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Hi! You've stumbled across my story, A Life Like This. There seem to be a lot of fantasy stories here on gaia, but mine's just a modern-day, teenage, high-school-and-rock-band story.

CRITIQUES AND ADVICE ARE WELCOME! ;u; I want this to be as good as I can make it.

The story is told in the perspective of three teenage boys: Tim, Rick, and Dare. The main point of the story is just to describe how the three of them each see life differently. All else about them will be revealed if you read. ;D

Table of Contents:
Chapter 1 (here)
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10

I'm not sure how long this story will end up being, but it's going to be a lot more than 10 chapters. :D;

Weird poem in the beginning that I made up = where I got the title.


It's not really a story,
It's mostly just thoughts.
Life doesn't really
Have much of a plot.
I live how I want to
With only one wish.
When you're happy, I'm happy
In a life like this.

Ch. 1
8th Grade

Even from the beginning, I've never really had many close friends. I didn't know anyone who liked the same music as me, the same movies as me, the same whatever. Hang-outs? Nope. Sharing secrets? Out of the picture. Honestly, I didn't really care to have a social life. But I could fake it pretty good.

Back in elementary school, I hung out with the same group of kids that I do now. They were different back then, though; I understood them. They talked about things I wanted to talk about. They laughed at things I’d laugh at. But when we reached middle school, it all changed. Suddenly, it became cool to date. Suddenly, cussing was “in” and perverted jokes were hilarious. Suddenly, I didn’t know the people I hung out with.

Obviously the problem was me: I didn’t act like them. They were all I had, so I had to change… or at least fake it. And honestly, it wasn’t hard. All I needed to do to stay in their “posse” was laugh at their lame-ass jokes, listen to their pop music, dress in their overpriced clothes, etc etc… I passed myself off as one of them in no time. Even though we had next to nothing in common, I was “in.”

My “friends” are what you would call the “cool kids.” Or preps. Whichever term you prefer. You know who they are: the kids who always look like they’re having a good time, chillin’ and whatnot. That’s the group I got sucked into. I never intended to be popular, it just happened. You are who you hang out with, apparently.

The school day started with its usual ordinance: I arrived 5 minutes before class started. Mom never drove me, so I walked to school. This won’t be a problem when I get my license… unfortunately, that won’t be for a few years.
I breezed through the hallways and made my way to my locker. As I fiddled with the lock on my locker, someone hollered from behind me.

“Heeey, Tim! What’s up, bro?”

“Not much, Jake,” I replied while pulling my binders from my locker.

Jake was the coolest kid in the school. Well, as cool as a 13-year-old boy could get. His rowdy attitude and skater boy style made him popular, especially with girls.

“’cept Mrs. Kelby’s giving a quiz today. So I’ve got that to look forward to,” I continued.

Jake leaned casually on the locker adjacent to mine. “Ah, that little bitch. Sucks for you, man!” He patted me sympathetically on the shoulder. I guess that topic bored him, because he took a turn on the conversation and said, “Yo, you’ve got another thing to look forward to. I heard Clair’s thinking of asking you out.”

My locker door clattered violently as I shut it. “Are you serious?” I asked and shifted my green eyes toward him. Clair was like, the hottest girl in the 8th grade. Supposedly. She hung around me a lot, but I never imagined she’d be so forward.

“Hell yeah, I’m serious!” Jake whooped. That boy had so much energy in him. “Damn, Tim. You’re one lucky boy.”

Just then, the one-minute warning bell rang overhead. “Shit… I gotta get to class. See you later,” he said.

“Yeah, later,” I shot back. I doubt he heard me though; he was already halfway down the hallway, sprinting.

I pulled anxiously on a piece of curly red hair hanging in front of my eyes.

Clair wants to ask me out?


I made it to my classroom about thirty seconds before the late bell rang. Even thirty seconds before school started, the room bustled with energy. I took my seat while the English teacher Mrs. Kelby wrote directions for her quiz on the blackboard. I sounded upset earlier, but the quiz didn’t concern me much; English class was a cinch. So instead of listening to Mrs. Kelby, I focused my attention on doodling on a scrap piece of paper.

“Don’t sweat it, Rick. You’ll be fine,” I heard someone say.

My vision shifted over to the area the voice came from.

“Easy for you to say, Dare,” groaned the one named Rick. He adjusted the red hat on his blond hair slightly. “You actually get this stuff.”

“It’s not that hard, you just have to find the verb in the sentence first, which makes it easy to find the subject,” lectured Dare while gesticulating rapidly. Assumedly, they were talking about the English quiz we were about to take.

I grinned to myself. To me, those two genuinely looked like real friends. As strange as it sounds, I’ve always kind of admired their friendship. Rick and Dare had been friends since the 4th grade. They eat lunch together pretty much every day, and I always see them together in the hallways. I’ve talked to Dare a couple times; He got along well with everyone, mostly because of his happy-go-lucky and energetic personality. I don’t think I’ve talked to Rick, though. He seemed a bit shy. Now that I think of it, Dare may be his only friend.

