Jake, Aaron, and Monty left Valence. They had just picked up the money they earned for the spectacular show last night. As the got back in Monty's truck, Jake spoke up. "Hey Monty, can you drop me off at the deli near my house?"
"Yeah, sure man. Hey, did you ever get around to telling Chad about the new arrangements?"
"Oh no! It totally slipped my mind!"
"Don't worry," Aaron said. "He'll find out for himself when he wakes up."
"Hopefully he won't be pissed." Jake said
They all laughed. They wondered how Chad will handle the situation he'll wake up to.
Chad awoke to the smell of coffee and pancakes. He rolled off the leather couch he was on and stood up. He looked around. There was a big, HD t.v. in front of him, a hallway leading to two bedrooms to his left, and the smell of food was coming from the right, so he assumed the kitchen was there. This scene was very familiar. He was in Jake's house. Jake had been living alone since the group entered the 11th grade. His parents wanted to move to California, and Jake did not. So, they let him move into a small house and sent him checks every month to pay the rent and buy food. Chad stayed here pretty often. His parents and Jake's parents were good friends, so it was never an issue. Plus, Jake lived alone, so his parents appreciated Chad keeping him company. Although, Chad hadn't been here in a while, about a month, and something seemed different. He couldn't quite place his finger on exactly what, though. After getting a good stretch, Chad proceeded to the kitchen. As he walked in, he shouted.
"Wow man! Good thinking, getting breakfast served for me, I'm star--"
Chad stopped dead in his tracks. As he walked in, not only did he see a coffee pot and a huge stack of pancakes on the table, there was a girl sitting behind them. She had short, black hair, and was wearing pajamas. She stared at him with her big, green eyes, and Chad could tell she was shocked.
"Ummm...uhh..." Chad stuttered. Those were the only sounds that seemed to come out of his mouth.
The girl laughed.
"I guess Jake didn't tell you," the girl said in a soft voice. "I'm his cousin, Emma. I moved in about two weeks ago and I'll be staying here to finish high school. I used to live in Georgia, but it was just to dull for me. And you're Chad, right? I've heard a lot about you."
Chad scratched his head. "Nice to meet you Emma. Sorry about...well...startling you. I thought it was Jake in here."
"No, he left a while ago with Monty and Aaron to run some errands or something. They didn't want to wake you. Anyway, sit down and eat. You said you're hungry, didn't you?"
"Yelled it, actually..."
Emma giggled. For some reason, that made Chad feel flustered.
Chad sat down and ate breakfast with Emma. She was a very interesting person. He let her talk for the most part. She told him about her life in Georgia, and why she left due to the feeling of emptiness. She chose to stay with Jake because she knew how exciting New York was. Also, she knew her parents would let her stay, due to the fact that everyone in the family thought Jake was very respectful. He also found out that she loved Schism, especially the way Chad played guitar. She said she would start going to their shows regularly. Also, she was going to start attending the school the group was in during the second semester in February, as a junior.
"So I hear you're not into being too social," Emma said.
"You've heard right," Chad replied. "I never would've noticed, look how quickly we became friends!" And she smiled at him.
He smiled back, and then turned, as he heard the door to the house opened. Jake walked into the kitchen.
"Cool, you two have met."
"Yeah, no thanks to you!" Emma and Chad said simultaneously.
"Okay, okay, calm down." I've got good news," Jake said with a smirk.
"What is it?" Chad asked.
"Remember that band that just got signed? Scared Faith? I saw the bassist this morning. He's gonna talk to the rest of his band about us opening for a show their headlining next month."
Emma leaned forward and grabbed Chad's hand.
"You must be excited about this!" She said.
He smiled at her and nodded. He wasn't just happy about that. He wasn't even happy. He was far beyond that.