Please pretty please don't kill me! Or throw rotten tomatoes at me. Even if they're softer than ripe tomatoes, they still hurt. But I had this idea and I just couldn't get it out of my head! It's an AU (Alternate Universe) and I am definately not posting it up on FanFiction.net yet...until I'm done. It's not that long though (I think). When I'm done, I'm putting my heart and soul into "Coordinator Challenge". I'm mainly working on FanFiction so my other stuff, original stories (like Quinceanera), are going to put off to the end. So yeah...If you haven't seen the movie, shame on you! I uploaded it onto MegaVideo so click here to watch it. It's the whole thing, no "Part 1 of 10" or anything like that. And you don't have to watch the movie to understand the story. Like I said, it's AU. Anyways, enjoy!
Summary: Shane Gray, popstar extraordinaire, gets tired and ditches Connect 3 for a few days. He stumbles upon Mitchie while running away from girls, who helps him and he helps her. AU. ShanexMitchie
Rated T to be safe.
Warning: May cause severe pain in your sides and eyes to water. You may also get that fuzzy feeling. ;D
“’Meet and greet’! What the hell is that?” Shane Gray demanded to his bandmates, Nate and Jason. They were currently on their way to a radio station across town in the luxurious black limo.
“Where you meet and greet fans!” Jason replied cheerfully. Though at times he was an airhead, he was an amazing guitarist. Nate nodded, his curly brown locks bouncing, as his lips twitched.
“Why the hell would we wanna do that?” Shane asked. He brushed away his straight brown hair out of his eyes so he could properly glare at Nate, the unofficial leader of Connect 3.
“Well, for one, we wouldn’t be where we are if it weren’t for them,” Nate reasoned. This time, Jason nodded and his straightened brown hair shook all over the place like a puppy dog.
Shane scoffed. “Yeah, right. They’re a bunch of girls who think that they’re gonna marry us. They don’t give a damn about our music. We didn’t even get famous until our second album since the first one didn’t have a picture of us.”
Nate didn’t reply, his brows furrowed. Shane had a point. “Either way, Shane. The point is, we gotta thank our fans for where we are today. Sign a couple autographs, take a few pictures. No one’s gonna get engaged.” Jason snickered.
Shane tightened his fists, trying to contain his anger. “Driver!” he yelled to the elderly limo driver.
“Y-yes?” he asked nervously.
“Pull over,” Shane barked at him while Nate and Jason shot each other confused looks.
Sure enough, the driver pulled over slowly while Shane grabbed his black and white checkered guitar case and unlocked the door.
“Whoa, Shane! Where are you going?” Nate asked, stunned, as Shane jumped out of the limo.
“Anywhere but here!” Shane replied as he stormed off towards where they’d stopped: The Rockcrest Shopping Plaza.
“Shane!” called out Jason, but Shane didn’t reply. He just kept walking towards the Plaza.
Nate sighed, already used to Shane’s temper tantrums. “Let him go, Jason. He’s not gonna come around anytime soon. Let’s just get over to the radio station. We’re gonna be late.”
“But what are gonna tell the DJ?” Jason asked worriedly, closing the door Shane had escaped from.
“We’ll just tell him Shane got a little sick. It won’t necessarily be a lie,” Nate replied. As the constant spokesman for the band, he knew exactly how to deal with the press. Then, to the driver, he said, “To the radio station, Mr. Armstrong.”
“Yes, sir,” Mr. Armstrong replied as he began to drive, far away from the Plaza.
Shane sighed as he saw the limo drive away. They just didn’t understand. Most, if not all, their fans were fake. All they do is spend time reading teen magazines featuring Connect 3, trying to learn as much as they can before approaching them. That was creepy, a girl you never met before knowing your entire life story.
Shane saw a vintage store towards the corner of the almost empty Plaza. He took out his wallet and saw an impressive amount of cash, not to mention a couple of credit cards. Hell, why not shop to blow off some steam?
When he opened the front door to the store, a small beep went off. Immediately, he heard his name.
“Shane Gray loves vintage! How does this look?” said a girl in front of the dressing room, which was near the door.
Shane hid behind a rack of clothes by the door. He peered out from behind the clothes to see two girls surrounding a familiar blonde that was dressed quite impressively. She wore a graphic white T-shirt underneath a small black vest and wore blue skinny jeans.
“Wow, it looks great!” gushed a girl of Asian descent. She was a brunette with long hair and short bangs that covered her forehead.
“Yeah,” agreed the other girl of African descent. She was taller than the other two and wore a headband with her long hair.
“You think?” asked the blonde as she posed in front of the mirror. “Ella? Peggy?”
When Shane saw her face, he immediately recognized her. It was Tess Tyler, daughter of the superstar TJ Tyler. Connect 3 had been the opening act for her nationwide tour two years ago. It was their first tour and they weren’t as famous as they were now. Shane and the guys had met Tess backstage. He had developed a small crush on her and attempted to ask her out but was ultimately rejected. She thought of them as talentless wannabes, ordinary people. That wasn’t good enough for her apparently. It wasn’t until last year at their label’s summer party where they had met again and Tess attempted to flirt with Shane. Oh yeah, now that he was famous, she wanted him. But no siree, Shane blew her off. Now she was constantly stalking him whenever she could.
Shane immediately realized he needed to get out of there before he was recognized. When Tess went back into the dressing room for a minute, Shane quickly retreated to the door. He opened it, only to be reminded of the annoying beep that happened every time it was opened.
“Oh, my gosh!” gasped one of the girls. Shane turned around to see the Asian girl he guessed was Ella pointing a painted finger at him. “It’s Shane Gray!”
The dressing room immediately swung open. Tess emerged in the same white T-shirt but this time with blue sweatpants. “Shane!” she called out excitedly but Shane had already dashed out.
