"Shawn Mendes? You're this excited about seeing Shawn Mendes? Isn't he like, a decade or so younger than us?"

"Lyra, you don't understand. He is so talented."

"Not to mention he's completely adorable."

"Yeah. Total package. We can't lose."

Andrew, Jazmin, and Patrick had all been educating me in the ways of Shawn Mendes while we sat in the limo on our way to dinner. We were supposed to eat at some hot new beach spot and then go to the concert venue. It was an outdoor-festival type thing, so Shawn Mendes wasn't the only option, thankfully, but, apparently, he was the only one that everybody was really excited to see. 

"He is kind of young for us, I guess, but he reminds me of my little brother. Besides, Lyra, don't you play guitar or something? You should appreciate a fellow musician," Andrew was saying.

I played piano, but didn't feel like correcting him. I was surprised he had mentioned it at all, considering it was something I had mentioned once, offhandedly, during the awkward stage when we were still getting used to each other. I didn't play often, either. It was something that I had learned in grade school, dropped in high school, and then carried on as a hobby through college and the rest of my adult life. Once I had fully invested myself into my career as an accountant, I didn't really have time for little pleasantries like music.

"You have a brother?" I questioned, deciding instead to change the subject.

"Yeah. 4 of them, actually. Well, 3 and a half."

Interesting. It always surprised me when things like this came up, because it reminded me of just how much I still didn't know about Andrew, or any of the new friends I was making here.

"You have a half brother? I didn't know that."

"I didn't tell you. His name's Teddy, after my dad. He's older; my dad was married once before he met my mom. Then they had me, then my real brothers. Sam and Gabe- they're the twins- and then the youngest, James."

"And they're all living back in Colorado?"

"Yep, the twins are midway through high school and James is in eighth grade. I miss them like hell," he shook his head lightly, like he was chastising himself for saying such a thing, but I found it heartwarming.

"Yeah, I miss my sister and my parents, too." It was true; I wasn't even trying to make casual conversation. I hadn't called my mom or dad in ages, even though they made sure to keep me updated with how they felt about the developments in the show and what their coworkers were saying. And as for Olivia, she was so busy with getting her stuff ready to move for her new job and her engagement to her boyfriend, Tim, that I had barely even given a thought to Facetiming her. Chances are she wouldn't be around to answer.

"Alright, lovebirds, we're here," said Patrick. He and Jazmin had been weirdly quiet for the whole ride, only adding in interjective commentary about this and that and to express their love for Shawn Mendes occasionally. It was really strange to me- I coudn't, for the life of me, figure out why they weren't more... passionate. They had to have done something right in order to be voted second-most popular by the viewers, but I just didn't see it. Maybe it was jealously talking, or maybe I was just blind to something everyone else in the world saw. I hoped, for my sake and for Andrew's, that it was the latter.

We had pulled up in front of a quaint little diner. It was decorated, outside and in, with every bit of 1950s Americana iconography  that you would expect to see, as one living in the 2010s. As we all left the hired crew driver in the car, the camera crew followed us in to a predetermined table. I had always wondered about the people who happened to be in the places we filmed at; were they hired extras, or simply lifelong California natives who were accustomed to film crews wandering the locales of their lives, making movies out of the things that they witnessed every day? Either way, they all went about their business, as if the 3-man camera crew was nothing out of the ordinary. For them, I suppose, it wasn't. 

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