The bell rang, and students gradually drifted back into their seats. Mrs. Kelby passed the quiz down the aisles.

As expected, the quiz was a cinch.


Clair was standing by the doorway as I exited Mrs. Kelby’s classroom.

“Hi, Tim,” she smiled, and brushed her fingers through her wavy blonde hair. “Can we go talk somewhere? I have something to ask you.”

I shrugged, and followed her down the hall. When we reached our destination, she cleared her throat nervously and adjusted her white-and-pink American Eagle t-shirt.

Clair wasn’t labeled the hottest girl in the 8th grade without reason; for a 13 year old, she had a pretty shapely body. She wore a black rose hairpin in her light, sandy hair. On her long legs was a jean mini skirt with a white belt across the top, while her feet were dressed in pink sandals with two-inch heels.

“Tim,” she started, “I really like you...” She gave me her sweetest smile. “Will you go out with me?”

Looks like Jake heard right.

I wasn’t one for dating. Personally, I thought it was a little stupid because everyone knows nothing serious happens in middle school relationships. Plus, it seemed like too much of a hassle. There’s too much drama involved and too much time wasted. I seriously didn’t need that in my life. And why was Clair asking me this? I barely knew her. We talked sometimes, if you would call it that. Mostly she did all the talking.

Before I could even think of a reason to say yes, I found myself nodding.

“Of course.”

Wow that was really good! Im writing a story as well but urs is like 50 times better. I subscribed and shared it with a couple of my friends. I hope this gives u motivation to keep writing. Im looking forward to chapter two. *feeling suspenceful*
Aw, thanks! :,D I'll post the next chapter, then.
Is your story posted here?
This chapter is in Dare's perspective. His storyline primarily takes place in 12th grade. I hope that doesn't confuse anyone....
By the way, when the boys are in 12th grade, it's the year 2010/2011, because that's when I really started thinking about this story.


Ch. 2
12th Grade

Name: Dare Cromwell. Age: eighteen-years-old as of September 4th. Grade: Senior. Place of Residence: Boston, Massachusetts. Likes: music. Dislikes: stereotypes. Hair: naturally black. Eyes: blue. Stature: short.

That should cover the basic analysis of me. Although, “short” may not be the best word to describe my stature. A word more like “really-short-guy-who-is-also-really-skinny-and-lanky-because-he-has-a-high-metabolism” would fit better. But sometimes words like that aren’t in the dictionary.

I swear I am the shortest guy in the 12th grade. No, wait. Scratch that. Randy Schlichting was 5’5 last year. My money’s on that he grew over summer and now he’s like, six foot a million. At just under 5’6, I’m towered over by freshman for crying out loud. I was really hoping that I’d at least grow an inch over my high school career.

I didn’t.

The sound of my alarm clock woke me up. …mostly. The sound of my aunt banging on my room door woke me up the rest of the way.

“Dare Cromwell, get your a** out of bed!”

She muttered something like “that boy sleeps harder than a rock” under her breath. I’m pretty sure she meant “sleeps like a rock,” but saying nonsensical things was one of her charms.

“Auntie, I’m up! I’ll be down in a sec, okay?” I yelled above her fervent pounding. I slipped a black t-shirt onto my torso, and put on a pair of ripped, navy blue jeans. As I tromped down the stairs, I fastened a black-and-white studded belt onto my pants.

Some would call what I wear “emo.” Others would call it “goth.” I called it “black is such an easy color to match with.” Heck yes. But I’m still labeled as emo, despite my explanation for what I wear. I guess I have my piercings to blame for that. In 9th grade, I got my ears pierced. In 10th, it was my nose. And later that year, my ears again. But that’s it, I promise! I was actually a little surprised my aunt let me go through with it. But then again, she’s pretty loose for an adult.

My aunt was in the middle of making scrambled eggs when I got to the kitchen. I wanted to sit down and have breakfast with her, but I was already running late. I grabbed a bagel from the pantry and started toward the door.

“Hey, where do you think you’re going, kiddo?” she asked, jabbing the spatula she was holding in my direction.

“Rick wanted to walk to school with me today, so I gotta go before I’m late,” I replied.

She looked at me pleadingly. I groaned. “Bye Auntie, I loooove youuuu,” I kissed her on the cheek and grinned quickly before dashing out the door.

I’ve been living with my aunt for as long as I can remember. She said we moved to Boston back when I was three years old. I haven’t seen my parents since we moved away, so I remember basically nothing about them. In fact, I’m not entirely sure why we moved away. The topic is pretty hush-hush, I guess. Which doesn’t really make much sense considering it’s relating to my life, but whatever. Auntie’s always been like my mom to me, so it doesn’t upset me too much that I don’t have parents.

The two of us live together in a little town house outside of Boston. My aunt’s got a job at a local restaurant/bar called Charlie’s Pub. The owner’s been friends with Auntie since… basically forever. Or as long as I’ve known, at least. The owner’s a really friendly, hardworking guy. He started the business from nothing, so he’s a respectable dude.

