Obsession, Part 1

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“Lana, what’s going on with you lately?” Peter asked in a slightly resentful tone. Truth is, I’m not sure what’s going on with me lately.

I’d been volunteered into a girl war, made friends and enemies I never knew before this, my best friend was scouting for the label in another country, my other best friend wouldn’t be returning from tour until next week, and I felt like my life was spinning out of control.

“I don’t know Peter,” I answered. “Let’s just try it again.”

Peter sighed and took seat, but he didn’t start the backing track. Instead he just stared at me. “What? Let’s get started,” I told him. He shook his head.

“Lana, you used to tell me everything. Why can’t you tell me what’s wrong?” he asked.

Because you’re part of what’s wrong, I thought. I shrugged. “It’s nothing specific Carson. Can we¬†please¬†get on with recording this song? I want to finish before I’m dead.”

“Lana, a producer/musician relationship doesn’t work nearly as well if there’s no trust.” I stared blankly at him. Peter sighed again and walked through the door and onto my side of the glass.

He stopped in front of me and pulled a stool over to sit down. I said nothing.

“You are the most talented artist I’ve ever worked with, you know that?” he asked. I scoffed.

“Yeah, sure I am. I’m just a kid with a guitar Peter, I’m not that special.” He let out a groan.

“Lana, stop thinking like that. I’m not the type of person that would lie to spare anyone’s feelings. If I’m telling you that you’re the most talented, I’m telling the truth.” I felt my eyes start to well up.

“What does this have to do with anything?” I asked. I finally looked up at him to see his smile.

“You’re doubting yourself, girl. And you shouldn’t. You’re talented, and a fighter. Whatever it is that’s happening, even if you’re not ready to tell me what it is, you can get through it okay?”

This was it. This was the reason that I’d fallen so hard for Peter. Underneath¬†the snarkiness, the “bad boy” attitude, and all that, he cared about me. That was undeniable. My next choice I immediately regretted.

I practically lunged forward and kissed him.

I pulled back, completely shocked at myself. I’d been working with Peter for months, I’d done everything possible to keep this crush under control.

One look at his face told me I’d just ruined everything.

“Lana…” he trailed off. “This, us, it can’t happen.” And with that hastily put together sentence, my heart shattered.

“Oh my god, I’m so stupid,” I said. The tears that had only threatened to show a few minutes ago, were now streaming down my face full force.

“Lana, no you’re not.” He tried to put a hand on my shoulder, but I jerked away.

“I have to go home, let’s finish the song tomorrow.” Before he could say anything, I’d grabbed my guitar, my backpack, and the last shreds of my dignity, and bolted out of the recording room.

After an entire school day of being glared at by Massie, given apologetic looks from Kristen and Dylan, and talking to Alicia (who’s friend Olivia had indeed gotten¬†a nose job), and listening to everyone come up and compliment my hair (I’d decided it was time for a change), I was dreading going back to the studio.

I drove as slowly as possible, took extra turns, and looped around the parking lot, and still managed to arrive 15 minutes early.

“Well shit,” I said, looking at the clock in my car. I couldn’t keep driving around and waste gas, so I parked, climbed out, and slowly trudged over to the building.

I made my way to the sound booth and noticed neither Peter, nor his mixer friend Dan, were there. I sat against the wall under the glass unseen by anyone entering the booth, listening to the feedback from the microphone. Someone forgot to turn it off when they left.

Suddenly I heard voices, and I held my breath.

“She actually kissed you?” Dan asked. I closed my eyes. Peter had already told Dan.

“Yeah, she did.”

“You’re not thinking of doing what I think you’re thinking of doing are you?” Dan asked. Peter scoffed.

“Dan, come on.¬†She’s 15.”¬†

I¬†know that, I was making sure that¬†you¬†knew that.” Some papers were shuffled, and the machines were turned on.

“Dan, seriously. Do you think I like this? Do you think that I like knowing that the greatest chick in the world, the one who gets me the most, is off limits? Give me a break. I’m not that guy, okay?”

“Okay. But if she were 21?”

“In a split second.”

My heart skipped a beat. After what happened yesterday, I just assumed Peter wasn’t interested. But now?

