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Michael and Thomas are the formers of a music duo called: Casa Musica, for several months. After they played some gigs together, they decided that music was more than just a hobby for them and they wanted to make it their daily activity. So they auditioned for sailing cruises as a musical act. Not long after their audition they got confirmation that they’ve been selected and their adventure at sea begins. An adventure with lots of music, but also romance and friendship.
Chapter one: Casa Musica
The coldest day of the winter so far, was drawing to a close. The village Etely Mountain was laying motionless under a thick blanket of snow. The chimneys puffed out thick clouds of smoke, and the streets were deserted. No human nor animal ventured out if that was not necessary. Outside, the Christmas decorations were hanging, which made the streets forming a beautiful picture, as if it had jumped directly from a Christmas card.
Violins lane number 44 was no different, thanks to the beautiful Christmas tree inside, and the twinkling lights outside, there was a cozy Christmas atmosphere hanging around and the upbeat music that came out of the basement, where Michael and Thomas had their rehearsal room and where they intensely rehearsed with their group Casa Musica for months every Saturday night, made sure father and mother Hart lingered in a soothing atmosphere.
“They make such wonderful music in there.” Sighed Maria, as she sank deeper into the sofa while she closed her eyes. Berton sat next to her on the couch, he putted away his newspaper, got up and went to the window that overlooked the street. It was true, he thought, they do make wonderful music. He sighed deeply.
“Do you think they will make it out there? In that big world I mean?” He asked Maria. “I sure hope so, I mean the performances they have done so far were all a success!” said Maria reassuring.
Berton said nothing, he was thinking. In a few months they will sail their first cruise, a few weeks ago they had sent out an audition video, and a couple of days later they already had the confirmation that they were selected to set sail. That was already a good start, thought Berton.
Michael was 19 and Thomas 20, they already knew each other since primary school and were used to play along together. In short they were friends for a very long time by now. A while ago, Michael came up with the idea to form a band together, and when they first met for a small jam session, they already had an amount of covers that they could bring together almost immediately.
Meanwhile, they had also written several songs of their own and on the performances they have played so far, both the covers and their own songs had been a great success. On their first gig, a free podium at the local youth center, on which their friends and parents were also present, their own songs had been a great success.
Michael played acoustic guitar, bass, piano, and he could sing amazingly beautiful. Thomas also had a beautiful voice, but his ambitions were not singing. He had learned to play the drums on his own, Acoustic Guitar, Ukulele and Banjo. Together they made many tunes, which they had brought together to their own songs.
When they submitted their audition video, they never thought that they would be chosen, so they were incredibly happy when they received confirmation that they had been selected.
Their parents were very happy for them too, they had always been first in line when they were playing a gig and had also done a lot to support them in their band. The fathers were always busy helping them as roadies and their mothers even had created a banner for them with the name and band logo printed on it. That banner they brought with them at every gig they were playing from that moment on.
Even their friends supported them in every way possible. They had been present at every performance, and a few of them have always helped their fathers as roadies. Thomas and Michael also purchased a small P.A. System with the money they had earned so far, and one of their friends, who had a disco bar at home, was very excited when they asked him to adjust the sound for them. He did that also extremely well, and they had therefore mutually agreed that he would earn a few bucks at their gigs.
“Well, I think we are through the most important songs,” Michael said, “let’s take a break.”
“Good idea,” Thomas said, putting his guitar away and heading to the refrigerator instantly. “Do you want a beer too?” He asked Michael.
“Yes, please, say what are we going to do with Samuel?” Michael responded.
“I don’t know,” Thomas said. “Samuel does a great job with the sound adjustment, but do you think he would do it? After all we will be long and far away from home.” He added.
“We can ask him, after all he will be paid for it, just like us.” Michael said. We can ask him in a short time, he plays at the youth center tonight.”
“That’s a good idea!” Thomas replied.
For a time it was quiet, while they took a couple of small sips from their beers. A bit later, when they once again went through the playlist quickly and leaving their rehearsal room clean, they went upstairs.
“Mom, Dad! We are going to the youth center, Samuel plays there tonight.” Michael said to his parents when they came upstairs right into the living room.
“That’s good,” Maria said , “but be careful. And behave!” She added.
“Always!” Thomas said with a grin from ear to ear.
“And that is exactly why I said it!” Maria replied with a laugh. “Now go, have a great evening.”
“We will!” Michael replied through the garage door.
“Brrr it really is incredibly cold and slippery.” Michael said as he tried to keep himself up.
Thomas was riding beside him and could not resist to play as bogeyman, so he give Michael a little nudge.
“Come on man, race you there!” He said as he began to accelerate.
Michael followed his trail, and so it took only a short time until they arrived at the youth center.
“Ha! Won!” Thomas yelled in excitement. Michael putted away his bicycle.
“Yeah but I have let you win, just wait until tonight when i’m going to Finish you!” He laughed.
“Ha in your dreams!” Thomas said, “You could not possibly keep up with me!”
“That was true,” Michael thought, but he was not willing to say that out loud.
A couple moments later they were inside, Thomas was just going to get drinks, and Michael went being looking for a place to store their coats when Elise came up to him.
“Hi Michael! Are you alone?” She asked.
“No, Thomas is getting us something to drink, we’ve only just arrived.” Michael replied. “Are you here for a long time already?” He added.
“Only half an hour, I think, my Father had given me a ride and will pick me up later. He said it was too dangerous for me to come by bike on my own, like I’m still a child.” Elise said.
“Well, at least your comfortable.” Michael replied.
“I hope there will be more people coming.” Thomas said when he returned with their drinks.
“Oh, hi Elise, I didn’t know you were here, so I haven’t brought you anything, sorry.” Thomas added when he realized Elise was standing with them.
“Never mind.” Elise said.
“If you want I’ll go and get you something? Want a beer?” Asked Michael.
“That would be great!” She said.
“I’ll be right back!” Michael replied.
“I think he likes you.” Thomas said teasingly. “He’s just getting a drink for you.”
“Oh! You bully!” Said Elise while she gave him a smack on his shoulder.
Thomas laughed and when Michael came back he said: “Hey Michael, do you have to tell me something?”
“What? No. Why?” Michael asked slightly surprised.
“You just get a drink for her, Is there a reason for it?” Thomas said teasingly.
“No, I just wanted to be nice? There isn’t a reason needed for, Right?” Michael said.
“Oh, of course not!” Thomas said. “But I feel that there’s more behind it.” He thought.
An hour later, more people were arriving, also Samuel and he joined Michael, Thomas, and the rest of the gang of friends that was already there.
“Hi Samuel! Everything okay buddy?” Thomas asked when Samuel settled himself right next to him.
“Besides the extremely cold weather, I have no reason to complain!” Samuel replied. “And you? And Casa Musica?” He added.
“Well, its good that you ask because we wanted to talk to you about that. You helped us out a few times, with the sound? Right?” Thomas said.
“Oh, that? That was really nothing, I mean it was not too much work.” Samuel said.
“But it was very good!” Michael said. “And we wanted to ask you something. We are selected with Casa Musica to become a solid music act on cruise lines.” He added
“WHAT!” Samuel yelled Surprised. “You’re joking, right?” He added while his jaw dropped.
“Yeah it was just a joke.” Thomas said sarcastically. “Do you think we would joke about something like that?” He asked.
“Ignore him, I think he already feels the alcohol.” Michael said.“Well, to proceed, we thought you might like it if you could join us as our music technician. That means you’ll be doing our sound during the cruises. Now we do understand that you have to think about it,” said Michael, “It is obviously a big step …”
“Of course I wanna do that!” Samuel said in respond. “That would be a dream come true!”
“You will also be paid, of course, just like us.” Thomas explained.
“Then it’s just as if you are a part of our band. But then you also will need to come to our rehearsals a couple of times, so that we can rehearse with the installation.” Thomas added.
“Of course.” Samuel said. “Just let me know when you rehearse and i’ll be there.”
“Well, maybe we can meet tomorrow afternoon, now that we are going to do the cruises we have agreed that we rehearse as much as possible, in order to be in shape.” Michael said.
“Alright I’ll be there!” said Samuel. “Two o’clock in the afternoon?” he added.
“Two o’clock is good, that is usually the time that we begin.” Michael responded.
“Okay,” Samuel said, “I’ll see you tomorrow! Now I’m going to get ready, i’ll be deejaying here tonight!” He added while he made his way to the boot.
“Just play a few good songs!” Thomas yelled.
“Absolutely, as always!” Samuel replied with big grin on his face and then he was gone.
“Well, that was arranged quickly.” Michael said.
“Yes,” Thomas said. “But I didn’t expect him to…” He paused abruptly. Michael saw him staring at a place behind him.
“What’s wrong?” Michael asked. “Its as if you’ve seen a ghost!”
He followed his gaze and saw a cadaverous Elise standing behind him. Apparently she stood there for a while, and it was clear that she had heard their conversation.
“Elise? What’s wrong?” Michael asked.
But Elise ran outside, at the last moment Michael had seen tears filling up her eyes and he also rushed outside, followed closely by Thomas. When they arrived outside, they saw Elise sitting on a bench, she had her face buried in her hands, and from the shocking of her body, Michael could tell that she was crying. He sat down beside her on the bench and put his arm over her shoulder. “Elise?” he asked, “what’s wrong?”
