Hi guys :D I'm so happy to be back. I feel like I haven't posted anything in forever.
So after writing my last not-so-one-shot one-shot, I decided that I had a lot of fun with it and I wanted to do something else like it. Hence this story. I'm not really sure how long it will be because I'm not yet done with it, but I'm aiming to make it around 3 parts. It's not going to be a full length twenty-some-odd chapters. It'll be short.
This idea came about because I was in a situation like this a few weeks ago. My band couldn't find a bassist, so we were planning to hang posters all around the school and in the music shop near my house. However, we found one (I think) so that won't be necessary anymore. Anyway, for those of you who don't know (a lot of people in my school aren't familiar with the genre of music) "Ska" is a type of music that's sort of a mix between rock and reggae. It's pretty much rock with horns, and it's incredible :)
To everyone who read "Boys Suck," No, I do not have an infatuation with drummers. It just seemed to fit Hunter's character more than any other instrument.
And here goes.
"Nat, this isn't going to work," Ryan stated, casually leaning against the wall of the small music shop.
I smoothed over the poster, making sure that the sticky tac on the back of the corners was going to stay put. "Sure it will," I replied.
My best friend sighed. "We looked all over the stupid school for a stupid drummer. These stupid posters aren't going to help."
"Hey! Watch yourself, 'cause I made these stupid posters." I stepped back, analyzing the flyer to make sure it hung straight on the painted bricks. In big, bold letters, the words, "Drummer Needed for Local Ska Band" were printed across the top of the bright green paper. Below that was a bunch of information, like the qualifications and my cell phone number if anyone was interested in joining.
I had been up late the previous night making dozens of them to hang all over the high school. But as Ryan and I were walking home, the music store on Merrick Road caught my eye. I figured that since they gave lessons as well as sold instruments, someone with the ability to play the drums would see the flyers.
"Sorry, Nat… You know what I mean; it's just, there's no good drummers in this town. If there were, we would have found one by now. No one's gonna reply."
"You don't know that," I said, grabbing my bag off of the floor. I thanked the woman behind the desk once more for letting us hang the poster in the store. Then Ryan and I walked back through the glass door and out onto the sidewalk of the main road.
"Why don't we just screw the ska band and go punk? It's so much easier; you don't need a horn section," Ryan said, stopping to press the button for the "walk" sign.
While we were stopped for cars, I took the opportunity to hang another flyer on a corner telephone pole. "But even if we switch to punk, we still don't have a drummer."
"Yes," Ryan mused, "but if we don't need any horns, then Hutch can switch from trumpet to drums."
I sighed, starting to cross the street. "And what are we supposed to do with Sean and Brad? Besides… Hutch can barely play the drums, anyway."
Ryan shrugged. "At least he can keep a beat. Better than nothing. And a band can always use groupies," he joked, grinning.
I laughed and rolled my eyes. "Okay… So if no one responds to the flyers, we'll do that. I'm not sure if Sean and Brad are gonna be thrilled about the idea of being the groupies, but we'll put Hutch on drums. However, I'll have you know that I'm not going to be very happy about it, Ryan Hayes, because I want to be in a ska band. Really, really badly. "
"Better hope someone responds, then," he stated, smirking egotistically.
"Gah. I need new friends," I muttered under my breath, earning a light smack on the arm from Ryan.
With a triumphant smirk written all over my face, I smacked the piece of paper down on the library desk. Ryan, Hutch, and Kenny looked up from their binders to stare at me. "What. Did I. Tell you?"
"What're you doing here?" Kenny asked, keeping his voice low so the librarians wouldn't complain. "Aren't you supposed to be out at lunch?"
I shrugged and sat down in the last remaining chair at the wooden table. "This is study hall, genius. I'm allowed to be here."
Hutch rolled his eyes. "I think he means, 'why are you here if you could be out at lunch?'" he answered for Kenny, picking up the piece of paper with names scribbled across the lines.
My smirk returned. "To rub that in all of your doubting faces."
"People Interested in Drum Position?" Hutch read, furrowing his eyebrows as he stared at the title.
"No way!" Ryan, who was sitting next to him, grabbed the paper out of Hutch's hands. "People actually answered the flyers?"
I nodded. "Yep. seven people, to be exact. Hutch; bring your drum set to my house on Saturday. That's when they're all coming to play for us. Kind of like an audition."
"Hm," Ryan mumbled pensively. "Maybe you're right, Nat. Maybe we'll actually find a drummer after all."
"Natalie, this is terrible," Ryan whispered over the sound of the out-of-tune trumpet. "We're never gonna find a drummer." He let his head drop flat onto the coffee table.
The morning had been hell for the six of us. So far, we had (unfortunately) met six out of the seven potential drummers. There had been an 8 year old kid, an aging hippie nearing fifty, a college-age guy whose attention span was equivalent to 3.5 seconds, and a girl around our age who had less rhythm than a drunken fratboy in a windstorm.
