Being In The Band

Being In The Band
By Sarah
Chapter 7

        "Let’s try it again!  From the top, five, six, seven, eight."
        Lizard sighed as she started playing the same chords she’d been playing for the last two hours.  She concentrated on playing the keyboards and prepped herself as the one part she kept messing up at started approaching.  She waited, counted to three, then hit the notes.
        "No!  Stop!"
        Lizard sighed again and dropped her head, turning to face the guys behind her.
        "I’m sorry, I…I…" she stalled in trying to find herself an excuse, simply because she really couldn’t think of one.
        "You can’t get it, that’s what’s wrong," Nick said angrily.  Lizard didn’t blame him, it was his part she kept messing up on.
        "I’m really sorry, I don’t know why I can’t get it, I was doing it fine two days ago," Lizard said, pushing back the strands of hair that had fallen in front of her face.  She rested her hands on her hips as Nick shook his head and looked away from her, while the rest of the guys gave her sympathetic looks.
        "Its ok, Lizard, you only got this music a few days ago, it’s not your fault," Brian said, his Kentucky twang coloring his words with kindness.  Lizard felt like smiling, Brian was so sweet to her, like the rest of the guys.  Except for Nick, he had nothing but complaints about her since the day she joined the band.
        "Yeah, its not your fault, you just aren’t used to this.  Let’s try it again, from the beginning of the verse rather than the beginning, ok?"  Kevin asked.  Lizard nodded and turned back around, facing her keyboard.
        ‘Dammit, why can’t this go right?’  She asked herself as she started playing again.  She was doing so well, and then it got to that one part, and she hit the notes.
        "No!  That’s not it!"  Nick yelled from behind her.
        "Nick, that was it, she got it, what are you talking about?"  Kevin asked him.
        "That wasn’t it, she’s not doing it right.  She keeps screwing up and this concert tonight is going to sound like shit!"  Nick hollered.  Lizard turned around and held her hands together in front of her, looking down at the floor, barely glancing up at Nick as he breathed heavily, his face red with rage.
        "Nick, damn man, what bug crawled up your ass and died?  She was doing excellent, she got it and you’re complaining about perfection!  Get over yourself, man, and get your ass back into gear!"  AJ snapped.
        "She got it wrong.  And when she gets it wrong tonight, its not going to sound right, everyone will know, and I’m gonna be the one that looks like a fool because most people believe in following the piano when it’s the performer that takes charge!"  Nick exclaimed, waving his arms around in exasperation.
        "Nicky boy, calm down, all right?  Forget it, it’ll be fine, and if anyone screws up tonight, no one will notice.  Lizard will do fine, you will do fine, we will all do fine.  So just take a deep breath and get ready for the next song," Howie said, trying to stay calm.  Lizard felt like dropping and crying, she never felt so bad before.  She turned back to the keyboard and listened as the drumsticks slapped together, counting off.  She played as if she was on auto pilot, not really paying attention to what she was doing.  The set ended and she walked off the stage ahead of everyone, skipping the usual chatter after rehearsal.  She went underneath the stage and directly to the green room, grabbing a bottle of water from the table and plopping in a chair.
        "Why so glum, Lizard?  Not find any flies for feeding time?"  Tommy asked her jokingly, looking up from his laptop.
        "Haha," Lizard said dryly, trying not to look at him.  She felt tears sting her eyes and looked down, letting her hair cover her face.
        "Hey, what’s wrong?"  Tommy asked, walking over to her and sitting on the arm of the chair.  "I may be an idiot with a broken wrist, but that doesn’t mean I can’t listen to your problems," he said, rubbing her back lightly with his right hand.
        Lizard shook her head and wiped her eyes before looking up at him.  "It’s nothing, stupid, really.  What’cha up to?"  She asked, standing up and crossing to his laptop on the table.
        "Re-vamping the band site, but I can barely type, so I’m kinda having a little trouble," Tommy said, following her and sitting in his chair.
        Lizard furrowed her eyebrows and pulled a chair over, sitting down.  "What do you want to type, I’ll do it," she said, pulling the laptop in her direction.
        "That’s ok, I can do it," Tommy said.
        Lizard shook her head.  "No, come on, tell me what to type and I’ll type it," she said insistently, gesturing at the screen.
        Tommy sighed and started talking.  Lizard’s hands started flying across the keyboard as she tried to keep up with him.  They finally finished and Lizard lifted her hands, rubbing her wrists.
        "I haven’t had to type that much since I was writing my term paper for Senior year," she said, cracking a smile.
        Tommy smiled back.  "Sorry, I haven’t really done much to update lately, I really haven’t had time.  But now that I do, I’m trying to put as much as possible."
        Lizard nodded.  "I understand, trust me, I sometimes check this out when I have the time, I must say that its not that bad."
        "Well, thank you, that’s a compliment coming from you, I believe.  I thought you didn’t believe in compliments?"
        "I give compliments, I don’t receive them."
        "Why not?"
        "Because I don’t deserve compliments."
        "Total bull, you do too."
        "Do not."
        "Do too."
        "Do not."
        "Do too."
        "What do I do to deserve compliments?"  Lizard asked exasperatedly, throwing her hands up in surrender of the bickering.
        "You’re beautiful, talented, funny, and smart.  Lizard, don’t underestimate yourself, you’re a great person, don’t let those people determine what you think of yourself, only let yourself," Tommy said, his tone growing softer.  He knew what Lizard had gone through, what she’d experienced.  He was the only one, not even Dennis knew about it, as far as Lizard was concerned.  She prayed that no one knew.
        "Hey, Tommy, Lizard, what’s up?"  Brian asked as he walked in the room.  Lizard looked away from Tommy and at the computer screen in front of her, scanning over what she’d just typed, checking for typos.
        "Nothing much, Bri, just doing the site," Tommy replied.
        Lizard scrolled down the page and stopped when Tommy gestured to the screen.  "I need you to fill in your bio, just put down what you want," he said, dragging the mouse button over to an icon and calling up a box with preset questions.
        Lizard smiled and blocked out Tommy and Brian’s conversation as she read each of the questions silently before answering them.  She rested her hands above the keyboard and got ready to type.
        ‘Full name?  Elizabeth "Lizard" Collins.’
        ‘Hometown?  Melbourne, Florida.’
        ‘Age?  Eighteen.’
        ‘Pets?  Three birds, cockatiels, Baby, Stu, and Paco (he’s a taco…hehe).’
        ‘Favorite food?  Pizza and New England Clam Chowder.’
        ‘Instrument?  Piano.’
        ‘Likes?  Warm weather, nice people, music videos, music, and playing piano.’
        ‘Shoe size?  Nine.’
        ‘Influences?  Sarah McLachlan, Billy Joel, and Beethoven.’
        "Beethoven?  Why Beethoven?"  Brian asked.
        Lizard looked over at him, suddenly remembering he was there.  She smiled.  "Two words," she started.
        "Moonlight Sonata," Tommy finished for her.  "Her absolute favorite, she told me that was one of the things she wanted to play most on piano, why she started piano lessons.  I told her that she’d play Beethoven, Chopin, Mozart, and Handel if she wanted to, just as long as she broadened her horizons and practiced a lot."
        "And I did.  Now I play Moonlight all the time," Lizard said, quiet, looking back at the computer screen.  She suddenly couldn’t see it anymore and looked down, pushing her chair away from the table.  "Excuse me," she said, hurrying out the door.  She made it out into the arena and to the bathrooms before bursting into tears.

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