©Copyright LostInPie 2011

When the Bands Stop

BLURB: "So, you're nineteen and married to a guy you hardly talked to over the fifteen years you knew him?"… "Pretty much, yeah"

A/N

Welcome to the land of When the Bands Stop, just a few notes before you start; I've been writing this story for the past 6 months, so now I'm going through and editing the chapters, once I have finished editing I shall post the next one. When the Bands Stop is just a short novella, so far. So most chapters are just above 1000 words. I would love feedback and if I got something incorrect please notify.

Thank you and ENJOY

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When the Bands Stop.

001

"… Remember to call at least once a week, okay? And not too much partying! I called Aunt Lisa. She's looking forward to seeing you, and I hope you have enough money for gas and…"

"Yes mom."

"… I packed some nice munchies- Oh, I almost forgot, HAROLD!" she yelled and walked away leaving me standing next to the open car, boxes overflowing out of the trunk. I huffed and picked up a box and tried to stuff it into the trunk of my old Chevy Nova.

"Wow, leaving for college already?" I jumped at the unfamiliar voice and turned around. Standing there was Cameron Winters in all his glory. He stuffed his hands in the pockets of his jeans and flicked back his chestnut bangs. He was wearing the usual skate shoes and band t-shirt. He may have been the most smart-ass guy I have ever met, but he had the most awesome green eyes.

We had our history as neighbors, but also managed to go to the same elementary and high school. I had learnt from numerous occasions that he was both rude and a complete jerk. Our similarities included; being neighbors, having a slight mutual respect for each other, and having over-protective mothers. But our differences stacked up higher than the empire state building. Firstly, in high school he was popular, while I was a loner, making me one of the girls that blended into the background but still managed to get picked on. He had a dozen friends, while I only had one I could call close. He had a younger brother and sister, who were both much younger than him, while I had four brothers. I almost cringed at the idea of my whole family coming and visiting me at college. Bad thought, really bad.

"Yeah, have to drive, gonna be about four days on the road" I said, smiling at the idea. To drive my car was like driving in a 1970's classic American film, so the idea of driving for four full days, was pretty awesome. I have to admit it wasn't the fanciest of brands, or the most expensive but I loved it to all extremes. It had been my uncle's old 1971 two door, Chevy Nova. He had driven it up on my fifteenth birthday, after I had drooled over photos. The original color had been mustard yellow, so when I got it I spent a few hundred dollars to fix up the paint. The now glistering yellow and black racing strips, looked perfect. Kyle, my brother had cleaned out the engine before he moved away, I had no idea about cars, but I knew that the engine hummed beautifully. The interior had been pretty good when I got it, thought the seats had deteriorated. The seats, now classic black leather and the speakers, second hand from Harold's old car. I sighed as I saw Cameron nodding, skimming his eyes over the car.

"So, you going to college?" I asked and went around the back of the car to pick up my CD box. He watched me as I went, his eyes following my back as I bent down and picked up the worn/loved box.

"Sure am, gonna try and study Engineering"

"Nice, where abouts?"

"Ah, UCLA" he said sounding bored. I almost dropped my box of CD's. I couldn't believe that he was also going to follow me to university too.

"Damn, hopefully I won't bump into you on my way to classes," I said sarcastically. He looked at me, shocked.

"Hang on, you're going to UCLA?" he asked like I was going to destroy his whole scene.

"Yep, and doing Psychology" I said throwing the box onto the front seat. I'd decided to study both Fine Art and Psychology. At that moment my younger brother, Shane and my parents came out, my mother holding a fancy box from IKEA, smiling profusely. Cameron nodded and muttered a quick "see you later" before walking off.

"We all got together and got this for you honey, I hope you like it!" my mom gushed and Shane smiled, my step-dad winked. My mother extended her arms to show the contents of the large box. I peered over the edge and inside I saw all new art supplies. I picked up one of the fancier looking sketchpads. It was leather bound and had a ribbon to keep it shut. I flicked open the first page, the paper was the expensive type, this was a proper sketchpad!

"Thank you so much you guys, I could never have gotten this on my own." In the middle of the pile was a turquoise box. I remembered it from when I was little and used it to keep my coloring pencils in. I took the large box from my mother's grip and went to pick up the old one in the middle.

"Oh, no, no darlin', open it when you get there, I'll start crying otherwise," she said with a watery smile. Shane elbowed her playfully and grinned.

"Oh c'mon mom, you should be used to the college departure by now" he said jokingly. At that I went to my car and put the box on the passenger seat floor. I turned around again and hugged my mom and Harold, saying the last goodbyes. Shane hugged me too.

"Don't do something stupid, I still have to live with her" he said in my ear and I laughed. Then I was sitting in my gorgeous Nova, heading for the interstate out of Seattle.

I put in my road trip CD and it blared out of my new speakers as the interstate flew past as I headed closer to my Aunt's house.