Tess and the girls continued to follow Shane as he ran out and went towards the back alley. He knew he would regret but he hid behind a pretty full dumpster. Shane tried breathing through his mouth as he reached in his pocket for his phone to call the guys for help. Then he remembered he left in the limo after he’d texted his Uncle Brown. Worse, Shane didn’t even know Jason or Nate’s number by heart. He was screwed.
Just then, a large door near the dumpster opened to reveal a brunette girl around his age dragging two large black trash bags. She had a sleeveless red blouse with skinny jeans and brown boots. The girl tossed them into the dumpster Shane was hiding behind while humming a beautiful melody Shane had never heard before. He was about to actually enjoy it until he heard Tess.
“Hey, Taco Girl!” she called to the brunette. Shane peeked around the dumpster to the see the conversation.
“Um, yeah?” asked the brunette timidly.
“Have you seen Shane around?”
“I’m sorry, who?”
“Shane Gray! You know, from Connect 3!” replied Tess impatiently. “I just saw him a few minutes ago.”
Shane mentally plugged his ears to wait for the brunette’s squeals to join the search party. Instead, the brunette replied, “I’m sorry, I haven’t seen him around.”
Tess scoffed, obviously disappointed. “Well, if you see him, let me know.” It wasn’t a request; it was an order. With that, she stormed off in the direction she came from, Ella and Peggy following, leaving the brunette alone to sigh wistfully.
Shane closed his mouth but was still in disbelief. Could it be he actually found a normal girl wasn’t spending every waking moment planning a wedding with him or Nate or Jason? As she was about to pass the dumpster, Shane decided she’d be his safest bet for help. He immediately covered her mouth with his hand and pulled her close.
“Don’t scream!” he told her as she squirmed. “I’m not gonna hurt you, I promise.”
She seemed to relax a little and Shane removed his hand from her mouth, no longer rendering her speechless. Not that she needed it to be speechless because in front of her was Shane Gray! His normally straight brown hair was wavy (think Joe Jonas not Shane Gray) and his clothes were wrinkled. He had a gray button up shirt that had a few top buttons undone while he wore a light purple jacket over it, unzipped. His black skinny jeans however, seemed oblivious. She took in a deep breath as Shane talked to her.
“Do you have a phone I can borrow?” he asked.
“Yeah,” she breathed. She patted her pockets, only to find they were empty. “Oh, I must’ve left it in the kitchen.”
“Damn,” Shane muttered. Just his luck.
“But, um, the kitchen’s right through this door,” she spoke up meekly, pointing to the door she had just come through.
“For real?” he asked dubiously. The girl nodded, waiting for his answer. Shane studied her for a minute before he sighed. She seemed like she could be trusted for a while, at least until he got back on his feet. Not to mention, he needed all the help he could get. “Okay.”
“Okay. I’m Mitchie, by the way,” said the brunette as she stuck out her hand to him.
“Shane, but I guess you already know that,” Shane replied, rather cocky but he shook her hand anyways. It felt warm and soft in his cold hand. After he released her hand, he asked, “So, why do they call you Taco Girl?”
“Well, if you really want a phone, you’ll find out,” Mitchie replied coyly, smiling brightly as she held the back door open for Shane.
Shane chuckled lightly as he entered the kitchen filled with exotic yet delicious aromas. He studied the enormous kitchen filled with pots and pans, ingredients and of course, food. “Wow.”
“Yeah.” Mitchie laughed as she picked up a green cellular phone from the counter and handed it to him. “Here.” Shane took it while Mitchie frowned slightly. As Shane dialed his phone number and prayed Jason or Nate would answer it, Mitchie said to him, “Would it kill you to say, ‘Thank you’?”
Shane hung up, annoyed by his voicemail message. Turning to face Mitchie, he asked, “What’d you say?”
“I said, ‘Would it kill you to say ‘Thank you’’?” Mitchie repeated. “It’s kind of rude not to.”
“Um, okay…” Shane replied hesitantly. He wasn’t used to being treated this way. Besides his family, which he hadn’t seen in a while, and band mates, nobody treated the way Mitchie was. “I’ll try next time,” he added, still surprised. Well, this was different.
“Mitchie! What took you so long?” called out a woman dressed in a blue blouse and jeans with a red apron over them. She was carrying a large tray of tacos. “I need you to-” she stopped abruptly, seeing Shane. “Oh…hello.”
“Hi. I’m Shane,” said Shane, attempting to be polite. He was a little rusty though, considering he didn’t even try anymore.
“I’m Connie Torres, Mitchie’s mom,” she replied. With another look at Shane, she asked Mitchie, “Isn’t this the boy you have posters of all over your room?”
“Mom!” Mitchie protested, her face flushing in embarrassment. Shane, on the other hand, couldn’t help but smirk. So, maybe she wasn’t so different after all. Even though he was right, it was sort of disappointing.
Connie laughed and asked, “So, are you two hungry?”
“No, tha-” Shane was about to protest until his stomach grumbled involuntarily. He had forgotten he was hungry. He blushed a little and replied, “On second thought, some food would be nice.”
Connie smiled maternally. “Okay, I’ll serve you today’s special. Mitchie, do you want anything?”
“No, thank you, I already ate,” replied Mitchie.
“All right. Well, why don’t you show Shane around while I fix his plate,” Connie suggested to Mitchie.
“Okay,” agreed Mitchie.
“Thank you,” Shane called out before following Mitchie out of the kitchen and into a restaurant. “Better?” he asked as Mitchie sat down at a table and motioned for him to sit as well.
“Much,” she replied with a smile as Shane put down his guitar. He smiled back, feeling like he’d known her his entire life.
The radio had music that Shane had never heard before. It was even in a different language. Spanish, he guessed. The restaurant had maybe fifteen tables but Shane couldn’t help but worry.
Cautiously, Shane asked, “Is it safe here?”
Mitchie laughed. “Yeah, don’t worry. Most of the people that come here listen to rap and reggaeton. Or the older ones listen to this kind of music.” Mitchie pointed at the radio. “Tess and her friends come here every Monday and Thursday. They already came today,” she added, seeing his suspicious glance towards the door.
