Connor

I waited until she had gone inside before leaving. I wanted to admit my crush on her…I had had one since about the middle of the seventh grade…but I was to afraid that she might not return it. So I settled for watching her. I shook my head to clear it and to get some of the water out of my hair. Then I turned back and began the long jog back through the rain…at least it would keep me cool as I run I thought to myself.

By the time I got home mom was at the door with her foot tapping her left eyebrow raised, “What am I going to do with you Connor? You have an umbrella but you don’t use it!”

“Sorry mom, I walked Katie home first and she got the umbrella…I figured since I was already wet I might as well just jog without my umbrella impeding me,” I said as I walked in past her and up the stairs to my room to change.

Mom sighed and shook her head, “Dinner is ready in about ten minutes, she said as I started up the stairs.

“I’ll be there,” I called over my shoulder.

After dinner I called up the rest of the band and told them that practice would be at my house around one, they all said they could make it. After I had called the last guy I went down to the garage to practice on my drum set. It was my pride and joy, the one thing of value in the house. It was a very high quality electrical drum set. Musical instruments were one of the few things that were easy to get a hold of anymore. Why, because ‘upper class’ liked our music and didn’t want to discourage anyone who might end up being the next fad.

Even so, I had worked long and hard for several years to get enough money to buy this drum set. It had cost me $500,000 dollars, and the sound system $1,500 more. And at a pay of $8 and hour, which is barely above the minimum pay, that is not an easy amount of money to get. Luckily I didn’t have to worry about a college education…Mr. Echman has had me doing college-level work since the eighth grade and I have long since graduated from college, I only stay in school to be with Katie. As I sat down at my drum set I looked through my music library. I settled on Hero, a song that was fifty-some years old by a band called Skillet. My drum set had automatically removed the drumbeat so that I could add it myself.

After Hero finished I moved on to other Skillet songs and played them. After about two hours of playing the drums I looked at the accuracy measure on my drum set…as usual I had gotten almost every single stroke in perfect timing. I have played the drums (on a beat up, old drum set until recently) since the fifth grade and barely a day has gone by that I haven’t practiced with it. I went upstairs and took a shower to wash off all the sweat. Drumming is hard work, I even read somewhere that it takes the same amount of energy as running.

After a cool shower I curled up in bed with a book and read for another two hours. By then I had gotten sleepy, so I turned out the light and went to sleep.

I woke up the next morning around ten-ish and pulled myself out of bed, put my contacts in, and went downstairs to eat breakfast. After breakfast I went into the garage to set up the band equipment...mostly the mics and speakers. After that was finished I went into the living room to find something to do. Mom was at work, and dad had died not long after mom had recovered from the sickness that left her sterile. So I was alone at home. I decided to make mom’s life easier and do some of her chores, so I vacuumed the house and swept and mopped the kitchen and bathrooms. I thought about cleaning the toilette but decided that I wasn’t quite that nice. To make up for it though I did the dishes and de-cluttered the house.

 By the time I had finished all of that it was time for lunch so I made myself a tuna sandwich and settled down on our LayZboy with my book to wait for the band to start arriving. Katie arrived first, with our bassist right behind her. I got some Spicy Cheetohs and Pepsi out. Yes, we are all Pepsi people it’s better and I don’t care what any one else has to say on the matter. When the lead guitarist arrived we waited while he ate a little then we headed to the garage.  

“So, what shall we play this time?” I asked, “Flyleaf? Casting Crowns? Skillet? Or maybe Switchfoot?” Yes, we like the old bands…not much music that is any good anymore its all depressed or angry.

“Let’s do ‘If My Heart Was a House’ by Owl City!” called the Annie, the bassist, “I’ve always loved that one.”

“As long as we are playing Owl City why don’t we do ‘Vanilla Twilight’ as well!” Tim, the lead guitarist said as he plucked at the strings of his electric guitar to tune them.

“Alright, seeing as Adam was a male singer you can take the lead singing part Tim. Katie you be the supporting vocalist as well as your keyboard. Annie, you just do your thing on that base of yours.” I called out to each person in turn, “Alright, let’s do this! One, Two, Three!”

You’re the sky that I fell through (fell through); and I remember the view whenever I’m holding you.      The sun hung from a string (from a string); looking down on the world as it warmed over everything.      Chills run down my spine; as our fingers entwine and your sides hominize with mine. Unmistakably; I can still feel your heart beat fast when you dance with me.

