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Authors: Breigh Forstner

Tags: #Romance, #young adult, #music, #fiction

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BOOK: Straight from the Heart
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“Thank you Louisa. It’s weird, only carrying
a suitcase and my guitar…no money left in the account that I know
of, I don’t know what to do. I didn’t pack much.” This coming from
the girl who wore dresses every day and very rarely donned a pair
of jeans unless she snuck out…which became quite often as the years
went on.

“Don’t you worry B.” Alberto Jr. assured me,
bringing me a fresh out of the oven pizza with pepperonis piled on
top. “You can work here, can’t she Ma?”

“Yes! That is exactly what you can do. You
can start tomorrow.” Louisa suggested as I took a bite of pizza. I
enjoyed every last bit of the hot dough and warm sauce, making my
taste buds hungry for more.

“I don’t want to put you guys out,” I
replied, wiping pizza sauce from my cheek and taking another
bite.

“It’s the least we can do,” Louisa insisted.
“There’s the loft above the music store next door that’s open for
rent if you want it. We’ll give you the first month free until you
can get on your feet.”

I sat there in complete shock. Here I was
being offered a job and a temporary place to live? I didn’t know
what to say. It was the start I was looking for.

“Wow, I mean, that is amazing. Thank you
guys so much for the offer!” I couldn’t contain the grin on my
face. This was the happiest news I had received in a while.

“You are very welcome, sweet Bryn.” She
replied, passing me a flier that was on the table beside us.
“Before you get settled, guys have been passing these around this
morning. They're looking for a new member in some big rock band. I
thought of you.” I glanced at it. I vaguely recognized the name of
the band, who I thought were from around here, and noticed
auditions were not even an hour away from starting.

“I can’t do that Lou, I’m not that good.” I
hesitated, but she stopped me before I could go further.

“Don’t say that. Saying ‘can’t’ gets you
nowhere.” Louisa placed her tiny hand on mine. “I believe in you.
Everyone here does. You go audition for this group and make a name
for yourself.”

Maybe I could do this? If music was what I
wanted to pursue, then what the Hell.

“I don’t even have anything ready to
audition with Lou.”

“What about that song you used to sing when
you brought Gina and Bethany in here on Saturday nights? Something
about kingdoms?” She asked me.

“You mean ‘Demons?’” I reminded her.

“Yeah, that’s the one.” Louisa chuckled, and
set the empty pizza tray aside. “You sing so beautifully and play
that guitar like those people on the radio.” I laughed along with
her, and she caught me up on everything that has been going on with
her family and the restaurant.

A few minutes passed and I studied the clock
on the wall. I figured I could drop my suitcase off at the loft and
head to my possible audition.

“It was good seeing you guys again.” I told
the Lozano’s, giving each one of them a hug and kiss on the cheek
before I left. “And thank you again for letting me stay in the
loft.”

“It is our pleasure, my dear.” Alberto Sr.
said as he approached us from his office. “Anything you need you
just let us know.”

Waving goodbye, I dropped my suitcase off
inside the door to my new home before heading back downstairs. The
flyer was in my hand, crinkled from my nerves building up. I mean I
love to sing, I love to play my guitar, but I’ve never played in
front of people that are in a frickin’ band…I couldn’t do this!

I plugged in my headphones and listened to
the song I’d be singing, “Demons,” by Imagine Dragons. In a way it
helped me through the last couple of months of Hell I’d been living
in. Holding onto my guitar case even tighter as I walked back into
the crowded downtown, I continued another couple of blocks until I
saw the name of the place that was on the flyer: Crabby Pete’s.

“Here we go Schaefler,” I told myself, as I
entered.

The sound of heavy metal music filled my
ears. I watched a guy up on the small stage pounding away at the
drums, sounding like a heartbeat pulsing a mile a minute. To anyone
else this would be garbage, but to me it’s fuel. I love it. The way
his arms moved like lighting, hitting the symbols and feet pounding
on the bass. I watched from the back wall where no one could see
me. From the rhythm, I could tell it was “Beast and the Harlow” by
Avenged Sevenfold, one of my favorites. I envied how Synyster Gates
could shred, and play guitar so effortlessly, moving his fingers up
and down the guitar as if it was child’s play. I wasn’t that good,
since I didn’t have much time to practice due to hiding my passion
from my parent’s eyes

I watched a couple of more people playing
the drums, some played bass, and another girl came in with her
electric guitar absolutely killing it. Was I in over my
head
?
I didn’t see the band members’ faces yet, but the guy
on the far right stood up and scanned the venue.