Elise looked up with tears in her eyes.
“… Is it really true … … sob … what you just said … sob … to Samuel?” She sobbed.
“About the Cruises?” Michael asked.
She nodded and Michael sighed.
“Yes, that’s true.” He said, and nodded to Thomas, who understood the hint immediately, and said: “Well, I’m going to take a look at Samuel.” Then he made his way back inside.
“I’m sorry I didn’t wanted to tell you that yet, because … well, I was afraid of this.” Michael said.
“So that means that I’m going to have to miss you for a very long time?” Elise asked.
“Yes,” Michael sighed, but before he could continue Elise jumped towards him and hugged him intensely.
He stood motionless and when Elise loosed her grip a bit and looked him straight in the eye, Michael saw it for the first time. Her beautiful blue eyes, so unpredictable and yet it was as if he could look straight through them, right into her soul. So pure. So innocent and especially so beautiful. Without even realizing they came closer to each other and when their lips touched, Michael got a magical feeling, a feeling that he had never felt before. He had never been so close to a girl either, and the most beautiful fact was that he and Elise knew each other for so many years, in fact she was for many years his best female friend. If he was sad about something, he knew he could always talk about it with her.
After what seemed an eternity, they let each other go.
“Wauw” Michael said, but he got no further. Elise putted her finger to his lips in a sign that he should say no more.
“Let’s just enjoy this moment.” She whispered in his ear and putted her arms around his waist.
A few hours later, when they decided to go home, Elise walked with them. She and Michael walked hand in hand and Thomas walked beside Michael. They laughed at the jokes Thomas was pulling, but Michael and Elise did not fully realize which was not so difficult because apparently they only had eyes for each other. Suddenly a snowball flew in the back of Michael.
“Haha that was right into the bulls eye!” Thomas laughed.
“Oh, okay! You just signed your death warrant buddy!” Michael grinned and he grabbed a blanket of snow that whizzed towards the head of Thomas. Soon they stranded in a real snowball fight that could go on for hours. Elise stood there looking at it. “Boys.” She thought. “They are still just kids.” But she also thought it was a pretty picture, two best friends who knew each other for years and still could be entertained with something as simple as a snowball fight, that was a wonderful ending to what Elise had seen as her best evening so far.
In the weeks that followed Michael and Elise were often together, except when Thomas was there, and they rehearsed with Casa Musica, then Elise respected their privacy. During the few weeks they were a couple only one time she watched the rehearsal and at the performances she stood in front. They had rehearsed with Samuel a few times, and today was the first time that he would arrange their sound for a real show. The parents of Michael and Thomas had put this show on its feet as a try out, cause the cruises were arriving rapidly. This was also the gig where they were gonna preview the playlist they were going to take with them on the cruises because in exactly two months from now, they were off on their first trip. They had received an e-mail during the week of the event agency where they were located with Casa Musica. That first was therefore a special one, for the first time going to make music under a record deal is not something that you do on daily base.
There was some other good news for Michael to. There were two open positions for crew they could take with them and would be paid as well. They had decided to not only take Samuel, who was in any case going to be there as their music technician, also taking Elise with them. She would be taking the part of Roadie, something that she already did and she did not bad. In addition, she would also keep their accounts, something that Michael and Thomas did not choose to do, because they were not very good at it. But Elise was and she liked doing it as well. And it also gave her something to do so she wouldn’t be separated from Michael, which they both were happy about.
Thomas also was happy with it, he had thought in the last couple weeks that because Michael and Elise were a couple now, and they were going to be long and far away form each other, Michael perhaps would be gone crazy and would like to return home. But with Elise being around everything would be OK. Even though they were a couple for not so very long, Michael felt that Elise was the best thing ever happened in his life and he would never leave her side, and that feeling was mutual.
Chapter two: Hometown showtime
The last two months had gone by in no time. Meanwhile, it was the end of February, and so it became less cold. Last week it also stopped snowing, and began to thaw. And on a beautiful evening, when an early sun, which was shining for a whole day and delivered a tiny amount of heat, quietly slipped away behind the horizon, Michael, Thomas and Elise were sitting on the terrace at Michaels home the night before their presentation of the cruise playlist.
Berton and Maria had invited them to toast on their success, and Berton saw the opportunity here to heat up the barbecue for the first time this year. But that was not the only reason, only one week from now and then they were off to Brazil for their first cruise on the amazon river and Berton found that the little time they remained could be best spend together. Therefore he had also invited Mark and Lynnette, the parents of Thomas over to their house and while Michael and Thomas entertained Elise with their guitars, the parents were preparing the food for diner.
“Can you believe it? Only one week remaining and then our son’s will be on the other side of the world.” Lynnette said.
“Yes, I know but we should let them go sooner or later.” Maria replied. “Plus I think they will be save. At least they’re not alone, they have each other, and Elise and Samuel will also be there.”
“I think they will not even have time to miss us, I mean look at them.” She added.
Michael and Thomas were fooling around, while they played a number, Thomas could not resist to just go a little bit crazy. He stood up, and took a solo while standing on the surface of the table and Michael quickly jumped in here, soon they were together on the table, while Thomas continued his solo and Michael began to scream the lyrics, it was a harder song they were playing and Michael felt really delighted.
To an outsider, it looked like they were putting on a giant rock show to a huge audience. Elise was rolling on the floor laughing, same as Samuel. Maria and Lynnette laughed too, Mark and Berton jumped up and took a broomstick, as if they had a microphone fixed and yelled lustily with their sons.
After dinner Berton had the fire pit outside lit up, and when they were all sitting there together, Michael and Thomas played another few songs. Their songs were so beautiful that Maria, Lynnette and Elise had tears in their eyes. Late at night, Mark and Lynnette stood up and announced that they would go home. Also Thomas and Samuel were preparing to leave, and not much later only Michael and Elise, together with Michael’s parents were outside. Michael had just put his guitar back in its case, and now quietly sipped his beer, which was almost empty. Elise sat next to him and had put her arm around his arm and her head resting on his shoulder.
“Can you believe that in a few days we are on the plane to Brazil?” Elise asked softly.
“Yes, but that’s just because you have reminded me every few hours.” Michael replied with a grimace and Elise came up.
“Are you laughing with me now?” She asked smiling, as she gave him a soft punch, causing his glasses falling from his head. They soon got into a little fight, but it was not taking long before Elise sat on him, and held his arms above his head.
“Well, well, lost to a girl, She said smiling, then she leaned over and was lying on him giving him a kiss. At the same time Michael turned around and sat on top of her.
“Well then, now you lie down so nicely.” Michael said with laughter.
That same moment Maria cleared her throat:
“Hu-Hum, I do not want to be a fun corrupter, but if you two want some privacy, you only have to ask.” She said.
Michael looked up. “Sorry,” He said. He stood up, and helped Elise by also getting up. “Come, let’s go to my room.” He said, and she followed him up the stairs. When they entered his room, Michael closed the door, and when he turned around Elise stood in front of him. She took both his hands and slowly pulled him towards her. Michael looked straight into her eyes and saw a sparkle of happiness. She came closer to him and their lips touched tenderly. He put his hands around her waist, and they end up deeper into the kiss that seemed to last for hours. Eventually they let each other go, Elise pulled him onto the bed, and not much later they were hugging cosy, which ended up in a sensual mooded moment.
Exhausted Michael fell on his side of the bed. Elise came closer to him and said with a soft tender voice: “That was lovely. I love you so very much!” They lay close for another couple minutes hugging, and eventually she fell asleep into Michael’s arms. Not much later, also Michael fell asleep.
The last week flew by in no time. Michael and Thomas had rehearsed every day, including twice in the youth center with the music system, accompanied by Samuel and Elise who helped in the preparation of the stage. She had done a small contribution for that stage. She had made an arrangement that made their set look cozy and invitingly, because in exactly forty-eight hours they were on a plane to Brazil. That is why today they had arranged a concert in the foyer, with the cruise set. At the last moment they asked a friend of Elise to open up for them. She also played guitar and wrote some songs. Thomas had asked her, when they had seen her playing in the youth center a few weeks ago and both Thomas and Michael had been greatly impressed.
“Are you ready?” Thomas asked, when he putted aside his guitar.
“I think so.” Michael said. “Did you liked the sound of it Samuel?” He added.
“Magnificent!” Samuel said excited. “If you play this well in Brazil, Elise must be careful or she is going to lose you. What a voice!” He added even more excited.
“Luckily I trust my man blindly!” Elise said while she came up and stood beside Michael grabbing him tightly. “I’ll never let you go!” She whispered in his ear.
Michael took her in his arms and kissed her on her forehead.
“ Anyone else feeling hungry?” Thomas asked.
“Yup!” Samuel called.
“You bet!” Elise added.
“I’m almost dying!” Michael grinned.
“Fries or Kebab?” asked Thomas.
“Your choice, I’m in for both of them.” Michael replied.
“I do fancy a kebab.” Elise said.
“Me too!” Samuel added.
“Okay kebab it is!” Thomas and Michael said in unison.
Not much later they were sitting at the local kebab, and they just had ordered food.
“I still can’t believe that, in two days, we’re at sea!” Samuel said.
