Chapter 5: Painful Friendship

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Rehearsals were a breeze for the next few days. Their running order was organised, their acts were going well during practice and the guys didn't have a care in the world.
"Okay," Tom began, calling Tom his seat in the corner of the room, "we'll run number 14 again." He traced his pen down the page of his notebook, tapping it as he found the note he was looking for. "Ah, Justs, you're up. Begin when you're ready." Meanwhile Mikolas roamed the halls, curiously searching for the dance club. He took great interest in them being part of his act. Only being a freshman, he was still getting the hang of the school's layout- leading him to be totally and utterly bamboozled on the dance club's location.

After almost all hope was lost and he felt like giving up, he heard it. An upbeat dance track echoing from up the hallway. He'd found it. He ran towards the music, the song becoming more and more audible the closer he got- as well as a voice, shouting over the track.
"And one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight. And one..." and so on. He located the source of the noise, a large, spare room in the music corridor. He knocked on the door a few times, being as loud as he could to be heard over the loud music. Eventually, someone answered the door.

"Guys just continue, okay" Loïc called before facing Mikolas. Loïc Nottet was the leader of the dance club- a freshman pretty familiar to him. He fixed his silky brown hair before asking "Can I help you?"
"Uh hey!" Miki began, praying that this would work out okay. "I was wondering if you and the members of your club could... be a part of my act in the talent show." Loïc raised his eyebrow at him, his hazel eyes unmoving.
"And what are we going to get out of this?" He questioned Miki, placing his hand on his hip stylishly.
"Uhhhh...." Mikolas stared at the ceiling, willing for a good reward to spring into his mind. "Umm... publicity?"
Loïc smirked "What about-"
"I haven't got any money."
"Damn it!"

He thought for a little while before running over to the jukebox and turning off the music.
"Who wants to dance in the talent show?" He called out to the club members. At first it was quiet before Nadav Guedj raised his hand.
"I'll do it. I mean, if it involves me whipping out my hella awesome gold shoes!" Mikolas looked at Loïc.
"It's a long story." He sighed.
"I'll join too!" Saara yelled from the back. One by one, students started to chime in as Loïc turned back to him.
"Looks like we're in. But, we get to make up the routine, organise the outfits and you buy us coffee afterwards." He smiled mischeviously.
"I just said I don't hav-"
"It's that or you pay us 10 bucks each. You choose." Miki sighed before shaking hands with him, at least he'd gotten what he'd wanted.

"Well done, Stig and Elina that was great!" Alexandra called. She was taking over rehearsals for 15 minutes while Tom took a coffee break. Right, let's go over... Kristian. You're up!" Back in the drama studio, the guys were getting better and better during their practices. Ari was doing surprisingly well fitting into Hatari, his light voice which had a capacity to hit high pitched notes fit well with the mix of Matti's screams and Klemens' soft, almost whispers; not forgetting Einar's instrumental skills. They had decided his soft, casual look had to be changed for the show- which scared him slightly but he trusted the group enough to go along with it.

They met up after rehearsals to get dinner at a local fast food restaurant. They walked down the semi-empty hallway- ready to get going.
"I got them to do it!" Mikolas cheered.
"Really? I didn't think they'd actually agree to it with the kinda shit you'd make them do." Nikita replied.
"They wanted to do their own routine. I mean it's unfair, I had some great ideas."
"Did it involve dabbing?!"
"...maybe." Ari and Benji burst into laughter while Kostya and Niki just rolled their eyes. The laughing soon stopped as the boys realised 2 figures walking towards them. Robin and Ed.
"I'll deal with this." Benji groaned, putting on a fake smile as he faced an old friend.

"Hey guys!" He said as cheerfully as he could.
"Hey Ben..." Robin muttered, licking his pristine, white teeth, Ed simply grimaced. "Y'know I was thinking about... what we used to have."
"Robin, we've been over this..."
"Ed could you clear off for a second?" He did as he said. " Could you get your little gang to clear off too? I wanna talk to you."
"You can't tell my friends what to do!" He answered, accidentally raising his voice. The talent show attendees who were still in the corridor began to look up, sensing some drama.
"Really Benjamin? Your friends? Look, I don't understand why you decided to drive us apart in the first place but-"
"Me? Drive us apart?! It's not my fault you couldn't accept the fact that I had other friends."

"You seriously want to do this right now. Do you want to take this shit outside?"
"No! I don't want to have to fight you for something that you could be easily  avoided if you had common decency!" The guys tried to cut in but Eduard had already beat them to it, standing in front of them with a menacing look on his tanned face. Mikolas and Kostya tried pushing through with no prevail while the other two cowered at the thought of what might happen next.
"Don't fucking talk to me like that!" Robin grabbed a hold oh Benji's wrist.
"Get off him! Kostya yelled, trying his best to push through the crowd of students that had gathered around the pair, prepared for a fight.

"Aww isn't that fucking cute! Your little queer friends are sticking up for you! How sweet."
"Who are you?! You're not the Robin I was friends with. You've amalgamated into this twisted monster living on meaningless popularity!"
"You left me!" Robin screamed, his voice cracking with rage and overwhelming sadness. He wanted to whimper at the thought of hurting the person who, to him, still felt like a life-long best friend. But he couldn't show himself up now. "You left me for a bunch of corny, fake assholes! What do they have that I don't?! You took everything I ever had and threw it away for a fuck ton of little queers!"
"At least I don't use homophobia to try and mask the fact that I'm a closeted raging bisexual!!"

It felt as if the whole school had gone silent. The whole country. The whole world. Robin's blood ran cold, his whole body seemed to stiffen; still grasping Benji's arm. Benji was in awe too. He'd just blurted out something he'd never told a soul- like washing their once deep, meaningful friendship down the drain in the matter of moments. He snagged away his wrist from the boy's grasp, before staring at him painfully in the eyes. He still stood there, humiliation had taken over his body. He snapped out of his shock quickly before whispering: "I hate you so fucking much." His voice cracked so much, you could clearly tell he was forcing back rushing tears of agony. He turned around, slowly trudging off- the sound of his footsteps echoing throughout the painfully silent hallway.

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