“Oh cmon, it’s not the first time. They’ll be back together eventually,” Yannick groans. "What's new about it? Call him and tell to get his ass here quick!".
“Uh... I don’t know, it seems serious, and he sounds like he…was crying” Hobi, as the last one having a conversation with Skylar, looks pretty conflicted.
Skylar and crying are two words that can’t sit together in Jaime’s mind. The older is so blunt and cold, that he’ll swear everything that doesn’t go well as his plans, not crying over it. However, the silence from his peers confirms it.
Not long after, someone comes from the door and wordlessly sits on the couch behind them and Jaime doesn’t need to look to know who it is. The familiar Pine and mint cologne scent, Skylar.
“I’m sorry guys, I was overslept” He croaks.
It’s an obvious lie.
Everyone decides to believe, even though everybody can feel how awkward the situation is. Adam clears his throat “Alright let’s start”
“So, for our competition, I was thinking that maybe we should make a new song. You know it’s an important competition, our last competition before me and Skylar graduate, and we need some...you know…a surprise. A catch. Something people won's expect would come from our band,” Yannick suggests.
“I agree, I’ve some samples I just need to fix it a bit and Adam can start writing the lyrics” Skylar starts, his voice much hoarser than usual like he obviously sounds after crying all night long and Jaime is surprised when meets his bloodshot eyes and his paler skin, his hairs like a birds nest on winter. He’s a perfect description of what desperate would look like.
He can hear Jasper’s sigh beside him, maybe he notices as well how bad Skylar looks “So, what concept we will show this time?”
“I think about rock ballad or you know-“ Skylar starts
“What about? Broken heart song?” Jaime interrupts in a beat. He doesn’t mean to snap but just from the start it already sounds like bad news, he can't stand to hear any longer about an emotional song being sung at a summer festival. Everyone looks tense instantly.
“You have a problem with that?” Skylar bites back, Jaime knows he will.
"If you are intending for a surprise. That Idea won't do" Jaime sighs he knows Skylar is probably not in a good state now but he can’t risk the competition. The idea is terrible. Who the hell wants to hear a rock ballad in summer, let alone a fucking broken heart song. And seems nobody has the heart to point that out to Skylar’s face. Luckily, Jaime is a newbie.
“Alright alright let’s hear first” Adam tries to intercede with his usual level-headed demeanour.
“I’ve heard some of your songs…I’m sorry if I’m being too blunt, but all of your songs sound similar to one another. Rock-ballad some indie-rock I’m sure everyone already predicted it, we can’t use it anymore. And seriously? Broken heart? In summer?” Jaime explains, trying his best to be as subtle as possible yet still honest despite the thick tension around him.
“I can see if you have a problem with my song,” Skylar snarls, “but you can’t change our authenticity, you want us to sing bubble gum pop? With a pastel outfit? And a saccharine smile on face?”
“If that’s what everyone like, why not?” Jaime shrugs, trying to be unfazed by Skylar’s glare.
Skylar yanks his hair frustrated “Look, I won’t change our identity as the rock-ballad band just to jump out to the bandwagon of pop. I don’t care if people like it or not but this is our true self, our true colour and I want us to be sincere with it” he springs up and meets his bandmates' eyes "Don't say you all are now siding to this prick? Seriously? Pop? Is that even real music?"
“If you’re still playing your idealist card and you don’t care about people’s preferences then forget about winning the competition, ” Jaime hisses under his clenched jaws "People come to that summer festival for having fun and you would sing depressing broken heart songs, with the slow melody of rock ballad??? it just like you sell junk food to the vegan folks, ruining their day with your bad vibe"
Skylar scoffs, “Yeah, I never care about competition, well… I get it if you are obsessed with the money and you will sell everything people asked you and do whatever they demand you to without any second thought but I won’t sacrifice my music. So sorry, you need to find another job”
“Sky!“ Adam warns him, while Jasper shakes his head with disbelief
“No Adam, I won’t let this outsider who doesn’t know about us ruin our reputation!”
