The trio was silent as they stared at the hustle and bustle of Bridgeport. Ready or not, Michael Simmies was waiting on Vince and Basil to blow him away.
“Now… I think we’re going to just… take this street…” Vince said while staring at his phone. It had occurred to them all that maybe this hadn’t been the BEST idea. That’s why Basil felt he had to ace this audition. If he went home to his mom and told her how their lives were about to change, it would be a lot better than going home defeated and getting the punishment of a lifetime. After a lot of walking, anxiety increasing gradually with every step, they arrived to a mammoth building. All the buildings here were huge.
Basil shot his sister a look first and she smiled at him and gave him a quick pat on the back. If anyone deserved this, she knew he did. And she had gotten to tag along. The journey for her was epic. She felt like such a small someone in this city. She could get lost in a crowd, taste new foods, and see new people. It felt so beautiful. She wanted her brother to succeed because he was great. But she also knew that if his wildest dreams came true, she could go on tour with him and see the world. That’s what she craved.
Inside the building, a young, attractive woman sat at the front desk.
They all walked up with varying levels of confidence. Pepper barely looked up, Basil looked determined but nervous, and Vince looked cool and calm.
“Can I help you?” the lady asked nonchalantly.
“We’re here to see Michael Simmies,” Vince said proudly.
The lady clicked on her computer a bit and then asked, “And you are….?”
“Vince Fox and Basil Kay. We’re here for an audition,” Basil answered this time.
“Ah, one second…”
When it was clear that the woman (whose name was Denise) didn’t literally mean one second or even one minute, they sat down.
For over an hour, they went over everything over and over and over again in their heads. Their names were called eventually.
Denise escorted them onto the elevator and into Michael’s office.
“This is it!” Vince whispered excitedly. It was hard not to get excited as they kept going because the building looked fancier. Mr. Simmies was a hardworking and talented man, and he was about to give them a chance at a life of luxury.
“Mr. Simmies, Vince and Basil are here to see you,” Denise said before disappearing.
Pepper could no longer even feel her heart beat as she took a seat in his office. The chair she sat in felt heavenly. Meanwhile, Basil tried to keep his breathing normal, and he hoped his voice wouldn’t waiver. Luckily, remaining cool in business environments was Vince’s forte.
“My internet talent is here!” Michael said with a smile and he held out his hand to the boys. “Nice to meet you. You too, young lady,” he said nodding his head in acknowledgement toward Pepper.
“That’s my sister. She’s just here for… er… support,” Basil mumbled.
“Very well,” Michael said, sitting down in his chair again.
He glanced at the clock on the wall. “Alright. You guys have five minutes to impress me. Let’s go!”
The boys took out their instruments, took a deep breath, and gave it their all.
Pepper felt like she was holding her breath for the entire audition. Vince forgot to crescendo, but it wasn’t too noticeable. Basil’s voice sounded pretty good. She gripped the arm of her seat, looking out for the imperfections, hoping that she was the only one who’d notice them. Mentally she sang every single word along with the guys, and she didn’t realize that she was also mouthing the lyrics until halfway through the song. She pursed her lips together and tried to focus.
Finally the song came to an end. Pepper sat back in her seat. Vince gave a big smile at the end of the performance. Basil kept his eyes closed for a second before reading the expression on Michael’s face. He wanted this so bad. He had to have it.
Mr. Simmies looked like he was contemplating. That didn’t make Basil feel good.
“So, what’dya think?” Vince asked.
“Hmmm… It sounds upbeat. Really good lyrics. Very nice arrangement. I think it would go over well with your generation. However… I want you guys to consider something here for a second.”
The boys glanced at each other before staring back at Mr. Simmies. They had no choice but to consider what he was going to say next.
“I have this talent. Her name’s Mindy Payne. She’s got this unique voice, really cute image. Have you ever considered expanding your group? Cause, Basil, let me tell ya! Your voice is golden, but hers would compliment it. This would propel you guys from an internet group to superstars, I think. What do you say?”
Everyone looked around confused. This wasn’t what they’d anticipated at all.
“Can we discuss this for a second? Give us just a minute or two to decide?” Vince asked.
“Sure, sure. Take your time.”
Outside the door, everyone’s feelings erupted. Pepper’s mouth formed into a scowl and Basil kept asking, “What’s wrong with MY voice? Why does it need to be complimented?”
Vince was trying to figure out how this would affect the dynamics of the group and if this Mindy girl could even play an instrument and if so, if she would make a significant amount more or less than them. It was Pepper who finally broke the chaos.
“Guys, you should do it. So what another person comes along? No one can break this awesome bond you guys have. This is a once and a lifetime opportunity. Think about it. He basically just said yes to you, you just have to accept this new girl. I know it’s not what you really came here for, but maybe she’d be a good addition.”
“She’s right,” Vince agreed. “We have to go back home with something. We have to.”
“Mmm… alright,” Basil muttered. “But I’m not sure about this.”
They went back into Michael’s office to discuss their contracts and Mindy. Whatever happened, whatever didn’t… Basil and Vince were now officially on Michael’s team. And they had something to prove. Nothing would get in their way.
Back at home, all hell had broken loose when Pepper and Basil arrived. At first Junie lectured them with how worried she was and how anything could’ve gone wrong. She never expected this from THEM. After a while after she calmed down, they broke the news to her. That was when she realized that there would be no stopping Basil. Inside, she felt weary. More like nervous. The music industry was cutthroat. But Basil had already taken the steps to do what he wanted to do, and he would soon be an adult. She congratulated him with a smile, and gave Pepper a hug.
“Yes, guys. Congratulations. Such talent and hard work deserves to be recognized,” Raymond commented before heading to the kitchen.
The twins looked at each other. Why was Raymond suddenly dropping compliments left and right?
“Weird!” Pepper whispered to Basil. He nodded in agreement.
Hey guys. Sorry I’ve been away for so long. The short version of my reasoning is school and work, and I can’t promise there won’t be more breaks. I am a software engineering student and I’m trying to get internships and get myself together. So I’ve been super busy. But I didn’t mean to go this long without an update.