“Oh,” replied Shane, relieved. Then there was an awkward silence.
“Do you want something to drink?” asked Mitchie.
“Yeah, Some Coca Cola would be good,” Shane said. Quickly, he added, “Please.”
“You learn quick.” Mitchie laughed as she stood up. “Excuse me, I’ll be right back.” With another short laugh, she walked off towards the large see-through refrigerators near the register.
With Mitchie gone, he took time to admire the restaurant. Though it was strange and different to him, somehow, it made him feel welcome. There were a few customers there, apparently taking a lunch break.
“Here,” said Mitchie when she came back, handing him his Coke.
“Thanks,” he said as he opened it. “So, is this like a Taco Bell or something?”
Mitchie opened her own Vanilla Coke and scoffed, pretending to be offended. “Yeah, right! Taco Bell is so fake. This is REAL Mexican food.”
Shane couldn’t help but laugh. “Do you work here or something?” he asked curiously.
“My mom owns it,” she replied. “My dad owns the hardware store next door.”
“Wow, that’s pretty cool,” commented Shane as he took another sip.
“I guess. I mean, I never have to look for a job or anything…” Mitchie trailed off, looking pensive.
Shane was about to say something until he was interrupted by a plate filled with some sort of meat, rice, beans and a small salad sliding under him. “Wow, Mrs. Torres. This looks amazing.”
“Thank you,” Connie replied, handing him his silverware, wrapped in a napkin.
“No, thank you,” Shane said with a smile. It wasn’t a fake smile he usually gives to the press. It was genuine, real. It was nice to be treated as a person and not a product. He took a small bite of the meat using his fork. Shane chewed thoughtfully, savoring the taste and then swallowed. “This is pretty good. What is it?”
“Chivo,” Connie replied in Spanish, fighting back a smile.
“Huh?” Shane was confused but took another bite.
Mitchie giggled and translated. “Goat.”
As soon it registered in his head, Shane spit it out on his napkin. “Goat!” he exclaimed. Mitchie stifled another giggle and nodded. “As in the animal that goes ba-a-a-a-a-a?”
“I think the animal you’re talking about is a sheep,” Mitchie corrected with a laugh, this time joined by Connie.
Shane felt his ears burn in embarrassment as he cleared his throat. “Either way, how can you eat a goat? I mean, it’s a…it’s a goat!”
Connie laughed as she patted Shane’s shoulder sympathetically. “Oh, you remind me of how Mitchie reacted the first time. The moment she heard ‘goat’, she spit it back out.” Shane laughed but was still surprised. He wasn’t a vegetarian but the thought slightly disturbed him.
“C’mon, Shane. You said it yourself, it tastes good,” Mitchie reminded.
Shane sighed in defeat. “You’re right. It is good. Thanks, Mrs. Torres.”
“You’re welcome. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have an order to do,” Connie said, excusing herself from the teenagers.
“Do you need help, Mom?” asked Mitchie before Connie walked away. As much as she wanted to stay with Shane, she knew she had to help her mom.
Connie shook her head. “It’s okay, Mitchie. I’ll be fine. You need a break anyways. You’ve been working pretty hard lately.” With that, she left, leaving Mitchie with a wide smile.
“So, Shane, what brings you to town?” asked Mitchie curiously. She hoped she didn’t sound too much like a reporter and more like the friend she wanted to be. It wasn’t for the parties or the free stuff, but for Shane. Shane honestly seemed like a good person to Mitchie.
“We had to be at a radio station at 5:30,” replied Shane, taking a spoonful of rice and putting it in his mouth.
Mitchie glanced at her watch. “It’s 5:45,” Mitchie told him bluntly.
Shane shrugged his shoulders, not caring much. “I needed a break.”
“And that’s why you’re stuck in a Mexican restaurant with no way of letting your friends now where you are,” Mitchie summed up, resting her head on her palm.
Shane wiped his mouth with his napkin, took a sip of his Coke and then smiled at her, making eye contact. “Well, I wouldn’t really call it ‘stuck’.
Mitchie broke away from his chocolate brown eyes and tried not to blush, failing miserably.
Shane chuckled lightly before deciding to change the subject. “Well, Taco Girl, since, according to your darling mother, you seem to be another one of my loyal fans who knows everything about me, why don’t you tell me about yourself?”
Mitchie protested immediately, still blushing. “My mom was overreacting! They’re only a few posters and it’s of Nate and Jason also, not just you!”
“Yeah, sure, uh-huh,” Shane said in faked ignorance.
“And besides, the only things I really know about you are just facts. I don’t know the real you…” She stopped, embarrassed.
“Yet,” added Shane with a soft smile.
Mitchie smiled back. “Yet,” she agreed. She could’ve stared into his eyes all afternoon but he interrupted with a question.
“How old are you anyways?”
“Ah. I’m seventeen.”
“I know you know.”
Mitchie glared playfully. “Anything else?”
“Music? Anything specific?”
“Anything that has to do with music. Listening, dancing, singing…” Mitchie trailed off, embarrassed.
“You sing?” asked Shane. Then he remembered the beautiful song she had been humming.
“Yeah…but I’m not that good,” Mitchie replied shyly, her hands suddenly very interesting.
“That doesn’t really matter. There are tons of people that can’t sing yet are selling thousands of albums. As long as there’s passion, people will listen,” Shane said. “Do you like singing?”
“No,” Mitchie replied with a straight face. Then she smiled. “I love it.”
Shane smiled back. “Well, there go you. That’s passion, soul.”
“I guess…but like I said, I’m not that good.”
“Don’t be so self-conscious. No one’s perfect but everybody is good at something.”
“Yeah, I make a mean burrito,” Mitchie muttered darkly.
Shane laughed, intrigued. “Just be yourself, Burrito Girl.”
“Very original,” said Mitchie sarcastically, rolling her eyes even though she was smiling.
“Of course. I mean, I am Shane Gray.”
“Oh, yeah. You’re a rock star by day and by night, Superman.”
