Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Palms and Pockets Chapter 13: Hands

Palms and Pockets

by Paul Diaz

Chapter 13: Hands

The group decided to hold their vocalization practice after classes so John had to walk Anne home before he would go over to Rick’s place. Everyone understood why he had to be late, he was keeping it a secret for the girl he truly loves.

Each day they were getting better but Raven and Sarah would tell them otherwise to push the four to their limits. It was only during Thursday when the two girls revealed the truth, they even let the four guys listen to a secret recording of their last practice and everyone was rejoicing.

“Holy crap we sound like the real thing!” Kevin said and everyone laughed. “But will it be enough?” John asked so they all looked at him. “No bias, you guys are great and I believe you will rock the gymnasium” Raven said. “Hmmm but now we must talk about your attire” Sarah told them.

“Cant we just be ourselves?” Jeremy asked. “No, if you plan to win then you have to cover all bases. You guys have to add a little bit more wow if you get what I mean” she told them. “So how are we going to add the wow? Have the word tattooed on our foreheads?” John asked and the guys laughed. “You guys need to rest and leave it to me and Raven” Sarah said and the younger girl smiled.

“Wait I will need your sizes so list them down” she added. “Hey you don’t have to spend on us” Rick told her. “Trust me I wont, my uncle owns a shop and I think we could borrow some clothes” Sarah said. “And what exactly are you going to let us wear?” Jeremy asked and the young woman just grinned.

Friday after class the group met at the back of the school and Sarah gave them their clothes. “Don’t open them now, don’t even complain when you see them” she said. “Are we really going to do this?” Kevin asked and the guys laughed. “I feel so many butterflies inside my stomach and it isn’t even Saturday yet” Rick shared. “Same here” John added. “Losers?” Sarah teased and again they laughed.

“Hey we have nothing to lose right?” Jeremy asked and John bowed his head. “I do” he uttered. “Will you four grow some balls! Trust me when I say you will be great tomorrow. For now you go and rest and get rid of those nerves” she scolded them and the more they laughed.

The five were joyfully walking towards the gate when Raven came running and blocked their way. “You cant go out just yet” she told them. “Why?” Sarah asked. “Uhmmm…they have to practice at the gym” the young girl said. “No they don’t, that is voluntary and by this time preparations are undergoing in the gym” Sarah told her.

“You just cant go out yet!” Raven repeated but it was too late. John was frozen and looking towards the gate. Everyone looked at saw Anne and Charles holding hands, “You just cant go out yet” Raven repeated with sad voice as everyone looked at John.

The young man turned around and headed back towards the back of the building. “John where are you going?” Rick asked. “I cant go out yet” his friend repeated as they watched him bow and shake his head. “Oh boy I guess Raven is going to be our drummer after all” Kevin told them.

“No, John will play tomorrow” Sarah said. “Are you crazy? Don’t pretend you didn’t see what he saw” Kevin told her. “You go ahead and let me handle him. Raven, just prepare just in case I fail. Wish me luck” Sarah told them as she ran after John. “Why does it have to be you?” Raven asked and Sarah turned around and stared at her. “Because I broke his heart already and you haven’t” she replied.

The young woman found John seated on the ground leaning on the building wall. She sat beside him and remained silent. “I lost” he whispered. “I agree with you” Sarah said and John looked at her. “You are supposed to be cheering me up” he told her. “I am not here to cheer you up, I am here to share your pain” she explained and the young man flashed a smile.

“I don’t see you crying” Sarah said. “Its public, I have to hold it in” he replied. “Is that how boys do it?” she asked. “Yeah this is how we do it” John said. “You lost John” Sarah said. “You don’t have to rub it in” he replied.

“I want to share something with you. I remember the day you said you liked me and how I lied to you. I know you felt much pain but you know what its me who suffered in the end” she revealed. “Your not making sense” John said. “Remember when I said I let mister right slip away? I let you slip away” Sarah said and John was surprised and looked at her.

“Yes John, you are mister right. If I only had time to get to know you, things would be different. I said yes to Barry, I dumped you and the sad part is that you revealed your true colors afterwards. I really hated Anne, every time I see you two together I just think she could have been me” Sarah related.

“I lived in regret and its much worse than pain. Everyday I just wish I could turn back time but I know that is not possible. The only thing that cheers me up is the fact that we have the same hands” Sarah added and John looked at his hands. “No rings yet” Sarah uttered. “Hope?” John asked and she nodded.

“Anne has the same hands as we do” Sarah told him and he smiled. “Instead of feeling pain, feel something much worse. Let her regret her decision, let her regret choosing Charles over you. You see John pain is something you can get over with time but regret? You will carry that your whole life. What if questions will plague your mind everyday but there is nothing you could do but imagine those what ifs” Sarah told him.

“And what if she doesn’t?” he asked. “I doubt that, but is she doesn’t…just remember what you sang” she replied. “What about it?” John asked but Sarah kept silent. “Sarah you told me a lot just now and…if you do regret…I mean why are you rooting for me and Anne then?” the young man asked.

Sarah grabbed his hand and placed it beside hers, “Hope” she uttered and they smiled. “You know that I am madly in love with Anne right?” John asked. “Of course I can clearly see that” Sarah replied. “And I would like you to know that there is one saying that I just found out right now that is so true” he said.

