No matter what talent the Textbook Criminals possessed, nothing came of it. The band was put on hold indefinitely, due in no small part to the volume of schoolwork, and also because of the boys' unwillingness to actually sort out some kind of practice.
Ric was a neat combination of lazy and shy, and therefore didn't want to talk to any teachers about trying to book a practice room in the school. John decided that, as guitarist, it wasn't his responsibility to sort out anything for the band. Brad reasoned that he'd done it once already, and therefore someone else should do it.
A month went by, and nothing happened. The band talked and talked about how great it would be if they practiced, and yet nothing happened. It was during one of these conversations when a girl wandered over to them and sat down.
Ric, John and Brad all turned to look at their new companion. Brad was the closest friend of hers, and therefore spoke first.
Oh, hey Sarah.
Sarah was pretty, sure, and Brad had gone out with her at least once, but none of the boys felt any real kind of attachment to her. She was renowned, however, for her large house and frequency of parties that occurred there.
So I couldn't help but over hear your conversation, and I was wondering if you wanted to, like, play some songs at my next party?
The guys exchanged looks. They all felt a general feeling of bemusement, but Ric seemed to be perking up a bit.
What, really? You want us to play at your party?
Sarah smiled and fluttered her eyelids a bit. A distant pang of regret hit Brad.
Well yeah. That'd be cool right?
John almost said something, but Ric beat him to the punch.
John turned and looked quizzically at Ric, who was now full of energy and beaming wildly. Brad, meanwhile, had drifted to a distant place in the past, and was drumming his fingers slowly on the desk. Sarah smiled again and flicked her hair back a bit. Girls do that when they need something done.
Cool! Well, I've also got Laura's band agreeing to play, so-
Ric, startled, almost shouted.
Laura's band? Jesus, what do you want those guys playing for? They suck!
Sarah flashed another smile and Ric calmed down. Ric understood the feminine wiles, but was still unable to battle against them.
Well I'm sure you guys don't have many songs under your belt, so there needs to be some kind of extra entertainment. Anyway, I'll leave you to it.
And with that (and another quick hair flick), she upped and left. John sat back in his chair and sighed a little. Ric put his elbows on the desk and held his head in his hands. Brad drifted slowly back into reality.
Did I miss something?
Ric muttered from between his hands.
We have to get some practice in if we're gonna play this party.
Brad sat quietly for a moment, before also leaving. John watched him leave, and leaned forward to talk to Ric.
Are you sure about this? We barely know one song, and I'm sure the party can't be that far away.
Ric lifted his head out of his hands and looked at Joe.
Come on man. We've barely done anything this last month except talk about all this great stuff we could do as a band. So why not just go ahead and do something? This is exactly the kind of thing I've been thinking of. We don't have to know that many songs, and pretty much everyone there is a friend. How bad could it be?
Joe pondered this for a moment.
What about the other band?
Exactly. What about them? Have you heard the crap they play? Who, honestly, in this day and age, wants to listen to a crummy cover of Mr. Brightside?
A lot of people, actually. It's quite a popular song you know.
Oh shut up. If we do some practice, we'll be twice as good as they are. We just need to think of some kick ass songs.
It was at this point that Brad decided to wander back into the room and sit down. He looked slightly smug. Ric queried him on this, and Brad simply smiled slightly more.
I booked us a room for tomorrow. So that we can make a good go at this.
John looked slightly annoyed, but Ric was ecstatic.
Awesome! That's great news! See, this is exactly what we need, some effort being put in. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to try and hit on some poor unsuspecting girl.
John and Brad didn't make any sort of movement. Despite Ric's constant defence that he was not a creep, he did seem to think this was acceptable behaviour when he was in a good mood. He stood up and walked out. Brad looked John dead in the eye.
You're not sure about this, are you?
John sighed and stared at the desk.
Of course I'm not sure about it. I can't perform, no matter how many people are there! I'll just die before I even get in front of anyone.
Brad leaned back and laughed.
Why are you so scared of people watching you play? You really are quite good at guitar, and you're probably the cutest one of the lot of us.
Seriously though, it's just this one. Ric'll probably lose enthusiasm afterwards anyway, so we can go back to our lives. And think, if we're good, Hannah might see the error of her ways and come back to you!
John looked up and glared at Brad. Brad laughed again.
Ok, soft spot, sorry. But come on, it'll be fun! And performing in front of people? How hard can it be?
I hate it when people say that.