Against all odds, p.6
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       Against All Odds, p.6

           Kira Adams
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  “So, guess what?” she asks, her eyes lighting up.

  “What?” I humor her.

  “They asked me to do a showcase!”

  “Space Lounge?” I ask of the coffee shop where we played last week.

  “Yeah!” She smiles brightly. “But…I told them I’d have to think about it.”

  “What? Why would you ever do that?” I scrunch up my nose in confusion.

  “Because, I obviously don’t play an instrument…and I wasn’t sure if…”

  I cut her off before she can finish. “Of course.”

  “I didn’t even ask a question.” She giggles.

  “Yeah, but you want to. And plus, I’ve been itching to get back out there. This will give me the swift kick I need.”

  “Really?” she asks.

  “Yeah.” I nod, strapping on my guitar. “When did they want you to do it?”

  “On Friday,” she replies, her facial expression turning into worry.


  “Soon,” she finishes for me.

  “I was going to say in two days…but yeah, that’s soon.”

  “Do you think we can do it?” she asks.

  “Yeah.” I guess my original songs are just going to have to wait. We have some practicing to do first. “How long is the showcase?”

  “An hour and a half.” She takes a seat on the edge of her bed.

  “Have you even started to think about the set list yet?”

  She shakes her head no. “I didn’t want to get my hopes up until I knew for sure you wanted to do it.”

  “Do you have a pen and paper? We need to get to work.”

  We come up with a list of twenty five songs we can agree upon and then break them into a forty minute set and a thirty minute set. Then we spend the next few hours perfecting the exact way we want to execute them. We are able to get through the first set and feel pretty confident with how everything sounds but we know we are going to need to continue to practice so we can be ready for Friday.

  “Can we take a quick break?” I ask Dakota.

  She nods. “I’ll go get us some water.” As she exits her room, I set the guitar down on the bed and pull out my phone to call Austyn. She picks up on the second ring.

  “Hey babe,” she greets me.

  “Hey, are you home?”

  “Yeah, I got off a little early today. Where are you?” she asks curiously.

  “I’m over at Dakota’s. Guess what?”


  “Space Lounge asked her to do a showcase on Friday, so I am going to be accompanying her.” I’ve already told Austyn all about what took place last week so this shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise to her.

  “Babe! That’s really exciting!” Her voice raises in pitch. “So, are you guys practicing?”

  “Yeah,” I reply. “That’s what we’ve been doing. But we still have a lot of work to do. I probably won’t be able to make it home for another couple of hours.”

  “That’s okay,” she replies in an understanding tone. “I can just order some takeout and have it delivered around eight…do you think you’ll be home by then?”

  I pull my phone away from my ear and peek at the screen. It’s a little after 5:40. “Yeah, that should work.”

  I see Dakota walk back into her room, carrying two glasses of water. She notices I’m on the phone and sets them down on her desk.

  “Have you showed her the new stuff you’ve been working on?” Austyn asks me.

  I steal a glance at Dakota who looks a little uncomfortable.

  “No, not yet. I will soon though. Look babe, I gotta go, I’ll see you soon.”

  “Okay,” she says with a hint of disappointment. “I love you.”

  “I love you too,” I reply before hanging up the phone.

  “Your girlfriend?” Dakota asks, picking up the glasses of water and handing me one.

  I nod. “I just needed to let her know it was going to be a bit longer.”

  “If you need to go, I understand,” Dakota says, taking a sip of her water.

  “No, we have more work to do.”

  I can sense relief pour off of her.

  “Hey,” I say, taking a big gulp of water and then setting it back down on the desk. “I wanted to show you something.” I pick the guitar up and begin strumming. “I’ve been writing,” I talk over the loud chords.

  Her eyes widen and a smile pulls at her lips as I play the first original song I wrote the night after I met her. I don’t think she expects me to sing, so when I do, her eyes fall to my lips and don’t move the entire performance. She is bobbing her head lightly as I continue the song. I can tell she is enjoying it. When I strum the last note, her eyes jump to meet mine.

  “You never said you could sing…”

  “You never asked…” I joke, smiling slightly.

  “That was…so good.” She searches for the right words to convey how it made her feel.

