‘Tis The Season To Be Fearless by: Dani
The holidays get me, every year. No matter how hard I try to stay happy and joyful, it ends up turning into a disaster. Last year, my dinner was burned. The year before, I got stuck in the middle of the road in middle of a snowstorm. Just disaster, after disaster! So, there’s a valid reason for me to hate this time of year. But one year stood out in particular. Despite the fact it still sucked, it was better than the usual. Thanks to a special person. I never would have made it without them.
“MaryAnn! By Jove, you are the slowest person I have ever met!” yelled my best friend, Hamlet. Yes, his parents named him after the Shakespearian character. I called him Hammy just to tease him.
I chuckled and hopped down the steps. “Ok, Hammy. Geez. It takes time to look this beautiful.” I said, with a dazzling smile.
He rolled his eyes, despite the fact his face was flushed. We lived together in a small 2 bedroom-2 bath apartment. While he was in college working on getting his degree in a field of medicine I always seem to forget, I brought in the income by working 2 jobs, one as a secretary for Fearless Records, the other as a barista at a small coffee shop downtown. Tonight was the one night he didn’t have to study for a test and I didn’t have to work, so we were taking advantage of the opportunity and catching up with the rest of our friends that happened to live in the area. We linked arms and walked out the door, the cold wind blowing furiously in my face. There goes my hair. We didn’t have a car, but to be honest, it was a whole lot easier walking around the city then driving anyways.
“So how’s school?” I said, looking at my friend.
He looked at me, his face pinkish from the cold air. “Uh, Good, I guess. I think I aced that exam the other day.”
He was so cute and so innocent, just like he was back in high school. “That’s great, Hammy! That diploma will be in your hand in no time. I know it.” I exclaimed, walking a bit closer to him.
He nodded. “Yeah. Oh, wait, where did Stacey say to meet the rest of the guys?” he said, referring to our enemy-turned-friend. She was blonde, gorgeous, and the guys always fell over her. She was a total jerk in high school and Hamlet and I always silently glared at the back of her fancy head in AP English. Then, after high school we ran into her on the street, got a coffee and realized that the whole thing in high school was stupid. Thus, we became friends.
“Um…” I said, stroking my invisible beard. “Something about the Acerbic Auditorium? She said a local band was supposed to be playing there tonight.”
Then the huge neon sign lit up as we approached a building. “Hey! There it is!”
We shared a chuckle before running into the auditorium, eager to get out of the cold.
The auditorium wasn’t necessarily huge, but it wasn’t small either. We hung up our jackets on huge coat racks and proceeded forward.
“Ritches! Hamlet!” a voice hollered.
We looked in the same direction almost simultaneously. Stacey was waving like a frantic banshee and jumping up and down before her newest live-in boyfriend, Rob, put a comforting hand on her shoulder. She was into artsy guys this time around and managed to snag a artsy guy who was in one of her classes. Her taste in guys changed with the weather. We walked over and exchanged greetings and what not while the band scheduled to play set up on the stage.
“So who’s this band that’s set to play tonight?” Hamlet asked, taking a seat at the bar. I took the seat next to him.
“Oh, it’s these two guys who call themselves Breathe Carolina. I heard they’re good.” Stacey said, not even bothering to take a separate seat but sit in Rob’s lap. Hamlet and I shared a fake gag.
“Hellooooooo Dolly!” scream-sang our other friend, Rita, who had just arrived. She was fully Latino, having crossed the border from Mexico, but once she got here, Broadway became her life. Her brothers, Rodriguez and Jesus, followed behind, their hands in their pockets. “Um, Rita? No one here is named Dolly.” Jesus pointed out.
“It’s so nice to have you back where you belong!” she sang, pulling Hamlet and I into a huge group hug. Rodriguez pulled her back before she choked us and they all took seats, just in time for the band to come on stage.
“Testing, testing, one two.” the host said into the mike, a horrible amount of feedback screeched through the speakers and we clapped our hands over our ears.
He chuckled. “Sorry about that guys, the sound people can never do anything right.”
I glanced up at the guy in the sound booth who looked like he was holding back a whole ton of nasty words.
“Anyways, I would like to welcome you all to the Acerbic Auditorium. Tonight we have an amazing special guest. These guys started out with with just their voices and the auto-tuning program, GarageBand. Now they’re touring and have a full length album on the shelves. Please give a warm welcome to the guys from Breathe Carolina!”
At this the crowd around us erupted into cheers. I went along and clapped sufficiently.
These two guys walked up on stage, one looking older than the other. The older looking one had a scruffy beard and short blonde hair, despite the fact his brown roots were showing. The younger looking one was quite lanky and had dozens of tattoos covering his arms. His long black hair fell in his face and he was brushing it back constantly. He put his guitar on a stand and stepped up to the mic.
“Hey guys.” he said, with a shy wave. “I’m David Schmitt and This is Kyle Even.”
“I’m Kyle. Hey.” said the blonde one.
This sent the girls and I into giggles.
“And we’re Breathe Carolina. We’re going to play a few songs for you, how does that sound?”
We yelled and whooped and they began playing their song. It was so different. Such a weird fusion of techno and…was that screamo? I couldn’t even describe it but my ears loved it and by the smile spreading across Hamlet’s face, I could tell he was enjoying it too.