Keep the Beat

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Chapter 4

Despite Chase’s reassurance, Keara’s action still scared me. I was scared that she’d win again, that I’d lose again and that everyone would choose her again. So I was determined to stop her.

“I swear, it’ll take me a few tries, but I did it over the summer!” Mr Hastings muttered, as he tried to complete the trick he had supposedly learned to do over the summer. He attempted to throw the guitar over his shoulder again, but instead of going over it, it merely crashed into it.

“Sir,” I spoke up, trying to hide my laugh, “you’re going to break your guitar.”

It was guitar lessons, and usually in this class we all pick a song we want to learn, and Mr Hastings helps us learn it. Yet today he decided he wanted to show off his guitar skills.

“It worked last time!” He complained, trying to swing the guitar again.

“Sir, your guitars too pretty to break.” Shannon added, watching the car anxiously.

Nearly everyone in the room were holding back their laughter. That is everyone but Jessica, who was sitting at her desk, doodling in her notebook. She had changed over the school year, I realized that the moment she saw me and didn’t get in a fight. Shannon had also noticed the difference, but she had said that she had changed a lot two months after school started. She had stopped strolling down the halls like she owns the place, and she didn’t pick on the other students anymore. She even got in a fight with her father outside the principles office.

I watched her continue to draw in her book. I sort of did miss the bitchy Jessica.

Suddenly there was a crash, and everyone turned to Mr Hastings, eyes wide in horror. His guitar was behind his smashed on the ground. Mr Hastings coughed nervously, “I may have thrown it too hard..”

“You killed it!” I cried in disbelief, as I stared at the remaining’s of his guitar.

A group of kids who were in the old Turn It Up camp began to laugh as they stared at the mess he made. “You just threw it!” One of them laughed, tears streaming from his eyes. Soon enough everyone was laughing at Mr Hastings who was fighting a smile. Even Jessica cracked a smile.

“If anyone asks, it was a complete accident, and it happened while I was teaching you. I need Chris to pay for my new guitar.”

We all just nodded, still chuckling. Mr Hastings was too nice to disobey, he was just a little bit stupid.

He picked up his broken guitar, and made his way to the door. “You can all just sit here, while I go and talk to Chris about this.”

We nodded in agreement, and I lay back in my seat, my guitar in my hand. “Rest in peace Mr Hasting’s guitar.” I murmured.

Shane and Chase snorted with laughter at that,while Shannon sniffled. “It was so pretty!” She repeated.

I sat up and patted her on the back, that’s when I noticed a group of girls glaring at me. They were a mixture of different groups from the camp, but they all surrounded the one person I hate. And she, herself, was sitting in the middle of them rubbing away tears.

Fake tears.

I had seen Keara cry before. And that was when she hadn’t one a dance competition when she was fourteen. That was the only time I had ever seen her cry properly. Her eyes would be red and puffy, and her face would be white. These were merely forced tears.

“Problem?” I asked them, completely ignoring Keara’s state.

“Yes actually,” A girl with red hair snapped in reply, “I knew you were a bitch, but I didn’t think you were this bad!”

“Excuse you?” I asked, shocked.

“She told us everything you did to her!”

“Define everything!”

“Setting her house on fire? Ruining her car? Making a fool out of her in front of the whole school!”

I laughed. I couldn’t help myself, but I pissed myself laughing. “I set her house on fire?” I chuckled, “Did you seriously just say that I set her house on fire?”

“Didn’t you?”

“Sweetheart. I live right beside her. I’d hardly set her house on fire in risk of putting my very own on fire.” I snapped.

“This is ridiculous!” Melissa snapped. “What bullshit are you feeding these people? Destroyed you car? The only thing May did was put a tree in your parking space. It’s your fault you drove into it!”

“Plus. By the looks of this one, she doesn’t need any help making a fool out of her.” Shannon snarled.

I shook my head in amusement. “Seriously Keara? I was willing to give you a chance here! Let you actually have proper fun, and make proper friends without playing these stunts. But what the hell do you do? Spread a load of bullshit about me?”

Keara sniffled. “I’m fed up of being scared of you May.”

“Scared of me? You basically fucked me off the first day of camp!”

“Only so I didn’t seem like a pushover!” She whined, “I didn’t want to appear as weak…”

I pinched the bridge of my nose breathing in and out deeply. “How low can you go Keara.” Chase grabbed my hand from under the table, and held it tightly, rubbing his thumb over it soothingly. His way of calming me down.

“She even hit me once!”

