I hummed to myself as I blasted Green Day in my ears. I got dressed into running shorts and a band T-shirt from a concert I went to a long time ago. I looked at the clock and ran into Mikey's room, pouncing on him.
"OW! Danny what the hell!" he said as he smacked me with a pillow.
"It's Friday! Now get up! We still have band camp!" I shouted over my music and ran out of his room. I grabbed my wallet off of the counter and started to fill up my gallon of water. "Michael get up we’re going to be late again!" I screamed and he walked down stairs.
"I’m coming Dan!" he said and grabbed his gallon that I filled up for him. I rolled my eyes and he grabbed his keys. "Alright let's go," he said and we left for the first Friday of band camp. I walked into the band room and all eyes shifted to me and my brother.
"Good morning Danny... Mike." Kendall said ruffling my hair.
"Good morning." I said flattening my hair and placing my baseball cap on my head.
"Alright band let's start warming up I have a surprise for everyone on the upper field," Harry said with a mysterious tone in his voice.
"Alright you heard him battery get set up and meet me at the basketball courts," Kendall said and walked out the doors.
"Guess who?" Hands covered my face and I placed mine over them.
"Um, are you a trumpet player?" I asked, knowing it was Jackson.
"Yes I am," I turned around and smiled.
"Good morning!" I said putting my harness on.
"And how are you, Miss Danny, on this fine band camp day?" Jackson said. I let out a laugh and put on my drum.
"I’m as good as I can be! Oh! Remember dinner is at seven thirty," I said with a wink and he gave me a smile. "You ready?" I asked grabbing my backpack and water.
"Yup, after you," I walked out of the band room and started walking to the battery.
"I’ll see you up on the field Danny!" he said and then ran up the hill. My eyes followed him and my smile only grew bigger. I walked over to the battery to warm up my legs and arms. After eights, which are playing eight taps on a hand, we finally got to the Pep Band stuff. We ran through our fight song, “Squash the Bug” and “We Will Rock You”. I was already sweaty from just warming up.
"Gush and go! I need to talk to Nick," Kendall said and we all nodded. I took a couple big gulps of my water and headed up to the ensemble. Once I got up the field, I took off my drum and slipped off my backpack. I searched for my music and started to go over the ballad.
"Hey Dan," Jackson said walking over to me.
"Hi and when did you stop calling me Danny?" I asked cocking my head to the side.
"I...um if you don't want me to call you Dan, I can call you Danny," he said playing with the hem of his shirt. He is just so sweet.
"No it is fine," I said and took a deep breath. "Are you nervous for tonight?” I asked.
"Danny, I’m nervous, but if this means we can start dating, then I’m excited to get to know your family," he said and that was music to my ears. I laughed a little and retied my long dark brown hair.
"Hey Danny," Brett said giving Jackson a look.
"What?" Jackson said and Brett nodded his head and they walked away from me. I couldn't hear what was going on, but Jackson made a face and smiled widely. They both walked back and Brett left.
"What was that about?" I asked raising both eyebrows.
"Oh um nothing," he said and that made me even more curious.
"Tell me! Please!" I asked giving him my best smile.
"Not a chance. Bro code," he said. Groaning in annoyance, I put my bass back on and walked into the middle of the field for marching block.
"So my surprise is that I bought ice cream to celebrate our first Friday together. Congrats everyone you’ve all made it through hell and back!" Harry exclaimed and we all let out a cheer and some laughs.
"Battery you’re good go off into sectionals," Harry said and Kendall marched us over to the end of the upper field.
"Alright battery we’re going to work on the Ballad and most of the Closer. Basses go with Ty, quads go with Michael, and snares stay with me. We meet back here in an hour. Go!" Kendall explained and I followed Ty with a nod. Once the hour was up, Ty walked us back to the section, "Alright let's put everything together," Kendall said and started the metronome. We played through the Ballad twice and the Drum Solo and Closer five times. "Alright let's head back. Good work everyone!" We walked back and got into the positions for the Ballad part of the show. I laid down onto my back and unhooked my drum. All the basses are doing the same. The trumpets start the movement and finally we lift our drums up into the air. The snares and quads weave through all five of us and then we all stand up. I put my drum back on and grabbed the sticks off the top. We played through each section and then we were stopped.
"Flutes! Don't make me ask you again! Play louder!" Harry screamed and I heard the yes sirs from all eight of them. We started from the top of the Ballad again and thankfully made it through the whole thing. "Go home everyone! See you Monday," Harry said and walked off the field without another word.
"Battery let's go!" Kendall shouted and I could see that he was upset from today's performance. He knows that Edward messed up the bass solo. We all did. I walked into the band room and a blur of excitement shot through me. Tonight my parents get to meet Jackson! I put my instrument into its case and latched all four sides.
"I got it Danny," Kendall said and slid my drum up next to Edwards.
