12:30 P.M, Cafeteria
The last two classes had gone by at the speed of a snail, at least for Kayla. First off, her geometry teacher had yelled her out for a lack of homework as well as talking all class. Secondly, the Beast had given her an after school detention, once again, for no homework. Daniel on the other hand, had a relatively okay time, at least compared to Kayla. History was just taking notes from the board as well as a short video on the effects of World War One on the world. The Beast, on the other hand, had just talked all class about prepositions and other useless things that ninety percent of the class would forget in a few days anyway. When lunch finally came, it was a relief for both of them. In five minutes, both had gotten their lunch and took a seat at the regular table.
"William should be here by now, he almost never skips lunch," Kayla said curiously. She felt a vibration in her pocket and pulled out her cell phone to read the text that was sent. "Scratch that, he's working on a project and won't be here today."
"That's a new one. Now, you wanna tell me how you're somehow failing geometry?" Daniel asked while taking a bite out of his pizza. Kayla nearly took offense at this question, but then realized it was mostly out of concern if anything at all.
"Well, contrary to what most people think, not all Asian people are good at math, you know. Just look at me," Kayla said with a slight laugh.
"True enough. But seriously, how the hell are you doing that? You're taking one of the easiest classes ever, and you're still somehow managing to blow it. Mad respect for that, by the way."
"All right, all right. I'm touched by your concern Daniel, but really, I can handle it."
"You better. If you don't get an A for this year, then we don't get the same class next year. Anyway, since we're both done eating, you wanna head to the library?" Daniel asked while jerking a thumb in its general direction.
"Eh, why not?" Kayla said nonchalantly.
12:30 P.M, Library
Kayla and Daniel were now sitting at one of the tables set up in the center of the library for 'studying' purposes. To the left were shelf upon shelf of books, while a host of computer desks we situated at the right, sunk into a depression in the floor so it seemed as if the room actually had two floors instead of one.
"Uh, excuse me, would it be okay if I just sat here? There's nowhere else to sit and I won't be a bother, I promise," a short and lanky kid with a book in his hand asked tentatively.
"Sure kid. I haven't seen you here before. You new or something?" Daniel asked.
"Yeah, my name's Bill. I just moved here from L.A. I'm in the 10th grade," Bill said quietly.
"So are we! Actually, I think I've seen you in my geometry class," Kayla exclaimed suddenly.
"Oh yeah, you're the one who got yelled at today," Bill said with a small smirk.
"Well, I would like to be known for something other than that…" Kayla murmured quietly.
"Kayla, stop trying to send the kid on a guilt trip. He's new, give him a break, at least for now," Daniel said. He then saw something sticking out of Bill's bag that would seriously help Daniel, Kayla, and Bill all at the same time.
"Dude, you're a drummer?" Daniel asked, motioning to the sticks in Bill's backpack.
"Oh, that? Yeah, I can play the drums. Nothing special though."
"Okay Bill, let me make you a proposition. You're new, so after a week people in this school are gonna start grading you harshly. If you help us be the drummer for our band for the talent show, people are gonna think better of you for it, and that's something I would hope you would want. You don't have to do it if you don't want to. So, what do you say?" Daniel asked. Bill mulled this possibility over in his head and decided almost instantaneously.
"Sure. Looking good in a new school is always important," Bill said. "When does this talent show thingy start?"
"Next week. By the way, if you need someone to sit with during lunch, just find me and Kayla. We'll always be in the cafeteria at the beginning of lunch," Daniel offered as the bell rang.
"See you kid!" Kayla called as both Daniel and she left.
2:00 P.M, Room 152, Economics class
"Okay class, let's see where you've gotten on those constitutional assessments," Mr. Webber said to his Law class. Jake and Kayla passed their assignments to the front of the class and took out their notebooks and recorded notes.
"How's your band thing going?" Jake asked, eyes focused on the front.
"I don't know really. We may or may not have a drummer, and we're still short one guitarist. And we've still got one week, so we're either making good pace or we're epically screwed. Either or," Kayla responded.
