"Know what today is?" Esther looked at Kevin as he ate the pancakes she'd made him. "Our umpteenth anniversary," He smiled mischievously. "You forgot?"
He placed his hand over hers, "I didn't forget... Well, just the number." She shook her head with a smile, "Whatever. I know you've got something special planned for tonight. Where are we going?" "We're not."
"What do you mean we're not?" "You'll see.” "May I take your order, mademoiselle?"
"I'll just wait for my date, thank you," Esther couldn't help but be amused by Daniel's fake French accent and his waiter-esque mannerisms. "I'm afraid he may not arrive for a-"
"Thanks, Daniel, but I'm here," Kevin pulled out his chair and sat down. "Excellent, now what would you care for, mademoiselle?"
"We'll just have the chef's choice.” "So Lobster Theirmoine for the both of you?" Daniel nodded. "Um, no," Esther interrupted, "I can't stand lobster.” "Absolutely," Daniel nodded, Would you care for something else?” Kevin smiled at her and she shrugged, "Salmon, I suppose.” "Great, I'll be back in a moment," and with a flourish, Daniel was off into the kitchen.
"This is so awesome, Kevin, how did you-" Kevin laughed, "I'd prefer if you didn't ask. Just enjoy it, please?" Esther smiled, ”Yes, sir,” she said, mockingly.
Within a moment, Daniel reappeared with their food, "Bon appétit." "Excuse me, waiter?" "Yes?" "Where's the champagne I specially ordered?"
"You even got champagne?" Esther's eyes were wide. "Just for you," Kevin smiled, "Here, I'd like to make a toast."
"To you, Esther. Don't know how I managed to find The One, but you most certainly are it."
"Cheers," Kevin held up his flute. "Cheers," Esther beamed. This whole thing was over-the-top and ridiculous, but she was loving every minute of it. How many other girls got this sort of treatment, eh?
"This is all just... So amazing, Kevin. I mean, this is the type of thing that girls daydream about."
"And this lobster is the type of things that guys daydream about. Here, try a bite.” "But I don't think-” Kevin stuck his fork in her mouth before she could protest any more. "Wow. That is really good.” "I told you."
”But, um, Esther, I have something I've been wanting to ask you for a while now," Kevin said, picking something up from under his seat.
-~-~- ”So, future sister-in-law, I have something I need to ask you."
”Um, okay?" "Is there... Uh... A proper way to break up with a girl?" "What kind of a question is that?" Esther asked as Chandler took a seat next to her.
"The kind a guy asks when he doesn't know what to do." "Well, I can't help you if I don't know the situation." Chandler explain his dilemma with Meredith and Lydia.
Esther thought for a moment, "You know, something like that happened to me when I first started dating Kevin." "What?" Chandler asked, somewhat shocked. He recalled the night that Kevin came home from his first date with Esther, fuming about how he'd been ditched right in the middle of the restaurant, "Really?"
Kevin, hearing his name, wandered towards the study. "Yeah, look, don't tell your brother this, but I was actually dating someone when I asked Kevin out. I didn't make it to the dinner because breaking up with this guy wasn't as easy as I thought it would be."
Kevin hovered, unsure of what to do. "The guy was psychotic. He kept telling me that we couldn't break up and that we were going to grow old together and blah, blah, blah. I stopped listening halfway through his little rant. And when he was done I checked my watch and it was hours later than I could have met up with Kevin. I felt bad about ditching him, but I knew if we were meant to be together, it would happen one way or another."
"Kevin was pretty upset with me for a brief period. I don't know what your dad said to him that day, but he forgave me. And look, now we're engaged," Esther flashed her ring proudly.
Chandler digested the story for a moment, then asked, "You think I'll regret breaking up with Meredith?" Esther looked at him and smiled, "If you broke up with a great girl like Meredith for someone else, that someone else is pretty damn special. I don't think you'll regret it in the long run, but heck if I know anything more than you do."
"Hey guys, what's going on?" Kevin sauntered in casually, pretending he hadn't just heard their whole conversation. "Oh, not much. Just talking," Esther winked at Chandler.
"Yep, and now we're done. I've got to get to class. See you later," Chandler bid his roommates adieu and headed towards the door. Kevin took his seat.