I work at Charlie’s Pub, too. I’ve been helping out there since I was in 8th grade. When I was in 10th grade, I actually started getting paid. Auntie doesn’t make much at Charlie’s Pub, but I know she’ll never leave her job there. I try to help out by putting my money into use for groceries, but she tells me repeatedly to keep my money for things I want. We may not have all kinds of fancy computers and cars, but we get by alright, and I’m happy with how we live.

I hopped onto the doorstep to Rick’s house and knocked a couple times on the door. His mom answered.

“Good morning, Dare,” she greeted me. “Rick’s still getting ready. He’ll be down in a moment or two.”

Sure enough, he came trotting down the stairs.

“’Morning, Dare,” he said, securing his grey cap on his head. He gently pushed his light blonde hair out of his eyes.

I smiled, and gestured for him to come down the sidewalk with me. Rick’s been my best friend since he moved here in the 4th grade. He’s a little bit shy and a little bit wimpy, but he’s the nicest guy I know. I’ve never seen him yell or insult anyone, and he never curses. Like, whoa. He’s also got a great relationship with his mom and dad.

It was in the 9th grade when Rick told me he was gay. The news initially shocked me, obviously. It kind of weirded me out that my best friend suddenly wanted to do it with guys. But I realized later that year that it wasn’t like that at all. He didn’t suddenly change; he was the same guy I’d known for five years. The same shy, awkward, and friendly guy. Except he didn’t like girls. Rick told me he wasn’t gay because he wanted have sex with guys, he just wasn’t interested in girls. There’s a stern difference.


Either way, Rick’s to shy and innocent to do anything like that with anyone.

I don’t think that’s all there is to it, though. My hunch is that Rick’s got a crush on some guy in the school. He always denies it, but I have an idea of who it might be.

“Oh! Dare,” Rick chimed, breaking me from my thoughts. “I saw something interesting on the school corkboard, yesterday…”

He began pulling things from his bag. Hmm. Corkboard was a weird word. And who really calls it that, anyways? Well, I guess Rick does... I always call it the bulletin board.

“Isn’t it called a bulletin board?”

“Huh? Well… I don’t know. I guess. I call it the corkboard,” he replied. “Anyways, look at this.”

He held a piece of paper titled “You Could Be in a Band!”

“What the… What is this?” I asked. I scanned the paper.

You Could Be in a Band!
Local band Something Impossible is looking for a bassist! If you’re interested, just fill out this paper and send it to **** Bkry Ln. Or call Michka Morris at ***-****.
Name: Dare Cromwell

My reading came to a halt. “Rick, what the hell is this?!” I hollered and snatched the paper out of his hands. I skimmed the rest of the paper.

Name: Dare Cromwell
Age: 18
Instrument experience: Played bass guitar for 5 years
Current Job: Student
Gender: Male
Height: 5’6
Contact Information: ***-***-****

My 11th grade yearbook picture was taped in the spot for “photo.”

“What the hell is this?!” I repeated. I shot my eyes at Rick. “Did you fill this out?”

“Yeah, I did. I thought you might be interested, so…” he trailed off. He nervously pushed his hand through his light hair.

I sighed, and took another look at the flyer. It was beyond me why it was necessary to know my height… I was also kind of surprised Rick knew how long I’ve been playing bass.

“Dude. Where’d you get this picture of me?”

“Oh, your aunt gave it to me last year. I guess she had extras, or something,” he answered. “So what do you think? Do you want to do it?”

Rick was beaming. Obviously, he was more excited than I was. I sighed again.

“Eh.” I grunted.

“Is that a ‘no’?”

“It’s a maybe.” I shoved the paper into my backpack.

“It might be fun.” He gave me a huge grin. “I think it’ll be good for you.”

I didn’t get why he was so excited. I love music and all, but a band…? I don’t know if I could handle it.


“A band, huh? Sounds neat.”

I leaned against my locker, facing Tim. He held the flyer in his hand, reading it carefully.

Tim is one of the cooler guys in the school. I’m actually surprised he hangs with me, considering how much of a geek I am. He also outranks me in tallness; his 5’11 versus my 5’6.

“I dunno…” I replied, dragging out my words.

“Come on, Dare. If Tim says it’s neat, it must be neat,” Rick joked. “I don’t see why you’re so indecisive about this. If you can play an instrument, wouldn’t it be better if people could see how good you play?”

“That’s the thing, Rick. I’m not that awesome on the bass. I mean, I can play, but I’m not like, some sort of freakish bass genius or anything.” I slumped my shoulders over. “There are a ton of kids who can play better than me, anyways.”

Tim folded the paper over and handed it back to me. “Well, do whatever you want. I think it’d be cool. You love music, don’t you?”

“Well… yeah…”

The warning bell rang overhead.

“Hey, I’m going to class now,” Tim announced and gave a slight wave of his hand. “I’ll see you later.”

“Yeah, I’m going too. See you at lunch, Dare.” Rick waved, and followed Tim down the hall.

