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Chapter one

Monday – five days to go.

The centre stage, the beating spotlights…

“You cannot be serious.” I said to my music teacher after class. She asked me, Terry Pops, Evie Smith and Ethan Curtis to stay behind. I have never spoken to these three before, and I don’t think them three have ever spoken to each other either.

You see Terry was the popular boy and football star who had the desired floppy brown hair, nobody other than his closest friends dare talk to him. Every guy wanted to be him and every girl (bar me) wants to be with him. Whenever you saw him out of school he was in some sort of football kit. Evie was the girl who everyone loved to hate, she was posh with blonde hair – also popular – even though she was popular she didn’t dare talk to the football team, it was all rugby for them. She was also never without her two minions Clarisse and Claire. They wore designer clothes over their uniform and were never without their Gucci handbags and sunglasses. Ethan was the cute guy at the front of the class who was always the first to answer questions and hang out with the computer guys. He was always with his cohorts laughing over a new comic book at lunch. He wore his school uniform properly and whenever he was seen out at shopping centres he was wearing similar clothing to the uniform only without the tie, he had flat chestnut brown hair and wore contacts I suppose (one day he had glasses, the next he didn’t). I however am the girl who kept her head down, smart, wore glasses which covered my eyes perfectly, black hair down to my shoulders, smart in attire, only a few people really know me, and that’s my family and two closest friends. We all had one thing in common – Miss Polks’ music class.

Miss Polks was the life of the school’s music department. Any problem or favour needed you went to Miss Polks and she would sort it out. You needed to use a rehearsal space just tell her when, you need extra help playing an instrument in her year 8 class, she’s staying behind until at least seven o’clock at night to help each student who needs it. She was young, a new teacher at the school of about two years, she is around twenty-five. She was perky, dressed to suit her personality – bubbly – but still professional when needed. She clicked well with all her students and took them into consideration. I have always been an advocate for her. Now I’m not so sure.

“Yes Samantha Anne, I am perfectly serious.” Miss Polks said pushing her glasses up her nose; her glasses are purely for fashion.

“But Miss Polks, we don’t know anything about performing.” I protested.

“Yes you do. I see you four separately in class when you are all doing your separate stuff for grading. You are a talented bunch of students. That why I chose you four.” She told me.

“I agree with Miss Polks, we’re all talented enough to enter this contest.” Terry agreed with the teacher.

“But are we all talented together?” Evie asked taking my side.

“I’d say we definitely are.” Ethan agreed with Terry and Miss Polks.

I sighed; I saw where this was going. “I’m in.” I said with another sigh. I mean what harm could it do?

“Me too.” Evie said happily. Boy does she get happy about stuff like this easily?

“Then I guess we’re a band.” Terry said confidently.

“Perfect. You can all start now; you’ve been excused from classes. I’ll leave you all to get properly acquainted.” With that she swept out of the class. We all looked at each other. We were all sitting near or on different tables apart from each other.

We just looked around the class avoiding each other’s’ looks. Feeling awkward I cleared my throat and spoke first. “Well I suppose we better start with who plays and does what?” I asked them.

“I play the guitar.” Terry said, jumping off the table and walked over to the guitar cases, picked up the electric guitar from one of them and played a riff.

Evie jumped up at this time and walked to the other guitar cases.

“I play the bass and acoustic guitars.” She too played a piece of the chosen guitar. “I also sing a little background vocals.” She doesn’t show us it though.

It was Ethan’s turn now to jump up, he picked a pair of drumsticks out of his back left pocket and went over to the blue drum-kit in the corner. He played a couple of bars and looked at me.

I sighed and jumped up. “I mostly sing.” I said going over to the main microphone and belted out a couple of bars of the dong I’ve been working on. “I also play some piano and write some songs."

“Okay so we all are talented, that’s true. What are we going to do about melding our talents together?” Terry asked.

“I suppose we could try playing a song now?” Evie suggested.

“Yeah. That’s cool. What about I won’t give up? By Jason Mraz?” I asked them.

They started playing the bars as I started my breathing exercises before starting to sing.

“Fortunately we all sound good together.” I said when we finish playing.

“What’s your genre Samantha Anne?” Evie asked me.

“Whatever style I decide to write in. Why?” I asked them, I suppose it is something we should all know, but still.

“Because your voice sounds different. Not something I would have expected. I suppose all of us had expected.” Ethan said.

“Yeah, that’s it. I suppose I wouldn’t have expected you to sound like that. I would have thought more country.” Evie agreed.

“Thanks a lot.” I said sarcastically.

“Hey don’t be like that. It’s a compliment.” Ethan said to me.

“Sorry not used to those a lot.” I said walking over to the piano.

“Well from what I’ve heard you deserve them.” Terry said smiling looking directly into my eyes.

I blushed and looked down. “Thanks.” I said trilling my fingers up the keys.

Throughout the last period of the day (usually free period for us.) I was returning the piano in the rehearsal room which went unused, Evie was looking through my song book and Ethan and Terry were playing their instruments together to find the tunes which sounded good together. We neglected to talk any more than compliments about our music, as that’s all we really knew about each other and have in common.

When I was done tuning the piano I looked down at my watch and jumped straight up causing the bench to fall over and everyone to look up and into the room where I was looking down at the bench.

“Sorry.” I said picking up the bench and quickly picking my bag, notebook and jacket.” I’ve got something to get to.” I said to them as I opened the door.

“See you tomorrow then.” Evie said as I walked out the door.

“Hey. What was that about at school?” My closest friend Deana asked when I got to my dance lesson after school. Deana had long brown hair to her waist and was always made up with the best makeup. She doesn’t really fit into the geek persona which I have. Especially when you add her twin sister into the mix of it.

“Miss Polks asked me to join a band for some talent contest.” I said back to her as I put on my black dance shorts and white tank top.

“Well, are you going to do it then?” She asked tying her shoes up.

“Yeah, I think I might. We have a rehearsal a try and it worked.” I said.

“Why don’t you tell people about your dancing? I mean this is ridiculous.” She said pointing to the makeup in my locker. I put on my fake eyelashes and electric blue eyeliner.

“It was my parents’ idea. So nobody at school knows about my dancing.” My parents’ weren’t all that keen on me dancing where a lot of people from my school come to performances, so I had to make sure that I put all my makeup on so I wasn’t recognised. School was hard for me as it is.

“You have to talk to your parents about this. Especially if you are going into this talent contest. People may not notice you at school enough to recognise you. But they might recognise you if you go far with this thing.” She said nicely to me.

“I might have to. But at the moment I’m going to see how it goes in rehearsals. We haven’t even got a name yet or anything, or any idea on what we’re going to perform or what genre we are.”

“Still. You better get prepared for it. Cause you know what girl, you are great!” She said.

I laughed. “Thanks. I suppose I might be.” I said going out of the changing room and into the main dance hall.

I made sure I got home and snuck upstairs before my parents or sister saw me. I was trying to still decode this whole talent contest thing. Sitting down I clicked my laptop on and looked around my room sighing. Am I really the ideal person to front a band? For a talent contest? I highly doubt it. I get nervous around people; mostly everyone must think I’m stuck up because I don’t talk to anybody but Deana and Alana. However my music is the only way I know to really express myself. While my internet was loading up I lied back on my bed and thought about my new bandmates. I suppose they’re cool. Luke is like me, he’s very smart and probably misunderstood most of the time as uncool, I have a feeling I will be able to get along with him a lot, we probably have the same humour and we’ll be able to have intellectually stimulating conversations, something I lack with my friends. With Evie I suppose I would have to find a way of connecting with her and something we both have interests in. I would love to have her as a friend and not a rival in the band. We’ve been going to the same school since the beginning of senior school since she moved at the beginning of year seven from a different county, I can’t say I knew back then and I don’t know now. She does seem more down to earth than others though. Terry. Well Terry, I’ve never told my friends this before but I may have had a bit of crush on Terry for a couple of years now. It dwindled a bit but now being close with him in music class, I suppose it’s getting big again. I was never the one for big crushes, obvious ones. I’m more of a swooning in silence person. He’s hardly looked at me in years so it’s dwindled a lot now I think about it – have I already said this?