"I love you," Kevin told his fiancé as he put his arm out to hold her. "I love you too," she smiled and scooted towards him.
He kissed her on the cheek and she smiled at him. 'For reasons I can never know, eh?’was his only thought.
Dear Mom, Of course Ethan and I are remembering to eat healthy and exercise. We're notthatirresponsible.
Ethan, however, I can't be sure. He's been on the phone a lot lately and hasn't been hanging around with Danielle too much.
You'll be proud to know that we spent our money wisely and bought a little residential lot.
We’re making sure that the little bit of cash we’ve earned is going to be stretched a long way.
And our student credit scores are through the roof.
All in all, we're having fun, but we're eager to get out and start our lives. Lots of love, Tiff
-~-~- "Mind if I join you?" Daniel asked Kevin as he sat at the chess table. "Not at all. Actually, I was hoping you'd join me."
"Were you now?" Daniel asked curiously after moving a chess piece. "Yep," Kevin studied the board, "You know, you're a senior now, Daniel." "Of course I know," Daniel asked, somewhat sure of where this conversation was going to lead.
"Hey, what's that?" Kevin asked, pointing off into the distance. "Huh? Where?" Daniel turned and Kevin hid a chuckle.
"All I see is your girlfriend at the bubble machine, Kevin," Daniel lifted an eyebrow. "Speaking of girlfriends!" Kevin clapped his hands, amused with himself for having cheated without Daniel's notice, "Look, none of us want you to spend this last year miserable."
"I'm not miserable," Daniel said firmly. "Daniel, c'mon, at least humor us."
"I need to do no such thing," Daniel said while taking Kevin's pawn. “Dude, come on. I met this awesome girl and…”
~-~-~ "I woke up and you were gone, I found your clothes lining the hall, Hit the light, found you sleeping on the floor, I freaked out, you hid away, I saw the light of a new day, I was so blind, I missed you heading for the door,"
"I'm a puppet on your hand, I'm the string that comes unwound, Kiss my lips, and I swear I'll fall apart, I took everything you are, and I wished upon a star, And you were there, and you filled my lonely heart,"
"And maybe I was wrong, I read your note and wrote this song, Or maybe I'm a child in disguise? But baby I'm a star, burning brightly in the night sky, With a billion years of fire and life, But I don't feel alive..."
"I'm a puppet on your hand, I'm that string that comes unwound, Kiss my lips, and I swear I'll fall apart, I took everything you are, and I wished upon a star, And you were there, and you filled my lonely heart," "I felt the beating of your broken heart, And I am the one, I have your love, You are the one for me..."
"Lydia!" Chandler jumped a mile from his seat at the piano and hugged her. Lydia laughed at his reaction, "Hey."
"What are you-” ”Eh! No talking, only singing. We've got to practice for our competition!” "There's just one thing I have to do first.” "What's that?" Lydia asked, confused.
~-~-~ It was a large crowd gathered at Midnight flows that night. Many were related to the name Ronstrosity in some way or another, the rest were just people who had nothing better to do on a Friday night.
"I wish you would step back from, That ledge my friend, You could, cut ties, with all the lies, That you've been living in, And if you do not want to see me again, I would understand, I would understand, I would understand, I would understand, I would understand, I would understand, Can you put the past away?"
Then there were the judges, who were sitting in the back at a table. Each had a microphone on so each contestant could hear what each judge was saying even from the stage.
The judges included DJ, the supposed nice one. Originally from Pleasantview, but now attending LFT. She has a strange accent if you ask the Strangetownians. "Look, Nervous, that really wasn't your song. I know you're a great singer, but you've got to find a song to show of your vocals."
Erin Beaker. This spunky blonde recently moved in with Kristen, the sports star, and two alien girls, much to the dismay of her brother, Loki Beaker. While she doesn't have any experience in the music business, Erin did take 10 years of vocal lessons and always has something critical to say. "Nervous, I told you once, I'll tell you again, you're no good. Singing isn't your talent, so stop wasting your time and mine and quit while you're behind."
