So here was the plan:
1.) Find out the usual time of the day Peter Collins grab pizza
… 8 pm
2.) Ask/beg/kneel in front of Robert to let the band play in his pizza place
… all of which I had to do myself because as Rita explained, "You have leverage. Your mom is dating the guy!"
I thought that was ridiculous but maybe I did have leverage because Robert didn't even blink twice when mom asked him if we could play one night.
3.) Make sure to play our best when Petey is around (yes, I just called him Petey because the kid really looked like a "petey")
So. We had a plan in mind. We already ticked off number 1 and 2 but everything did a 360 degree just when we were about to play. And I didn't know if it was hilarious or odd but it definitely was something unexpected.
Here was what went down:
Our set up was complete. The amplifiers, the drums, the microphones. Everything was stage ready outside Robert's. We couldn't play inside because then it would be impossible to get people's orders. Anyway. So everyone was adjusting their own instruments while I did the favor of serving Petey his pizza. You know, to kind of like "invite" him to watch our band. I already got a sequence of events in my head. I would be like, "You're a frequent here. I remember you!" Then he'd be like, "Yeah, I love your cheese pizza." Then I'd say, "Yes, they're the best. And hey, while you're enjoying your slice, maybe you could watch our band play! It's our first time playing here." Then I'd give him a cute smile and wink. Suck it up and then just cringe later because I actually winked at a 16-year-old-who-looked-like-12.
But lo and behold something amazing happened. I was on my way to Petey whose eyes were so fixated at something that they were almost glossy I actually thought he was high. So there I was. A plot in head. I placed his plate in front of him but just as I was about to say something, Petey quickly grabbed my forearm and looked at me with puppy eyes.
"You work here right?" He asked, voice filled with hunger of finding something out.
Complete weirded out, I raised my brows and said, "Uhh-yeah?"
"Then do you know that chic up front?" He was still gripping on my forearm.
I looked at where he pointed and almost gagged on my own saliva. Rita was on her spot, tuning her guitar.
With brows crossed, I looked back at Petey and took back my arm. Then everything came to me like rain pouring from the sky. JACKPOT!
I started to smirk, stood straight, and crossed my arms. "Yeah. She's my friend."
"Seriously?" This kid is seriously head over heels.
"Actually, we're band mates."
Petey's eyes grew and the next thing I knew, he was actually begging me to introduce him to Rita.
"She's like the coolest chic I have ever seen," he stared at Rita, ogling. "You've got to introduce me to her."
He was practically shaking me.
"Come on. Come on. Come on."
"OKAY! Okay." This kid needs to chill. "But let us at least play a song."
Even though playing doesn't have a purpose anymore we still owe Robert a good show after asking him a favor.
I was on my way to my spot on stage when I noticed getting weird looks from my band mates. Turned out Petey was actually following behind.
"Hey, what did I tell you? Let us play at least?" I asked the kid.
"Yeah, yeah! I just need a better view so I'm sitting right here," he said, pulling a chair right in front.
You would not imagine how hard I was trying not to laugh the entire time. Everybody was staring at me, brows crossed, and downright had no idea what the hell was going on. I was dying inside.
When I reached my spot behind the keyboard, Luke walked towards me and whispered, "Hey I think your little seduction actually worked."
I busted out laughing. "You have no idea."
I looked at the others and all I got were two thumbs up. Ahh I could not wait to tell everyone. After all the practice we did, this was the first time I am playing out in the public and thank the heavens I was not nervous at all. Not at all. Everything just turned out hilarious.
And hey, we actually sounded good. We earned claps from the people and actually built a crowd nearby. It felt pretty good. But four songs in and it was finally time for a tiny break. And the moment of truth.
"Hey guys, I think it's time we all personally meet THE guy," I said, trying hard not to laugh.
Luke eyed me with a tiny furrow on his forehead. "What are you not saying?" He whispered in my ear.
I chuckled. "Come on let's meet the guy."
So I made my way towards Petey, making sure Rita was right behind me. When we reached his table, he stood up and couldn't care less about everyone else. He just stared at Rita.
"Hey, Peter. Meet the band. Luke, Aaron, Sofia, Brody, and Rita. We're the VXX," I introduced.
Petey didn't make any sound. If he were a cartoon, the best description of what his eyes looked like now were two big hearts on his face. It actually kind of got awkward.
