Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Palms and Pockets Chapter 15: Reasons

Palms and Pockets

by Paul Diaz

Chapter 15: Reasons

There was two month left and the school year was about to end. John and Anne were sharing a laugh as they entered the school campus. Charles was there to meet but he was not the only one waiting for the two.

“Hey guys, whats with those happy faces?” John asked. “Are you ready for the good news?” Rick asked. Charles was also smiling so the two looked at each other and wondered. “We are going to have a prom this year!” Kevin said and John was surprised. “This school never had a prom since we were freshmen, what made them change their minds?” he asked.

“I don’t know but that’s not all, we were asked to play at the prom!” Jeremy excitedly said. Anne and Charles were holding hands and smiling at each other. John momentarily looked at them and then bowed his head. “Yey we have a prom” he lifelessly uttered and started to walk away. “John we have a meeting this afternoon with the coordinators” Rick said. “Sure” the young man replied and shook his head.

Inside the classroom John spaced out and kept thinking about the prom. What made things worse was every teacher for every subject kept reminding everyone about. The classroom was filled up with happy faces and John had the only gloomy one.

That afternoon Anne was walking home alone with a smile on her face. She was of those students who were excited. Two years ago she never dreamt of attending the prom even if there was one but this time she was looking forward to it. “Hello Anne” she heard John’s man yell as she passed by their house.

The young woman smiled and waved at the older woman. “Oh John might be late, they have a meeting” she said. “Late? He is already in his room” Linda told her. Anne was surprised so she walked towards his friend’s mother. “He is?” she asked. “He is upstairs” Linda replied. “May I go see him?” Anne asked and John’s mother escorted her in.

“You go see him and then you two come down later and I am going to make some snacks” Linda said and the young woman immediately went upstairs. John was in bed with his eyes closed, he heard his door open so took a peek. “You should be at the meeting” Anne said.

The young man closed his eyes and remained silent. Anne sat down on the bed and shook the young man. “Why are you here? You should be at the meeting” she repeated. “I don’t want to go to the prom” John said. “What?!!! But you are going to play at the prom” Anne countered.

“They are going to play, they can find a replacement for me” he told her. “No, you should go to the prom” Anne insisted. “Sorry I really don’t want to go to the prom” John told her and the young woman frowned. “Give me one good reason then” she said.

John opened his eyes and looked at her, “What do you think?” he replied and for a few seconds they stared at each other. Anne was the first to look away, she stood up and walked out of the room. The young man closed his eyes and exhaled, he wanted to ran after her but he decided not to because he was starting to realize where he really stood.

A few minutes later he smelled fresh baked brownies so he quickly ran down the stairs. He was surprised so see Anne seated at the dining table sharing a talk with his mother. “Come on John, I just took the brownies out of the oven” Linda said. John took his seat and avoided eye contact with Anne which made the young woman bow her head.

“I heard from Anne that your school has a prom in two weeks” Linda told him as she served the brownies on the table. “Yeah that’s what I heard too” he replied. “Well you should go” his mother told him and John looked at Anne. “So you told her” he uttered and the young woman remained silent.

“You can only experience the prom once in your life so I think you should go” Linda reiterated. “I don’t see anything wrong if I skipped it. I am sure there will be no regrets” John replied. “Please reconsider” Anne whispered and John looked at her.

“If you can give me one good reason to attend the prom then I will go” he told her. Anne could not face him, she stared at the plate of brownies and took a deep breath. “I want to see you play again” Anne softly said. Linda knew that was not the answer her son was expecting that is why she could feel the pain he was hiding.

“You want me to play?” John asked and Anne looked at him. “Yes, I would like to see you play again” she replied. “Then I will play” the young man told her. Anne smiled and again she was happy, “You already agreed so there is no turning back now John” she said as she stood up. “I better get going, I still have lots to do. Thank you for the brownies” she added.

As soon as Anne left, Linda sat beside her son and looked at him. “I am sorry John, I was not taking her side. I know why you don’t want to attend the prom but it really happens once in a lifetime” she explained. “Its okay, seeing the one you love dance with another guy during prom also happens once in a lifetime” John answered as he stood up and turned around.