And Lazlo Curious. After Lazlo moved out and in with his girlfriend Crystal Vu, he's become incredibly famous in the music industry, producing and selling over 150 million records and 70 No. 1 singles in Strangetown, Pleasantview, Riverblossom Hills, Veronaville, Bluewater Village, Sim City, and more. "Don't listen to Erin, Nervous. DJ is right, you have some talent, you just need to find a way to showcase it. Keeping trying."
Chandler and Lydia sat backstage, trying to calm their nerves, "So are you ready for this?"
Lydia's stare remained straight ahead as she answered, "Chandler, I'm so nervous."
"C'mere," Chandler placed his arm around her, "It'll be okay, we've been practicing longer than some of these people have even known about the competition. We're going to do great."
"Yeah, it won't be that bad," said Jasmine Rai, whom they'd just met a few minutes ago, "I know what it feels like your first time. It's like, butterflies in your stomach, but they're making you nauseous and you just don't want to do it..." "But when you get up there," interrupted Zoe Zinnerman, "You just want to soak it all up and you never want it to end. All eyes are on you, but they're all... Respecting you. Because they know they'd never have the guts to do it themselves." "And the ones who laugh at you are assholes whose opinions don't matter anyway," Jasmine smiled.
Shrimp entered the small green room, "Jasmine and Zoe, you're up next. Ready?" "As we'll ever be," Zoe smirked and the two followed Shrimp up the stairs onto the stage.
Shrimp gathered the crowd's attention, "So is everyone ready for our next contestants?" The crowd's reaction was excited, but not as excited as she would have like, "I said, 'Is everyone ready for our next contestants?'!" This earned a bit of a louder response, but still not as loud as she'd have liked.
Assuming this was the best she'd get, she continued, "The give it up for Jasmine Rai and Zoe Zinnerman!" The crowd burst into a surprising applause, and Shrimp continued, "Both girls attend LFT and are in a band called Shifting Paradymes. Let's hear what they've got."
After making sure the girls were all set on their equipment, Shrimp returned to the green room, "You guys are next." "We know," Chandler smiled, "Thanks Shrimp." "No problem. Be back in five for you," and with that, she left the room.
"Gave in again," "The bastard," "Can't keep refusing rights," "So he'll loan the cash,"
"They're pretty good," Esther smiled. Kevin nodded, "Definitely. Did Shrimp say they go to LFT?" "But the sin,"
Daniel blinked, "Yeah. They're in that band that always plays at the student union. You've never heard them play before?" "Is on the hands of you,"
Kevin laughed, "Who goes to college gigs, anyway?" Daniel shrugged and Kevin changed the subject, "I bet Chandler and Lydia will totally blow them out of the water, though." "So to care or, Plead silence, weak hands are calling,"
"Oh, definitely. They were practicing all day," Esther nodded, "Jasmine and Zoe are good, but no where close to Chandler and Lydia." "There's close enough, And there's too far,"
"It won't change an empty stare, But I can't seem to end," "These images, Hauntingly looks like hell,” The crowd was up and moving. Maybe this wasn't the best group of dancers, but they were enthusiastic enough for Jasmine and Zoe.
"So to care or, Plead silence, weak hands are calling," "To care or," "Plead silence," "weak hands are calling,"
"Come, enter the foreign, Face, all that's shameful, Cheat, may the past find out, Seperating,"
"So to care or, Plead silence, weak hands are calling, To end this catastrophic scene, awake and breathe in...” The music faded away and the crowd separated. Now was the judges' turn.
"Well, that wasn't yourbestsong-" "Are you crazy, Erin? That was amazing. Way better than anything they've done before."
"Look, Jasmine and Zoe, I know that was a bit different from your whole crazy, screaming songs, but stick with this. You both were absolutely astounding. Keep with this, it'll take you somewhere."
"I can't help but agree with you, DJ," Lazlo nodded, then looked pointedly at Erin, "I don't knowwhatyou were thinking," he turned to face the girls, "You both were great. My only complaint is that you both seemed kind of... Stiff. Maybe you were uncomfortable with this different style, and that's okay. I wouldn't tell you to pursue it if you didn't absolutely, one-hundred-percent love it. Anything you'd like to add, Erin?" "Er, no, thanks."
Jasmine and Zoe trotted down the steps, confidently, and out of the room, but not before wishing Chandler and Lydia good luck.