 

We got older and I should have known, (Do you feel alive) that I’d feel colder when I walk alone. So I may as well ditch my dismay (Bombs awa-a-a-ay! Bombs awa-a-a-ay!)

 

Circle me and the needle moves gracefully-y back and forth; if my heart was a compass you’d be north. Risk it all cause I’ll catch you if you fall wherever you go; if my heart was a house you’d be home.

 

It makes me smile because you said it best; I would clearly feel blessed (feel blessed) if the sun rose up from the west. Flower bomb perfume; all my clothes smell like you, cause your favorite shade is navy blue.

 

I walk slowly when I’m on my own, (do you feel alive) yeah but frankly I still feel alone. So I may as well ditch my dismay, (Bombs awa-a-a-ay! Bombs awa-a-a-ay!)

 

Circle me and the needle moves gracefully-y back and forth; if my heart was a compass you’d be north. Risk it all cause I’ll catch you if you fall wherever you go; if my heart was a house you’d be home. If my heart was a house you’d be home!

 

“Great job guys!” I said when we finished, “Alright, now for ‘Vanilla Twilight!’”

 

The starts lean down to kiss you and I lie awake and miss you. Pour me a heavy dose of atmosphere, cause I wish you were here.

 

I’ll doze off safe and soundly, but I’ll miss you arms around me. I’d send a post-card to ya dear, cause I wish you were here. (you were here)

 

I’ll watch the night turn light blue, but it’s not the same without you. Cause it takes two to whisper quietly. The silence isn’t so bad, till I look at my hands and feel sad, because the spaces between my fingers are right where yours fit perfectly.

 

I’ll find repose in new ways, though I haven’t slept in two days cause cold nostalgia chills me to the bone (To the bone).

 

But drenched in vanilla twilight; I’ll sit on the front porch all night. Waist deep in thought because when I think of you, I don’t feel so alone. (I don’t feel so-o-o alone). I don’t feel so-o-o alone. As many times as I blink, I’ll think of you; tonight.

 

When violet eyes get brighter, and heavy wings grow lighter; I’ll taste the sky and feel alive again. But I’ll look at the world that I knew, but I swear I won’t forget you, Oh if my voice could reach back through the past I’d whisper in you ear, ‘Oh darling I wish you were here!’ (wish you were here)

 

“Ok now for some Flyleaf! Your turn to lead Katie and I’ll sing support. The song is Supernatural.” I said.

 

Her headaches: constant, increasing in pain (In Pain), with each passing day (Each day)! She can’t even manage, to stand on her own, It’s been so bad.

 

Now you thing of saying there’s no use in praying but still, she bows her head, so she can sa-a-a-a-ay: ‘Thank You for just one more da-ay.’

 

Super-natural patients graces her face and her voice never raises. It’s all because, of love never let go of. (Never let go of) Never let go of.

 

He has every reason to throw up his fists in the face of his God who let his mother die! Through all the present tears, she still passed in pain anyways. (Anyways).

 

Now you thing of saying there’s no use in praying but still, he bows his head, so he can sa-a-ay: ‘Thank You for ending her pa-ain!’

 

Super-natural patients graces his face and his voice never raises. It’s all because, of love never let go of. (Never let go of) Never let go of.

 

He is, teaching me-e-e (and me-e-e), what love really means (means)

 

Super-natural patients graces his face and his voice never raises. It’s all because, of love never let go of. (Never let go of)

 

Yes Super-natural patients graces his face and his voice never raises. It’s all because, of love never let go of. (Never let go of) Never let go of.

 

He is teaching me-e-e-e, what love really means (it means).

 

A tear ran down my face as the meaning hit me again. Every time we did this song I ended up crying…its meaning is just so powerful.

When I saw a tear running down Katie’s face too I wanted to pick her up and hug her, but again I couldn’t. ‘Alright,’ I thought to myself, ‘I’m gunna tell her today…as soon as everyone else has left…I’ll ask her to stay for the day and I’ll tell her.’

“You need to take the lead singing part sometime dude!” Tim called out to me, “You’re awesome!”

“It’s too hard to sing fulltime and drum as well,” I said in reply.

“Then put your stinking auto-tune on and frigging just sing!” he Tim replied with a smile.

“Yeah,” Annie chipped in, “you should do that now!”

I heaved a heavy sigh, “Oh alright, I’ll sing ‘Stars’ by Switchfoot…but that is it!” I warned. They all clapped and then started the intro.