“Tell me about it, i’m feeling the nerves so hard I can hardly stay in my seat!” Thomas replied.
“Better don’t fall off and break something right?” joked Samuel to Thomas while he patted his shoulder. Thomas jumped up when he felt that knock and hit the table with his knees.
“Take it easy buddy, i’m not going to kill you or something.” Samuel said, laughing.
“You see, a barrel full of nerves.” Thomas said with a slightly frightened voice.
Michael, Elise and Samuel laughed their heads off, Thomas looked up and laughed nervously with the rest. When they finished their food, they went back to the youth center, and when they arrived, there was already quite a few people inside. Their parents had also arrived, they were at the bar and the fathers all had a beer in their hands, while their mothers had hung up the banner.
Also Elises friend Yana, who would open up for Michael and Thomas today, had just arrived and was just bringing her stuff to the stage. They saw her drag with the amplifier, and Thomas came to help.
“Wait, let me help you with that.” Thomas said and he grabbed one of the handles.
“Thank you, he’s pretty heavy.” Yana replied.
“I know,” Thomas said, “I saw you carrying that heavy thing and saw your painful grin.”
“Anyway thank you for opening up for us tonight!” he added.
“No problem at all, thank you for giving me this opportunity. I only stood on a podium once, so I hope I can control my nerves.” Yana said with a blush on her face.
“It will be great,” Thomas said, “I can tell you for sure!” He added and smiled.
“Thank you.” Yana said with a shy smile.
“Do you see it too, or am I mistaken?” Michael asked Samuel.
“Thomas is playing with cupid?” Samuel replied.
“Yes, I think our Thomas is falling in love.” Michael said. “And a few weeks ago, he was laughing with me!” He added.
“So now it is our turn to laugh.” Samuel joked with a wink of an eye.
“Oh yeah we sure will.” Michael grinned.
Thomas helped Yana with the full setup and so she was ready in no time. After the soundcheck she came up to Michael, Thomas and Elise and stood with them.
“Hi Yana! How are you feeling? Not too nervous I hope?” Elise asked.
“I’m cool for the moment, I sure hope it’s going to stay that way.” Yana said.
“No worries.” Thomas said. “We had it too the first time, right Michael?” Michael nodded,
“Be sure of that, barrel full of nerves, but the moment you start playing, they’re gone.” He replied.
“Yes, my first gig went the same way, but that was different, back then I was only playing for my family, and there was not so many people.” Yana said with a little spark of nerves in her voice.
“It will be alright, I have confidence in you and your music!” Thomas said with a wink, and Yana blushed.
Michael watched the whole scene, and when his gaze crossed Elise’s gaze, he knew she was thinking the same as he was.
“I think Thomas is in love.” Elise said as she came closer to Michael and gave him a kiss on his cheek.
“I also noticed it.” Michael replied. “That’s the first time I see him that way.”
Elise gave Michael a kiss and then went to Yana.
“Are you ready?” Elise asked.
“Yes!” Yana said firmly, she took another sip of her drink, and then went to the stage.
“Good luck!” Thomas said with a wink as she passed him.
“Thank you, you too later!” She said to Thomas, then hugged him tightly.
Michael and Thomas followed them to the front of the stage, and when they arrived Michael said: “So, You and Yana?”
“What about it?” Thomas asked in return, but Michael had seen that he was getting red cheeks.
“I’m your best friend.” Michael said. “Do you think I didn’t noticed? You, pulling out so many favors, I think you’re in love.” He added with a grimace.
“I admit that I like Yana, yes.” Thomas said. “But I know we just met each other and in two days we’re on the other side of the world, so there isn’t much time to get to know each other.” He added seriously.
“That’s true, but never say never!” Michael replied with a wink.
“Poltergeist.” Thomas said with a soft smile and gave Michael a little push.
“Exactly what you did to me!” Michael said as he pushed him back.
“That was true.” Thomas thought, then silence took over for a couple seconds and Yana started playing.
Thomas wandered away in his thoughts, “she has such an amazingly beautiful voice and her songs are even more breathtaking.” He thought.
He was so lost in his imagination that he didn’t even notice that Michael was talking to him. Only when he was shaken, he came out of his thoughts.
“Ah!” said Michael. “Welcome back to earth which planet were you on?”
“I …, sorry!” Thomas said. “Did you say something?” He added.
“Yes, I said she has a beautiful voice.” Michael replied.
“Yes,” Thomas said. “She is very beautiful…”
He saw Michael looking at him with a strange look.
“The voice I meant!” he added hastily.
“Yeah, it certainly is her voice.” Michael grinned.
Suddenly it became very quiet when Yana began to play her last song. This song she had written in memory of her deceased father, who died several years ago on an age way too young. It was a very emotional song, and so wonderful that it gave both Michael and Thomas goosebumps and at the end of the song the audience bursted into a thunderous applause. Yana was not used to it and was a bit shy, Michael looked at Elise, and saw that she had tears in her eyes.
“So beautiful!” She said and she putted her arms around Michaels waist, who ran his hands through her hair and gave her a kiss on her forehead.
After a while the applause died away and was replaced by stairway to heaven, Samuel had this number set as a token of a tribute, because Yana’s father was also a common face in the community of Etely Mountain. Thanks to his fighting spirit that he had acted out as president of the Youth Council, the mayor had been corporative to open the youth center instantly and that’s why this man had his place in the hearts of the youth population of Etely Mountain more than earned conquered. That’s why it has been a heavy shock to everyone who knew Gus Elder Mountains, when he was found dead in his bed that disastrous morning by his daughter Yana, who had this song dedicated to him right here, right now.
The arrangement of Michael and Thomas took a little longer then Yana’s arrangement, Thomas noted. Half an hour after Yana had cleaned up her act, they were almost finished, but they still had to soundcheck. This lasted fortunately not so long, and when it was nearly ten o’clock, they were finally ready.
Now they stood still for a moment with Elise, Samuel had also joined them.
“Ready?” Samuel asked.
“I do!” Michael said and he pulled Elise closer to him and gave a kiss on her cheek. Yana also had joined them, and complimented Samuel on his work as a technician.
“Well, thank you, but it wasn’t really a big deal!”
“Your set was very good!” Thomas said with a wink of an eye.
“Thank you!” Yana replied. “Good luck you two.” She added.
“That will be no problem at all!” Michael and Thomas said in unison.
“I do not doubt that.” Elise said and gave Michael a kiss on his cheek.
“If they are half as good as playing at rehearsal, they play the roof off!”
“Let us hope they don’t do that, if it rains we will all be as wet as a diver during his job!” Joked Samuel. “And our material is not exactly water resistant.” He added.
The girls bursted out laughing at this remark.
“You, you always with your silly jokes!” Elise said in between her laughter.
Michael and Thomas laughed too.
“Come on, let us get started before we can’t take a breath anymore.” Michael said. “Ready brother?” He asked Thomas.
“I’m as ready as cloudy water, after it has been filtered.” Thomas replied.
“Well, then let’s begin!” They gave each other a high five and went on stage. Michael sat down at the piano, and waited until Thomas had his guitar. The music of Samuel died away, and Michael started playing. Soft and tender, as if he wanted to do the piano no harm, in the right size but the same note over and over again, and then he began to sing:
Some say love, it is a river
That drowns the tender reed,
Some say love, it is a razor
That leaves your soul to bleed,
Some say love it is a hunger
an endless aching need,
I say love, it is a flower
and you it’s only seed.
Berton and Maria looked at each other. “Now that brings memories back to life!”, Berton said. “Would you like to dance, malady?” He added while he offered Maria his arm.
“I would be delighted.” Maria said with a soft nod and she picked up Berton’s outstretched hand then headed to the open space in the crowd and started slowing. Mark and Lynnette followed their example and Elise was gently rocking out of sight, she had her eyes closed, and sang softly. Yana stood beside her, and put her arm around Elise’s shoulder. “We’ll dance?” she asked.
“Certainly!” Elise said and they both went to the dance floor.
When the song was over Michael sat down at the piano and putted a swing in and the dance floor was filled immediately. Everyone was shaking and swinging. After a few faster and harder songs while Thomas was sitting down behind his drums, he stood up and grabbed his banjo.
Michael took his guitar and began to play.
“ELISE!” Yana yelled out loud, “Listen, Mumford and Sons!” She added still yelling.
They walked forward to the podium and began to sing loudly along with Michael and Thomas:
I Will Wait,
I Will Wait, for you.
They jumped and sang along the entire song and at the end of the set Michael and Thomas had decided to play one more song and that one they dedicated to Yana’s father, they chose their own song called: Forever.
Michael wrote it himself, exactly one year ago, and it was about a man who gave his life to rescue his one true love. They had rewritten it together, and found it worthy to carry out in dedication to Gus. It brought tears into the eyes of Yana, but the tears were mixed. Partly because she missed her father, but also because of the fact that these guys had written a song for her father, and it was a wonderful song. On the last note, again followed by a deafening applause, Samuel started the music again and began with the song Always by Bon Jovi.
Michael and Thomas, had already started packing when Berton came on stage and took the microphone.
“Test, test.” He said.