"Ed can I talk to you outside please?" he said and Edward walked out with shaking hands. I saw Jackson walk in and I couldn’t stop the smile forming on my face. His eyes met with mine and my face turned light pink. He walked over and smiled.
"Did I ever tell you, you're cute when you blush," he said and I rolled my eyes.
"That was cheesy," I smirked and he let out a laugh.
"Only when I want to be," he replied and that made me laugh slightly, "So tonight. What time do you want me there again, Danny?" he asked walking over to his trumpet case.
"Seven thirty," he smiled as he put his instrument away.
"That sounds perfect. See you tonight!" With a quick hug he was gone. I smiled to myself and touched my long ponytail.
"Danny let's go!" Mikey's voice pulled me out of this daze.
I rushed into the house and into my bathroom. I showered off all my band camp sweat. I kept replaying what I’m going to talk about at dinner tonight. I’m so scared that my parents aren't going to like Jackson. Millions of thoughts rushed into my mind on how dinner’s going to play out. I stepped out of the shower and glanced over at the clock. Okay it’s 6:40. I need to find something cute to wear, and quick. I can do my hair and be ready by the time he gets here. I started going through my closet and found my favorite baby blue blouse. I made sure the bow was straight on my left side. I slipped it on and to match a pair of white jeans. I looked over at the clock again and it was 7:00. What if he comes early? "Okay, Danny, you need to keep moving," I said to myself. I stepped into the bathroom and started to yank my hair brush through my wet hair. Once my dark hair is tamed, I looked into the mirror one last time.
"Danielle! Jackson's here!" my mom shouted and I took in a huge deep breath. I walked back into the bedroom and slipped on a pair of blue flats to match my shirt. I headed downstairs. I could see the smile on Jackson's face as I emerged from the stairway. "There you are Danielle. We were all starting to think you skipped out," my mom said and I made a face at the use of my real name.
"Well I’m starving let's eat!" my step-dad said clapping his hands together. I walked over to the table and Jackson pulled out my chair.
"Thanks," I said softly and he responded with a smile. He took the seat next to me and my step-father sat at the head of the brown dining room table.
"So Jackson, what instrument are you playing in the band?" my mom asked, picking up a plate full of spaghetti.
"I play trumpet," Jackson said with pride.
"Ah, a Trumpet player. I’m a Mellophone player myself," Jackson and Dad started talking about brass things and my mom pulled me into the kitchen.
"I really like him Danielle," my mom said and my face started to heat up.
"Yeah me too," I said and both guys rejoined us in the kitchen.
"So Jackson do you like to watch sports?" my dad arched his left brow and Jackson moved over and stood next to me. His right hand slightly grazed over my left and he looked up at my step-dad to answer.
“Not really. I sometimes watch football with my dad, but that’s when...never mind. Not really,” he said and finally took my hand in his, lacing his fingers in between mine. I looked over at the clock and it was about 8:30.
"My brother’s going to be here soon," he said running his thumb over the top of my hand. "Thank you for having me," Jackson shook my step-dad's hand and hugged my Mom.
"I’ll walk you out," I took my hand back for a quick second and we walked to the door. "Thanks for meeting my parents tonight," I said opening up the front door.
"No problem," he said and I smiled, "I have to go," he tilted his head to the car.
"What’s the plan tomorrow?" he smiled and leaned in closer to my face.
"I was thinking we could get lunch and then Brett can pick us up from your house," he said as his warm breath rushes across my face.
"Sounds like a plan," I said looking into his eyes.
"Well I’ll see you at twelve thirty. Night Danny," he said and leaned in closer.
"Goodnight Jackson," I said with a breathless tone. He grabbed my hands and pulled me into his chest. As he was leaning in, I remember this was going to be my first kiss. "Jackson," my breath was shaky, "I can't," I pulled away.
"Oh," he pulled back.
"Sorry—" a honk of the horn caught our attention.
“It’s okay," he said and kissed me softly on the cheek. My face and body flared up in a blaze of passion. He pulled back and started walking to the car. Part of me wanted that real kiss, but I don't know if I can trust him with it. With one last wave, he was gone, out of sight. I walked back into my house and my parents were washing dishes. They’re the best married couple I know. The just work like a machine. Always coming to some sort of agreement.
"I’m heading up to bed," they dried their hands and walked over to me.
"Alright baby love you," they said in unison and I gave them hugs. I ran up stairs and quickly slipped into PJs. I slid under my warm covers looking at my phone. Two new messages. I clicked on the app showing they were both from Jackson.
Jackson: Hey Danny I had a great time tonight. I can't wait for tomorrow.
And I am so sorry about when I was leaving. I should have known. Well good night.
Danny: It’s okay, I should’ve said something earlier. Have a good night!
I started to type the next message to him, but my eyelids had other ideas. I set my phone aside and let my sleep win over my body.