Four teenagers start a band. A story about friendship, love, growing up and above all: music!
It was Colin Walker’s first day at his new school and he was beaming with excitement. A new school, a new start, that’s what he optimistically thought. Not that things had gone wrong at his old school. He had had good friends, the teachers liked him (at least most of them did) and his grade had been good (with a few exceptions here and there, but he wasn’t perfect). Most kids would be nervous to start out at a new school, especially when everyone already knew each other, but not Colin. You could say he was pretty confident, which he was, actually.
The reason he was so eager to start at a new school, was pretty much the reason he had wanted to left his old one. He wanted to start a band. He had actually wanted to join the one at his old school, but had been rejected. This didn’t stop Colin from achieving his dream, though. After some persuading- which wasn’t really that hard, since Colin’s mother just really wanted him to shut up (Colin had a bad case of talking a lot and not to mention very fast) -his parents had agreed to transferring schools. Maybe it wasn’t very smart of him not to check whether this school had a school band or not before applying, but he figured he could always start his own band, right?
Colin confidently opened the doors to step inside. No one really paid him any attention, but Colin didn’t even notice. It felt to him like all eyes were upon him; he felt like the centre of attention. Unfortunately for him though, this was not the case. Not at all. No one had even noticed that there was a stranger among them.
The bell rang and Colin quickly tried to find the classroom he was supposed to be in about… well, right now. In his haste however, he didn’t really pay attention to his surroundings, which led to him bumping into an older man. The man was probably in his thirties and seemed to be the teacher type. Or at least he looked this way to Colin. Thus, he decided to ask the man for help.
‘’Hello sir!’’ he said in a cheerful manner. ‘’My name is Colin Walker, I’m new here. Could you maybe help me out?’’
The man, who realised that it was a new kid and he shouldn’t get mad at him for not looking out at his first day, smiled and hold out his hand.
‘’Colin eh? I’ve been expecting you. I’m Mr. Anderson, your homeroom teacher. Isn’t that a coincidence? ‘’
Colin shook the man’s hand enthusiastically.
‘’What a great timing, sir!’’
Mr. Anderson led Colin to his classroom, while explaining some of the basic rules to him. Colin’s mind wandered off though, since these rules were the same at his old school.
They stopped in front of a closed door, where they heard the class talking quite loud. A girl noticed their homeroom teacher, and quickly hushed her classmates. Silence followed and Colin noticed that they all sat very straight, like the perfect students.
‘’Bunch of bootlickers…’’ Mr. Anderson muttered. Colin grinned at that comment. ‘’Well Colin, ready to meet your new class?’’
Without waiting for an answer though, he opened the door and stepped inside. Colin followed.
‘’Morning, Mr. Anderson.’’
‘’As you may have noticed, we have a new student.’’ Mr. Anderson gestured to Colin, to imply that he had to introduce himself. This, he really shouldn’t have done, he thought later on.
‘’Hi, I’m Colin Walker! I used to go to Humphreys, but I didn’t really like it there, so I told my parents that I wanted to transfer and they were okay with that so here I am. My birthday is May 28th which makes me a Gemini, so if I ever seem to have mood swings, really sorry about that but they say we’re like two people in one. I’m basically a twin on my own. Any questions?’’
His new classmates just stared. One boy put up his hand.
‘’Do you breathe?’’ he asked, referring to the fact that Colin had said all that in one breath, what’s more no one was sure they really got everything he had said. Colin was used to that though. The question ‘do you breathe?’ was pretty much the reaction everyone who met him had.
Mr. Anderson, who had been dumbstruck like everyone else, seemed to have recovered and pointed Colin to his seat next to a raven-haired boy.
Colin sat down without paying attention to all the stares. He was glad to have a seat next to the window, since he had trouble paying attention in class. This way, he could at least entertain himself with whatever was happening outside.
He sat down and turned to his right, to say hi to his neighbour when he caught sight of two purple eyes. Now it was Colin’s time to be amazed.
‘’You have purple eyes!’’ he exclaimed.
The boy next to him grinned.
‘’Yeah, pretty cool eh? Gave my mum a good scare when I was born though-‘’
‘’Shut up Liam, he’ll probably believe you,’’ the girl in front of Colin said. She turned around and smiled. ‘’I’m Leanne, Liam’s twin sister. Feel free to call me Lea, and don’t believe a word this idiot brother of mine says.’’
They did look alike, now that she mentioned it. Except she had long hair that she had braided and bright blue eyes, though Colin figured that Liam’s were the exact same colour.
Liam rolled his eyes.
‘’My sister always knows how to ruin a prank.’’
Colin’s eyes lit up when he heard those words.
‘’You like to prank?’’
‘’Oh boy…’’ Leah mumbled.
