The Mischievous Nerd's Guide to World Domination
Author: Stephen Oberauer

Chapter 60
The band

I know what you want to hear. You want to know what was going on with me and Shelley. It was a good thing that I subscribed to the Don Juan newsletter, without which I would be completely hopeless with girls. What was that? Did I just hear you say that I’m still completely useless? Well, if you did, you’ll just have to wait and find out if you’re correct. The first rule in dating is... ‘Don’t phone straight away!’ A Friday night, or a Saturday is a good time, and if you want to invite her on a date, have something specific in mind to invite her to. A date, however, was a bit too much, too soon. Although I was ready to marry her, I didn’t want to come across as desperate or boring, and so I invited her to join us for band practice, after all, she did play the violin. Saturday morning arrived.

Phoning girls, was, unfortunately, not my strong point and so, after much pacing backwards and forwards trying to magically absorb courage out of the air, I decided that walking to her house would work better. Two minutes later, I was there. ‘Ding!!!’ Her doorbell seemed about as loud as a church bell. Shelley answered the door with a big smile on her face and invited me inside. I told her about band practice and invited her to join. She agreed and ran upstairs to fetch her violin. ‘I have to be back home in 2 hours. Is that okay?’ she called from the top of the stairs.

‘Not a problem,’ I replied.

As I waited in the entrance hall I looked around. Everything was neatly organized. Next to the door was a waist high wooden cupboard on top of which lay a small pile of post. A Watchtower magazine rested on top of the pile. ‘The Jehovah’s Witnesses must be making their rounds,’ I thought to myself. I liked Jehovah’s Witnesses. To me they were friendly people who made the effort to visit me from time to time, and were always fun to argue with.

Shelley hurried down the stairs with her violin in her right hand. She was shorter than what I remembered from the last time, probably because I had been sitting down, but still just as gorgeous.

We walked quietly back down the road to my parents’ house, where the rest of my band were waiting in two Volkswagen Golfs. Raymond emerged from the driver’s side of the white Golf, followed by Ryan from the passenger side. With his sunglasses, punk hair and guitar swung over his back, Ryan looked like a rock star.

‘These are my buds, Raymond and Ryan, and this is my neighbour, Shelley,’ I introduced them. ‘And the guy carrying the bass drum is Owen, and the tall guy’s Ian.’

After about fifteen minutes we had everything set up in my room, with hardly any space to move around. Shelley sat on my bed and watched.

We started off with our favourite hard rock song, ‘Standing on the Bridge.’

Having Shelley around made me nervous, so I struggled to play my guitar. My fingers were all over the place. After quarter of an hour of very amateur playing, Ryan apologized to Shelley on my behalf. ‘Normally he’s like Steve Vai,’ Ryan exaggerated, ‘but he’s just nervous because you’re here.’

‘Should I go?’ she asked.

‘No!’ we all exclaimed in a very choir like manner.

‘I’ll pull myself together,’ I told her. ‘I can do this. Let’s play “One man chose to do wrong”.’ I took a deep breath and focused as hard as I could, but I didn’t need to. The song did its magic and my fingers remembered exactly how to play. When it got to my guitar solo I pulled off the best solo I’d ever done in a band practice. Everyone was smiling.

‘That was awesome!’ Raymond high fived me.

‘Wow!’ Shelley added.

‘We rock!’ Ryan included.

‘Would you like to join in?’ I asked Shelley.

Shelley nodded and joined in with her violin, improvising as we played the song again. It gave the song a fuller and more professional sound, as if the whole room had filled with life.

‘She’s pretty good!’ Ryan concluded.

I agreed. I relaxed for the next songs and the band practice went well afterwards. Well, none of the songs went quite as well as ‘One man chose to do wrong’, but we certainly agreed that the violin was a good addition to our band. At 1pm Shelley had to go. Practice went on for another hour.

‘So, what’s the plan?’ Raymond asked me after practice.

‘What plan?’ I asked.

‘With Shelley? What’s your plan? I mean, is she your girlfriend now, or are you two just friends or what?’

‘I’m not sure. I feel like I have to take it slow, so that I don’t scare her away,’ I replied.

‘Sounds difficult.’

‘It is.’


 

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