“Anyone else?” The guy cupped his hands
around his mouth and announced to everyone that were still there.
Now or never
, I thought.

Taking a couple of steps forward I waved my
hand high enough to be noticed while not seeming too childish.
“Me.” I called, staggering all the way up to the side of the long
table where four guys sat with pen and paper in their hands. I
couldn’t tell whether they were taking notes or just doodling.

All of them eyed me up and down as I set my
guitar case down to get it strapped up. It was that moment when I
felt their stares burning through my back, leaving a hole.

 “You play guitar at all?” The man
sitting in the middle questioned me. He ran a hand through his
messy dark brown hair and didn’t smile. He sounded like he just got
out of bed from the way his voice slurred. My eyes were immediately
drawn to the tattoo that was on his left shoulder. It looked like a
bald eagle with quotation underneath it. I couldn’t open my mouth
to speak. Ethan was good looking in his own way but this guy, I
didn’t know his name and my skin already felt tingly just from him
staring at me. “Stupid question. Obviously if you’re holding one
you must play.”

“Yes.” I mouthed quietly. “Almost every
day.” Which wasn’t entirely true, but I played as much as I could,
whenever I could.

“Great, that’s what we’re looking for.” I
swore I saw the corner of his lips tip up and smile, catching my
nervousness. “I’m Cale. These are the rest of the guys in the band:
Raptor, Vince and Luke.”  I firmly shook all of the guy’s
hands and when I grasped Cale’s hand, our fingers stayed locked for
a little too long. “And you are?”

“Bryn Schaefler,” I replied, letting his
hand fall. I didn’t want to let go. He must’ve played guitar too.
Or did something part-time to where his hands felt rough. I could
tell from the way there were calluses spread throughout his palm
and how rough his fingers felt. Kind of like mine. Damn I could get
used to this view of him. His amber colored eyes drew me in right
away. This ‘audition’ was going to be all for him.

He cocked his head to the side. “Looks like
by the way you’re gripping that damn thing you paid a lot of money
for it?”

“Yeah, this is my baby. I stored away a lot
of money for it.” I replied honestly, and the rest of the guys
shifted their eyes to the guitar, checking it out.

“Alright. So here is how it’s going to go
Miss Schaefler. You can set up your guitar up there on that stage
and sit anywhere on it, as long as you face us, because I want to
see if you can fit in.” Cale gestured towards the stage and the
other equipment that lay in front of me. I took a deep breath.
This won’t be so bad
. I stuck with my original song choice
“Demons” by Imagine Dragons. Walking to the stage, I scooted my
butt onto a wooden stool that looked like it belonged in the bar
area.

One note played and I was off and running.
During the first couple of seconds into the song I was rusty, but I
wasn’t going to let them know it. To them, I would be a guitar pro,
an expert per say. Throwing the vocals into the mix, I was picking
up on it pretty quick. Towards the last chorus, I was plucking out
those notes with everything I had and singing my heart out. I never
thought I was the greatest singer either, even though I had taken
vocal lessons since I was eight.  

By the time I was done with my audition, I
felt sweat dripping on my face. I wiped the hair out of my face and
set the Dreadnaught down. Standing up, I readjusted my tank top and
-picked the guitar up so I could put nestle it back into its case.
 

Cale strolled from his seat over to me and
leaned his body against the table. Behind him, the others were
whispering about me. Folding his arms over his chest, he smirked
again, never showing off his teeth. “That was absolutely fucking
amazing Bryn. Your voice was like an angel, and I normally don’t
think anyone else can sing, so take that as a compliment.” Then he
gave me a card with the band’s name and apparently his phone
number. “We’ll be in touch hopefully by tomorrow.”

“Thanks.” I said, taking the card and giving
him my number, hoping he wasn’t trying to secretly hit on me. “I
really appreciate you guys giving me the chance to do that up
there.”