When I had finished they all applauded loudly, “That was amazing!” Tim cried happily.

“Encore!” Annie called.

I looked pleadingly at Katie, “Could you pleaaaase do another?” she pleaded.

I heaved a heavy sigh”…You guys are merciless,” I complained, “alright, Switchfoot again, ‘Gone’ this time though.”

Again I sang, again I was applauded and before anyone could say anything, “No,” I said, “I am not doing another encore.”

Everyone made sad faces, but I remained resolute, “No.”

“Pleaaa-“ Tim began.

“No,” I said as I sat back down at my drum set; this always happened when I sing backup, “I’m a drummer, not a vocalist.”

I heard a sigh from Katie’s direction but refused to look in her direction, knowing that I would probably get up and do it again if I saw the pleading in her eyes, “Alright do you guys want to do another song or shall we call it a day?” I asked, “By the way there is more Pepsi and Cheetohs in the kitchen…some Dr. Pepper and Mountain Dew as well.

There was a general roar of agreement as they all headed for the living room. I smiled and headed for the kitchen to get the Cheetohs and drinks. When I got back to the living room I found that Tim had occupied my LayZboy.

“Hey, Tim…I believe that is my spot!” I called to him from across the room.

“Aw man! I was hoping you wouldn’t notice! Why do you always get the best spot anyways?” he complained light-heartedly.

“Because,” I said with a laugh, “it’s my house!”

Once I got myself sat down and everyone was comfortable we continued to banter for a while. Eventually Tim looked at his watch, “Well, sorry guys but I got to go…mom’s expecting me back…”

“Me too,” Annie said.

“Alright then, see you guys,” I said as I got up and escorted them to the door.

Katie was getting her shoes on when I turned around, “I better go to…I don’t want to intrude…” she said.

“No it’s ok you should stay! I have absolutely nothing else to do anyways…not that you staying could ever be intruding.” I added with a smile.

Katie smiled back and slipped her shoes back off and we headed back to the couch. ‘Now or never’ I thought to myself.

“Um, Katie…there’s something I need to tell you; I know it is kind of out of the blue and all but I’ve been meaning to say this for a very long time…you probably wouldn’t believe how long…and now I’m rambling. Uh…I have a crush on you…I think it has developed into more than that actually…” that was as far as I got. Because Katie jumped into my arms, almost knocking me backwards, “Whoa, I was expecting a lot of different reactions…but this…” I said as I happily wrapped my arms around her.

“Mmmh,” Katie murmured as shivers of pleasure ran through my body at her touch. She felt so slim and deceptively frail; like she might break if I squeezed too hard. I could feel her breath as it matched the rise and fall of her chest and she pressed herself against me. I rested my cheek against her beautiful red hair, she had left it down today and it had splayed itself across my chest as she had pressed her head there in the soft spot between my shoulder and neck.

“I suppose this means that you feel the same way?” I asked jokingly.

Katie nodded and pressed her head harder into my chest. That reminded me of something, “Hey, Katie, I have to show you something,” I said as I started to get up. Katie protested but settled for holding my hand and following close by my side. I left a note for mom, who would be getting back from work soon,

I’m in the basement with Katie.

Then I led Katie down into the basement. I went over to a dusty corner and rummaged around in a box until I had found an old toy dog at the bottom, “What’s that for?” Katie asked.

“Wait and see,” Ireplied as I pulled it and one wall of the basement drew back to reveal another room furnished with a LayZboy loveseat in front of a wide-screen HD television with a huge collection of Blue-Rays to go with it. 

Katie gasped, “Those aren’t available to people like us! How did you get your hands on that TV and Blue-Rays?” she asked with wide eyes.

“I found it in one of the buildings on the edge of old city where no one lives anymore about three days ago. I just finished building this yesterday before school. I couldn’t go telling everyone about this though or the ‘upper class’ might come and take it away and then outlaw having a television completely,” I explained.

Katie gaped so I nudged her forward, “Have a seat,” I offered and she sat down on the loveseat. Then I went over to the movie collection and selected Avatar from the rest. I took it out of it’s case and slipped it into the Blue-Ray reader and flipped on the screen. After it sparked to life and the previews started to show, I retrieved the controller and plopped down next to Katie who was starting avidly at the screen.

