Keep on Singing

Posted on: December 31, 2013

“Sorrysorrysorry,” Scott said, hustling up the hill.

“You should be,” Matt answered playfully, but Scott’s known him long enough to detect the sincerity hiding behind his words.

“Give him a break,” Dawn interjected. “We’ve got all day.”

“You know I’m just giving him a hard time,” Matt replied.

“Seriously, Matt,” Natalie chimed in. “I’m sure whatever’s going on with Scott is WAY more pressing than my pregnancy. God knows you guys had to cover for me a time or two during the nine months I was carrying a living creature around in my belly; feeding it, nurturing it, projectile vomiting because of it. ”

“Thank you, Dawn. F-you, Matt and Natalie.” Scott said, taking a swig of water.

Matt and Natalie’s high five overpowered the sound of Scott’s gurgling.

“GUYS,” Matt shouted.

“WHAT?” the others responded in unison.

“We did it!”

“Did what?” Scott asks.

“We kept this thing going for an ENTIRE YEAR!”

Matt blew his tuning whistle in celebration.

“Did you think we wouldn’t?” Dawn asked.

“Of course! Several times.”

“What the hell, Matt?” Natalie screamed, the pitch of her voice slapping Matt in the back of the head like she would’ve if she was within arm’s reach.

“Come ON. You mean to tell me you didn’t question our longevity for even the tiniest second? I don’t want to point any middle fingers or anything, but I know for a fact Scott did.”

Scott cleared his throat.

“And you did too, Natalie!”

“Those were the hormones talking.”

“I did too,” Dawn mumbled into the sleeve of her beige cardigan.

“Thou who hath not SINNED,” Matt spat, blowing the tuning whistle again to accent his point.

“But Matt’s right,” Dawn continued, “WE MADE IT A YEAR.”

Everyone “Woo-hoo’d,” at erratic pitches.

“That’s about how we sounded at our first practice,” Scott quipped once the chaotic noise subsided.

“HA. You ain’t kidding,” Matt confirmed. “My voice had the range of a bass drum back then.”

“I wouldn’t say any of us really mastered our craft at that point,” Dawn reassured him.

“Let’s not focus on our lows,” Natalie spoke up. “Let’s revel in our successes. We’ve managed to get a nice little following going.”

“You mean the close friends and family we begged to ‘Like‘ us on Facebook,” Scott clarified.

Bah-dah-tish,” Matt added.

“Ha, ha. But seriously, we may not fill auditoriums or anything, but people show up to every one of our shows,” Natalie reminded.

“EXACTLY,” Dawn agreed. “And we’ve inspired a bunch of others to hop on stage and lend us their talents from time to time.”

“Speaking of, where’s Luther?” asked Scott.

“Yeah, where’s everyone?” Natalie joined.

“They’re actually not coming,” Matt announced.

“WHAT?” The others barked.

“NOW,” Matt clarified. “They’re not coming NOW. They should be showing up in about an hour or so.”

“Then what were you giving me shit for?” Scott yapped.

“Because I’ve been giving you shit for almost fifteen years! Your brain would implode if I didn’t.”

“Oh. You’re probably right.”

“Seriously though, Matt, what’s up?” Natalie asked.

“Well, as we’ve previously established, we’ve been together for A YEAR NOW.”

Matt paused for a celebratory shout.

“No cheer this time? Okay. Well, I know this may sound a little sappy, but...”

“Aww, are you proposing!” Scott joked.

“Kill the moment why don’t you, SCOTT. Jeez!”

“Continue, Matt,” Dawn said, always a fan of heartfelt admissions.

“As I was SAYING,” Matt continued, shooting a glare at Scott,”I just wanted to let you guys know how much I’ve enjoyed collaborating with you over the last year. I’ve made a go of it on my own a few times in the past, but it always ended up as me just singing into the wind. And although our Facebook ‘following’ would suggest we’re still kind of harmonizing into thin air, at least we’ve found a nice rhythm together. Even if you’re the only ones who actually hear my baritone self, that’s enough to keep me doing this for the foreseeable future.”

“He IS proposing,” Scott cut in.

“SCOTT,” Dawn and Natalie scolded.

“I’m KIDDING. Sorry, Matt. You know sentimental moments bring out the seven year old in me, but I agree. This group has freed me from the shackles of my white-collar 9-to-5, and I apologize for keeping you my dirty little secret for as long as I did.”

“Oh YEAH. I forgot about that.” Matt said.

“Successes, Matt,” Natalie reiterated. “Let’s focus on our successes. And I agree. I, like Matt, have been down a handful of solo roads myself, and I gotta say, I’m liking the way it feels to be a part of this clique. If I didn’t just start a family of my own, you guys would definitely be my favorite family of 2013.”

Matt, Natalie and Scott turned towards the sniffles coming from the neckline of Dawn’s cardigan.

“Dawn?” Matt asked.

Dawn poked her head out from under the front of her sweater, a piece of lint clinging to the hinge of her glasses.

“I’m sorry, that was just...”

She paused to gain composure and continued.

“That was just beautiful, you guys! I know you three have known each other for over a decade, and I’ve only been a part of your lives for a year, but it just feels like we’ve been doing this since grade school, you know?”

“Aww Dawn,” the others caroled.

With everyone too choked up to speak, the four founding members of The Notebooks huddled together on the scenic hilltop for a jubilant group hug. As they waited for the other bandmates to arrive, Matt and Scott continued giving each other shit, Natalie shared photos of her newborn daughter and Dawn made the others look like underachievers by sharing the songs she’d already penned for next year’s setlist.

“So who’s ready to make an album cover?” Matt asked as the other a-cappella singers began making their way up the hill.

“How are we doing this again?” asked Dawn.

“In the most cliché way possible,” Matt answered.

Written by: Mark Killian
Photograph by: Emily Blincoe

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