Snapped Guitar Strings and Broken Hearts

An Old Friend

Chapter 10
An Old Friend
3 months later

In the course of 3 months, we’d gotten 12 songs down, signed to Victory records, and finished off our freshman—sophomore for Jake—year in high school. I’d ignored Brent almost the whole time. He’d glare at me some days. Ask about the band others and sometimes even IM me. I’d blocked him now.
Warped tour was in 2 months now, and I was ecstatic. This was awesome.
Oh! And Caleb got a girlfriend! I’m so excited for him! And, according to him she’s coming to Warped with us. She lives in California, but says she hates it. I mean, how could you blame her?
Her mom is a druggie and her dad is dead. The poor girl. And her name is Aiden. That’s really cool. Plus she likes the band Aiden, which makes that weird…
She sent us a couple of pictures of her on email and I’ve talked to her on the phone a few times. She’s really pretty. Nice brown, short hair with neon green streaks in it.

So, apart from that, everything is boring. We’ve been sitting around Robby’s house for the past week eating Skittles and pixie sticks and drinking WAY too much Vault.
We played a gig last night, and Robby almost fell off the stage. He’d had a bit of beer before the show. He’s such a cheater. I wanted some.
Jake was crowd surfing and I got to go mosh with Craig for another small band that played after us.

It was loud there, and by the time we got home, we were all on the only couch in one big pile. Caleb was on one arm with Robby on top of him, who Craig was leaning on and Jake and I were snuggled up on the other side. I felt so tired. And it was perfect. I was with my friends. My sweaty, gross friends.

So. We’d gotten a few fans. No matter how many posers there were in George and Eldon, you found the occasional true hard-core rocker.
Victory thought we were pretty cool and hooked us up to a tour. Can you guess?
Taste of Chaos.
I’m not kidding.
We’re going to be in Taste of Chaos, almost right after we’re going to Warped. We get to see From First to Last, NOFX, My Chemical Romance, and a whole bunch of awesome bands. I really can’t wait. And then we’re going to be on tour.
With Panic! At The Disco, Hawthorne Heights, The Used, A Static Lullaby, Avenged Sevenfold, Greeley Estates, Norma Jean and so many other bands. I swear, I’m going nuts. This is overwhelmingly awesome.

2 months and 3 days later

“ Warped tour, Warped tour!!” Craig said happily, bouncing in his seat as we made our way to the airport to pick up Aiden.
Caleb was grinning happily. It was great to see him so happy. From a phone call with an old friend, he’d gotten a girlfriend. Plus, this was great for us. He wasn’t sulking around or anything anymore.
“ How much longer?” Caleb asked impatiently, messing with a bag of Skittles in his hand. He hadn’t touched them. Weirdo.
“ Here.” Jake said calmly, pulling into a parking spot. Caleb was grinning even wider and I leant my head on Jake’s shoulder, smiling.
“ YAY!” Caleb climbed over the seat that was in front of him and made his way out of the door before Craig or Robby could get out of their seatbelts. I laughed hysterically and the 5 of us got out of the car.
It took effort to keep up with Caleb as he rushed to the 2nd terminal in the airport. This was the Seattle Airport. Huge.
We all sat down. There weren’t that many chairs, but thank God we all had somebody to sit on. So, you can guess how that was. The flight from Ukiah slowly moved towards the top of the board and Caleb was getting more hyper as the time came.
For a couple of minutes, Jake and I walked over to get something. I decided against getting much. I mean, I’m fat enough already. Why ruin it and risk losing Jake? So I grabbed a Vault and Jake got a Mountain Dew and some French Fries.
He offered me some when we got back, but I refused calmly.
For the rest of the time, all of us except Caleb argued whether Mountain Dew or Vault made you more hyper. We ended up agreeing that there were other drinks out there that were MUCH worse. Which I knew, because I’d had 2 liters of Nosh at a party in 7th grade and stayed up for three days straight. Well, probably two and a half, but you know what I’m getting at.
The flight reached the top of the board and Caleb jumped up excitedly, his head flailing wildly around to see if he could find her. He squealed and ran over to a medium-height girl, shorter than him, and hugged her tightly. She had blue jeans on, ripped at the knees and all kinds of sharpies hung from her pockets. Aiden proudly displayed our shirt and I smiled at her.
It was a logo that Robby sketched and then some pros turned it into a real cool design. Her socks were rainbow colored, almost identical to mine, minus the black polka dots.
A bag of skittles poked out of her light, black jacket pocket. I laughed. How obsessed we were with skittles…the world would never know.
As the two emerged from the crowd, Aiden with a purse and a medium sized bag, Caleb had begun to grin wider.
“ She’s gonna live here!” He exclaimed, jumping up and down. I could only guess why. Her mom might be dead, possibly in jail. Aiden was 15, just like the rest of us—with the obvious exclusions. So it was weird for her to be living on her own. But, she wasn’t.
Caleb wanted her to move in with him. Wow.
Now, how would his parents react? We had a minute or two to wonder as Caleb called his parents. He spoke hurriedly into the phone.
“ Mom! Mom! Mom!” He said hurriedly, continuing. “ Mom, Aiden…She’s coming to live in Eldon!”
Caleb paused and I could here the soft voice of his mom. He held the phone between his and Aiden’s ear.
“ Mom, can you repeat that?” He asked, turning the speaker volume up all the way. We all crowded around to hear.
“ I’m guessing she doesn’t have anywhere to stay, so why not at our house?”
The whole group grinned, and Caleb returned the phone to his ear.
“ That’d be awesome, Mom. We’ll probably be home around 11 o’ clock or noon tomorrow, ‘kay?”
He paused and then hung up the phone with a quick goodbye.

All of us had piled in the car again, and we began to argue on which CD to put in.
The Black Parade or Three Days Grace.
I voted Three Days Grace. I hadn’t heard it in forever. Thank God Jake had a huge collection of CDs.
And since I was in the passenger seat, I could put in the CDs…Hahaha. So what if The Black Parade had outvoted my CD. I put it in anyways!
“ Gwin, you’re such an idiot sometimes!” Robby said, launching five to ten Skittles at my head. I smiled at him evilly.
“ You gotta point, emo?”
“ Hey, man. You’re so much more emo. You dyed your hair!” Craig said. What a hypocrite.
Oh, yeah… I forgot to mention. My hair was a dark brown, but I’d dyed it black with electric blue streaks along with very faint silver ones. It’s so awesome.
“ HYPOCRITE!” I yelled, throwing one of Jake’s French Fries at him.
“ So? Wait…what does hypocrite mean?” Craig trailed off in his wondering. Sometimes I wondered how he passed any of his grades.
We continued to listen to the album, singing with all the songs we knew (I knew them all!).
Aiden and Caleb chatted quietly, muted in the back seat. I heard some stuff about the upcoming concert, a few things about where Aiden would sleep, and then him telling her about Taste of Chaos. That was last. I heard a squeal, and knew why.
Caleb was going to take her with us on Taste of Chaos. Why not? It’d be great to have another girl on a tour bus full of guys… He’d waited till now to tell her.