Music Is Healing
No. Stop laughing. I just want to sing. It's not stupid. I'm not stupid. Stop it. Stop it! STOP IT!!! Dylan woke up sweating. He had that damn dream again. When he was in 8th Grade, he entered his school's talent show. The second he started to sing, the kids started laughing at him. He knew he wasn't the best singer, not like he would ever be the lead singer in a band or anything, but he was pretty sure he didn't suck. It was probably because he didn't talk to anyone because he was so shy, and they thought it was ridiculous for him to suddenly perform in front of people. Still, he remembers running into the bathroom and crying his eyes out. When he stopped and sniffled, he started singing again. No matter what others thought of him, singing was always something that made him feel like life wasn't as unfair as it really was. The next day, his mom had him tested for extreme anxiety disorder. She had some money saved up, so for the next two years she paid for Dylan to attend a private school. However, last past year she was diagnosed with cancer and the cost for chemo depleted her savings. Thankfully she's in remission now but Dylan now had to get ready to start 11th Grade in a public school like the middle school he went to. Great, he thought.
He finally got out of bed and looked at himself in the mirror. He combed his flat white hair and his normally bright blue eyes looked duller than usual due to the dream he had. He let out a sigh, got washed up, dressed in a dark blue shirt and dark blue denim jeans, and headed downstairs to have breakfast. "Morning, honey," his mom chimed while flashing a bright smile. "Morning, mom," Dylan smiled back. He loved his mom. She was one of the few people who cared about him. Even though she lost some of her hair because of the chemo, most of it had grown back. She wore a long, light brown wig that covered up the bald spots and wore a yellow sun dress. After eating his breakfast, Dylan started walking to his new school, since it was only a few blocks away. "Good luck, Dylan. You'll do great," his mom told him. "Sure," he simply replied. That's what she thinks, he thought. Dylan was sure his mom didn't realize that kids at public schools weren't as polite and respectful as those at private schools. Plus, he was going to a high school, so he was sure these kids would be even meaner to him if he didn't talk to them. This was going to be a long year.
For the first couple of weeks, Dylan did his best to not draw attention to himself. He often looked down when walking in the hallway and hardly said anything to anyone. Most kids didn't bother him, but he could some of them snickering and mumble under their breath: "Weirdo," "Freak" and "Loser." He tried not to let it get to him. Dylan wanted to be all those names the were calling him. He wanted to make friends, to be "normal," whatever that meant. But that incident from 8th Grade closed him off from other people. One day Dylan was in Science class and the teacher was giving a lesson about the different diseases in the world, what causes them and the effects they have on the body when they're not treated. When he got to cancer, Dylan felt his stomach drop. Even though his mom was in remission, every day he worried if the cancer would come back. If he lost her, he didn't know what he would do. He felt that he was going to come apart. He didn't want everyone to think he was weirder than they already did. "Excuse me, may use the restroom?" Dylan asked. He managed to hide the panic on his face, but his entire body was shaking. "Go ahead," the teacher said. Dylan walked calmly and slowly to the bathroom, once again not drawing attention to himself.
Once he got into the stall, he cried his eyes out, just as he did when he was in 8th Grade. Why is this happening to me? He thought. When he finally stopped crying, he started to sing one of his favorite songs: "Simon" by Lifehouse. It was a song about feeling alone and having a friend who helped you. Dylan didn't have any friends and wasn't sure if he ever would, but he had his mom and that was enough. As he sang it, he started to forget about what happened in Science class. No matter how long she had left she was still living, so Dylan was going to do the same. Singing always made him feel alive. Just as he finished and was about to leave the stall, he heard a rugged voice. "What the hell? Is someone in there?" No, no, no. Dylan was trapped. Whoever was there was going to think he was a weirdo, either for sobbing like a baby or for randomly singing out of nowhere. He knew he had to face the music (no pun intended). He slowly left the stall and saw someone standing there. He saw a tall guy with spiky red hair, wearing a black tank top, blue denim jeans and combat boots. If Dylan wasn't so nervous around this guy, he would think he was kind of cool. When he looked up, he saw the guy crossing his arms. However, there wasn't frustration or annoyance in his eyes; there was curiosity. "Hey dude, was that you singing just now?" he asked, one eyebrow arched. Well, at least he didn't hear me crying, Dylan said to himself. "Uh... yeah," Dylan slowly replied. He knew if he lied to this guy, his head would be in the toilet. "Wow, you're good," the guy said. Wait, what did he say? Wait, is he smiling?! Sure enough, he was. Dylan couldn't tell if this guy was being serious or just teasing him. The guy went over to the sink, washed his hands, dried them and reached one out to Dylan. "I'm Ty. Nice to meet ya," he said with a grin.
