Control the Beat

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11| A Legend

“I can’t believe it took you this long to call me!” My cousin screeched at me down the phone. Wincing, I held the phone away from my ear.

“I told you! I only got the phone, and I’ve been busy.” I drawled back.

I was lying on my bed in my cabin. Shannon was out, so I had the room to myself, and no one could eavesdrop on my conversations. My cousin and I have the weirdest conversations. They usually start off with an argument, then a casual conversation, then some jokes and the longer we talk the more personal in gets. Especially if it’s gone past midnight, people be like:

12.00: I love puppies too!

12.01: I killed a man once..

No I didn’t kill a man, don’t you start calling the cops. It was only an expression.

“You said you got the phone last week, on Sunday. It’s now Friday. You could have found time.” She grumbled.

“I’m sorry Kelly.” I groaned. “But I seriously have been busy.”

I imagined Kelly rolling her eyes at my excuse. “Yeah yeah.” She muttered, before lightening up the mood. “So what exactly happened your old phone, and where did you get this one?”

“I gave my other phone away.”

“Who gives away their phone?”

“Why does everyone ask that? I obviously do! As does the person who gave this phone away.” I retorted.

“Who did you give it to?”

“The limo driver.” I replied casually.

Kelly paused, I bet her poor brain was trying to process this news. “Why would you do that.”

“Because I just didn’t feel like carrying my problems to camp, okay? I presumed they would have a phone, yet the camp presumed we would have a phone.” I grumbled.

I know I should have told Kelly about Marc. But Kelly was always on team M, as she called it, and I wasn’t going to listen to her talk about how much of a real love story our life is. She turns all girly and pathetic. Like her old days.

When Kelly was my age, she was an absolute barbie. We didn’t talk much then, but she was raised up to be like that. She had told me that she changed when she met this dude from her school.

But anyway, I’m thankful to that guy. Because if it wasn’t for him? I’d probably be like Keara right now. Kelly had taken me under her wing, and basically raised me to be real, not fake.

“You’re a fucking weirdo.” Kelly laughed. “Okay, so tell me. How is camp?”

I sighed, thanking god that she didn’t badger me for how I now have a phone.

“I love it. Seriously, most of the people are amazing. They actually like me.”

“Well that’s a first. Someone actually likes Esme Riley! What is happening to this world?” Kelly cried out dramatically.

“Oh shut up!” I replied, “You’ll wake up your room-mate.”

“My room-mate could sleep through independence day.”

I chuckled lightly. “I didn’t expect you to take my call at this time anyway. Why are you up?”

It was six o’clock on Friday morning. It is a miracle that both myself and Kelly were even awake.

“I couldn’t sleep…” She murmured.


“It’s well- It’s really stupid. But remember that guy in high-school, I told you about?”


“Today is the day he left, like what, five years ago?”

I stayed silent. I remembered that day.

I was at my aunt’s house, and she was busy complaining about how disobedient Kelly had been lately, and saying how much of bad influence ‘that boy’ had on her. My gran disagreed, saying she loved him.

I remember Kelly came running through the door, she was extremely pale. Kelly had talked to me a few days before that. My dad had just given out to me, because I was playing football with a group of boys in the park. I was eleven at the time, and Kelly had comforted me. It was the first time we had talked.

Kelly raced out of the room, when she realized that it was full of people, and she ran up the stairs. Ignoring my parents protests, I followed her. Until I found her in her room, sobbing.

“What’s wrong.” I had asked.

“He left.” She whispered. “Why didn’t I go with him? Why am I so stupid!”

I hugged her close, not really understanding what was going on, I was only eleven for god sake!

So that’s how I left it. Ever since then, we were inseparable. Even though she was five years older, we were like best friends.

“Today is also the day we became besties.” I sang, knowing that I would cheer her up.

She chuckled. “True.”

“Do you need someone to be with you today? I’m sure the camp won’t mind if I took a day-“

“Don’t even finish that sentence May.” Kelly threatened. “I am perfectly capable of dealing with stupid memories of my high school sweetheart. I’m not completely pathetic. I’m seeing you tomorrow sure.”

“One of your high school sweethearts.” I corrected slightly.

“Fuck you.” She groaned. “Here, I’m going to make myself cocoa and try to sleep some more. You should do the same.”

