I don't even see the point of a disclaimer I'm assuming that law-related people understand no one owns anything except their own written words on this site so yeah those will be gone from now on.
So here we go. I'm back! I'm sorry I've taken so long.
Chapter 27: I Have a Plan, You See
I pulled my hair up into my favorite clip and sat down on my living room couch with my clipboard. It was time to get to work and set up this weekend's itinerary, which would be sent out to everyone's email. Thankfully, everyone in the band has a smartphone so I know it won't get lost and no one will have an excuse for being late or missing something. Technology will always be amazing to me.
Getting back into my own house made me feel like a ninja, honestly. I was squeezing between bushes, running through neighbors' yards, hiding behind their pool fences, and then I climbed the fence to my own backyard. Good thing I wore sneakers on my trip home for comfort or I would've been in trouble. I honestly thought I'd be able to just walk back to my front door and that would be it, but the amount of reporters exceeded my expectations. Katie thinks it's all the publicity I got for the band. Winning Battle of the Bands gave us a larger start, but starting to tour with the Delaneys (and the subsequent drama) helped the band's star power rise quickly. For that, I was grateful. We've worked too hard to NOT be noticed. But I am not grateful for the reporters outside my front door who decided to move from their spots in front of Freddy's house and camp out in front of mine. I needed to remember to google what would get them away without having to file restraining orders. Or maybe I do need restraining orders. After all of this, I would need to look into it.
I was trying to stop thinking about not seeing Freddy when I dropped the food off. Part of me wanted nothing more than to just stay there, hang out with my best friends, and maybe even make up with Freddy. But the other part of me was still furious that he didn't trust me and was so quick to lose his temper, especially because I did nothing to deserve that kind of reaction. The angry part of me always seems to win no matter what. But not seeing him made me wonder if Zack's reports (which I never asked for but he still gave) were true. Maybe he was miserable. That made me feel miserable. The short time I spent touring proved to be a good distraction most of the time, but he didn't have that kind of distraction. But, once again, the angry side of me won and my time of reflection and regret stopped.
Gavin was diagonal to me, sitting in one of the chairs. He was chatting with my brother, who was sitting on the opposite side of the small coffee table that separated the chairs. I had no idea as to what they were talking about. I was getting ready to get into my manager zone and sort everything out.
Tomorrow would be the talk show in the morning. Everyone needed to be up and dressed and at the band's offices by six thirty in the morning. We'd leave from there, driven by Dewey in his van (well, the band's van) which has gotten cleaned over the years and repainted to reflect the band and make it look, well, less gross. We'd hopefully arrive at the studio in the city by seven forty-five if all went well. From there, we'd be led into the green room, where they'd just do what hair and makeup they needed to do in there, rather than moving us to separate rooms. Large groups can be difficult to control on sets. The interview would happen at one point, then a longer break, and then a performance. I wasn't really sure of the order because it can be changed at any moment. From there we'd be free to go, but that meant getting out unharmed. I wasn't sure if anyone would show up to see us, but I was guessing there would be, judging by the paparazzi coverage outside. Such an abrupt change makes it feel really weird. We had no security to keep us safe, so we'd be relying on our own skills and hopefully stay together.
After that was the interview and photoshoot for a better known teen fashion magazine. We had to show up at a warehouse in the city that was constantly used for that purpose. We decided to stay in the city, rather than waste the gas going back and forth. I realized I'd need to set up the hotel rooms and payment (the money was hopefully given to Dewey already) and assign rooms. Good. More work. After the photoshoot, we'd be free to do whatever.
The next afternoon and night would be spent preparing for the show. We'd have to show up for soundcheck, sort all of that out, and then go backstage to get ready. This included hair, makeup, costume adjustments, vocal warm-ups, and tuning instruments - the works. If there was any time left over, we could rest until the show started. Then there would be the show to perform, and I'm assuming the band will want to go out afterwards to blow off the energy from the performance. That made me remember that I still needed the sheet music for Gavin, which I needed to grab from upstairs so he could learn it while I was gone. I had copies of everything in a folder just in case. If you can't tell, I'm always prepared.
We took the next day off, which would be Monday. We knew no one could deal with school after such a busy weekend. We'd be dead tired, for starters. Even though I used to be a stickler for perfect attendance, I didn't really care this time. We had a good reason. If people can skip school for modeling or acting jobs without trouble, we could skip a day for rest after working all weekend.
Then there was my own decision to think about: did I want to continue with the tour, or go to school and stay with the band? I had to make a pros and cons list for each at some point. That's what I do to make decisions typically. I brushed that decision aside and finished up the itinerary, sending it out to everyone. I was quickly snapped out of my zone by a pounding on the screen door in the back of the house.
"Summer!" Zack hissed, trying to be heard but also trying to not attract the attention of the paparazzi. He really didn't have to worry, though. If they came back there I could easily call the cops for trespassing on my family's property. I wouldn't put it past them, though. But I was aware of the protocol.
Gavin and Adrian turned their heads towards the door in confusion, only Adrian's facial expression changed when he realized it was just Zack. I moved my laptop next to me on the couch and jumped up to go let him in.
I slid one half of the door open, letting him in. "Was the food not good? Did I miss anything for you?"