"All right guys," Shrimp entered the room, smiling in a way that seemed like she was hiding something, "You're our last contestants of the night, let's get this show on the road." The couple followed her to the stage.
Shrimp whistled, "All right guys, our next duet will be sung by two people who are new to performing in front of crowds. They're a bit nervous, so let's give a warm welcome to Chandler and Lydia!" The crowd cheered louder than before, but not quite as loud as they were when Jasmine and Zoe finished up.
"I- I don't know about this, Chandler... I have this bad feeling in my stomach," Lydia murmured as she picked up her microphone. "Lydia, don't worry, it'll be fine. Just trust me, okay?" He consoled her as he bent over to pick their song, “We’ll be fine."
Just then all the lights went out. "Ch-Chandler?" "I'm right here, don't worry."
Suddenly a bright spotlight went on and illuminated the couple. The crowd cheered and whistled and Lydia shook her head at Chandler, who smiled in return. The song began to play. "Do you hear me? I'm talking to you, Across the water, across the deep, blue, ocean, Under the open sky, oh my, baby I'm trying,"
The nervousness was apparent on Lydia's face, however, she fought it back and sang with all her heart. "Boy I hear you, in my dreams, I feel your whisper, across the sea, I keep you with me, in my heart, You make it easier when life gets hard,"
"I'm lucky I'm in love with my best friend, Lucky to have been where I have been, Lucky to be coming home again,"
"Ooh ooh ooh, They don't know how long it takes, Waiting for a love like this, Every time we say goodbye, I wish we had one more kiss, I'll wait for you, I promise you, I will,"
"I'm lucky I'm in love with my best friend, Lucky to have been where I have been, Lucky to be coming home again,"
The mass group that once was the audience began to separate as the couples pair off for a private dance. "Lucky we're in love in every way,"
"And so I'm sailing, though the sea, To an island, where we'll meet, You'll hear the music, fill the air, I'll put a flower in your hair,"
"Though the breezes, through the trees, Move so pretty, you're all I see, As the world keeps, spinnin' 'round, You hold me, right here, right now,"
"So Gearston, are you having fun?" Skylarsmiled at her robotic “nanny”. "I suppose so, Little Miss. As much as I am able to." Sky stared at him for a moment, then asked, "Want to dance?" "Of course, Little Miss." "I'm lucky I'm in love with my best friend,"
"Lucky to be coming home again, Lucky we're in love in every way, Lucky to have stayed where we have stayed, Lucky to be coming home someday, Ooh ooh ooh, Ooh ooh ooh, ooh,"
The song winded down and Lydia put her mic down. "Hold on," Chandler objected just before the lights were turned back on, "Lydia, there's something I want to ask you."
The lights flipped back on and everyone turned to see Chandler get down on one knee.
"Lydia," he took a deep breath, "You know I'm not exactly the most suave guy in our college, and I have a tendency to mix things up, but this, right here, right now, I'm so sure this is real. Lydia, I love you with all of my heart and I couldn't survive another day without you. I already lost you once, but I never want that again. I couldn't live without you… I said that already, didn’t I?"
"Marry me?" The crowd held it's breath. Lydia just stared at the box. She didn’t move to take the ring for long enough that Chandler started to regret everything.
But Lydia picked the ring out of the box and Chandler let out a breath of relief.
Lydia stared, open-mouthed at the ring, but still no one made a sound.
Everyone watched, many jealous, some glanced at their significant other, a few tapped their fingers against their thigh impatiently.
"Yes!" She shouted then threw her arms around her fiancé, "Of course!" The crowd erupted into applause so loud it would have hurt Chandler's ears, had they not already been buzzing with excitement.
"So, uh, you think we'd have an angry mob at our door if we declared anyone else the winner?" Lazlo asked. Erin nodded, "Probably."
"DJ?” "Well, I don't know about you two, but I think they actuallydeserveto win." "So then it's unanimous."
Upon hearing they won, Chandler smothered Lydia with another kiss.
"Ugh! Gross, you two!” --- To the next installment! Songs: Unwound – The Real You Jumper – Third Eye Blind Panic Prone - Chevelle Lucky – Jason Mraz & ColbieCalait