Dan! I yelled after him. His normally calm, styled hair that fell just short of his eyelashes was blown back, revealing tiny ears. He was wearing a stained T-shirt and torn up shorts. It looked like he had just jumped out of bed.
His now evident ears either didn't pick up my voice, or didn't care. Whatever he was here for, he was here for it good. The door flung open as soon as he reached it. I managed to scoot in before it shut.
Who was that? Alex asked behind me. I turned to answer, but was interrupted by the people at the main office.
Excuse me, what are you two here for? Of course. Two adolescent punks show up at a hospital. What could we want but to cause trouble?
I guess this pissed of Alex, too, because he gave her the evil eye of her life.
We're hear to visit Bryan Sermon. Hearing this, my head shot up. Was that his name? It had been so long, I just called him Bryan and considered him an annoyance.
Is that all he was to me? If he died, would he be remembered as Bryan-the-annoying-pothead? What would I be remembered asif I didn't cry for Bryan? That silent loser with the guitar? That callous dick?
And if Bryan diedwould there be anything I missed?
Alex snapped me back to reality.
What the hell are you doing? Hurry up! Bryan was being held in emergency care. His neck was broken, and he had double vision. He was awake, however.
We ran in to find him in heated conversation with Dan. I blinked. Was this a joke? Noand they hadn't even noticed our arrival.
Bryan looked terrible, his normally festive red hair was pulled back, and his freckles were mixed in blood spots. His eyes had rings around them, and his neck was in a cast. He had a hospital apron on, and that was all you could see. The rest of the hospital bed was cover in useless white paper sheets; most of them died red. He had weird circular tubes covering him as well. Alex rushed forward.
Bryan! He interrupted. Bryan turned to him.
Hey, He tried to smile cheerfully. Have you met my cousin, Dan?
What? I thought. Dan's his cousin?
I believe notfor him. Dan nodded, turning to me. Hey, Michael.
Hey, I muttered under my breath. All air in the room had gone stale. Both Bryan and Alex were giving me betrayed stares. Bryan's quickly faded.
Have you too met? How neat! That wasn't very Bryan. It sounded like what Dan said to me earlier today. Bryan would've said something like; You guys friends? I felt embarrassment hitting me hard. To Alex, Dan was the mysterious enemy who had transformed Bryan. To Bryan, Dan was his to introduce, but his friend in the end. Me? I was on the outside. I wasn't allowed in.
See you later, Dan smiled, then left. Then something else hit me. He wanted to talk to Bryan alone and I had intruded. I was the public enemy.
I turned to Bryan and kept him company a bit while Alex yelled at him.
The weather from before had vanished and tiny vessels of water pounded relentlessly against buildings. I kept my hands in my pockets so I could reach cover of the Dark Side.
The walls seemed less real, like all my life had been a dream. I slipped in between them, and leaned against the wall. The lean slide to a sitting position. The rain fell just short at my feet. I picked up the guitar and almost jokingly played the simple melody of Singing in the Rain'.
I started a bass part into an Arctic Monkeys song when I heard it. It was a voice, the exact melody of that song. I stopped, but then it stopped too. Wondering if I had imagined it, I slowly melted away into I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor'. I started humming, then realized the reason why it sounded even better then usual was because the voice was singing it.
I ignored it and slipped away, now playing the guitar part at a different beat. The voice shifted it's tempo perfectly. This was annoying. I looked up, but saw nothing.
Well, Arctic Monkey's songs aren't that hard to sing. Let's see you keep this up. I started into a Gin Blossoms hit. The Gin Blossoms had a better vocalist then Billy Joel and Radiohead combined, and that was almost impossible.
But the voice managed that angelic tone, nailing the song as if the voice had heard it a billion times before. Okay, I thought. But can he chant? I started into Miss Murder' by AFI. This caught the voice off guard. After alternative, hard rock and power pop mixes I was going into an emo punk song?
It faltered through the early-chorus but picked right back up in the first verse, and finished through doing everything fine, even improvising on the screams.
Neat, I thought. But what human being could sing like this? Maybe it was a part of my imagination. No one had such wide range. I played Rock the Casbah' and went straight into Shadows and Regrets' to test it, but it passed fair and square. Who owned such an amazing voice?
As the night progressed, the rain grew worse and our little private concert continued.
The next morning, storm clouds had been swept away to reveal a horribly sunny day. It was in the 90s, and I had gotten no sleep. I headed back to the dorms, looking around for a person or a thing that was making the vocals last night. I only found Dan, on his way to town. He smiled at me. I managed a small grin.
The sun slowly chipped away at my temperature until I was sweaty by the time I reached the dorms. I looked at my bags by the door. Alex wasn't there. He was probably visiting Bryan.
I decided to borrow his laptop for a bit, and went in his room. It was rare that he wasn't here, so normally he would just give it to me but now I had to go into his room. I felt almost like an invader.
I noticed a drumkit in the corner. Huh, I thought. It was one of those virtual drums that made the perfect sound when you hit it, but still required you to know how to play the drums. Thinking I'd give it a whirl, I picked up the drumsticks and started a shuffle lead-in.
I was terrible. It took a lot more talent than it looked like. I tried to do a double beat, and only barely managed after messing up three times. I laughed, and put it aside. It felt neat to get away from guitar for a little bit.
I heard the door open, and Alex peaked in.
Hey-what're you doing?
Oh! Sorry, just thought I'd borrow your laptop for a bit. I stuttered.
It's cool, He nodded. You play drums?
About as good as your average guitarist, I grinned sarcastically. He chuckled.
Hey, lemme show you something hardcore, I stepped away from the kit, and he took his position. He was a totally different person, and only a musician could perceive him that way. It wasn't his expression, but his emotions, his musical feel. I knew the feeling.
He turned up the speakers and went into a shuffle right away. He pulled what sounded like a synthesized dance song, then managed the beat to several Ramones' songs, including drum solos.
Wow, I said. That's crazy.
I heard a voice outside. It was instantly recognizable. That chipper tone belonged to no one but Dan. I opened the door a crack and saw Dan and Bryan chatting amongst themselves.
Dan noticed me and nodded. Bryan saw his eyes and followed.
Oh, he said. I thought you would've moved out by now. Gee. Thanks.
No, I need to check my email and some other stuff first. I tried a smile.
Well, whenever you're ready, Dan grinned. I'll move into your room.