah, what? You think I’m done with the band thing? We’re just getting started. This is what I wanna do, Skye, this is my future.” I felt my blood start to boil. How could she think that?
“You wanna do that with them? Why don’t you wait until after school, get your diploma and find some people who won’t overdose in five years.”
“Hey, these are my friend’s we’re talking about here!” I screamed at her, almost loud enough for everyone to hear.
“You’re gonna ruin your life, Lake. You need to take school seriously in case this doesn’t work out.”
“Oh, so you think I can’t make it as a musician?”
“No, I’m saying that you need a back-up plan.”
“Yea, because you think I can’t do it.”
“It’s a hard business, Lake.”
“You know what? Maybe we should just keep not talking. If you aren’t gonna support me I don’t want you in my life. Screw you.” I yelled, I was the angriest I’d ever been in my life. This was my dream, why didn’t she believe in me?
I could faintly hear her crying over the music as I walked towards the dance floor.
I approached Freesia who was dancing with Thistle. With one look at me she could tell I was upset. She immediately moved over to me and started to dance with me instead, grinding on me trying to cheer me up.
It was nice to get lost in the music for a while.
*An hour later*
After an hour of dancing, I was still fuming from the fight. Now I was also tired and sweaty from dancing, I needed a break.
“Hey, I’m gonna go lay down in the dressing room for a while.” I called out to Freesia over the music.
“Are you okay?”
“Yea, just a little tired.” I smiled reassuringly at her before heading towards the room. I couldn’t wait to relax.
But when I got into the dressing room, what I found was the exact opposite of relaxing.
“What the hell?” I screamed as I shut the door behind me. My little sister was making out on the couch, with my band-mate and best friend nonetheless.
They immediately shot up, Skye curling into a ball and Thistle jumping off the couch.
“Hey man, I can explain.” He started, but I stopped him.
“I don’t care, that’s my little sister. Friends don’t make out with each others little sisters.” I glared at him.
“Dude, it just kinda happened. She came in here crying, she didn’t realize I was in here. I started to comfort her and it just kinda happened.” He explained despite the fact that I didn’t care how it happened.
“Why do you even care? We aren’t speaking anymore.” Skye piped up angrily.
“Yea, exactly. I wouldn’t mind if we were speaking. He’s stabbing me in the back by making-out with the person I hate the most, who also happens to be my little sister.” I was fuming, I felt like my blood would burst from my temples.
“Woah, bro that’s a bit harsh.” Thistle tried to take a step towards me, but I was faster.
My fist immediately flew into his jaw with a sickening crack. I didn’t even notice the pain in my knuckles, I was too busy seeing red.
“Screw you both.” I screamed as I made my way out of the dressing room, not even bothering to look back.
I found Freesia on the dance floor and grabbed her hand. “C’mon, let’s get out of here.” I pulled her behind me as I headed for the exit.
“Are you okay?” She worried.
“I just wanna get out of here, okay?” I tried not to get angry with her, I knew none of this was on her. She thankfully understood and didn’t question me further as we left the club.
I just wanted to get high and forget this night ever happened.