Now I had hope.

“Aye, there he is!” A voice called. I heard Dan and Peter leave, meaning I was clear to get out. I slipped out the back door and into the main hallway of EFI’s building. As soon as I did, I saw what the commotion was.

“Lana Lovitz, where you at?” a¬†guy asked. I raised my hand and walked over.

“Present,” I said. The owner of the label smiled and introduced me to EFI’s newest addition.

“Lana Lovitz, this is Kyle Cross. He’s gonna be in your music video.”

“Nice to meet you Cross,” I said, holding out my hand. He shook it with a smile.

“You too Lovitz.”

“So you’re playing my love interest huh?” I asked. He shrugged.

“If that’s what you wanna call it. But if that’s how it is, why don’t we grab some dinner sometime? Make it feel a little more authentic?”

I was speechless. “Dinner?” I asked.

“As friends,” he said. “Or, if you prefer, acquaintances. If we get to know each other, the video will be easier to shoot, you know?” I thought about it. He had a point. A very direct point, but a point nonetheless.

“You’re on. Take out and crappy movies?” I asked him.

“It’s a date. See ya Lovitz.” I smiled and turned around to head back to the studio. As I stepped in the booth, I saw Peter walk in. He gave me a weak smile and sat in his chair.

“Ready to start?” he asked. I nodded.

“Always.”

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San Fernando Rose

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¬†“Girls.”

In Westchester Grove Academy, and inside the principal’s office, there stood 6 girls. Six girls with food in our¬†hair and sauce dripping down our¬†outfits. Six girls who were about to be dealt the punishment of a lifetime.

“I don’t know where to begin,” the man¬†in front of us¬†started. “I haven’t had this problem from any of you.” Claire coughed. “Except from Miss Lyons. Would anyone care to explain what started this?” he¬†asked. I looked around, hoping someone would speak up. It was hard to tell if it was Massie or Alicia that started it (there seemed to be some deep rooted issues there) but no one said a thing. They all stared straight forward.

The principal, an older balding man that seemed too tired to deal with all of us, let out a sigh. “I was afraid of this. Look, girls, I’ve been in education a long time. I know you think the whole united front thing is gonna work. And it might. But I’ll let you in on a secret.” He leaned in and made his voice low. “You’re all gonna clean up the cafeteria anyway.”

We all let out a collective groan.

“You’ve all been excused from your classes for the day. The janitors set out three mops and 3 sponges with buckets. Get to mopping. Be happy I’m not suspending you.”¬†I’d rather be suspended,¬†Lana thought.¬†At least I could be working at the studio with Peter.

As the girls walked¬†into the hallway, Lana felt palpable tension bouncing between Alicia and Massie. They were all headed toward the cafeteria in total silence. That is, until they stood in front of the double doors leading into the mess we’d started.

“Okay let’s cut the crap. The silent treatment is SO middle school. And some of us have actually moved on from that,” Alicia stated. Massie crossed her arms and raised an eyebrow.

“Puh-lease. It’s not the silent treatment. There’s just nothing to say. We all know how this goes. And we all know that there’s only one winner.” They locked eyes and I started heading for the door.

“Well I’ve already got Liv on my side. She might be on vacation-“

“Getting a nose job,” Kristen coughed. Alicia glared at her.

“ANYWAY, but she’ll be back next week. So I’ve got an advantage.” Massie scoffed.

“Since when is Faux-livia an advantage?” she looked at the other three girls who hadn’t said much this entire time. “Are you gonna make a decision or are you just gonna stand there?” she barked.

I watched as Kristen looked between the girls and slowly shuffled over to Massie. Alicia’s jaw dropped open. “Sorry,” Kristen said shrugging. “I’ve been in this fight before. I know how this ends.”

Dylan sighed and followed Kristen. It was easy to see that Alicia was losing momentum. “I’m with Kristen. Sorry Leesh.”

I looked to Claire Lyons to see what she would do. She stayed in her spot.

“Well?” Alicia and Massie asked. Claire shook her head.

“I’m not choosing a side. This has been my life for way too long. Look, I like you both, but this Sophie’s Choice crap is getting old. I’m Switzerland.” Alicia, exasperated, finally turned to look at me. A light flashed behind her eyes.

