Keep the Beat

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Chapter 1

I couldn’t wait to get to camp. All way through detention the only thing I could think of was camp. Yet even though I couldn’t wait to get to camp, I was going to miss the one friend I was leaving behind. Unfortunately, he’s more of the sporty type than the musical type.


“Miss Riley!”

My elbows slipped from under me, and my head crashed into the desk

“I didn’t do it!”

I opened my eyes, to see my nose smudged into the table right in middle of some name with a heart around it. I heart Jack. Cute.

The class erupted into laughter as I rubbed my eyes, and attempted to wake myself up. Biology sucked. It was that subject where you had to sit in really uncomfortable chairs, and extremely high desks, plus you had that teacher who droned on and on, and you end up zoning out and thinking about anything but the actual class. But suddenly you realize that you aren’t listening, and try your hardest to concentrate, but you end up trying so hard to actually concentrate that you end up not concentrating anyway.

So I sort of gave up on that usual routine and fell asleep. I copied the notes off Melissa during lunch anyway. Not that I even needed to do that today. It was more detention than anything else. The school just liked to add the shittest subjects to annoy all the students and punish them for messing up.

“The answer to the question Riley.” Mr Kevin’s pushed. I internally groaned. Why could he not ask someone who was actually paying attention and would know the answer of the question to save himself getting so pissed off?

“Question? Oh yeah that question. Well…” I thought for a moment, I had to choose between having a sensible answer, or a snarky remark. And at that moment neither of those were coming into my head. I can’t come up with a comeback on the spot okay! “Damn I got nothing.”

I could see Melissa face palming herself at the front of the classroom, while Jack snickered.

Mr Kevins sighed. “Do you even know what class you are in Miss Riley?” He mused, trying to sound like smart ass. I was overly tempted to stand up and shout ‘don’t sass me sassy!’ but I controlled myself and played dumb.

“That sir I do! I am in history!” I fist bumped the air and gestured for an applause from the class. My classmates rather stared at me, except for two random people to my left who clapped slowly. I glared at the class, “You all suck. I’m just gonna go sit over there-” I attempted to stand up and make my way over to the two nice people who had applauding me.

“Sit down Riley!” Mr Kevin’s snapped, his face going redder by the second. “Maybe if you stopped acting like the class clown for once, you might actually get some work done!”

Eh mister? Number one: I am probably the smartest person in this room besides Melissa. Number 2: My work is always done. But it’s detention so technically it isn’t proper work. And number three… “Um sir? I don’t need to act.” I announced in a duh tone.

The class chuckled again. They were at the edge of their seats, begging for drama. I couldn’t blame them either. It was the very last day of detention. And I know what you’re thinking, weren’t you already finished? Keara threw an end of the year party for god sake!

Well no man, no we weren’t. Unlike most other schools, the rebels of the school finished on a Monday. The school put anyone who misbehaved during the last week of school into this Monday detention. We basically just got an extra day of school. It sucked. No wonder why Mr Kevin’s was so pissed off, it was pointless doing work anyway.

If you are wondering how I have detention? Well I sort of pulled an end of the year prank, and dragged Melissa and Jack into it. I didn’t even think this detention thing existed!

“What do you even plan on doing in the future Riley?” He asked, furrowing his eyebrows.

“She’s so stupid she won’t do anything.” I heard some doofus snicker as he got up to throw his gum in the bin. I looked him up and down in a patronizing manner.

“Says the one who doesn’t understand the meaning of under in underwear. Dude, why do you think that’s okay? Wearing your pants half-way down your backside doesn’t make you attractive, it makes you look incapable of dressing yourself!” I face-palmed and turned back to Mr Kevin’s. “I have a plan for the future, one that is so wicked it will blow your mind!”

“Please. Intrigue me.” He snorted.

“Well-” The bell rang signaling lunch. “Oh look at that. Got to run!” I leaped out of my chair, and attempted to make a dramatic exit but ended up running into the door instead.

Story of my life.

“Hows your nose?” Jack asked sympathetically. We were sitting in our usual place beside the trash cans. It kind of looked weird that only three of us were sitting at that massive table, but yolo. Next year our gang will add up to a total of four, when the cutie Joseph sits with us.

“It’s having a really bad day.” I miffed. Melissa rolled her eyes and muttered something along the lines of ‘idiot’. I frowned and tossed a grape at her head. “Don’t be so rude!”

