"Ed! Great news! The club really rocked out to that song. They want me to come back next Friday and do a jam session with some of the other bands."
Kade was grinning with mass joy as he threw his arm over my shoulder, his eyes shining. He hadn't been this happy in awhile, so I was happy for him, but I was also dreading the moment he'd ask me to write yet another song.
This hadn't been a problem in our freshman year of college (just last year), because he wasn't aware of my song-writing. He, actually, scowered the campus for bands to join. None liked him, of course. He was too punctual and cocky to be a good fit. The only thing that got you the spot wasn't just being a great player - you had to fit their profile. And obviously, that wasn't where Kade excelled.
He'd complained about it for the longest time, up until the point where I had to get him to stop. So I mentioned that I was fairly good at song writing and that I'd write one for him.
That got him going. He went on a rampage for an hour straight about how sorry those bands would be that they didn't accept him, and how he'd prove the world wrong about people who came up from the ordinary.
If I'd had a way to shut him up about that, too, I would've put it into full cycle. Except I didn't, so naturally I just let him go on and on.
That's how all this started.
I wrote songs for him, he played them, and then he got called in to gigs and sessions with other bands.
To him, being a lone player was worth more than being part of a band. And all I had to say about that was that at least he got to do what he wanted.
"That's great," I replied, smiling at him. "Have you done this before?"
His smile faltered slightly, obviously a sign of his slight disbelief and displeasure. "No. I told you just a few days ago that this could be the first if it happened."
I nodded. Sorry. I just tend to tune you out sometimes.
I mean, don't get me wrong - I'm happy for him (immensely), but it was all he talked about, and he often just went straight to rambling about his fortunes and how excited he was. And besides, I studied more than I wrote songs.
College was hard. Harder than I would've thought coming into this. But despite figuring that out, I made sure I wouldn't fall behind or fail. I wanted to stay, so I worked for it.
Kade was doing well, too. He just spent a little more time singing and playing than he did studying. All was good, though.
"Sorry, mate," I said, giving him the most apologetic smile I could muster. "I really think these exams will make or break my staying here. I don't wanna screw it up."
He gave me a look that said "are you really serious?" and dropped his arm. As he came around to the other side of table (we were sitting in the library - one of my favorite places to be these days) he grabbed my pencil and began tossing it around in the air, making odd faces every now and then.
"You're really worried about your grades?"
"Yes, actually. I am."
"Are you serious? Dude, you've always been straight A's through and through. You'll ace these exams with the blink of an eye. Don't sweat it."
"The last time I tried, I had a panic attack," I deadpanned, shivering from the horrid disaster that unfolded to be. "And besides, it wouldn't kill you to study, too."
He scoffed half-heartedly. "I won't ace it, but I sure as hell won't bomb it, either. I'll be fine. And you will too. So stop being a square and head out with me. Let's have some victory drinks. Celebrate my success."