“Well Lana? Who do you pick?” she asked. Massie raised an eyebrow.

“Her? She’s not part of this.” Alicia turned to her and glared.

“She’s here isn’t she?” She turned back to me. “So what do you say Lana?”

I thought for a moment. I mean, it¬†was completely surreal that I was even here. “Massie has a point. I’m not part of your little… Whatever this is.” Massie smirked at Alicia. “But,” I added. Massie’s smirk disappeared. “Alicia’s been a great pseudo-friend in the past.” I walked over to Massie. “Plus I’m pretty sure you threw the cake at me. And I’m not your biggest fan right now. So if I HAVE to choose? I choose Alicia.”

Massie glared at me. “You have no idea who you’re messing with,” she said, looking me up and down.

“Oh yeah? Well neither do you.”

“And now I’ve gotta come around (I’m falling through the cracks).¬†And stop and turn around (Can’t get this off my back).¬†Am I outta my mind, for faking what’s inside of me?¬†It’s like I’m walking on another thin line¬†where the fools keep on thinking I’m blind.¬†I’m waiting for the day (walking on another thin line).”

“And, we’re clear. Great job Lana.” I took off the headphones and just nodded.

The day’s events just kept swirling back in my head. I’d done something I promised myself I’d never do, and that was get involved in petty girl drama.

In the long run, I knew siding with Alicia was the better decision. I didn’t know Massie, but it was clear she was threatened by Alicia and that had to be for a reason, right?

“Lana, you okay?”

I looked up from the spot I had been staring at, and over to Peter who was standing beside me instead of on the other side of the glass.

“Yeah, totally fine. Just thinking about the song.” Peter nodded and the pulled a stool up and sat across from me.

“Alright. But do you wanna tell me what’s really going on?” he asked. I sighed.

“Well played Carson. But I think I’ve gotta get through this on my own, you know? I feel like I’ve gotta keep this particular door shut.”

Peter nodded then stood up and put an arm around me. “I get it. But hey, if you ever need me, I’ll kick down that door to help you.” He kissed the top of my head and went back to his side of the glass. “One more take for this song?” he asked.

I smiled and grabbed the headphones.

“Definitely.”

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Cage The Beast

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“It’s temporary insanity! What’s going on with you and me? Is it real or is it fantasy? Forever, or just temporary?”¬†I sang. I could just feel the music today. I looked to my producer for approval.

¬†“Great job Lovitz,” Peter said. I turned around and gave him my biggest smile. He gave me a huge smile in return, but looked down as soon as he realized I’d noticed.

“Peter, come on. Would it kill you to smile? Just a little bit?” I asked. He gave a half smile and shrugged.

“Let’s not test out that theory,” he said. I rolled my eyes. Peter Carson had been my music producer for the past few months. We’d recorded quite a few songs together, and I was always happy to be in the studio with him. But there was always something about the way he looked at me, and the way the room felt when we were both in it. I knew he felt it too.

“Well at least we can agree that I’m rocking out pretty hard for it being 6:48 in the morning,” I said, laughing. I walked into the room on the other side of the glass and grabbed my water bottle off the table. Peter said nothing. “Oh come ON. You can’t even pay me THAT compliment?” I asked him. Peter was quiet for a second.

“You rock out hard everyday. And yeah, I’m proud of you for rocking out so early. Especially since you’ve got school.” I felt my insides clench up. School. One of the main things that made Peter still see me as a kid. As the 15 year old that signed onto Entangled Fame a few months ago.

I know it’s stupid, but I really hoped he’d wait for me. Although 15 and 22? It was unlikely.

I check the time on my phone. “Oh shit, it’s 7:10. Gotta go,” I said. I grabbed my backpack (making me feel instantly like a child) and put my guitar in it’s case. “Watch it until I get back?” I asked him. He nodded.

“I’m in the studio all day. Call if you need anything, alright?” he said. I smiled.

“You bet your ass I will. See ya Peter,” I said, running out of the studio doors.

“Whoa, Lana, slow it down,” I heard a familiar voice say. I turned to see my other best friend (and lead guitarist) walking toward the studio I’d just vacated.

