Worry Rock

The Jakob-Charlie Tradition

The Next Day
"8:00 on Saturday," I say into the phone.
"Huh? Oh, did you finally call him?" asks Stella.
"Yes, I did."
"That's great! So you're giving him a chance then?"
"No, actually, I told him Boom's my boyfriend." The classic lie of making one of your guy friends your boyfriend to get a dude to leave you alone.
Works most every time. Why Boom, though? Well, Jake met someone at the Gilman, so soon he may not be single anymore and things could get messy. And Mick or Warren as my boyfriend? That's just scary. Boom at least would play along with me and not be perverted or anything.
"What? So what's happening at 8:00 on Saturday?"
"You're going out with him. Dress casual!"
"Wha-" I hang up on her, laughing.
Oh, sweet, sweet revenge.
"Hey, Miss Murder, can I..." rings out my phone. Yeah, that's my ring tone. It's a really good old song by AFI called Miss Murder. But you probably knew that already.
"Hello?" I say innocently.
"Did you seriously set me up with that guy?!"
"Well, you seemed pretty interested in him. You kept saying how cute and sweet he is, right? So I figured you two should go out."
She just groaned and hung up the phone.
Okay, so she'll be annoyed with me for a while, but whatever. She'll get over it. I laugh and look around. I'm hanging out in Jake's room right now. It's a lot like mine, with band posters all over, his bass and amp in the corner, and unmade bed, the almost totally camouflaged floor, but his bookcase has a few shelves devoted to fast food toys rather than books. Right now, he's playing with a few of them on the floor, and I smile from the bed.
"I can't believe you actually set her up with that dude," he says, amused.
He doesn't turn around to look at me, but I can still see he's smiling.
"Well, she was asking for it," I answer with a shrug.
"Wanna play?" he asks holding up one of the toys.
I smile and take it, sliding down off the bed to sit next to him.
So, you may be wondering what's happened with the band in the past couple of weeks. I'll clue you in. Billie, surprise, surprise, wants us on Adeline. We told him about our idea about wearing masks for a couple of months, and he was ecstatic. Well, he was already ecstatic, but I guess seeing as his son and the person who is practically his daughter are kind of doubly following in his holy punk rock footsteps, he has reason to be happy. We're just waiting for the paperwork and junk like that to be done, and then we'll officially have a record label.
The door opens, and none other than Billie Joe Armstrong is standing there in the doorway with a huge grin on his face and his hands at his sides, a phone in the right one.

Billie's POV

I see Jake and Charlie sitting on the floor playing with some fast food toys.

"Aw, just like when you were little."


Jakob and Charlie are sitting on the floor in front of me playing with some toys. Charlie's six-year-old brother, Connor, is sitting with Joey.
We always watch Peter's kids while he's at work now, ever since Charlotte died. Adie was really upset about that. Charlotte was her best friend. Visited her in the hospital after she had Joey and then for Jakob, too. According to Peter, she was on her way to visit Adie when she got in the wreck.
Actually, it was the best place she could've gotten in a wreck in because she was so close to the hospital then. They couldn't save her, but they did get Charlie out in time. Peter says he named her Carlie because Charlotte had loved the name, but we all know it's because she'd be a reminder of his wife. And I think that's why Adie nicknamed her. "Charlie."
"Joey, stop poking your brother!" I said as Jakob starts crying.
"Sorry, Daddy," Charlie pokes Jakob, laughing a little.
"Charlie, that goes for you, too!"
"Okay, Daddy."
I'm caught a little off-guard by that. Did she just call me Daddy?
"No, Charlie, you call me Billie. Okay?"
"Okay, Billie," she says with a smile.
I knew she calls Adrienne, "Mommy," a lot even though we tell her to call my wife Adie. She's the one who usually watches the kids anyway, so she's around them a lot more. She's just at the store right now.
But calling me "Daddy?" Don't get me wrong, I love Charlie as if she was my own, but she has a dad. It's not our fault she's around here so much. It's just that she comes over while Pete's at work, and by the time he gets off, she's asleep, so she ends up spending more time with us than him. Peter's trying hard, though. He really his.

End Flashback

"Guess what!?" I say.
"What?" they ask together.
"You are officially on Adeline Records!" I say excitedly.
Yay! My kids - I mean - my son and his best friend are both following the musical path like thei- um, his old man! Old man? I'm not old, am I? Nope, not old. So like his dad. Yeah, that's better.
"Yay!" They clap, and Jake says, "So, what's next?"
"Well, I figure we should just make you an album. You have enough songs."
Both Jake and Charlie are grinning now, and Jake grabs the toys he had out and sets them back on the shelf (the only thing he'll actually put back where it belongs) while saying, "Sounds good to me. Gotta talk to the guys first though."
"Yeah, I know. Call me when you do though."