Seeing my laptop was all loaded up on my favourite search engine I went over to my desk and logged into my email and saw a new email from Miss Polks.

All bands members,

I’ve emailed you all each other’s email addresses so you can all keep up to date with each other and contact each other, make sure you give each other your other contact information.

Also I would very much like for the four of you to keep the other members of the band secret from others as your friends may be likely to sway your decision to join.

I hope to see you all at lunch tomorrow in my classroom.

Suzie Polks.

Wow, keeping them from my friends. How on earth am I going to do this? How long for though? How long until the show, did I really jump head first into this? I quickly finished my homework before going to sleep and fully realising what I was talked into?

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Chapter two

Tuesday – Four days to go

The next day at school I went straight to the music rooms as soon as it was lunch time.

“Hey look who it is.” Terry said as I walked through the door of Miss Polks’ music room.

“Hey.” I said dropping my denim backpack on the floor by the piano and sitting down on the piano bench.

“So how was your stuff yesterday?” He asked coming over to the piano bench. HE sat next to me.

Stuff? Oh dancing. “Fine, thanks.” I said tinkering the keys and testing scales with my voice.

“Cool.” Terry said, I just nodded and kept with my scales. As I got to a high B, the quiet must have gotten to Terry. “So, your voice is nice.”

“Uh thanks, you are good at playing.” I said back awkwardly.

“Thanks.” He said getting up and going over to the guitar in the stand.

“Is that a Fender Stratocaster?” I asked as he picked it up. He strummed a couple of notes on it.

“Yep, you know guitars?” He asked handing it to me.

I looked the guitar up and down as I answered him. “I know some stuff about guitars. But I like playing some music on them.”

“Show me some?” He asked me.

“Some of my music?” I asked him awkwardly. I didn’t want to ruin this perfect guitar with my music. It’s a work of guitar a Stratocaster is.

“Sure why not?”

“Okay then.” I said standing up and plugging the guitar into the amp. I took the guitar pic out of his hand and started strumming the opening notes to a sound I’m working on.

When I finished he clapped loudly and whistled. I looked down at the guitar as I took it off and felt a deep blush climb up my face.

“Stop it wasn’t that good.” I mumbled.

“No, it was great Samantha Anne, cool even. You have to show me how you did that riff!” He exclaimed.

I laughed. “I’m not that good, to teach someone. You just really have to play your notes and then scale up and down, or at least that’s my trick, it doesn’t really work when I show it to others though.”

“I’ll give it a try.” He said taking the guitar from me and placing the strap over his shoulders. He tried my trick and it caused some major feedback from the amp.

“Um, Ow.” I said covering my ears with my hands.

“Sorry.” He said, he even looked a bit embarrassed.

What the hell’s the sound?” I heard a voice say from the end of the hall.

I looked around and quickly went to the other rehearsal room branching off of Miss Polks’ room.

“Hey Ter. Was that you?” One of his friends asked as they walked through the door.

“Yeah man. Just trying out some new material. I heard a new riff. My stupid amp sent back too much feedback.”

“What the hell are you doing here?”

“You know Gav; Miss Polks’ gave me lunchtime detention to work on my guitar.”

Gavin was about to turn around when he noticed my bag by the piano bench. “Ahh Ter. A girl is here as well? Not going to tell us about her? What’s she like? Hot?” Gavin asked. I blushed, I wonder if anybody saw me like that?

I stood back from the door.

“That’s nothing. Must be some girl from last lesson or something.” He said. He must make stuff like that up all the time.

“Well I’m going to hang with the cheerleaders, you coming?” Gavin asked him.

“Nah, better fix this stupid thing.” Terry said tapping his amp.

“Whatever.” Gavin said rolling his eyes and muttering something on his way out.

“Nice.” I said coming out of my hiding place.

“Yeah, you better take this next time.” He said handing me my bag.

“Thanks.” I said taking it from him. I looked at my phone from my bag pocket. “Mmmm, I’m guessing the other two aren’t showing, I better get to class then.” I said putting my bag on.

“Yeah I guess I better finish up here and go myself.” Terry said sighing. Why was he sighing is he upset about something? Disappointed?

“See you around then.” I said going to the door.

“Later actually in music class. Miss Polks is putting us four in a class alone.” He said opening the door.

“Okay. Later then.” I said smiling when I went out.

“…You’re mine.” I finished singing during music class rehearsal – well time for us to get used to each other.

“Not bad.” Evie said when we finished playing.

“I’m sure that’s not much true. I think that we rocked.” Terry said.

“We do!” I shouted, but immediately felt stupid. “Uh sorry.” I said putting my head down blushing a deep red.

“Aww, don’t be like that Samantha Anne.” Terry said to me. I finished the song next to him so he reached out to me and stroked my cheek. This made me blush even more.

“Well I am.” I mumbled still looking intently at my feet.

He chuckled while still caressing my cheek.

“Uhh, umm.” I stuttered. “How about we go from the top?” I said going back to the microphone placed at the v of the band formation.

“Yeah, yeah.” Terry stuttered, looking down at the hand which dropped when I moved.

“Keeping it close, keeping you mine…” I started singing. During the song I did what I’ve been gaining some experience in – dancing around the band and our mock stage. At the end of the song I had my eyes closed and put my elbow on the nearest person’s shoulder.

I opened my eyes to clapping coming from the doorway, I noticed first that I was resting on Terry’s shoulder (super awkward!) and next that in the doorway was Miss Polks.

“Nobody would think that you were only a band for less than a day.” She said coming in the stage area. “Or that you only known each other for a day as well. The chemistry between you feels approachable and homely. Like you’ve all known each and have been friends for years.”

“Well I suppose this is what happens when we have stuff in common.” Terry says.

“And music is a pretty good thing to have in common.” I finish for him.

Terry laughed. “Took the words right out of my mouth.” He said. “That gives me an idea.” He said picking up his guitar and playing the Meatloaf song.

I snorted and started giggling. I went over and took his guitar from his grasp mid note.

“You don’t like Meatloaf?” He asked looking up at me.

“Yes I do like Meatloaf. But that’s a love song, and I don’t really sing them much.”

“And why is that?” He asked me?

Then the bell went for the end other day. ‘Saved by the bell’ as corny as that sounds. “That’ll be told tomorrow.” I said putting Terry’s guitar back in his arm and grabbing my bag. “See you tomorrow.”

“Oh Samantha Anne?” Miss Polks’ said as I passed her.

“Yes?” I asked stopping near her.

“Could you leave that information I asked for?” She asked.

“Of course, I forgot.” I got a piece of paper from my notebook and ripped it into four. On each I wrote my address, mobile number and landline.

“There you go.” I said putting them down on the table nearest to me.

“Thanks Samantha Anne.” Miss Polks said.

“No problem.” I said closing the door on my way out.

When I got home from dance rehearsals that afternoon I got a phone call.

“Hello?” I asked as I walked through the front door.

“Hi Samantha Anne. Uh, it’s Terry.”

“Oh hey Terry. What can I do for you?” I asked placing my keys in the bowl.

“Samie? Who is that?” My sister Sophia called from the kitchen. She peeked her head through the kitchen door; she had flour down her apron – great another attempt at her cooking.

“I just answered the phone. I’m taking it upstairs.” I said to her running up the stairs.

“Sorry for that Terry.” I said on when I closed my bedroom door.