"I've got to say, you have the worst planning ever. Now I know why Daniel handles all the thinking processes," Jake said, with extra emphasis on the word 'worst'.
"Well, I don't see you helping!" Kayla snapped back just as quickly, eyes still focused on the front, writing down what was on the board at the same time.
"Well, you never asked! If you had bothered to, I would've told you to go to Jet," Jake shot back. Jet was the school's JV starting running back and safety, and was part of the reason that the school's freshman football team was 4-2 beofre Jet's season ending injury.
"Uhh…" Kayla began, for once at a loss for words. She hadn't actually thought that one totally through. But she wasn't going to let Jake know it. "It's because I don't know him as well as you. You guys play on the same football team. The most we ever do is hallway gossiping. It would be weird to ask him."
"Well, now's your chance to get to know him better," Jake said, a sly smile on his face.
3:00 P.M, School main entrance, after school
Kayla found Jet talking to a couple of his friends by the auditorium doors. Deciding that it would be a bad idea to just walk up to him while he was talking to his friends, Kayla plugged her earphones into her iPhone and waited for five minutes before Jet's friends left. With careful planning, she made her move.
"Hey Jet, wait up," Kayla said as she approached him.
"Oh, hi Kayla. What's up?" Jet asked casually. His real name was actually Sean but everyone called him Jet because of his speed on the field. Well, that and the Sanchez jersey he was wearing.
"Nothing much, I just wanted to ask you something and see if you were up for it."
"Ok, shoot," Jet said.
"So you know how next week there's gonna be the talent show right? Well Daniel and I started a band to win first place, but we're still short one guitarist so we were wondering if you would be the final piece. You up for it?" Kayla asked with an arch of her brow, arms folded in front of her black blouse.
"Sure, what the hell. I've got two weeks before the first game starts and it'll be something to take my mind off," Jet said with a shrug of his shoulders. "Anyway, I've got practice now. Call me later with more details."
"Sure thing," Kayla said as he left for the football field. Kayla went out the front door and started texting Daniel and William on what song they were going to use as she walked home.
September 25th, 5:00 P.M, Calley Household
"Ok, now the talent show is only four days away next Friday. We know our individual instrumental and vocal skills. The only thing we need to do now is choose a song. Any suggestions?" Daniel asked, opening the floor to what song was going to be used. Before anyone could get a word out, Daniel's mom's voice came out from the living room.
"Daniel, I'm going out with Grace to do some late night shopping. We'll be back around ten. Make sure the house isn't a mess," Daniel's mom called out.
"Kay mom, bye," Daniel replied as the door shut. "Okay, now, any suggestions?"
"Okay, first off, what era is it going to be in?" Jet asked.
"Probably after we were born. There's no point in giving it our all on a song that nobody in the audience under the age of 30 has heard of," Daniel explained.
"Good point. Maybe something from Three Days Grace, Paramore, Rise Against?" Jet offered. Daniel wrote down all three on a piece of paper.
"There's no way I can sing a Three Days Grace song. My voice can't go that low," Kayla said, taking a sip from a bottle of water.
"Three Days Grace, gone," Daniel said, crossing the name off the list.
"Yellowcard?" William said.
"I don't know. They don't really have much in the way of high energetic songs. More slow and meaningful for them," Bill said as he leaned back in his chair.
"True, true," William said. A pen went straight through the name.
"Green Day?" Kayla offered before it was quickly shut down.
"NO," the other four answered almost simultaneously and instantaneously.
"Okay, okay," Kayla said. "What about Her Bright Skies?"
"Her Bright who?" Daniel asked.
"They're a pop punk/post hardcore band from Europe. They made a song called Kiss Like This back in 2010. It's everything we need. It's energetic, its got moderately good lyrics, and most importantly, it sounds nice. In fact, I've got the song on my phone. One sec…" Kayla said as she took out her phone and played the song. Three and a half minutes later, everyone had made their personal decisions.
