Characters: James, Amber, Bernd
Word count: 595
Summary: James listens to his iPod…
Author’s notes: Thanks go out to my beta, Kat, for pinking this for me. Please note that James and Amber belong to her.
Author’s notes 2: The song Bernd sends James is “Pepper” by the Butthole Surfers and was written by Brad Delson, Chester Charles Bennington, Dave Farrell, Joseph Hahn, Mike Shinoda, Robert G. Bourdon. Maroon 5’s “Won’t Go Home Without You” was written by Adam Levine. Incubus’ “Drive” was written by Brandon Boyd, Mike Einziger, Chris Kilmore, Alex Katunich and Jose Pasillas.
James sat at his desk, doing his homework. It was too quiet without Amber, so he reached for his iPod, and setting it to shuffle, he looked at his textbook as the first song began to play. By the third song, he was banging a pencil in time with the beat. Homework forgotten, James was full on drumming with a couple of pencils by the time Maroon 5’s “Won’t Go Home Without You” came on.
“Oh, oh, oh… It’s not over tonight… Just give me one more chance to make it right… I may not make it through the night… I won’t go home without you… And I won’t go home without you…” James sang softly to himself.
He sang snatches of other songs that came on, an opening verse here, a bridge there, another opening verse, an ending. James had closed his eyes and was moving his head and shoulders to the beat of each song that played. In his mind, he was singing to Bernd. When Green Day’s “Basket Case” began, he imagined Bernd was there in his room singing with him. His friend, who James had loved since they were little kids, also loved the song and they often bullshitted around, singing the song and dancing like a couple of fools. James laughed at the mental image he had. The mood broken, he went back to his homework.
The next few songs were “boring” enough to keep from distracting him as he did his homework. James breezed through his math and was just starting his English homework, when a song he knew he did not add to his playlist came on. James snorted; it was a song Bernd liked that he wanted James to listen to. Oddly enough, the song explained why James’ iPod went missing and where it went. He thought Amber had taken it, but their friend had been the culprit. He sighed. When the chorus came around again, James found himself singing along, “I don't mind the sun sometimes, the images it shows… I can taste you on my lips and smell you in my clothes… Cinnamon and sugary and softly spoken lies… You never know just how you look through other people's eyes…” It was catchy even if the lyrics were a bit morbid. Interesting choice, Bernd…
James finished his homework as one of his favorite songs started playing. He closed his notebook, got comfortable, and listened to Voltaire. He liked several of his songs, with “Dunce” being his current favorite. When the song finished, James pulled the earbuds from his ears and switched his iPod off. His homework done, James got up and went to the kitchen for dinner.
As soon as he could, James went back to his room. Picking up his phone, he saw he had a missed call from Bernd. He returned the call. “Hey, Bernd… Yeah? Okay, I’ll come over… See you in a bit.” James hung up. Grabbing his iPod, he switched it on. On his way out he saw Amber in the kitchen. “Tell Mom I’m over Bernd’s.”
Amber nodded. “He okay?”
“Yeah, he just wants me to help him with his math homework and we’ll probably hang out afterwards.” And maybe we’ll have a bit of fun…
“Okay. Have fun and say ‘hi’ for me.”
“See ya!” James left his house. His iPod still on shuffle, the songs became a soundtrack to the walk over to his friend’s house. “Whatever tomorrow brings… I’ll be there with open arms and open eyes… Whatever tomorrow brings… I’ll be there, I’ll be there…”