Track #1: “You are the fugitive, but you don’t know what you’re running from.”
Marinette! Where are you na?
I’m at the park. Better get your ass here, girl! :3
Marinette squealed as she jumped off the bed. She’s wearing her favorite Jagged Stone shirt layered with a jean jacket, a pair of skinny jeans, and a pair of pink shoes. She pulled her ponytail and let her black hair with fading dark shade of blue on the tips down over her shoulders. Marinette put the pink scrunchy with a sakura bead looped into it in her jeans’ pocket. She’s not really comfortable taking off her ponytail but the night is cold enough for her.
“Marinette, aren’t you attending a party tonight?” A hint of Chinese accent was evident in her mom’s voice coming from downstairs.
“Yeah, mom! I’m coming!” She fumbled over her bed and wore her side bag. She checked for her wallet and phone. I’m good to go!
Marinette already blocked her schedule for Friday night. She and Alya, her best friend, decided to attend a welcoming party in a bar called Garage downtown. Alya’s boyfriend, Nino got a part-time job as a DJ in the first semester of the year and after a few months of showing off his skills, Nino managed to be an official part of the crew and now be playing every Wednesdays and Fridays.
Tonight, they’ll be welcoming him and throwing a party all out the town. Unfortunately, sometime around Tuesday afternoon, the mayor pulled out his support for the bar (which was caused by his daughter’s, Chloe, tantrums). Marinette was down the next day and went on to finish her project when all of a sudden, Alya called her and told her that Jagged Stone just managed to pull some strings and volunteered to be part of the party.
Marinette is a big Jagged Stone fan and would probably be the least person to ever miss this opportunity out. She put on every Jagged Stone merch she has and will ask for his signature. She even dressed alike with her idol that made the excitement she’s feeling heightened.
“Bye, Mom, Dad!” She rushed through the doors of the bakery of her dad. An open 24-hours bakery.
As soon as she sees Alya jumping and waving her hands, Marinette runs and hooks her arm on hers. Well, Alya had the pass for them, being the girlfriend of the infamous DJ at the Garage.
“What’s your excuse now, missus?” Alya knows Marinette too well that she’s no longer annoyed with her friend’s sense of time.
“You do realize you texted me yesterday that the party’s still gonna happen and that I was doing my project, not planning on going out tonight, right?” Alya rolls her eyes playfully as Marinette rambles with her words. This girl is not only clumsy with her actions but with her words, too. Alya pats her head. Marinette pouts and hugged Alya sideways.
They walked along the cold night. Just a seven-minute walk from the park, you can already get to the Garage.
“Was it really Jagged Stone the reason you’re attending or...?” Alya gave Marinette ‘the look’.
It’s the look that says, You still got the hots for the blonde guy AKA the Adrien Sanchez look.
Adrien Sanchez is the typical college heartthrob. Soft, wavy blonde hair, green sparkling eyes, jawline that could slice up onions, and to top it all, the all-time favorite: boyish grin. Marinette had a big—enormous accord. to Alya—crush on the guy for like a year now. The guy’s all over her class schedule which makes it inevitable to not sense his strong presence—and pretty much the squeals of the girls swooning over him.
(Chloe, the mayor’s daughter, most probably the bitchiest admirer of all time who used her power as a daughter of a high ranking man and fashion designer mom—and that Adrien and Chloe are childhood friends. Marinette gave her that.)
Marinette found herself investing feelings for the guy and having this inborn ability of overly clumsiness over someone she likes makes it too obvious for people not to notice.
Well, most of them. Adrien Sanchez is a dense guy who’s been too generous and kind for the ladies that led to most heartbreak. Everyone’s fallen for his charms—even Marinette—that didn’t see other possibilities.
Other possibilities like Adrien Sanchez dating Ame Estrella, a college student from a neighboring college.
And the crush season ended for Marinette.
It had happened for about six months now and Marinette was sad—pretty much until now—but still managed to put up that smile on her face to everyone.
Marinette chuckles and rolls her eyes as if evading the intrigued face of Alya, “Psh, I’m over him na kaya! Adrien and Ame are good for each other, don’t you think? They have the same common interests and stuff like that,” Marinette shrugs, “They’d make a good couple.” For weeks of not showing too many emotions aside from being cheerful, Marinette had that sad smile on her face that night.
Alya looked at her best friend with sympathy in her eyes, sighing, she put her arm around Marinette’s shoulder and changed the topic, “Well how about that, two pretty girls having fun tonight!” Marinette looked up to Alya and saw a big grin on her face and that’s when Marinette finally realized Alya’s wearing a dress!
“Alya, that dress!” Marinette unwraps from Alya’s grasp and stares at her in awe. Alya turns around showing off the details of her dress. The familiar dress was the one drawn in one of Marinette’s sketches. Alya secretly asked her to make one for this one specific night (She prolly wants to impress her boyfriend. That earned a number of teasing from Marinette and the girls.)