“Hey Myles. Recording with Peter?” I asked. He nodded.

“Gotta put down that guitar track for you,” he said, giving me a wink. I scoffed.

“Uh Myles, I play the guitar. And don’t you dare think that you play better than me.” I crossed my arms over my chest.

“Okay fine, you got me. I’m gonna talk to Peter about you and me recording a duet for your first album.” My jaw dropped.

“Oh my god, really? That’s awesome!” I was so excited. A duet with Myles would be so much fun to write and record.

“Um, Lana?” Myles asked. I looked up.

“Yeah?”

“Don’t you have school?” he asked. I checked my phone. 7:45 AM.

“Damn it!” I turned around and ran out of the studio. “See ya later Myles!”

I climbed into my old Mustang (it was work in progress that my dad and I attended to every weekend) and drove to school. The normally 30 minute drive from the studio was cut in half, due to my reckless driving. I pulled into a parking spot and basically ran to class. Everything from then to lunch was a blur. 

Oh, but how I remember lunch.¬†I’m not quite sure exactly how it started, but suddenly it all hit me at once.

I was sitting at my normal lunch table with the usual, minus Alicia Rivera, who was grabbing her lunch. I had been too busy texting Myles and Oliver about Entangled Fame issues to notice that a new girl had been sitting at our table.

My thoughts kept wandering back to Peter. If there was a God, he definitely did not want me happy. How could he, when¬†the guy I connected with the most in the world and who helped me create the best music I’ve ever written, was 7 years older than me?

I’d been thinking about this a lot lately, which was why I was so excited to show him my new song.

Suddenly Alicia walked up, interrupting my thought process, and I heard an audible gasp. “What are you doing here?” she hissed. “The loser table is that way,” she said, pointing to the seats in the back of the lunch hall by the trash cans. The girl Alicia’s fury was directed at only smirked.

“You mean like losers who wear open toed boots?” the new girl replied. Alicia scoffed. “Oh and by the way,” the other girl added. “You look even Beta Then Ever.”

As I watched this exchange, my jaw dropped. The girls started yelling at each other, while a few others joined in. I saw Dylan Marvil stand up and march over, yelling about things I had no idea of. I saw Kristen Gregory run over and declare that too many years had passed to bring this all up now. And lastly I saw Claire Lyons walk up and absolutely lose it.

But that wasn’t really the worst part.

With everyone in the cafeteria’s eyes on them, and believe me, EVERYONE was watching, the girls finally got quiet. That is, until Alicia¬†threw a plate meatloaf at Massie, thus marking the beginning of Girl War I.

I tried to pack up my stuff, because I’d seen enough teen movies to know that everyone gets involved in a food fight. I had too much to think about to be worried about this fight. Peter being on my mind, and recording that song with him earlier was driving me crazy. My heart beat always picked up the pace when I thought about him.

But as I stood up, a piece of cake hit me square in the face. I turned to look at the girls, who paused for a moment, jaws slightly agape. So I did the only thing I could do in that situation:

I threw a plate of spaghetti in their general direction.

It didn’t hit a direct target, but the tray hit the lunch table which sent it exploding in all directions. Thinking back on this now, not one of my finest moments. But I was so frustrated with work, with home, and now I had to deal with this middle school crap? No, I don’t think so.

But that’s kind of why we all ended up in detention. I liked The Breakfast Club just as much as anyone else, but I’m not so sure I was ready to live it.

‚ÄúGood afternoon Westchester Grove Preparatory. Welcome back from winter break. I hope we can start off a great semester and year. Food fights, however, will not be tolerated.¬†Massie Block, Kristen Gregory, Lana Lovitz, Claire Lyons, Dylan Marvil, and Alicia Rivera must report to my office immediately.‚ÄĚ

Great.

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I Will Not Bow

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“Oliver, I’m not skipping school just to go see Selena perform. I’ll just call her later and congratulate her.” I had been¬†packing my backpack for the first day of school, when my friend had called to ask me to go to the Selena Gomez concert with him. I had him on speaker phone.

“Lana, dude. Come on. You haven’t seen Selena in forever. You’re really gonna turn down her invite to be backstage?” he asked me, albeit a little whiny.

