The footsteps that bounded down the stairs seemed to squeal with more delight than any mouth could express. Connie almost tried to ease the disappointment her daughter would feel by telling her who it was on the phone, but before the words could leave her mouth, Mitchie had grabbed the phone, brushed her bangs away as if the caller was facing her and uttered a breathless, "Hello?"
"Hey, Mitchie! What's up?"
The glow that had filled Mitchie's face faded as she heard the clearly feminine voice. "Hey, Caitlyn. Nothing. You?" She tried to recover from the initial flatness in her voice.
But Caitlyn was a keen listener and sarcastically said, "Gee, nice to hear from you, too."
Mitchie laughed. "Sorry."
"Were you expecting someone else?" her friend asked cleverly.
"No!" She blushed. "Okay, maybe." She laughed nervously. "Yeah. But, I mean, it's good to hear from you, too!" It was. Caitlyn called at least once a week, but Mitchie was always glad to hear from her best friend from camp. Besides, of all her friends from Camp, she felt most comfortable talking about Shane to Caitlyn. Tess called occasionally and Mitchie supposed she could call her a friend, but Tess was still jealous that Shane preferred Mitchie to herself. Ella was too easily distracted and spastic to be a good listener, and Peggy was recording with Shane, so anything Mitchie said to her would be old news. Caitlyn, however, was completely impartial and, despite two or three teasing remarks, very easy to open up to.
"So, how is the pop star boyfriend?"
Mitchie blushed heatedly. "He's not my boyfriend." It hurt to say it, especially after everything that happened at camp, but she and Shane weren't technically a couple. They liked each other. No, they were past like. Mitchie didn't know how to explain it; she didn't want to speak to quickly and call it love, but there was a strong connection between the two of them. But now they were back in the real world. Mitchie was once more the ordinary school girl and Shane was once more the famous lead singer of Connect 3. Neither of them could handle a long distance relationship, so for now they were just two people who liked each other…a lot. "And he's great, from all I can tell." The truth was she didn't know how he was doing, because whenever he got a chance to call, it was only for a few minutes.
"I'm sure he's trying," Caitlyn said softly. Optimism was rare for Caitlyn, so she must have been pretty sure about that.
"I know. He's just so busy with the recording and the touring and…"
"You're worried Shane's going to forget you?" Mitchie bit her lip and didn't answer. "Mitchie, he's not going to forget you. He searched the whole camp for you, remember?" The memory made Mitchie smile nostalgically. She was still in shock that of all the voices Shane could have been enamored with, it was hers. "He never forgot your voice and no amount of screaming fan girls are going to make him forget you now."
"Yeah, I know, but it's still hard to keep in touch." She sighed. She knew the best thing to do would be to get over Shane and let this be just a really good memory. She was never going to be able to sustain any kind of relationship with a constantly touring pop star. So what if she froze in place every time she heard one of his songs on the radio? She would grow out of that. And so what if she still had dreams about their last canoe ride together? She would find someone new to dream about. Granted, his voice probably wouldn't be as soothing, and his eyes might not be so intense, and he wouldn't write a song for her or…she stopped herself. This wasn't helping.
A quiet beep interrupted the conversation to tell Mitchie that someone else was trying to call. "Hold on a second, Caitlyn. There's a call on the other line." She pressed 'Talk.' "Hello."
"Hey there," a familiar voice smoothly greeted, and all of her thoughts from a second ago were gone.
"Shane! Hi!" She felt her lips inadvertently spread across her face and she felt a lightness to her cheeks.
"Hey! Umm…gotta stop saying 'hi.'" She laughed awkwardly. "Caitlyn's on the other line. Hold on a second."
"Oh, sorry. I can call back."
"No, no!" she cried urgently. Who knew when he would get another chance? "I'll tell her I'll call her back. Just hold on a second." She switched back to the first line. "Caitlyn?" she said quickly, trying not to lose any time talking to Shane.
"I got it," she said, understanding. "Tell Shane I said 'hi.'"
"Thanks! I'll call you right back!"
Mitchie hung up with her. "Okay, I'm back. Caitlyn says hi."
"Nate and Jason say want to say hi."
"Hi, Mitchie!" she heard two male voices call in the background.
"Hi, guys!" She was beginning to realize that she hadn't stopped saying 'hi,' as promised, yet. "So, I heard the song you did with Peggy on the radio today. It was really good!" "You Can Tell Me," the duet written and performed by the most recent Camp Rock final jam winner and Shane, was much more acoustic and real than the pre-camp "cookie-cutter pop stuff." Mitchie was a little jealous. She was happy for Peggy, of course, and she was sure Peggy performed better than she could have. Still, she couldn't help singing along with Peggy's part and wondering whether Peggy's voice sounded better with Shane's than hers.