Mr. Anderson declared that since there was nothing to discuss, they could make their homework. This meant of course that everyone spent the period talking to each other, instead of actually doing something. Mr. Anderson clearly didn’t mind, as he himself was doing something on his phone. Colin could tell from the way his hands moved he was playing a game, probably bubble shooter or Candy Crush.
Just like the rest of the class, the two new friends spent the rest of homeroom talking, though they talked about pranks, much to Leanne’s dismay, who decided to leave the two boys alone and talk to her own friends.
‘’Hey, hey! Is there a school band?’’ Colin asked, when class was almost over. It had almost slipped his mind, but this was why he was there after all.
To Colin’s disappointment, Liam shook his head. Oh well, Colin thought, how hard can it be to start my own?
‘’No, why, you want to be in a band?’’ Liam grinned. Colin knew exactly why. It was for the same reason his parents had laughed when he had told them. People often thought he had ADHD, since he kind of acted like it. That, or he acted like a five year old. Colin was very aware of this, but it was who he was. He’d probably drive the other band members mad, but he was certain that they would be able to put up with it. After all, they had to get along.
Colin grinned back at his new friend.
‘’Yeah, I’ve always wanted to be in one! They wouldn’t let me be in the band at my old school, since there was no room, that’s actually the reason I transferred here, to be honest. Well, I guess I’ll have to start it myself then!’’
The bell rang and Colin followed the purple eyed boy out of the classroom. It turned out they both had a free period, and Colin had decided to start recruiting band members.
‘’I don’t know man, pretty much all of the kids with any musical talent are already in a club. I mean, you could always try, I guess…’’ Liam scratched the back of his head. Colin wasn’t dejected by those words though. He wouldn’t give up before had started a band. Was giving up even in his dictionary? He didn’t think so. Hence, the rest of the day he spent asking around if anyone would want to join his band. No one in his class was interested and declined him politely, saying they were already in a club, couldn’t play an instrument if their live depended on it or they simply didn’t want to. It wasn’t just his class though, no on in his entire year wanted to join. Colin was a little bit depressed after that, though Liam had to admit, the guy had never heard of giving up.
The next day, Colin was in even higher spirits and even more motivated than the day before. After all, he had asked everyone in year eleven, but not in year twelve nor in thirteen. There were still many people he could ask to join. Both Liam and Leanne looked at him with respect, but also with pity in their eyes, as he was rejected once again.
‘’Doesn’t Fai Hu from the year above play bass?’’ Leanne said quietly to her twin. Her brother tilted his head a bit, thinking.
‘’Yeah, I think I heard something like that as well, but… He doesn’t seem like he’d agree to join…’’
Leanne nodded in agreement.
‘’He never talks, does he? He probably wouldn’t want to join something like a school band…’’
Colin had heard a few bits from their conversation from where he had been standing, so after another refusal he didn’t look down at all. In fact, he was jumping up and down by the time he stood next to his two friends.
‘’Who? Who? Who? Who are you talking about? Who plays bass? Who?’’
The two twins looked at each other in doubt, before Liam decided that his friend would most likely find out about Hu anyway.
‘’Fai Hu, a twelfth year, plays bass guitar. He’s not in any club-‘’
‘’Really? Great!’’ and before the twins could even say a word, he was gone.
‘’Oh boy.’’ Liam sighed and his sister sighed with him. They already felt bad for Colin.
Fai Hu was sitting in his seat, not surrounded by friends like the rest of his class, but he was content. After all, no one would bother him while he was reading. His peace was disturbed by a younger boy- who was a lot taller than him, by the way, but Fai was certain that he was younger than him. After all, he acted younger (actually, he acted like a five year old) and there was something about the blonde’s eyes that made Fai think he was younger than him. Or maybe Fai was just too mature for his age, something his older sister kept reminding him of.
Fai decided to just keep reading his book and ignore the junior. He was sure that if he acted rude the boy would take the hint and leave. When the tall boy started to jump however, which was either an attempt to get his attention or because he couldn’t stand still, Fai decided to close the book he had been reading and looked the boy in the eye.
‘’You’re Fai Hu right? My name is Colin Walker, I’m new here and really wanted to join the school band, only there isn’t one so I’m starting my own! Anyway, I heard you play bass and wanted to ask you to join!’’ the boy was grinning from ear to ear, and even though he had been talking fast- Fai had to admit, he was a little taken aback by this even though he hadn’t shown it -Fai understood every word. Here we go again. He had been asked to join a club several times, though that was years ago when he first started school. Nowadays people tended to avoid him. They only talked to him when it was absolutely necessary. To be asked by a junior was a first though, they seemed afraid of him.
‘’No.’’ as he said so, he opened his book again.