I stopped off at a few gas stations. The rubbish pile in my car grew. By about three o'clock I managed to find my Aunt's place. It was a small suburban house just outside Eugene, Oregon. I spent the rest of the afternoon catching up with family, most of whom I didn't remember. Before I knew it, it was the crack of dawn and I was heading down the interstate to San Francisco. The only reason why I had wanted to add an extra forty minutes on my trip was just do I could drive through the city. It was an eight hour drive interrupted by diner stops. By the time I got to my cheap motel I collapsed onto the bed and fell into a heavy sleep.

I woke to the singing of Hey Monday's 'Josey,' I rolled over and turned my phone off. At exactly 4:30 AM I was heading down interstate 5 to Los Angeles. It was a change for me to be so far from home, I had only been between the cities of Eugene and Seattle. So going through unfamiliar areas made me feel uneasy. The huge skyscrapers of San Francisco slowly disappeared out of view in my rear view mirror as I drove down the interstate. My new 'home' five hours and forty minutes away.

***

I was one of those people who like to be early to things, so when I turned up at the University of Los Angeles, forty minutes before I had expected, I was pretty happy, but nervous, damn nervous. I sat in my car following the traffic while I tapped the steering wheel. I wound down my window as a traffic warden approached. I held out my application form and he nodded.

"Take a left, follow the signs, park the car and go to check ins," he smiled as I drove off.

I went up to my room with the last box and threw it on my bed. My dorm was set up with a twin bed on either side of the room and two desks on the far wall. It was an average college dorm room. I looked around once more as I sat on the bed toward the right. I sat, staring blankly in front of me. Gawd I was bored. I started going through boxes, taking things out and just putting them on the floor, waiting for my roomy to get here before we fight over space. I threw yet another box on my bed and came to the one my mother had given to me and picked up the turquoise box, my mother forbidden me to open, otherwise she'd cry. I sat back on the floor anticipating when I should take the lid off. Slowly I undid the buckle and peeled back the lid, revealing a folded note on top of stacks underneath. The note was folded three times, my name sloppily written on the front. I opened it and gasped, my father's handwriting addressing my name, finishing with only three sentences.

Baby Brodi,

I knew I wouldn't be here today, when you went off to fulfill your dreams. I'm proud of you and have high expectations! You're my baby girl!

Love Dad

This was the first time in years that I had received something from my father, I had expected a letter when I graduated though of course I didn't get it. I remembered when I was 16 I had gotten another letter only saying "Happy 16th baby girl. Love Dad," my mother said he had been a man of few words. I was surprised when I started going through the rest of the box to find family pictures, none of which dated past my fourth birthday. Pictures of Shane as a two year old, my brother and me in bathing suits in front of the pool. Tristan, James and Luke throwing water balloons at a crying Brodi. I laughed when I saw a picture of my dad, sitting at the kitchen table, me on his lap throwing my lunch in his face. Memories I could hardly remember appeared all too visible on the photographs in front of me. I rubbed my eyes to stop the tears from falling, there was no reason to cry when I wasn't sad.

"Holy shit, my dorm is small" I heard an unfamiliar voice and looked toward the door. In the frame was a girl with yellow and purple hair, facial piercings and make up, making her a stereotype in many eyes. Most would point and shout "EMO!" but I knew she was more that; adopting the look for fun rather than the personality that usually tags along. I figured that this was my roommate. She pushed her cart full of her stuff into the small room, as I quickly packed my box back together.

"Hi, I'm Heather! You must be Brodi, correct?"

"Correct" I said as I got up from the floor and shook her hand.

"Ooo, honey this is so nice!" I heard a squeal from the door as I saw a smaller version of Heather in the doorway, minus the hair color, makeup and piercings. She was a small woman with a hip length bag on her shoulder, matching her red sweater and her graying hair combed back into a tight bun. "…Look! It's even got twin beds! And look at the little desks! Oh and the view from the window!" she squealed again as she ran around the room. I smiled as I sat back on the bed. I guessed this woman was Heather's mother.

"Why hello!" she said smiling at me, "I'm Katherine, Heather's mother," she said, still smiling. I felt like I was in high school again, meeting a new friend's mother.

"Hi, I'm Brodi,"

"Oh, what a lovely name! It's very nice to meet you Brodi," she smiled as we shook hands. Heather shook her head and smiled, bending over and unpacking her carry case.

Soon Heather was unpacked and her mom left. We had arranged the room, discovering we weren't really all that different agreeing with what each other said. It turned out heather was majoring in Computer Science. She only lived an hour away from campus and was an only child. I had laughed when she stated her parents were pretty strict and old fashioned, they hadn't liked her change to 'emoism' very much. Her wardrobe was kick ass, everything was different though congregated well together. We walked around campus, looking like idiots when every ten second we'd be back at the information board.

I smiled as I lay in my new bed, looking at the old pictures in front of me. Heather's evil laugh cut through the room, "It's a Friday night and we're in bed by 10:30," she laughed again and added, "Have a good night Brodi."

Her bed creaked as she turned over. The first night of my new life was pretty damn eventful.