“Mom, starting from now I don’t want to see Anne here anymore” John softly said and Linda was shocked. “John! Don’t be so harsh!” she told him. “If you want her here then make sure I am not here. I never asked anything so this time I am asking. If I am here tell her I am not. Do this for me mom if you do understand what I am going through” he requested.

The following day at the music hall the group held their practice. Sarah and Raven were there again to help the four as they learned the music that they would be playing and join them as back up singers. Everyone noticed that John never spoke a word to anyone. When it was required for him to play the drums he would but when the others were brainstorming he would just stare at his sticks and keep quiet.

A week passed and Anne started to miss their walks home with John so she asked Charles to accompany her visit the practice of the group after classes. The couple entered the music hall just in time as the band was about to start playing.

John didn’t notice the two at first but when he did the music started to go awry. Rick and Sarah looked at John and signaled him that he was off beat but the drummer had his head bowed. They stopped playing and decided to start over, “John you are off beat, remember we are following your lead” Sarah said.

They started to play again but the result was the same so they had to stop. “Hey dude whats wrong?” Rick asked but John angrily looked at everyone and banged his sticks together. “Come on play!” he shouted. He now was playing normally and everything seemed to be flawless. A few seconds later John was beating the drums too strong and so fast that they were again off beat.

Everyone stopped and looked at him but he just kept playing. Anne didn’t know what was happening but she could see anger in his friend’s eyes. Everyone just sat down and watched him go mad. After five minutes he stopped and looked at the ceiling then exhaled. “I need some air” he uttered.

John stood up and exited the room, Anne stood up and was about to follow him but Rick stopped her. “Let him be, he is just tired. He needs to blow off some steam” he told her. For thirty minutes they waited but John never returned. They all decided to call it a day and just continue tomorrow.

Sarah stayed behind and looked for John, just as always he was at the back of the school. The young man was standing facing the wall, Sarah slowly walked towards him and noticed blood dripping from his clenched fists. “Jesus Christ! John what are you doing?!” she asked as she saw traces of blood on the wall.

“Two freaking weeks! Everyday I kept praying for them to break up. It has been seven days and it has not happened. I was looking for a reason to be able to play on prom day but if they are together I just cant do it! So I am looking for another reason so I wouldn’t be able to play!” he shouted as he threw two punches on the wall. “Stop it! If you don’t want to play then don’t play!” Sarah yelled.

“I cant! She wants me to play and I freaking cant say no to her!” John replied as he barraged the wall with more punches. As the young man was getting ready to throw another punch Sarah quickly got in between him and wall. “Please get out of the way” he told her. “No, if you want to throw a punch then hit my face” she replied.

“Please Sarah, I have to do this” John pleaded. “No!” she yelled. John clenched his teeth pulled his arm back, Sarah was frightened and closed her eyes. She never got punched before so she was bracing herself but instead she felt something she was used but never from him.

John had embraced Sarah and plunged his head on her shoulder. The young man started to weep so all Sarah could do was to hug him back. “Im tired Sarah. You can scold me now” he whispered. “No John, I understand you” Sarah whispered as she leaned her head on him. Little did he know that she too was like him.

The two went to the hospital to have the young man’s hands checked. Bob attended to his son but kept his anger in check as Sarah told a lie. “He was only protecting me” she said. “I see. I have never seen a person with such a hard face that can do this kind of damage though” Bob said as he treated John’s wounds.

“Its good there is nothing broken. Wait for me here” Bob said. “What reason can I tell her so I would not play at the prom?” John asked as he stared at his bandaged hands. “What if you find a reason that would make you play?” Sarah replied and the young man looked at him. “Sarah I don’t want to play or even show up at the prom because its going to hurt seeing them together” John told her then laughed.

“I know. She would be happy if you play, so play. That is why I am telling you to find a reason to make you want to play” she explained. John shook his head and went into deep thinking. A minute later he looked at Sarah and pouted, “I cant think of any other reason that would make me play” he told her.

Sarah sighed and caressed John hands, “You know what you four were really great during the talent show. A lot of students kept begging you to play some more that day but the funny thing is you only rehearsed one song that is why you had to repeat the same song five times” she said and chuckled.