The guy we were currently watching couldn't play the drums at all. Instead, he insisted that since he saw the flyer for a ska band, he would audition for a trumpet part. And no matter how many times we told him that we already had a trumpet, he wouldn't listen. He had been playing "Mary Had a Little Lamb" for about ten minutes now.
Our best bet was the eight-year-old.
I glanced around the room at my band-mates. They all looked positively miserable.
Ryan, my best friend, fellow guitarist, and down-the-block neighbor since we were 11, kept his cheek against the surface of the coffee table. His eyes glazed over as he stared at nothing in particular with a look of sheer monotony.
Luke Hutchison (more commonly known as "Hutch") was our trumpet player, and, the way things seemed at the moment, future drummer. He sat on the couch next to Ryan with his head in his hand. I watched his face scrunch up whenever the guy hit a sour note.
Sean, the sax player, was sprawled out on his back on the floor. That kid could sleep through anything.
Brad was Sean's best friend. They had met in the school jazz band in 7th grade. Brad played the trombone. He was over in the corner, continuously smacking his forehead against the pole in my basement,
When I stole another glance around the room, I noticed that Kenny still wasn't back yet. Our bass player had left an hour and a half ago, telling us that he was going quickly to pick up a pizza for lunch, but he hadn't returned, and I didn't think he had any intention of coming back. I didn't blame him.
The guy with the trumpet took a deep breath in, but Brad stopped him before he could put his lips to the mouth piece again. "Okay! Thanks very much; we'll call you." He barely allowed the kid time to pack up his trumpet before he shoved him out of the basement and to the front door.
Brad came back downstairs, taking off his brown cabbie hat to run his hand through his hair. "Well, that's 70 brain cells and three hours of my life that I'll never get back." He fell backwards onto the beat-up beanbag chair.
"Yeah," Ryan agreed. "But at least it's over."
"Not yet," I mused, grabbing the now-crinkled paper with the names of people who had called. I brought my finger down the list, mentally checking off everyone we had already seen. There had been David, the eight year old, Tao, the aging hippie, (Which, with a name like that, I should have seen the hippie thing coming), Bryan, the college kid, Ally, the girl with no rhythm, and last (most likely least, as well), Melvin, the one with the trumpet. There was one more name on the list. "Hunter," I muttered aloud. "He's coming at two o'clock."
Brad glanced at his watch. "It's was two o'clock twenty minutes ago. That last audition ran about a half an hour over. I doubt this Hunter dude is coming."
The room fell silent. Except for a few exhausted sighs every once in a while, none of us said anything as we all replayed the day in our minds. The sound of arrhythmic drum beats and, thanks to that last guy, an out of tune trumpet, echoed back in my head, making my ears ring.
We looked up, broken out of our dazes, when the swinging window above my washing machine opened. His black skater shoes came through first, then his abdomen, then his hands, which were (surprisingly) wrapped around a pizza box, until he was entirely through the window. Our bassist jumped down from the washing machine onto the concrete floor.
"Kenny, how many times do I have to tell you? You can just use the front door."
He shrugged, putting the pizza box down on the coffee table. Within three seconds, my five band mates had attacked it. Even Sean, who had seemingly woken up when he smelled food. I rolled my eyes. Boys.Especially when they're hungry.
"And where's the fun in that?" Kenny asked, not even bothering to pull the slice of pizza away from his mouth as he spoke.
Ever since we had become friends with Kenny, he had always come in and out through my basement window. I had only seen him use the front door on a few rare occasions. I dunno; Maybe the kid thought he was a secret agent or something. That's what too many video games will do to you.
I grabbed a slice of pizza before the guys got a chance to go in for seconds.
"So what took you so long?" Hutch asked knowingly.
"Uh…" Kenny shrugged. "Car wouldn't start."
Ryan laughed. "Bullshit. We heard you drive off."
"Traffic?" Kenny attempted.
"The pizza place is ten blocks from my house!" I exclaimed.
"They ran out of dough."
I opened my mouth to answer back, but the doorbell sounded from upstairs. I exhaled, putting down my slice of pizza and standing up.
Through the frosted glass of my front door, I could barely see the outline of someone wearing a black t-shirt and dark green cargo pants. I opened the door with a slight smile, but my eyes went wide and my expression fell as soon as I recognized him.
I never, in a million years, would have guessed that Hunter Ashen was interested in playing drums for our band.
The guy wasn't mean, necessarily. But the quiet, rocker-type boy had everyone in our school intimidated. He didn't talk unless he had to. He was never seen hanging out with people. His headphones were permanently attached to his ears, even when he walked from class to class in the hallway. Hunter always seemed like he just flat-out didn't care.
"Sorry," he muttered. I assumed he meant for coming late, but he didn't try to clear up the confused expression on my face. Besides our short and to-the-point phone conversation about his possible interest in joining the band, this was the first thing he had ever said to me.
I knew the kid was tall, but I didn't realize just how tall until now. As I stood next to him for the first time, I realized that he must have been around 6'1". He stared down at me with his brown freckled eyes, probably wondering why the hell I was making him stand outside in the doorway. He questioningly raised a pierced eyebrow.