“See ya,” I said. I stayed behind, pondering.

I do love music. But a band? I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep up with school. And there’s probably someone out there who can play much better than me. Yeah, they could find a better bassist than me, I’d probably just drag them down.

But you know… if I was in a band… I could play my own music. I could make music. I could create something new. A band means I get to actually make what I love. Instead of me listening to someone else’s music, they could be listening to mine.

A band...?


A band...

u really are an amazing writer, and yes my story is posted under the topic A brand new day, A Brand new..... i dont remember the last part but anyways if u find it im warning its not nearly as long or as good as urs.
Here's chapter 3, which is essentially the previous chapter only in Rick's POV. :9
I have 7 chapters currently completed. I'm not sure how long I want it to be, but I imagine it's going to be a rather long story. xD;


Chapter 3
12th Grade

The morning sun shone brightly through my bedroom window. I squinted, and reluctantly got out of bed. Still in my pajamas, I strolled down the stairs into the kitchen.

“Good morning, Rick,” my mom welcomed me.

“’Morning, mom,” I replied with a smile, and took a seat at the breakfast table. Gradually, my family made its way into the kitchen. Anya plopped herself into the chair left of me, and yawned loudly.

“Hey, Rick,” she mumbled, obviously still tired.

I was four years older than my sister Anya, and was the eldest child of the family. I turned seventeen in late August, so I was somewhat younger than the rest of my classmates. Anya wasn’t my only sibling; I had two other sisters (eleven and twelve), and a younger brother (eight). They still attended elementary school, so they wouldn’t be up until I had already left for school.

“’Morning, Anya.” I scanned her current condition. “What time did you get to bed? You look exhausted.”

“Mmm… about 12:30,” she grumbled, and propped her head on her hands, elbows leaning on the kitchen table.

“Sweetie,” I heard my mom say. I turned to face her. “It’s nearly 6:45. Get ready quickly so you won’t be late for school.” She placed an empty bowl and a box of cereal on the table for me.

“Okay,” I nodded.

“Is Dare coming by to walk you to school today?”

I nodded again. “He said he’d be here at like, 6:55 or something.” I poured the cereal into my bowl and began eating.

After breakfast, I hurried up the stairs, freshened up in the bathroom, and dressed myself in a fitted white tee and a pair of light blue jeans. I reached for my favorite red cap, but changed my mind and grabbed a grey cap instead. A couple knocks on the door sounded from below, letting me know Dare arrived. I slipped a small chain link necklace over my head and slid my feet into a pair of blue converse before returning downstairs.

Dare stood in the doorway. I gave him a smile.

“’Morning, Dare.” I nodded in acknowledgement.

He grinned back, and waved for me to follow. I trotted over to him until we were parallel.

Dare had been my best friend since I moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade. Since then, we always hung out together; be it listening to music or watching movies—usually at my house, since it was bigger. He always got good grades in school, and helped me an awful lot with my school work. He’d always been there for me, and I appreciated that.

I quietly glanced over at Dare. He looked up at the sky, in thought. His long black bangs streaked with blue dye covered his left eye. His hair rustled as he moved his head up. His hands shifted into his pockets and he looked back down at the sidewalk.

Suddenly, a thought reentered my mind. “Oh! Dare.”

He whipped his head toward at me, attentive.

“I saw something interesting on the school corkboard, yesterday…” I continued, and fumbled through my bag.

“Isn’t it called a bulletin board?” He said, interrupting my search.

I cocked my head. “Huh?”

He looked intently at me with his deep blue eyes.

“Well... I don’t know.” I shrugged and continued my search. “I guess. I call it the corkboard.” I pulled out a sheet of paper titled “You Could Be in a Band!”

“Anyways, look at this,” I said, and held the paper in front of him to read.

“What the... What is this?”

I watched him patiently as he read the paper over.

He unexpectedly became emotive. “Rick, what the hell is this?!” he spurted. I flinched slightly at his sudden outburst. He grabbed the paper from my fingers and quickly read over the rest of the paper.

“What the hell is this?!” he repeated.

I opened my mouth to answer, but he spoke again before I had the chance to.

“Did you fill this out?” he interrogated.

I stood there, nervously scratching my head. “Yeah, I did. I thought you might be interested, so...” I raised my shoulders and scuffed the end of my shoes against the sidewalk. His reaction to the flyer had somewhat caught me off guard.

“Dude. Where’d you get this picture of me?” Dare nudged me on the side of my arm to get my attention.

“Oh, your aunt gave it to me last year. I guess she had extras, or something,” I answered, hoping that didn’t seem too bizarre.

Noticing Dare had calmed down some, I brightened up. “So what do you think? Do you want to do it?” I smiled with zeal, hoping he’d go through with it.

“Eh,” was his answer.

I blinked. “Is that a ‘no’?”

“It’s a maybe.” He folded the paper into quarters before depositing it into his backpack.

