To say I was nervous was an understatement.
I admit, throughout the weeks leading up to this very moment, I had been nothing but excited for it. In a way, I would be admitting my feelings to Adrien in the way I best express my emotions — through music. While he wouldn't know the song was meant for him, it was still a way for me to shout my feelings without feeling exposed and vulnerable.
But I was so fucking nervous.
Why? I don't know. Adrien has seen me sing countless times before, so why was I nervous now? Was it because it was for him? Probably.
"Preston! Are you ready to go?" I heard Adrien's voice call out from downstairs. I inhaled a deep breath. I swear Adrien wasn't helping my emotions today. It wasn't even his fault either. He was acting as he usually was, sweet and kind, but just hearing his voice was making me more riled up than usual.
I was getting so impatient. Annie's party was tonight, so after school Adrien and I will be getting ready to head over. Tonight was the night I will be expressing my feelings, and just thinking about it had me nervous and stiff. But at the same time...it was hard to contain my composure around Adrien.
At any moment I felt like I would snap and push Adrien up against the closest wall, just to kiss the fuck out of him.
"Yea! I'm just grabbing my guitar!" I called back out. I took another deep breath to calm my nerves and emotions. I grabbed my guitar case that was sitting on the bed, picking it up by the handle while shrugging my school bag over my shoulder.
Adrien was waiting by the front door by the time I walked down the stairs. He looked attractive as always, but today, he just looked ten times more beautiful. Under his teddy coat, he wore a white, short-sleeved crop top with high-waisted mom jeans and a belt. Yea, I really wanted to push him against the wall and kiss the fuck out of him. He was looking really kissable today.
He turned to look up at me once I walked over, and he flashed one of his sweet smiles, "you took longer than usual this morning. Are you okay? Feeling nervous?"
"A bit nervous, yea. But nothing I can't handle. I'm more excited than anything," I smirked at him, slipping on my shoes, "you look beautiful today, Adrien."
He looked taken aback by the sudden compliment. His lips parted slightly, and he stared at me with a surprised look on his face. I smiled; he looked so cute like that. It didn't help when his cheeks heated up, teeth biting into his lower lip.
"I do? A-ah...uhm, thank you," He murmured. He looked down, ringing his fingers together. I laughed, stepping over to him and hooked my finger under his chin, tilting his head back up to look at me.
"No need to look so shy. Come on, let's go before we're late," I smiled. Adrien paused. He stared at me with those bright green eyes of his, a blush still adorning his cheek. He eventually nodded his head, tilting his gaze away. Fuck. I want to take him back upstairs and have my way with him. Forget about school and the assembly, I was itching to have him now.
I inhaled a deep breath, gaining my composure back and stepped away from Adrien. I shouted a goodbye to our parents, and walked outside. I waited for Adrien to step out to close and lock the door, then, I started walking down the driveway with Adrien beside me.
We walked in calming silence down the sidewalk. The air was cold, a breeze tickling the skin on my cheeks. Adrien zipped his coat, tucking his chin into the collar of his coat as to huddle up from the cold. I couldn't help but smile at how cute he looked.
We got to school in no time. We headed inside and up to our lockers, dropping off our coats and grabbing our textbooks and binders. In the corner of my eye, Adrien was briefly fixing at his hair through his locker mirror.
"I'll see you later. I have to practice during lunch so I won't see you until after my performance," I closed my locker, tucking my books against my arm. Adrien glanced over and smiled.
"Alright. Can't wait to see your performance! Break a leg," Adrien teased. I rolled my eyes at him, smiling nonetheless.
I headed to first period. My first class was AP biology. While I was doing well in the class, it wasn't my favourite class. I wasn't a science person. I was more interested in arts and humanities, but because I didn't know what I wanted to do after high-school yet, having all my science credits will keep my options open.
I released a heavy sigh, dropping my bag down at my side as I sat down at my desk. The bell rang a few minutes later, the classroom soon filling up with the rest of my classmates. I dug into my bag and pulled out my binder and biology textbook setting it onto my desk. Seconds later, Phoebe and Asher walked into the classroom side by side, taking their seats on either side of me.