“I’ve never seen anything like that!” she exclaimed as she rested her head on my shoulder and I put my arm around her to pull her closer. I hadn’t either until a couple days ago…and then I discovered that not all of these movies are ones that are appropriate,” I said with a grimace. “This one though I really liked though,” I added when I felt her tense slightly.

As we watched Avatar we both marveled at the incredible world it took place in and how real the Na’avi looked. When it was done Katie hugged me tightly, “That was amazing!” she exclaimed happily.

I smiled and hugged her back, “We better head back upstairs,” I whispered into her ear, “otherwise mom will get nervous and come down here,” I finished with a smile.

Katie sighed, “Alright,” she said as she disentangled herself from me and we got up and headed back upstairs.

When we got up there I saw that it was dark, “Oh no! I hadn’t realized how late it is! You’ll  have to stay the night Katie…” I trailed off. Ever since the ‘upper class’ formed there has been a curfew after dark, no one is allowed outside without express permission, which we didn’t have. “Why don’t you call your parents and tell them where you are…they must be worried sick!” I told Katie.

Katie nodded and pulled out her cell phone to tell her parents. When she hung up we went into the kitchen where mom was, “Hey you two, when you guys weren’t up by the time it got dark I figured Katie would end up staying the night so I made dinner for three…” she trailed off when she saw that Katie and I were holding hands and standing much closer to each other than we usually did, “I see you finally told her Connor,” she said in a voice full of amusement. “You know Katie, he’s had his eye on you since at least halfway through the seventh grade.”

“Mooom!” I complained and that set both Katie and Mom off laughing. “What is this world coming to when you can’t even trust your own mom?” I joked.

“Hmm, I wonder if I can trust my mom?” Katie wondered. “Well, you won’t be coming to my house till I get that sorted out.”

“Hey, no fair…my mom betrayed me! Your mom should be given ample chance to do the same!” I protested.

“Uh-uh, no way!” Katie said with a smile.

“Ah,” I sighed, “the world is out to get me.”

“Alright Shakespeare come get your dinner,” Mom laughed.

After everyone had been served we sat down at the table and thanked God for our food. With that over we proceeded to dig in. Dinner was enchiladas and I praised Mom’s cooking skills numerous times.

“So, do you have any plans for this summer?” mom asked Katie.

“Not really…work…earn money for college…hang out with Connor…band practice…stuff like that,” Katie replied.

“That sounds pretty much like Connor’s plans.

“Aww, mom you got it all wrong! Didn’t I tell you I plan to overthrow the government and take over the world?”

“Oh yeah I’d forgotten about that part…” Mom said as Katie giggled.

 After Dinner we all washed our dishes (dishwashers were only for the ‘upper class’) and then Katie and I went down to the basement to see if there was any movie that we might want to watch.

“Oh look! Lord of the Rings!” I exclaimed happily, “I love those books! I wonder if the movies are any good.”

“Let’s see,” Katie said excitedly.

So I slipped the disc into the Blue-Ray reader and started the movie. Katie shrieked and clung to me at the part when Bilbo was tempted to take the ring from Frodo. She squeaked and hid her face at the part where the Watcher in the Water came out and attacked the fellowship of the ring. And she kept her face buried in my chest for the whole part where the goblins attack in Moria. She cried quietly for a long time after Boromir died.

“So, what did you think?” I asked after the movie had finished.

“Wow,” was all Katie could get out.

“Pretty amazing,” I commented.

Katie nodded., “I don’t think that there is enough time to watch the second one tonight though,” I said sadly.

“Ah well…” Katie trailed off, “will you sing for me?” she asked randomly, “Pleeeeeaaase,” she added when I looked doubtful. She turned her radiant blue eyes and brought them to bear on me.

“Aw you know I can’t resist those eyes, it’s not fair,” I complained. Katie just smiled and continued to look at me pleadingly.

I heaved a sighed then brought her to the garage and got my djembe out to accompany me as I sang Mighty to Save. When I finished that song I moved right into Blessed Be Your Name without any push from Katie because if there is one thing in this world that I love, it’s God and worshiping Him. Katie couldn’t help but join in for the second verse of Blessed Be Your Name.

When I finished that song Katie leaned her head against my chest, “That was beautiful,” she whispered as she snuggled in closer. I had never realized just how much Katie liked to touch and hug…she had always been so shy…but I could tell now that she was a huggy kind of person, just like me actually so it works out pretty well. I wrapped my arms around her and rested my cheek on her head. I could definitely get used to this. 

The End

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