“It might be fun,” I persevered, and drew my arms behind my back. “I think it’ll be good for you.” My lips briefly came around into a quiet smile.

Dare remained unenthusiastic.


Tim leaned against the locker next to Dare’s and looked over the same flyer from earlier. His emerald eyes flickered back and forth as he read.

“A band, huh? Sounds neat.” His voice was calm and smooth.

“I dunno...” Dare responded with mild agitation. He turned his back to the locker and leaned against it as well, slumping somewhat further than Tim.

“Come on, Dare. If Tim says it’s neat, it must be neat,” I joked. “I don’t see why you’re so indecisive about this. If you can play an instrument, wouldn’t it be better if people could see how good you play?”

He cocked his head as if the answer was obvious. “That’s the thing, Rick. I’m not that awesome on the bass. I mean, I can play, but I’m not like, some sort of freakish bass genius or anything." He waved his hands sarcastically at the last part. "There are a ton of kids who can play better than me, anyways.”

I opened my mouth for rebuttal, but closed it again as Tim began to speak.

“Well, do whatever you want. I think it’d be cool.” He returned the paper to Dare and moved his wavy red hair out of his eyes. “You love music, don’t you?”

“Well... yeah...” Dare started. The warning bell interrupted his speech.

Tim turned around to walk down the hall. “Hey, I’m going to class now. I’ll see you later,” he said to Dare.

“Yeah, I’m going too. See you at lunch, Dare.” I said, and waved before departing.

Tim was a little ahead of me. I quickened my pace to catch up to him. He faced me, his hair bouncing a bit as he turned his head.

“You think he’ll go through with it?” he asked.

I fiddled with the bill of my cap as I thought of an answer. “Um… yeah, I think he will.”

“Oh yeah? He seemed pretty convinced that it was a bad idea.”

“Well, maybe. But I think he’ll do it.”

I held steadfast to my thoughts. I knew Dare long enough to notice at least some things about him. He was only disagreeing with joining the band to be modest. The way he said he knew kids who played better than him... it was only modesty. I knew Dare loved music more than anything. More than cheese-and-pepperoni pizza, more than his job, more than getting an A on a test, more than... well...

More than me.

Dare, do you know?

I’m in love with you.


WHOOP, SURPRISE CHAPTER ENDING! I hope this doesn't push people away, as this is not primarily a shounen-ai story. It's definitely not yaoi. Rick is gay, so don't be surprised when his crush on Dare shows.
I knew it!!!!! I was like I bet its Rick, it has to be. AND IT WAS!! haha i have 2 more things to add, from the way you spoke in your last chapter it souded as if u know a bit of japanese (which i do too but im not fluent yet.) and second thank you for the feedback on my story, all everyone has given me is positive feedback so I couldnt expand it until i realized what was wrong, thank u again. (no sarcasm intended if it sounded like it)
xD Yup, I'm taking a Japanese class in school, actually. (How could you tell?? xD) It's a fun class. :D
And you're welcome. I try to be positive, as well as (at least a little) constructive when I comment on other peoples' works. Good luck with the story! ;D
thank u and good luck with ur story too, as i stated earlier i subscribed so next time u post a chapter ill try to read it. Also as a side note im only in 8th grade so i was wondering what grade do they start making japanese an elective?
In my school there was the option to take Japanese in 8th grade, as well as in 9th through 12th grade. I'm not sure if your school will offer it because not all schools do. There will definitely be opportunity to learn the language in college, if it's not offered in high school. :)
This one's a little longer. :I Sorry 'bout that.
I like describing setting because I don't have to keep saying "I". 8D


Ch. 4
8th Grade

“...And I was like, ‘are you serious?’ Who gives four pages of math homework on a weekend? The teachers here need to like, chill out. And I hate it when they act all surprised when we don’t turn our homework in. Like, what do they expect? It’s their fault for… Timmy? Are you listening?”

I jerked my head up; I had been intently staring at my shoelaces, noticing how one of the laces looked longer than the other. A dull “Huh?” escaped from my mouth when I noticed Clair had been talking the whole time.

“Tiiiim,” she whined, though her face still smiled brightly. Too brightly, at that. “You need to stop spacing out like that!” She wrapped herself around my left arm and leaned her head on my shoulder.

It was lunchtime. I sat with Jake and a bunch of other kids who flocked around him; he attracted students like a magnet. Glancing around, I noticed I was the only one who hadn’t been paying much attention to Clair’s oh-so-exciting story.

“Sorry. I was just thinking about the last math class.” It was a blatant lie (what kind of 13-year-old ponders about math?), but I said it so smoothly that even I would’ve believed myself.

“In fact...” I continued my fake excuse, “I need to study. Mom’s gonna kill me if I do badly this quarter.” I shrugged Clair off of my shoulder and got up from the table. She pushed her mass of blonde hair gracefully over her shoulder. Looking up at me with heavily made-up eyes, she fluttered her fingers as a goodbye.

“’Kay, see you in science,” she chirped. For someone that called herself my girlfriend, she didn’t seem too interested in hanging around me. But then again, I did say I’d be studying...