Alya normally wears jeans and an orange plaid shirt, rubber shoes, and glasses—but not your typical nerd but but a strong-willed woman who pretty much would throw herself in any danger (adventure as Alya calls it.)
Marinette forgot that she had the dress delivered at Alya’s yesterday just before the cancellation of the event. Sometimes her clumsiness can be of use.
“You’re gorgeous, babe!” Marinette fished out her phone and took a quick photo of Alya wearing a dress.
“All thanks to you, girl!” Alya gave her a flying kiss, “Now, come on. We’re already late!” She grabbed Marinette by the arm and got a squeal as a response. Marinette almost dropped her phone that earned a laugh from Alya.
“This’ll be a great night!” Alya assures Marinette and gives her a wink.
“I knew I’d find you here, man.” Jean leaned on the doorframe.
Lukas pinched his cigarette butt and breathed in the nicotine out of it. He exhaled through his nostrils as the elevating feeling went into his head. He finally blew a smoke from his mouth. God, I needed this.
He closed his eyes as he inhaled the cold breeze outside the bar.
Garage started off the party with good music and tasty foods. Most of the attendees of the party were college students and Lukas even saw some of his college professors. It was expected to see a lot of familiar faces since the Garage organized a Battle of the Bands tonight.
Jagged Stone, the legendary solo guitarist, whom Lukas owes his passion for music is going to judge the show. This is one of Lukas’ dreams to come true: to perform in front of his idol. The winner’s gonna perform with Jagged Stone himself next month in his concert at the Big Dome. Musicians would kill just to perform at the Big Dome.
Urban legends say that musicians who performed at the Dome became famous all around the world but most of them were about classical hits and ballads. Rock stars are much more appreciated outside the Dome.
Until Jagged Stone.
That’s when he became legendary.
Lukas already felt the heightened anxiety and excitement within his chest. He needed time to think about his strategy tonight. Legion just debuted months ago, their band started off from a small space between two apartment buildings until people noticed them and came to watch them perform every Saturday. They were called Street Rats who performed awesome music in the streets. Lukas, the leader, sets up the mood at any corner, his bandmates drop off their baggage and bring out their own instruments and people appreciate them. Legion connects with the people, I guess. Lukas would flash them a smirk when they were asked after their play.
The truth is, Lukas is gifted with this strong sense of emotions of other people that he can put a finger to every song that flavors up those emotions. He looks deep into your eyes and when his fingers begin to strum every chord, you’d probably spasm for sure.
That literally happened when they met Jean, their manager. He once came across them around a college university after school and stared at them in awe. Jean just got fired from his last job in an entertainment company—well sort of. He didn’t like how the company owner just favored the new era of music and didn’t even bother preserving the good old classic rock bands. That company trained nothing from the roots but straight ahead to new ones. Jean wanted something that is soulful and pure, something that people can feel that nostalgic feeling in every beat of the music.
That’s what he liked about the Legion. They know how to appreciate the old-fashioned way of producing a series of good beats, compiling them into wonderful music. It happened years ago but the passion was still the same.
Jean just hoped they would continue even though he’s gone.
“Well, you’re smoking again,” Jean leans on the railing. The music from the inside was muffled but the different shades of light came through the opened door.
“I guess that one I cannot change, can’t I?” He smiles.
“Bad habits die hard,” Lukas chuckles.
“I guess so.” Jean shrugs.
“Do you really need to go?” Lukas asks.
“Kid, you know we don’t have the same goal in life, right? You wanted to go big, I wanted good music.”
With Jean leaving the band Lukas felt like something tore inside him; he felt hollow. In the few years they had worked together, Lukas considered Jean as a father figure. He’d been nice to the band, to him, and his sister, Juleka. Speaking of Juleka, she sent a message a while ago that she’s at the bar with her friends. Well, she better not go home drunk or else... He made a mental effort to look for his sister later.
Lukas glances at him, confused.
“What does that even mean?”
“All I wanted was to be part of something life-changing. Bands like yours, are filled with so much life that the new industry lacks. I’ve seen you grow and struggle but I never saw you give up. That is what makes your music sweeter than any of everybody. Good music,” Jean imitates a chef’s kiss, “Besides, give me a break. I’m old. I need to get married sooner or later.” Jean winks.
“She must be ecstatic for your wedding.”
“She should be. I laid down all my savings in the wedding and apartment.”
They both laughed. Jean happened to meet his soulmate when he travelled to Paris. For almost five years, they managed to be in love even with the great distance between Paris and Philippines. For months, they got into a rough patch of who’s living with and gonna leave their country for the other. Being one of the most responsible men Lukas met, Jean offered to live in Paris with her.