“But even though they never got tired of hearing it and watching you guys perform. They loved you guys. And do you want to know why the school chose you guys to perform on prom night? Well lots of girls asked for it. Imagine how many people would be happy seeing you play. Its not only her that wants you to play, there are lots of people. Instead of thinking about of her, why not think of the others too?” Sarah said.

John nodded his head and flashed a little smile. “Well do you have your reason now?” she asked. “Yes I do. I am going to play for you” he replied and the young woman immediately blushed. “Uhh… you are going to play for me?” Sarah asked. “Yup, don’t you like my reason?” he asked.

Sarah couldn’t stop smiling, that is what she really wanted to hear from him but was to shy to say. “But Sarah…” John was about to say and again she covered his mouth. “Don’t spoil it” she told him and they both laughed.

The following day at practice John was back at his talkative self. His energy level was up and even though his hands were bandaged he played the drums with full vigor. “What the hell happened to him?” Rick whispered to Sarah but the young woman just smiled as John pointed his drum stick towards her.

“Hey what did you do to him?” Kevin asked and Sarah giggled. “Did you two kiss?” Jeremy asked and the young woman laughed. “I wish I did” she replied and the three looked at her. “Oh shut up you three and lets practice” she told them. With John back to his senses they band played good music.

Two days before the prom after practice, the band decided to visit the mall to have a snack. After eating, Kevin, Rick and Jeremy decided to go ahead leaving the two alone at the restaurant.

“By the way John, what will you be wearing?” Sarah asked. “Clothes I guess” he replied and the young woman burst in laughter. “Silly you, of course I know its clothes but what kind?” she clarified. John scratched his head and grinned, “Well I don’t know, something to just cover me up I guess” he said.

“I will be wearing a red dress so you should wear something that matches it” Sarah said and the young man looked at her. “Me match your dress? Why?” he asked. “Because you are taking me to the prom” the young woman said and John was surprised.

John had his jaw dropped and could not believe what he just heard. “We are still students and we have the right to attend the prom. I heard that we shall be playing after the program proper. We cant just show up without dates” she explained. “Yeah but me and you? Together? How about Barry?” John asked.

“Would you like to go with him instead?” Sarah countered and John laughed. “No I mean aren’t you supposed to go with him?” he clarified. “We broke up a month ago” she answered and again the young man was surprised. “Oh I am sorry to hear that but may I ask why you broke up with him?” John said.

“He broke up with me. He had his reasons” Sarah answered and the young man just nodded. For a minute John remained silent and kept tapping the table, Sarah held his hand and looked at him. “If you are not okay with it just say so and I will understand why” Sarah told him.

“Actually I am happy. I was just thinking on what to wear to match your dress. How do I know if it matches?” he told her and the young woman laughed. “I am sure your mom will know what to do” Sarah said. “Cant you just teach me since we are at the mall already” John told her.

“Oh no it doesn’t work that way. We should both surprise each other on prom night” Sarah explained. “Oh boy someone is going to get really jealous” John said and the young woman frowned. “Yeah I though you would say that” she told him. “I was talking about Raven” he whispered.

“Oh Raven, yeah she likes you” Sarah said. “And she has been bugging me to take her to the prom” John revealed. “Well you can add another reason for going, to make her jealous” the young woman said.

“No, my reason for going has changed” John revealed. “And what is that reason? Because I forced you to?” Sarah asked.

“No, because I want to go to the prom with you” John said and Sarah felt her heart beat wildly and her cheeks burn up. “Sarah I am going to the prom with you and I want you to know that there is no other reason why I am going. I will go because I want to go with you. She will be there so I cant promise you that I will be thinking straight the whole time. Just in case that happens could you please just understand me a bit” John told her. Sarah held his hands tighter and looked into his eyes.

“Don’t worry John I will make sure that never happens”

- the end for the free blog -

- Had to post it today since i will be leaving this afternoon. Hahaha sana may net connection don pero meron daw so keep in touch sa fanpage. A journey to the white sands of the North and a trip to the land down under

Palms and Pockets, 200 pages, 25 chapters