"Hey Adrien!" Phoebe greeted with a bright smile, she tucked a strand of hair behind her ear, pulling out her notebooks and textbook. I smiled at her, before turning my gaze to Asher as he sat down on the other side of me, and he let out a groan.
"Are you okay Asher?" I raised a brow at him. Asher laid his head against the desk. He looked terrible; his face was pale, almost sickly, and he wasn't wearing any makeup as he usually would. Instead, he was wearing one of Daniel's hoodies so it was baggy on him, and a pair of sweats.
"No. I feel like fucking shit," Asher mumbled. I frowned at him.
"He's been puking all morning. He said he woke up super nauseous and spent a good half hour in the bathroom this morning. We were almost late to class because he was still in the bathroom when I went to pick him up," Phoebe explained with a heavy sigh.
"Really? Why didn't you just stay home then?"
"Because my dad would kill me if I stayed home. It doesn't matter if I'm sick, he'll still want me to go," Asher mumbled. He had his arms wrapped around his torso, "it's fine. I took some medication so hopefully the nausea will subside soon."
The teacher walked in before the second bell went off. The class quieted down as she pulled up the presentation slides. Asher was quiet for the rest of class. Instead of taking notes, he laid with his head on his desk, hood pulled over his face. He didn't want to move in fear he would vomit, so I just told him I would give him my notes so he could look them over later when he felt better.
When class was over, I tucked my binder and textbook back into my bag. Asher got up from his chair, grabbed his bag, and hurried out the classroom. Phoebe and I exchanged looks, before hurrying out of the classroom after Asher.
"Asher!" Phoebe called out. Asher ignored her and pushed past the rush of students, hurrying in the direction towards the bathroom.
Phoebe and I followed him into the queen's bathroom. We got a few looks as he hurried in, but Asher ignored the stares he got from a group of girls as he stepped into the closest stall. He dropped to his knees and instantly dry heaved into the toilet.
I frowned. I walked over and knelt beside Asher in the stall, touching his back gently. Phoebe stood at the front of the stall, blocking everyone else from view as to give Asher some kind of privacy. Asher continued to dry heave in the toilet, eventually throwing up nothing but stomach acid. Tears stung his eyes, a single droplet rolling down his cheek as he gasped for air.
"F-fuck...I hate this," Asher whimpered. He looked miserable. I felt bad for him. I lifted my hand and ran my fingers through his hair, brushing the strands from his face.
"Want me to text Daniel? He could take you to the office and you can lay down there," Phoebe suggested.
Asher shook his head, "n-no...I don't want him to skip class because of me...I-I'll be fine."
"Pft, don't be like that. I'm texting him, and you're going to lay down in the office."
Asher sighed heavily. He didn't argue. Instead, he rested his head against my shoulder, and I wrapped my arms around him. Phoebe pulled out her phone and typed away, sending a quick text message to Daniel to meet us outside of the second floor bathroom.
In the meantime, I helped Asher off the floor and to the sink where he washed his hands and rinsed his mouth. His movements were shaky, face pale like a sheet of paper. I had a hand on his back as I guided him out of the bathroom, Phoebe trailing behind us.
Daniel was already half way down the hall by the time we stepped out of the bathroom. The hallways were vacant now that the bell for second period had rung. He was running over the minute his eyes landed on Asher's figure, both his hands cupping the sides of Asher's face.
"Are you okay babe?" Daniel asked concernedly. Asher leaned into his touch, exhaling a long breath while nodding his head.
"Y-Yea...I'm just really nauseous..." Asher murmured. He wrapped his arms around around him and rested his cheek to Daniel's chest, indulging in his boyfriend's comfort. He clung to Daniel and refused to let go as he took deep breaths.