“You’re forgetting who I am,” I reminded him. “If I want backstage to anything, I’ll get it.” In case anyone of you was wondering,¬†I had won a national talent competition last year. I was now an official celebrity, with an album ranked at #4 for number of downloads last year.

“Whatever, I’ll just take Myles. Anyway, why would you want to go back to school? With all of those fake people pretending to be your friends because you’re famous? You gave it a semester, why keep pushing it?” he asked.

“Oliver, seriously. I love school. I love learning. I don’t hang out with those people outside of school. And anyway, I have a feeling this semester will be different.”

“What makes you say that?” Oliver¬†asked.

“I don’t know honestly. It’s just a feeling.” I looked around my room and realized what a mess I’d made trying to find all my school stuff. “Hey Oliver¬†I gotta go. If I don’t clean up my room, my mom is gonna kill me.”

“Don’t you have a maid?” he asked.

“Normally, but she’s on maternity leave and her replacement hasn’t shown up yet. Talk to you later!” I said, hanging up. I flopped backwards onto my bed.

Westchester Grove wasn’t a bad place. It was a great learning environment and I felt happy there. Oliver¬†had an excellent point about the fake friends though.

All I really want is to have some true friends. My social circles were immense, due to my being famous and all,¬†but no one I could really call a true friend. There were some nice¬†people to hang out with though. There was a girl named Alicia who seemed pretty cool. We shared some friends, and we’ve talked, but we weren’t necessarily friends ourselves.

Thinking about going back to school had excited and stressed me out at the same time. I was biting my nails down to the point where they started bleeding. When my mom noticed that she took me to get acrylic nails. “This way you won’t be able to bite anymore,” she’d said.

I was fine with that. This way, I could make those tapping sounds with my nails to show people how impatient I’m getting.

I finally got up from my bed and started putting things away. As I sifted through my things, I found a photo album from when I used to be close friends with Alisson Chase. Photos of us hanging out on Santa Monica
Pier, actually making the hike up to the Hollywood sign. A few of us at different Broadway shows, and at the Plaza Hotel. I took the album and went to go sit on my balcony.

Alisson Chase was a socialite who’s parents owned several successful technology companies. They also owned several large shares in Apple, Samsung, and Microsoft. If any family were loaded, it would be the Chases.

Alisson and I used to be super close friends up until I won this competition. Afterward, everything became a competition between us. I had my record deal, she tried to get the bassist¬†in my¬†band. Little did she know, my bassist¬†was gay. I got to go backstage to Selena Gomez’s concert, Alisson had to be on the VIP list for¬†Justin’s birthday (yes, THAT Justin.)

One thing Westchester Grove did offer? Alisson Chase would never be caught dead in a high school. “Tutors are all someone needs!” she told me once.

I haven’t talked to her in a year. Quickly pushing that thought out of my mind, I checked my Instagram feed. Scrolling through all the photos, I found myself excited for school again.

Being popular always had it’s perks, especially at Westchester Grove, but I still longed for more. Call me ungrateful if you will, but I don’t ask for much in this world. Friends are one thing I’m sorely lacking. Well, minus Oliver and Myles.

Ah, Oliver. We’d been best friends¬†most of our lives. I felt so lucky to have him.¬†He was always there for me if I needed it, and me for him. And Myles was just amazing to hang with too. Together, we were an unstoppable trio.

My phone buzzed, startling me. I took one look at it and groaned.

Westchester Grove had a lot of amazing attributes, but their gossip page on Facebook was not one of them.

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What? What ex-Alpha? As far as I knew, Alicia Rivera held Queen Bee status. I glanced at the “Red Head” comment and held my breath. Dylan Marvil. The Red Head that fell from grace. ¬†Her reality show had unearthed some things that were not meant to be unearthed. We used to be friends actually, before my parents saw the show and everything that happened.

And seriously, what ex-Alpha? Who was number one before Alicia?

My questions wouldn’t be answered until school tomorrow, but that didn’t stop me from tossing and turning all night, wondering why I cared so much anyway.

But like I told Oliver, this semester felt like it might be different. Maybe this was one of the key factors. All I could do was close my eyes and wait to find out.

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