This scene takes place after the Chapter 8: Rolling in the Deep in the book.
WARNING: Spoilery, so DO NOT read if you haven’t read past Chapter 8. :)
I strayed towards the stage where the band was prepping for the show today. I haven’t seen Marcus since the concert ended last night—from what Laurence told me, he took Helena out for dinner after the show—and it was okay, because I wasn’t sure if I wanted to see him anyway.
“Your turnaround is quick,” Perry said when I reached him. He was tinkering with his drum kit, adjusting the cymbals and the drums to his liking. I could see the sadness in his eyes for me, but I didn’t want that. Now it felt like everybody on the tour is sad for me, because of this Helena girl that Marcus was hiding in his pocket.
How is it possible that nobody knew about Helena?
I didn’t even know about her, and I’m the frigging best friend.
“Like it?” I asked, tugging at my wavy hair that was now in a bob, when previously it was way past my shoulders. When I got over the shock of Helena and after crying a whole damn lot, I had asked Issa to hack my hair away, telling her to cut it in the way that she told me a couple of days ago. When she finished, I looked so refreshed and new, save for the sad, puffy eyes.
I shouldn’t have cried. I shouldn’t have been hurt by the presence of Helena. I shouldn’t—
“You look sexier and edgier,” Perry said, and I rolled my eyes. Typical of Perry, to try to make me laugh or smile, because he was this nice guy I knew I would’ve liked had I told myself he wasn’t off-limits because of Marcus.
“May I?” I asked him, motioning towards his seat, and he stood up. He fished drumsticks from a canister next to his kit and handed it to me.
I took a seat, feeling the wooden sticks in my hand, smooth and light. The last time I played, I was still ‘with’ Levi, and I don’t know if I still had it in me. Between the two of us, Levi was the drummer, not me, but teaching me how to play the drums was one of our bonding moments. I started to play a beat, and Perry stepped back, watching me. I hit the bass, the snare, and then a combination, and I looked at him proudly.
“You could play,” Perry said, thoroughly amused, and I nodded. “Some guy I used to see before taught me how to. He wasn’t in a band, but he was in this pep squad.”
“You know any songs to jam to?”
I smiled, remembering the song Levi taught me. “Just one, probably.”
“Blink 182’s Stay Together for the Kids.”
Perry smirked. “Show off. That song’s got tough beats.”
“Barely remember it,” I said, considering that it’s been so long since I had last played it, and I wasn’t even that good when Levi and I ‘grew’ apart. It was the only song we practiced, and almost true to the song’s lyrics, we didn’t stay together. “It’s been years.”
He shook his head, and before I know it, he was calling the other guys on the band. Nigel, who was hanging with them, also came with, his Gibson strapped across his chest.
“You think you guys could do Stay Together for the Kids?” Perry asked, and I started to stand from the drum kit, but he pressed his hand on my shoulder, keeping me in my seat.
“Perry—” I started to say, but he cut me off. “She needs it to cope,” he teased, and I nudged him in the tummy with the drumstick.
“Been a while, but I think I can do it,” said Dan, the lead guitarist, and the others piped in, telling me they’d do it if someone would Google the chords.
“It’s fine. I don’t—”
All of us turned and Laurence was there, entering the stage. “You cut off your hair, and it’s a bit drastic, and you’re not that girl. From what I heard from—” he stumbled through Marcus’ name—“him, you’re an overthinker. And you like things constant, not drastically changing. Not used to things throwing you off, so…”
I bit my lip to stop myself from crying, as I felt my eyes starting to well up. It was so strange, how Laurence and the rest of the band and crew know things.
“Go on,” Laurence urged. “I think we have some backup drums for Perry just in case you punch a hole through them. Everybody needs an outlet.”
I sighed, shaking my head at the incredulousness of this situation. “We wouldn’t want you punching him when you see him,” said Nigel, and I laughed.
“That is a nice idea,” I said, but I had already loosened up, my mood feeling a bit better.
“Let’s go?” Dan said, and he started to strum the first few notes of the song, and Laurence passed a couple of phones where I guessed the song’s chords were downloaded.
At the end of it, I was sweaty but not too wired anymore, more angry at myself than at Marcus. As the guys teased me that I could actually replace Perry for the tour, the last line of the song repeated in my head, telling me what I knew.