Colin’s grin broke and he sat down in defeat.
‘’Why is everyone saying no?’’ he wondered aloud. Fai admitted that he felt a little bit bad, but he couldn’t join a band. One, he wasn’t social at all. It had been a long time since he had had an actual conversation. Two, he had major stage fright. Being in a band and stage fright didn’t go that well. Three, well he didn’t like thinking about three.
‘’Look, I’m really sorry, but a band is just not my thing.’’
Colin looked up at him and seemed to study him closely. This made Fai feel very uncomfortable. He felt like the younger boy was looking right through him, as if he could read him like a book.
‘’Why not? You play bass.’’ Colin said, though it seemed like he wanted to say more. Fai just shrugged, really not wanting to tell the stranger what was going on in his head.
‘’I want to start a band to make new friends and make music together, doesn’t that sound like fun? Don’t you want friends again? Real friends?’’
Fai looked at him with wide eyes. What the-?
‘’We won’t abandon you because you have flaws. Everyone has flaws. I myself am very childish, I can be irresponsible and really greedy. I play pranks on people, something most people don’t really appreciate.’’
Fai started to become a bit scared now. How did he know that he was afraid to make friends, because the last time he had friends they had just left them like that?
‘’I don’t know what you’re talking about, if you could just go to your own class…’’
He looked at his book, but his mind was elsewhere. Slowly the memories started to come back. He hadn’t thought about that for so long and now… He was vaguely aware of the fact that Colin didn’t do as he had asked, but he was already consumed by the memories.
‘’Fai you’re so bossy, I don’t want to be your friend anymore.’’
‘’Stop being the boss of me, Fai.’’
‘’Why are you so stubborn?’’
‘’If they’re not friends with you anymore, I don’t want to be your friend either.’’
‘’Fai you’re so smart, you make me feel stupid. I don’t want to be around you.’’
‘’Everyone else doesn’t want to be your friend, so why should I?’’
‘’I’ve never really seen you as a friend, you know.’’
‘’I was only friends with you, because I felt sorry for you.’’
Fai watched as his friends walked away from him, one by one. The words echoed in his head. Bossy. Stubborn. So smart. I’ve never really seen you as a friend. They saw his flaws, and they walked away from him. His mother had explained to him that everyone had flaws, some people had bigger flaws than other people, but real friends would live with your flaws. His friends couldn’t live with them, so were they no real friends? But all of his friends had hated him for his ‘flaws’. He hated that word. He hated it so much. If they all left him because of who he was, then surely, it couldn’t be because of them. It was him. It was all him. Because he was so bossy, and so stubborn, and so smart, they had all left him. They left him alone.
He walked home alone. His mother came out to greet him with a smile.
‘’Mommy, do you hate me?’’ he asked her. His mother looked at him in surprise.
‘’Why would you ask that, sweetheart? Of course I don’t hate you.’’
Fai started crying and his mother hugged him, a worried expression on her face.
He couldn’t speak though. He never told her or his father why he had cried that day, or why he didn’t play with his friends anymore. If he told them, then surely they would realise what a horrible person he was and leave him as well.
Ever since that day he hadn’t talked to anyone out of his free will. He made sure to keep his distance, because if he made any new friends they too would realise who he really was and then leave him.
‘’Fai?” Colin asked. Fai looked up from his book in surprise. He had kind of forgotten that the boy had been there.
‘’When’s the last time you had any friends?’’ the boy asked bluntly. Fai thought it rude, but for some unknown reason, he answered anyway.
‘’A long time ago,’’ when he saw the other boy’s face, he quickly added: ‘’I don’t need friends.’’
Colin shook his head.
‘’Everyone needs friends,’’ he held out his hand and grinned his boyish grin. ‘’And I’m willing to be yours.’’
Fai just stared at the hand, not entirely sure what was happening. Was someone actually offering to be his friend?
‘’Why?’’ he blurted out. He immediately regretted it, but Colin didn’t seem surprised by this reaction. He just smiled.
‘’Because I want to be. You seem interesting.’’ he grinned and Fai took his hand.
‘’Alright, I’ll join your band.’’ Fai sighed, after shaking Colin’s hand. Colin’s eyes lit up when he heard this.
To be honest, he wasn’t sure if he made the right decision. He still wasn’t social, even if Colin was willing to be his friend. And of course there was the matter of his stage fright. Well, those were problems for later on, he supposed.
Fai nodded, to which Colin jumped up from his seat and, to Fai’s surprise, hugged him. Not knowing what to do, he just sat there. Colin let go of the Chinese boy, told him he would speak to him later and ran out of the classroom.
Fai stared at the energetic boy running out of the door. He had no idea what just happened. He went from a boy without any friends, to one with a friend and being in a band. How did that happen again?