“Good evening everyone, the musical program for this evening is over, but feel free to stay as long as you want, Samuel will go on for a while. I’d just like to ask Yana on stage.” He added.
Yana came on stage and joined Michael and Thomas.
“These three have made sure that it was a memorable evening, I am extremely proud of my son and his best mate: Thomas. We will wish them all the best in the adventure that they are about to experience soon and we hope they surely will keep thinking of us just a little bit. I know we will think of them very much. But I would also like to ask for an extra hearty applause for our opener tonight, Yana, you’ve done a very good job and we hope that you will also get your place in the music industry too, you truly deserve it.” Berton ended his speech.
There was a deafening applause, and Samuel put the music back on. When Michael and Thomas were done loading their stuff they joined the rest of their friends. From all sides came congratulations and everyone wished them success. It was late in the evening when the last guests were leaving. Yana also went home and so only Michael, Thomas, Elise, Samuel, and the parents of Michael and Thomas were left. Not much later Berton and Maria and Mark and Lynnette went home. And so it was only them four still remained, those who were about to dive into the world.
Chapter three: Going offshore
It was a hectic morning at the Hart household. Michael and Elise woke up very early and Berton and Maria were also already up and running. The flight to Brazil took off at six o’clock in the morning but Michael, Elise, Thomas and Samuel had to be at the airport one hour in advance. Elise had spent the night with Michael and she had been risen at three o’clock to check everything and get themselves ready. Even Berton and Maria were already out of the springs, along with Mark and Lynnette, they had agreed to take them to the airport.
About half past Three the bell rang and when Herbert opened the door he saw Mark, Lynnette, Thomas and Samuel standing.
“Good morning Berton.” Mark said.
“Good morning.” Berton replied. “we are almost done, but please come in we still have some time. Fancy a cup of coffee?” Asked Berton.
“Yes please.” Mark and Lynnette said in unison.
Michael came down the stairs and into the kitchen, where he saw Thomas and its parents along with his father and Samuel.
“Good morning everyone.” He said when he walked in.
“Morning, Michael” Thomas replied.
“Mom and Elise are in the bathroom, Mom had to help Elise with her hair.” Michael said.
“Women.” Thomas grinned against Michael, who gave a nod as a sign of understanding.
Not much later, Elise came into the kitchen, followed closely by Maria. They all drank another cup of coffee and at four o’clock they all left towards the airport. Upon their arrival, it was still pretty quiet, and when they were all inside with their cases, the time was there that they had to say goodbye. Lynnette and Maria were sobbing. They hugged their sons, and also Elise and Samuel. Then they both began to cry. Berton and Mark gave the foursome a hand, but they also had difficulties to restrain their emotions.
“Well, this is it, I will miss you son.” Berton said to Michael.
“I’ll miss you too Dad, but we see each other every week, huh? Even though it is arranged with a webcam, but we stay connected!” Michael replied.
“Absolutely, Take care of yourself buddy!” Berton said on an emotional tone.
He also hugged Elise and gave Thomas and Samuel a hand and when they went to the counter, they looked back for the last time, waved and then they were gone.
Maria fell into Berton’s arms and began to cry. Lynnette also sought solace with her husband, Mark, who in turn had also tears in his eyes.
“One very long half a year we will not see them.” Mark said.
Berton nodded. “Yes, for six months it will be so quiet at home!” He said. “But we still have each other, we meet up just once more in order to do something together.” Berton added.
“Be sure of that.” Mark replied.
Around noon, the foursome arrived at the airport in Rio. There, a taxi driver was waiting for them to take them to Tefe, a lake that borders the Amazon River. Upon their arrival at the port lay their cruise ship: Costa Alverdia, ready to ship in crew and passengers. When Michael and Thomas saw the ship, their jaws dropped in surprise, even Elise and Samuel drew their eyes wide open.
“Wow! This ship is huge!” Elise said.
“Indeed it is.” Michael replied while he stood next to her, and took her hand.
“Come on.” He said and took her to the terminal.
“Buenas tardes, y Bienvenidos a los Costa Alverdia an nombre de toda la costa del equipo les deseo una estancia agradable.”
“I’m sorry, unfortunately we did not had the time to learn proper Spanish.” Michael said.
“So, I am, Juanes, I am here to welcome you on this fantastic cruise ship, and i’ll hope you’re gonna have a great time, and enjoy your stay here. I suppose you are the formers of Casa Musica? One of the musical acts on this ship?” Juanes said.
“That is correct. Thank you very much.” Michael replied.
“Well, if you wait here for a moment, someone is coming to get you to your rooms, and your gear will be escorted to the rehearsal room that is set up for you.”
“Thank you!” they all said in unison.
Not much later, someone of the crew took them to the rooms and when they were settled, they agreed to meet each other on the deck to explore the boat. After having explored the boat, Thomas said: “I suggest we go for a drink? I got a little bit thirsty.”
“Good idea!” Samuel replied. “Look that one seems like a cozy terrace!” They took place on one of the tables and when they had ordered a drink Elise said: “Guys, I want to propose a toast, on a wonderful adventure, and the success of the best musicians on this boat, Michael and Thomas. To Casa Musica!”
“To Casa Musica!” they all said in unison.
“That we may spend a nice time together!” Michael added and Elise putted her arms around his waist and said: “Be sure of that!”
The next days however Michael and Thomas were busy with both the regular and the dress rehearsals, which caused that they could spend very little time with Samuel and Elise.
Samuel was usually busy with the sound, and so Elise often remained alone.
Though she was not really desperate about that.
She had in recent months been greatly preoccupied with both a new banner, and making other work for the band and in between she also kept the accounts, so she was happy that she had a little bit time to rest now.
In the last months before their departure, Michael and Thomas often had been playing gigs, and so they had already a nice level of starting for Casa Musica. Elise was fully aware that that amount would be nothing compared to what they would earn from the cruises.
They had in the last month before departure also recorded a demo CD with four own songs. For this one, Elise had also designed a cover, and so they took a few dozen of finished demos for possible sale. This they had also agreed with the people from Creative Productions, the event office where Casa Musica was located, but beyond that they had also received studio time, in order to record their first full album. However Michael and Thomas had not agreed yet when they would do this.
After a week of full days rehearsing, Michael and Thomas felt they were fully ready and that was a good thing, because the next day the first guests would arrive, and their musical adventure would start.
That night they played a welcome appearance in the main bar. The people who settled the performances had made a sort of welcome festival, Casa Musica played together with six of a total of nine music acts who were present on the ship.
The groups ranged from covers to classical music and the evening ended with a theater group, playing Romeo and Julliet.
When it was Casa Musica’s turn, as the third act, the bar was well stocked and Thomas spontaneously had to think back at their benefit concert in their village just before their departure.
“Ready buddy?” Michael asked, while he was standing behind Thomas.
“Sure.” Thomas replied. “Not too many nerves?” He asked Michael in return.
“Remarkably, no nerves.” Michael replied.
“Top!!” Thomas said. “Come on, we’re going to have some fun.”
It was finally there, the moment they had both eagerly awaited.
Michael sat behind his piano, Thomas took his guitar and then it became very quiet.
At the first note Michael played, Elise knew immediately that they were going to play The Rose, and she got tears in her eyes. She thought this was a stunner, and Michael’s voice was really perfect for it. She rocked back and forth, with her eyes closed, and when the song was over, she applauded the loudest.
The set went on with songs as I Will Wait and Danza Kuduro.
But they also played classic songs including: Hotel California, House of the rising sun and the original Dolly Parton version of Jolene.
There was exuberant singing and dancing and so the hour passed rapidly. Michael and Thomas closed their set with When You Say Nothing at All, a very beautiful song by Ronan Keating.
The band that followed them was ready to draw, when Michael and Thomas had just cleared the stage. The singer, a man of about 35 years old thought Michael, gave them a hand and said: “You guys did an amazing job out there, for two young guys, I can finally say that there is still hope in the younger generations! Hats off fellows!”
“Wow, thanks.” Michael said. “Well, we wish you too the best of luck out there, and we will stand on the front row!” He added with a smile!
And when the next band started with the song La Bamba, Thomas, Michael, Elise, and Samuel waved their hands on the beats of the song.
After several swing numbers, the singer took some time to thank the entire cast of the cruise ship and all the bands that played here tonight.
“And I like to have the formers of the band that played before us on stage.” He said while pointing to Michael and Thomas, who entered the stage again a little bit stunned.
“These two young guys,” the man continued. “They have proven tonight that there is still potential in the younger generations and I want to ask you all, to give these boys a special, and very loud round of applause, Because They deserve it! Well done guys.” He said and also began to applaud.
A deafening applause followed. Michael looked at Thomas and saw that he had tears in his eyes.
He grabbed him by the waist and hugged him dearly. “Well done mate!” He said softly to Thomas, who replied also softly: “You too buddy.”
“Thank you very much everyone.” Michael said, but he could not release more.
The evening progressed quickly and after the last act, followed by a word of thanks from the organizer for all the acts, his speech was followed by a few hours of a DJ until late in the night.
Michael and Thomas stood for a long time with the people of soul generation, the band that asked them on stage and they exchanged contact details.
The singer, Eric Pearson, invited Michael and Thomas to jam together again, and they gladly accepted.