“Yeah, but don’t tell Lois Lane,” he winked.
“She’s not the only one you have to worry about,” she grinned.
They laughed before Shane asked another question. “What was the song you were humming earlier?”
“When?” asked Mitchie, slightly nervous.
“Outside, by the dumpster. Before you met me,” he added.
Mitchie blushed. “Oh, that one. It’s just something I’ve been working on for a while.”
“Well, it sounds pretty good. I liked it,” Shane admitted. “Any lyrics?”
“No buts,” interrupted Shane. Uncle Brown was really starting to rub off on him. “May I hear them?”
“Nope,” answered Mitchie, chin held up high.
“And why not?”
“Because I have a strict rule: No one listens to my songs until it’s finished. My parents are the only exception.” Save for Sierra, Mitchie’s only friend.
“C’mon. Sharing is caring,” Shane reminded, his eyebrows moving up and down.
“Sorry, Shane,” Mitchie said with a sympathetic smile that broke into a grin.
Shane scowled lightly before tossing his arms behind his neck and leaning back. “They probably aren’t that good anyways.”
Mitchie wasn’t going to fall for it. “I guess you’ll never know.”
Shane mentally snapped his fingers in defeat. He sat up and leaned towards her. “You, Mitchie Torres, are a tough cookie to crack.”
Mitchie grinned but blushed lightly. “It’s a gift.”
“Mitchie, get your stuff! It’s time to close up!” Connie called through the kitchen door.
Mitchie laughed at something Shane had said before she glanced at her watch. Her eyes widened in surprise. It was a quarter ‘til ten. They had been talking for nearly four hours. “Whoa.”
“What time is it?” Shane asked as he stretched.
“9:45,” Mitchie answered, trying not to yawn.
“Wow,” Shane replied. Reluctantly, he stood up. “I should probably get going.”
Disappointment washed over Mitchie. Though she always wished she didn’t have to return to reality, now was when she wished it the most. Trying to compose herself, she gave a half-smile. “Yeah.” She stood up and slowly walked Shane to the glass doors.
“So, thanks a lot for today,” began Shane. “It was nice to talk to someone different.”
Mitchie gave him a weird look.
“Good different,” he corrected himself with a smile.
Mitchie couldn’t help but smile back. “Yeah. Definitely different.”
They stared at each other for a moment before the glass door opened, revealing a man in his late thirties or early forties.
“Hey, sweetie. Where’s your mom?” he asked Mitchie, oblivious to Shane’s presence.
“In the kitchen, cleaning up,” replied Mitchie.
“Why aren’t you…” he trailed off, finally noticing Shane. “Oh…Ohhhh,” he said to no one in particular, eyes flicking back and forth between Mitchie and Shane. Mitchie hoped and prayed he wouldn’t go into “Overprotective Father Mode”. She had no idea how he would react, considering did not have any experience with boys.
Shane spoke up, breaking the awkward silence. “Hi. I’m Shane Gray,” he said, sticking out his hand to Mitchie’s dad.
“I’m Steve Torres, Mitchie’s dad,” he said, shaking Shane’s hand with a firm grip. Shane didn’t even wince so Steve smiled, impressed. Then to Mitchie, he asked, “Isn’t the boy you have pos-”
“Yes!” Mitchie cried out in frustration and embarrassment. Parents these days…
Shane laughed good-naturedly before saying. “Well, I should probably get going.”
“Where are you staying?” Mitchie asked worriedly.
“At a hotel, I guess. If I’m lucky, maybe the guys will be there,” Shane replied.
“And if they’re not there. There could just be a bunch of crazy girls,” Mitchie reminded.
Steve interrupted. “Sorry if I’m being nosy but does somebody care to fill me in?”
“Well, Jimmy Neutron over here,” Mitchie began sarcastically, pointing at Shane, “threw a tantrum and left his group but he forgot his phone. So now, he has no way of contacting the guys.”
Just as Steve was about to comment, Connie came through the door kitchen with two purses and gave one to Mitchie. “I overheard what happened, Shane. And Mitchie’s right. It’s not safe for a celebrity to be out so late.” Apparently, ten at night was late for Connie. “Why don’t you stay with us tonight? We have an extra room. It's yours if you want it.”
“Oh wow, Mrs. Torres. That’s really kind of you to ask but-” Shane stopped when he looked out the glass door. Out in the distance was a familiar black limo. Then he turned and smiled at the Torres family. “On second thought, maybe it would be better.”
“I’m sorry it’s so cramped in here,” said Connie as Shane and the Torres were getting in the crowded family truck. Shane had bumped his head as he tried to get inside the old two-door truck after Mitchie. She made it look so easy. “I keep telling Steve to get a new, modern truck. Too bad the SUV was in the shop.”
“Don’t worry about it,” Shane told her as Steve started the truck and left the store. His knees were against his chest and he was horribly uncomfortable. He wondered if he made the right choice. Nate and Jason were right there, waiting in the limo. This could’ve just been another unlucky day. He looked to his left to see Mitchie, daydreaming as she looked outside the small window. Her slender figure seemed to have no problem with the small space. But, it wasn’t an unlucky day. And he didn’t want it to end.
Mitchie felt someone watching her and turned to her right to see Shane, looking in her direction but his eyes looked else where, lost in thought. She blushed, looking back at the window as the lights shined like stars in the darkness. Mitchie could’ve sworn a light bulb went off over her head at that moment. Mitchie started digging through her purse to find a small yellow booklet and pencil. Using a small flashlight, she began humming quietly and scribbling down lyrics to her song. The truck was silent except for Mitchie’s soft humming, which everyone was enjoying.
Shane was mesmerized. If she was this great when she was just humming, he couldn’t wait to hear her actually sing. He closed his eyes as he tried to memorize every note she hit. It stopped suddenly and he opened his eyes. He saw Mitchie, her eyes skimming over the page she had been writing on. There was a satisfied grin on her face as she closed it and put it back in her purse.