“Don’t worry Samie.” He teased me. “Who was that?”

“My sister Sophia.” I said sitting down on my bed, putting the phone on speaker as I sorted out my books.

“Sister? I didn’t know you had a sister.”

I laughed. “You don’t know much about me. Nobody except Deana and Alana really don’t know much about me.”

“Who and who?” He asked me still sounding curious about my life for some reason.

“Deana and Alana. They’re my two closest friends.” I said laughing again.

“Nice.” He said. I could banging coming from his end of the phone.

“That’s who exactly?” I asked equally as curious.

“My brother was playing his music loud. I usually have to bang on his wall loudly to get home to quieten down a bit.”

“Ahh, so as interesting as this is, not to be rude, but why are you phoning me?” I asked, we got kind of distracted.

“About you meeting me and the others for pizza at mine and some rehearsal.” He said laid back.

“More rehearsals?” I asked him. Surely the show wasn’t for a while.

“Yeah more rehearsals. Miss Polks told us at the end of our session after you went that we are performing on Friday in the talent contest.”

“Friday?” I blanched.

“Calm. Yeah Friday, so I decided to get us all together tonight for a meeting. WE don’t even have a band name yet.” He said.

“True, okay tell me when and the address and I’ll be there.” I said quickly.

He told me his address – which turned out to be a road from mine – at five. I looked at the clock and I had ten minutes,. I didn’t have time to change out of my dance clothes so I grabbed my bag and went straight to the door and downstairs.

“I’m going to meet friends for dinner Sophia! Tell mum and dad when they get back in?” I told her on my way out.

“Sure.” She said on her way out, so I quickly texted them.

When got to Terry’s house I decided to knock very quietly, he was basically standing behind the door.

“Hey Samie. Come in.” He said. “We’re in the basement.” He said pointing to the door directly opposite the front door.

“Hey Samantha Anne.” Evie said when I walked down the stairs to the basement. It was painted light blue and had a raised deck, which I guessed was the stage as Evie and Ethan were standing by the back together by the drum kit.

“Hey.” I said standing by the white microphone stand dropping my bag down.

“So Samie. What were you up to this afternoon?” Terry asked me sitting on a bar stool next to the microphone stand.

“I was at dance rehearsals with some friends.” I said plugging the microphone lead in the amp.

“You dance?” He asked me disbelieving.

“Yes I do dance.” I said blushing a light pink He was making me blush a lot.

“That’s… perfect.” He said.

I laughed and blushed even deeper. “So band meeting.?” I asked pulling a bar stool up in between Terry and where Evie sat down.

“Yep.” Terry said.

“First point of call?” I asked them.

“A name.” Ethan said.

“Okay then. So we have until tomorrow for a name?” Evie asked.

Yep., Tomorrow.” Terry confirmed. “Any ideas?”

“How about The Band?” Ethan asked.

“That sounds okay for a bunch of misfits like us. Terry said.

I clicked .”I know The Distinction?” I asked.

“That’s cool.” Terry said. “How about Distinction Crowd?” He suggested. That’s actually great, I thought.

“That’s it! Distinction Crowd.” Ethan said. “So if we have this as a logo.” He said pulling out his laptop and fiddling around with some buttons until he came up with a great logo. It’s exactly what I would associate with us. Different colours for each, because we are all different. And a musical note – probably because it’s music which has made us a band.

“Right, so that’s done. I suppose next is to decide on a song to do.” Evie said.

They all looked at me. “I think we should do the song we did today. We are getting familiar with it as a band. Plus we could see people’s reactions to our songs.” I explained my idea to them.

“Okay next point of call, which I think is absolutely mine, clothes.” Evie says rubbing her hands together.

The boys groaned outwardly but I groaned inwardly thinking what she’ll dress me in.”

“What do you have in mind Evie?” I asked her nicely.

“Well, I was thinking for me a dress which I can easily play in. plus going with this colour thin on the logo, I decided my dress is going to be light green with pale orange. Terry because you are also playing guitar I think jeans and a shirt is best for you, I’ll decide which ones tomorrow. Ethan because you are at the back playing drums, I think best for you is jeans, a t-shirt and maybe a waistcoat.” She said in a list like she complied it weeks ago.

“What about me?” I asked nervous still?

“Well for you I suppose we should dress you in something which a, people wouldn’t usually associate with you, b, that you look right in, c, what makes you look good and feel good and d, what you can easily stand, sit and dance in.” She listed on her fingers one after the other.

“Wow. That’s a very conflicting list. How are we going to find the stuff?” I asked her.

She looked at me. “Size ten right?” She asked.

“Yeah, why?” I was once again nervous with where she was taking this.

“Because I think I may have the perfect stuff for you at my house. How about we blow off pizza and have a look there now?” She asked me. This was going a bit fast, I means yesterday she would have brush past me, not even noticing me, and now she’s offering the dress me and to go to her house?

“Y-y-yeah. Why not?” I stammered.

“Cool let’s go.” She said standing up and extending her arm out towards me. I took it hesitantly and we were on our way out the door.

On the way to her house we talked trivially.

“So how are you and Gerry?” I asked her. Gerry was her boyfriend, transferred from America last week, it was a big talking point in our year – not that I cared.

“We spilt up. He took a liking to Emma-Louise so I dumped him. But there someone else anyway.” She hinted looking at me.

“Oh? I suppose I know him?” I asked her hedging my bets. True I usually wouldn’t care but if we’re a band then we better get to know each other, and try to become friends.

“You do.” She said looking back behind us. I took that as a sign of one of the boys.

“Terry? You two would be good together. I mean both being popular and all.” I said to her.

“Terry? You must be kidding me. No, he must be into another girl, he always has a glassed over look which I recognise in boys.”

“Oh? So that means Ethan?” I hedged at even more.

“Uh, no not really.” She stuttered. She also bent her head down and I’m sure I saw a faint tinge of pink in her cheeks. Definitely Ethan.

“So are you going to ask him out?” I teased her.

She didn’t answer me, she just pushed me slightly.

“So what about you?” She asked me.

“I’m not going to ask Ethan out.” I joked.. How easy this felt, joking about with someone other than Deana and Alana.

“You know what I mean. You got a boyfriend?” She asked me, not put off by my joking.

“No, I don’t.” I said trying not to sound embarrassed by it – I mean being embarrasses about not having a boyfriend? You’ve got to be kidding me.

“Well at least an ex to talk about?” She asked me.

I laughed. “You obviously haven’t seen me before have you? I don’t tend to talk to people and people don’t tend to talk to me. Especially boys.” I said truthfully.

“But you are so pretty Samantha Anne.” She said. She didn’t seem like she was lying, I’m pretty good at telling when people are lying.

“Thanks.” I mumbled. “But I suppose that’s only really when I’m out and about in dance. At school I’m the geeky girl with the uniform.” I added more clearly.

“No you’re not. Not when I’m done with you that is. .” She added turning off to a gate. “Here we are.” She said opening the gate and unlocking the front door.

“Hi sis.” A guy said walking down the stairs.

“Hey Matt. Samantha Anne this is my big brother Matt. Matt this is my friend Samantha Anne.” I raised my eyebrows at the word friend.

“Nice to meet you Samantha Anne.” He said holding his hand out to me.

“You too.” I mumbled shaking his hand.

“Come on. It’s up here.” Evie said leading me up the stairs and to the first door on the first floor.

“Okay this is huge.” I said when I walked into her room. It was twice the size of mine.

“Yeah well.” She said leading me over to the wardrobe doors in the corner. She opened those doors and behind them was another big room full of clothes rails.

“This is impressive.” I said.

“It is I suppose.” She said. I have a perfect arrangement of clothes for you.

She took me over towards the back of the room which had rails and clothing bags.

“I was thinking of this jean and dress mix.” She said picking out a short black dress and black jeans.