Eventually they went to bed, exhausted but happy and when Elise was laying into Michiels arms he felt the happiest person on earth.
Chapter four: A pleasant surprise
The next morning they were up and running before dawn. Today there was a visit to Rio de Janeiro programmed. The tour visited all major monuments, including the Christ statue, and the view from the Corcovado Mountain over the city was truly breathtaking.
The tour guide explained to them that the statue of Christ the Redeemer, known in Portuguese as: Cristo Redentor, was almost 38 meters high and was built on October, 12 in 1931.
The original idea, however, dates from 1850 and comes from the Catholic priest Pedro Maria Boss, but it was issued and the idea was blown up by Queen Isabel because she didn’t liked it.
In 1921, the idea was revived by the church of Rio, and they organized a memorial that week which turned out to be a success and so the statue was eventually realized and finished.
The rest of the day they were with the four of them strolling through the great city. They passed the crowded beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema and also the many slums. Later they came along one of the largest temples in the world of football, the Maracana, where four teams of the highest level played their games.
After the tour they decided to go for a drink and after that they went back to the boat. That night they played a set on the top deck. The theme was romantic evenings and so Michael and Thomas played only slow songs.
After the performance they stood on the deck for a while and enjoyed the sight of the setting sun, the silence, and each other.
Elise sat next to Michael with his arms around her waist, and Thomas and Samuel were playing a game of chess.
In that way the first cruise went on smoothly but also a little bit too fast. Now they were in a hotel in Rio, and they enjoyed a free week which was already half over when they received a phone of the people of Creative Productions.
Michael was shocked when he heard that, after very good reviews of the first cruise, on the next cruise they were going to play as headliners. Here they had a program with a girl who played acoustic songs on her own as opener and an afterparty band
They already knew that soul generation, the band which they have opened for on their first gig were going to play as the afterparty.
Their opener would arrive today, and she would stay in the same hotel as they were and Michael had promised that she would be welcomed as a queen.
And so it was that they were waiting all together in the entrance hall of the hotel with a sign that was reading: Welcome to Creative Productions.
What they didn’t expect was that they would know her, let alone that they would know her very well, because a few moments later Yana Elder Mountains walked into the entrance hall, with her luggage and her guitar on her back.
Both Michael and Thomas looked on in amazement as she entered. Thomas was the first at senses again, and ran to her. In his enthusiasm, he embraced her tenderly, and said: “Waauw, what a surprise!”
Elise walked past Michael and when their eyes met, he immediately knew what she wanted to say.
“Yes.” He whispered in Elise’s ear. “I also think that our Thomas is a little bit in love.” And grimaced while enjoying the picture.
“Welcome Yana.” Michael said while giving her a hand. “Glad that you’re elected.”
Elise also embraced Yana tenderly and Samuel took her hand and said: “Congratulations girl, I am very pleased to do your sound adjustments too.”
“Thank you all for the warm welcome.” Yana said. “I could hardly believe it when the people from Creative Productions called me. Whoever tipped me, I will give him or her my eternal gratefulness.”
Michael looked at Thomas and saw that his head was starting to become bright red.
“I think I already know.” Michael said with a nod to Thomas.
“Is that so?” Yana asked.
“Y… yes that’s right.” Thomas said. “When they asked us a few weeks ago if we knew any good musicians, I have given them your name.”
Yana gave Thomas an intense hug and said softly in his ear: “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome.” Thomas replied and putted his head on her shoulder.
When they let go of each other and looked into each other’s eyes Thomas got a warm feeling in his stomach, a feeling he had never felt before. “Was this the feeling Michael had with Elise?” He thought. He saw a sparkle in Yana’s eyes, and without thinking about it, he got closer to her, closed his eyes and to his surprise he felt her lips touch his and they kissed each other warmly.
“Well this is great, right now I am the only one here who has no girlfriend!” Samuel said loudly but also amused. Michael, Thomas, Elise and Yana started laughing for the loudest, but Thomas and Yana only had eyes for each other for the rest of the evening. Even though they should of course go to sleep on time, because the next morning they headed to the harbor where they got off the ship a week ago, for their second week on the amazon river, but this time they played the headliner, and Soul Generation was the afterparty both led by Yana, she was now their new opening act.
The fact that Yana was now Thomas his girlfriend also did not gone by unnoticed. The lovebirds were almost constantly together except at rehearsals. The room layout had a little bit changed too: Yana and Thomas now shared a room and Samuel had a room for himself. But he did not mind, he himself had suggested this because now Thomas and Yana were a couple it was logically they had to share a room and so Yana did not had to sleep alone.
Michael and Elise were in their room, they were just chatting on the video with his parents, Mark and Lynnette were there also so Michael had Thomas and Yana called in, who told them the good news of him and his new girlfriend.
“And how do you like living there on the other side of the world?” Berton asked.
“Well,” Michael started. “We’re starting to get used to it.” Thomas added.
“And we have already made new friends.” Elise said.
“A cover band!” Samuel added. “And they are very good.”
“Yes, and now we play with them as headliner here.” Thomas and Michael said in unison.
“And our Yana is warming up the public for us!” Thomas added, as he pulled her towards him and gave a heartfelt hug.
“We are very happy for you Yana.” said Maria. “You deserved to be there too, you were very good at the show back here in the village.”
“Unfortunately we have to leave you, we need to rehearse, said Michael. “Nice talking to you mum and dad, we have to finish three cruises and then we try to return home for a little while.”
“Good luck guys and we hope to hear you back soon.” Berton, Maria, Mark and Lynnette said in unison.
“See you soon!” Michael, Elise, Thomas, Yana and Samuel replied also in unison.
“Nice to have heard and seen them.” Maria said relieved.
“Yes.” Lynnette replied. “I am very happy that I’ve seen them again.” She added.
“Did you hear what Michael said?” Asked Berton. “He said that they would try to come home in a few weeks.”
“Then we have to give them a nice homecoming.” Mark said. “We can organize a party for them?”
“Sounds good!” Maria and Lynnette said in unison.
“We immediately start with the preparations.”
The second cruise on the Amazon went on as smoothly as the first one. Yana also liked it a lot. She rehearsed everyday at the same time as Michael and Thomas and her first performance was tremendously well received by the public, so well that she received a standing ovation after her song, dedicated to her father Gus.
Though she could not suppress a tear, but Thomas was immediately there to comfort her. On the last night, when they had visited the Christ image for the second time, they played their last performance in Brazil.
The next afternoon they had a flight to Spain, where they would do a Mediterranean cruise for the upcoming two weeks with the same program as here: Yana and the gentlemen from Soul Generation. Thomas and Michael were already halfway through their set, when they invited Yana on stage to play a song with them. That became The Rose, and Michael and Yana exchanged the vocals during the song and the last piece they chanted.
What followed was a deafening applause. After a few songs they closed their set with Always by Bon Jovi, and when also Soul Generation finished their set, the manager took the mic to speak to the people for a second and thanked all the bands. She also had a surprise announcement for Michael and Thomas, namely that they soon would go into the studio for the recordings of their first full album.
The time during their Mediterranean cruise went by as fast as it had gone on the first two cruises.
Now they enjoyed a well-deserved holiday week with all of them together, they had received their wages for the three cruises, and both Michael and Thomas we’re a little bit shocked when they saw the amount of $6000 on their account.
They had also received an initial evaluation, and that was more than positive. The people from Creative Productions had written that Casa Musica was a band that not only played a couple of numbers, but also knew how to entertain the people. There was also a praise for Samuel, who was described as an ingenious technician who not only at all appropriate times adjusts the sound to the wishes of Michael and Thomas, but also created a pleasant atmosphere for the audience, and he certainly adds value to the whole concept.
All that, in combination with both Yana as support, and Soul Generation as afterparty, made their sets complete, and with all that in mind, these setups were more than a worthy cruise act.
Michael, Thomas, Yana and Samuel were overjoyed by these words of praise, and thought that these good reviews were a reason for them to have a little celebration. They sat at the bar of their hotel in Mallorca, where they were spending their free week.
“This is the life!” Thomas said. “All day long spending on being lazy in a four star hotel without having to pay a penny.” He added.
“Yes,” Yana said. “that is indeed nice, but this is actually a bit of a recovery period, we have spent the last three weeks working seven days a week, and next week we’re back at sea.”
“Indeed,” Thomas said. “the last few weeks we had only a little time to rest, but we can get all this time back here right now.” He said with a wink.
“That is true.” Yana answered. “What time did you got up again today? One o’clock in the afternoon?” She laughed.
“That’s right.” Thomas said. “But in my defense, I was very tired last night.”
Yana grinned widely and said: “I’m sorry sweetheart, I had just missed you tremendously, last week we had only a little time to spend together.”
Thomas looked at her lovingly and said: “It was just a joke honey, I missed you very hard too the past week.” He took her in his arms and hugged her dearly.
Michael and Elise also enjoyed each other’s company, they were headed out, and just had a comprehensive walk on the beach.
Now they enjoyed a breathtaking sunset, Elise sat in Michaels lap and had her head resting on his shoulder.
“It is so beautiful here.” She said. “I want to stay here forever with you and grow old together.”
“Yes.” Michael answered. “I also could do that.” He added, then kissed her forehead.