"He's been puking nonstop all morning. You should take him to the office. He can lay down there...his dad's a dick and won't let him stay home so this is his best bet," Phoebe replied, crossing her arms. Daniel frowned worriedly, gently rubbing up and down Asher's back, pressing a kiss to the top of his head.
"Yea, his dad is pretty strict. I've met him a few times...he isn't very fond of me," Daniel mumbled, "but yea, I'll take him to the office. Hopefully he feels better later on in the day."
"I'll let our art teacher know too, just so she knows that you won't be in class," I added in. Daniel smiled at me and nodded.
Daniel took Asher downstairs to the office, Asher clinging onto him until they were out of sight. I released a heavy sigh, turning to Phoebe as she looked in the direct they left in, lips pulled into a straight line.
"Hopefully he feels better soon," I frown. Phoebe turned her gaze to me, nodding her head.
"Yea...I hope so. I'll see you during lunch, okay?"
"Yea, see you."
Phoebe smiles softly, before walking off to head to class. I walked in the opposite direction, walking down the stairs to the first floor, and heading to my second period classroom.
When second period was over, I headed back to my locker to put away my books. As I'm putting my textbooks and binders away on the top shelf, Marci leaned against Preston's locker, arms crossed over her chest and a smile on her face.
"I'm so excited for Preston's performance! Are you? He's going to sound amazing! I wonder what song he's going to sing!" Marci exclaimed in excitement. I smile softly at her. I shut my locker and shrug my bag over my shoulder.
"I am too. I've been curious about his performance so I can't wait to finally listen to him sing," I respond. Marci beams at me, a bubbly grin on her lips. She hooked her arm with mine and started walking down the hall to the main stairs.
"I heard a little rumour that the song Preston is singing is for the person he likes."
"Really? Who did you hear that from?" I raised a brow at her curiously. We walk down the main stairs and head to the cafeteria, loud echoes of chatter filling the main floor.
"Some guy on the football team. He said he overheard Preston talking to someone about it," She shrugged.
I bit my lip. A heavy weight settled in my chest as I followed Marci into the cafeteria, and we lined up behind the counter display. She unhooked her arm from mine to pull out her wallet from her purse.
Every time someone mentioned Preston's crush, it gave me a weird feeling. Everyone else was so curious to know who it was — excitedly may I add — so why was I feeling like this? I was his best-friend. I should be happy for him, right? I should be cheering him on, right?
So why did my chest tighten every time?
I know Marci liked him. What if the one Preston liked was Marci? I didn't know how to feel about that. Thinking about made me uneasy. Emotions ran through me, ones that I could barely describe because I never felt them before.
Was I jealous?
Did I...like Preston?
Oh god. I liked Preston, didn't I?
"Are you okay Adrien?" I blink and glance to Marci, who was now staring at me with a questioning look.
"Oh...uh, yea. Sorry," I nodded. Marci raised a brow at me curiously, but instead of asking again, she left it alone. I sigh heavily, inhaling a deep breath. Marci stepped up to the food counter when it was our turn, ordering the food she wanted.
What was I supposed to do? I was supposed to be Marci's wing man. I was supposed to help her get close to Preston. I couldn't just steal someone else's man...right? I wouldn't do that to her.
But I hated the thought of them being together. I hated the thought of Preston dating anyone else.
I quickly shake the thoughts out of my head. Marci ordered a couple slices of pizza for herself while I got myself some spaghetti with sauce and meatballs. After paying for our food, we headed into the cafeteria and to our usual table, Phoebe already sitting there along with Kourtney, chatting away.
"Hey guys! It's a quiet table today," Marci greeted the two of them as we sat down at the table. Phoebe looked over and smiled at me, and I return it.
"Yup, it's just us four today. Joseph and Preston are getting ready for the assembly and Asher isn't feeling well. He's in the office with Daniel resting," Phoebe explained.
"Oh, really? I hope he feels better," Marci frowned at her, picking up a pizza slice, folding it, and taking a bite.