He shook his head, "No, no. Nothing like that. I just wanted to talk to you." He gave Gavin a once-over and turned his gaze back to me, "Alone, dude."
I raised an eyebrow, "Alrighty then. Let's just go upstairs," I said, leading him up to my room.
I walked into my room and still winced. No matter what I did, the sheets over the pictures did nothing to help the hurt, or help me ignore the feelings they brought. Apparently it was obvious, as Zack frowned at me, and then his eyes flitted to the sheets and back towards me in understanding.
"You know, if you both just talked things out, I'm sure everything would go back to normal," he said, taking a seat on my bed. Ah. So he's turned into the voice of reason since I've been gone, I see.
"I don't think it'll ever be the same, Zack. That fear of him not trusting me will always be there. That fear of his temper going from zero to ten in no time. I don't like that. I don't even know how I'll get through this weekend with us being in the same room ninety percent of the time," I said, sitting cross-legged near my pillows.
He grinned, "Ah! I'm so glad you said that. That's exactly why I'm here, Sum. You see, I devised a plan while I was waiting to fall asleep last night. It's when my best plans are made, you know."
"Well, go on then," I said warily. Sometimes he had flashes of genius, but other times it was absolute nonsense.
"Alright," he said, clearing his throat, "None of us like this paparazzi thing right now. And it's only a matter of time before they start moving to the other band members' houses. They're waiting for something dramatic to happen between you two. Right?"
"Right," I said, wondering where the hell he was going with this.
"So let's give them something to take them off that lead. If you and Freddy aren't having relationship problems, they'll leave us alone. Only main media outlets like the happy-sappy love stories occasionally. Paparazzi feed off the drama. So if you two have no problems, then we'll be left alone for the most part. The attention will go to the band's work in general, rather than the drama, which I know you don't want us to be known for," he finished. He was obviously proud of his plan, but I definitely didn't get it.
"So are you trying to say I need to get back together with him for the sake of the band? Zack, these kinds of situations don't exactly get solved in a night. I can't just wake up and be automatically fine tomorrow. How on Earth is that supposed to work?"
He grinned again, "See, that's where the genius comes in. Your problems aren't going to be solved. BUT you can appear not to have any. Work on those on your own time."
I nodded, his plan was starting to grow on me. "So, you want us to pretend to be fine, put on a united front, and get the paparazzi and the press focused on the band and away from the houses."
"Yes! Yes exactly. See, I told you it was good!" He said, punching his fist into my bed in excitement. "So you'll do it, right?"
I sighed, "Well, it's not going to be easy, but it seems like the best way to take care of all of this. You know I'll do anything for the band. I'm really glad you thought of it. Otherwise nothing would've gone as smoothly. I don't know what I'd do without you sometimes, Zack."
He stood up, "I know. I'm good at plans sometimes, right?"
"A lot of times."
He nodded and walked towards my door. "You still love him, right?" he asked, not looking at me.
"I do," I said to the back of his head. He turned around with a huge smile on his face. "Don't you dare say anything!" I added.
He mimed zipping his lips together. "My lips are sealed, mi amiga. No worries. See you bright and early in the morning, dude." And with that, he walked out.
"Helloooo," Zack called, entering through the sliding glass doors in the back.
"In here," I shouted. I had taken to focusing on video games. But the only game I seemed to get any gratification out of was Mario Kart, so I've spent the day playing it. Katie was in a chair diagonally from me, looking bored. I let her borrow my laptop, since she was still basically marooned here, and I wanted her out of my hair.
Zack walked into the living room and plopped into his usual chair.
"So, where've you been?" I asked. He told me he was going out for fresh air, but when I thought he was out for a weirdly long amount of time, I went to go see if he fell in a bush or something, but he was gone.
"Glad you asked! I was at Summer's. I have a plan, you see."
Katie groaned, "Zack, I don't like your plans. I haven't liked them all summer long."
"Well you're going to love this one, Posh. And especially you, Freddy. Summer agreed to it, so you know it just has to be good," he said, obviously proud of himself.
"And this plan is?" I asked, still a little scared of what it would end up being.
"Well, the press is just hungry for your relationship drama. If you pretend like nothing is going on, or if you made up, then there's no drama for them to chase after. Simple as that. We can leave the house safely."
Katie's eyes widened, "Zack, that actually is pretty genius."
He nodded, "I know!" He turned towards me, trying to figure out what I was thinking. "Well?"
"It's genius. But it'll still be awkward. And upsetting. And there's no guarantees I won't need to leave the room to sob in a bathroom because I miss her so badly." I wasn't really afraid to admit anything to them anymore. They had been with me at my worst. And I didn't care if I was being overdramatic. It was the truth.
"Well, I thought it would be great! You get to be close to her, and you're going to talk. Mayyyybeee you'll make up and then it won't even be a lie by the time everything is published and aired! Hell, maybe it won't even be a lie by showtime."
I sighed, "I hate how brilliant you are sometimes."
He shrugged, "I know. It's a blessing and a curse. Now are you in or not?"
"I'm in, dude! Of course I'm in."
A/N: Alright! So that was the next chapter. I'm still a little bit rusty with fiction writing, since all I've been doing are academic papers for years now. No set date for the next update, but there definitely should be one up before my winter break, probably a little after Thanksgiving.