I shuffled to a far away table where no one was sitting and slumped myself into one of the open chairs. Obviously I had no intention of studying. In fact, I never studied for anything; school was easy enough already. What had Clair been talking about... how teachers gave to much homework on weekends? Could she really have so much going on the entire weekend that she couldn’t finish a couple math problems? Maybe I should think of it conversely: Did I have so much time on my hands that I could finish a couple math problems? All I could do on the weekends was stay home and do work since mom’s never ho--

“Hey!” a spirited voice said.

I looked up from the table, moving my ginger hair out of my eyes to see clearly. A boy with jet hair and bangs that came just above his cerulean eyes faced me. Another boy stood behind the first, wearing a red hat and light hair. He stared curiously at me with sincere brown eyes. I recognized the two as Dare and Rick from my English class.

“Uh... Hi there.” I waved weakly at the pair with mild confusion.

“You mind if we sit here?” the first boy asked. He began taking a seat before I even answered.

“Sure, go ahead.”

He sat directly in front of me, with the blonde boy to his left. “I’m Dare Cromwell, by the way.”

Dare held out his hand for me to shake it. Was he serious? I glanced back up at him; his cerulean eyes were attentive and clear. I guess he was.

“Yeah, um... Okay. I’m Tim Ackart,” I replied, and awkwardly shook his hand. Well this was weird.

Dare released my hand from his grasp and pointed to the blonde boy. “Oh yeah, and this is Rick.”

Rick smiled nervously, and mustered a quiet “Hi.” I waved lightly in recognition.

“He’s a little shy,” Dare said simply. He began fumbling through his brown paper lunch bag.

“How come you’re not sitting over with your friends like you usually do?” He asked this without looking up, but moved slightly in the direction of the table Jake was sitting at.

I shrugged. “Didn’t feel like it, I guess.”

Dare’s blue eyes looked up briefly before returning to his lunch. He nodded and replied, “’Kay. That’s cool.” His hands pulled an apple from his bag, which he began munching on.

“So Tim. Do you like video games?” he asked, totally changing the topic.

I stared at him for a moment. “Why?” I asked back. The randomness of his question confused me. Actually, his whole presence confused me.

Dare shrugged. “I dunno. Just wondering.” His eyes had the curiosity of a child. It seemed like he genuinely wanted to have a conversation with me.

I shrugged again. “Yeah, I guess. I have some games.”

“Oh yeah? What do you play on? Like... what game console?”

“I have an N64...”

He immediately brightened up at my answer. “Whoa! You have a 64?!” He leaned in with excitement. “Where’d you get one?”

“It was my mom’s, I think.”

“Dude, those things are so old.” Dare turned to Rick. “I’ve always wanted to play one, y’know.”

He leaned back toward me and continued with energy. “What games do you have?”

“I have some racing games. They kind of suck, though... The graphics are terrible.” I thought for a moment. “But they’re so bad that they’re fun, in a way,” I said with a smile.

Dare grinned back. He went back to his lunch bag and pulled out a sandwich. After looking deeper into the bag, he frowned slightly.

“I’m gonna go get some milk.” Dare said, abruptly getting up from the table. “Be right back, ‘kay?” he said in a quieter voice to Rick, and patted him on the shoulder.

With Dare gone, an uncomfortable silence rang between Rick and me. The blonde boy sat with his hands in his lap, staring at his lunch with a distant expression. I decided to speak up.

“Does Dare always talk so much?”

Rick’s head shot up at the sound of my voice. He sat still for a moment, as if trying to comprehend the situation.

“Yeah, he talks a lot...” he finally said. It was the most he’d said since he sat down. His voice was soft and timid, almost difficult to hear. “He’s just good at being friendly with people.”

I leaned forward and crossed my arms on the table.

“You don’t talk much, do you?” It was an observation, but Rick took it like a question.

“Well I just... don’t know how to start a conversation. Or keep one going, really.” his voice trailed off, and he whisked his hand quickly through his hair.

I continued to stare at him. He was basically Jake’s complete opposite: quiet and shy instead of loud and attention-getting. It was kind of a nice change of pace.

Surprisingly, Rick broke the silence this time.



“You can sit with us at lunch again if you want. With Dare and me, I mean.” His eyes warmed up a bit, and his expression relaxed. A small smile snuck its way onto his face.

I smiled as well.



The only thing interrupting the enveloping silence was the rattling from the subway moving on the tracks. A couple lonely souls sat around me, and none of them said a word. I sat staring at the tan carpeted floor, rocking every now and again with the train. The fluorescent lights reflected off the white walls of the subway car, making it too bright to look up.

The train stopped, and the doors swept open. I forced my head up and squinted to see where the train had arrived. One or two of the other passengers shook to life and shuffled slowly through the exit. I followed a distance behind, keeping my head low to avoid their interested gaze. Was it really so weird to see an 8th grader out on his own at night?

