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Black Keys

By Hadassah Harper All Rights Reserved ©

Other / Romance


Nineteen-year-old Sabrina Dominguez is rather independent and has been optimistic of showing her parents that she will not need their help as she gallivants in college. However, after losing her job, she returns home with her family. Her brothers think she has what it takes to audition for ‘So You Wanna Sing’, a show that allows aspiring artists to shine. Sabrina does not think she has what it takes, but her cousin-slash-best-friend, and secret childhood crush, begs to differ. Gil Solorio is the youngest piano teacher at The Julliard School, in New York City. It has been a while since he has taken time to visit his family, and decides to surprise his parents. However, when he arrives home, it’s not his parents answering the door. When Gil lays eyes on the cute girl with borderline black hair and intense blue-green eyes, he starts to wonder remember his cousin, Sabrina. Sabrina and Gil, though a few years apart, find themselves falling back into their best-friend routine, even to the extent that they find each other attractive, and plan to become partners for the singing audition. Will they learn to love each other in a different way?

Chapter 1 - Sabrina

It stinks being a nineteen year old, trying to make my way through college. I barely make it through the week. I have to work so hard, just to make enough to pay my part of the rent. I eat with friends, but always end up promising to pay them back. Sometimes, I wonder if coming to college was the right decision. Sure, I thought I could do something ambitious and make my parents proud. My dad did not go to college, but he supported my decision because this was a decision he wanted me to make on my own. My mom made it a bit harder to make the decision because she went to college and was working up until I was born.

My mom almost did not want me, but my dad was ready to go into father-mode, full force. My parents were somewhat still just getting into their relationship when they found out I was coming. I think my parents split for a while, but then got back together. They never talk about it around me; they do not talk about anything from the past around me. I guess it was a tough time for them and they do not like thinking about it.

My dad is the greatest. I can go to him about everything, and I do mean everything. I have always brought my boy problems to him, never to my mom. I do not know why, but my dad just has this way of helping me understand things better. When I was in 9th grade, a boy would always tease me. He would pull my hair; he would pretend to slip me notes, but they were blank. I liked him, and did not know what to do, so I went to my dad. My dad’s advice was for me to confront this boy and talk to him. All I had to do was ask him to stop bothering me while mentioning that he was mulling the chance of me liking him.

The boy admitted teasing me because he did not know how to approach me about the crush he had on me. We did not become boyfriend and girlfriend though. Before anything could become something more, his parents moved to California. Two weeks later, he was posting pictures with a girl on his Instagram. I was hurt and disappointed in myself for thinking he would remember me and at least call me on the phone. My dad took me out for ice cream and helped me feel better. My dad is my only best friend, with the exception of one other person . . . but it has been a long time since I have seen him, and he is at least seven years older than I am.

I pace around my bedroom; I am worrying myself to death about what I am going to tell my roommate about paying this month’s share of the rent. I got fired from my job, because they needed people with more experience. How much more experience do you need to decorate donuts? Pathetic, I know! I hear the front door open and then close. I take a deep breath. Might as well get this over with.

“Casey,” I begin as I enter the kitchen. “I don’t have my share of this month’s rent.”

“What happened?” she asks, her browns eyes bulging out of her face.

“They fired me,” I reply, crossing my arms. “I’m not experienced enough to decorate donuts, apparently.”

“That is pathetic . . . So, are you going to find another job, or what? I can’t keep paying your share of the rent.”

“If you kick me out and get a new roommate, I totally understand. I’ll call my parents and ask to come home.”

Casey just nods and starts to prepare Ramen. I sigh; it is no use talking to her when her focus is getting food into her stomach. I turn and march to my room for my phone. I stare at my Dad’s caller ID picture. We took this picture when I graduated high school. Aside of the fact that my eyes are a different shade of blue, I look every bit like him. My dark hair and skin, and my height, make me more my dad’s daughter than my mom. Mom has blonde hair and is nowhere near as tall as I am.

I hesitate a moment, but press the green button, and dial my dad’s number. It rings several times before I get his voicemail. I groan with frustration and try again.

