Alex, Noah, Nathan and Daniel stood in the middle of their hotel room around the center table where their invitation lay untouched. They hadn’t planned to go to the party since they would be leaving the city in 5 hours but their flight got canceled at the last moment. Now all four of them were stuck here in their hotel, nowhere to go and nothing to go. Alex grabbed the invitation and headed to the nearest sofa to take a seat.
“THE 20TH ANNUAL RED NOTES GALA and Christmas party, requests the pleasure of your company at Blah blah balh” Alex reads the rest quietly while the others take their seats around him. Alex finishes reading and places the invitation back on the table. Everyone takes turns reading it over and contemplation their next move. Nathan is the first to speak “I think we should go, just for a little while. What do you think?”
“It’s a gala” Noah whines.
“Don’t want to” Daniel says without looking at anyone.
“Isn’t it weird they want to invite a pop-rock band to a classical musical gala? Aren’t you even a little bit curious why they would invite us?” Daniel tries to spark interest in the others. Noah looks interested after Daniel’s comments but doesn’t agree right away. “It is weird and we have nothing better to do so why not?” Alex finally chimes in. After Alex’s approval Noah agrees to go as well but Daniel remains in his place still adamant to not go. Noah rushes off to get dressed, so does Alex. Nathan and Daniel were the only ones left in the room. Nathan walks over to Daniel observing Daniel’s movement and trying to find the best way to convince him.
“I’m not going. Don’t try to convince me. It won’t work” Daniel says without looking away from his phone.
“Come on!!! Do you have something better to do…?” Nathan continues before Daniel can answer “…No. Right? All you’ll do is staring at your phone. Do us all a favor and let’s go.” Nathan snatches Daniel’s phone, grabs his arm and ushers him to his room. Nathan picks an outfit for Daniel and forces him to get dressed holding his phone hostage.
Within 15 minutes everyone changes into their outfits for the party and head out. Alex had informed their manager who had sent a car to pick and drop them at the venue. Through the city their car travels, all around the city they see snow and people shopping with their families. The scenes remind Daniel of holidays he spent at home with his mom and dad. Daniel brushes away the memory and returns to his phone. They arrive at the party an hour late and are quite under-dressed for the occasions.
Men in tuxedos and women in ball gowns turned to look at all four of them as they walk past them to the other side of the hall. Daniel takes a drink as the waiter passes by and the rest of the boys stare at the great hall they are in. Soon after a man wakes up to them and introduces himself as a Fredric Walsh a violinist at the London special arts conservatory.
“And you are?” Fredric enquires.
“We are B2U, I’m Nathan I play base, and this is Alex our main vocalist, Noah our main guitarist and Daniel our drummer. We’re a pop-rock band” Nathan explains.
“B2U? Ahhh you’re the band my little sister listens to. Do you really believe what you play is music Daniel? It’s more like nuisance to me.” Fredric challenges Daniel.
Daniel laughs at Fredric and then his laugh fades away “At least it’s better than your screeching violin” Daniel takes the last sip of his drink and walks away. Fredric furious walks away and rejoins the crowd he was with before. Daniel walks past most of the guest, takes the stairs to the second floor where there are fewer people. He walks till he reaches the terrace of the hall and is complete alone. Seeing Fredric again brought back forgotten memories which made him extremely furious. He started to walk back and forth deciding what to do and decided on leaving the gala and returning back to the hotel. Before he could leave Nathan, Alex and Noah come rushing to find him.
“Are you OK? Why did you walk away?” Nathan tries to enquire but Daniel just pushes him away and walks past him. Nathan grabs Daniel by his arm and forces him to face the rest of the band. “Dude, if something’s wrong just tell us” Nathan asks.
“Let go of me Nathan. I’ve had it with you and the way you push me around all the time. I said I didn’t want to come but you made me. Is it so hard for all of you to understand ‘NO’” Daniel snaps at them and Nathan lets him go. “Fine” Alex finally says breaking the silence and Takes Noah and Nathan and leaves Daniel alone.
Soon after the boys leave Daniel walks to the door but he is unable to because the doors are slam shut. Daniel pulls on the door but it doesn’t move an inch and so he starts banging and calling out the boys for playing with him. “It won’t open” a girl’s voice comes from behind. Daniel turns to find a teenage girl in a black gown sitting on the railing. “What?” Daniel says confused by the girl and her sudden appearance. “I said it won’t open because I’m the one who closed it” Daniel even more confused than before.
“Let me explain, I’m Serena and I’m like your Christmas guardian angel kind of a person…” Serena starts but Daniel cuts in “Guardian angel, Like Christmas past, present and future. Yeah! No. Just open the door”.
“I’m not Christmas past, present or future that has gotten really old. I’ve got one job that is to make you realize your mistake by 12 or…” Daniel cuts in again “Or what I live through my mistakes over again”. “Stop cutting in, or else you fade away from this existence. Realize your mistake or you never exist” Serena furiously explains her purpose and opens the door.
Daniel walks back into the hall, takes the stairs back to the ground floor and heads towards the main door to leave. As soon as he takes a step out of the hall Serena jumps on him from behind and makes him fall to the ground. To Daniel’s surprise no one inside paid any attention to what just happened. “Get off me!!” Daniel struggles to move Serena. “Sorry but I have to do this. You have 3 hours to realize your mistake or you will fade away. If you don’t believe me look at your right hand.”