“You looked smokin’ hot doing it!” Raptor,
the one with the Mohawk, hollered. Cale looked back at him, his
eyes shooting daggers. The rest of the guys cackled as if it was
the funniest thing in the world. “What? I think she’d be some nice
eye candy in the band. Guys love girls that can play the guitar not
to mention…”

“Enough,” Cale demanded before turning back
to me. His eyes met mine, and I was drawn into his web again.
Don’t get too attached Bryn, he’s the guy that could give you a
chance or break you
. “Sorry about that. You need any help
packing up?”

I shook my head, smiling from ear to ear. “I
got it. Thanks again, guys. It was good to meet you.” I waved
goodbye and they all said “bye” in unison. Stepping back out into
the fresh air, I breathed a little sigh of relief. I ran back to
the loft, and changed into one of my “mother approved” sundresses.
It was all yellow, with a yellow ribbon tied around the waist. She
always did say that yellow was the best color on me. Made me look
like a bumble bee she said, which I never really thought that was a
good thing. Curling up onto the couch that Louisa had set up for
me, I pulled out my guitar once more. This couch was so
comfortable; I wanted to fall asleep on it. I immediately fell back
and shut my eyes. Waking myself back up and opening my eyes, I
placed the guitar strap around my shoulder. I practiced every song
I knew, and then some, playing until I felt a drop of blood fall
from my fingers.

I decided to run downstairs to see Louisa
and get some homemade spaghetti that I loved so much, but I stopped
at the mirror by the door and took a good look at myself first. For
my first day since leaving home at the ripe age of 18, I looked
pretty good. My black hair was stick straight down past my
shoulders halfway down my back. The sundress clung to me in the
right spots, showing off my curvy hips which I had learned to
embrace. My face was still red from playing the audition, and
 my eyes had dark circles underneath them from the lack of
sleep.

But now I needed to focus on something else.
Because honestly I knew that there would be no chance of me making
it into ‘Everlasting,’ and they would only want me so they could
hit on me whenever they pleased. I’d take the job offer from Louisa
and Alberto and work for them for as long as they would let me. It
wouldn’t be so bad. Then at some point, whenever that might have
been, I could think about college. I had to keep myself busy, so I
wouldn’t think about my parents.

I dialed my brother’s old cell phone number
and, of course, it went straight to voicemail. “Hey big brother,
it’s me Bryn. I did it. I left just like you. I think about you all
the time, I really miss you. Could you please call me sometime tell
me how you’re doing? I’m staying downtown at one of the lofts for
now. I love you.”

Chapter 3: Don’t Stop Believing

It was the middle of the late night dinner
rush when I got the phone call. Louisa asked me if I could help out
until close because their other waitress called in sick and I
agreed to it. I enjoyed being around the hustle and bustle of the
crowded restaurant.

“Louisa, is it okay if I take this call
really fast?” I asked her, pointing to my ringing cell phone in my
back pocket.

“Yes honey go right ahead, I’ll cover until
you’re done.” Louisa responded, shooing me away while shouting
something in Italian to the guys in the kitchen. Laughing at the
cook’s English response, I ran off into the hallway that led to the
restrooms.

“Hello?” I answered, untying my apron and
leaning against the women’s bathroom door.

“This is Bryn Schaefler, right?” The gruff
voice asked. For a split second I thought it was my brother.

“Yes who is this?”

“Oh sorry, probably should’ve said that by
now.” The guy snickered. “This is Cale from earlier. You know, you
tried out for my band ‘Everlasting’ and played a kickass song which
is now on repeat on my iPod?”

This guy sure had a way with words. I felt
my cheeks begin to heat. Was his voice really doing this to me? I
was scared to ever be alone with him now. “Yes, I remember, it was
only a couple of hours ago.” I answered happily, rolling my
eyes.

“Right, but the guys and I talked, well,
mostly me, and we want you to be in the band.”

I nearly dropped my phone. Was this
happening right now? This couldn’t be real! I slid to the floor
until I felt the cool tile beneath me.

“Are.You.Serious?” I asked, nearly
squealing.

“I am completely, absolutely, 100 %,
positively serious. Is that enough confirmation?” Cale replied
sarcastically. “But we’re shifting a few spots around and I want
you in this band. Whatever place you want, it’s yours.”

BOOK: Straight from the Heart
11.53Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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