Tales from another broken home.

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Chapter 37: Brace yourself for an Epic battle.

You had time to waste.
And I'm not sorry.
Such a basket case.
I had time to kill.
It's dead and buried.
You've got guts to spill.
But noone trustworthy.

There's someone down below.
Blowing you a kiss.
And you found everything you need.
To make your life complete.
Completely revolting.

From "Time to Waste." By Alkaline Trio.

I walked into Aarons garage and saw him pacing nervously.

"Aaron you ok man?"

"Yeah just nervous. Real nervous."

"Look we've practiced as much as we can if we don't win we at least know we've given it our all."

"Yeah man I know."

We sat talking for a few minutes before Jay Jay and Adam arrived.

"Hey guys."

They all had the same queasy nervous look. We sat talking and Steve and Andrew brought us out some pizza. After demolishing it we all got in the van and headed to The BackHouse. When we got there I hopped out of the van to be greeted by Ryan.

"Hey man."

"Hey Ry."

We both stepped back into the van and had a quick make out session before the show. I could see Aaron watching us in the rear view mirror.

"Ryan there's something I want to talk to you about after the show k?"

"Yeah sure man what is it?"

"Nah wait till after the show."

We stood at the side stage and watched the first few bands. Nobody was particularly amazing yet. A new band To Live Again did an amazing cover of This Photograph is Proof but we were doing an original and that would give us a huge advantage. I had lost my nerves after performing the song a few times at The BackHouse and pretty much everyday in front of the band and whoever was watching us practice.

Before I knew it it was 12.15 and we had to get our gear ready to go onstage. When I walked out onstage I could see my Mam, Mike, Andrew and Steve in the front row. I didn't look at them too long not wanting to get distracted. I plugged in my guitar Jay Jay did his usual comedy opening speech and then pounded out the first chord. We had improved the song with a few little solos for everyone and even a vocal solo for me. I played with all my heart nailing my solo and keeping the chords flowing as Adam played his then Jay Jay and Aaron rolled into a crazy drum & bass section before a heavy bass drum beat hit and the music cut I used every little bit of passion in my soul to blast out the words. The music kicked back in and Adam nailed his ending scream before Aaron ended with a drum solo. When we were finished the crowd went crazy.

The club owner came out onstage. "Ok everyone chill for half an hour then the judge will come out and announce the winner."

I leaped offstage and gave my Mam a hug.

"Wow Riley I never knew how good you guys were."

"Yeah that was insane kiddo." Mike smiled.

We all went backstage and had a group huddle.

"Guys even if we didn't win that was by far the best performance we've ever given." Aaron smiled.

We all huddled together and there was a lot of hugs and high fives. As we were sitting back talking to a few other bands when the club owner came backstage.

"Ok guys the judge is going to announce the winner now."

We all walked out onstage every band member there seemed nervous there was crossed fingers everywhere.

"Good evening ladies and gentlemen tonights judge has been hiding up on the balcony all evening watching the bands. I'm very proud to welcome Brett Guerewitz."

All the kids burst into applause as the founder of Epitaph Records and a founder member of Bad Religion walked on stage.

"Hey kids. Well there've been many incredibly talented bands onstage tonight so it's very hard to pick just one but since I'm forced too the band that really stood out tonight are Hartigan."

Aaron fell to his knees. The rest of the band were in complete shock. We had won. Aaron walked up and shook Brett's hand. We all followed and shook the hand of a punk legend. The club owner walked back onstage.

"Hartigan have won three days recording time at Eclipse Recordings here in San Diego."

The whole band jumped into a huge group hug.

"Oh dude we won." Aaron jumped up and down.

The whole group just went crazy running backstage, screaming and partying. When we got backstage the parents were waiting for us. Mike and my Mam grabbed me in a tight hug.

"I'm so proud of you Riley." My Mam smiled.

"Yeah kiddo you deserved to win." Mike smiled patting me on the back.

"And because of your win Me and Andrew are going to stay at Riley's house so you guys can have a party at our place." Andrew interrupted..

"Dad you rock." Aaron laughed.

"I've got food and stuff setup in the house."

We all packed up our gear and headed for Aarons house making a quick detour with a 21 year old friend of Aarons to get some alcohol. We loaded the van full of beers and spirits before driving on. When we arrived at Aarons house the whole band ran into the house and began to setup in the sittingroom.

"Come on guys we should play a set for the people coming to the party." Aaron smiled.

I was sitting on a couch enjoying a beer when Ryan came bounding in.

"Hey man you rocked out so hard."

"Thanks Man." I smiled pulling him into a kiss.

"So what did you want to talk about?"

"Oh nothing it can wait."

We sat around joking for a while before a big crowd from school arrived. I talked to so many people I had never talked to before. All of them seemed to know my name and we ended up playing a small acoustic set for all the kids in the living room. There were cheers as we finished up around 1 a.m.

"Ok party over everyone out." Aaron shouted around an hour later.

Eventually it was just the band and Ryan left. I started an epic makeout session with Ryan and I could see Aaron watching us. I had drank a few too many beers at this stage and my mouth was a little freer then it normally would have been.

"Hey Ry would you mind if I made out with Aaron? He wants to know what its like to kiss a guy."

"Go ahead Ri." Ryan laughed.

I pulled Aaron over to the couch and grabbed him into a soft passionate kiss.

"Hey I want some of that." Ryan smiled pulling me over to him.

"Huh what bout me." Aaron laughed pulling Ryan over and kissing him.

"Threesome." Adam shouted loudly.

Aaron fell back onto the couch

"That would rock."

I looked over at Ryan and I could see he was enthralled by the idea. Ryan pulled me over and whispered in my ear.

"Would you be cool with that?"

"Yeah man it could be fun."

"You think Aaron would be up for it?"

"I'm pretty sure he would Ry." I laughed.

As we were talking Adam and Jay Jay got up.

"We're gonna give you guys some space. Have fun"

As soon as they were out the door Ryan turned to Aaron.

"So you wanna?"

"Ehhh Yeah." Aaron laughed.