I exited the subway station and entered the night. Streetlights that gave off dull yellow lights lit the sidewalk. Every now and again, a car would zip by with a burst of wind and color. The sky was a murky dark purple, splattered with a couple pale stars here and there. A cloud covered itself over the moon, turning the moon’s brilliant shine into a hazy glow. Shady houses rested in the night, their windows dark. I walked down the familiar streets a couple blocks down to my destination.

I came before a local bar-and-restaurant with a blinding neon sign that read “Charlie’s Pub”. As I opened the door, a gust of air hit me. It carried to me the scents of strong alcohol, beers, and tobacco. My nose twitched at the scents’ appearances. The building was significantly dimmer than the subway. A warm amber color lit the brown wooden floors and ceiling. To my left and right were wooden tables and booths with flushed red cushion seats, many of which were empty. A small stage sat at the far left wall; it was cluttered with chairs and boxes however, possibly due to underuse.

Straight ahead I could see the bar. It ran across almost the entire width of the building. Empty beer bottles, shot glasses, and ash trays were scattered along its high counter top, which was slowly being cleared by the woman behind the counter. She noticed I arrived and gave me a look of recognition, her cerulean eyes gleaming with a kind of mischievousness.

But she was not the woman I was here to see.

Almost in the direct center of the bar sat a skinny woman who appeared to be in her mid twenties. She slumped violently in her chair, her bare arms crossed on the table with her head burrowed in between. A curtain of deranged and feathered dirty blonde hair draped over her, keeping her face from visibility. Her back was arched, revealing skin from underneath her spaghetti-strapped tank top. She looked to be passed out, but it was questionable; she still had a lit cigarette nestled between the index and middle fingers on her right hand. There was no doubt she had been drinking, though. Several shot glasses laid around her curtain of hair in a disorderly manner.

I came forward to her,but she didn’t move. I stepped in closer. She remained inattentive. I dared not touch her, and spoke only for a moment.

“Mom. It’s time to go home.”

haha u dont have to apologize if its long, to me the longer the better because that usually means it has more details ( which I personally have a hard time adding in XD) I know i've already said this but ur really talented, ive read books that arent as good as ur writing (no exaggeration)
If you have trouble with details, just start talking about setting. xDD (Which is what I obviously did here... >w>)

And thanks so much again! ;A; You're too nice!! I'm really glad you like it, though.
Meh, I'm not crazy about this chapter... I've been having trouble with Dare's voice lately. It sounds less carefree than it used to. D: Hopefully the next chapter he narrates will sound better.

Ch. 5
12th Grade

Do it, Dare. Do it. Doooo iiiiiiit...

The address on the flyer brought me to a fairly large house with a big red door. I was contemplating over whether or not I should knock on the door. There were tons of reasons why I shouldn’t have come. Namely, being in a band would take up a huge chunk of my life. My grades would probably slip… which sucked, since I got straight A’s like the nerd I am. I’d probably have to quit my job at Charlie’s, too. But for some reason, I had a strange feeling coming here would be good for me. Rick told me the same thing this morning, come to think of it.

Auntie always says you should play bass more. And who knows, the band people might be really nice and stuff. Yeah. Just knock on the door, Dare. You can do it...

Jeez. I was being such a wimp. Sighing, I nervously raised a fist to the door and knocked a couple unsure knocks.

The door whipped open and caught me off guard.

“Hellooo!” an enthusiastic voice rang.

I straightened up immediately and looked up with surprised eyes at the woman who opened the door. Long wavy red hair hung down her shoulders, almost reaching her waist. She dressed a satiny black collared shirt with a white tie, paired with a black miniskirt. All kinds of necklaces draped themselves around her neck. She was pretty friggin’ tall, too; nearly 5’10, it looked like. While her freakish height puzzled me for a second, another aspect of her grabbed my attention: an eye patch was plastered across her face, covering her right eye.

Holy crap. Maybe coming here wasn’t such a good idea after all...

The lady looked down at me, and her expression changed from enthusiasm to disappointment. “Huh,” she grunted. “It’s a shrimp.”

“What?” was my confused response.

A guy with a blue-and-black fauxhawk hairdo popped up from behind the girl. He wore a green-and-yellow polo shirt with jeans. A gold-colored earring in the shape of a key dangled from his left ear.

“Who’s at the door, Michka?” he asked the girl.

“Dunno. Some kid who probably wants to join the band,” Michka replied, shrugging. She looked back at me. “Is that why you’re here?” she asked.

I bobbed my head up and down.

The earring dude leaned forward from behind Michka and looked me over. “Hm...” he said, squinting. He straightened back up and made a conclusion.

“Isn’t he kind of short?”

I groaned. “Can we stop talking about my height?”

Michka, totally ignoring me, said, “Why don’t you come inside, kid? We can talk there.”

I shrugged and followed them inside the house. Michka led the way to a large living room with a leather couch in the middle. A coffee table sat in front of the couch, while a TV and DVD player located themselves on the parallel wall. The furniture looked to be top quality; I felt a little underclass in comparison.