“I’ll try. You’re sure you’re able to come tomorrow then?”

It was visiting day on Saturday, so I, of course, asked my favorite cousin.

“Definitely. Night ’lil cousin.”

“Night Kells.”

I lay back down and glanced over to Shannon’s bed, which was perfectly made and empty. I missed her. A lot.

The door opened, and I heard her sneak in.

Speak of the devil.

“Hey.” I whispered, unsure of what else I was supposed to say.

“Hey…” She replied. She hesitated for a moment, before coming over and sitting on my bed.

“May, I’m so sorry! I over-reacted. It’s been a week, and I miss you so much. I’m already sick of Jessica’s sleepovers, and pedicures. You’ve brainwashed me against all that, and now I feel really stupid and-“

“Shut up Shannon! It’s fine. Can we just, forget about it? Please.” I’ll admit that I’m not good with the whole hug and make up thing.

“Do we like, hug or something?” Shannon asked awkwardly.

I thought about it for a second. “Nah, I think we’re good.”

She giggled and hugged me anyway. “So, I apologize for not being excited for you, like proper friends do.”

“I didn’t want you to be excited.”

“You don’t like him like that, do you?” She didn’t say it like a question. More as a fact, I could hear the sympathy in her voice.

“No.” I sigh. “I don’t.”

Shannon smiled at me. “So, may I ask what have you been up to this week?”

“Well, I was thinking about leaving today. Just for a day like…”

“No! You can’t leave!”

I stared at her, confused. “Mr William’s is coming today. I heard Dave talking about it. There’s going to be this big thing with camp Turn It Up.”

I continued to stare at her.

“What?” She began to look worried.

“Shit!” I yelped.

I scrambled off my bed and ran over to where my small rucksack was sitting. I hadn’t used it all week.

I’m an idiot! I kept repeating in my head.

“May! What’s wrong!” Shannon called.

“I’m an idiot!” I cried. I pulled the files out of the bag and threw them onto my bed. “I caught Chris stealing these. He said that Dave was planning to ruin our camp, and that Mr Williams was his granddad, blah blah.” I ranted. “Anyway, I took these from him!” I gestured to the files.

“They were the ones he was stealing. I was supposed to hand them back, but I forgot. And then the whole Josh thing happened and I forgot all about them!”

Shannon nodded along, her eyes wide. “Okay. Just breath.

I did as she commanded.



Shannon lifted up the files and opened them. She sorted through different dates, and picked out the most recent.

“Have you heard of a Mr Carlow?” Shannon asked slowly.

I wracked my brain for a moment, trying to remember why it was familiar. “Yes! He was the guy I saw have a meeting with Dave really early.”

Shannon grimaces, and holds out the paper. “Does this make sense to you?”

I took the paper and read through it. “Yes actually. Basically it’s an agreement. But the two people, Dave and this Carlow guy, obviously don’t get along. But it doesn’t matter, as long as it works.”

“How would you know that?”

“My family are very power hungry, and sneaky.” I replied. “They don’t care if they make deals with the devil. They have many of these things.”

I reread the paper. “It’s some sort of transaction. It’s like, Dave’s getting this Carlow guy to do something. Something big.”


“Buy something. One day my Dad wanted this amazing dress in his company. It was one of a kind, and would get him a lot of publicity. Yet the owner didn’t like dad, so refused to sell it. Dad got some guy, to buy the dress for him. The guy would give it to dad, and dad would pay the money. The guy would also get quarter the profit.”

“So. Dave is getting this guy to what, buy the camp?”

“Chris said that Mr Williams is really sick.”

“Yeah, but he is handing it down to his grandson.”

I thought about that. “Maybe we’re worrying over nothing.”

Shannon didn’t reply, instead she continued to chew her finger nails. “Yeah.” She whispered. “But what if we’re not.”

“Come on! Come on! Come on!” Shannon yelled at me. It was ten o’clock in the morning, and I had only got 3 hour’s sleep.

Yes. Only three hours!

“I’m coming!” I snapped. This was the first time Shannon had ever been ready before me. I swore that it would never happen again.

“He’s going to be here soon..” She whined.

“I’m coming!” I repeated with a growl. I threw my hair up into a high ponytail, and clipped back all the loose strands.

“You look beautiful, okay? Now let’s go!”