"Thanks. It went over better than we thought it would. The label would go for it."
"Yeah." Mitchie remembered Shane talking about how demanding the label was and how he felt like he was compromising himself. Maybe the label was starting to learn that Connect 3 could be themselves and still sell. "So, how's the tour going? Stopping by Texas any time soon?" She crossed her fingers.
"Ontario next, and then Michigan," he said apologetically. "But I'm pulling for Texas next month." Mitchie smiled. He had been thinking about her! Enough to try to fit a stop in the tour near her. It was a pretty sweet gesture…for a rock star with a reputation for being a jerk. "So, what have you been up to?"
"Nothing much. School started, so lots of homework and…I really wish I was back at camp." Back to singing and being told she had talent by more than just her mom. Back to canoe rides. Back to holding hands and letting herself believe they could stay on that canoe ride forever.
"Me, too," he said. There was a softness in his voice that Mitchie had heard a few times before, but most people didn't. It never ceased to warm her.
"Oh, hey, I replied to your letter," he said, back to his normal tone. "You should get it in a couple days."
"You wrote a letter?" she amped up her surprise to further tease him. "Wow. I'm impressed."
"Haha. Yeah, I managed to make it to kindergarten when they taught us to write." Mitchie smiled, wondering what kind of five-year-old Shane must have been, picturing a little boy with shaggy black hair and thick eyebrows leaning over his paper, learning how to write.
"So, did you finish that song you were writing?"
She blushed. "Umm…not yet." It was slow-coming, as most of her songs were when they came from deep within her.
"You're gonna let me hear it, right?"
"Over the phone?"
She felt her shoulders rise to support her head as her cheeks grew hotter and hotter. "It's really not that good. And I still have to tweak it a lot before I even start trying to sing it and…"
"Mitchie," he said in an exasperated tone. "Don't be nervous. Your songs are great, and so is your voice."
Her nerves were eased, but not cured. "Well, I mean…maybe. I don't know. Let me finish it first."
She heard a mumbling in the background and Shane, more distant from the phone now, saying, "Come on. Five more minutes." She sighed. She knew what was coming before he talked to her again. "I've gotta go," he said regretfully. "Sorry."
"Okay, it's fine." But her smile was fading.
"Bye. Shane!" she added quickly after a pause, lest he should hang up too soon. "I miss you."
"I…" he started but seemed to think better of it, with Jason and Nate in earshot. "I miss you, too," he said in a quick voice. Mitchie didn't mind. She understood if he was embarrassed and was never the kind of girl to take it personally.
She hung up first so she would have to hear the dial tone. How long had they talked? More or less five minutes, she guessed. Therein lay the problem. He called once a week, but what good were phone calls when they hardly got to talk? Still, he was trying so hard to keep in touch and she appreciated that. He had even written her a letter, which took a good deal longer than a telephone conversation. She should be happy about that.
But her shoulders still sagged a little as she walked back to her room. Her song book lay open on her bed where she left it. She let her pencil hover above it for a few minutes as she tried to think of something to write. She sang in a low voice the lines she already had:
I can't dream without the sound of your voice
And we're still making circles in my memory
But I'm back in the real world,
And I think that I miss you
A little too much.
I can't get you out of my head,
And I hope I'm still in yours.
'Cause I'm dangling on a wireless cord
Hanging on your every word
I need you to let go, but just not yet.
Baby, sing with me one more time.
She bit her lip in utter embarrassment. This had to be her worst song ever, if not the worst song ever. It sounded corny and desperate. She could never sing that verse to anyone, much less Shane. She felt like tearing it from her book and shredding it into bits so that no one would ever know she had written something so awful. But for one line, she simply shut the book and tucked it back under her pillow.
She really was dangling on a wireless cord.
NOTE: This is my first fanfiction in over a year. I can't believe it's Camp Rock. I would have thought Twilight or something. I'm not really much of a Disney fan. But anyway, two things. First, I had no idea where Mitchie was from, so I said Texas because Demi is from Dallas. Second, I know the song was bad. I don't write songs, mostly because I don't do melodies or rhythms well. I write poems, but the words of my poems and Mitchie's songs sound very different and I think I tried to combine them, resulting in a terrible song/poem. So, her opinion in the last paragraph? That was my opinion. Sorry it's not the best song. I hope you liked the story anyway. Read and review!