Jaime chuckles dryly “your reputation? Your music? Your preference?” Jaime points his index finger to Skylar’s chest “don’t you know your team desperately wants to win the first-place trophy? Have you asked them what genre they want to present for the competition? Geez – are you even know that Jassie probably wants to try the jazz genre as he loves it? Well, Skylar apparently you’re not the only member of this band, if you stop being so fucking selfish maybe you can understand them-“
Skylar stands as he put both of his hands on his waist. Pocking his inner cheek with his tongue “you don’t tell me about what should I do with my member. We were fine until you come. And don’t act like you fucking know about us. You are just-“
“Skylar, if I were you I won’t continue whatever you’re going to say” Yannick warns him with a stern voice
“No” Jaime refuses “let him be, what are you wanna say?” Jaime challenges Skylar to continue his sentence.
Skylar stares at him coldly “you are just a mercenary loser” He hisses between his gritted teeth "You don't value music as much as we are, you don't have passion for music yet you talk like you are the expert. If you just want the money you should just stick with it!"
Jaime can hear everyone gasps but Jaime knows it’ll come, he’s not surprised, especially when it comes from Skylar. No one hates him more than this guy “great, thanks. Maybe I’m a loser, but at least I won’t abandon my band just because I was too busy fucking my girlfriend. Everyone here desperately wants to win the competition Skylar, but you said yourself you don’t care about that instead, you’re more interested to deal with your girlfriend’s childish tantrum” Jaime scoffs "Talking about my passion? Set your priority first!"
Skylar stares at him with silence, there’s a pang of guilt implied in his eyes also…hurt. Jaime knows he should stop right now, he should shut his mouth from the beginning and he has already over-stepped right now. He knows everything he’s gonna say only makes it worse. But Jaime can’t help it, he needs to win the competition so he can get the money.
“Don’t say that about her. She’s-“
“She’s what? childish? insufferable? Pain in the ass? We all already know!”
Jaime should shut his mouth, he should know when to stop. But he can’t. maybe it’s about the money or it’s about something else. He doesn’t know. But there’s an ugly feeling, swirling in the pit of his stomach like a whirlpool makes him nauseous. The flash of the hickeys on the girl’s collarbone, the screeching voice of her calling Skylar’s name, the burgundy lipstick. Fuck – it makes him sick.
'What's with this infuriating feeling? why am I suddenly taking my anger to his girlfriend?'; Jaime asks himself.
Perhaps it just frustrating for Jaime to think Sky, who's the core of the band has to put his girlfriend on top of his priority while all of his bandmates' laying their dream in this band. The same girlfriend is known as bad news and how their relationship is known to be toxic by the entire people who know them.
Jaime just couldn't understand.
Skylar opens his mouth only to close it again. He’s gasping like a fish just being pulled out from the water. He doesn’t know what to say, the train of his thoughts is too long to be processed.
“fuck you!” he shakes his head and grabs his things before storming out
The strangling silence reeking in the air, it’s suffocating until everyone releases their breath they even didn’t realise they’ve been held.
Jasper whistled amused “I feel more relieved right now, thanks Jaime”
But Jaime doesn’t feel better with the compliment. As soon as Skylar slammed the door, the floods of guilt washed over him like a bucket of cold water.
He knows he’s so fucked up.
“I’m so sorry” Jaime whispers, he keeps staring at the floor, too scared to meet everyone else’s eyes
“w-what? No Jaime you-“ Jasper tries to interject.
Yannick release the breath he’s been holding “whatever the beef between you two, you both should clear everything out”
“oh c’mon Jaime only stated the facts” Jass’s eyes widen in disbelief
Jaime sighs subtly “I know, I’ll talk to him. I’m so sorry” Jaime grabs his belongings and leaves the room.
“what? Jaime wait!” And Jasper is also storming out to catch up with him.