Keep the Beat

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Chapter 14

“Why is everyone looking at us?” Jessica questioned, as we walked from our cabin towards dinner.

“You’ve got lipstick on your teeth.” I responded.

“What really?” She cried, covering her mouth.

“No.” I shrugged as she glared at me.

“Then why are they looking?” She grumbled, irritated as pure usual.

“Because I’m so freaking beautiful, alright?”

She rolled her eyes but shut up. I was starting to get pissed off with the amount of people who were staring too, but I decided to shrug it off and ask Shane when I see him.

The dining area was crowded as usual, and the smell of roasted potatoes and chicken wafted through the air. I bid Jessica goodbye as we headed off to different tables. I clambered into my seat beside Shane. He had already piled food onto a plate for me so that the others didn’t eat it all on me. I kissed him on the cheek as a thank you and began to stuff my face.

“So, who messed up. Me or Jessica?” I questioned, once I swallowed my food.

Shannon kept her head down, Melissa scowled, Caleb shoveled his food into his mouth angrily while Chase just grinned. I narrowed my eyes at him, before turning to Shane. “What happened?”

“Keara’s been busy.” He mumbled, nibbling at a potato.

“Great, let me guess. She’s telling everyone that I’m pregnant? No, I’m an assassin? That’d be cool.. Maybe she found out that I was darth vader?”

Everyone looked at me and rolled their eyes, bemused.

“She’s telling everyone you’re a psychopath.” Max announced.

“And they’re shocked by this discovery?”

“It’s sort of serious May.” Shannon murmured, “She’s showing people pictures of what you did to her room, and her car and how you punched her boyfriend because you’re ‘obsessed with her’.”

“Like why are you so obsessed with me?” Chase mimicked Regina George causing me to crack a grin.

“Dude, relax. I’ll sort it out after our last lesson.”

“How?” Shannon pressed.

“I don’t know, I’ll just be my charming self.”

“And if that doesn’t doesn’t work?”

I gasped in horror, “That always works!”

Chase smirked at me, “Damn right it does.”

After dinner, we had one more lesson before we could do whatever we wanted. It was a singing lesson, and most of the campers attended them- apart from a few dancers and performers.

“So I heard you were psychotic.” Jessica mused, joined Shane, Chase and I on our walk towards our lesson. Singing lessons take place in a circular area, surrounded by a small wall and full of beanbags.

“Does that shock you Jess?”

“Honestly? Not really.”

I chortled along with Shane and Chase. Keara had played these games before, and I learned that the only way to deal with her rumors, are to embrace them. We finally arrived at our lesson, and eased ourselves onto a beanbag. All of my friends attend this class, which I was grateful for. It was the only class we could all hang out together.

Shannon and Melissa came in a few minutes later, followed by Caleb, Max and Cassie. Soon enough Keara entered through the small gate with a triumphant smirk on her face. I waved dramatically at her as she entered, and she shot me a wickedly confident smile back.

“Alright class stand up.” Mackenzie, our singing instructor announced, clapping her hands together. We all lazily got to our feet and faced her. Mackenzie was one of the craziest teachers at the camp. She was only a couple of years older than most of us, but she was still a child at heart. “Let’s start warming up those talented vocal cords, not inhale.”

We all sucked in a breath, I couldn’t help but roll my eyes. Warming up before singing always amused me.

“Now exhale with a ‘hum’.” She instructed, and we obliged. After some simple exercises, Mackenzie soon got carried away as usual and had us making monkey sounds and adding our own little dance to it.

She laughed and clapped her hands at us, “Classic.” She sighed, wiping away her tears of laughter. We all stared at her, unimpressed. She shrugged innocently at us, “It’s your fault for missing yesterdays class. And your missing tomorrows class because of visiting day, so we need to make up time.”

“It was Chris’ birthday!” Caleb whined in defense.

“Excuses, excuses.” She waved his response away. “Anyway, today we are going to be talking about singing with emotion. Now, I know your first thought is going to be; lets sing a sad song and make her cry. No. That’s not the only emotion you can express in songs. You can sing a sad song, yet you can express utmost happiness. You can sing an angry song yet show how you don’t care…”

“I’m not following.” Shannon announced.

“Reason.” She whispered dramatically, “Singing and writing must always have a reason. Choosing songs to sing at a concert should come from reasons and meanings. Because then you express emotion which gets the atmosphere going.”

I furrowed my eyebrows but nod along as if I had any idea what she was saying.”Last year you all sang Black Parade when Mr Williams had passed away. That represented grief and sadness. You sang fences when Dave was trying to rule you all, that shows rebelliousness and determination. You sing a song, to show your feelings and your actions might go completely against your words to show what you are representing.”

I leaned my head against Chase’s shoulder as I listened to her. I could understand where she was coming from in a way, yet she always made the simplest things confusing. I felt a pencil hit my shoulder, and turned around to see Keara smiling smugly.

“Yes Keara babe?”

“I’m not a lesbian, don’t call me babe.” She hissed back, pursing her lips and flipping her perfectly curled hair.

I frowned and pouted at her, “Well fine then.” I turned to Melissa, “Melissa is it okay if I call you babe then?”

“Sure boo.”

Keara rolled her eyes and cut in, “So I thought you told your friends everything May.” She taunted.

I thought about that, “Well I tell them as much as I can. I am May Riley and telling them everything would take a few hundred years.”

“Did you tell them how you broke into my house? Trashed my car? Kissed my boyfriend?” People were beginning to turn their attention away from Mackenzie and focus it on us.

“Well, let’s be honest. The pranks I pulled on you were my greatest accomplishments. Of course I told them.” I shrugged innocently.

“And he kissed her.” Chase cut in sourly, “I witnessed that.”

