Sweat coated Bradley’s palms like the natural moisture that a toad excretes. He rubbed them furiously on his pants but the sweat just kept coming back. Nervousness only began to describe how he was feeling. It was lucky that he was usually quiet, because his friends did not notice any change in his behavior at all.
Then the lights dimmed, and a man whose body shape resembled a hazelnut stepped onto stage. He was wearing a black dress shirt that was stretched so tightly over his protruding belly that the stretched fabric made the buttons seem like they each had their own pair of wings. Of course, his peculiar outfit was complete with the skinniest red tie that Bradley had ever seen.
“Welcome, ladies and gentlemen,” Mr hazelnut boomed, “Please settle down shortly, the shows are about to begin.”
Then he waddled off stage.
A young man stepped onto stage, followed by two other men, one of which was carrying a violin. Bradley recognised them immediately. They were Gentle Bones! The sweating was now worriedly prominent. The beads of sweat glistened on Bradley’s forehead as if he had just drank a litre of tom yum, sparkling in the midst of the throng of other smooth foreheads.
But Bradley did not notice. The band was beginning to play. They played out their first ever single that made it to the charts. How apt – to pick to play their first famous hit as the first song of the concert.
The crowd was cheering now and hands waved frantically in the air, remarkably similiar to how they behaved when trying to flag a cab during rush hour. Bradley tend to make the weirdest comparisons at the oddest times.
“How are you tonight?”
The crowd went wild.
“Okay, for my next song, I’m going to sing Settle Down. Sing along if you know the lyrics.”
Then he began to strum.
Bradley’s impatience was now killing him. But the lead singer then added, “Oh and this song is a dedication to a certain girl in the crowd.”
Bradley perked up.
“Can I see where Beverly is sitting? Beverly Lui,” he asked.
A huge concoction of excited screams and shrieks erupted from a corner of the small ballroom. Bradley’s ears made out the voice of a girl screaming, “SHE’S HERE! SHE’S HERE!”
He turned, as did the hundred other foreheads in the throng. A spotlight shone down on the excited shrieking group, and finally a girl was pulled to her feet by her friends. She gave her friends a friendly look of annoyance before adjusting her hair and smiling sheepishly to the hundred foreheads that were now pointed directly at her.
Bradley’s heart stopped. She looked more gorgeous than she had looked in the past three days of this camp they were currently attending together. She had on a cute, white lacey crop top and a sleek black pencil skirt. Basics, simple yet elegant, and she furnished her look with golden colored accessories.
“Beverly, this message is for you,” the lead singer spoke, in his unbelievably melodic voice, while gently strumming the guitar, “Beverly, I wish that you and me could Settle Down.”
The crowd went crazy again with whoops and wolf whistles.
Then all of a sudden, Bradley stood up, joining her as the only other person in the throng that was standing up. It took the lighting directors a while to notice, but eventually they shined another spotlight on him. The dazzling white light reflected off the sweat that now coated his forehead like a second skin, making him look like he had on very sparkly make up.
The crowd quietened down. His friends that sat around him were glancing at each other quizzically. The nearest one asked him in a hushed whisper, “Bradley! What are you doing?! Sit down!”
Then from somewhere else, someone else whispered, “I think he dedicated the song to Beverly!”
But Bradley’s attention was now wholly focused on Beverly, and her stunning beauty. He slowly waded his way through the throng, stepping on toes and fingers and phones and wallets and causing some annoyance, but he did not stop until he was within arm’s reach of Beverly.
Beverly was a head shorter than Bradley was and she looked up to him with eyes that were wide in anticipation and a lip that was pursed in a shy but cute manner.
Then Bradley spoke. A nervous person by nature, being placed in this position did nothing to boost his confidence and his voice was beyond inaudible to anyone but Beverly. The crowd went dead silent and craned their heads and ears as one towards the couple, a fruitless attempt. After a while, someone from the other end of the room yelled, “JUST KISS HER ALREADY.”
The throng took this as a cue and began to chant KISS! KISS! KISS!
Beverly had never expected something like this to happen. Bradley seemed to her like a genuinely nice guy but she never took him for the romantic type that was capable of a gesture of such a scale. But she felt very attracted to him for some reason. The truth is, they were very suitable for each other and their minds worked exactly the same way, and Bradley was also wondering where he had gotten the guts to carry out an actual song dedication.
Since I already made it here, might as well go all the way, he thought and he leaned in for the kiss.
Oh my god, he’s actually going for the kiss, thought Beverly, as well as several other drama-loving girls in the throng.
Beverly closed her eyes, and loosened her jaw muscles, opening her mouth slightly, and waited for the kiss.
She tried to recall all her ‘training’ with her ex boyfriend. Was it to use tongue from the start or no tongue at all?
Senseless questions began to bombard her one after another but eventually she got rid of them, which was when she realized the kiss still has not reached her.
She opened her eyes slowly, afraid to ruin the moment, but then suddenly she felt Bradley’s weight crash into her. Her eyes flew wide open as her knees buckled under his weight and the two came crashing down.
An excited whisper began to wash over the throng. The lead singer was watching awkwardly, completely unfamiliar with being onstage yet not being the center of attention. He desperately wanted the spotlight back and he signaled to his band to start playing.
“Um okay, thanks Beverly and Bradley. I hope you enjoy the song, Settle Down.”