✿ l u k e ✿

As I stand on this godforsaken stage with my trembling hands on this really amazing Gibson guitar, I start to feel scared. I feel scared because of the number of eyes on me right now, because of the chosen songs I don't know how to play, because of the pressure of Ashton staring daggers at the back of my head, and because of the reality of all of this. I am Luke Hemmings, and I'm about to shit my pants.

Nobody was even dismayed that We Are Horizonless didn't make it. They all hooted and wolf-whistled as we made our way up the stage, but maybe that's just because of Michael's green-coloured hair. After an awkward introduction and the microphone giving off an ear-piercing screech, Calum finally announces the first song.

Coincidentally, it's First Date by Blink 182—the same song Eleanor and Michael violently sang to on Eleanor and I's sort-of-date. Ashton hits his drum sticks together three times before starting the upbeat drum intro of the song. Then, Michael starts strumming the guitar along to the beat. It isn't long until he and Calum starts singing, too.

"In the car, I just can't wait / To pick you up on our very first date / Is it cool if I hold your hand / Is it wrong if I think it's lame to dance?" they both sing. Their voices are shaky at first, but after a few seconds, they both look at each other and have a silent understanding. Then after that, they sing in sync and in rhythm, and it isn't long until everyone starts jumping around and singing along.

I, however, am completely frozen in place, not knowing what the heck I'm doing.

"Luke!" Ashton hisses from behind. "Play!"

I nod to no one in particular and observe the chords Michael is playing. I take of note of the scale, and then I start adlibbing to the chorus. Calum and Michael look at me with a content smile. I look back at Ashton and see him trying to conceal one too, but deep down, I know it's there.

Michael and Calum continue singing and singing and singing, and my mind is only focused on one thing: to get this show done. But, as soon as a particular auburn-haired girl starts making her way through the crowd to stand right in front of that stage, the thought gets completely thrown out the window. Now, all I can think is: Do this for Eleanor.

"When you smile, I melt inside / I'm not worthy of a minute of your time," Michael continues. I look at Eleanor and smile at her to let her know that these lyrics are for her, even if they're being sung by another voice.

"I really wish it was only me and you / I'm jealous of everybody in the room / Please don't look at me with those eyes / Please don't hint that you're capable of lies / I dread the thought of our very first kiss / I target down and I'm probably gonna miss," Calum sings. I see Eleanor laugh, and instantly, I know what she's laughing at. She's laughing at that almost-kiss we had back in her treehouse, and how humiliated I was and how I left her there like the idiot that I am. But despite that being the most awkward and most embarrassing moment of my life, it somehow led to this, and I wouldn't have it any other way. So I laugh too.

Before I even knew it, the song reaches an end. The crowd cheers wildly, with everyone's hands clapping together for us. Even though we're obviously not a band and that we didn't even have a moment to practice the songs, our rhythms all came in one mesh without us even trying that hard. What makes me happy is the huge grin on Michael's face as he thanks everyone for the cheers. I think back at the pre-wedding party in the forest and remember Michael's drunken speech about winning the Golden God's awards. Then I have a realization: we could be a band and make Michael's dream a reality.

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