He had done it…..and now it was all over.
He had graduated high school…and now Nick felt like the first part of his life had ended, he was ready to start anew. He spent the first part of the summer hanging out with Amanda and Brian, spending as much time as he could when he wasn’t working. That is….for about a month anyway. Things started to get busy at the video game store where he worked, and he had just been promoted to Manager shortly after graduation. Nick knew this job was beneath him….but the increase in pay really helped him out while he was trying to record the demo. Amanda, Brian and AJ had all chipped in some money to help their friend pay for studio time…..which was not cheap. Barely making the bills between his own pay and AJ’s salary from the tattoo shop, Nick was stressed by the time July rolled around. He would spend eight to ten hours working at the video game store, enduring what his boss called “good natured ribbing” even though he knew it was mocking. The game store boss was taking advantage and everyone saw it….especally AJ.
“Nick, I don’t know why you put up with that creep. He is an asshole for making you work all these hours. Is that even legal? You’ve worked open to close a few days in a row now.”
Deep down, although he denied it to himself, Nick knew AJ was right. However his dream kept him going. He needed that money so he could put himself out there.
In August, Amanda went to her college campus….and Brian went to the Police Academy. Nick worked himself raw.
“You did good today kid….but you really need to rest. You got some fierce bags under your eyes.” Dex, the guy who ran the studio pointed out.
“Thanks, it’s just been a rough summer. Hopefully things pick up soon…thanks for the help and mailing my demo to the right places.” Nick said before getting into his car. As he started the sputtering engine of his run down car, Nick sat and thought about all the places his demo CD was going.
NIck prayed every night before bed that his big break would come….that he wouldnt let any of his friends down. He still wondered if his father would support this decision, support his only son giving up so many opportunities to be just a musician. A musician that had no guarantee to survive in the industry, when things were so competitive.
“You’ll be great, just wait and see.” Amanda had told him before she left to go to college a few hours away. She was the one who had the most faith, when Nick felt like giving up at times. The demo was now sent out and all he had to do was wait. Wait for an answer, a sign to tell him if he was meant to do this.
Watching and waiting, just like he was doing with Amanda. She and Lance were dating but by the sound of things during the summer they had lost touch, due to him going to a different school. Lance was studying to fix computers and design programs, he was very good at it. Nick called Amanda every night, the two of them would tell each other how their day was going and give each other advice. Amanda sounded sad, like she was disappointed and it killed Nick to hear it. He wished it had worked out between them, he just wanted her to be happy.
“We are just in a rough patch, Nick. I think things will pick up. Don’t worry about me.” she would tell him. Nick felt bad, he felt guilty that she was ignoring her own needs for Lance’s or his. This was not how a relationship should be.
Nick swore to himself he’d make her see that, make her see he was good for her.
He swore to the world he’d be good enough for them all. Despite what his mother told him, he was ready for big things.
The question was, could he do it on his own?
To Be Continued in…..”Not The Other Guy”