“I love you really.” She smirked as I nodded my head in approval.

“So what about Keara going to the Turn Up The Beat?” Jack snorted. “Do you believe her?”

I shared a look with Melissa, who shrugged. “We’ll find out soon.”

“How?”

I turned to Jack in confusion. “Did we never tell you?”

“Tell me what?”

“We’re in Camp Turn Up The Beat. Well we were in Camp Step Up The Beat, but now it’s changed so-“

How could you never tell me that?” Jack cried, his mouth agape.

Melissa snorted at his reaction. “It never came up. Besides, it isn’t that big of a deal.”

“She’s right. It’s just a camp full of idiots who say a load of random shit, can sing and dance, get into casual wars and have nice hair.” In my opinion I summed the camp up pretty well.

“Yeah we all do have pretty nice hair,” Melissa agreed, “why is that?”

“Probably the water at camp or something..”

“Yeah that does make sen-“

Jack chucked the crusts of his sandwiches at both of us. “I’ve been sitting beside you guys for a full year and you never mentioned it!”

“No.” I argued. “We did mention it, we just never mentioned it in full. We called it camp.”

Jack glowered at us, and turned back to his chips. If you’re wondering who Jack is, he’s a loner. Basically he never joined a group in freshmen year, and when you don’t make a group then, you usually never do. Not that he got bullied or anything, it would be impossible to bully this guy.

But because I’m awesome, on September first, both myself and Melissa join Jackey boy at his quite smelly table (darn that trashcan) and now he’s basically one of the girls.

Don’t tell him I said that.

“I still can’t believe she’s going to be there.” Melissa muttered. “I swear I’m gonna ruin her when she gets there and show her just how dangerous I can be.”

I raised an eyebrow in amusement. “You tell her sistah!”

Melissa shot me an unamused look, and bit into her banana. “Come on May. You know how fucked up things are going to be. She’s going to try and ruin everything! And she’s going to try and ruin you.”

“Pfft. Ruin me? She can try.”

“She’s gonna try and steal Chase anyway.”

I narrowed my eyes at Melissa, and attempted to keep myself calm. “Chase is a big boy now. And I don’t own him Melissa.”

Melissa’s lips quirked in amusement, “Well that got your attention.”

“Fuck you!” I whined, blushing. I buried my head in my arms and hid under the table, while Melissa and Jack laughed.

So you’re probable wondering about Chase. Well Chase is Chase I guess. We’ve gotten closer. A lot closer than we were over the year, but no. We are not boyfriend and girlfriend. I repeat no formalities! We’re just friends. Really really good friends.

“Can you guys just get together already?” Melissa teased, grinning widely.

“Shut up!”

“What colors red?” Jack added.

“Stop it!”

“May!” I turned to see Marc come running towards me and grinned, while Jack groaned and muttered under his breath. “Why does he even try?” Melissa mused.

“S’up Marco! Didn’t think the golden boy would ever get detention!” I gasped. My hatred for Marc was still there. But I had just learned to embrace it.

“Hi.” He said uneasily. So I guess I’ll fill you in on Marc’s usual ‘win girls over’ act. First he acts all shy and awkward, making you think ‘Aw cute’. No! It is not aw or cute. It is manipulative, and used for bad things. Secondly he tries to sneak in his little smile with those dimples, same as above. No aw or cute about it! Now if all this fails, he tries to guilt trip you. This usually ends up with him getting a punch in the face, usually by me if I walk past or if he’s trying it on me.

The punch in the face doesn’t work. So I have come up with a new tactic. I use his act on him. I can be a manipulative bitch if I want to be.

“Hi.” I mocked, twirling a piece of hair around my finger.

He smiled at me. “So why did you never tell your girlfriend about me being at Camp Step Up The Beat?” I questioned.

Marc frowned. “It never came up.”

“Oh, I guess that’s good enough.” I grinned widely at him. “She’s a shit girlfriend anyway.”

He smiled widely, and I choked back a laugh as I glanced at Melissa who pretended to puke. “What do you want Marc?”

“Well, actually I was wondering if you wanted to you know, go out with me tonight? To the movies or something.”

“To the movies?”