“What saying is that?” she asked. “Hmmm I suddenly forgot but I am sure it has something to do with firsts and never dying” John said and Sarah paused for a few seconds then shyly bowed her head smiling. “But…” John was about to say but Sarah covered his mouth with her hand. “You just made me so happy so don’t spoil it” she whispered as she planted a kiss on his cheek.

John closed his eyes and smiled joyfully, Sarah on the other hand laughed at him. “Whats with that pose?” she asked. “Oh nothing, you just made me a believer in this thing called hope” he replied. “And why is that?” she asked further. “Well with hope even dead dreams still do come true…one just did” he said as he caressed his cheek. Sarah giggled and pinched him and they both laughed. “Hey Sarah, thank you” John said. “Coz if she doesn’t…” she cut her singing short and stood up. “Lets get out of here, you still have to rest” she said.

Competition day arrived and Anne was surprised to see John at the gymnasium. “I didn’t know that you were coming to watch” she said. “Oh I couldn’t do anything at home so I just came over instead” John replied. “I walked home alone yesterday” Anne said and then frowned. “Oh sorry, if I remember correctly boyfriends are the ones who are supposed to walk their girlfriends home” he replied and the young woman was surprised.

“How did you know?” she asked. “Excuse me but I have to go check on something” John told her and he immediately left. “Is this seat taken?” Sarah asked and Anne nodded her head. “John just went to get something” she replied. “Oh? Let me keep his seat warm then” Sarah said and Anne frowned and looked away.

“You must be Anne” Sarah said. “Yes I am and I know who you are. You broke John’s heart” Anne replied and didn’t even look at her. “So its going to be this way?” Sarah asked. “Yes it is so deal with it” Anne replied. “You better go find another seat” she added. “Don’t worry he wont be back” Sarah told her but Anne was too irked to reply.

The show started and gymnasium roared and cheered in laughter as comic performances ensued. After an ninety minutes the show was down to its last two performers and Charles got up on stages. The young man started to serenade the crowd and everybody loved him.

After his performance everyone stood up and clapped, even though Anne has heard him sing several times she was still clapping and was full of smiles. As Charles got off the stage most of the students started laughing as they saw John and his friends emerge. Anne could not believe her eyes, she stood up and started laughing.

The four young men wore classic 70’s attire with matching dark shades that made them look really cool. Even if they have not started they already had captured the crowds’ attention prompting the other contestants to all come out of the backstage and see what was going on.

Rick checked the microphone, “We’re back!” he said and the crowd roared as they could still remember their forgettable performance two years ago. Kevin and Jeremy tested their instruments as John started to strut his skills on the drums which made the crowd go wild. Anne clapped her hands wildly as she could not stop laughing, “Oh my God he plays the drums? I cant believe it!” she yelled.

Rick raised his hands and signaled everyone to calm down. “Yeah I know you remember us. Curly Tops on vocals, Four Eyes on guitar, bean pole on bass and Mega Mouth on drums. They say…save the best for last and so here we are” he said and the fans of Charles booed him. Silence engulfed the gymnasium seconds after and John banged his sticks together and they started to play a song popularized by the Wonders.

Doin' that thing you do,
Breaking my heart into a million pieces,
Like you always do

They played their instruments perfectly and what made the crowd go wild was the magnificent blending of their four voices. Everyone in the audience stood up and danced and what made the four happier was when the judges joined the crowd. This was truly their moment to shine.

And you,
Don't mean to be cruel,
You never even knew about the heartache,
I've been going through
Well I try and try to forget you girl,
But it's just so hard to do,
Every time you do that thing you do

Know all the games you play,
And I'm gonna find a way to let you know that,
You'll be mine someday
'Cause we,
Could be happy can't you see,
If you'd only let me be the one to hold you,
And keep you here with me
'Cause I try and try to forget you girl,
But it's just so hard to do,
Every time you do that thing you do

I don't ask a lot girl,
But I know one thing's for sure,
It's the love I haven't got girl,
And I just can't take it anymore

John was busy playing the drums when suddenly his friends turned around and looked at him. They all stopped singing and he what they were trying to do and he bravely obliged and sang the last part as lead with the three blending with him.

'Cause we,
Could be happy can't you see,
If you'd only let me be the one to hold you,
And keep you here with me
Cause it hurts me so just to see you go,
Around with someone new,
And if I know you you're doin' that thing,
Every day just doin' that thing,
I can't take you doing that thing you do

Just as the song ended, the four bowed and quickly got off stage like famous rock stars do. The whole crowd was still going wild and calling them back to do an encore.The four were back on stage and it was clear to everyone who won the contest. Before they could do an encore the judges took the stage and made it official. Rick stood proud with the trophy beside him, he calmed the crowd down and began to speak.

“Rick on vocals, Kevin on guitars, Jeremy on bass and John on drums!!! Don’t say we didn’t tell you!!! Hit it John!!!” he shouted and his friend banged the guitars like he never did before.

All students ran closer to the stage, Anne was about to join them but Sarah held her arm. “Where do you think youre going?” she asked. “Let go of my arm!” Anne shouted. “Should you be comforting your boyfriend?” Sarah asked as she pointed towards the left side of the stage.

There was Charles with head bowed and defeat written all over his face. On center stage was John who was smiling, singing and moving his head to the beat. Anne sat back down on her seat, she felt something new again inside her and it wasn’t good. Confusion started to fill up her mind as she alternately looked at Charles and John.

She was torn.


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