"He'll be fine. He has Daniel with him," Phoebe smiled reassuringly. Kourtney nodded her head in agreement, currently snacking on a bag of popcorn while she had her math homework sitting out in front of her.
"Can't wait for the assembly! I also can't wait for the party at Annie's tonight! It's going to be so fun!" Kourtney exclaimed.
"Yes! What are you guys dressing up as?" Marci returned the excitement.
"Joseph and I are doing a couples costume. We're doing Sandy and Danny from Grease!" Phoebe smirked.
"Oooh fun! What are you dressing up as Adrien?"
"Me? Oh, uh...Preston wanted us to dress up together. I'm dressing up as a police officer and he's dressing up as a prisoner," I replied sheepishly.
"Haha! I never expected you to be the kind of person to dress sexy, Adrien," Kourtney teased. A heavy blush coated my cheeks, embarrassment sweeping into my bones.
"I-it was Preston's idea! Not mine!"
Kourtney started to laugh. She smacked her hand against the table and snorted, caught up in the middle of a laughing fit. Marci wasn't saying anything and Phoebe, well, she was knowingly smirking at me, as if she knew something was up.
"Oh god, I cannot wait to see these costumes! They're going to be gold," Kourtney kept laughing. My cheeks were flaming hot at this point.
"Calm down Kourtney — you're embarrassing poor Adrien. He's red as a tomato," Phoebe chuckled, watching Kourtney amusedly.
"S-sorry! Haha! Okay, okay — I'm good," Kourtney inhaled a deep breath, ceasing her laughter, though she was still smiling.
I rolled my eyes at her, willing my embarrassment to go away as I looked down at my spaghetti, twirling some around my fork, and taking a bite.
I think I might puke.
The bell just rang for third period, the exact period that assembly would be starting at. In a few minutes, they will be calling all the grades down into the gymnasium.
We were back stage. The tech crew were getting all the electronics set up, theatre kids were putting their costumes, dancers were stretching, and us music geeks were double checking our instruments. Joseph was sitting on a lone plastic chair, guitar in his hand, making sure it was tuned to his liking.
God, I was sweating. The closer we got, the more nervous I got. My hands were trembling, and my heart was pounding. You'd think I'd be singing the song to Adrien and admitting my feelings for him.
Oh wait...I was.
"Are you okay Preston? Your face is pale," I snapped my gaze over to Joseph. He was now standing next to me, guitar slung over him. I shook my head.
"No, I'm fucking nervous. And it's not because I'm afraid I'll mess up."
Joseph smirked, "you'll be fine, just calm down."
"Easier said than done."
He chuckled, "what are you so nervous about if you're not afraid of messing up?"
I sighed heavily. Phoebe was the only one who knew. If she were here, she would probably smack me and tell me to get the fuck out there and sing my heart out. But she wasn't here. She was sitting front row with Adrien beside her, making sure he caught every moment.
"I...well. The song I'm singing..." I trailed off. Joseph raised a brow.
"The song your singing is what?"
I glance around back stage. I turned back to Joseph and gesture him closer. He looked at me curiously but stepped closer nonetheless, and once he's close enough, I lean over and whisper in his ear.
His eyes go wide, and he quickly looked at me both surprise and excitement, "oh shit, really? I fucking knew it! I'm rooting for you dude."
I chuckled, "thanks, I appreciate it."
"You'll totally swoon him over. With the way he looks at you all the time, there is no way he doesn't like you back. You'll totally get his heart pounding."
"Yea? I think it's just cause he's really easy to embarrass. It's cute, but then again I also wish he had the confidence to express himself more. I want the world to see how I see him — because he's just so amazing."
"Wow, you are so fucking whipped Preston," Joseph laughed.
I rolled my eyes at him. The announcements went off shortly after and soon, I could hear the crowd of people filling the gymnasium. My nerves spiked up again, and when I went to peek out at the audience through the curtains, I noticed Adrien sitting down in the first row.