  “Thanks,” I reply. “So, I was thinking…would you be interested in singing this with me? I mean, you’ll have to decide what you think sounds best…but I’ve been thinking it would sound amazing with a female voice thrown in the mix.

  “Yes.” There is no hesitation in her voice. She’s in.

  I grin back at her. “I was hoping you’d say that.”

  Seven – I Love You Because You Watch Chick Flicks With Me


  It’s Friday night, and I am scrambling around my apartment trying to get ready to go. Avery is playing a showcase with a girl he met from Space Lounge, and he left for sound check a couple of hours ago. I am supposed to meet him there. Butterflies are attacking my insides, making me anxious. I haven’t felt this way in a long time. I guess it’s because I haven’t met Dakota, the girl Avery has been spending so much time with the past few days. He’s been so excited about everything they are doing together. It’s not that I’m jealous…it’s just that she must be blind not to notice how amazing he is.

  I know Avery loves me more than anything…but I can’t help the insecurities from my past that try to rear up inside me. He’s never given me anything to worry about…but it’s still hard sometimes. I wish I could have the musical connection with him that I know Dakota has. But performing in front of people has never been my forte. It is terrifying putting yourself on display for an audience. I admire Avery so much that he can do that and do it well.

  I know he’s been missing playing music. It’s been quite a while since his band broke up, and he’s been wanting to get back out there in some capacity. Although I would love to see him doing his own showcase, it’s nice to see him out performing at all. Ornery is sitting on the bathroom counter while I apply my eyeliner and mascara. “Do you think I look okay?” I ask Ornery’s reflection in the mirror.

  She looks up at me but then quickly looks away. “You think this is too much?” I look down at my chosen outfit. I’m wearing a black sleeveless peplum top with a cut out in the chest area and black leggings. I figure I will pair it with my knee high black boots. I do look a little overdressed, especially being that it is only a coffee house. I finish applying the rest of my make-up and then head back to my closet.

  It’s raining outside so maybe I should dress more weather appropriate. After trying on another five outfits, I finally settle on a maroon static sweater, black leggings, and my original pair of boots. My look isn’t anything fancy, but at least I will stay warm. I throw my black peacoat on top and wrap a scarf around my neck, and I’m ready to go.

  The coffee house is only a few blocks away from our apartment, so I grab an umbrella on the way out and begin making my way there. The wind is brutal as it slaps my face, leaving my teeth chattering despite my warmer clothing. Good thing I decided to change. I walk at a quick pace to the familiar establishment and duck inside within minutes.

  My eyes sweep the venue, looking for Avery. The stage is all set up, and his instrument is up there, but he is nowhere to be seen. There is a good amount of
people here, and I even notice a flier for tonight’s showcase hanging on the door. It reads Dakota Mason featuring Avery Phillips. He never mentioned anything other than accompanying her. I’m excited to see him get in on some of the action. I assume that he will be singing too by the wording choice.

  I pull out my phone and send a quick text to my boyfriend. Hey, where are you? I glance at the time on the screen and notice that the showcase should begin within the next twenty minutes. He can’t be too far.

  I’m still a little chilly from the cold weather, so I decide to grab a hot chocolate while I wait for a response. After ordering, I feel a vibration from my phone and see a text message from Avery.

  We’re out back, Dakota needed some air.

  After I have my hot drink, I make my way to the back of the coffee house. It is a back patio that is covered with picnic tables and heated lamps. It’s always been our favorite part of the entire place. It isn’t hard to spot Avery who is standing next to a blond. Her long blond hair cascades down her back in beautiful curls. Her back is toward me. Avery’s eyes catch mine and he breaks into a grin, motioning for me to join them.

  Dakota turns her head in my direction, and I am met with stunning sapphire eyes. She has fair skin, a nose piercing and a lip ring. She is wearing a black band tank top and black jeans along with vans. She is decked out in tattoos, and I’m surprised she isn’t shivering from the crisp night air. A timid smile plays on her lips. “You must be Austyn.”

  I nod, reaching my hand out. “And you must be Dakota. Avery has told me so much about you.”

  She shakes my hand and then glances at him. “You have?”

  He chuckles. “I’ve been really excited.”

  Her smile widens as I notice her cheeks turn a deep shade of pink. She takes another drag off her cigarette. “I’m sorry,” she addresses me. “Smoking calms me down.”