I was about to explode. Hit her? I rarely hit girls, even though that sounds really weird and like a boy thing to say, it’s true. Yes I would bitch slap someone if they ever pushed me over the edge, but I haven’t done that yet. I had only ever hit boys, mostly Marc, and I’ve hit Jack a few times when he was teaching me how to punch properly.

Before I could lose my cool, a snort of laughter came from the other side of the room. Everyone’s head turned to Jessica. She smiled, amused. “No offence.. Kerry is it?”

“Keara.” She stuttered in reply.

“Right, well. If May hit you, she’d break you in two. And I doubt she’d want that.” Jessica shrugged. I quickly got over my shock of Jessica defending me, and shouted,”Preach!”

Jessica shot me a ‘shut up and let me talk’ look, and I raised my hands in mock surrender. “I get that you hate May. She’s a bitch, I get it. I went through the same thing last year. But this-” She waved at Keara’s crying mess, “-is not how you deal with it. Like you look stupid right now.” She sighed, and went back to her doodling. Everyone was silent for a while.

“Yeah what she said.” I nodded.

Everyone except Keara and her four ‘friends’ chuckled.

“Keara. I’m just gonna put this straight.” Kate, a girl from Turn It Up, stood up and turned to her. “I don’t like you. You seem like a spoiled brat, and your problem with May is pathetic.”

I shot her a peace sign, and she smirked. “I don’t usual judge, but please just shut up. You’re voice is annoying.”

“Hear, hear.” I muttered under my breath, causing Chase to cough with laughter.

“What gives you the right to talk to me?” Keara snapped.

Jessica rolled her eyes at that, “Wow, she’s worse than what I used to be-” She was interrupted by the ringing of her phone. She pulled it out of her back pocket, and a smile lit up on her face. She glanced at Keara before shrugging and exiting the room.

There was a dead silence, and everyone was staring at whether Keara or me. Keara was glaring daggers at me, while I smiled back cheerfully. “You’ve got everyone wrapped around your fingers don’t you.” She snarled.

I looked down at my hands, and pursed my lips. “Nope don’t see anyone on these!” I wriggled my fingers for effect.

Everyone fell silent again, until Shane snorted with laughter, closely followed by Chase, then Shannon and half of the class. “Stop laughing at her!” Keara growled, “She’s not even funny.”

I coughed and raised a hand, “Personally I think I’m hilarious.”

The siren rang throughout the camp, signaling the end of class. Everyone scrambled to their feet and began to leave the room. Keara made a desperate attempt to approach me, and probably accuse me of hitting her cat or something, but I grabbed Chase’s hand and dragged him out the door after me. “All the other kids with the pumped up kicks, you better run, better run, outrun my gun.” I muttered, as I raced to the dining area hoping to escape Keara.

Chase began to hum along to the song, while I continued to drag him.

“Feel free to like run on your own accord any time soon.” I huffed.

“Nah, I like it when you’re dragging me places.” He replied, with a cheeky wink. I froze, and stared at him, unsure of how to respond.

“I don’t get it..” I murmured, before shrugging. “But anyway, you can fend for yourself when Keara comes. Good luck!”

I turned around, laughing at Chase’s horror struck expression, before sprinting the rest of the way to the dining area.

“Why the hell do you look like you just ran a marathon?” Cassie pondered, popping a chip into her mouth.

“Because I freaking did!” I panted, I grabbed her bottle of water and downed it.

“Oh help yourself!” She muttered sarcastically, and I shot her a sweet smile back.

I sat down and lay my head on the table, “I hate her,” I grumbled, “Literally hate her.”

“Same.” I heard Shannon grumbled, and she threw herself onto the seat beside me.

“Who does she think she is?” Melissa added.

“The queen of Narnia.” Caleb piped up helpfully, I grinned and lifted my hand to high-five him.

“You just need to ignore her,” Chase announced, “she’ll get bored and go away.”

“You don’t know Keara. That’ll just make her more determined to ruin my fabulous life.”

“Please May, you can handle her. She can hardly understand sarcasm never mind fight it.”

“Somehow she still manages to fight it though, since we were like five.”

“She hated you since she was five? Seriously?”

“I sort of insulted her. Unintentionally of course.”

Caleb snorted unattractively at that, “Of course.” He repeated.

I frowned. How come every time I say ‘of course’, someone repeats me? I pointed a finger accusingly at him, “I don’t like your tone mister!”

“Uh, May. Heads up!” Melissa squeaked. I groaned and turned to face her again.

“What do you want?” I yell-whined at her.