He was about to ask her if she was writing lyrics to the song they were discussing earlier when the truck came to a stop. They were in the driveway of what he guessed to be the Torres residence. The house was mostly white, except for the dark blue shutters and roof. They were surrounded by a small, white picket fence. On the lawn, there were two patio chairs on the ends of a small table. There was even a white swing that was attached to a branch of a large, strong tree.
Connie got out the door and pushed the seat forward, relieving Shane of his uncomfortable sitting position. He gratefully got out of the truck, grabbing his guitar, and stretched his legs. Mitchie jumped down after him with a grin.
“So, this is my house,” she said, stating the obvious.
“Wow. You guys have the white picket fence and everything.”
Mitchie laughed. “Yeah, I guess. But, it’s home.”
Shane smiled and followed behind the Torres family as they entered the white/beige furnished living room. It was big and filled with dark mahogany furniture, a glass table in the middle of the beige sofas. There were beautiful porcelain angels here and there, as well as pictures.
“Well, Shane, please make yourself at home,” Connie said warmly. “Mitchie, why don’t you show Shane the guest room?”
“Okay, Mom,” agreed Mitchie as her parents went into the kitchen, discussing their day. To Shane, she said, “C’mon.” She went up the white-carpeted stairs, followed by Shane.
“All right, so, this is the guest room,” Mitchie gestured to Shane, opening the white door. The room was simple. A large, full-sized bed with a wooden nightstand next to it, a blue lamp on top. There was a dresser with a mirror and a walk-in closet. Other than that, it was pretty empty. “My room is next to yours and my parent’s is on the other side of the stairs. The bathroom is across the hall in case you want to freshen up. Um, I think we have some clothes in the closet…”
“That’s okay. Whenever you become a popstar, you learn a very important rule: Always carry a pair of clothes in your guitar case.” Mitchie looked at him in disbelief. Shane laughed. “Seriously. Sometimes luggage gets lots, especially when you travel a lot. It’s better to be safe than sorry.”
“I guess that makes sense,” said Mitchie. “So, um, let me know if you need anything, okay?”
“Yeah, okay,” he said as Mitchie was about to leave the room. “And Mitchie?”
“Yeah?” she asked, turning her head.
He smiled at her. “Thanks.”
Mitchie grinned, blushing. “You’re welcome.
Shane plopped down on the bed, fresh from the shower. Dressed in a gray muscle shirt and blue plaid boxer shorts, he stretched out on the big bed. The room was dark, except for the moonlight that shone from the window.
When he reached under the pillow, his hand hit something hard and somewhat thin. He moved the pillow to find a green CD player and headphones. Curious, Shane opened the CD player to find a CD labeled “Mitchie’s Tunes.”
Shane closed it and put it back down to put on the headphones over his damp hair. Though he knew he shouldn’t without permission, he pressed ‘Play’ anyways. As he lied down listening to the upbeat intro, followed by Mitchie’s singing voice, he felt goose bumps on his arms.
The song, and the ones that followed, were absolutely amazing. Mitchie had the voice of an angel and she didn’t even know it. Her songs were all about her identity and who she wanted to be. Most girls her age that wrote songs were mainly about friendship and boys. Shane didn’t know why but he was relieved there was not one love song on there.
By the last high note of the last song, Shane was wide-awake, staring at the empty ceiling. He had only known her for a few hours but that girl was extraordinary. Mitchie was so much different than most girls. She didn’t wear pounds of makeup on her face or acted obnoxious. She was a total sweetheart.
A thump on the roof interrupted Shane’s thoughts.
Mitchie got settled on the rooftop of her house, like she did almost every night she wanted to play her music. She had already spread out her quilt against the shingles and was now sitting on it, fixing her guitar. She wanted to try out her newest lyrics that she had written in the truck. Something about the colorful lights reflecting off Shane’s flawless face had inspired her.
As she strummed her guitar to the familiar chords of her song, she sang, “Do you know what it’s like…to feel so in the dark? To dream about a life…where you’re the shining star? Even though it seems…like it’s too far away…I have to believe in myself. It’s the only way.” Mitchie took a breath before she went onto the chorus. “This is real! This is me! I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be now! Gonna let the light…shine on me! Now I’ve found…who I am. There’s no way to hold it in…no more hiding who I want to be…This is meeee!” She carried out the last note longer than usual. This was going to be the second verse so the chorus that followed had to build up to the bridge, which she still had to write.
Mitchie lied down on the quilt, her guitar next to her. But not tonight. She gazed up at the twinkling stars in the night sky with a grin. Not tonight.
The constant sound of a hammer woke up Mitchie the next room. Curious, Mitchie got out of her purple and orange bed and went straight to the window. Though she did it every morning, today, she felt refreshed.
Last night, while lying under the stars, giddy with success, Connie scolded her from her bedroom window, telling her it was late. There was an unspoken agreement between the two: As long as Mitchie didn’t stay out so late, she could practice her music on the rooftop.
Mitchie had to rub her eyes twice to believe what she was seeing. She saw Steve and Shane outside building something. It was too early in the developmental stages but now Mitchie knew why her dad had all that wood in the back of the truck the night before. Right at that moment, Shane put down the hammer, wiped off the sweat of his forehead and took off his blue-striped gray shirt to reveal his gray muscle shirt.
Mitchie blushed as she continued to watch him hammer a nail through the wood. Suddenly, he looked up at her, his eyes piercing hers. She involuntarily gasped and dropped down to the floor, embarrassed. Mitchie would’ve bet her entire college savings that he was now grinning like an idiot in perverse satisfaction.
Not that she could blame him. I mean, she was hiding in her own room, for crying out loud! She was only human, right? But he was a famous, successful rock star and what was she? Just a girl among millions of Shane fanatics. Nothing special. But she was going to make the most of what she could. What was that saying? When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Shane was no exception.
