Song 13 ♪ In The End (It Was No Biggie)

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As the phone rang my hands begun to tremble and my mouth begun a cursing fest all by itself.

"Code red," Ashton told his brother.

Cool like ice Ayrton nodded. "What's the alibi?"

Ashton caught my eye for a quick second as he looked around. He put two fingers in his mouth and whistled so loud that the entire establishment fell silent. All eyes were on him as he climbed onto a table.

"I apologize for the disturbance, ladies and gents, but we have an emergency on our hands."

He waited for a beat until he was sure he had everybody's attention but mine. My eyes had gone back to my cellphone's screen on time to see my ma's name disappear. This was even worse because not picking up right away meant I was not paying attention, which could be interpreted as I was up to something she wouldn't like.

"We need just a second of silence to bail our friend out from the wrath of an evil step mother."

Step mother?

To my surprise the murmur that ran through the tables was one of agreement. Ashton turned back to us and climbed out. He pulled his cellphone out and at the same time told his brother, "We need to pretend we're at music club practice."

My eyes widened. "My ma can sniff out a lie no matter how many miles are between us."

Ayrton smiled at me. "No worries, we're pros. Call her back."

Ash searched for something on his phone and gave me a thumbs up.

I called her back. My entire body was going through hot flashes as the phone rang.

Then Ashton stuck his phone close to mine, with loud symphonic music. Ma picked up right then.

"Vera Maria?"

The music stopped. But not in the sudden way of someone hitting pause. It stopped in a clash of instruments not being harmonized into a simultaneous end.

Ayrton cleared his throat and then his voice came out in a boom. "And just who said it was alright to take out their cellphone in the middle of practice?"

The haze of fear for my ma cleared up enough then that I could finally catch on. We were pretending to already be in practice. All around me people looked on in interest. I had to put a show for my sake.

I gasped. "Ma, I can't talk right now. I gotta go."

"Oh no, you won't. I asked you clearly for a text message when you arrived-"

Ayrton got in my face and said, "Go ahead, we'll just stop our entire practice so you can have your private conversation."

It wasn't hard to feign urgency. I really wanted the call to end. "Ma, I promise I'll call you back tonight. Bye!"

Then I hung up.

We all waited in silence as I looked down at my phone, half expecting that she'd call again. And she normally would, but she must have realized this time that she was gonna get me in trouble with school if she did, because the phone remained still.


As I exclaimed this the twins gave each other high fives and a few of the customers started clapping. The background music came back on and when I turned I found their aunt fiddling with the sound system behind the bar.

"The trouble brothers are back, huh?" she said with a smile. "I bet you missed this."

Ayrton shrugged and didn't admit anything. "It was for a good cause."

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