“For you to like, give up?” Keara replied, with a duh look on her face. I shot her a baffled expression, I still didn’t know if she was being serious. Did she seriously expect me to give up that easily? I shot Shannon a ‘this bitch is crazy’ look, and she nodded in agreement.

“Keara. Let me put this in your terms,” I cleared my throat, before faking a wide grin, “Oh my god, how about like, you know, never!”

Keara sneered at me, “I know so much shit about you May. I could ruin you.”

I stood up and faced her. “Vice fucking versa.”

“I had the best summer last year, when you were gone. At least until I got that phone call…” She trailed off, before shaking her head and continuing. “What I’m trying to say. No one missed you May. No one will ever miss you so-“


Everyone turned around to see Caleb, standing over a now broken tray, which contained kitchen cutlery that he had thrown onto the ground. He surfaced it for a while, before looking up at us and glaring at Keara. “Oh I’m sorry. I was just looking for the amount of fucks given!” He snarled, and gestured to the mess, “And look at that. There’s none.”

I pursed my lips and held back a gleeful laugh. Caleb just absolutely wrecked her. Keara stood there flabbergasted. “No one cares Keara.” I spat, “So just stop trying, and for once just be real.”

Her eye twitched as she glared at me, and raised her hand as if she was ready to slap me. Chase caught it and shook his head, “We don’t with things with violence.” He hissed, “And I won’t have May kicked out for kicking your ass.”

She pulled her arm out of his hold, breathing heavy. She shot me another death glare, which I welcomed with a cheery smile.

“I wake up every evening. With a big smile on my face, and it never feels out of place!” I sang, pointing to my grinning face. “And you’re still probably working, at a nine to five pace. I wonder how bad that tastes?”

“When you see my face,

hope it gives you hell,

hope it gives you hell.”

“Oh!” Caleb howled.

“When you walk my way,

hope it gives you hell,

hope it gives you hell.” I added.

“Now where’s your picket fence love?

And where’s that shiny car?

And did it ever get you far?” Shannon sang.

“You never seemed so tense love!
I’ve never seen you fall so hard,
do you know where you are?”
Melissa sang, gesturing to Keara’s stiffened state. Keara was lost for words, and had no idea what to do.

“And truth be told I miss you…” I whispered, before smirking and crying out, “And truth be told I’m lying!”

The campers began to sing with us, and I stood up on my seat.

“When you see my face,

hope it gives you hell,
hope it gives you hell!
When you walk my way,
hope it gives you hell,
hope it gives you hell.
If you find a man that’s worth a damn and treats you well!
Then he’s a fool you’re just as well,

hope it gives you hell.
Hope it gives you hell!”

Eventually the voices began to settle down, and Chris ordered us to go to our next class. Keara remained in her spot, pale. I walked up to her. “I don’t like being the bitch Keara. I really don’t.” I told her truthfully, “But this place is like my home. And if you try to take it away from me, I will ruin you.”

With that, I turned on my heal and stalked out of the dining area and to my cabin instead of to my class. Once I entered the cabin, I let out a sigh, and slumped to the ground against the door.

“It takes a lot out of you, being a bitch, doesn’t it?” Jessica murmured, she was lying on her bed, staring up at the ceiling.

“Is that why you toned down a bit?” I questioned curiously.

A smile made its way to her face, “Not really.”

“Then why?”

She eyes me for a second, before carefully replying, “I met someone, during the school term. He helped me realize that being a spoiled brat all the time won’t get me many places. He reminded me of you to be honest.”

“I like him already.” I grinned.

“He’s as sarcastic as you are, has a way with people. He’s quite convincing, but you wouldn’t want to see him angry. He keeps it under control, but it’s scary whenever he is.” She sighed, and stared at her phone longingly. “I miss him.”

“Are you two together?”

“No!” She blushed, “Just friends.”

I didn’t push on the subject, and lay my head against the wall, eyes closed.

“I didn’t like you last year because I was threatened.” Jessica announced, “My father had warned me that someone was going to try to take over the camp. I didn’t really know what he meant, I just presumed who was concerned for me or something.

“I thought that person was you. And I put on the usual your dead bitch act because I thought that was the best thing to do. I used Corey a lot to get what I wanted, and I wanted Chase to help me too, but he was too infatuated by you.” She trailed off. “I guess what I’m trying to say is that I regret it. I’m still a bitch yes, but I’m not under daddy’s influence anymore. I’m my own kind of bitch.”

I thought for moment before replying, “I like your own kind of bitch. It’s less girly and annoying.”

“Yeah, I like it too.” She muttered.

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