So Cory was a little nervous. But it came with a rush and before he knew it, Casey was wanting to play Christmas Carols at this food drive. Of course, it started with a cool electric version of a Steve Miller favorite.
True, they'd never done any charity work before, but it was hit. They had a load of canned goods and boxed dinners in the corner. And suddenly, Ali was the center of it all.
Cory didn't question it. He went with it. Suited up his electric and got busy, pushing every solo note possible to help out with the rest. He could see Ali wasn't used to it. Exactly. Being part of the band, enduring long songs, but somehow she belted it out as if she might have been an old soul in a Burlesque house. Except it came from her voice, not her body. And yet, he couldn't stop watching. He did his best to follow her lead. Hell, they were making this up as they went along. Cory couldn't help but smile at the spontaneity of it all.
And there was a crowd. People had wanted to see them..there in the dark. The pink lights glistened over the crowd. They danced. They stood there and swayed in the grove.
First he was pessimistic. They were standing around kind of numb. No reaction from the crowd, but once they got going by the final set, there was pushing and a certain roar that kept the band going. It was exhausting. Thank God they only did this on weekends or Cory wasn't sure he'd have the stamina for it.
"You know you would." Ali was optimistic after the show. She found him a cold bottle of water. When she gave him a pat on the back after the show, Cory couldn't help but smile. She was so thankful for the opportunity. There was nothing conceited about her. Unlike their fearless leader who was ready to give himself to anyone who's have him.
There was no Lucy around. Cory was sort of hurt that she hadn't stayed. But she'd been distant for some time now. He guessed it was his fault. But their little moment in his room hadn't gone quite as well as maybe she'd expected. He'd been put off by her. Now he didn't even know how to talk to her. It was complicated. He'd been hoping for something different with her.
Now he found himself with Ali. And it was quaint. She talked about the music with him. Asked him if he had any suggestions.
"Do you even think there will be a next time?" She seemed kind of unsure. As if maybe she wasn't what the band wanted. A short fat girl who was more than a backup singer.
"Of course, there will be." Cory grinned. She was the only thing he'd felt close to in this band for a long time.