I cleared my throat, shaking my head free of the daze and stepping aside so he could come into the foyer. Then, after shutting the door, I led him down the stairs into my basement.
The guys froze when they saw him. All the noise in the room, as well as the movement, died down immediately. Then Hutch started choking on his pizza. Ryan forcefully smacked him on the back a few times until he could breathe again.
Completely at a loss for words, I motioned to the drum set in the middle of the room. Hunter wandered over and took his drum sticks out of his back pocket before he sat down.
"Right," Brad said, awkwardly clearing his throat. He was the first one to find his voice. "So just, uh… Play whatever. Show us what you're capable of, mmk?"
I sank own on the couch, unable to tear my gaze away from Hunter. He nodded and, after taking one last glance around the room through his dark bangs, started playing.
One by one, each of our mouths dropped open.
"Ryan!" I said, hurrying over to his locker. My best friend, thankfully, hadn't left the school yet. "Hey, Sean," I added, offering a wave to the blonde who was leaning against the locker next to Ryan's. He shot me a smile and a nod.
"What's up, Nat?" Ryan asked, throwing his books onto the shelf and grabbing his jacket.
"Not much… I just wanted to talk to you about the band. I mean, we didn't really come up with a definite answer this weekend, so…"
"Natalie…" Ryan sighed, stopping me from saying anything else. He shut his locker and turned to look at me, shoving his hands into the pockets of his jeans. "The guys and I were talking, and, I dunno… We're figuring we might just go punk."
"But…" I furrowed my eyebrows in confusion, searching Ryan's face. "But we found a drummer..."
Ryan shrugged. "Yeah, but it's Hunter Ashen, Nat…"
"So? So he's a little quiet, so what? You were there on Saturday, Ryan… You heard him drum. He's unbelievable."
Sean pensively tapped his fingers on the metal lockers at his side. "I dunno, Hayes. Maybe Nat's right… I'd really rather not be a groupie."
Ryan didn't look convinced. I shot Sean a "thanks-for-trying" look.
"I know… But, I mean… C'mon, the kid torched the sports shed behind the school," Ryan replied.
I rolled my eyes. "That's a rumor; they're still not even sure who did it."
"Alright. What about the time he beat the crap out of Josh Montgomery in front of the whole cafeteria?"
"That was eighth grade, Ryan! Three years ago," I pointed out.
"Kat," Ryan mumbled, shaking his head. "It doesn't matter. It's not like he's gotten any better since then. He's… I dunno, he's weird. And he's always so quiet and suspicious and stuff. I just don't trust him."
I glanced over Ryan's shoulder. A lump formed in my throat when I saw Hunter staring directly at me. He stood in the middle of the crowded hallway, keeping his ground even though people were pushing past him so they could get home as quickly as possible.
His face was neutral with his mouth forming a straight line, but his brown eyes pierced mine without faltering. I knew he had heard us.
Ryan turned his head to see what I was staring at. "Oh, shit," he muttered. He and Sean exchanged glances.
We watched Hunter turn around and walk in the opposite direction down the hallway. My mind told me to stay put. I always had a way of making things worse instead of better whenever I tried to fix something. But my legs didn't listen. After smacking Ryan on the back of the head for being so damn stupid sometimes, I took off after Hunter.
By the time I caught up to him, we were all the way at the other end of the school by the gym lobby. "Hey! Hey, wait up!" I yelled. Instead of turning around, he pushed through the entrance to the school and let the door swing shut behind him. I caught it with my shoulder and continued after him.
He hastened along the walkway pressed against the side of the school. It was nearly impossible to keep up with his long strides. One of his steps equaled two of mine; Still, I kept on his heels directly behind him.
"Hunter! Quit walking so fast and just listen to me, will you?" He didn't respond.
I sighed. "Look, don't pay any attention to Ryan, alright? I've known him for years; he's not a bad guy. He's just stubborn and he doesn't know what he's talking about."
"Whatever," he grunted. "Doesn't matter."
"It does matter," I insisted. "I want you to join the band… The other guys aren't so keen about the idea, but just give it time. They'll-"
"No," Hunter replied curtly. "I never should've even called the number on that flyer, okay? It was a mistake. Drop it."
I stopped right where I was and stared at the back of his head as he walked away. For a split second, I was going to let him go. He obviously didn't want to be bothered, so what was the use?
Then my pain-in-the-ass legs took over again, and I sprinted to get ahead of him. I blocked the sidewalk and turned around so we were staring at each other head-on.
He tried to take a step to the left, but I wouldn't let him pass. He sighed and met my eyes in defeat.
"What?" he asked. Hunter tried to make his voice sound irritated like before, but it was softer now.
"Just let me talk to you for a few minutes, okay? That's it, and then I'll leave you alone."
I know, I know. Bit of a cliffhanger there. Sorry about that, but I don't really have much written except for what's here.
Thanks so much for reading! If you guys could review, I would really appreciate some feedback.
I'll post more as soon as I get a chance to write more.