  I shake my head. “It’s okay. I understand. I couldn’t do what you’re about to do in a million years…”

  She laughs. “Do you play?”

  I wave my arms in front of me dismissively. “No, not at all.”

  “She sings…” Avery butts in.

  “Really?” Dakota’s eyebrows raise excitedly.

  I shake my head quickly back and forth. “No, not really. Only in the shower or in the car.”

  She giggles. “You’ve got to start somewhere right?”

  I shrug. “I leave that up to him.” I nudge Avery in the shoulder. He instantly throws his arm around my waist, pulling me in closer to him.

  I notice Dakota’s eyes fall to where his arm rests and then she takes another long drag, looking away.

  “What is that?” Avery asks, unfazed, motioning with his head toward my hot drink.

  “Hot chocolate. You want some?” I offer the drink up to him.

  “No, I’m okay.” Avery seems unusually anxious tonight.

  “Are you okay?” I ask him softly, attempting to keep the question between the two of us.

  “Yeah, why wouldn’t I be?”

  “You just seem really tense,” I point out.

  “We decided to throw in a couple of Avery’s originals last minute. I’m sure he’s just nervous because it is the first time we will be playing them for an audience…and we haven’t had a ton of time for rehearsals,” Dakota replies to my statement.

  I look up into Avery’s eyes. “Are you going to play that one from the other night?” When Avery made it home from the open mic night performance with Dakota, he immediately wrote a new song. He’s been playing it off and on the last week or so, and I’ve been catching myself humming along. I love it. I think it is one of the best songs I’ve ever heard him come up with.

  He nods.

  I squeeze his arm reassuringly. “I can’t wait.”

  Dakota puts out her cigarette. “You ready to go in?” she asks Avery.

  “Yeah, just give me a moment,” he replies. “I’ll meet you in there.”

  “Sure.” She brushes past us and back into Space Lounge.

  “So?” he asks, turning to face me.

  “So what?”

  “What do you think of her?” He motions with his head toward the door.

  “She’s nice. I can’t wait to hear what you guys have come up with.”

  He swallows. “I really like playing with her. But I don’t know if I am going to be able to do anymore shows with her.”

  I scrunch my nose up confused. “Why is that?”

  He runs his hand over his hair uncomfortably. “I think she likes me.”

  I can’t help but smile. “Of course she does.”

  He shakes his head. “No, I mean…I think she like likes me.”

  I giggle. “I know.”

  He squints his eyes at me. “What do you mean you know? Is it that obvious?”

  I shrug. “Not overly, but I’m a girl. We notice the little things.”

  “So you’re not bothered by this at all?” He looks surprised.

  I shake my head. “Do you like her?”

  His eyes widen. “As a friend…”

  “Then, I think you are overthinking it. She would be stupid not to realize how incredible you are. But if you like playing music with her, which I know you do…I think you shouldn’t be willing to give up so easily.”

  He rubs his hand over the stubble on his chin. “So you’re not worried?”

  I take a sip of my hot chocolate. “You haven’t given me any reason to be. And as long as you are coming home to me every night…I’m okay with you having a musical relationship with her. Just as long as it doesn’t surpass that friendship.”

  He kisses me on the forehead, leaning his head against mine. “I don’t deserve you.”

  I giggle. “Probably not…but you’re stuck with me.”

  “Hey!” He pokes me in the side playfully. He glances toward the door. “It’s almost time, we should probably head in.”

  I nod.

  The next hour and a half flies by in a blur. Dakota is better than I ever imagined…better than Avery ever led on. Her voice is absolutely breathtaking and the room remains deathly quiet nearly their entire two sets, minus the erupting of cheers each time they end a song.

  The two originals are my favorite out of everything they play. The way their voices meld together in harmony is beautiful. I can see them continuing to do amazing things together if they put in the time and effort. Their chemistry on stage together is igniting. Deep down inside I wish I could have that musical chemistry with Avery…but I am nowhere near as talented as Dakota, nor ballsy.

  As we make our way home, I glance over at Avery’s face and he is radiating from happiness. “I’m really proud of you, you know that, right?”

  His green eyes shift to meet mine. “Why?”

  “Because you never let anything stand in the way of your dreams. You are an inspiration to me.”

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