It was another school morning. The clouds were covering the sky, the birds were silent in the trees, and Ric was walking nervously up the hill to the large, iron gates that he would spend around the next seven hours in. And at some point, he'd have to ask Laura if she wanted to join his band.
He had, of course, asked Laura many things that were similar to this in the past five years, although to no avail. This, however, hadn't deterred him, and he had continued to try and put the moves on her, and failed spectacularly every time. And since since the well, the big THING that happened, she'd acted a bit strangely around him. As had everyone at school. But it was her acting strange that hurt the most.
Ric did try to be nice. It's just that he couldn't quite muster the will to do it. Instead, he'd merely make a sarcastic comment about anything, and hope someone would laugh. Most of the time, they didn't. Laura was one of the ones that didn't. She still remained his friend, but there was always a barrier between them. She never really felt comfortable around him, and he could tell.
So why would she join the band? She was, after all, currently in another band, although this one wasn't really doing much. Aside from playing in a few school concerts. And writing their own material. But really they just met up, rehearsed, and went away again. Then again, his band would pretty much do that anyway.
Ric had been trying to plan the conversation out in his head, but had always seen her saying no. Still, it was worth a shot.
Ric and Laura were sat at a desk with their friends in the form room. John was sitting next to Ric, grinning like an idiot at what was unfolding. Everyone else was engaged in a conversation about some TV show they'd seen last night. Laura looked slightly confused, whereas Ric had settled on appearing hurt.
No? Why not?
Laura sighed. There was a lot, A LOT, of reasons why she wouldn't want to spend too long in the same room as Ric, especially if the rumours were true. Ric's reputation as a nerd, slime ball and generally a total creep was well known around the year, and Laura had spent the last five years putting up with it first-hand.
Ric looked annoyed for a second. He was nervous as hell, and having John sat next to him wasn't helping matters at all. This was almost exactly as he'd seen the conversation going, and he still didn't like it.
Laura looked away for a second. She turned her head towards the gaggle of friends next to them and asked them something Ric hadn't quite expected.
Hey, guys, why should I not be in a band with Ric?
The conversation stopped while everyone had a think about this. Ric's level of anger started to rise, and John was loving every second of it. He decided to get the ball rolling.
He'd try and rape you?
Ric glared at John, whose smile widened till his mouth reached his ears. This was going to get very interesting. The crowd now started up.
Yeah, or just stare at your tits all the time. There was a murmur of agreement.
He'd probably try and write some song about you that was totally inappropriate, like in year 8. Again, the group agreed. Ric glared harder at John, the actual author of that stupid song. John started to giggle slightly. Another person offered a suggestion.
He'd probably try and get you to look at-
Ric's breaking point had been reached. Okay! Thanks guys! Nice to know you all appreciate me! he shouted, and slumped into his chair, sulking. John burst out laughing. Seeing Ric angry tended to make him do this. Everyone else smiled slightly, then resumed their conversation. Laura looked at Ric with a smug look on her face.
Well, looks like I have plenty of reasons to say no.
Ric glared at her, furious. He would've been fine with something simple, something that didn't openly make fun of him. He muttered something, stood up, and left the form room. Laura looked at John, who smiled back. Laura started to grin.
Was that a bit too harsh?
John shook his head, laughing.
He can handle it. But I guess I should go out there and talk to him
There was a pause.
Ric leaned against the wall of the form room, staring at the ground, his eyes fixed as though he was trying to set it on fire through sheer spite. The bitch! She had to go and make fun of him in front of everyone, and then act as if she's the one with the moral high ground! Like he's just some idiot who doesn't have feelings! He sighed angrily and looked up. Brad was stood close to him, with a confused look on his face.
Did she say no?
If Ric enjoyed spitting, then he would've gobbed on the floor before he answered. As it were, he simply went back to staring at the ground.
Of course she said no.
Brad laughed. He'd expected this to happen, but he didn't know that Ric would react so badly. Clearly he wasn't so used to rejection after all.
Did she say why?
Ric sighed, and told Brad the story of what happened. It didn't take very long. Brad was smiling when the story was over.
Wow. That's pretty harsh.
Really? I hadn't noticed.
Another laugh. Well, I guess she's decided then. Any other ideas?
Ric looked up, and half-smiled. We could just not have a bassist.
Brad considered this. After all the fuss it was being to actually find someone, maybe it was actually a good idea to give up and try again later, after the band had done their first practice.
Alright, sounds like a plan.
Ric smiled properly now. Someone had agreed to something he said, and his happiness had skyrocketed compared to how he was before. This was short-lived when he remembered something.
But we don't even have a room for practice.
Brad smiled. I just sorted it then. You free on Thursday?
Ric was stunned. He thought he might have to do everything by himself.
Should be. I guess we need to check with John though.
Well, if he can't make it, sucks to be him.
Turns out, John could make it. Laura didn't apologise, but she didn't try and take the piss out of Ric for the rest of the day, so that was acceptable. By lunch, Ric had forgotten all about it anyway. He was far too focused on Thursday. He barely listened during his morning lessons, and sat alone in a corner at break. When it came to lunch, Ric was back to beaming state, and sat down with Brad and John for some food.
We need to decide what songs we're going to learn.
John and Brad exchanged a look. It was going to be a long lunchtime.