"I like it," Bill said with a shrug of his shoulders.
"Second that," William said.
"Me too," Jet said.
"Then it's decided. The song we're going to do for the talent show is Kiss Like This, by Her Bright Skies," Daniel declared, standing up. Now, we need to go find the score online. To Google we go."
September 29th, 6:30 P.M, School main auditorium
"Shit, I'm nervous," Kayla said, draining down a water bottle straight after. She was wearing a black tank top with a neon silver tight mini-skirt and black leggings along with her knee high, dark brown boots. The other four were dressed in T-shirts and jeans, each with varying designs and styles.
"Relax. We're in the middle, so we don't have any extra expectations of us. You just focus on singing and I'm sure it'll just come to you. Remember, I'll being singing parts of it as well," Daniel said, trying to reassure her, putting his hands on her shoulders.
"Yeah, I know. It's just that I've never done this before."
"Woman, R.E.L.A.X. It's all good, so don't sweat it," Daniel said once again.
"You're right, you're right. Wow, I actually cannot believe I just said that to you," Kayla said with a hint of light heartedness.
"Kayla, Daniel, Bill, Jet, William, you guys are up. Good luck and Godspeed to you," the stage told them. "Just get behind the curtain in your ready positions."
"Roger that," Jet said. On the other side of the curtain the MC's could be heard introducing their act. Breathing was heavy, hearts were beating. Jet had spent over half his young life playing football. This was just as intense as any playoff game. Daniel could feel the pulse in his chest speed up like a bullet train. Everyone's adrenaline was on high.
"Hi guys we are…" Daniel began before he realized he had made an error in the extreme. In all the preparing and the practicing they had done, they had never decided on a name. Hell, the name hadn't even been considered in all the commotion. Daniel had to think quick on his feet, and fast. He flashed through everything he had heard, done, seen or even touched. Then, he found it.
"Three Cheers for the Fallen." He got a quick glance from the other four, but then they all just did a slight shrug of their shoulders and rolled with it.
"Anyways, the song we're gonna be doing tonight for you all is called Kiss Like This, by a band called Her Bright Skies!" Kayla told the audience. A small cheer went through the seats. "Kick it!"
Jet and William swayed from side to side, hands moving across the strings like magic, as they played the intro. Daniel peppered the intro with a couple of whoas before all three of them played the introduction chord into the first verse which melded seamlessly with the start of Kayla's singing.
"Turn out the lights, cause everyone knows what time it is…" Kayla started singing. She followed the opening line with a shake of her arm as she started moving around the stage. Soon enough, the opening chords of the chorus were approaching and Kayla resumed her position at center stage. She ever so discreetly placed the microphone back into the stand as the chorus started.
"So get up and dance, don't make any plans. I am all in for you," Daniel sang out as he played his guitar. A cheer came from the crowd as he started singing out the words.
"So let's kiss like this and kiss forever," Kayla sang straight after, holding the microphone stand with both hands diagonally.
"Raise up your glass for living life fast, I swear I'm so into you."
"So let's kiss like this, it's now or never."
The crowd was going wild at this point. Kayla was surprised at how much energy they had put into the crowd. She got the confidence booster she needed and with a confident smile, sang it with so much passion; she could've signed a recording deal then and there.
Daniel sang the beginning of the second verse while Jet and William started crossing the stage in order to give both halves of the audience a personal taste. Bill was just doing his thing, smashing at his drums and loving every second of it, even if he wasn't in the limelight. Kayla sang her part of the verse right after Daniel finished his, so it seemed that not only were they singing a song, they were also retelling each half of a couple's night out. Up next came an especially important pre-chorus, so Kayla readied herself and sang it out loud. A couple days ago, all five of the band members had decided to change one word in this part, but it made a world of difference.
