Friday 27 January 2012

#fridayflash: Matthew

I never liked Matt much. He was brash, cocky, insufferable. But he was Rob’s second. I guess that counted for a lot because that was probably why I consented to date him a couple of weeks before he died. I would have liked to think that he was being reckless because I dumped him, but that’s just crap. He was always reckless. Well, it definitely wasn’t depression or some secret death wish. Matt thought too much of himself for that. He was more likely trying to prove me wrong because I told him he was a spineless little idiot. Which he was.

Our little gang consisted of Robert, Matthew, Brian, Elizabeth and me. Frankly, in most cases you wouldn’t be far wrong to think that Matt was our leader. He was always the one out there making the statements, being obnoxious and, in some cases, getting us out of trouble with his fast talking. You could say he was our public face.

If you put Rob and Matt head-to-head, they’d probably come out pretty even, except that Rob had brains and used them. He was saucy, of course, but he knew when to keep his head down. That’s why he stayed in charge. Matt just liked to be the centre of attention, even if it got him into unnecessary trouble. He only did things he thought would impress the people he looked up to. I know. I dated him, remember? So what if it was only for a week? You learn a lot about a person in a week of close contact. He was always worrying about what Rob thought about him, checking out of the corner of his eye whether he had Rob’s approval. Hell, I was his girlfriend, he should have been looking for my approval. Ask him to do anything when no one was watching, he’d just scowl at you and say it wasn’t worth his time.

But anyway, Rob thought highly of him. So when Matt asked me out I said I’d give it a try. I figured the boss must have seen something in him to make him his second, right? I did warn him upfront that I didn’t like him much but he could give his best shot to persuade me otherwise. He started off by bragging about all himself. Like how he cheated on his tests to get his perfect scores. And how rich daddy was. And how he’d had just about every girl in our class already. Way to turn on the new girlfriend, no? We were fourteen. I told him to his face that he was lying. He asked me to prove him wrong. I pointed out that he barely talked to any of the girls in class and never had. “Don’t need to talk to have sex,” he said. “You need to talk to invite them out first,” I replied. He just brushed me off and went on about the fights he had won. I don’t know. You want a guy to be manly and macho, but that doesn’t necessarily translate into him picking fights, right? Especially since he was normally bigger than them.

So when Rob wanted to do something I didn’t want to, I thought why not just tell Matt to ask him to change his plans just once? I mean, they were tight, weren’t they? He stared at me as if my brains were oozing out of my ears and said, “I could never betray Rob.” I was thinking, betray? What were they - lovers? So I told him forget it. If he was such a loser I would be better off dating Rob than him, right? Why settle for second best? Dumped him.

Week after that, he goes off on some crazy dare and dashed across the busiest road in town. I think he likely gave the poor truck driver a heart attack. He survived that one. I started to think it was high time I stopped hanging out with these nut jobs. A week later, while I’m still figuring out how to make my grand exit, he climbs up to the roof of our four-storey school building because Rob says he’s chicken. The boy doesn’t have sense. He just took the dare, slipped off and it’s lights out.

For a while after that everyone was tip-toeing about Rob as if he was so fragile because his best friend had died in a freak accident. You know the craziest part? Rob never shed a tear for him. 


So there's progress on the musical script, still tentatively named "Daniel". We really need a better name, but I suck at names. Meh. Played around with Stage32 and put up the project just for the heck of it. Check it out here. Status is, I've fleshed out the adoptive parents a little bit, and worked on Scene 3 where Daniel gets sent to the dead boy's elite, rich kid school. Couldn't keep calling him "dead boy" or "ex son" so I christened him Matthew, or Matt. This works out into a song and dance about what Matt used to be like and why Daniel doesn't measure up and because they're a rowdy bunch of kids, Daniel gets roughed up, leading to Scene 4 where Dad goes, this never happened with MY son. Or something like that.
Then I figured, I really have no idea who Matt is (not like I know that much about Daniel either), so I got one of the girls in the gang, Diane, to pick him apart. Diane sounds likely to be sympathetic to Daniel because he stands up for what he believes in, which is the opposite of what she hated about Matt. Maybe will work that out a wee bit in Scene 5. Scene 5 will be the closure for the first act, I hope, with some kind of truce between who he's supposed to be and who they want him to be. I don't know how much resolution I should put in yet. You kind of want something of a cliff hanger or a touching thing right before intermission, right?

Now if Daniel Chan Sr, our wonderful songwriter, will get round to giving me some music and lyrics, that might really help the progress of the script. I currently have blocks of areas that go "Cue song: [random title]. This should talk about xxxxx and lead up to xxxxx". *cue major HINT here* I'm thinking of penning some lyric ideas in, but I don't really know how to work that out.