Okay. She’d admit it. Mitchie Torres had a crush on Shane Gray. So what? It was perfectly normal. Thousands of girls did. Well, they liked Shane Gray: Rock star. Unlike Mitchie, they had never met Shane Gray: boy. They didn’t know that through his bad boy image was just a guy that wanted to play his music and have fun like any other teenager. They didn’t know him like Mitchie did. In just a few hours, she felt like she’d known him for a lifetime.
Mitchie sighed wistfully as she combed her still-damp hair and got dressed for the day. Wearing a green striped shirt with sleeves that came down to her elbows. She yanked her light green vest from a hanger and hurried downstairs.
“Good morning, Mom,” Mitchie greeted with a grin as she found her boots and pulled them on.
“Hey, sweetie,” Connie replied as she began chopping pieces of ham and bacon. “Listen, honey, do you mind turning on the stove and heating up the flour tortillas. We’re having breakfast burritos this morning.”
“Okay, Mom.” Mitchie went to the refrigerator and pulled out the package of flour tortillas as she put them on the tortilla pan, standing by for when she needed to flip them.
“Thanks. Can you hand me the egg beater?” Mitchie handed Connie the eggbeater and watched her mix the eggs, bacon and ham together. Then into the frying pan where they sizzled and cooked and Mitchie added just the right amount of salt.
Together, they stuffed the tortillas with the breakfast mix, wrapped them tight and placed them in four plates around the circular dining table. As Mitchie began to pour herself a glass of orange juice, Steve and Shane entered the kitchen, sweaty.
“Pour us a glass while you’re at it, please, Mitchie?” asked Steve as pulled up the sleeves of his shirt and washed his hands and arms in the kitchen sink, followed by Shane, who washed his face as well.
“Okay.” Putting ice in the cups, she poured them each a glass and put Steve’s where she usually put it, and Shane’s in the extra seat, before sitting down in her spot.
While Steve talked to Connie over something, Shane went over to Mitchie and sat down in his seat and grabbed the glass of orange juice. Before drinking it, he asked, “So, I guess I get to see if you really do make a mean burrito.”
Mitchie grinned as he gulped down his orange juice, the ice tinkling against the glass. “I guess you will.” She gave a challenging smile and he returned it. Despite the risks, she decided to ask the question that had been on her mind all morning. “So, what were you two doing outside?”
“Making a doghouse,” Shane replied nonchalantly.
Then it clicked in Mitchie’s head. “Oh yeah, for Mr. Gellar…” Mr. Gellar was a good friend of Steve’s who’d often buy from him. He had a daughter named Caitlyn that Mitchie sometimes hung out with but she lived too far to visit on a day-to-day basis. He had been planning on giving a pet dog for Caitlyn and had asked Steve to build a sturdy doghouse. He wasn’t a big fan of the pet stores’ plastic ones.
Shane shrugged. “I don’t know. I just woke up a little early and I saw your dad taking out the wood from my window so I got dressed and went to help out. I mean, I am staying here for free.”
As Mitchie was about to comment, Connie and Steve came back to the table and took their seats. Except for the occasional compliment, breakfast flew by without another word.
The bright afternoon sun shone down on Mitchie and Shane, who were lazily lying side by side on the lawn. After spending the rest of morning finishing the doghouse, all Steve had to do now was paint it but since he and Connie had to work, Shane and Mitchie offered to paint it. After a long, and fun, hour, they finished painting the doghouse.
“It’s hot,” Shane complained as he covered his face with his arm.
“Then go inside,” Mitchie replied as she copied Shane’s action.
“It’s too hot to move,” he whined. “You guys seriously need a pool.”
“Sorry we aren’t up to your standards, princess,” Mitchie teased.
Shane bumped her knee with his. Mitchie laughed in return, pleased by his reaction. He sighed and turned his head towards the large tree in her front yard. A large tree with lots of shade. “How steady is that swing?” he asked, noticing the large white swing attached to a sturdy branch.
“I’m not sure. It’s been a while since I’ve actually been on it,” replied Mitchie.
“Well, let’s go test it out,” Shane said, getting on his feet.
“No, Shane. It’s too hot,” complained Mitchie, using his earlier excuse.
“C’mon. There’s shade by the tree anyways.”
“It’s too hot to move.”
“I’ll carry you if I have to,” Shane warned her, his shadow overlooking her.
“No you won’t,” Mitchie said, uninterested. A few seconds later, she was in the air, Shane’s arms supporting her back and legs.
“Told you,” he said with a grin as he began to walk towards the tree.
Mitchie squirmed, blushing. “Let go!”
“If you keep wiggling, I will. And it won’t be pretty. Plus, I gave you a chance.”
“You have too much freakin’ testosterone in your system,” muttered Mitchie. “Male egos.”
Shane laughed and put her down a few seconds later, when they arrived at the shelter of the tree. Tired, Mitchie sat down on the swing. Shane pushed her forward softly and Mitchie could feel the wind whip past her every time after that.
After a few more minutes of swinging, Shane stopped it and got on the swing, his feet at the edge while he hung onto the ropes with his hands.
“I’M KING OF THE WORLD!” he shouted as they swung forward. Something about Mitchie made him feel like a kid again. Not just a kid though, a regular guy with no obligations; just living life.
Mitchie laughed and looked up him. “Calm down, you Leonardo DiCaprio wannabe.”
“Do you want to fly?” he asked, slightly mocking.
Mitchie giggled. “No, thanks, Shane.”
“C’mon, it’ll be fun!” Shane insisted.
“Until one of us ends up in the hospital,” added Mitchie.
“I will take care of the bills, I promise,” he joked as he jumped down. He gently pushed Mitchie off. “Stand up on the swing.”
“Shane! I said ‘no’.”
“C’mon! It doesn’t hurt to try!”
Shane grabbed her hand, holding it with both of his hands as he looked into her eyes. “Please.”
Mitchie blushed and looked away, giving up. “Fine…”
Shane laughed, letting of her hand. “You know, this is the largest argument I’ve ever had with a girl?”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” muttered Mitchie as she carefully stood on the swing, trying to balance herself on the swing Shane was trying to hold still.