Jake's POV

"Gotcha," Charlie says, and Billie turns away, walking out. I sit down on the bed. "Guess we'd better go see what Boom and the Wonder Twins think now, huh?"

"Yeah, I guess so."

Three weeks later

"Hey, Jen," I say to Jennifer. I met her when we went to the Gilman last month and have been talking to her ever since. She's a really cool girl. And you know what? I really, really like her. Charlie hasn't said anything yet, but I'm sure she knows. Actually, I think all of my friends do. Damn my blushing.
"Oh, hi, Jake. What're you up to?"
"Nothing much. Just about to record some songs for the album."
That's right, the album. The guys were all on board for making a CD, of course, and so now here we are. We're recording in a little while, but we have to wait until Boom, Mick, and Warren show up.
Charlie's sitting next to me with a pair of headphones humming along to whatever's on her Ipod, and Dad kind of walked off somewhere. So we're waiting, and I thought I'd call Jenny.
"Cool. Do you guys know what you're going to call it?" she asks.
"Yeah. We're calling it Baby's First Rock Album. Since it's our first record and all. Plus, we're pretty young for it. Especially me and Charlie."
"Well, when it comes out, I'm going to buy it."
"No, you're not."
"Yes I am," she says, laughing.
She has such a cute laugh.
"No, because I'm going to give you a copy."
"Aw, really? Thanks, Jake!"
"No problem," I say with a smile.
I wonder if she can hear me smiling? I can sure hear it from her.
The door suddenly opens wide, and Mick's standing there with a huge stupid grin on his face saying, "Honey, I'm home!"
I just smile at him, and he says, "Ooh, who're you talking to? Is it that Jenny girl again?"
"Yeah," I say with a nod.
"Jenny, he loves you!" Mick yells, leaning closer to the phone. I hear her laugh from the other end.
"Shut up, Mick." Damn it, the blushing again.
"What, so nobody says 'hi' to me anymore?" Charlie says.
She's turned her Ipod off now and is looking at Mick, and Warren and Boom who just followed him in.
She pouts. "I feel so unloved."
Boom just smiles, but Mick says, "Yeah, well we don't love you. So there," He sticks his tongue out at her, and she puts her hands on her face, acting like she's crying.
"I love you, Charlie!" says Warren, running up to hug her.
"Yay!" She exclaims hugging him back.
"Come on," says Boom, "Let's record stuff!"
"I gotta go, Jen," I say to her. That sucks. I wish I could just talk to her for more than a few minutes, "I'll call you back later, okay?"
"Alright. But Jake?"
"Do you really love me?"
"I - um."
"Come on, Jake!" yells Boom.
Everybody's run off down the hall now except for me.
"Okay, I'm coming!" I say to Jen, "I need to go now, okay? Bye."
"I love you too," she says before hanging up the phone.
Wait, she said that? She said she loves me? She loves me!? Jenny loves me... wow.
"Jake?" I hear Charlie say and snap out of the daze I'm in with my phone still up to my ear and my mouth hanging open.
I close the phone (and my mouth) and put it in my pocket, standing up to see that she's waiting at the end of the hall for me.
She grins. "What did she say?"
"Nothing," I mutter.
"Come on, I'm not stupid. What did she say?" Charlie walks up to me, putting a hand on my shoulder and looking at me, smiling slightly.
I just give an embarrassed smile and say, "She said she loves me."
Charlie's face brightens up, and suddenly she jumps onto me, hugging me tightly.
"Why are you hugging me?"
She gets off, saying, "God, finally! Well, have you asked her out?"
"No - "
"Well you need to!"
"Um, okay," I say with a smile. I kind of like how Charlie's so interested in my love life. I don't know why. I guess it just makes me feel like somebody really cares. Don't tell her that, though.
"Come on, lover-boy, let's go make an album," she says with a smile.
She grabs my hand and leads me down the hallway and into the room where everyone's waiting. Needless to say, the teasing I now get to endure is pretty massive.