That means, the Legion needed to find their own manager.
As the laughter subsides and the funny antics, Jean puts his arm around Lukas’ shoulders and ruffles his sky blue hair with dark tips. Lukas muttered a string of curses that made Jean ask what? what?, laughing that annoyed Lukas even more.
After a while, the tables were turned and now, Jean is holding on the almost finished cigarette Lukas had.
“The band will surely miss you.” He sighs.
Jean sifts on the cigarette and afterwards, dropping it near his foot and stepping on it, “I sure will too.”
“You feeling okay now?” Jean suddenly asks.
After his announcement of getting married, Lukas was already acting strange and excused himself from the band. Jean felt guilty for ruining the night so he followed him outside the bar.
“Almost.” The word muffled from Lukas’ closed lips.
“Man, you should be celebrating right now. You gotta feel the heat of the moment, what’s up?” Jean playfully punches his arm.
“I am in the heated moment,” Lukas tried to laugh it off and sniffed from the cold breeze, “I am...”
“Why the long face, though?”
Lukas raises his head.
“You saw her didn’t you?” Jean threw a knowing look over his shoulder.
Lukas looks at him, shaking his head no.
Of course, Lukas saw her. Kagami Morales.
Lukas was at his peak of rebellion back then; skipping classes, hanging out more over their “studio” than going to school, vices, and such. (Good thing his twin sister, Juleka, doesn’t go to the same school with him. Phew.)
Ever since their (Lukas and Juleka) parents got divorced and he had to live with his twin sister and grandmother, it’s as if he already carried a big responsibility over his shoulders. He was a mess and at the same time a faker; trying to be someone responsible for taking care of his sister and his grandma, trying to smile even though he’s on the verge of falling apart. Music became his outlet of the pain, anger, and betrayal caused by his parents.
Until he met her.
He had to tour the new student out of punishment for skipping a class of Mr. Hugo, he already skipped three of his classes that kind of ticked off the old man and went to tell the principal. He heard that the principal was pretty intense in giving punishment.
Luckily, the new student came that day. Lukas was baffled when he saw the sudden change in the principal’s face. The new student had this white coat and red skirt. A thick black hair with a shade of blue, her skin was creamed complexion, a small round nose, and pink thin lips. The funny thing was they stood next to each other and she caught him staring. Lukas quickly looked somewhere else and kind of flustered. She had that pair of narrow, slanted golden brown eyes with visible natural eyelashes. With small responses, Lukas heard a hint of Japanese accent. Her voice was quiet but stern. She’s someone who’s pretty intense and... bottled up. Lukas thought.
(Lukas can’t help but to think of a playlist that suits this woman.)
The moment he stepped out of the principal’s office and led the new student for a tour, he couldn’t help but to feel her presence behind him. Lukas was the only one talking for almost fifteen minutes and Kagami just followed around.
(For a moment, Lukas heard a few sighs from behind. He wondered if he bore her.)
Showing that rebel facade of his, Lukas is kind and generous towards his grandmother and sister, and friends. He’s that kind of a man who’s nice with people who he thinks are in the right. He’s the kind of person who can read the emotions of other people and bring them out through his music.
In the next few minutes, Lukas tried to talk with Kagami who was pretty shy around people. She told him how she had no friends back then because she’s kind of competitive, especially when it comes to impressing her mom. Being an Asian kid, it is already fixed that parents do have sets of high expectations.
That is so much the opposite to Lukas. He doesn’t care about what people think.
As they walked along the grounds, they got to know each other slowly. From Kagami’s former school to Lukas’ secret music studio.
(He even threw songs that he was thinking that would probably suit Kagami. Kagami smiled and said she’ll find time listening to them.)
Afterwards, the bell rang and everyone was already pushing through the halls for lunchtime.
Everything seemed to be moving but them.
Lukas smiled and offered a hand, “I’m Lukas by the way.”
Kagami shook it, “Kagami.”
“Congratulations Missus Kagami, you just made a friend today.” Lukas winks and smiles.
Lukas being flirty with her earned a chuckle from Kagami which turned his smile into a frown, confused. That made her laugh.
From that moment onwards, they found a connection.
(But for that one reason, their connection went through a rough patch that caused them both heartbreak.)
BACK TO PRESENT
“Why can’t you just tell her, honestly?”
“Easy for you to say. Your love life isn’t that complicated. You’re getting married, right?” Lukas gave a bland face.
“Ikaw rin naman, a. You’re just making simple things too complicated. You’re much depending on the past rather to look for more possibilities in the future.”
“It’s not that bad having principles in life, Jean.”
“Principles are made as a guide which means, it’s either your principle or your own choice that will do it. But a tip man, it’s not bad breaking your basis of love... at least for once, maybe you get it right this time.”
Lukas just let out a long sigh, thinking everything but that.