Michka and the other guy sat down on the couch, while I sat myself on the coffee table facing them. Michka leaned forward and moved her wavy hair behind her ear. She gave a sort reluctant sigh before talking.

“You have the paper?” She asked me.


“You know...” She waved her hand in search of the word. “The flyer. The questionnaire thing. Do you have it?”

“Oh, yeah...” I handed the flyer to her and she began reading it over.

“Your name’s Dare? ...Like the word?”


“Is that your real name?”


“Huh.” She looked back at the paper, seemingly unimpressed. Remembering something, she looked back up and spoke again. “Oh. I’m Michka, by the way. I’m the guitarist for Something Impossible.”

The guy piped up. “You can call me Zack,” he told me. “I sing for the band.” He smiled.

I nodded and impulsively smiled back. Zack had a kind of friendly and inviting air about him; he sat in a relaxed position, leaning back with his hands behind his head. In contrast, Michka gave of a crass vibe, sitting stiffly on the couch with a look of annoyance on her face. She made me a little nervous because she seemed kinda... testy.

“There’s another person in the band, too,” Zack continued. “She plays drums.”

“Oh,” I said plainly. There was a brief moment of silence while Michka continued to read the flyer.

“So you’re still in high school...?” she started.

I nodded.

“What’s 4 times 12?” She suddenly shot the question at me.

I answered almost automatically. “48.”

“What’s 32 times 17?”


“What’s pi squared?”

I gave this one a couple seconds. “Probably something like 9.86...9-- wait, what?”

Michka ignored me again. “Oookay... So he’s an emo-nerd. Weird.” She directed the statement to Zack.

Emo-nerd? ...the heck? That one was definitely a first.

A look of panic unexpectedly pasted itself on Zack’s face.

“Michka!” he cried with drama in his voice. He grabbed Michka by the shoulders and swerved her body to face him. “You’re not into emo-nerds, are you?” He asked this with complete seriousness, seeing the situation as a dire problem.

Michka sighed. “No, Zack.” Relief washed over Zack, and he regained his previous cheerfulness. Michka shrugged him off, and decided to continue talking to me. “Do you play any other instruments besides bass, Dare?”

I brightened up. “I can play the oboe!” I said with excitement. I loved playing the oboe.

“Hm. Weird.” She looked at me strangely.

I pouted. “It’s not weird, it’s wicked aweso--”

Suddenly, the most gorgeous and melodic voice interrupted me.

“Hey guys! Does anyone want some lemonade?”

I turned my head to see where the musical voice had come from, when a burst of dazzling radiance from across the room hit me like a brick to the head. It emanated from a girl in her teens, whose billows of soft brown hair poured from her head like a glimmering waterfall. Bright hazel eyes glinted from beneath her long bangs, and on her gentle smile a silver lip ring was worn. She paced forward, carrying a tray with glasses of lemonade. Her slim and graceful body seemed to float when she walked.

Basically, she was friggin’ hot.

“Loyal!” Zack gestured his hand in my direction. “Go introduce yourself to that guy over there.”

The girl named Loyal noticed me for the first time. Smiling, she skipped over to the coffee table I was sitting on and put the tray of lemonade next to me.

“Hi, I’m Loyal! What’s your name?” she greeted me cheerfully.

“H-hey, my name’s Dare...” I stammered, and ducked my head in embarrassment.
I pretty much had no experience with girls; dating has always been Greek to me, even now at age 18. Heck, I’ve never even kissed a girl. But jeez... sometimes I act like such a loser around chicks.

Loyal gave me a friendly smile. “Nice to meet you, Dare.” She casually walked back toward Zack and quietly whispered, “Zack, he’s weird.” He replied with a stifled laugh. Did I mention I also pretty much had no luck with girls?

Michka started up again. “But anyways, back to business.” She turned her eyes to me. Or eye, rather. “Do you think you could hook us up with a music gig?”

I scratched my head as I thought of an answer. “You mean like... a performance, right? I guess you could play at Charlie’s Pub. Maybe.”

Loyal spoke up. “'Charlie’s Pub'?”

“It’s a bar-and-restaurant a mile or so down from here,” Zack explained. “I’ve been there a couple times.”

“Yeah. My aunt and I work there, and my aunt’s friends with the boss… so he’d probably let you play there if she and I asked. There’s a stage and stuff, too. There’s no electrical equipment, but my friend Rick could probably get a hold of the basic stuff.” I paused for a moment and flipped out my phone to check the time. “Shoot... Actually, I have to be down there like, now, for work.”

I sprung up from the coffee table and began collecting my things while the three band members stared in half-shock. I scratched my head out of nervousness. “You guys wanna come down, too?”

We took Michka’s car.

ChelleasaurusRexx's avatar

Invisible Loiterer

[ Ohhhhh.
I like it very much! I envy you being able to write in a teenage males point of view.
I've tried writing stories like this, but it was always from a females view. It's so difficult to think like a guy. xD

It's amazing. Keep going. -subscribed-

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