Dylan shyly smiled back and shook his hand. "I'm Dylan. Don't worry, I didn't actually use the bathroom." Ty chuckled, but his smile went away a second later. "Wait, then why were you singing in the stall?" he asked. Dylan tried to hide the nervous look on his face. Again, he still wasn't sure how Ty would react if he lied to him, but he didn't want to tell someone he just met all about his problems. So, he met in the middle. "I've just been going through a lot. Singing by myself helps me feel better," he replied honestly. "Yeah, that makes sense," Ty said, his face now turned away from Dylan. Dylan started to worry that his fears had come true. Ty thought he was some kind of nutcase. Then, Ty turned to look at Dylan again, and this time his smirk returned. "Listen... uh..." "Dylan." "Right. Dylan. I think you've got a good voice. I play guitar in a band called Shooting Star. We're looking for a new lead singer. You should audition." Dylan immediately tensed up. His eyes widened and constantly blinked at Ty. He started to panic. All his fears came rushing to him. He couldn't sing in front of people; he could barely talk to people. What if they laughed at him, like in 8th grade? What would happen if they did? Would he harm himself...or worse? Suddenly, Dylan heard a snapping sound. "Hello? Anyone home?" Ty asked, snapping his fingers in front of Dylan. Dylan shook his head. "Sorry. Yes, I'm here," he replied. Then, a small voice from the back of his mind emerged: "You don't want to be that person anymore. Take a chance. You don't want to be known as a quiet, weird loner forever, do you? Maybe Ty and his band could help you, even be the first friends you've had in years." Dylan took a deep breath, knowing he was about to take the biggest risk of his life. He stood straight, looked Ty right into his eyes and said, "Okay. I'll do it."
When the school day ended, Dylan called his mom while he waited for Ty to finish his last class. Dylan's mom was an elementary school teacher. She tells him that his father abandoned her when she was pregnant. When she answered, Dylan's ear was punctured by a bunch of 8-year-olds cheering and yelling. "Okay, everybody! See you tomorrow! Remember, if you do your homework there's more candy where that came from!" he heard his mom shout. Once all the kids were out of the classroom, Dylan heard his mom's sweet voice. "Hello?" "Hi mom, it's me. I'll be coming home later tonight." "Oh, did you make a new friend at school?" she asked with hope in her voice. Dylan knew his mom wanted him to make friends because it would help him with his anxiety. Dylan appreciated how much his mom cared about him, but it also added pressure to his audition for Ty's band. What if the band didn't like his singing? What if he never made any friends? Would he always be this miserable? He glanced at Ty. "Something like that," he told his mom. "Okay honey, just call me when you're on your way home. I love you." "Love you too, mom. Bye," Dylan replied before he hung up. Dylan let out the breath he had been holding. The stakes suddenly felt higher. Ty caught Dylan by surprise when he suddenly put his arm around him. "Well, here we are, little buddy," Ty said. Dylan looked forward and saw Ty's house. As they approached the garage a thought came to him. "Did you call me 'little buddy?'" Dylan asked. "Yeah. I've always wanted a little brother and I know the guys in the band are gonna love you, so you'll be a part of my family," Ty responded. Despite his nerves, Dylan couldn't help but give a small smile. He couldn't remember the last time someone other than his mom thought he was worth anything.
