Crossing the Line

AN: I couldn't help myself. I really couldn't. I tried, but well, I had another character who was trying to get out and who am I to tell her no? She's a feisty one!

Go easy on me…just writing what I know best, but since I'll be saying goodbye (sniff) to the Brookwood universe (although I won't rule out cameos) in the next few months, this is a new marching band world just waiting for my drama (insert evil grin!). I'm also giving the first person thing a try. Let me know how I'm doing.

Give a chapter or two for the marching stuff to kick in.

I do own the characters.

This is just a preview of the rough draft. The final draft will be available later this year.

Chapter 1: We're Moving?

I couldn't believe it. I sat in shock.

In front of me sat the two people who brought me in to this world. They were supposed to love and comfort me, support me, but I now knew that was a bunch of crap. My whole life up until this point (15 years and 2 months) had been a total lie.

"Julia, you can't sit there and not say anything. Tell us how you feel."

"I'll tell you how I feel…" I won't actually fill in the details of what I said, because I used every four letter word I knew, but I think they certainly knew how I felt after that.

Both of my parents looked at me and my crazy mouth.

My Dad's jaw tensed, "Very mature, J. As convincing as your argument is, the decision is not open for discussion. We're going to let you finish the school year and then we're moving."

So that was it then. I know, a big part of me wanted to cry and heave and throw things at the wall, but I knew it wouldn't work. If I knew my parents, which up until five minutes ago I thought I did, they had already bought the house and were just waiting for me, their only daughter, to finish school so they could move on. Anyway, no amount of me acting like a five year old was really going to amount in anything productive. Plus, that's just not my style. I use tantrums only when necessary and this was not one of those times.

I got up calmly, and said, "Obviously, I have some calls to make."

I could go all "when life gives you lemons…" but I wasn't in a very lemonade kind of place at that moment. I mean, if my life was some sort of bad movie, I was looking at the chance to start everything with a clean slate, where no one knew me and I could basically invent the person I wanted to be. The trouble was, I liked my current life and self just fine and didn't need any sort of "restart" option.

I dashed outside with my phone (all that babysitting money had paid off in the freedom of a lame old school Nokia cell phone) and began calling the four most important people in my life: Roman, Petey, Dominic, and Kat. My band. I convinced them all to meet at the closest Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf in half an hour. Being all of sweet fifteen, I didn't have the legal ability to drive yet, so Roman, my kind of boyfriend, said he would pick me up.

Approximately one hour later (this is California and you can't do anything or get anywhere in a half hour) we all sat around the table. Kat the mysterious. Dominic the dense. Petey the goof. Roman the well, semi-charming. We were Jared in Shorts. That's our band's name and there's a rather long and involved story of how we got it, so I won't bore you with the details, because, like any band, we're probably going to change it next week anyway.

Kat was the first to recover, "You're doing what?"

"Personally, I'm not doing per se, it's my parents that are."

Dominic said, "And you're sure you have to go?"

Roman just sat there with a smoldering look in those dark brown eyes of his. He and I had only started a thing, and now that thing was about to be prematurely terminated. I wasn't about to kid myself that someone with a high cuteness factor like Roman was going to remain unattached for some girl who was thousands of miles away. But that didn't change the fact that it still sucked.

Petey said in a bummed voice, "Where are we going to find another drummer?"

So, with the end of the school year a month away, I threw myself into soaking up as much of my former lifestyle as possible. I went to the beach. I did a bunch of touristy things, like go to Disneyland with my friends. I consumed my weight in In and Out burgers (animal style, of course). I helped my old band mates try and find another drummer…and was secretly pleased when they didn't find one right away.

We played one last gig…someone in the senior class was having a graduation party and had booked us awhile back. We're pretty good, for a high school band. I'd say we had a kind of punky-emo sound going on. Obviously, I'm not into labels, so I would say furthermore, that Jared in Shorts has a lot of influences and leave it at that. If you got a look at my iPod, you'd know what I was talking about. Anyway, we'd talked about going to a studio and actually recording ourselves instead of just ghetto recording ourselves on Garage Band. But, le sigh, our seven track CD, entitled "That Old World Flair" is all I have to take with me…

While the month whipped by in record time, I realized that I should've seen the signs that my parents were moving. Mom was taking all these business trips and looking at real estate brochures and watching the HGTV channel like, all the time. (Don't get me wrong, I like HGTV, but not all the time, seriously…). We were moving from Southern California to some suburb in Atlanta. Like y'all, these places could not be more different…

I'm a West Coast girl. Born and bred. I don't do cold weather. I don't do rain. I certainly don't do humidity. I've seen enough celebrities to last me a life time. Who am I going to see in Atlanta? Scarlet O'Hara? Ludacris?

So, there's one other thing you should know about me before I actually move. Well, first I'll let you try and guess. What do you think I do (wait, let me correct myself, what did I do) in the band? Lead singer? No! I can only do back up vocals and even then I really hate the sound of my own voice. Bass? Nope. What does that leave really? Drums! I am a drum set player. It started a long time ago when my parents bought me a dorky little drum set for my fourth birthday. I took to it like a duck to water. It's like I have this crazy inner beat or something. So, around 7th grade, some people started realizing that even though I was a girl that I had a) some mad skills and b) my own drum set which c) I knew how to play. So I was in a half dozen bands before Jared in Shorts got together at the beginning of my freshman year. Everyone in the band was older than me, but when we were jamming, it really didn't seem to matter.

And now, I was going away from all that. Not so much "going away" as literally "ripped apart from."

As we stepped on the plane at Bob Hope Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena regional Airport (which is neither in Glendale nor Pasadena), my mom patted my shoulder and said, "I'm sure they'll have other bands in Georgia."

Sure, Mom, right. Like you can just trip over people like Dom, Kat, Petey and Roman… Roman who had given me an awesome mix CD to play on the plane and the sweetest goodbye kiss ever.

My mom must've picked up on my pessimistic thoughts, because she said, "From what I've heard, you could always join the marching band. They have drums."

Do what now? Drums on the field are definitely not like a drum set.

This emo-punk sophomore almost junior doesn't DO marching band. I just never got it. I mean, who am I to judge who's cool or not, but the whole regimented, uniform, drill sergeant thing just never really appealed to me. Plus, the lame uniforms didn't help either. Plus, I could never figure out what "mark time" meant…

I curtly shook my head, but tried to put forth a nice effort for my mom, "Well, Mom, if that's my only chance to keep drumming, than I will give it a try."

Famous last words, Julia McCoy.

AN: I literally could not stop this thing from writing itself. I got the idea last night…and couldn't shake it. I have to know what you think!

Don't expect frequent updates until the other Lines are done…