That practice session proved to be the last practice session that the Textbook Criminals had before the big party. Which was a shame really, since all they had in the bag was a cover and one original, which so far lasted a minute. All in all their set ran for about five minutes. Given that the party would be at least five hours in duration, it didn't exactly give them much chance to make an impact in people's minds.
Or so they thought.
Two weeks passed, and the band once again fell into their bad habits of merely talking about practicing rather than going ahead and doing it. Instead, they thought of other songs they could maybe do, if they maybe practiced them and maybe it worked on the night. Nothing came of these sessions.
And now, tonight was the night. The big, first ever gig. Ric was on pick up duty, meaning Ric sat in the passenger seat while his mother drove everywhere to pick up the rest of the band. Ric's mum knew most things that went through his life, and so was quizzing him on tonight's event.
So how long will you be on for?
Ric sighed slightly, remembering how little the band actually had to perform with.
Well, probably in the region of about five minutes to be honest. We haven't exactly been doing much practice.
Jesus. Five minutes? That's not even worth it, is it?
Ric shook his head in agreement.
Well, try not to look like a prick while you're performing. You'll never get laid.
Ric laughed. His mother was quite open on the topic of sex and the like, and so this was a pretty normal conversation for them.
Do you really have to talk about this while I'm here?
John twitched slightly in his seat in the back. He'd forgotten about the type of conversations that Ric and his mum held. Ric laughed.
Sorry John, are we destroying your poor innocent ears?
John decided to sulk and listen to his iPod instead. He was so wrapped up in the music in his ears he barely noticed that Brad got in the car and they had arrived at Sarah's. Mum shouted after them while they piled out of the car.
Don't get too drunk before you play, otherwise you're really screwed!
Ric raised his hand and walked away, Brad and John in tow. They headed towards the house. It was pretty big, just off a main road, but still managing to be enclosed. Clearly the family were well to do, but Sarah herself gave off no air of superiority because of her wealth. Her superiority was purely based off her talent at making guys do her bidding.
A few hammers on the door and the band were in. People milled around here and there, many of them friends from school with a variety of drinks in their hands. John hung around the door, chatting to friends and new people who arrived. Brad and Ric went straight to the room that held the alcohol. Brad grabbed a lager, Ric opted for an alcopop. Brad sneered jokingly.
Ric flipped him the bird and wandered off. Brad laughed and began to mingle in the kitchen. More people were arriving, making him slightly nervous. He hadn't expected this many people to turn up. In amongst the ever-increasing crowd of people he found Sarah, who waved to him. He signalled for her to follow him and she did so. Moments later they were outside in the expansive garden on the patio.
Sweet party, by the way.
Sarah smiled, and Brad couldn't help but smile too. He wasn't very good at hiding his feelings at the best of times, and so started to blush too. Sarah giggled, and Brad went slightly redder.
Thanks. I invited a load more people than usual since there's gonna be music going on and everything. That's not a problem, is it?
Brad shook his head, ignoring the voice in the back of his head screaming how nervous he was.
Nah, it'll be fine. What time dya want us to get started?
Well I was thinking about ten-ish, since that's when everyone seems to be most drunk. At least that way, even if you suck, no one will really notice, right?
Brad laughed and turned away for a moment so he didn't have to keep looking at Sarah and remembering the time they had together. Sarah knew what he was doing, and decided to leave to save him further embarrassment. Brad decided to stand out on the patio for a while before heading back into the party.
Meanwhile, Ric was working his way through the drinks. He too had noticed the huge number of people present and had decided the best way to combat nerves was to loosen up with three or four alcopops. He had situated himself on a beanbag in the lounge, and had already started hitting on girls with his terrible chat up lines.
So, have you got a camera in your room?
The girl shook her head. Ric wiped his forehead theatrically.
Phew. You haven't found it yet.
The girl snarled a little and walked off, while Ric fell about laughing. His brand of comedy was unique, to say the least, and often he was the only person laughing. Brad wandered in from the patio and looked at Ric quizzically, who was almost crying with laughter.
You having fun?
Ric giggled some more, then returned to full on laughter. After a minute he composed himself.
Oh yeah. Totally hittin' on chicks. I think they dig my moves.
Brad rolled his eyes and walked away. Ric drunk wasn't something he wanted to see right now. It only fuelled the nagging feeling in the back of his mind that tonight's performance would be too horrible to endure. When he reached the kitchen he saw Sarah again, talking to a guy, flicking her hair and fluttering her eyelashes. He groaned and went back to Ric, who was now lying on a beanbag. Brad threw himself down on the one next to it and groaned loudly. Ric laughed.
Still pining after what you can't have, huh?
A muffled curse came from Brad's mouth, which was directly implanted in the beanbag. He span round so he could see the ceiling.
At least I'm not as bad as you. How long have you wanted Jess back? Two years is it?
Ric laughed slightly. He'd tried to forget about Jess, but as he saw her every day at school and become one of her best friends, it was almost impossible to push those feelings away.
Something like that, yeah.
Why did you dump her again? Cos she wouldn't have sex with you, right?
Brad laughed, and then remembered what he really needed to say.
We're gonna play at around ten-ish. I assume we're up first, since we're less experienced than Laura's band and therefore not much of an event.
Ric gave a thumb up before closing his eyes, muttering something about naptime, and drifting into a state of almost sleep. Brad sighed and stared at the ceiling for a short while. Tonight was certainly going to be interesting.
In the basement, John was fiddling with the guitar that someone had brought along. He assumed it belonged to Joe, the guitarist of Laura's band, the name of which escaped all the band member's minds. Something about Average Joes, or words to that effect. Not that it mattered.
Anyway, John was strumming lightly on the guitar, thinking things through in his head. He felt sick, but put it down to nerves. He hadn't had anything to drink yet, but didn't feel like it anyway. He was more focused on the upcoming performance, no matter how little time it would last. He assumed all eyes would be on him as the guitarist, and it scared the crap out of him.
The creaking of the door told him that someone was coming, and he froze instantly. He was always nervous about people watching him play. It was just gonna have to be something he would get used to very quickly tonight.
To his surprise, it was Elle who came gliding down the stairs. Elle, the girl who had broken up with him all those months ago. He was unsure as to why she was down here, or how to react to this revelation, and so decided to just watch her walk down. She came to a stop in front of him and smiled.
John's tongue decided to hit the road, and so he came across as a stammering idiot.
Oh, uh, uh, h-hey.
Elle decided to take a seat on the hard basement floor. She wasn't trying to look good, but John felt himself liking her all over again. Elle tipped her head to her side.
I don't think I've ever seen you play. How come you've decided to do it in front of a ton of people and yet you never played for me?
John stared hard at the floor, feeling like a complete idiot.
I, uh, well, it, it wasn't my idea. Ric kinda forced me into it. I'm really, really nervous about it actually, heh.
Elle laughed gently as well. John looked back up and saw she was staring straight at him.
Play something for me. Something nice.
John almost said no, said he couldn't, said he had to go and walked out of the room. But he didn't. Instead he began a slow solo in B flat. Elle stretched her legs out and tapped along to a non-existent beat. John kept his eyes on the fret board, occasionally looking up to see Elle sat there, smiling.
He played for five minutes, and then came to a slow stop. Elle applauded lightly, to which John laughed. She then stood up and pointed to the stairs.
I should probably get back to the party.
John smiled and nodded. Elle waved slightly, turned, and walked back up the stairs. When she left, John sighed, stared at the ground, then slammed angrily on the strings and put the guitar down. He needed a drink.