In the garage were two guys, the other members of Shooting Star. They were both taller than Dylan, about Ty's height. One had long, turquoise-blue hair, wore a matching light blue T-shirt with dark blue pants and was holding a dark blue bass guitar. The other had spiky brown hair, wore a white T-shirt with black denim jeans and sat behind a checkered-styled black and white drum kit. Dylan saw a tan acoustic guitar and a red V-neck guitar in the corner. He was sure the V-neck was Ty's. The acoustic could be his too, or maybe the bass player's. "Hey guys," Ty greeted before giving them high fives. "That V-neck is mine. The acoustic belongs to our bass player," he told Dylan. "Is this the new singer you told us about," the drummer asked cautiously. Dylan felt his heart race. Maybe the drummer wouldn't want him here. "Yeah, his name's Dylan." Ty nodded to Dylan, a notion for him to move closer. He had his hands in his pockets and looked between the two band members. "Nice to meet you. I'm Chase," the bassist said with a smile. He seemed to be the friendlier of the two. "Hi. My name's Eric," the drummer said. Although Eric was also smiling it seemed forced. Also, the look in his eyes made Dylan uneasy, like they were saying: "You better not screw this up." Dylan started shaking. What if he couldn't do this? He shut his eyes. Ty put his hands on Dylan's shoulders. "You okay, little buddy?" he asked. Dylan nodded but he really wasn't sure. "Just sing like the way you did earlier today." Dylan started to relax. He knew this might be his last chance to overcome his anxiety before it completely consumed him. He kept his eyes close and started singing "Simon" without thinking twice about it. When he finished, the whole band was silent, even Ty. Great, they hated it, Dylan said to himself. He started to panic. "Wow," Chase whispered. "That was amazing." "Yeah, it really was," Eric added, clearly impressed. Well, if Eric liked it then maybe I really can do this, Dylan thought. "See? what did I tell ya?" Ty chuckled while ruffling Dylan's hair. Dylan hadn't felt this happy in a long time. He felt like his life had just started over.
When Dylan and the rest of the band went to school the next day, they saw posters hung everywhere: "Sign up for the school talent show! Show us what you can do!" "This is perfect," Chase said. "We can show everyone how talented Dylan is." The problem was, "perfect" wasn't the word Dylan would have used. "Terrifying" would be more appropriate. "What do you mean? Who's Dylan?" The guys jumped when they heard the voice behind them. It was a girl with long dark hair, wearing a red top, yellow scarf and a red and black-striped skirt. She had a stern look on her face, like she rarely smiled. Ty put his arm around Dylan's shoulder. "He's our new kick-ass lead singer," he said with a smirk. Ty knew just how to make Dylan feel nervous, embarrassed, happy and proud at the same time. "Dylan, this is my cousin Beth. She's the school council president. Don't get too close or she'll suck the fun right out of you." Beth scoffed. "Whatever." She was clearly annoyed. Dylan wondered if this was just banter or if they really didn't like each other. "Besides, if it wasn't for me this talent show, that I'm sure you guys will be performing at, wouldn't happen," Beth added. She now had a smirk on her face, like Ty's. "Well, thanks. If the whole school knows about us, think about how big we could be," Eric said with a smile. Dylan felt that Eric was trying to hide how excited he was. Chase, on the other hand, was grinning from ear to ear. Beth rolled her eyes. She stuck out her hand for Dylan to shake it. "Nice to meet you, Dylan." "Same here," he said as they shook hands. He looked up and saw her give a friendly smile. "Let me know if my cousin gives you any trouble," she added, like she could send Ty to the principal's office if she wanted to. "Principal's pet," Ty mumbled. Beth pretended not to hear him. Beth waved at the band before she walked away. "Sorry about her, little buddy. She's one of a kind," Ty said while shaking his head. Dylan smiled. "I guess that runs in the family." Ty laughed loudly. Chase followed and Eric chuckled. Dylan had never made anyone laugh before. This must be what it was like to have friends. He liked it.