So Aaron, with his skills in ice breaking, finally started to speak, "Peter Co-."
"YOU ARE THE COOLEST CHIC EVER. I AM PETER," Petey cut Aaron off, shoved me to the side like I was a big block on his way, and reached for Rita's hand.
Everyone's jaws dropped to floor. Yes, including Luke, who remained calm all this time. And yes, including and most especially Rita. And there I was biting my lip from the hilarity of it all.
Rita, for the first time ever, lost her words.
Aaron had to tap her in the back so she could actually say something.
"Uh. Hi. I'm Rita."
We all pulled a chair and gathered around the table.
Luke sat beside me. "So this is why you couldn't keep that grin off your face huh?" He whispered in my ear, nudging me in the elbow
"What?" I looked at him. His face too close to mine. But of course, I acted like it was nothing. "I wasn't grinning."
"Yeah you were," he said.
I could barely hear anyone else anymore. One thing I'm sure of was everyone was getting acquainted.
"So you were staring at me then, huh?"
"Ha. You got me." He said laughing. And I loved that sound. Even though it kills me because it was way too sugary for me.
"So Elise here said this was the first time your band played here?" Peter said. Catching my attention.
"Yes. Yes," Aaron said.
"You guys play elsewhere?" Peter asked again.
"Just a couple of gigs here and there. We're always playing at The Bar," Sofia said, still beaming.
Everything was just so weird because this Peter was only a 16-year-old! Like hello? We were the adults here. While Sofia and Aaron did most of the talking, Brody and Rita kept mysteriously quiet. Luke, well, he was just a man of few words.
Rita, obviously, still cannot comprehend what just happened. Brody on the other hand, continuously stared at the people in front of him. Namely, Rita and Peter. Like he was looking at something completely bizarre.
"Well you guys should be out there more. You sound good," Peter said, acting all kind of mature-ey. "Especially if you have gorgeous members," he added, looking directly at Rita. She almost gagged.
And that was Brody's cue. The guy busted out laughing. Hands in the air, hands slapping on the table, hands on the stomach, kind of laugh. Sofia needed to slap the back of his head to shut him up.
"Anyway!" I tried to rescue the situation.
"Yeah and you dude," Peter looked at Luke. "Your voice is sick."
Luke chuckled. "Thanks, dude."
"It might not look like it but I actually produce bands," Peter leaned back on his chair, trying to act cool. Obviously trying to impress Rita.
"Oh yeah, we actually know yo-," Brody spoke, who finally got his composure back. But before he could finish, Sofia yet again smacked him.
"Oh yeah? That's awesome!" Sofia said.
It was amusing, actually. Watching from the sidelines.
Looked like Aaron followed up quickly and backed Sofia. "Oh what bands are you currently handling?"
"Well, one that's really famous around here in NYC actually. You know Arena?"
Still acting like they didn't know anything, Sofia and Aaron continued to speak with Peter.
"Is it just me or is it actually kind of weird that this supposedly big time producer is just a kid?" I moved slightly closer to Luke.
He cleared his throat. "Glad to know I'm not the only normal person here," he said, chuckling.
Turned out Luke also find it weird that our band mates are so keen on pursuing this kid. He understood the guy's a successful producer and he will open lots of opportunities for the band but like me, he was just weirded out that we were talking about someone barely a grown up. And especially someone who wears sunglasses at night.
"Alright," Luke said. "Looks like we already have to get back on stage."
It was actually nice of Luke to remember that we weren't just playing for Peter but for the guests as well.
"Oh right," Peter said. "But here, I am leaving you with my calling card," he started to stand, pulling a wallet from back pocket. "I really liked your band. Maybe we could arrange a meeting?" Then he turned to Rita "Maybe I can get your number?"
LOL. This kid was smooth as oil on a glass table. He earned a round of applause from my head.
Probably noticing how uncomfortable Rita was, Aaron stepped in and gave his calling card to Peter instead.
"Thank you Peter, we look forward to meeting you again," Aaron said.
"Great. I also need to bounce. You guys have a great night," he looked at everyone of us and then lastly gave Rita a wink before leaving.
"WHAT THE EFF JUST HAPPENED?!" Rita finally found her words once again.
Too bad none of us actually knew the answer to her question. Because seriously. WTF?