Samuel was sitting at the bar, with the folks of Soul Generation. They laughed their heads off with the jokes they were turning out, and they had so much fun that Samuel wanted to stay here forever.
The next day they all went out. They had found some interesting leaflets at the local tourist information stand, include Cap Formentor, a peninsula where you could find a beautiful lighthouse together with a lot of beautiful beaches and the capital city:Palma de Mallorca. After visiting the many beaches, and a boat trip to Peninsula, they sat together on a terrace in the capital, where they had enjoyed a wonderful dinner.
That night however, they went to bed early, because the next morning they had to be up and running before dawn, and after they had a last breakfast, they checked out of the hotel and went to the terminal for their second cruise on the Mediterranean. That was about the same place as the previous one, with an only exception, a stop in one of the most beautiful bays in the Mediterranean sea: Kvarner Bay in Croatia.
Due to this, they had plenty of time to rehearse and Michael and Thomas had planned to work on the songs for their full CD, which was also gradually taking shape. On the last night in Croatia, where they had been all day, and they enjoyed some beautiful sights and visits, they closed their Mediterranean cruise with a rousing closing act in which all the musical acts participated.
The concept was a quiz with all music questions, where each band released a song, while the others then had to guess the title and performer. Michael and Thomas chose the song: Hit The Road Jack by Ray Charles, but they did it in another version so now it was a little bit heavier. It was the people of Soul Generation who could guess the number, and they closed the evening with a number where they, Yana, Michael and Thomas had been working on. That was the ending of their adventure on the Mediterranean.
The next day they took the plane to Norway where they would stay a full week sailing the fjords.
Upon their arrival in Copenhagen, their manager was waiting for them. She asked Michael and Thomas how far they were with the songs for their album, and Michael told her they had only one number to finish, and one to write. That would bring their total to seventeen tracks.
The manager was delighted with this news, and she suggested that after the cruise, they would go home for a week so they could prepare themselves. Then they would fly to New York, where they were invited to the head office of Creative Productions for the recordings, which would last probably three weeks, after which they could return home for a well deserved rest, while in the studio the album would be finalized.
Thomas and Michael agreed to this and were very happy but also a little bit nervous because they had never been into a recording studio before. However they could not think about that yet because the next day their cruise on the fjords would start and they first had to finish that one.
That mourning was hectic though and everyone was running around randomly as if no one knew what to do first or where to be. Michael and Elise had been packing last night, same as Thomas and Yana, but Samuel didn’t had been thinking about that. Therefor he was now packing in full speed.
After flying through his room, he somehow made it in time to catch up with the rest of the group and one hour later they were waiting in the lobby for their ride to the airport.
Also the guys from Soul Generation and their manager where ready and when the cars drove up to the drive lane and everyone had loaded their trunks in they were off.
Upon their arrival at the airport they immediately got the news that their flight was going to be almost four hours later and so they decided to go to the cafeteria and had something to eat and drink.
“Maybe it’s a good thing that our flight has been delayed, now we still have time to eat something because I was really starving.” Samuel said. Everyone nodded silently. The early hour was a pain in the butt for everyone.
After what seemed as an eternity, their flight was finally ready and they could check in, that caused everyone being relieved. “That four hours could also have been eight hours.” Michael thought. At least that was how he experienced it, but now he was glad that they finally had been off and after a flight of almost three hours they arrived in Stavanger. From there on out, a taxi brought them to the cruise terminal in Bergen and one day later they were off on their fjords cruise.
At the first stop they went from board. There they had made an arrangement with a guide for a walk in the mountains. This trip was taking a whole day and so they had a backpack with beverages for the whole day with them, carried by the boys. The walk went over mountain walls on which they past some waterfalls too. This was a welcoming surprise, thought Michael because he was sweating enormously hard. Therefor he was very grateful that they were back on the ship and after a refreshing shower and their first gig in the evening, they went to bed very early that evening and it didn’t took long before they fell asleep and slept the whole night like roses.
The rest of the cruise they were often going on shore and went to a lot of beautiful landscapes that were a great part of the fjords, but the most beautiful was the last one if we had to believe Michael. Upon their arrival in the Skudenshavn in Stavanger they visited the best kept wooden city, where they also saw the fabrications of the original viking ships.
On their last night onboard they played a couple of songs with both Yana and the guys from Soul Generation. They closed the adventure on the fjords on the tones of I will wait by Mumford and sons. After the gig they were all sitting together on the top deck and drank one last Ringnes, one of Norway’s best sold beers. The next day they took the plane and were heading back home, back to Etely Mountain.
Chapter five: Etely Mountain
Berton, Maria, Mark, Lynnette, Francis, Nicole and Agnes were sitting outside at Berton and Maria’s place. They had invited all parents because today they were celebrating the fact that their kids were exactly one year at sea. This, they were celebrating with a barbecue.
Suddenly, Berton heard something in the front garden and he jumped up. At the same time Mark and Francis had jumped up too. “Did you hear that too?” Berton asked.
“Yes we did!” Mark and Francis answered in choir and they were at the point of going to take a look when the gate opened. Everyone was looking intensely, but their faces all changed abruptly to relieved excitement when they saw who was entering the garden. It were Michael, Thomas, Elise, Yana and Samuel with their luggage.
Immediately the mothers jumped up and ran to their kids.
“Waaaaaauw!” They yelled all in excitement. “What a surprise!” The fathers ran up and hugged their kids intensely.
“Why didn’t you gave us a warning that you were coming home?” Berton asked.
“And ruin this moment?” Thomas and Samuel said in choir with an amused tone. “No, we wanted to surprise you all.”
“Well, you sure did!” All of the parents said in unison.
The rest of the evening they sat around the fire pit with the whole group and the parents were listening to the story that their kids were telling and when Yana and Thomas revealed that they were a couple now, they looked amused to the surprised faces of their parents, but they were also happy for them and they congratulated the both. It was already late at night when everyone went home to go to sleep.
In the days that followed there was a lot of partying going on together with a lot amount of resting. Another round of surprise followed when they all entered the youth club, the following Friday night and everyone was curious about the stories they were telling.
They were already a week back home when they had a gig organized at the youth center. Their plan was to do it with the original setup from the cruises, meaning they would play with Yana as opener and Soul generation as after party, but when Michael mailed John he received a mail back that they were unfortunately not able to make it.
After the show Michael announced their upcoming album and that due to the recordings they would be away again for a long time. Therefore, the people from the youth club thought it would be a great idea that the little time they had, they had to use it and so they all agreed that from now until they were leaving again they were going to play a weakly gig at the club.
And so it was that Michael and Thomas were rehearsing in the basement back in Michaels home again for a little while. Berton and Maria were excited with that. They had missed the music coming out of the basement and were happy to hear it again. They even realized that they were now truly in better shape than the last time which made Berton feeling very proud once more.
When they were all together again later that week at Berton and Maria’s place and the parents were inside, busy with the dishes, Michael and Elise where sitting together in the big swinging chair. Michael had his laptop with him and now they were looking on the internet searching for a house to buy.
They both had been talking about it for a while and since they have been a couple for more than one year and they both had great jobs they thought it would be a great opportunity to do so. Originally they had been planning to buy a house here in the same village where they both had grown up, but the houses were not living up to their expectations and so they were forced to make the searching field bigger. They had been looking to a house in a village nearby but there was too much work in it and since they were not going to be able to have time for renovations due to their jobs at sea they had to refuse the offer.
Thomas, Jana and Samuel joined them.
“What’s up?” Thomas asked.
“We are looking for a house to buy.” Elise answered with a twinkle in her eyes and it was obvious that she was very happy with the step they were going to take.
“I have been thinking the same thing.” Thomas said. “But the prizes are very high in this region.” He added.” Yana nodded. “And there are not much houses in the village here either.” She said.
“But I have been thinking…” Thomas started but Samuel came in between with a little laughter. “Oh so that’s what I heard screeching.” He said and Thomas gave him a slight punch against his head. “There, now you hear something else screeching too.” And he laughed, then went further with his sentence.
“I was thinking, we all had a great time in Mallorca right? And we spend more time there than as we are here. Now we have to take a hotel-room every time. Why don’t we buy a house over there? One for all of us?” He said.
“You do have a point.” Michael replied and he added: “What if we come back home after the recordings of our album and then go to Mallorca from here on out with everyone, including our parents. That gives us the time there to look for a nice house and also our parents can have some free time?”
“And if we find something we can split the whole prize through the five us so we all pay the same prize.” Samuel said.
Everyone nodded and was excited about the idea and when they talked to their parents about it they were immediately fans of the plan.
And so it was that the next day they booked a journey to Palma de Mallorca, but this one would take place only a couple weeks later. First order of business were the recordings of their album. In the last couple days home Michael and Thomas had been able to finish up their last two songs and so they were now ready to head into the studio. Just in time, because two days later they would be flying to New York and in the evening before their last day at home they played in the youth center in their home town, Michael and Thomas realized that they would be gone for a while.
“Waauw!’ Thomas said. “It’s as if the whole village is here.” He added.
“Well, I think you are right. And maybe even more people too.” Michael replied.
The youth center was filled to the roof, no one could get in anymore and because of safety restrictions the police and the fire safety department were also at the venue.