I rolled my eyes, and slipped on my converse. “I’m ready, you crazy bitch.”

“Good!” She laughed.

“I’m regretting making up with you. You know that right?” I muttered darkly.

“Aren’t you excited to meet Mr Williams?”

“I am. But I don’t want to overload the man with it.” I grumbled. “Besides, I’m probably not going to get talking to him.”

Shannon rolled her eyes at my lack of enthusiasm. “You suck.”

“Hey! That’s my line.”

I dawdled out the door after her, watching as she skipped down the lane towards breakfast. I couldn’t understand how someone could be so energetic in the morning. Seriously, it was a mystery to me. And I had tried everything to solve it.

Coffee: It just made alert, yet I was always pissed after drinking it.

Cold showers: They just made me cold, and put me in a bad mood.

Slapping myself in the face: Well that just hurt.

I approached the weirdo table, and sat on top of Shane. “Show me some love.” I whined at him, as I buried my head in his shoulder.

He chuckled at me, “You’d think you would get used to early mornings.”

I shook my head childishly. “I will never get used to early mornings.”

I grabbed the jar of nutella that was sitting on the table. I think someone understood that my breakfast in the morning was nutella, and left a full jar for me every morning.

I have to thank that person.

“So you’re back at this table, huh Shannon?” Max taunted, “Are we good enough for you again?”

Shannon blushed, and glared at him. “Give her a break Max, wouldn’t blame the girl for wanting to get away from you.” Josh butted in, sending Shannon a wink.

“But she couldn’t stay away.” Max smirked.

Shannon continued to blush furiously, and the table of people were in stitches. I stretched my hands over and covered Shannon’s face. “She’s here because she loves me! Alright? Now stop before you make her turn into a tomato.”

Shannon slapped my hands away, laughing.

“So when is Mr Williams getting here?” She asked. I snuggled back up into Shane, ignoring Josh’s glares. I was not in the mood for teenage drama.

“He’ll probably be here soon.” Cassie piped up.

“I hope so. I miss that old man.” Max murmured.

I continued to eat my nutella, watching and listening to everyone talk about the owner. I’ll just give you a quick summary.

Things to know about Mr Williams:

-He’s a legend.

-He’s awesome.

-He’s old.

-He’s an old rockstar.

-He’s rich.

-He’s a legend.

-He’s great fun.

-He’s easy going.

-He’s a legend.

And that’s basically how the conversation went. I didn’t know if the guy was still an amazing singer, I didn’t know if he socialized much with the camp members, I didn’t even know how old he was. What I did know? He’s was legend.

When everyone finished their breakfast, we were called to the concert area. Shane had ditched me, so that he could go talk to Josh, so Shannon and I decided to skip on ahead of the rest.

Literally skip.

I glanced up at the huge stage we were approaching, and saw an old man looking at us. He was probably the same height as me, his hair was white and he wore a dark green suit.

“Is that him?” I whispered to Shannon. She nodded happily in reply. She seemed to be itching to go and meet him, so I let go of her arm and watched her pound up the steps of the stage.

I heard Mr Williams chuckle merrily when he saw her, and I watched them chat for a while. People began to push past me, but I ignored them. The exchange between Shannon and Mr Williams was extremely cute. She treated him like he was her grandfather.

“Why don’t you go up and meet him?” I heard Chase whisper in my ear.

I jumped at the sound, ignoring the tingling in my stomach, and turned to give him an accusing glare. “When did you guys get here?” I demanded.

“While you were standing there like a lost puppy.” He replied, his lips arching into a smirk.

“I was not standing there like a lost puppy.” I snapped, “I was merely watching.”

“Yeah, yeah. So why don’t you go up there and say hello?”

“Because I don’t want to intrude.”

“When did June care about intruding?”

“Call me June, one more time!” I dared.

“Hey! May! Come here.” Shannon shouted, waving her arms frantically.

“And that’s my queue. Later wifey.” Chase chuckled.

I glared at his retreating figure. “Let’s hope I don’t get a freaking knifey.” I growled under my breath, before I made my way up the steps towards the legend himself.

“Hey!” I smiled, “I’m May.” Mr Williams beamed at me.

“Oh I know. For the two minutes I talked to this one, it was nothing but about you.” He chuckled. “It’s lovely to meet you May.”

“Same to you.” I replied, grinning. “I wouldn’t believe anything Shannon has told you by the way.”