“It looks nice. What about shoes?” I asked her.

“I was thinking either these heels, flats or high tops.” She said lining up three pairs of black shoes.

“Where can I change into these? So I can see what they look like on?”

“Sure there’s a dressing room over in that corner.”

I went over and tried on the clothes with the pair of kitten heels.

“How does it look?” I asked twirling around to her.

“It looks wow.” She said. “Look.” She pointed me to the big mirror in another corner.

I took one look in it and thought the picture would look awful. But actually I did look pretty. The dress suited me because of the jeans and the heels suited me because of the dress.

“I think this is it yeah?” I asked.

“Most definitely.” She said coming up and hugged me. I stood there shocked for a second and then hugged her back.

“Thanks Evie.” I said to her. She shouldn’t be this nice to me.

“You’re welcome.”

“So do we have time to go back for pizza?” I asked her.

She looked at her white designer watch. “Yes.”

“Okay let me change back then.” I said going back to the dressing room.

“No don’t. Keep it on. See what the guys say. My rule number two – always let a guy see your new outfit.” She said holding her right hand up.

“Rule number two? What’s number one?” I asked her wondering.

“Always be there for your mates.” She said seriously once again having her hand up.

“Good to know.” I said.

“Come on Samantha Anne. I’ll quickly give you a make-up before we go. So the guys can see what you really will look like on Friday night.” She said pulling me over to yet another side of her closet which had a make-up table and a lot – and I mean a lot – of make-up. There were racks of them, all different brands and specialities. For me someone who doesn’t wear make-up, it was overwhelming. I mean, you needs this much makeup? Apparently Evie does.

I sighed as she pushed me into the seat in front of the mirror and she started to get out certain make-up applicators and powders.

“There you are all done.” She said after a couple of minutes.

She stepped out of the and I saw then myself in her mirror. “Wow, you are a genius Evie. I look great; I’d never think I could look this great!” I said. She had put mascara, smoky eye shadow, pink lip gloss, foundation and eyeliner on me.

“Always the sound of surprise?” She joked. “Come on. Here’s your clothes.” She handed me my dance bag with my clothes in.

When we walked back to Terry’s place we talked generally about her being back-up for this week and we talked about the different notes she could sing.

Terry’s front door was unlocked so we snuck in and downstairs to the basement. “Follow the smell.” I said to Evie. The smell was greasy pizza.

“Hey boys.” Evie said. She motioned for me to stop at the top of the stairs. I rolled my eyes and suppressed the urge to walk down the stairs.

“Hey. Where’s Samantha Anne? Did she go home?” Terry asked her.

“No she has Samantha Anne’s bag? Where is she?” Ethan said answering Terry’s question with a question of his own.

“She’s in her outfit for Friday’s show and she want’s…” I interrupted her by clearing my throat. “Okay I want to see what you guys think. You up for it?” She asked them.

“You better be.” I growled jokingly from the top of the stairs.

“Come on down Samantha Anne.” Terry called up to me.

I took a breath and held onto the bar as I walked down the stairs. I didn’t trust these heels enough- nor should I say my feet.

When I came into view I saw their faces, and I have to admit, it was fun to see. Ethan’s face was the first I saw, he stood straight up and he had a huge smile on his face and his eyes bulging. Terry on the other hand, he was more obvious about his surprise. His jaw was slack, tongue struggling to stay inside his mouth, eyes bulging wide and he just stood up and walked straight to bottom of the stairs. He moved out of the way ever so slightly as I walked past him, to the stage.

“What does it look like? Tell me the truth. Be as honest as you want.” I said to them. I didn’t know what I wanted them to say.

“You look good.” Ethan said after clearing his throat.

“Yeah you absolutely look hot.” Terry said more conventionally – or should I say unconventionally?

“Umm thanks guys.” I said timidly, looking down to avoid them seeing the blush I could feel coming.

“Aww, don’t be like that Samie.” Terry said coming up and hugging me.

“Thanks.” I said. But I didn’t hug him back. It didn’t feel right.

“Let’s see how good the outfit looks during a rehearsal. See if it’s practical.” I said after a couple of minutes.

“Sure.” Evie said going to pick her guitar up. Ethan was about to start playing but I put my hand up to stop him.

I went off the stage and picked up the spare mike and brought it up to Evie. “Like I said earlier. I want to see what it’s like with you as well.” I said then I stood by my mike and pointed to Ethan to start.

I don’t know whether it was the new outfit, Evie singing with me or both giving me confidence, but that performance was like one I’ve never done before. I felt more free to move and try different stuff, like actually dancing in instrumentals, smiling – a lot and doing my own thing.

“That was a-ma-zing!” Evie said when we were done.

“It really was. This outfit’s done miracles.” I said.

“It most definitely has.” Terry said coming up to me and kissing my cheek. I looked over his shoulder and opened my eyes wide in shock to Evie. She just smiled, held back a laugh and went over to talk to Ethan.

I fake gasped. “Oh charming. So I haven’t always got these talents then? It is just the workings of some magical outfit? Charming Terry, just charming.”

“Aw, don’t be like that Samie. You know what I mean.” He said.

“And that is?” I asked him with my head held high.

“That this outfit has unlocked your confidence.” He said in a tone which made me think that he always knew that something like that would work on me.

“I better be going.” I said looking at my watch. It was almost seven and I had work to do before school tomorrow morning. “See you tomorrow.” I said to them going to get my bag from the bottom step.

“Yeah. We have rehearsal time tomorrow afternoon.” Evie said.

“So I’m guessing that means from lunch til I have to leave for me?” I asked them, basically like today.

“Yeah, like today I guess.” Terry said.

“Well I’ll see you all tomorrow at lunch.” I said to them. I stopped at the middle step and turned back around. “And don’t have any lunch, come straight to Miss Polks’ room.” I said turning around and going straight home.

“Hey Samie, how was your friend’s place?” Sophia asked when I got in.

“It was fine.” I said. I was about to go into the kitchen when I stopped and remembered that I was still wearing my outfit for Friday. I didn’t think that it would be smart for me to wear it into the kitchen for two reasons. First, my parents are in there and I haven’t told them about Friday and secondly I was going to cook. Not a good idea, in this.

I quickly ran upstairs and changed into jeans and a t-shirt before I ran back downstairs and went to tell my family about Friday. I mean we probably won’t win. But they are bound to find out somehow about it.

“Hey mum, dad, Sophia.” I said chirpily as I got my pots and pans out to cook.

“Hey Samie. What are you doing?” My mum asked me, looking at the kitchen utensils.

“I’m cooking something for me and my friends’ lunch tomorrow.”

“Oh? What are you going to cook Deana and Alana?” My dad asked. Worst question to ask, he always knows them.

“It’s not for Deana and Alana.” I said truthfully.

“Whose it for then?” My mum asked surprised. I never had been the one for many friends.

“For some new friends. We’re busy all through lunch so I offered to cook lunch for us to eat.”

“Busy doing what?” Sophia asked me.

“Our teacher’s asked us to do something for the talent contest so we’re rehearsing for it.” I said quietly, hoping they won’t blow up at it.

“What teacher asked you?” My mum asked. She looked like she was trying to keep a straight face. My dad looked like he was hoping it weren’t my dance teacher.

“Miss Polks. My music teacher.” I said.

“Oh so you’re playing piano?” My dad asked me.

“No our song doesn’t have a piano piece in it.” I said. I knew that they wouldn’t like it much if they knew I was the singer but honestly it’s all sorted now.

“What about guitar?” My mum asked.

“No we already have two guitar players.” I said.

“So you’re what then? The manager or something?” My dad asked. I forgot only Sophia knew about my singing and she was grinning in her seat.

I sighed. “No I’m the songwriter and singer.” I said to them.