Over the next few weeks, Dylan and the band practiced songs at Ty's garage. Dylan like being around them. When they said he could sing, he was even starting to believe it. Dylan had never felt more comfortable singing around people. No more sneaking into the bathroom to sing (and cry). He quietly sang to himself at lunch, in the library, in the computer lab and outside. He was sure no one could hear him. He knew he would have to face his fears at the talent show, praying what happened in 8th grade wouldn't happen again. But for now, he was singing because he liked to. One day at lunch Dylan was sitting with the band when a girl ran up to them. "Oh my God! It's you!" She shouted while pointing at Dylan. "Me?" he asked while pointing to himself. "Yeah. You're the guy who I always see sing to himself," she answered with a smile. Dylan did everything he could not to panic. So much for staying under the radar until the talent show, he thought. "Hey, Janna," Eric smiled. He stood up and kissed her on the cheek. "Talk about awkward," Chase whispered to Ty. Ty just grinned. "Oh man, I forgot. Dylan, this is my girlfriend Janna," Eric explained. "Janna, this is Dylan, the new lead singer of our band." Janna had long, dark purple hair, wore a light purple halter top and short cut-off denim blue jeans. "Hi there!" She beamed. Dylan started to relax. "Sorry I scared you. I just really wanted to meet you. I've known Eric and the band since middle school and I'm glad they finally have a great singer," Janna apologized. "Well, it's nice to meet you, too." Dylan said, clearly trying to hide his blush. Suddenly, several students gathered around the band. There was no way they hadn't heard Janna. They started asking the band a thousand questions, almost all of them about Dylan. "You guys are gonna be blown away by Dylan's voice," Ty bragged. "Yeah, I never thought we would find a singer with real talent," Eric added. "On top of that, he's just a really nice guy," Chase grinned. Janna looked to Dylan, who was bent over with his hands on his knees and his eyes closed. He was trying to breathe but was overwhelmed by what was happening. This was bad.
Dylan was doing everything he could to stay calm. If he was listening correctly, the guys in the band were praising him, and when he was with them it was the happiest he had been in a long time. So, why was this happening? Why couldn't he just be around people? Why couldn't he forget about that stupid 8th grade talent show? What was wrong with him? Suddenly, he heard voices. "Excuse me," Chase said. "Uh, trying to get through here," Eric grumbled, annoyed. "Move it!" Ty shouted. What's happening? Dylan thought. Then, he felt a hand on his back. "What's wrong, Dylan? Are you sick or something?" Janna asked with concern in her voice. When he opened his eyes and lifted his head, he saw the crowd giving him peculiar looks. Just as he was about to freak out again, he saw Ty, Chase, Eric and Janna with worried looks on their faces. "Dylan, are you okay?" Chase asked. Before Dylan could respond, the bell rang. All the students left the cafeteria and walked to their next classes. Saved by the bell, he thought. As bad as he felt for not telling his friends what was wrong, what happened in the cafeteria was just too much. Once again, he felt pathetic that he couldn't handle being around other people. He couldn't take this anymore. He had held all his insecurities and fears inside. He needed to let them out if he was going to move on with his life. When he got home, the pained look on his face was impossible to hide. "Honey, what's wrong?" his mom asked while giving him a hug. Dylan let out a shaky voice. "Things have been happening at school lately." "What do you mean?" she asked, clearly confused. Dylan closed his eyes. "It's happening again. I'm losing control."