“Yeah.” He scratched the back of his neck nervously. “Like it doesn’t have to be the movies, it could be dinner or-“

“Mark!” A voice interrupted him. A girl probably twice my size was staring at him in disbelief. I recognized her from the schools soccer team. “Are you serious right now?”

“Kendra-” Marc stuttered, and cursed under his breath.

Kendra turned and glared at me, but was cut short when realized who I was. My heart ached at the amount of sadness in her eyes. “I thought you were okay. You seemed nice, you stood up for yourself. You seemed decent! But I didn’t think you would do this.”

“Kendra I don’t know what you are on about!” I replied. To be perfectly honest, I did not want to get on the wrong side of this girl. She was a beast and could probably knock me out in two seconds.

“Were going out!” She exclaimed. “He asked me to go to the cinema today! I thought he liked me! Was this just a game or something? I swear to-“

“He asked you out today?” I gritted my teeth. Melissa whistled lowly, and Jack turned around so he could watch.

“No! I didn’t-” Marc tried to find the words.

“You didn’t ask her out?” I mused.

“No I did but-“

“So what else can you say? You asked her out today Marc. Today! The same day you attempted to ask me out. That basically makes you a whore.” I deadpanned.

“It was the first time in ages we had a proper nice conversation May! You didn’t give me much of that! I just thought..” There you are. The guilt trip move.

“Oh Marco. You just love making this a tradition, don’t you?” I tutted.

“Making what-“

I punched him in the face. Again. I hissed and glance at my hand that was beginning to sting. Jack nodded his head in approval at my punch and Kendra stood with her mouth agape, staring at me. “You can do much better that him Kendra. We all can.”

Melissa moved forward, and began to tend to my hand. “And you.” I pointed at Marc. “Stop being a dick and hurting my hand god damn it!”

Marc glared at me, as he held his nose. “What the hell can I do to get you to forgive me?”

“I’ve forgiven you! But you’re still an asshole!”

“She’s got a point.” Melissa added quietly, as she cleaned my cuts with a piece of tissue.

“I didn’t ask you.” He seethed at her.

“Don’t you dare talk to her like that!” I hissed. Jack sighed and got up from his seat. Now if you must know, Jack is quite.. Big? He was probably twice the size of Marc both ways. He wasn’t fat. He was just pure muscle, he would probably be really popular if he didn’t refuse to be, and refuse to join the school football team. He was boxer too. To me he always seemed like a big cuddly bear, but the look on his face as he glared at Marc got rid of that idea. “Stay the hell away from them.” He snapped. “If I see you two feet near these girls, I will hurt you.”

I watched, fascinated at the transaction. Jacks hands were curled up at his side, his jaw clenched and his stare went right through Marc. Marc on the other hand looked like he was about to faint. He probably never even heard Jack speak before.

He nodded mutely, and stumbled away from the table, still holding his nose. As he clambered away, Kendra stuck her foot out, and successfully tripped him. She nodded at us, and stalked off.

Jack sat back down, and started eating again. “Aww!” I cooed. “I knew you cared about us! No matter how many times you pretended we were invisible! You love us Jack.” I wrapped my arms around him, and attempted to hug him. He groaned and looked at Melissa.

“She ain’t gonna let go until you hug her back.” Melissa shrugged.

“Never.” I agreed.

School ended at two o’clock. We were finally free!

“Jack!” I screamed, as I ran and jumped into his arms. “I’m going to miss you so much. Oh my god, this is so emotional. I’m going to cry!” I wiped away a fake tear, while Jack flicked my forehead.

“You’re such a girl.” He teased. “Anyway, I know you’re at ‘camp’ and everything, but you have to make it to my fight.”

I pursed my lip. “I’ll force Chris to let us out.”

He grinned. “Here, I’ll put it into your calendar.” He snatched my phone from me, and set up his boxing match on my phone with an alarm and everything.

“Cool!” Melissa took her turn and gave him a tight hug.

“Make sure she doesn’t do anything stupid.” He smiled at Melissa, who rolled her eyes.

“I’m a girl, Jack. Not a miracle worker.”

I frowned at them, and punched his arm. “Stop being so mean!”

I heard a car horn beep, and turned around to see Kelly waving at us. “That’s our lift.” I said, unfortunately Melissa’s car was in the garage so we had to rely on Kelly for lifts. I’d been saving up for ages to get my own car, and even started working over the year. By next year I was positive I would have my own car, which I would get with my own money. Not my parents. I was still trying to pay them back for basically saving the camp.