“Jealous?” Shane asked with a grin as he got onto the swing, right behind her, his chest against her back. His hands were above hers, tightly gripping on the ropes that held up the swing. His feet, meanwhile, were on either side of her feet.
“Jerk,” she murmured. He didn’t get to see her reaction but he was pretty sure he made her blush. Smirking, Shane leaned back and forth, ‘causing the swing to start moving.
“C’mon, you don’t really mean that.” Carefully holding on to one of the ropes, he swung his other arm around the other rope and Mitchie’s waist. “I mean, its part of the rock star image.”
“But…you’re not Shane Gray: Rock star,” Mitchie said. She let go of one of the ropes and put her hand over Shane’s. “You’re Shane Gray: Boy.” Mitchie tightened her grip around his hand, leaning against Shane lazily as they rocked back and forth on the swing, a gentle summer breeze tousling their hair.
Shane smiled and asked softly, “Are you flying yet?”
“It’s not Jack and Rose flying but…it’s pretty close,” Mitchie answered quietly, closing her eyes. Shane rested his chin softly on her head before closing his eyes as well, enjoying the indescribable moment they were sharing.
Shane lay back on his bed lazily an hour later as he thought about Mitchie. It was amazing to think how much his life ever since he met her behind the dumpster just yesterday. Then, after the swing, things had been awkward but in a good way. That had done it for Shane. He would finally admit to himself that he, Shane Gray: Rock Star, had a crush on Mitchie Torres: Ordinary Girl. As he began to recall what Mitchie had said earlier, Shane heard Mitchie grunt from her room.
Curious, Shane walked over to her room to find her looking under her purple and orange bed and then getting up, looking annoyed.
“Mitchie?” Shane asked, somewhat uncertain if he should approach her.
“Huh?” Then her face flushed in embarrassment when she saw him standing by the doorway, confused. “Oh, hey.”
“Y’know, I could probably hook you up with a therapist if you need it,” Shane replied, a grin plastered on his face. He had decided it was safe. “I’ll pay for Anger Management and everything.”
Her stomach flopped as she thought about earlier but she recovered. “No. Don’t think I need Anger Management or anything. I just can’t remember where I left my CD Player and I had a really important CD on it.”
Shane’s eyes widened. “’Mitchie’s Tunes’?” he asked hesitantly.
Mitchie’s jaw dropped. “You found it?!” she asked excitedly.
“Yeah. It was on my bed,” Shane replied.
Mitchie smacked her forehead. “Duh! That’s where I left it…” Then she paused. How did Shane know the name of her CD? “Wait a minute. Shane, did you listen to it?”
“Do you think I did?” he challenged.
“Yes,” replied Mitchie as she felt her heart beat increase by the second. The anticipation was killing her.
“Well, you’re right,” Shane admitted with a sheepish smile.
Mitchie began to breathe heavily, trying to get out her nervousness and frustration. Those were her personal songs. She didn’t want anyone to listen to them, especially not the world-famous Shane Gray.
Shane walked over to her, concerned. “Are you okay? Do you have asthma or something?”
Mitchie shook her head. “You…listened…to…my…songs?!”
“Yeah but I don’t see what the problem is. They were finished and I really liked it.”
Mitchie continued to pant but as the words registered, she stopped hyperventilating. “You liked it?” she asked in disbelief.
Shane sighed. “Yes, I did. The songs were really good and pretty catchy too. Burritos aren’t the only thing you’re good at, Mitchie.”
Shane and Mitchie both blushed. They both knew it was a compliment.
Shane, always the quick thinker, turned his attention to a CD rack by a dresser. A red CD on top caught his eye. Walking over to it, he picked it up. He examined the cover art, a connect-the-dots puzzle but only three lines were connected.
“This is an original,” he said to Mitchie as he checked the track listing on the back. “The one that they have out now replaced one of the songs I wrote with a fake one the label made us sing.” He let out a laugh of disbelief. “You actually bought an original.” His tone made it sound like a question.
“I liked Connect 3’s first single,” Mitchie admitted. “So I bought the album and I loved all the songs.”
“You really aren’t like most girls,” Shane told her with a straight face. No grin, not even a smile.
Mitchie blinked as her face flushed. She could feel Shane looking at her so she looked him, his eyes boring into hers as hers did his.
“Mitchie! Shane!” called Connie as the front door closed shut. “Come down! I brought you some dinner!”
Shane broke their intense eye contact immediately by looking at the bedroom door. “C’mon, let’s go eat.” He got out of the room and waited for Mitchie. Shane smiled tentatively at her from the doorway. She returned it with a grin of her own as she walked over to him and together, they went downstairs and into the kitchen.
When Shane heard the thumping on the roof later that night, he got out of his window and carefully climbed up to find Mitchie sitting on a quilt, looking a yellow book. When she heard him, she looked up, alarmed, but calmed when she saw who it was.
“Thought I’d find you here,” said Shane as he sat down by Mitchie.
“Well, you were right,” said Mitchie with a smile, though she blushed lightly.
“So, are you still working on your song?” he asked as he saw her guitar.
Mitchie nodded. “Yeah. I have the chorus and two verses…I just need a good bridge but I can’t think of one right now.”
“Well, if you let me listen to it, maybe I’d be able to help you…” Shane trailed off, trying to be subtle. Despite the fact he had already heard it, he wanted to hear it again and again. It gave him chills every time he thought about it.
“Nice try, Shane but you know my rule. No one listens to it until it’s finished,” reminded Mitchie firmly, despite the huge smile of her face.
“Ah, but you see, rules are meant to be broken,” he said with a smirk.
“Maybe, but not mine.” Mitchie stuck out her tongue playfully.
Shane smiled thoughtfully as he pointed to her guitar. “Can I borrow your guitar? I wanna run something by you.”
“Sure,” Mitchie replied, curious. She handed him the guitar as he began to play a simple chord over and over again.