The look in his mom's eyes gave away that she knew exactly what he meant. Without saying another word, they walked into the living room and sat on a light brown leather couch. Dylan's heart was pounding vigorously but he knew he had to find to stop having these feelings. "Mom, a couple of weeks ago in Science class we were learning about different diseases. When we got to cancer..." Dylan trailed off. His mom didn't say anything but the look on her face said, "Please continue." He started again. "When we got to cancer, I excused myself to the bathroom. I cried for a while because every day I'm scared that the cancer will come back and you'll be taken away from me." He looked at his mom, trying to hold back the tears. However, there was only sympathy in her eyes. That's how his mom always was. Strong and positive, no matter what. He wishes he could be that way. He gave her a small smile. "Out of nowhere, I started singing to feel better and a guy named Ty heard me. He said he liked my voice and wanted me to audition to be the singer in his band Shooting Star. We're planning on competing in the school's talent show soon." His mom was grinning from ear to ear. "That's great, sweetie! I'm so proud of you!" I wonder how proud you'll be when I tell you how much of a coward I am, Dylan said to himself. His smile turned into a grimace. "Yeah, but the thing is some of the kids at school had heard me sing in the hallways, and at lunch today they surrounded me and the band. It was too much and started having a panic attack. I shut my eyes and struggled to breathe." Just as Dylan was about to that again, his mom pulled him in for a hug. "Dylan, I think I know why you haven't told your friends in the band this. You think they'll judge you. But when you're going through something difficult you need to surround yourself with people you care about, not close yourself off from the world." Dylan silently nodded. That was what he had been doing. No more secrets and no more fear. He would sing, play in a band with his friends and be happy. It wasn't going to be easy, but life never was. Besides, he couldn't possibly have a bigger breakdown than the ones he had before...right?
The next day at school Dylan was startled when he saw Janna running up to him, with Beth not far behind. "There you are, Dylan! We were all so worried about you!" She exclaimed. Dylan couldn't hide his small smile. This girl sure had a lot of energy. It was almost hard to believe she and Eric were dating. They were so different. Dylan glanced over his shoulder and saw Beth. He wasn't as nervous as he had been when he first met her. "Ty told me what happened. Are you okay? Will you still be able to do the talent show tomorrow?" Beth asked. She seemed genuinely concerned. "Yeah," Dylan said. He was tired of making everyone worry about him. He knew what he had to do. "Can you get the band together and ask them if we can meet at Ty's house after school? There's something I have to talk to them about." Janna and Beth shared a tense, worried look but quickly hid it. "Sure! I'll call Eric," Janna said. "I still don't have the other guys' phone numbers." "Seriously? I thought you've known them since middle school," Beth groaned and rolled her eyes. Dylan tried not to smile at that. Even he had all their phone numbers and he's only known them for three weeks. "What can I say? Eric's the hottest one so he's the only one who gets my attention," Janna smirked. She could tell Beth was trying to hide her smile. Beth cleared her throat. "Anyway Dylan, I'll call Ty and Chase. Take it easy, okay?" "Okay," he replied. As the girls walked away, Dylan thought about the talk he would have the band. He was obviously nervous but remembered what his mom told him about letting people in and convinced himself he could do this.
After school Dylan met with the band and walked to Ty's house. When they went into Ty's bedroom Dylan and Ty sat on the bed, while Chase and Eric sat on the floor. Dylan composed his thoughts. "In 8th Grade, I entered a talent show. Singing was the one thing that made me happy. As soon as I started, the kids in the audience started laughing. They thought it was stupid that I never talked to anyone and now here I was trying to sing in front of them. Ever since then, I told myself that I wouldn't try to make friends because it never got me anywhere." Dylan could feel his body shaking. "Wow, Dylan. Those kids sounded like douchebags," Eric said with malice in his voice. "I know, but there's more. Ty, you told Eric and Chase about what happened when we met, right?" he asked Ty. Ty silently nodded. Eric and Chase did, too. "The reason I was in the bathroom was because in Science class we were learning about different diseases, including cancer. My mom is in remission, but it seems like she could die any day and it's hard for me not to think about that." He felt his heart pound harder and harder. "Oh my God, Dylan. That's terrible," Chase said, his own voice quivering. "I've just been through so much. I'm scared to do the talent show. If people laugh at me again, I don't know what I'm going to do." The guys didn't say anything for a moment. Why did Mom convince me to do this? Dylan grumbled. "Dylan, look at me," Ty said, more stern than usual. He slowly, nervously turned to Ty. "You're the best singer we've ever had in our band. We need you just as much as you need us. Besides, unlike the 8th grade talent show, you won't be alone. You'll have us, Beth, Janna and obviously you mom. You're not alone." Dylan looked at the guys and realized that Ty was right. He could do this. Chase jumped out of his seat. "Talent show, here we come!" he shouted. Everyone burst out laughing, even Eric. Dylan had never heard Eric laugh so loud before. He wasn't nervous anymore. In fact, he was almost excited for the talent show.