My mum and dad burst into laughter. “Your singing? Really Samie? What about your shyness?” My dad asked me in between laughs.

“I don’t know. It’s just gone.” I said turning back to the stove.

After I was done cooking I shoved the cooled down food into containers and took them upstairs and put them into my school bag ready for the next day.

I just sat down at my desk to do some of my maths work when I got a call on my mobile. I sighed and got up to answer it.

“Hello?” I asked.

“Samie, have you seen this?” Deana said on the other end.

“Hey Deana. Have I seen what?” I asked her sitting back at my desk and loading my laptop up.

“There’s another band entering the contest on Friday. Their logos up on the school website.” She said gushing.

“What’s their name?” I asked her; although I had a feeling Ethan’s already put ours up. He was part of the school website after all.

“Their called Distinction Crowd. I mean how cool is the name?” She said. At least she approved of it.

“That’s my band De. You can calm down.” I said logging onto the school website and seeing it in full view on the homepage. I gulped and read the article. No sign of our names. This settled me greatly. Until I got to the bit which said that we’ll be showcasing our talent Friday morning with other hopefuls.

“Um, I’ll talk to you tomorrow De.” I said hanging up and going straight to video chat so I could talk to the band.

Terry answered first. “Hey Samie, what’s up?” He asked me.

“Wait until the others join.” I said through my teeth.

“Uh oh. What’s happened?” He asked just as the other two popped up on my screen.

“What you mean Terry?” Evie asked.

“It’s Samie. What’s happened?” He asked me again.

“I just saw the post about the talent contest on the school homepage.” I said looking at Ethan.

“Oh sorry about that.” He apologised.

“I’m not mad at the post per se. I’m madder about the bottom of it. Who was going to tell me?” I asked them.

“Well. Miss Polks called Ethan after you left and told us. So Ethan went straight on and wrote the post. We were going to tell you tomorrow. How’d you find out?” Terry said.

“Deana just called me and told me. So I now don’t have to be ready for Friday night, but Friday morning?” I asked.

“Hey don’t be too mad.” Ethan said. “It was originally Thursday morning but I got Miss Polks to change it to Friday.”

“Oh, okay. I suppose that’s better. But still, you could have phoned me you know!” I shouted.

“Ethan! You better be doing your work!” I heard a distant voice say from my computer.

“Yes I am mum!” He shouted back. “Sorry guys I gotta go. See you later.” He said before signing off.

“I better be going as well.” I said. “Got homework to do by tomorrow.” I signed off as well leaving Terry and Evie signed on together still.

I quickly steamed through my work and went to bed with the prospect that in a couple of days I will be performing in front of a lot of people.

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Chapter three

Wednesday – three days to go.

“Morning, morning, morning.” Deana said to me when I got to school that morning.

“Hey.” Alana said next to her. Deana and Alana were twin sisters and my best friends since pre-school.

“And how are we this fine morning?” I asked them chipper.

They both looked at each other and asked me. “Fine. You?” They both asked at the same time. Their freaky twin thing never gets old.

“Fine. Had a band meeting last night, got made over and told my family about Friday.”

“Oh.” Deana said as I heard Alana intake breath. “How’d they react?”

“They laughed.” I said.

They both laughed. “Well you never know what ‘rentals will do.” Deana said.

We were walking towards our first class when somebody bumped into me. It was Terry. I had my hand down and he slipped something into it. I quickly put it in my pocket and retaliated to the bump.

“Watch where you’re going.” I said to him with as much malice in my voice as I could.

“Me? What about you geek girl?” He said with just as much malice. I could tell by his eyes that he was joking and hopefully he could tell that I was as well.

I rolled my eyes and walked off.

“What was that about?” Alana asked me.

“Nothing.” I said going into class and reading that note.

Miss P wants to see us at ten. She’s arranged it with teachers. See you then.


Was what it said. I put it back into my pocket as the twins followed me in.

I looked at my watch and sat back during the double period until my teacher looked up and said, “Samantha Anne you may go now.” In a very uninterested voice. I jumped up quickly, pushed my clothes together and picked up my dance bag along with my school bag.

Miss Polks emailed me this morning asking me to bring what I was intending to wear for the show.

“Hey.” I said to Terry and Ethan as I walked into Miss Polks’ class. They were sitting on a table next to each talking both of them looked confused at why we were there.

“Hey.” They both said at the same time.

“Hi guys.” Evie said then coming through the door behind me with Miss Polks.

“Ahh, Samantha I hope you brought with you what I asked?” Miss Polks asked me when she saw me with an extra bag.

“Yes miss.” I said to her.

“Good go into there and sort it out please.” She said pointing to one of the drama class’s changing rooms.

“Right away miss.” I said going in there and changing into the clothes.

“Good.” She said when I walked out. When I got back into the class the others were changed. I gulped, I think this is what we are wearing for the show, not good.

Terry was dressed in a pair of black jeans, a white shirt with a black tie hanging loosely and black trainers. Evie was dressed in a mid-length red dress and red flats. Ethan was dressed in a blue t-shirt, a pair of black jeans and black shoes. I guess Evie was told to bring the clothes as well. She quickly got me and put some make-up on me again.

“Okay, done now?” I asked her when she was stepped away from me.

“Yes.” She said looking at Miss Polks. “There she’s all done now.”

“Great. You must be wondering why I asked you to meet me here ahead of your rehearsal time.”

We all nodded as she continued. “I have decided that you four will definitely win so I have decided to do a photo shoot with you ahead of time.”

“But won’t people see us?” I asked her pointing to the class door and windows leading to the hallway.

“Oh don’t worry about that. It’s all set in the drama room, which as you know the door is blacked and no windows leading to the hall. And as I’m no good with photography. I have got one of the most trusted art students to take the pictures as I watch on.”

I sighed. There was no way to get out of it.

“Come along then guys. Your instruments are there waiting for you and our photographer will be arriving in ten so I want to see you perform once before she arrives.” She said opening the door and motioning us out.

“Here we are.” She said unlocking the door for us. The drama room had a white backdrop on the back wall behind our instruments. We went straight to them and I put the spare mike in front of Evie as I did last night. And signalled Ethan to start when I was ready.

“Perfect.” Miss Polks said when we finished and as soon as we had there was a knock at the door. “Come in, come in. You just missed them performing dear.” She said to whoever the photographer was.

They then walked around the corner and standing there was none other than Alana. I sighed and went back to the mike stand and placed my microphone in it. She looked shocked when she saw who was standing with me. She must have expected me, but not who was there. Until she looked at me and the shock was more. I smiled sheepishly at her and waved.

“Right. Where do you want them first?” Miss Polks asked her.

“Like they are about to start playing.” She said and we got into our starting positions for the song.

She took a couple of shots and then asked for us to have our pictures taken separately. She wanted Evie to have hers done first so the three of us sat on the stage and the front of the studio and waited.

“I saw you with that girl this morning. Is she Alana or Deana?” Terry asked me.

“Alana.” I said sighing.

“Boy was she shocked when she saw us all.” He noted.

“Yep, especially after this morning.” I said, thinking about it. “Sorry about that by the way. I’m never like that; I had to do it though. Hope you ain’t mad.” I said with a smile.

“Nah, don’t worry about it. I’m sorry for how I replied. Calling you geek girl was not on.” Terry apologised.

I laughed. “It’s not like I’m not used to it. Anyway I knew you were joking.”

“How?” He asked me. “Am I really that bad at acting?”

“Yes. That and the fact your eyes are naturally kind.” I mocked him.

“Why you!” He said outraged and went to put his arm over me and fuzzed up my hair. I giggled and Evie came skipping over saying that Terry was needed to join her.