“You didn’t even know May when they-“

“Let’s just say he was an ass.” I snapped.

“May, I think you should tell everyone…” Keara whispered dramatically, as if she was an actual friend. “They all deserve to know.”

I sighed and looked her straight in the eye. “You know what Keara you’re right.”

She looked taken aback, and my friends stared at me cautiously, waiting. “Guys, it’s really hard for me to tell you all this.” I cleared my throat, and rubbed my eyes. “I’m a mermaid. And I’m in love with a dragon.” I let my eyes well up with fake tears, “Mother will never approve-“

“Oh shut up Riley.” Jessica snorted while Shane and Caleb snickered at me.

“May, stop playing the victim all the time-“

“-I feel like Taylor Swift right now, but continue.”

“-The reason no one liked you at school is because you’re crazy. You never acted like a proper teenager, you would crash parties instead of attending them. You’d spend nights going to the park instead of going to the movies, you’d wear bottoms to dance class instead of the actual uniform!”

“I’d like to say I’m unique..”

“You never tried to be like us, so why should we try to like you. All we wanted was for you to be normal. And you refused.”

“And?”

“You were in jail for god sake!”

I frowned at that, “I was never in jail… I don’t remember going to jail anyway.”

“I have the picture to prove it.” Keara smiled smugly.

“You do? I feel stalked.” I mumbled to myself.

“Okay I have never been so confused in my life. Between Mackenzie and Keara, I’m lost man.” Caleb whined in defeat.

“I hear you.” Cassie agreed, patting Caleb’s shoulder.

“You were the one to make my life hell, all because I tried to help you fit in.” Keara sighed.

“You tried to get me to be one of your minions. There’s this thing called my pride that prevents me from ever being one of your walking talking puppets.” I snapped, standing up abruptly.

“May?” Mackenzie was taken aback, but I ignored her.

“They said all, teenagers scare the living shit out of me.

They could care less, as long as someone’ll bleed!
So darken your clothes or strike a violent pose.
Maybe they’ll leave you alone…
But not me!” I sang, glaring at Keara.

“The boys and girls in the clique.

The awful names that they stick.

You’re never gonna fit in much, kid!” Chase added.

“But if you’re troubled and hurt!
What you got under your shirt.

Will make them pay for the things that they did!” Melissa sang out, standing up with me.

I jumped up on the wall that surrounded the class, and kicked my legs out as I skipped around on the wall.

“They said all..

Teenagers scare the living shit out of me!

They could care less as long as someone’ll bleed…

So darken your clothes!

Or strike a violent pose!

Maybe they’ll leave you alone, but not me!” I cried out with the rest of the campers. I looked down to see Shane smiling proudly at me, while everyone else was singing along and rocking out to the lyrics.

“All together now!” Caleb yelled, jumping up onto the wall. I snorted with laughter as he wobbled backwards, and grabbed his hand to steady him. We danced clumsily while singing the chorus again.

“Teenagers scare the living shit out of me!

They could care less as long as someone’ll bleed!

So darken your clothes or strike a violent pose…

Maybe they’ll leave you alone but not me!”

We jumped off the wall, both landing and showing the ‘horn hand’ gesture. I smiled sarcastically at Keara.

“See that was perfect!” Mackenzie yelled. “I don’t have to teach you guys anything. You’re all natural!”

“Does that mean we can go?” Jessica questioned cheekily.

“Yeah sure. I won’t see you tomorrow because it’s visiting day, but like whatever.”

Chase tossed his arm around my shoulders and dragged me away before I could hassle Keara. I shot her a glare before flipping her off and allowing Chase to pull me away.

“Good job May.” A random person smirked, patting my shoulder as they passes. I saluted her and grinned at Chase who shook his head in amusement.

“She’s crazy.”

“When were you in jail?” He laughed, watching me in amazement.

“I know it’s hard to believe, but I was never in jail. I don’t get what she meant by prove…” I pondered her words, I stared ahead as I thought until I spotted a guy pinning a picture on the central cabin. “Oh god..”

“What?”

“She spied on me! I feel personally harassed. I want a freaking restraining order, what the hell!” I snapped, strolling over to the cabin to the boy.

The picture showed me dressed up in orange, with dirt all over my face lifting rubbish. “My parents wanting me to know how it would feel if I continued with my pranks. I’d be in prison and blah blah, they littered their backyard, dressed me up and treated me like shit.” I pointed to the picture, “See! That’s my white fence! This is my own garden!”

Chase turned to the guy with the pictures. The ginger kid had turned white and stumbled backwards. “People deserve to know what she’s really like-“

“What did Keara offer you?” I snarled.

“I don’t-“

“What did she offer you!” Chase growled, grabbing him.

“She said if she takes over the camp she’d have me as the main drummer.”

Chase gritted his teeth and raised his fist, “You little-“

“Chase stop.” I ordered, pulling him back. “Why didn’t you just ask Shannon for a chance to drum? She always gives everyone a chance!”

“Because Caleb is always going to get it!”

“No, you guys could have taken turns you idiot! Why does everyone think they have to sabotage their way into everything!” I snapped, my voice beginning to rise.

“What’s going on?” Shane asked, as he approached. I shook my head at our own Ronald Weasley before snatching the pictures from him.

“Nothing.” I hissed. “Keara’s done playing nice. She’s starting to play dirty. So I’m going to have to show her exactly what it means to get mud on your hands.”

“She’s going down.” Shannon promised from over my shoulder as she stared at the picture.

“Oh trust me. She’s already falling.” Jessica snarled.

“She just doesn’t know it yet.” I agreed, sharing a look at my friends and sizing them up. “She doesn’t know what hit her.”


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