Phoebe, Kourtney, and Marci were all sitting with them, the four of them chatting while the rest of the seats filled up and patiently waited for the assembly to start. Eventually, I noticed Daniel and Asher join the four of them. All of our friends were there to watch Joseph and I perform. A lot of people were dressed up in costumes considering today was in fact, Halloween. But most of us were waiting for the party tonight to dress up.
I take a deep breath and pull the curtain back down, walking back over to Joseph and the rest of our music class, who were now gathered together in front of Mr. Anderson.
"You guys are going to do great with your performances. I just know it," Mr. Anderson stated with a smile, "you've been practicing hard. You're all talented and you should be proud of yourselves."
I could hear our Principle quiet down the audience as she speaks through a microphone. There is clapping, followed by mild chatter, and then, they are calling the first few people onto the stage for their performances.
I sat down with my guitar in hand, anxiously waiting for my turn. I bounced my leg against the ground, biting my lip, mentally telling myself to calm the fuck down. I could hear the audience laughing from a performance by a few of our most favourite teachers, clapping for a group of dancers and next, a band playing a song with their instruments.
And as the person before me steps onto the stage, Mr. Anderson approaches me with a smile.
"Are you ready Preston? You're up next after," He said. I sighed heavily and nodded my head, standing up from the chair with my guitar slung over me.
"Yea, just nervous." My hands were shaking.
"You'll do great out there kiddo. Just relax," He reassured. He clasps his hand on my shoulder and leads me closer to the curtain. I could feel my heartbeat in my ears.
The person before me finishes, and there is another round of clapping. Then, I hear my name being called to the stage.
Fuck, okay. You got this Preston. You fucking got this.
I released a deep breath and step out onto the stage. Immediately, Phoebe started to cheer from her seat, hollering out my name with her hands cupped around her mouth. They were all cheering for me, and when I locked eyes with Adrien, he smiled.
I winked at him, and blow kisses at Phoebe mockingly. A microphone stand is placed in front of me and my guitar. When the audience quiets down, I speak into the microphone.
"Before the song starts...I just need to say something. This song...too guys all know this song. But I'm singing this song for a very special person tonight, whom means a lot to me," I started. The seniors all start cheering and whistling, especially my football team, and I rolled my eyes. I closed my eyes for a moment, willing myself to relax, and once the beat of Say you won't let go started to play, I play the first strum of my guitar, and open my mouth.
"I met you in the dark, you lit me up. You made me feel as though I was enough...We danced the night away, we drank too much...I held your hair back when you were throwing up." The crowd goes wild as soon as I start singing, bringing a smile to my face.
I sung with all my heart, strumming my guitar to the music, feeling each beat seep into my bones. My heart is on fire, begging to sing louder, begging to convey the feelings I had been holding in for so long. It all hits me like a tidal wave, emotions pouring out of my mouth through each lyric.
I wanted to grab Adrien by the hand, pull him close, and shout from the rooftops how much I loved him. He was my best friend, and I'd fallen in love with him for the amazing person he was. Words could not explain how I felt with him — intense, raw, emotions that I haven't felt for anyone but him.
Before I know it, our eyes lock. Adrien is watching me, and I don't look away anymore. I continue to sing, frantically strumming my guitar, but this time, I'm singing to him.
"I'm so in love with you, and I hope you know; Darling your love is more than worth its weight in gold. We've come so far my dear, look how we've grown — and I wanna stay with you until we're grey and old," I sung, and in the background, I could hear people clapping. But I was only focused on Adrien, his face, his vibrant green eyes that reminded me of emeralds, a pure gem. They shined like the sun. I focused on the way his expression softened, the smile that turned his lips, the tears that filled his eyes.
"I'm gonna love you 'til my lungs give out! I promise 'til death we part like in our vows...So I wrote this song for you, now everybody knows. Finally it's just you and me 'til we're grey and old...Just say you won't let go...Just say you won't let go."
The song slows to a stop. My fingers slow down on the guitar strings, my breath is uneven, and then...everything stops.
There is silence, and soon, people are standing, clapping and cheering.