“So you and Terry are getting friendly?” Ethan asked as they walked off. “Not really. He feels like a brother to me. Like you do… odd. I’ve only known you for three days and you already feel like family to me. Huh.” I said thinking about it. Ethan had a smile on his and was holding back laughter.

“Well believe me we might feel like family but Terry definitely doesn’t want to be your brother.” He said not containing his laughter.

“Ha, ha. Well if that’s the case then you must want to be more than Eve’s brother.” This stopped his laughing. The look on his face made me laugh now.

“You’ve got to be kidding me. Me and Evie? Don’t be silly.” He said.

I looked innocent and pretend to look at my nails when I said the next thing. “You might think so. But someone might not.” I said.

“What do you mean?” He asked me.

I wasn’t going to answer him because Terry and Evie came back and told me to go and have mine done. “Good timing guys.” I said as I was passing them.

“Where do you want me?” I asked Alana.

“In front of the mike stand to start with.” She said.

I stood there and had my hand on the mike like I do when I start to sing. “How’s this?”

“Perfect.” She took some shots before she then got me to pose with the mike off the stand and sing a long powerful note. “Excellent.” She said this time when I was done.

“Where else do you need me?” I asked her.

“Over there by Terry’s guitar.” She said to me before she looked behind her back and shouted to the guys. “Terry! Come over here!” He came running.

“Yes ma’am?” He asked her with a mock salute.

“I need you to stand over with Samie. Good.” She said when he came and stood next to me. “Pick your guitar up. Play and bit while Samie sings.”

“How’s this?” Terry asked standing next to me. He stood diagonal with his shoulder against mine, poised to start playing.

“Perfect.” She said. “Go!” She pointed for him to start playing and me to belt out a note.

“Great.” She said. You two go back and we need Ethan. Ethan!” She shouted. He came running and was sent straight to the drum kit.

“So that was fun.” I said as we walked slowly back to the stage.

“Yeah it was. What a note!” He said to me. “Never knew you had it in you.”

I laughed. “Yeah well. I don’t think anyone else did either. In fact I didn’t.”

“You always surprise us.

“Thanks.” I said sheepishly. “Nice boy band pose. Never knew you had that side to you.” I said in turn to him.

“Yeah well. You never know with me. I’m a bag full of wonders.” He said.

“Nice to know.” I said to him.

“What is?” Evie asked us.

“That Terry is apparently full of surprises.” I said to her with a smile on my face.

“Please. Like what?” She said.

“Mr. Footie has a boy band side in him.” I said pinching his cheek.

“Aww.” She said.

“Yeah, yeah, leave it out.” He said blushing slightly.

“Aww.” I and Evie both said at the same time.

“Come on guys! Band shot!” Alana shouted.

We walked over to where Ethan was.

“Right first let’s have a boys shot.” Alana said, pointing to the guys to stand together Ethan with his drumsticks in his hands and Terry to have his guitar like he was going to play it. The same pose as before. But this time he wasn’t looking out of the corner of his eyes like he was for our pose.

“Great. Now the girls.” She said. We stood together. Me with the mike stand tilted towards her and Evie was poised to play her guitar and had her mike stand in front of her. “Good. Now all of you I think.” Alana said.

So we all stood in a V shape. She took a couple of shots then got us all to stand around Ethan while he was sitting at his drum kit. Finally she got us all to play the chorus of our song and took a couple of snaps of that.

“There all done.” She finally said after an hour of photos.

“Thank you Alana. And please remember not to tell anyone about our line up.” Miss Polks said escorting Alana over to the door.

“That was… interesting.” I said uncomfortably.

“Get used to it.” Terry said to me. “Even if we don’t win. You are big. Everybody’s going to love you.”

“Thanks.” I said going to him and hugging his side. He put his arm around me and walked with me towards the door before he looked side to side when we got to the door and he led me through to the drama changing room where my school uniform was.

“Thanks.” I said to him again.

“No problem.” He said to me kissing my cheek before he went into his changing room.

I changed quickly into my school uniform and went to wait outside Evie’s changing room to pounce on her.

“Please help me.” I said as soon as she walked out.

“What with?” She asked me. Then she followed my gaze to where Terry and Ethan were waiting for us.

“Oh? With Terry?” She asked me. When I nodded she thought about something. “Just stay as you are with him. Wait for him to make the first move. My rule number ten. Always wait for a guy which you like to make the first move.”

I sighed. “If this doesn’t work. I don’t know what I’ll do.” I said sighing again as we walked back to the guys. “How’s it going with Ethan?” I asked her.

“Well I think he’s warming up to me. It’s all going to plan.” She said to me.

“Just don’t mention he’s like as brother to you.” I said to her.

“What do you mean?” She asked me. I just shook my head at her because the guys were in hearing distance.

“So are we going back to class?” I asked Miss Polks when we saw her.

“Yes, you are going back to class. You may all come back at lunch and use my classroom. This hall will be out of bounds if you do.”

“Thanks Miss.” I said to her picking up my stuff and walking back to my class.

I got back to my next class just when the bell was going for it to start so I walked in with everyone else, like I was on break with them.

“Do you mind if I sit with you?” I asked Ethan when I walked in and saw him there.

He looked up surprised. “Yeah sure go ahead.” He said bringing the chair out next to him.

“Thanks.” I said.

He looked at me as if something was different then he pointed to my face discreetly. “Your make-up’s still on.” He said to me.

“Oh thanks.” I said quickly trying to rub it off as effective as I could. “How’s it now?” I asked him.

“Perfect.” He said with a smile. I looked around uncomfortable. I saw Terry and Evie at the back of the class on different rows and felt even more uncomfortable. “Can I ask a favour?” He asked me after following my gaze to the back of the room.

“Sure.” I said to him.

“Then play along with me.” He whispered. It was a study session so we didn’t have any teachers. He took one more discreet look to the back and kissed my cheek.

“Hell no.” I whispered to him.


“I’m not going to make Evie jealous you can forget about it.” I whispered back to him. It was Eve’s rule number one. Friends come first.

“It will make Terry jealous as well.”

“Regardless.” I whispered back angrily.

“Please Samantha. I don’t know how else I will get her to notice me.” He pleaded gently to me. He was sounding so doleful through it that I felt guilty and took some pity.

I sighed. “Fine. Just keep doing what you’re doing. Actually just flirt. I just won’t notice. That way I haven’t betrayed Evie, I can still go for Terry and Evie should hopefully become a bit jealous.” I reasoned. I mean it sounded nice in my head, and I can always change my mind and tell him to leave me alone – which in part hopefully will make Evie feel a bit better towards him. Is that bad? I think it is. But he looks happy by the prospects of it, I can’t tell him plan’s over within a couple of seconds.

I sighed and picked up my Algebra book and started scanning through it. I was trying not to notice it too much as me and Ethan were talking, but I was feeling hyper aware to the stares on my back from the back rows. I was even more aware of the stares from Terry and Evie when he slight things like laughing a bit too much on horrible jokes and when he – smiling a bit too much – got a piece of my hair which fell out of my bun and tuck it behind my ear. Luckily by this point the lesson was done and I was able to get out of there. Until of course I remembered that it was lunch and we had the rest of the day rehearsals.

As soon as the bell went for lunch I grabbed my stuff and ran to the music rooms to await the others who no doubt were talking to their friends. So I quickly got out the chicken pasta salad which I made the night before and four forks for us. When this was all done, I was a bit upbeat over what just happened with Ethan so I decided to eat mine and then I sat down at the piano and got out some music lines and started composing a new song. I was able to compose one verse and write down a chorus about how I felt with Ethan doing the flirting stuff and my feelings for Terry.

“Whoa, a, o, Oooh. Never knew how I was feeling. You were there.” I was singing when Terry, Ethan and Evie were walking through the doorway.

“New song. Cool.” Terry said walking over to the piano and checking out the chords I wrote down.