“I said good things!” She protested, and I chuckled.

“You two better hurry down now. I have to make my speech.” Mr Williams murmured. “I hate speeches.”

“Try not to mess this one up.” Shannon teased.

Mr Williams rolled his eyes fondly at her, before shooing the giggling Shannon away.

“He seems really nice.” I grinned at Shannon, who just laughed. “He is.”

We pushed ourselves to the front of the crowd, ignoring the angry protests.

“Settle down now guys!” Dave’s voice echoed throughout the field. “Everyone know’s why you are here, so if you could just settle down and let me talk.”

Was it me, or did Dave sound pissed? I shared a confused glance with Shannon, but continued to listen.

“I want everyone to be quiet for the next few moments, so that you can listen to Mr Williams. I don’t want any disturbances, as he took time to come here and see you!”

“You don’t even go here!” I heard a person yell from the crowd.

I let out a snort of laughter, along with nearly everyone in the crowd. “Oh that was brilliant.” I laughed.

Shannon bit her lip to stop herself from laughing, but the look on Dave’s face sent her off. He was glaring into the crowd trying to find the culprit, as was I. I wanted to shake his hand.

“I think I’ll take over from here Dave.” Mr Williams intervened. He stepped up to the microphone with a wide grin.

“Well? Don’t I get a hello?” He asked, amused.

The crowd screamed with excitement and he chuckled.

“So, there really isn’t much to say. I guess a hello to all my old members of Camp step up the beat, and Camp turn it up.” The crowed cheered at this. “And a welcome to the new members!”

Shannon nudged me, as if letting me know that I was a new member.

Like, who would have known, that I. May Riley was new? I sure didn’t.

“I’m very sorry that I missed the first few weeks of camp. I have been… A little unwell. But, I am planning to spend the rest of my time here.”

The crowed screamed and cheered in approval.

“I’m not going to lie, and say that I am very healthy. I am going to admit that I am old.” A sudden silence spread through the field of people.

“That is why I have already wrote my will. When my dear grandson Chris, turned eighteen. I gave my camp Turn It Up to him.”

Hushed whispered of astonishment traveled around the area. “So Chris was telling the truth huh?” Shannon murmured.

“My other grandson, Kevin, is not yet off age. He still has a few years to go, so I have given Camp Step Up The Beat to Dave to manage, until Kevin is able to come and look after the camp… If that is what he wishes to do, of course.” Mr Williams explained. “Dave is allowed to make all the decisions of the camp, until Kevin can.”

I frowned at this. How old is Kevin? I thought, And how is Dave planning anything if he’s only managing.

“And I trust that all of you, will keep the life in these two camps going. No matter what!” He finished.

I clapped along with the crowd, as he smiled at us. “So enough of the formalities. How about you all show us what you do.”

We all cheered, and the crowd began chattering to each other.

This is how we do. Yeah, this is how we do.” We all turned our heads to Jessica who was sitting at the stage with her legs crossed, smirking.

“No.” I whisper to myself. “Not this song.”

People raced onto the stage and started playing the music. Some were on computers and sort of DJing the music.

Sipping on Rosé, Silver Lake sun, coming up all lazy.” Jessica sang.

“This is how we do.” The crowd sang in the background.

Slow cooking pancakes for my boy, still up, still fresh as a Daisy.
Playing ping pong all night long, everything’s all neon and hazy
Chanel this, Chanel that, hell yeah
All my girls vintage Chanel baby.” She smirked.

I groan to myself, knowing that I was going to end up singing a Katy Perry song anyway. My team Swiftie would hate me, but what was worse was that I actually knew the words.

It’s no big deal, it’s no big deal, it’s no big deal. This is no big deal.” Shannon sang into my ear.

I groaned, before belting out the chorus with everyone else.

This is how we do, yeah, chilling, laid back,
straight stuntin’ yeah we do it like that.
This is how we do, do do do do, this is how we do..

This is how we do, yeah, chilling, laid back,
Straight stuntin’ yeah we do it like that.
This is how we do, do do do do, this is how we do..”

Cassie continued to sing the song, accompanied by random people who climbed up onto the stage. “Come on.” Shannon tugged on my hand. “Your parts coming up.”

“My part?”

“Your part.” She nodded, and dragged me onto the stage.