“How am I supposed to do that with you pinning me down” Daniel explains. Serena gets off Daniel and allows him to stand up. She then points at Daniel’s hand and he reluctantly looks at his hand which has now turned translucent. Daniel finds it very weird and sudden so to prove that his hand has faded he passes it through Serena’s head. His faded hand passes through her head with ease and so Daniel starts to panic passing his hand through anything solid.
“What the hell”
“I told you this would happen. Now do as I say or you know…” point at Daniel’s hand “…one more thing this will be hard” Serena says before disappearing into the crowded hall. Daniel looks at his hand again, stares at it intensely for a whole minute before Noah’s voice breaks his concentration. Daniel look up to see Noah walking past a crowd and runs in his direction to catch up to him. Noah rejoins the other as they all laugh and clink their glasses. Daniel approaches them but seeing them happy without him makes Daniel want to run away.
Daniel considers running away from all this but his disappearing hand brings his thoughts to a halt. He thinks hard for the mistake he made, his thoughts run all over the place from his childhood days to a few minutes ago. He starts to consider every mistake he has ever made and tries to figure out which mistake could Serena be taking about. The crowd starts to walk past him as if he doesn’t exist. Daniel heads to his friends to talk to them about what is happening to him.
Daniel reaches them “Guys I have a problem…”
“Who are you?” Alex asks.
“Guys stop joking I have serious problem, I’m fading away. See.” Daniel shows them his hand.
“Dude, we are being serious. Who are you?” Alex asks again.
“It’s me, Daniel. I play drums in our band”
“Our drummer isn’t here, if you’re a fan maybe we can…” Nathan chaims in.
“No!!! I’m your drummer, Daniel. Why don’t you remember me” Daniel walks off murmuring to himself, the boys watch him go. Daniel walks back to the terrace, he finally believes Serena’s word about him fading away. Daniel checks the time on his phone for the time and sees he only has 30 minutes before midnight. Daniel walks over to the edge and stares into space as the snow starts falling. As Daniel witnesses the falling snow his mind reminds him of all the good days he has spent, from his days as a violinist playing with Fredric and to his days with his band touring the world playing music he wants the world to listen to. Then he remembers all the bad days, the day Fredric won the best child violinist award instead of Daniel and in anger he broke Fredric’s special violin, the day his band mates surprised him on his birthday and ruined it by throwing a tantrum for no reason. Other memories of how Daniel’s actions brought harm to his friends came floating in. With each memory Daniel’s eyes fill with tears and as each tear falls a part of Daniel fades away. Serena watches as Daniel finally breaks down.
Daniel while crying starts to take to himself “I’ve done wrong all my life. I’ve made mistakes everyone has. I was wrong when I broke Fredric’s violin, I was wrong to treat him badly, I was wrong to take the guys for granted. I was wrong to treat them horribly. If I could go back I would try to change everything, I’d try to be a better friend, a better…”
“That’s so sweet” Serena walks towards Daniel “but you see you can’t turn back time all you can do is make the present better”
“How long have you been there?”
“A very long time, heard you say everything and that was really sweat”
“So does that mean I’ll stop fading?” Daniel asks with watery eyes.
“Ohh. Kind of, I mean you still have to apologize to your friends or did you think it was that simple.” Serena takes Daniel by his arm and takes him to the main hall “Now go apologize and you’ll stop fading.” Daniel does as Serena say and goes to his friends who are unexpectedly taking to Fredric again.
“Guys” all four of them turn towards Daniel “I don’t know if you remember me or not or was it just my imagination but I want…I just want o tell you I’m sorry for how I treated you. You all have been my friends and I took you for granted and did unspeakable things to you” addressing Fredric and then Alex, Noah and Nathan “and lashed out on you or no reason. I’m really sorry and if you don’t want to be my friends anymore or want to kick me out of the band I will understand. You don’t deserve someone like me you deserve better.”
Daniel waits for one of them to speak but they all look at each other. Noah is the first to speak this time “Daniel” Noah goes to hug him and Daniel lets him “Are you kidding me why would we kick you out? We know you and we know what you do, you don’t mean to hurt us but you just apologized for those actions and I forgive you.” Hearing this Daniel returns the hug, Alex and Nathan join in. When they finally let go of each other Daniel walk over to Fredric “I’m sorry” Fredric hugs him as well signaling that he forgives Daniel as well.
All five of them enjoy the rest of the party together. It’s after midnight and Alex, Noah and Daniel wait outside for the car. Fredric and Nathan are at the door behind them. “It worked!!” Fredric finally says.
“I can’t believe it either” Serena walks into the conversation from behind.
“You did great, finally made him realize that he can’t push us away even if he wanted to” Nathan says with a big smile.
“Well don’t give me all the credit, you two came up with the plan. I just did what I had to also Fredric now you have to take me your little sister to all B2U concerts. That was the deal” Serena says excitedly “It was a win-win situation”
The car for the boys arrives and Noah waves for Nathan to come. Nathan says his goodbyes and leaves. Fredric and Serena walk towards their car.
“I’m happy Daniel and you are friends again”
“Same here Serena”