“Yeah, I felt like a new song mood.” I said.

“So we didn’t eat lunch. Where is this thing you trusted us with?” Ethan asked me.

“Over there.” I said pointing to where there were three plates, forks and bottles of water.

“Nice.” They all said walking over and picking one up each.

“Aren’t you going to join us?” Ethan asked me.

“Yeah, I’ve already had mine though.” I said jotting down the new line I just composed in my head.

“Wow, this is great.” Evie said.

“Yeah, it’s awesome.” Terry said through a mouthful.

“Hey, don’t talk with mouth full.” I said chucking a napkin at him. “Thanks.” I mumbled to their comments.

He swallowed before he talked again. “You can cook then?” He said.

I thought about that for a couple of seconds as I drank some of my water. “I guess so. I also guess you were right earlier I do surprise you.” I said, putting my water bottle down and going over to the wall where the guitars where hanging up. I picked one up and started strumming some chords that came to me.

I jotted them down and started playing some more. Whenever chords come to me, I never wait, or else I’ll forget them.

“Come on play us your new song then.” Terry said.

“Can’t sorry.” I said to him.

“Why not” He asked sounding hurt.

“Two reasons.” I said.

“Which are?” He prodded.

“Well first it’s our new song and second it’s not finished yet, I just started it.”

“Oh.” He said with a dumbfounded look on his face. I laughed at it and kissed his cheek quickly.

“When I’ve finished it, hopefully it’ll be the song we do if there is any other shows for us to do.” I said to them optimistically.

“Oh so we’re winning?” Terry asked me.

“I’d say we will.” I said going back to the guitar and strumming out some new chords before going over to the piano and writing down harmonies to go with it. “But there’s one thing with this song.” I said looking at the music sheet.

“And that is?” Evie asked.

“Well, it has piano in it, so unless either of you three can play guitar or it’s going to have to be a song where I play and sing.”

“That sounds cool. I mean you’ll be able to do it.” Ethan said coming over to me and stroking my cheek.

“Okay, are we all done” I asked standing up from the bench and going over to stand where the microphone was.

“Yeah, I think we are.” Evie said coming to stand by her guitar. The guys followed her over.

“I was thinking that because we are going on Friday morning first off, that we should probably prepare for that being a bigger stage.” I said to them. “Here we are only on a small stage, and I’d say that the hall stage and the stage at the theatre are bigger. So I’m going to see if we can’t acquire the hall for the rest of the day.” I said even more.

“Okay then.” Terry said. “I’ll come with you.”

“Uh okay then.” I said. We weren’t going far but I still think it’ll look a bit suspicious him walking with me. But I suppose the corridor was off limits to everyone else.

“So” He said awkwardly as he shut the door.

“Yes?” I asked him.

“Ethan’s getting a bit close to you” He commented.

“Yes and?”

“That new song you are writing? I heard the lyrics you wrote, I stood outside while you were singing them. How did they go?” He said. “Ah yes ‘Never knew how I was feeling. You were there.’” He quoted exactly what I wrote. “They’re about Ethan right?” He asked me.

“Uh, not Ethan.” I said with a forced smile on my face.

“Oh. But they are about a guy?” He asked me.

“Uh, umm. Yeah.” I stammered quietly looking straight at the floor, I felt my cheeks flush.

“I know him?” He asked me. His voice sounded odd. Not quite curious but contained – like he was jealous or something.

“Probably yeah.” I said quietly, feeling my cheeks inflame even more.

Luckily we got to Miss Polks’ office; I knocked on her door feeling some of the blush going from my cheeks so I lifted my head up when she opened the door.

“Oh, Terry, Samantha Anne. How can I help?” She asked me.

“We were wondering if it was possible for us to use the stage in the hall so we can get used to it and the acoustics in a big room.” Terry said.

“Of course.” Miss Polks said. She went into her office got a ring of keys and gave them to me. “Here you go. It’s usually locked during the afternoons, so when you go in to use it, make sure you lock it behind you, so no-one can get in. Yes, they’ll be able to hear you. But they’ll never know who.” She said.

“Thanks Miss.” I said putting the keys in my pocket. “Thanks.” Terry said and we set back off up the corridor this time in silence.

“We can use it. But we’re going to have to carry out stuff.” I said picking up my bags first and then the rest of my stuff.

“Cool.” Evie said picking up her stuff.

We were able to sneak our stuff and instruments into the hall in three loads, without anyone seeing us.

“Ethan can you hook us up to the speakers?” I asked him. We would have to hear how we sounded through them sometime.

“Of course I can.” He said going behind the curtains to where the lighting and sound box is.

“Try it.” He shouted round the curtain to me.

I went up to the mike and said, “testing one, two.” It made me feel stupid but hey. “Perfect Ethan!” I shouted to him.

“Great.” He said coming back around and sitting at his drums.

“Let’s try playing our song then.” Evie said.

“Wait.” I quickly said when Ethan started to play the opening beats.

“What is it?” Terry asked me.

“The song it needs a name. I never named it.” I said.

“Oh. Well I suppose that should come first before we play.” Terry said. “Come on.” He went to sit on the edge of the stage. I followed him with the Ethan and Evie and sat next to him.

“What are you going to call it?” Terry asked me.

“Me?” I asked them in kind of a high tone, I can write them, but not name them.

“Yeah you.” Terry said. “You are the one who wrote it after all.”

I sighed. I couldn’t get around that logic. “How about You’re Mine?” I asked them.

“Sounds good. It’s mentioned in the song and it’s cool.” Terry said.

“That’s okay with you two?” I asked Ethan and Evie?

“Oh definitely.” They both said at the same time after looking at each for a split second.

“Okay then. It’s called You’re Mine.” I got out the sheet music for it and wrote the name of the song on each, before giving one to each of them. “Here’s the final copy of the sheet music.” I said as I did.

“Thanks.” Terry said standing up and going over to his guitar. “Well are we going to do this or not?” He asked us.

Throughout the rest of the afternoon we rehearsed the same song and after school we all agreed that we would meet at Terry’s house to go over some last things. So we could have Thursday off.

“Hey mum, hi dad!” I shouted when I finished school.

“Hi Samie. How was school?” My mum asked me from the living room.

“Good.” I said going into seeing her. She was sitting on the couch in my dad’s arms. I backed up around the corner and made a gagging face. “I’m heading out. I’ll be back around six or seven.” I said to them round the corner with my eyes squinted shut.

“Okay honey. But make sure you are definitely back then.” My dad said sternly.

“Will do. Bye.” I said going out the door again.

When I got to Terry’s house he was just going through his front gate.

“Hey.” I said to him.

“Oh, hi.” He said after unlocking his door.

“Sorry. Am I here a bit early?” I asked him.

“Don’t worry about it. What made you come early?” He asked me.

“I walked into my mum and dad in couple mode.” I said simply.

“Oh well come in.” He said opening the door wider for me to come in.

“Thanks.” I said smiling. I liked it when it was just us two, we were even more ourselves than we were with Ethan and Evie.

“Go on down.” He said pointing to the basement door. I went down and took a step back when I saw what was there. In the rafters there was spotlights hanging and there was our instruments from the school on a stage made up of wood.

“Um wow.” I said when Terry came down.

“Yeah. My brother and I worked on it last night when you lot left. I thought that we’d need somewhere to practice when we win and become big.” He said optimistically as I did earlier.

“You work hard.” I commented going to sit on the couch which was down there.

“Thanks. You know what they say about hard workers.”

“Uh, I don’t think I do.” I joked with him.

He laughed and came over to join me. His laugh was husky and sweet all in one. It made me feel like laughing, and so it did. It made me laugh like I haven’t in a while – in my genuine laugh. It made me feel good. Actually even better than good, ecstatic.