I kissed Jacks cheek. “Be careful, okay?” I ordered. “Don’t train too hard. You’re going to win anyway.”

He nodded, “Of course I am.”

“Okay we should go. We need to pack for camp.” Melissa explained. “Bye Jack!”

“Love you!” I added. He grinned and saluted us.

We raced to Kelly’s car, and I jumped into the front seat. “Hey Chris!” I coughed, “I mean Kelly. I don’t know where that came from!”

“Shut up Chase.” She replied smoothly. I gaped at her, and turned to Melissa. “That was you, wasn’t it.”

“She forced me to tell her!” She defended.

“Yeah, you know about my love life, so I know about yours. Chase is quite cute by the way. Wait no, cute isn’t the word, I’d say-“

“Shut up!” I wailed, making them laugh.

“Right so I’ll drop you off at Melissa’s first, because I’m betting Melissa is already packed, and that May is not.” Kelly shrugged casually.

“Excuse me!” I replied hotly, “But I am half packed, thank you very much.”

Melissa chuckled, “Yeah Kelly, I’ll just run in and tell my mum that I’m going to help May pack. I’ll be two seconds.”

Kelly nodded, and pulled over in front of Melissa’s house. “I’m counting!” She joked.

Melissa ran to her white gates, pulled them open and sprinted into the house. About five minutes later she came back out. “I’m sorry, Mom made me take my vitamins.”

I held back a smile, as we drove on again. “So Melissa.” I smirked. “Any ladies in your life?”

“No.” She said, far too quickly.

My eyes widened. “Who is she! Why haven’t I heard off her! What the hell man!”

“May do you want me to crash the car?” Kelly complained.

“Shush!” I replied. “You are telling me everything once we get inside young lady.”

Kelly pulled into my driveway, and I hopped out of the car after kissing her cheek. “Love you Kells.” I called, while pulling Melissa into the house. “Hey Cordelia!” I shouted into the kitchen and raced up the stairs. Once we reached my room, I face planted onto my bed.

“I don’t want to pack.” I said matter of factly.

“I don’t care.” Melissa replied in the same tone, and pulled me by the feet of the bed. “Pack now.”

I groaned and began to grab random t-shirts and jeans, and throwing them into my suitcases. I found some of my favorite tops; My peter pan one, my captain jack sparrow one, my camp half blood and five seconds of summer ones, and I added them into the case as well.

“While I pack. You tell me about this girl.” I reasoned.

Melissa sighed. “Fine. She’s really nice, and funny. She’s quite shy too. Her hairs blonde and it’s really pretty. So is she…”

“Aw! Why can’t guys be like that?”

Melissa snorted with laughter.

After rooting out some nice jeans, and shorts and finding a few simple hoodies, I was finished. “Now we have to close these.” I muttered.

“Melissa sit on this.” I ordered, and she obeyed. I attempted to zip up the suitcase with her on top of it, yet her legs kept getting in the way. “Move!”

“You know you would probably be a bitch of a girlfriend.” Melissa grumbled.

I laughed loudly. “Yeah, I’d probably be like Taylor Swift!”

“Which rumored Taylor. Psycho one, or cute one?”

“Definitely the psycho one.”

“Nice to meet you, where you been?” Melissa sang.

“I could show you incredible things!” I added.

“Magic, madness, heaven, sin. Saw you there and I thought-“

“Oh my god.
Look at that face, you look like my next mistake..
Love’s a game, wanna play?” I laughed.

“New money, suit and tie.
I can read you like a magazine.
Ain’t it funny rumors fly,
And I know you heard about me.” Melissa added, while throwing my shoes into a carrier bag.

“So hey, let’s be friends,
I’m dying to see how this one ends.
Grab your passport and my hand…
I could make the bad guys good for a weekend!”

“So it’s gonna be forever!
Or it’s gonna go down in flames!
You can tell me when it’s over,
If the high was worth the pain…
Got a long list of ex-lovers,
They’ll tell you I’m insane!
Cause you know I love the players…
And you love the game!” We sang together.

I burst out laughing. “She makes herself out to be an absolute weirdo in that song.”

“That’s what she was going for. Fuck society.” Melissa smiled.

“Fuck society.” I agreed, with a smirk.

“God I love Taylor Swift..”

“Same.”


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