“There’s this girl I know,” he sang, “they call her Taco Girl. But she makes burritos, the best in the world. She wants to sing but it too afraid. To give her wings, that’s why I serenade. Just be who you are and sing your heart out. Shining like a star is what it’s all about.” He stopped singing and looked at her with a sheepish smile. “That’s all I have for now.”
Mitchie couldn’t help but grin. Not many girls could say that Shane Gray had privately serenaded them, much less, written a song about them. “Wow.”
“I’ve been working on that for five minutes and all you can say is ‘Wow’?” asked Shane in fake disappointment. “Your vocabulary is pretty limited.”
Mitchie smirked. In Spanish, she said to him, “No creo. El mio es mas grande.”
“Okay, that’s not fair,” complained Shane, slightly jealous. “What’d you say?”
Mitchie smiled at his frustration. “I said ‘I don’t think so. Mine’s bigger.’”
“But you cheated. Knowing another language doesn’t count,” persisted Shane, suddenly regretting not taking Spanish in school.
“So what? You’re saying you know more than me?”
“My goodness. What is it with male egos?” asked Mitchie in disbelief, sighing.
“It’s encoded into our DNA,” replied Shane with a teasing smile. Suddenly remembering a Spanish word, he added, “Señorita.”
Mitchie laughed before she said, “Is that the only word you know?”
“No. I know ‘Adios…Taco…Nacho…Tortilla…Jalapeño…Burr
“Foods don’t count,” Mitchie grinned and then softened as she asked, “So, besides food, you only know how to say ‘Goodbye’?”
“Yeah, I guess.”
“That’s kind of sad.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well…I don’t know…” Mitchie tried to concentrate, trying to get her wording right but it was hard to do when she felt her face was on fire. “…When you say ‘goodbye’, how do I know you’ll ever say ‘hi’ to me again?” Mitchie asked softly as she began picking at the quilt.
Shane processed the words through his head over and over as he put his hand over Mitchie’s. He had reached a decision. “Mitchie?” he whispered, as she looked up, surprised.
“Yes?” Mitchie asked, not knowing why she was whispering. She couldn’t think straight as his eyes hypnotized her, capturing her. As he leaned towards her, Shane asked hesitantly, “Can I kiss you?”
“Yes,” she whispered again, and seconds later, closed her eyes as Shane’s warm lips touched hers. His hand intertwined their fingers together as he gently cupped her soft cheek with his other hand.
In Mitchie’s room, the light went on but they didn't notice. “Mitchie!” called out Connie a minute later. “Come in, already! It’s late!”
They immediately pulled away from each other, faces flushed. It was only a minute but the seconds felt like a lifetime and the magical minute felt like an eternity. After Mitchie took a deep breath, she called out, “Okay, Mom, in a minute!” Turning towards Shane, she said, “Um…we should probably get some sleep…good night?”
Shane laughed lightly through the awkward atmosphere before he answered with a soft smile. “Yeah, good night.” With that, they reluctantly let go and with one last shy smile, they climbed down to their respective rooms and hopped into bed, giddy as they remembered their kiss. It was a very good night indeed.
“Mitchie,” whispered Shane as he shook the sleeping girl. “Mitchie!”
Mitchie finally stirred and opened her eyes slowly, confused as she saw Shane in moonlight. “Shane?” she asked sleepily as she sat up slowly.
“Mitchie, I’m leaving,” Shane began as he put his guitar case on the floor and sat down on the bed.
Wide-awake now, Mitchie asked, “Leaving?”
“Yeah. Today’s the Connect 3 concert. I finally got a hold of Nate today,” Shane explained. “The taxi’s outside.”
“Oh,” Mitchie said quietly, her heart heavy. She knew it had to end sooner or later but she never knew she would’ve developed a serious crush.
“Come with me.”
“I want you to come with me. You asked me earlier how would you know that I’d ever see you again. Now we don’t have to say ‘goodbye.’ This is your chance, Mitchie…our chance,” he said, holding her hand. “Come with me.”
Mitchie was torn. She wanted to go so badly to go but... “I’m sorry, Shane…I really want to…but I can’t…”
She looked up at him to see hurt and disappointment reflected in Shane’s eyes. “So I guess this really is goodbye.”
“Shane-” she began but he cut her off.
“No, it was stupid of me to ask,” Shane said, standing up and letting go of her hand in the process. “You already have a good life. Why should I take it from you?” He let out a bitter bark of a laugh before he looked at her one last time. “Goodbye, Mitchie.” He gave her a quick kiss on the head before he turned his back to her. “Thanks for everything.” Shane quickly but quietly closed Mitchie’s bedroom door.
It took her a few minutes to register what had happened but when she finally did, Mitchie couldn’t control the tears that followed as she heard a vehicle speed away from the driveway.
Mitchie didn’t know what time it was when her mother finally decided to take matters into her own hands. Even though her face was against the pillow, she heard Connie walking towards her bed.
“Mitchie, come on, wake up,” Connie coaxed Mitchie, stroking her hair. When she didn’t budge, she asked, “What’s wrong, sweetie?”
“He’s gone,” Mitchie murmured against the pillow. She felt the tears form again as she replayed the scene in her head.
“Shane?” asked Connie, surprised. Mitchie’s silence spoke for itself but she nodded anyway. “But why?”
“The concert’s today and he finally managed to get a hold of the guys,” was Mitchie’s muffled response. She hoped her mother hadn’t heard her voice breaking but Connie did.
“Oh, sweetie,” she said as she hugged Mitchie, completely understanding. “I know it hurts, baby, but…” Connie trailed off as she looked at the floor and smiled. “Things will work out.”
Mitchie turned her tearstreaked face to her mother, confused. “What do you mean?”
With her Cheshire cat smile, she replied, “When you feel better, you’ll figure it out.” Connie wiped a tear and smiled at her daughter before she left Mitchie alone in her room to ponder.
That's what I have so far. I'll add more later. Comments are more than welcome.
- Current Music:"Our Time Is Here" by Camp Rock Girls