The talent show had finally arrived. At lunchtime, Dylan saw Janna pass out flyers for the talent show to everyone. Once again, he was struggling to stay calm, but thought about what his mom and Ty told him about not being alone. He wanted to make them proud. "Attention. All students entering the talent show please enter the auditorium at this time. All other students will enter when another announcement is given shortly," Beth said through the intercom. I can do this. I can do this, Dylan reassured himself. Then, he heard two guys whispering. "Have you seen the lame new singer for that band, Shooting Star?" "Yeah, he's that stupid, quiet guy who never talks to anyone. I'm sure he'll suck but at least we'll get a good laugh out of it." They both started laughing. Before Dylan could think twice, he ran out of the cafeteria and into the bathroom. Who was he kidding? He couldn't do this. Why did he even bother joining the band? If those two guys started laughing at him, the whole audience would, too. It would spread like a cancer. Then he started thinking about his mom's cancer and how she might never fully recover from it. Life was so unfair. What was the point of even singing? It didn't solve his problems. He was stupid for him to think music could heal anything. Dylan felt his heart break and started crying and screaming as loud as he could. "What the hell is that?! Is someone dying or something?! " Students in the cafeteria shouted. All the guys in the band looked at each other. "Guys, do you think that's..." Chase started to ask. Before he could finish, Ty ran out of the cafeteria. "Ty, wait! Where are you going?!" Eric yelled as he and Chase followed him. "That's Dylan! I know it is! We need to find him and fast!" He was running so fast he bumped into Janna, Beth and the principal. "Ty, we heard screaming and crying! Do you think it's Dylan?!" Janna panicked. "There's no doubt about it," Ty answered after catching his breath. "It's coming from this way," Beth pointed around the corner. Ty, Chase, Eric, Janna, Beth and the principal rushed to the boys' bathroom.
The guys and the band leaned against the bathroom door and could hear Dylan. "Let's get him out of there and make sure he's okay," the principal said. "Sir, please let us handle this," Eric said bravely. "I think he would be overwhelmed if you went in there. he might think he was in trouble or something." "Very well. Jenna, keep passing out flyers for the talent show. Janna, guide the performers to behind the stage. I'll help the teachers direct the students to the auditorium." "Yes, sir." Janna and Beth said in unison. As the principal and the girls walked down the hall, the guys entered the bathroom. Dylan was so loud he didn't hear them talking in the hallway or even come inside. "Dylan, what happened?" Chase asked while putting a hand on Dylan's shoulder. "These guys...they..." Dylan tried to say through sobs. "They were saying I was lame, and it was stupid for me to try to sing because I don't talk to anyone." Dylan was trying so hard to breathe he was sure he was about to pass out. "Those bastards!" Ty snarled with gritted teeth. He started to run out of the bathroom, but Eric grabbed his wrist. "Ty, wait! Beating up those guys won't solve anything!" Ty relaxed and stared at Dylan. "Listen, Dylan. You've come too far for a couple of assholes to bring you down. You're going to go out there, sing your heart out and show everyone what an amazing singer you are." It didn't exactly sound like a threat, but Dylan still didn't think he would get out of this one. "Ty's right, Dylan. You can do this. It's like he said before, you won't be alone like you were in 8th Grade. We'll be right be your side," Chase promised. His smile was so bright it overtook the darkness in Dylan's heart. "Okay," he whispered. He slowly stood up from the floor and the band exited the bathroom.