I frowned, and listened to the repeat of the chorus, wondering what was coming up next.

“Oh…” It dawned on me, and glared at Shannon. “Why?!”

“Just do it.”

“Haha, do it. That’s punny.” I laughed, before sighing and facing the crowd. I watched the enthusiastic smiles looking up at me, and I couldn’t help but give it all I had.

This one goes out to the ladies at breakfast. In last night’s dress!” I glanced around at the audience and winked. “Uh-huh, I see you.” I pointed at Shane while saying this, and he shot me the finger.

I flicked my pony tail dramatically, keeping my poker face. “Yo, this goes out to all you kids that still have their cars at the club valet and it’s Tuesday..” I paused dramatically, copying Katy Perry’s performance.

“Yo, shout out to all you kids, buying bottle service, with your rent money!” I screamed to the crowd, he were starting to cheer with me. “Respect!” I laughed.

“This is how we do!” I sang, along with Shannon.

“Yeah, chilling, laid back,
Straight stuntin’ yeah we do it like that.
This is how we do, do do do do, this is how we do!”

There was an excited buzz after the song. We continued the concert throughout the whole day. Only stopping for dinner.

“So. As we are now officially friends-” Chase murmured, after spinning me around in our dance to Ed Sheeran’s, thinking out loud.

“Who said we were friends now?” I mused.

“Well, if you want us to be more than friends, be my guest.” Chase joked, and I jabbed him in the stomach, and continued our sway.

“Fine. We’re friends. What now?”

“Well. We are actually texting to be fair so…”

“Shut up.”

He chuckled. “Do you want to hang out tomorrow?”

“It’s visiting day, remember?”

“Aw. Yeah! Well then I’ll come and meet your parents, get the whole blessing for our marriage over and done with.”

“Ha. Ha. Ha. You’re funny!”

“Why thank you.” He smirked, and spun me around again.

“My cousin’s coming tomorrow anyway. Not your parent in laws.” I muttered.

Chase didn’t reply. “Who’s coming to you?” I asked.

“No one.”

“Wait seriously?”

Chase rolled his eyes, “Is that a shock?”

I just shrug, “Maybe a little.”

Chase let go of my hand, “Well I’m full of surprises!” He scoffed, before walking over to another girl and taking her away from her partner.

“Chase wait!” I yelled after him. Seriously. It’s not like I demanded an answer! Was he embarrassed or something?

Someone tapped my shoulder, and I spun around to be face to face with Josh. “Thought you looked a little lonely.” He smiled, as he took my hand, and we began to sway to the music.

“Yeah, we were just talking about something.” I stuttered and he smiled. I mentally cursed myself. Everyone knows that when girls stutter to guys, it’s because they freaking like them! That’ll give him false hope.

But you don’t like him, do you? I asked myself.

“So, we haven’t really talked.” He murmured, through a spin.

“I’ve been busy.” I glanced over to where Chase was dancing. He was glaring at Josh, and caught me looking. He smirked sarcastically, and whispered something to his dance partner, who giggled loudly.

“Really busy.” I grumbled to myself.

“Well… Maybe we should talk?”

“Maybe.” I was seriously considering telling him that the bruise gave me concussion, and I couldn’t remember a thing. It would be mean, yet no feelings would be hurt? Right?


“You see Josh. I’m not looking for anything serious? You know… I just wanted to have fun.” I said quietly, avoiding his eyes.

He chuckled. I snapped my head up in surprise. His lip piercing glistened in the sun. “So do I!”

“Oh, good?”

“Yeah. We can just, see what happens?”

I nodded, in some way I felt disappointed. And I had no reason why. I always knew Josh was a player, and I had promised myself to never get involved with a player again.

I heard the girl giggle again, and clenched my teeth. “Cool then!” I hugged Josh tight, taking him by surprise. “That’s great. I’m really tired, but I’ll talk to you tomorrow yeah?”

“Sure.” He replied.

I smiled sweetly at him, before walking through the crowd. Purposely knocking into Chases date, who stepped on Chase’s toe in the process. Timing equals perfection.

“Oops. Sorry.” I grinned sarcastically at Chase, before dropping my smile to a death glare and walking away.

“Um, May… You okay?” I heard Shannon call after me.

Perfect. I thought. Just perfect. Man I really need to do a prank.

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