The show started with Yana opening with the song: Someone like you by Adele and immediately the whole venue became very quiet. Just as on the cruises she ended her set with the song written for her father followed again by a deafening applause. Samuel had taken the mic after the applause slowly gained less loud full and said: “Dear people, the last song you heard just now by our Yana was written for her father Gus and it is quite a grateful opportunity we have here tonight that at this moment Gus died exactly six years ago. He was a great man, without him we wouldn’t even had this youth center in the first place and therefor I want to ask you all to be very silent for a full minute to honor Gus, starting right now.”
Immediately it became as silent as silence could be. Yana was standing with Thomas who had her closely to him in an act to comfort her. Elise also got a hard moment and wiped her tears away. Michael came to stand next to her and pulled her towards him. She placed her head to rest on his shoulder and cried silently.
When the minute was gone by, the silence was broken gently by Samuel who putted the music back on and he did that with the smart words of Robbie Williams in his song: Angels.
“It’s our turn again.” Thomas said. “Are you ready?” He asked Michael.
“We are playing at an overfilled youth center, Our home, Our bar from since we were going out.” Michael replied. “I am very ready.” He added.
When they opened their set they played the rose and I will wait. Immediately the crowd started jumping and singing along, but the party wasn’t starting until they played Danza Kuduro and Trumpets and a while later also Love generation and Save tonight.
Two full hours they were bringing a switch with both music to dance on and slow songs. On the song Hero everybody started slowing. They closed their set with the wise words of When you say nothing at all which was followed again by an ear deafening applause.
After the set and after they packed in slowly, they were all sitting outside at Michaels parents home and closed the evening with a drink and each others company. Late in the evening everyone was going home. Elise slept with Michael that night but they were both so exhausted that they almost immediately fell asleep in each others arms. The next morning they stood up before dawn and started getting ready.
After a quick breakfast they were on their way to the airport and an hour later they were sitting in the lobby waiting for their flight to New York. Ready for the recordings of their first full album and it was clear that everyone was a little bit nervous for this. Michael shuffled from left to right in his seat, Elise was starting to get crazy about it and placed her arm around his waist in an attempt to calm him down. Samuel was walking through the lobby as a crazy fool talking to himself. Yana was sitting in Thomas his lap and had her arms around his neck, Thomas had his hand resting on her leg and he gave her a kiss on her cheek every couple of minutes. Finally the time was there that they could go aboard the plane and were off to New York and off to their first Album.
Chapter six: Freedom of the seven seas
When they arrived in New York and picked up their luggage, they entered the lobby where they found a man standing with a plate that was saying: Creative Productions welcomes Casa Musica! Michael and Thomas went up to him and after a short introduction they followed him to the car. On their way to the hotel, which would be their home for the next couple of weeks, they passed a lot of interesting sightseeing parts of the big apple like the Guggenheim museum, Central Park and central park zoo.
Unfortunately they wouldn’t have much time to visit them, because the next day already they headed into the studio where their recordings would take place. The girls however were not coming with them to the studio so they had planned to visit a couple things, along with a lot of the shopping streets.
It was already late in the evening when Michael, Thomas and Samuel arrived back in the hotel. Exhausted they dropped into the comfortable chairs in the lobby of the hotel.
“Anyone else fancy a nice beer?” Samuel asked. “I think we can use that right now.” He added. Michael and Thomas agreed nodding and Samuel stood up and went to the bar. A couple minutes later he returned, followed by Yana and Elise.
“Look who I found sitting in the bar.” Samuel said with a nod to the girls.
“Hi sweetie.” Elise said while taking place besides Michael and gave him a kiss on his forehead.
“How was your day?” Yana asked.
“Busy.” Said Thomas.
“Enormously busy.” Michael added. “I never thought that making a cd would be so heavy and today we only did the voice recordings.” He placed his head on Elises shoulder and took another nap of his beer. It didn’t came as a surprise then that they went to bed early and both Michael and Thomas fell asleep almost before their heads even touched their pillows.
The following days were not much of a difference. They were recording for a couple days and even though it was heavier than they had imagined, they also had a lot of fun. Samuel also had a great feeling. He had been given the liberty to help in a real recording studio which felt like dream come true, He also learned a lot while doing it. The people from the creative productions surely took a lot of credit in all their progress because they were all very friendly and helpful. Every now and then they gave a little feedback and helped them to get the songs perfect for one-hundredth percent. For example with the solo used in the song: Everywhere, where they corrected it in the good way of the sentence and gave them good critics on their lyrics. That way, Michael and Thomas learned a lot and for that they were very grateful to the people of the studio.
In the first week already they had eight songs up and running which is why the people from the company found that the boys deserved a little break. That is why they had a free weekend in their hotel in New York and they decided to go and visit some beautiful places in the big apple. They stood up early in the morning and were now on their way to the statue of liberty.
“Waauw!” Elise said. “It is huge!”
“Ninety-three meters high to be specific.” Michael replied. “That is really big for a statue.” He added.
He saw a little information board and went to it. He was reading it, while repeating the words loudly: “The forty-six meters high statue, ninety-three meters if you add the pedestal in the calculations, with a weight of two-hundredth-twenty-five tons was a gift from France in honor of the century party from the declaration of independence and as a sign of their friendship. On the plaque in her left hand was written ‘JULY IV MDCCLXXVI’, the date, fourth of July 1776, of the declaration in Roman numbers. In the ‘Jardin du Luxembourg’ in Paris you could find the same statue, that was made in 1870 and was used by the French designer and statue builder: Frédéric Bartholdi as base for her big sister in the united states. Bartholdi’s Mother was know to be the model for the statue. The bigger version for the US was also build with a metal construction designed by Gustave Eiffel. The full name of the statue in French is called: La liberté éclairant le monde and the original English name: Liberty Enlightening the World. Originally it was meant to be a gigantic fire tower at the northerly entrance of the Suez canal, but Egypt didn’t had the money for it.
The building of the statue then was ended in France in July 1884 and was gifted to the United States of America. In June 1885 it arrived in the harbor of New York, after it had traveled the Atlantic Ocean on the French ship: Isere. During this trip the statue was carefully taken apart to three-hundred-fifty pieces in two-hundred-fourteen wooden boxes. After it arrived in the big apple it took four months to rebuild it on her new feet.
On October twenty-eight it was greeted with a big ceremony. The whole construction exists out of copper plates that are build on a skeleton.
Maurice Koechlin, a co-worker and friend of Eiffel, was in charge during the whole construction period.
The feet of the statue is build out of granite, to a concept from the American architect Richard Morris Hunt.
The crown exists out of seven points that symbolize the seven continents and sees of the world.
On October fifteen of nineteen-hundred-sixty-five the statue, together with Fort Wood got the stamp of National Monument.
It got the name: Statue of Liberty National Monument.
In nineteen-thirty-five the whole Bedlou’s Island was attached to it and got the name: Liberty Island.
From nineteen-eighty-four till nineteen-eighty-six it had been restored which is why the torch now has a twenty-four carats flame. Since nineteen-eighty-four the statue of liberty was added to the UNESCO’s world heritage list.
After the attacks on September eleventh in two-thousand-one the statue had been closed to the public for a couple of years. In two-thousand-three, the one-hundred-eighteen years old statue had been restored again, mostly because of the safety of the visitors, but also to be sure to keep the statue standing for another long time. Since the summer of two-thousand-four the statue is again able to visit.
There also has been added a spring connection starting in Battery Park at the south point of Manhattan to Liberty Island, the island where the statue is standing, and to Ellis Island where the entrance halls for immigrants are open for visit.
On independence day in two-thousand-nine also the crown had been added back for the first time since the attacks in two-thousand-one.”
Michael took a very deep breath.
“Well, that was quite a story.” He said while Thomas and Samuel where rolling on the floor laughing.
“You did a very good job honey,” Elise replied and gave him a kiss. “I am proud of you, you didn’t even hesitated while you were talking.”
They went further into New York and visited the Guggenheim Museum where they took a tour.
The guide told them that the building on his own was a museum piece because of its special form. Originally the museum was started with the private collection of Solomon R. Guggenheim.
The guide told them that the museum mostly holds artworks of the modern art and the art of today and when they were going through the museum, they passed a lot of different works such as Paris seen through a glass, The blond woman, In front of the mirror and The crying crocodile.
It was already past noon when they came outside of the museum.
“That was truly beautiful.” Thomas, Michael and Samuel said in choir.
“That it was indeed.” Elise replied. “But I’m starting to feel hungry, anyone else too?”
Everyone nodded and so they went to a place where they had lunch. After the lunch they headed back to the hotel where they all went to the pool for a swim.
The next day they went back into the studio with a full energy bar and went on with the recordings of their cd. After their usual morning coffee they went back to work and at the end of the afternoon, again they had finished two full songs. That brought their amount to ten songs which means they had only seven songs to go.
In the meantime they also had come up with a name for the cd. They had been talking about it with the producers and they approved the title and so the cd would be called: Freedom of the seven seas.
Late in the evening they arrived back in the hotel and after a quick diner and a refreshing shower they went to bed and fell asleep almost immediately.
At the end of the week they finally finished the recordings and now the producers had to make the finishing touch. They had agreed to stay here for another week to visit a couple of states, something Michael and Thomas wanted to do for a long time already, but didn’t had the chance to do it so far.
