It was getting close to the party that the Jocks invited us to come to. Preston and Daniel still didn't know what to think of it but the rest of us were pretty excited. After school we set up our equipment so we could rehearse the songs we were gonna play. "I say we just play two and if they want more we can play a Dragonforce song." Suggested Patrick. "We only have three original songs as it is, and one of them isn't really even finished." I said. "Look, let's just play Universal Truth and The Warrior Inside and then we can play Eagleheart by Stratovarius because we rule at that one followed by either Through the Fire and the Flames and Heroes of Our Time." Collin said. We all looked around and nodded at the suggestion. We got into position and began rehearsing.
It was 8:00 P.M., time for the party. We all got into Collin's van. We all had a different name for the van. Collin called it the Collinmobile, what an idiot. Ivan called it that piece of shit, Preston called it Speed Racer, Patrick called it The Wheels of Steel, Daniel called it Collin's van, interestingly and I called it the Dragon on Wheels for some reason. Everyone had their spot in the van. Collin always drove, I always sat in the passenger seat, Daniel sat as close to the back doors as he could get, Preston sat on the opposite side of the van from Ivan who sat against the wall and Patrick sat right behind the front seats. All this had to be changed if we were carrying equipment like tonight of course. Everyone in the back just sat up against the walls and held the equipment steady. It took us about 10 minutes to get to the beach right outside of town. When we got there the party was just getting good. I told everyone to get the equipment unloaded while Collin and I would go talk to Ted and Damon. Collin was not only my best friend, but my backup. No one would mess with Collin. He could lay anyone out in a matter of seconds, even a bunch of Jocks. We spotted them talking to some cheerleaders.
"Hey Ted, whats up?" I said. He turned around, beer in hand. "Hey....uh Hunter right?" He asked. The idiot forgot my name. "No, Henry. We're getting our equipment set up over by the tables. Is that ok?" I asked. "Yea, yea, sure. That's good." He said. "So what songs are you guys planning on playing?" I looked at Collin for a second and then looked back at Ted. "Well, we figured that we would play a few of our own songs and then maybe some by Stratovarius and Dragonforce." I said. Ted shook his head. "Nah, we don't like any of that power metal stuff. Here, here's a list of songs that we would like to hear." He said. He reached into his pocked and pulled out a crumpled list of songs. "That should do it." He said. "Excuse us for a second." I said. Collin and I walked over away from Ted and Damon. "Is this guy joking?" I said and I looked over the songs. "All American Rejects? Green Day? MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE? Are they serious?" I frantically said to Collin. "Apparently, I should have known. Now we're screwed." He said. "Well, can you guys play any of these songs? I don't know the words to most of them." I said. "No, and it ain't gonna be pretty if we try." Collin stated. We walked back over to where the guys were setting up.
After we told them the songs that Ted wanted us to play, they quit setting up. "What the fuck are we gonna do then?" Daniel asked. "I don't know, I guess we'll have to tell Ted we can't play them." I said. I walked back over to Ted. "Ted, I, uh....we can't play any of the songs you have written here. I don't know the words and they other guys don't know how most of the songs go." I said. Ted looked a bit confused. "I thought you guys said you would play." He said. What a response. "Well yea, but we assumed we could play what we know." I said. Ted shrugged. "Well, I suppose you could play some of your power metal if you don't know any of the songs on the list. But, you guys would just kill the party. No one likes that stuff." He stated. What a punk. That caught me off guard and I didn't take it lightly. But instead of getting angry I kept talking. "Well, we don't wanna kill the party. Would you mind if we just stay for a bit and we could play some of those songs from the sound system." I asked. Ted let out a slight laugh. "Sorry, but if you guys aren't gonna play then you really don't have a reason to be here. So, uh....yea. Get lost." He said before turning around and talking to the cheerleaders. I went back over to the guys and told them the whole deal.
They were pissed, especially Collin and Ivan. "I guess we should just leave." I said. "I'm gonna go talk with Ted. Collin, come." Said Ivan. He and Collin went over to Ted and Damon. We watched as they talked for a few minutes before Ted turned around and stopped talking to them. Ivan grabbed Ted's arm trying to get his attention but Ted didn't take to kindly to that. He punched Ivan in the jaw and he fell to the ground. Before Collin could do anything Damon pushed him down. "Guy, load everything into the van. I'm gonna go help Collin and Ivan." I told Patrick, Preston and Daniel. They started picking up the equipment and carrying it over to the van as I walked over to confront Ted and Damon. Ivan and Collin got up and looked pissed as ever. "I told you morons to beat it." He said. "Hey, listen. We drive all the way out here with our equipment and agree to play at your party for free and you turn around and decide you don't want us to and then start getting violent and you think that's acceptable?" I questioned. "I said get out of here or we're gonna have to teach you a lesson!" Ted yelled. We knew where this was going. "Then do it then! Whose stopping you?" I yelled. Right when I thought Ted was about to attack me he spoke up. "Alright then. You and me, we're gonna fight. Right here right now." He said.
I looked around at Ivan and Collin then back at Ted. "Why?" I asked. "So I can teach you not to mess with me!" He yelled. "You know what, forget it. We're leaving." I said. Collin's arm stopped me as I turned around. "No Henry, fight him. Teach this punk a lesson." He said. I didn't like fighting, I only did it in self defense. "If you don't show him that we're not gonna be messed with, then all this year they're gonna be tormenting us." Collin said. I looked at Ivan who had his hand on his jaw. He nodded slowly. I looked back at Ted. "Alright then. I'll fight you. If I win you and your friends leave us alone." I said. "And if I win you morons leave right now and we get the athletic shed back." He said. Now it was serious. Where were we gonna stay if we lost the athletic shed? I knew that I had to beat him. But dang, I wasn't ready to fight him. After going over the rules he told everyone we would be fighting and then we started setting up.