“Hey sweetheart!” Dad answers on the second ring. “Just the girl I wanted to talk to!”

“Hi Daddy,” I whisper, smiling as I sit on the edge of my bed.

“Hold it a second . . . Sabrina, what’s wrong? You do not sound like the excited little girl who would sneak out with me for snacks.”

My smile widens; my dad knows me so well.

“My boss fired me,” I explain, taking a deep breath. “I don’t have my share of the rent and my roommate might be a little pissed with me right now.”

“Oh, sweetheart,” Dad says with a sigh. “Would you like me help out?”

“Daddy, I don’t want you to use your money on me.”

“Sabrina, it is my job to use my money on you, you know that . . . Is your doorbell ringing?”

“What-” my question is cut off by the sound of the buzzer. “I’ll get it!”

I hurry to the intercom before Casey even starts to get up from the table.

“Who is it?” I ask, pressing the talk button.

“The sole survivor of Pompeii.”

I gasp and immediately buzz the door open. I open the front door and listen carefully. I can hear the pounding of footsteps coming from the staircase. I giggle with anticipation as I end the call with my dad and step into the hallway.

“Sabrina!” my twin brothers shout as they charge towards me.

I squeal as they lift me off the ground in a monstrous-bear hug. They take turns spinning me around until I start to shout ‘uncle’. Jacks carries me into my apartment and set me on the couch. Eric plops himself next to me, and Jacks takes my other side. Jacks and Eric are not completely identical twins, but you have to really know them in order to tell them apart. They take after Mom, in everything, with the exception of their light brown-copper hair. They are every bit like Mom; bubbly and lovable. Of course, they have the blue-greenish eyes to top the cake.

“Sabrina, we have neighbors,” Casey complains, coming out of the kitchen. “Oh, hey guys.”

“Dad should be up in a bit,” Eric says, ignoring Casey.

Casey stares at him for a moment and then disappears in the kitchen again. I stifle the urge to giggle. Casey has the biggest crush on Eric, and I know he knows, but he is still only sixteen.

“We brought donut,” Jacks says, rubbing his hands together. “Are you ready for some serious betting?”

I groan “I am not really in the mood to look at any donuts right now,” I say, rest my head in my hands. “I lost my job because they need more experienced donut decorators.”

“That is pathetic!” Eric shouts, making me look at him. “Aren’t you, like, their best worker?”

“Don’t they know you are the best they will ever have?” Jacks asks, turning me to face him.

Eric and Jacks continue to spin me as they ask a million questions. In no time, I am laughing again, and very dizzy. I love these knuckleheads. They always manage to make me smile. The sound of someone clearing their throat makes me jump from the couch and run to the waiting arms of my dad.

“Surprised ya, huh?” he asks with a chuckle.

“Best surprise in weeks,” I reply, nodding. “How did you manage to speak to me on the phone without those knuckleheads shouting in the background?”

I pull away to look into my dad’s face. Dad smiles and nudges me back into the living room. Eric and Jacks are already wrestling each other on the floor. I pinch my lips into a thin line, trying my hardest not to laugh, or encourage my brothers to keep going.

“Boys!” Dad says, breaking them up. “Do I have to remind you the reason we are here?”

Eric and Jacks immediately jump to their feet and stand at attention, like soldiers.

“What is the reason you are here?” I ask, crossing my arms. “Aside of surprising me, of course.”

“You like singing,” Eric begins, shrugging. “Jacks and I saw this thing we thought you might like.”

“And we think you would do really well,” Jacks adds, grinning. “Have you ever heard of ‘So You Wanna Sing’? It’s a show just like X-Factor, except they are more welcoming to people who sing the music you like.”

I raise a questioning eyebrow. Music I like. Is that supposed to insult me?

“If you mean Christian contemporary,” I say, moving my hands to my hips. “Last I checked, the two of you liked that genre as well.”

“No,” Jacks shakes his head, but there is a hint of a grin on his face. “You like the older artists. Eric and I prefer the artists from our time.”

“Nothing wrong with liking the oldies,” Eric says, shrugging. “It could be that you were born in the wrong era, that’s all. Anyways, we ran this idea by the parents, and they think you should go for it.”