Carlie's POV

I'm lying in bed now, staring up at the ceiling. My clock says it's 8:00 in the morning, but I don't care. I always wake up early on September the thirteenth. It's a special day. It's the day that Jake and I call our birthdays. Actually, his birthday was yesterday and mine is tomorrow, but we've always just used this day to celebrate it together. It's been like that since we were little. And this is number seventeen.
"Happy birthday, Charlie!" yells Jake, running in excitedly and jumping on top of me in a hug.
Hugging him back, I say, "Happy birthday, Jakey!"
We're both grinning like idiots, and I fling the covers off of me to reveal that I'm already dressed. Yeah, I've been up for a little bit.
I jump out of the bed, "Let's go wake everyone up!"
He nods and grabs my hand leading me into the living room where an amp is set up, with a microphone and a guitar sitting there. The guitar looks brand new, is coloured bright green with black on the sides and black lightning streaks on it, and it has a big red bow tied around it.
I stand there in awe of it for a moment before running up to it. I read the little card attached to the bow.
"To: Charlie.
From: Jakob."
I sling the guitar strap that looks like police caution tape over my shoulder to see that it fits perfectly. My face must be so pricelessly idiotic right now. But really. This is the coolest guitar!
Jake walks up to me saying, "So, you like it?"
"Are you kidding!? This is so cool! Thank you so much, Jakob!" I jump onto him, hugging him tightly, but pull away fast and move the guitar out of the way before I hug him again, and he laughs a little.
"You're welcome so much, Charlie," He lets me go and says, "Now, are you ready to wake up the house?"
I nod, "Let's do it." I step back, fixing the guitar in front of me and taking the bow off of it, and Jake grabs the mike and turns it on.
He nods to me, and I play a powerful, loud chord on the guitar, which rings out of the amps and throughout the house.
"HELLO, ARMSTRONG FAMILY!" yells Jake exuberantly into his mike, "IT'S A BEAUTIFUL DAY THIS SEPTEMBER THIRTEENTH, AND I BELEIVE THE BIRTHDAYS OF YOUR FAVORITE PEOPLE IN THE WORLD! COME ONE, COME ALL! WAKEY, WAKEY, EVERYONE! I WON'T STOP YELLING, AND CHARLIE WON'T STOP PLAYING UNTIL EVERYONE GETS UP!" At this point, Joey, Adie, and even Billie have all come out of their rooms still dressed in their PJs and looking very tired.
"WHY, HELLO!" says Jake to them, grinning.
I bet that if it weren't our birthdays, they would have attacked and killed us both by this point.
"Happy birthday, you two," yawns Adie.
"Yeah, what she said," mumble Joey and Billie.
"WOW, YOU REMEMBERED!" says Jake, still into the microphone.
"Yeah, how thoughtful!" I say, "I never would have thought you would actually remember this!"
"THANK YOU GUYS!" yells Jake.
"Jakob, would you just turn that goddamn microphone off!?" yells Billie.
"Because I said so!"
"BUT IT'S MY BIRTHDAY!" he says, pouting.
Adie cuts in saying, "Billie, just give them their money so they can get out of the house!"
"Fine," He walks off and comes back with a few bills and shoves them into Jake's hand, saying, "Now go have fun so that we can sleep."
"YAY!" says Jakob.
He puts the mike down - more like throws so that a loud boom echoes through the amp - and I carefully set down my guitar, which I've decided to name Flash because of the lightning, on its stand.
We both run out of the house happily, jumping into Billie's car and driving off to let the rest of the house go back to sleep.
Now, I know what you're thinking: That was mean how they just gave them money to get away. Not true! This is what Jake and I call "our day."
Every September thirteenth, we get some cash from Billie and Adie and spend the day together, doing whatever we want to. It's the Charlie-Jakob tradition! Then, when we come home, there's a "surprise" party waiting for us there. We act all surprised, and it's just a blast.
"So, where to first?" he asks from the driver's seat.
"Let's get something to eat! I'm starving!"
"Okay," he says, "How about we go to a movie and pig out on popcorn and nachos there?"
"Deal!" I say, so he drives us to our favourite movie theatre, where we buy two tickets for a show that starts in twenty minutes. It's supposed to be some action flick, it looks really good.
So anyways, Jake and I walk up to the counter and order the following: a large popcorn, two orders of nachos, two cherry Icees, three bags of Skittles, Sweet Tarts, Mike and Ikes, a couple of Snowcaps, and a chocolate chip cookie. Believe me, we were holding back. This sugar rush has to last us the day!
So we get into the movie and spend the whole time getting high off of the sugary substances, throwing popcorn at the screen when something bad happens (we're alone in here, so it can't be at the backs of people's heads. I mean really, it's only like, 9:30 am!), talking and laughing loudly, playing on the rocking seats, making pictures by putting our fingers in front of the slide projector (I made a bunny, and Jake made a dog. His dog ate my bunny and made it sad!), snorting the Snowcap sprinkles, and then throwing tantrums when the manager finally decides to kick us out.
We gather up our sugar (plus the popcorn and nachos) and stalk out of the theatre in a pretend huff. Really, we're in too good of a mood today to actually be bothered with it. Plus, we knew we'd get kicked out eventually anyway.
After the movie, we go to the mall and pretty much hang out there all day. I got this cool new My Chemical Romance (one of my favourite bands, even though I know them) t-shirt, and Jake got some new shoes, but mostly we just hung out all day terrorizing people. We go back into the driveway of the house at about 7:00 since we want plenty of time to party with everyone else and walk in to a dark room. We turn the light on, and there they are.
All of our friends and family yelling "SURPRISE!" at the top of their lungs. See? I told you we always get a surprise party.