Okay, I guess I better face the facts; Dale was easily the most musically talented bassist there. That’s the reason why I’m so torn by this decision. I mean, sure, he may be a talented bassist, but with our personal problems, could Why really function? Would we be able to work cohesively if Dale and I are always at each other’s throats? Is it possible we could put our past behind us? I mean, I guess Dale was up for it, for him to even try out for "my shitty band". But what if he was doing it just to prove a point? What if he was just going to turn around and yell "Told ya, faggot!" and then leave? It seemed the more that I thought about it, the harder the decision got. I guess the only thing to do now was to go with what seemed to be the best for Why.
"Congratulation’s goes to Dale Poulin!"
Grubbs announced, after him, Jessica and I had a fifteen minute discussion on the matter. "Dale is now the new bassist for Why!"
The other five bassists gave him an unenthusiastic round of applause, before lazily leaving the room, slightly disappointed about how the tryouts had transpired for them. Dale stayed behind to get filled in on how Why is going to go with its new member.
"So…" Dale mumbled, obviously uncomfortable in the room with two people who he had just called "f--k-heads" a couple hours earlier.
"So why the f--k did you come here?" I questioned, without even thinking.
"Carl!" Jessica cried, obviously slightly offended by my lack of manners towards our new bassist.
"Well..." Dale said, gazing at the ground, "I dunno… this band could have potential I guess."
"Damn right it could!" Grubbs answered. "The question is what you’re here for!"
"Look, I know I’ve been a dick to you guys, and…"
"Damn right you have!" I interrupted, jumping out of my chair. Grubbs flinched, ready to hold me back if necessary.
"…and I, well, I think you guys are actually pretty cool. I think this band could be awesome."
"Don’t kid yourself Dale!" I yelled, growing angrier by the minute. "You think we’re ‘pretty cool’, yet you bully us every day of the week? Bullshit!"
"Look!" Dale shouted, getting my attention immediately. "It’s my friends who think you’re faggots, not me! I just go with the crowd! But I realise how stupid it is now; those douchebags won’t be my friends in another five years if I keep it up! They’re just using me!"
Grubbs and I got up to leave, and Jessica cautiously followed. We had heard enough of Dale’s apology.
"So I’m in the band, right?" Dale slowly asked as we began to walk out the door. I turned to him before leaving the room.
"You are for now. But if you do one thing that hurts Why in any way, we’ll kick you to the curb faster than you can so sorry. I don’t give a damn how good of a bassist you are."
With that, I turned and followed Grubbs out the door, leaving Dale alone in the music room. I didn’t know what to think of Dale’s apology. It sounded almost cliché, with the whole peer pressure thing, and wanting to start new. I was more than willing to give him a chance though. After all, don’t they say "keep your friends close, and your enemies closer."
"What the hell was that about?" Jessica questioned Grubbs and I as we turned the corner. I had completely forgotten that Jessica really had no hard feelings against Dale.
"Well, he’s a dick. Or was a dick, I guess." Grubbs simply replied. "Enough said." Jessica didn’t question our relationship with Dale anymore.
It was odd. I was so excited about filling the vacant bassist position in Why just an hour ago, but now I had a horrendous blob of emotion going through my mind. I really didn’t know what to think anymore. I had just completely been thrown off balance; I had never thought Dale would show up for tryouts, let alone actually make the band. I guess the best way to describe my current state of mind was "f--ked".
I was just as confused when tomorrow rolled around, as Grubbs and I sat at our lockers before class started, still discussing the future of Why in regards to Dale.
"I still don’t know what to think," Grubbs complained, studying for his upcoming science test.
"I know how you feel."
As Grubbs continued to flip through his notebook, Dale approached.
"Well, maybe we’re about to get a little more insight," I suggested, pointed the approaching Dale out to Grubbs.
"Mornin’," Dale greeted, taking a seat beside Grubbs.
Grubbs and I cautiously starred at Dale. It was a sight I had never seen before; Dale was… happy?
"Hello?" Grubbs replied, in a tone that made it seem as if he were questioning Dale.
"What? Surprised to see me?" Dale questioned in return. "I told you I was ditching those douchebags, didn’t I? It’s Why all the way from here!"
Grubbs simply continued flipping through his notes, and I began drinking the energy drink I had purchased that morning.
"Look," Dale continued, almost to nobody. "I know we got off on the wrong foot, so I’d like to try and patch things up. My uncle owns The Academy Theater, so I decided to call him up last night and tell him about Why. Boom, we have a reserved spot to open for any upcoming band whenever we feel ready. You’re welcome."
I nearly spit my energy drink all over my lap. The Academy Theater was probably the most prestigious venue in this area; even opening there was a big deal. Most of the shows are often packed, and sometimes we get some pretty notable professional musicians to play that venue.
"The A.T.?" Grubbs questioned, somewhat sceptical of Dale’s words. "Like, THE A.T.?"
"Hell yeah!" Dale replied, satisfied with his accomplishment. "We better get practicing!"
Grubbs smiled. "Hey, maybe you’re not so bad."
For the next week, Grubbs, Jessica and I got acquainted with our new band-mate, and my relationship with Dale seemed to improve over time. It was starting to look like the Why could function properly with Dale, and that Dale actually was trying to patch things up between us. And it couldn’t have come at a better time either, as the following Tuesday brought a great surprise.
"Hey! Carl!" Dale yelled across the hall, rushing over with a sheet of paper in his hand. "Remember what I said about the Academy Theatre?"
"How could I forget?" Since Dale had told me, the potential venue had always been on my mind.
"Well I found the perfect show for us to play!" Dale said, holding the sheet of paper in front of my face. It was a poster for an upcoming concert, and it read:
THE ACADAMY THEATRE PRESENTS:
ROCK AT THE A.T. 2010
10 phenomenal acts under one roof!
Tickets only $15
November 25th, 2010
"What makes this show so great?" I asked, carefully examining the poster.
"Well, two reasons," Dale began. "First of all, I only promised us a spot opening for a band before. But, one of the bands performing in this show dropped out last night, so there is any empty spot open in the actual show. Secondly, one of the headlining bands, ‘Optimal Urgency’, has major connections. If we can impress those guys, we may be set."
I simply stared at Dale in disbelief. "Seriously? A spot in the festival, no questions asked?"
"Right before the headlining acts," Dale smiled.
"That’s… amazing! But it’s in twenty days; will we even be ready by then?"
"Well…" Dale’s smile grew even more, "we’ll have to work our ass off. But I know of something that may help us."