While everyone was leaving the venue for the night, I waited for Aaron to come out of the back. I was getting nervous; maybe he already packed his stuff and left without telling me. Maybe he just wanted me here at the show, but he didn’t say anything about wanting to hang out after the show or something. I started to feel stupid standing in the middle of this room as the venue got empty. I was beginning to walk out of the venue to just head home for the night.
“Mols!” I heard a voice call out for me. I turned around and saw Aaron walking towards me. I immediately smiled and turned around to face him as we continued walking to me.
“Hey, rockstar,” I teased Aaron as he approached me. He started to laugh, like the loud hearty laugh that he does when something is really funny to him. I’m glad I’m able to hear it and be the cause of it at times. “You were amazing out there tonight!”
“Thank you,” Aaron playfully takes a bow. “I appreciate you coming out here to see me perform.”
“I wouldn’t miss it for the world,” I quickly said back. I bit my bottom lip after saying it, feeling a little weird letting that slip out the way that it did. Aaron smiles before turning around to see his band members come closer to us.
“Mols, these are my bandmates,” Aaron pointed out as his band members came to us. “Thomas is our bass guitarist, Xavier is our rhythm guitarist, and Jordan’s our drummer.” I wave at the three guys, a little nervous at the introduction. They don’t look like they are also freshmen in a high school; I mean I’ve never seen them at Waverly. Aaron turns around to face me. “This is Mollie.”
“Hi,” I started to say. “You guys were awesome tonight.” The guys thanked me as they gathered their stuff. I figured that Aaron wanted to go hang out with his band members after having such a good show, but it was to my surprise seeing the guys give Aaron pounds, saying goodbye to him. They waved goodbye at me, and I return the wave. Once the guys leave, Aaron looks at me and smiles.
“Should we go grab something to eat?” Aaron asked.
“Please,” I begin to answer. “I haven’t eaten anything since lunch period.”
Aaron went to a local burger joint that he highly recommended; he typically goes here when he and his band have practice in the area. The burgers were alright, but the waffle fries were to die for. I think Aaron noticed since he trades his fries for my burger.
“You know, I was in that show feeling very lame with my uniform on,” I explained to Aaron, who is wearing casual clothing. It was nice to see how he dressed outside of school. It was very chill; an oversized sweatshirt and some jeans with a pair of Chuck Taylors on.
“I wish the show wasn’t right after school,” Aaron added on. “Carrying a change of clothes and your instrument is not cool.” I sipped on my soda before continuing the conversation.
“Wanna know what else isn’t cool?” I playfully asked. Aaron looked at me, nervous. “Pretending you don’t know what you’re doing but then singing the way you did in your performance.” I smiled, just to let him know I was obviously joking, and it was fun to tease him and watch him squirm. Aaron definitely squirmed in his seat.
“About that,” Aaron tried to explain. I laughed at his nervousness. I was curious to actually know what the explanation is. “The music we have to sing for vocal is sometimes just hard–“
“Hard doesn’t mean singing off-pitch on purpose,” I corrected him. “You know what you’re doing, so why did you ask me to help you in vocal if you really didn’t need it?” Aaron looked even more nervous, which actually now made me feel a little bad for pushing him this hard to tell me what’s been on my mind all night.
“Okay, you got me,” Aaron simply said. “I pretended I didn’t know what I was doing in vocal because I… just wanted to get to know you.”
“You could’ve just come up to me and got to know me though,” tried to explain to Aaron. I felt weird all of a sudden; why would Aaron have to lie about being bad at something just to talk to me. Was I that scary to approach or something?
“You don’t just approach the most talented girl in vocal class like nothing,” Aaron pointed out. I felt myself blush, but I hope that Aaron sees it as me feeling a little cold on this chilly night. “The day you went up and sang in front of the class for the first time, it was like… intense. Like, your talent made it hard for me to just come and talk to you at first.” Hearing Aaron explain why he did what he did has me left with a million more questions.
“Aaron, you’re a dual major,” I tried to reason with him. “That means that you were so fucking good at your auditions, that they decided to put you in two majors.”
“Being a dual major doesn’t mean you’re automatically the best,” Aaron responded back. “And Mols, you’re the best in our vocal class. I was just fascinated with you because even in being the best, you still work hard and practice your music and know what you’re doing not because you know you’re the best or you gotta stay the best, but because you have so much passion.”
Hearing Aaron talk about passion makes it feel real. This guy not only has to juggle the workload of two majors in school but also is a part of a band that is up and coming into the scene here in the city. It takes someone with passion to recognize other people with passion. It felt good to hear it from someone that doesn’t really owe you anything to tell you that you are good and worthy of the spot you’re in. I smiled. He returned the smile. I sighed before saying anything back.
“That means a lot, Aaron,” I began. “It’s hard to always feel like you don’t belong in a place or have people doubt your ability to do things because, well, they just see this girl who’s constantly getting herself in some sort of trouble.”
“Even the greats were badasses,” Aaron responded back. It made me giggle. “Even more of a reason to like you.” I looked at Aaron; I felt my stomach drop all the way down to my ankles.
“You… like me?” I said, without thinking at first. I shook my head, trying to cover up my tracks. “I mean, you like me as a friend, right?”
“Mols,” Aaron began. “I like you.” I felt all the air in my lungs evaporate. The Aaron Serrano, confessing that he likes me? I felt every jar of butterflies in my stomach explode, and there was no way of catching them all to put them back together. It was too late; I think it’s been too late for quite some time now.
“I like you too, Aaron,” I confessed. He smiled at my response, and it felt good to know that someone actually likes me for me, and not for the version that everyone wants me to be. The truth is I know I’m a mess, stubborn, and someone times don’t think before I speak. But if Aaron can like me for my broken parts, then he also actually really likes me for my good parts. Aaron gets closer to me, closing the gap between us. I feel myself beginning to blush even harder than before; this time, I hope Aaron knows it’s because of him.
“Would it be okay if I, uhm,” Aaron began to say; he was clearly nervous. Show him what it was like to be a badass, Mol.
“Kiss me,” I demanded. Aaron looked at me, surprised at my response. I smiled before he smiled and caressed my face, bringing me closer to his lips. He gently kissed me on the lips, and the electricity went through my body and brought me to life. It was innocent, nothing too aggressive or weird but… safe. I felt safe with Aaron. Our lips separated slowly. He looked into my eyes before releasing his hands from my face.
“Let’s get you home, rockstar,” I teased. Aaron laughed his infamous laugh before saying anything back.
“Not before we get the rockstar’s girlfriend home first,” Aaron flirted. I think I’m gonna like staying naturally red in the face.