"There he is!" Janna shouted as she ran to hug Dylan, then kissed Eric on the cheek. "You really gotta work on finding your inside voice," Eric said. "Sorry about that. Dylan, look who I found!" Janna exclaimed. Dylan looked behind her and immediately felt more at ease than he had all day. His mom walked toward him, wearing her favorite yellow sun dress. "Hi, sweetie. I can't wait to see you sing." She held Dylan in her arms, and he struggled not to cry again, even if they would be happy tears. "I'll make you proud, mom," Dylan promised. She looked at the band. "Thank you all so much for taking care of Dylan. He's been through a lot and whenever he talks about you, it's the happiest I've seen him in a long time." The guys grinned. Ty put his arm around Dylan's shoulder. "You ready to do this, little buddy?" he smiled. "Yeah," Dylan said confidently. The band headed behind the stage while Dylan's mom and Beth all found their seats. Beth found the band and directed them to behind the stage. She gave Dylan a hug. "Good luck, Dylan. Don't worry about all those idiots out there. Just sing the best you can." "I'll try," he simply said. She waved goodbye and took a seat next to Janna. "Hey Dylan, what's the name of that song you like to sing?" Eric asked. "It's called 'Simon.'" Dylan said. "You guys know how to play it now, right?" "Like the back of our hands," Chase grinned. The band grabbed the instruments and Dylan stood in front of the microphone stand as the curtain started to go up. The principal took the stage. "Okay everyone, let's give a round of applause for our next act, the band "Shooting Star!"
While Dylan tried his hardest to only hear the applause, all he could hear were the two guys from earlier shouting, "Seriously? This loser thinks he can sing? What a joke!" "Hey dude! Knock it off or he might start crying! Oh wait, he did that already in the bathroom! Maybe he'll do it again!" All the students started laughing. The principal and the teachers did their best to try to diffuse the situation, but it wasn't working. Well, this is it. I guess I'll be alone and miserable forever, Dylan thought. "What a bunch of jerks!" Janna shrieked. "I know. I hope Dylan will be okay," Beth said quietly. It was the first time Janna, or anyone, had seen her so nervous. "Please, Dylan. Be strong," his mom prayed. "What do we do, Eric?" Chase asked. "I don't know," Eric whispered as he shook his head. Dylan was about to run off the stood, run home, lock his bedroom door and hide in there forever when Ty grabbed his wrist. "Don't you dare run away now, Dylan," Ty whispered with a shaky, angry voice. Ty stood in front of the microphone took a deep breath and... "EVERYONE SHUT THE FUCK UP RIGHT FUCKIN' NOW!!!" He screamed from the top of his lungs. The entire auditorium immediately went silent. He then glared at the guys who teased Dylan, clenched his teeth and growled. They both looked like they were going to pee their pants. He looked back at Dylan and smirked. "Now's your chance to shine, little buddy. You got this." Dylan didn't feel much of anything anymore. He was an empty shell. He didn't feel the happiness he had for the last month since meeting the band, but he also didn't feel the anxiety, fear, and pain of the last three years. He didn't think about anything. He didn't think about much of anything anymore. His mind was blank He just heard the band start playing the beginning of the song, closed his and started doing the one that made him happy: singing.
"Dylan has the most beautiful voice I've ever heard," Janna whispered to Beth. "I know. I can really feel the pain when he sings," Beth replied. Dylan's mom smiled as she looked to the stage. "Thank you, Shining Star." I don't know what my son would do without you." When the song was over rand Dylan had sang his final note, the entire audience erupted in cheers and applause and started chanting: "Dylan! Dylan! Dylan!" Even the two bullies were chanting it. He didn't even try to stop the tears. They were happy tears. It was the first time he ever cried happy tears. But then again, every time he was around his band, he felt happy. When the band stepped off the stage, his mom ran up to him and give him the biggest hug ever. "Oh, honey! That was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen!" "Thanks, mom" he smiled as he wiped tears from his eyes. Janna, Beth, the principal and practically every single person in the entire school congratulated him. Some of them even thanked him for the performance. Dylan wasn't sure he had ever felt so proud and happy before. After today, he was sure he was ready for what the world had to throw at him. I guess it's true what they say, he thought. Music is healing.
Author Notes: Contians some mature language (especially at the end) and mature themes such as depresison and cancer. But does hav ena overall message of hope.