"cause I don't care what you've said, and I don't care what you've done to all the girls that I will never know," Kayla belted out into the microphone before the second chorus came around again. It was nearly the same, except only this time Kayla and Daniel reversed lyrics. Daniel sang Kayla's part while Kayla sang Daniel's part. It really sold the picture that this song was about a couple that was wildly into each other. Soon after, the bridge to the finale came and everyone lined up in perfect position to sing it home.
"I wanna see you move your hips," Daniel began amidst a whirlwind of instrumentals.
"I wanna see you kiss my lips," Kayla followed up with, now kneeling on the ground with the microphone stand extended to one side.
"I wanna see you move your hips."
"I wanna see you kiss my lips."
"So kiss like this, let's kiss like this," Kayla sang softly as the guitars and bass died down. All of a sudden, Bill's kick drum flared to life as the defining sound of the moment as Kayla took the microphone from the stand and leapt down onto the main floor.
"So get up and dance don't make any plans," both Daniel and Jet sang out with Bill's kick drum being the steady rhythm. Kayla scoped out a cute freshman and performed a move that got a roar of approval from the crowd, and some non-serious jockeying from the seniors. She kissed the boy on the cheek hard enough to make a red lipstick impression, and then took out a marker and signed it Kayla, XOXO.
"I am all in for you," Jet and Daniel sang as Kayla got back to the stage just in time for the big finish.
"So let's kiss like this and kiss forever," Daniel sang as Kayla sang into the same microphone as he did, for acting purposes. Both of them were singing the chorus at this point. It was set to be epic.
"Raise up your glass for living life fast, I am so into you," Kayla sang with her right arm pointed to the ceiling. Kayla brought it down in a roundabout way and quickly returned to her own mic stand.
"So let's kiss like this, it's now or never," both sang loudly and proudly. Daniel peppered the outro with some woahs while Jet and William faced each other side to side while rocking out on their instruments.
"So let's kiss like this and kiss forever," Kayla sang the final line with her eyes closed, lost in the sound. Daniel and Jet echoed out some woahs as the song died out, as Kayla extended her arm outwards while holding the mic stand, and quickly snapped it back, rocking the stand back and forth. The crowd was cheering and a couple of whistles could be heard. Kayla took a bow and said thank you while the boys looked out into the crowd with awe, smiles on their faces.
"And the winner of this year's West Shaniff High Talent Showcase is… Three Cheers for the Fallen!" the female MC, Gina, shouted out. The crowd started cheering and clapping for them. "So, would you guys like to give a speech, mainly, where your sick name came from?"
All eyes turned to Daniel. Without a moment of thought, he said with a little embarrassment, "It was actually something I came up with as we were on the stage. When we were practicing for this show, we never actually gave thought to a name, so I just made something up on the fly."
"Nice. Congratulations on winning and may we see you guys soon!" Gina said. "This has been the 2012 West Shaniff High Talent Showcase, thank you for coming and good night!"
All five of the performers were outside saying thanks after being congratulated. Many a bro hug was shared before Crystal and Jake came up to them.
"Wicked sick show guys. You wanna get something to eat? Night's still young," Crystal said offhandedly.
"Sure, why not? Franco's Pizza Parlor down the street?" Jet asked.
"Where the hell else bro?" Jake answered, arms extended side to side.
"Cool, let's go then. Guys, by the way, do you think this could be a permanent thing?" Kayla asked stoically.
"I think so," Daniel replied.
"If you guys are staying so am I," William answered.
"Definitely staying on this ship," Bill answered with a smile.
"Why should I ruin the fun? I'm in," Jet answered with a laugh.
"Then congratulations to our first gig as Three Cheers for the Fallen! May it be the first of many more successful ones to come!" Daniel said triumphantly, right arm raised in the air. "And now, pizza!"
"Woohoo!" Everyone said as they threw up their arms.
Author's Note: Thanks to Highway Unicorn for giving me advice on how to incorporate the songs into the story! It was really helpful and was a major part of what I feel is the best chapter so far! The song used, Kiss Like This, is going to be linked at the bottom.