Chapter 20: Composition
Zaron’s eyes never left mine until our food has been served. He keeps on making me feel that I’m not welcome here and why did I even bother.
“So... Jael,” Kit Navarro, who is playing the bass guitar turned to me. He’s sitting beside me and among all the members of his band, he’s the one who’s the most interested in me.
He keeps on talking to me and asking questions.
“I wonder what’s your relationship with Zaron? Obviously, you’re not friends because you both hate each other,” and he followed it with a laugh.
“Not a chance.”
Zaron and I answered at the same time and then our eyes met again.
“When and where did you guys first met?” Eli asked casually.
I still remember that day. When I was in a good mood because I reached a milestone in my life but also an unexpected one because I met probably the most arrogant man I could ever meet.
“Nevermind. I don’t want to talk about it,” I said and ate a spoonful of rice.
I heard him hissed. I gave him a confused and irritated look while he gave me a smirk.
I ignored him. I am planning to tell him about the decision I came up with yesterday night, but how could I tell it in front of everyone?
“Are you leaving the band for good?” I asked Kit beside me.
He nodded and sipped on his juice.
“My family is migrating to Canada. My father is sick that’s why I can’t stay here and let them there...”
I nodded several times. I wonder how painful it is? For someone to sacrifice the dream you had ever since you were young? But I like him because he prioritizes his family first over anything else. He is not sad with the fact that he’ll lose the career he might only get once in a lifetime.
“What are your plans after?” I asked again.
“Don’t interview him like the two of you are close,” Zaron butted in.
I gave him a death glare. Kit assured me that it’s fine with him when I ask him questions.
“No worries, Jael. I like that we’re with someone we don’t know today. I’m stuck with these three for the past years. It’s good to meet new people,” he said to me.
“We always meet new people,” Nico on the other hand said.
“Yes, but I like Jael. She can piss Zaron by just breathing,” Eli joked. “So we heard you’re a singer, too? I saw your Youtube channel! I’ll watch one of your videos when we got on the condo.”
“I’m not a singer,” I bowed down my head a little bit. “I just sing... that’s all.”
Zaron’s remark always ruins the mood.
“So what do you need Zaron for? Based on his face, he doesn’t want to do anything with you,” Kit pointed to Zaron’s face with his fork.
Should I just tell them? But what if they belittle me for having the courage and confidence to say something like that?
Kit is a nice guy. Eli’s funny, too. Nico is somehow quiet but I am worried about this grumpy guy in front of me.
Zaron is observing me intently. He never looked away as he was waiting for my answer. I suddenly felt shy.
“Don’t tell me... you two are dating for real?”
I almost vomit at Eli’s assumption. Why would I even date a guy like him?
“I don’t date old geezers and those who have multiple personalities and bipolar disorder,” I said while looking at Zaron.
“Oooh, that’s a nice one,” Eli added.
“Zaron’s fine. You just have to break the ice,” Nico told me.
“She cannot break the ice,” Zaron firmly said.
I fixed my seat and cleared my throat. His insults always motivate me. Like I always need to prove myself to him. And that’s what I’m good at. Proving people that they’re wrong. That they judge me too, early. That I am more than what they labeled me.
“If Kit’s leaving the band then I will replace him. I will join your band,” I said.
They all stopped eating and looked at me with confusion.
I maintained my gaze and my facial expression.
“I am serious. I will audition if you want. Name the song and I will sing it-”
“You must think this industry is a joke, Ms. Valmonte,” Zaron’s cold voice filled my ears.
I breathed for air and was ready to answer him when suddenly stood up from his seat.
“You shouldn’t have wasted our time bringing this kid with you, Kit. We could’ve talked about more important things...,” he looked down on me. “Than this,” and then he left us.
“No offense, Jael but I agree with Zaron. Entering this industry is not a joke-”
“I never said I was joking,” I answered back at Nico.
“We just meant-”
I stood up and ran after Zaron.
There were a lot of couples and groups entering the restaurant because it’s peak time. I bumped with a few of them.
I found Zaron outside their van. He was standing there, with his hands on his pockets and when I’m near enough to him already, he lifted his gaze.
“I already knew you would run after me. You would fight again just to get what you want-”
“Yes, I want this but I also know I am capable and I deserve to be in your band because I have the talent,” I fiercely convinced him.
“Talent? What talent? That you can sing? Ms. Valmonte everyone can sing.”
“Everyone around you, even those you don’t personally know can sing, Valmonte,” he repeated.
“What difference it makes with you? You can sing, too but like you said everyone else can sing-”
“Singing is common. Capturing their hearts by your voice is rare. Wrapping them around your fingers using the lyrics of your song is beyond normal. Inspiring them and making them do again the things they left before is a legend. Among the three that I said, which one can you do?”
I am left speechless.
“If you can’t do any of those and all you know is to sing, then leave. Do not waste my time.”
He turned his back at me to open the door of their van but I cannot back down just like this.
I came here to succeed.
“What do I have to do? To let you know that I am capable of more than just singing?”
He stopped and faced me again. He stepped forward towards me. He towered over me. I maintained the same intensity he’s giving.
“Submit an original composition of yours. We will evaluate it. Then only you can join.”