“Go for what?” I ask, looking at Dad.

“They want you to audition,” he replies, smiling. “Your mother thinks it’s a fantastic idea.”

“Why didn’t she come?”

“She couldn’t get off work.”

I nod; my mom works a lot. Mostly because Dad’s work schedule constantly changes, but that is because not everyone is looking to have a mural painted on their wall. My mom is a genius with a pen. She writes a short story, fiction, section for the newspaper. Recently, she compiled all of her work and published a short story collection. The collection sold really well and now she writes novels on the side. I don’t know why, but I did not inherit the creative writing gene from my mom. And even though I am more like my dad, I didn’t inherit the painting gene. I am extremely musical and I would rather be in the water, surfing, than in a closed room at a desk.

My dad always tells me that I should do what I enjoy. Forget about what other people say. As long as my parents approve of what I do with myself, I will be a happy camper. But now that I don’t have a job, I can’t exactly pay my way through school, or support myself on my own. I don’t want to be dependent of my parents income. I don’t mind it, but I want them to be comfortable when they do his old age. Maybe I should check out this singing show.

“Show me the show,” I say, putting my hands down and leading the way to my bedroom where my computer is.

Eric and Jacks rush passed me, each of them trying to be the one to get the computer going. I look at Dad as we stand behind them. Dad just shakes his head, rolling his eyes. I giggle; at least I know where I get my tolerance traits.

“Okay,” Jacks says, after he and Eric settle who will be in control. “Have a seat sis, you will love this.”

Jacks and Eric stand behind the chair as I sit down.

So You Wanna Sing,” I say, reading the introduction to the website. “We want to introduce the newest hit TV series, ‘So You Wanna Sing’. Much like our opponents, the X-Factor US and the Voice US, we offer millions of aspiring artists the chance to show off their skills. Whether it is singing or playing an instrument, we want you! Apply for an audition today, for the chance to win a grand prize of $10,000, along with a three-year recording contract. Get advice from some of the top selling artists as well as a chance to sing with them in the arena. We hope to see you there.

I sit back and cross my arms, thinking about it.

“Cool, huh?” Eric says, nudging my arm. “You should totally do it! You would kill it!”

“I am not that good,” I say, shaking my head. “I haven’t even had actual lessons. I just sing for fun.”

“This is precisely why you should do it!” Jacks says, shaking my shoulders. “You would kill it, just being yourself!”

“I don’t know . . .”

“Sabrina,” Dad says, turning my chair to face him. “You don’t have to do it, if you don’t want to. We just think it would be something you could do, see if you like it. You have a lovely voice, one we miss hearing the house.”

I smile and look at my hands. Growing up, I would sing at the top of my lungs and Dad would always try to join in. I would yell at him for messing me up, but he always encouraged me to keep singing.

“The best part is that the auditions are close to home,” Eric says, bouncing on his feet. “You could come back . . . We miss messing with you.”

“I miss being home too,” I say, smiling. “To be honest, I would not mind returning home, without the excuse of the audition.”

“You should never need an excuse to come home,” Jacks tugs a strand of my hair. “If you are trying to get rid of us, you gotta work harder than that.”

I grin and jump out of the chair.

“I will think about signing up for an audition,” I announce, holding up my hands to stop my brothers from lifting me off the ground. “But I do want to come home and be around you guys. I need a good dose of . . . crazy to get me back on my feet.”

I look at my dad; his shoulders are shaking with laughter, but I do not think it is because of me. He must know something I don’t.

“Pack up Sabrina,” he says, clapping his hands. “You’re mother expect us back by dinner. We can come back for the rest of your things after the weekend.”

Before I can do anything, the twins rush into my closet and pull out my suitcase. They rummage around my room, grabbing clothes and folding them, in a very nice orderly fashion, and placing them in the suitcase. They leave my undergarments for me to do, saving all of us the embarrassment. I grab the important things, stuff I cannot go home without, leaving Casey a note that I will be back for the rest. Dad places his arms around my shoulders, letting my brothers lead the way out the door.

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1. Chapter 1 - Sabrina
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