“Hey do you mind if I bounce some of my new song off on you?” I asked him. We had some time before the other two came and I had to let someone hear it, to hear their opinion of it.

“Sure why not.” He said sitting down on the couch and motioned for me to stand up.

I got my music sheet out of my bag and set in on a music stand and picked up Evie’s guitar.

“Whoa, a, o, Oooh. Never knew how I was feeling. You were there,

Never had my heart feeling, you were there,

Never knew this feeling, just believe that, but you were there, making me feel. All brand new.

Conflicted, friend or not. You made me feel, how I never have before.”

I sang as good as I could, in a high key and played the notes to go with it.

When I finished what I had and put my guitar down he clapped, a lot. So much I felt obligated to bow a couple of times, much to his enjoyment.

I laughed along with him and flopped down on the couch next to him. Only for him to stand up and go to put on his stereo in the corner.

“Come and dance with me.” He said standing in the middle of the room.

I shook my head and sat on the couch with my legs crossed looking at him smiling. If he wanted me to dance then he’d have to work for it.

He stood in the middle of the room still and started to dance by himself. He was pretty good, and the cheeky grin on his face made me laugh. He danced like this by himself for a couple of songs before I sighed and went to join him. It was hard to resist.

I ended up dancing next to him by myself, but as the songs progressed we ended up effortlessly spinning each other around the room and generally made fools of ourselves. I ended up spinning myself too fast and broken my spin into the path of Terry’s. We toppled over onto the floor in a heap of ourselves. This set us off laughing even more. I lifted my head up and saw that I ended up onto of him.

I laughed. “Who would have thought that I’d be on top of you Ter? Aren’t you usually beating people in this tussle?” I teased him.

He laughed once and turned over. This turn had me on my back and him balancing carefully on top of me. “How’s that?” He asked me laughing.

“Just what I expected from you.” I said laughing putting my head back against the floor so I could get a better look at him. His face was a glow with his smile and his eyes glistened from the laughter.

“Terry. Two of your friends are here!” His mother shouted down from the direction of the front door.

“Which ones!” He shouted back.

“Gavin and Harry!” She shouted back.

“Okay! Just a second!” He shouted. He quickly kissed my nose -? - and then got up, pulled me with him and pushed me gently towards the couch.

I quickly picked my bag up and ran into the room which adjoined the basement.

“Coming!” He shouted running up the stairs.

I shut the door and went to sit on the bed which was in there. I’m guessing Terry sleeps in here sometimes as there’s a bed, pictures of Terry on the school football team and there on the bedside table was a red book with his name in big black letters.

“Hey dude what’s up?” Gavin said.

“Not much dude. Just waiting for this band to show up.” Terry said in a bored tone.

I sat back on his bed and waited for the guys to leave. Finally at ten to six the guys left and Terry walked into my hiding space.

“Hey, they gone?” I asked him.

“Yeah. Their gone. Sorry it took so long. They were going on about the ‘hot’ dates they’ve both got for Maisie’s party tomorrow.”

“I don’t care.” I said looking down at my watch.

“The other two are going to be here soon.” He said looking at my watch as well.

“Yeah I suppose so. We better go back out to the main basement.” I said standing up and going into the main area of the basement.

While we waited the ten minutes before our original meeting time we started the music back up and danced around some more. This time I decided to pick up the mike and see if I could dance while singing so I started to sing along and spun once again. And sure enough this spin ended up with my falling into Terry. It’s just this time he was on the couch and I fell into his arms on the couch.

“Whoa. Dizzy.” I said. My head was spinning so much I hardly noticed that I was currently in Terry’s arms and he was closer than ever to me.

He leaned in closer and closer until I was staring right into his eyes and his face was an inch from mine. I closed my eyes and we leaned a bit closer, closing the gap between our lips when the basement door opened. We jumped apart when we heard Evie and Ethan laughing at the top of the stairs.

“You are so right. They are so not going to admit it though.” Evie said laughing some more.

“Hey guys.” I said to them.

“Heys.” Evie said.

“Hey.” Ethan said just behind her.

“Who are you talking about?” Terry asked them. I turned around and he was lounging back on the couch. I turned back towards Evie and Ethan and they looked at each other and then at me and Terry.

“No-one really.” Ethan said quickly.

I could feel some tension in the room. This made me think greatly that they were on about me and Terry. But I have no idea why that would be.

“Should we get practicing? I mean I do want a day off tomorrow AND I’ve gotta be home in around an hour.” I said as a way to get us out of the awkward moment.

“Yeah.” Terry said coming up behind me. He cleared his throat then spoke again. “Yeah, sure.”

“That’s go!” I said stupidly punching my fist in the air even more stupidly.

We all dissolved in laughter and went straight to our instruments.

“Who moved my guitar?” Evie asked mock outraged.

“Sorry, that’s me.” I said in a sad voice. “I wanted to show Terry what I had of my new song seeings I got here a bit early.”

“And what is up the couch being pushed back and things on the floor here?” Ethan asked pointing to where I fell onto Terry and made kinda a mess.

“That was me as well I said. A bit of dancing and mucking around.” I said blushing a bit. “Let’s go yeah?” I asked them walking up to my microphone and clearing my throat ready for the song.

Chapter four

Thursday – Showtime tomorrow!

The next morning I woke up and it dawned on me that tomorrow was the day. The day of the contest. I got up out of bed and looked at the time. Eight o’clock? I was running late. I suppose that’s what I got for talking to Terry on the phone until two in the morning. I quickly jumped out of bed and decided I didn’t have the time to get in the shower so I quickly brushed my hair through, shoved it into a hairband and got in the bathroom so I could get ready into my school uniform.

Ten minutes later I was out the door was half a bagel in my hand and walking as fast as I could to get to school on time for half past.

“Hey, Samie. Running late?” Terry’s voice came up from behind me.

“Hey. How’d you know?” I asked him. Does he everything?

“Because it’s quarter past eight, schools starting in fifteen minutes and you have a half-eaten bagel in your hand. Not to mention your blazer is the wrong way round.” He said pointing everything out.

“Thanks. Can you hold this?” I asked him extending my bag out.

“Sure.” He said taking it and putting it over his shoulder. I put the remainder of my breakfast in my mouth and took my blazer off, turning it the right way and putting it back on while still walking quickly.

“Thanks.” I said to him taking my bag off his shoulder and putting it on mine.

“No problem.” He said and doing a tiny mock bow.

“Oh sugar.” I said quietly to him.

“What?” He asked me.

“It’s Alana and Deana. Can you hang back a bit or go ahead?” I said pointing to the corner.

“Course I can. It’ll be so much easier tomorrow when everyone knows we’re a, a band and b, first and foremost friends.” He said with a smile before loping off towards the school gate.

“Hey Samie!” Alana said to me coming up to one of my sides.

“Hey.” I said to them both.

“Was that Terry Pops?” Deana asked me?

“I don’t know he was running and bumped into me. Just like yesterday.” I said. Alana looked at me as if to say ‘keeping this secret is a pain in the jacksie.’

“Cool.” She said and we went walking in a fast pace to the gates.

We made it into the first class with enough time to spare.

The day went through sluggishly. Without being able to talk to the others killed me a lot. In the final lesson of the day we had music with everybody else again so we were together for that, but it wasn’t the same. I relieved in free period to see that Ethan had given up that stupid flirting ploy after just one day. We made minimal small talk during it and I made sure that we also made minimal eye contact.

When I got home that afternoon I made sure I went straight up to my room and started to practice my singing for tomorrow morning’s showcase thing.

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Chapter five

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Chapter six

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Chapter seven

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Chapter eight

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Chapter nine

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Chapter ten

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Chapter eleven

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Chapter twelve

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Chapter thirteen.

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Chapter fourteen.

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Chapter fifteen.

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