They had figured out a route on the west coast which is why they had to take a plane from the airport of Miami to Los Angeles. Before their plane took off however they still had a full day in Miami which they used good by visiting all the different islands and harbors.
In the evening they had their flight to Los Angeles and when they were driving through there they saw many different big buildings together with the ‘Hood’ of today, where many street gangs lived constantly fighting with each other.
After a full day in the big city they headed to the Sequoia National Park where they found the biggest trees in the world. At the end of the noon they took a little rest at the beach with a view on the Hollywood hills.
After a couple other visits to a lot of different monuments and sights they slept that night in a small motel and the next day they headed to San Fransisco. On the Golden Gate Bridge they had a perfect view over the water and it also gave them the chance to get a little bit of fresh air. There they visited the famous prison: Alcatraz, well known for its break out many years ago. They also drove trough the beautiful streets of the amazing city.
The last visit on their trip was Las Vegas. In this bruising city they visited a couple of casino’s, but here they only looked around because they didn’t want to spend a lot of money here.
“The casino’s here are very heavily secured.” Thomas said.
“Yes, but there is a big amount of money there too which should be secure at all time.” Michael replied. “What do you say about having something to drink?” He added asking.
“I fully agree with that!” Thomas replied delighted.
They found a small bar in an alley which they entered.
“A typical local bar!” Samuel said.
“Yep, nice right?” Thomas replied.
There they closed their adventure in the states. The next day they went to the office again for a sneak preview of their cd which was approved by everyone. Michael and Thomas were very happy with the result and headed back home with a great feeling. Back to Etely Mountain and to their parents.
Chapter seven: A home under the sun.
Casa Musica puts his name on the map with their debut album!
‘Freedom of the seven seas’, that is the name for the debut album from Casa Musica, The band formed by Michael Hart and Thomas the Mole.
A little bit more then a year ago their adventure started at sea and they haven’t been quiet ever since. They have traveled almost the entire world with their music already which fell in good taste everywhere.
Now it has been quiet for a while around the band, but they didn’t have been quiet.
That they proof with their upcoming debut album that has been recorded in two weeks time and that will be for sale at the end of the year.
With this album they will be playing a world tour starting with a hometown show in their own youth center in Etely Mountain.
“Maria, You have to come and take a look, I really think you want to see this!” Berton yelled.
Maria came out of the kitchen into the living room and asked him: “What’s wrong Berton?”
“Take a look at this.” He said while showing her the article. When she was done reading it she wiped away a tear and said: “This is amazing news!”
At the same moment the phone ringed and when Berton took the horn he heard the exited voice of Mark saying: “Have you seen the newspaper?”
“Yes!” Berton replied. “We are very proud of our boys.” He added.
“Yes, we are very proud of them too. Hey, they’re coming home this afternoon, what do you say if we surprise them with a winter-barbecue at our place?” Mark said.
“That’s a great idea!” Berton and Maria said in unison. “We are coming over immediately to help you with the arrangements, do we have to bring something from the grocery store?” Berton added.
“That would be great. Thank you!” Mark replied.
“You’re welcome! We see you in a bit then.” Berton said.
“See you later!” Mark replied as ending to the conversation.
A couple of hours later everyone was at Mark and Linda’s place preparing for the barbecue. They had told the kids that they all had to come over their and that there was a surprise waiting for them.
And so it was that around six o’clock that evening they arrived at Thomas’s home, walking into the surprise of seeing all the parents standing there. At first everyone was hugging everyone and Thomas and Michael were very enthusiastic when they were telling them about their adventure in America. They told them how it was to be in a recording studio and what they had learned with that. They also told them about their trip and their adventures in Los Angeles, Miami, San Fransisco and their last night in Vegas. The parents were fascinated while listening to the story and both Berton and Mark gained a smile from ear to ear when they heard about their last night in the bar.
That night Michael and Thomas played an acoustic preview at home and so it was that everyone was going to bed late in the evening.
The next couple days they were gaining some sleep and at the end of the week they all headed to Mallorca. Both Michael and Thomas were looking forward to this journey. It would be the first time that they would stay in their own house, even though they had a lot work over there and had to buy some stuff for it. They had agreed to do it there so it would be easier to move there. They also had an agreement with the fathers that they would take the garden for their effort while the moms were helping inside.
The last night they all went to bed early and the next morning they stood up early. After a quick breakfast they were on their way to the airport where they took the plane to Palma de Mallorca. Upon their arrival there it was already thirty-five degrees and so they all felt sweaty on their way to their new house.
“Waauw!” Maria, Lynnette, Nicole and Agnes said in unison.
“What a beautiful mansion, boys!” Berton said while his mouth fell open in amazement when he saw the house, or better said: Villa.
A modern villa at the mountainside, with a view over the sea from the amazing garden. A swimming pool in the garden, at the edge of the cliff, made the picture looks as if this mansion was from a famous movie star.
When they got inside the villa they all did a small tour through the house with seven bedrooms. These rooms they just had been organizing with the parents, so they each had a room during their stay, and themselves. There they unloaded their luggages and gave everything a place.
The first days of their stay they had a little bit of rest and everyone did that in their own way. Thomas and Yana relaxed in the lounge seats near the pool, Michael and Elise made a daily walk on the beach which they could easily go to because there was a small path near the house. Samuel was always in the pool, same as the parents.
When the first week was over they started with the renovation of the house, in which they gained help from their parents. Thomas, Samuel and Berton started painting the ground floor and when they were done there they headed upstairs to do the same thing on the first floor. Maria, Lynnette, Nicole and Agnes had started with the big cleanup and Michael, Elise, Yana and the three other fathers were busy in the garden. Elise and Yana started weeding and Michael and the fathers had made a ground plan on which they started working. Michael’s plan was to make a path starting from the garden door to the pool and then headed to the other side of the garden where he had planned to make a platform with a roof that was looking out over the ocean. Therefor he went to the nearest garden- and hobby center with Berton and Mark to get all the needed materials. Now they were ready to start. After a couple of days the path was ready and then they started on the roof above the platform which Michael had done with his father. On the platform they had placed four posts on which the skeleton for the roof was made and now they were busy with the roof tiles.
After four days working the garden was ready and inside the house everything was painted. Maria had just finished the big cleanup and yelled: “Ready!”
‘The garden is ready too!” Yelled Michael, Berton and Mark in unison.
“Waauw!” Elise said when she entered the garden. “So cozy!” She added.
They also had build a barbecue out of stone and when everything was ready they sealed it with a housewarming barbecue.
Everything went faster then planned so now they had still a couple of days to relax and enjoy their new home. They also visited a couple of sightseeing places nearby and went for a walk on the beach every night or were laying on the pool.
On the last day before they should return to Etely Mountain, they went into the city and had a nice dinner in a cozy restaurant. There they clinked once again on their success and on the new house. The next day at noon they went back home and when they were back in Etely Mountain, Michael and Thomas started rehearsing immediately, because their world tour was now coming very closely.
The less free time they had, they went to the youth center to prepare it for their album-release party. In the week from the release they had a copy of the album send home and everyone was very happy with the result which gave them a boost to rehearse even more.
On Saturday-night the time had come for them to show the world what they could do. On Friday they had been rehearsing a whole day and on Saturday they went to the youth center very early for the last preparations. They also had a general rehearsal with the people from Creative Productions to set up the sound for every song. Afterwards they went to the Kebab with the whole group to eat something there.
“Nice!” Thomas said. “This is just the same as right before our last gig here. After that we went on with the cruises for the first time. Do you remember Michael?” He added.
“Yeah, i do.” Michael replied.
“Weren’t you a little bit drunk that night?” Samuel asked Thomas with a grin from ear to ear.
Michael and Elise had just been drinking when Samuel said that. That caused that they started laughing with their mouth full and their drinks were spreading all over the place. Also Yana couldn’t refuse a grin on her face.
Thomas gave Samuel an angry look and said: “Yes, I remember, but I don’t think that I was the only one. Weren’t you the one who had trouble with the chain on his bike?” He said. Now it was his time to show a big grin. Again everyone started laughing and Samuel gave Thomas a nod on his shoulder and said: “It was just a joke my friend, still buddies right? No harm done?”
“No harm done!” Thomas replied and they gave each other a hand.
After diner they headed back to the youth center. When they arrived there they saw that there was already standing a lot of people ready to enter.
“Waauw!” Michael said while his jaw fell open in amazement.
“These are standing here to see you guys.” Elise whispered in his ear and gave him a kiss on his cheek. For a second Michael couldn’t say anything. He took Elise’s hand and said: “Thanks sweetie, I needed these words”, and he gave her a kiss on her forehead.
One hour later the doors opened and everyone headed inside. Then the biggest adventure so far for Michael and Thomas was starting. Maybe even the biggest adventure of both their lives.
Chapter eight: Journey around the world
When Michael and Thomas entered the stage, the crowd went wild. An applause you could hear in the next city, Michael thought, but when they took their instruments everyone went quiet and Michael started playing the piano. The intro of their album was so beautiful, that it brought tears to not only the eyes of their parents and Yana and Elise, but also to a lot of other people. Though those tears were wiped away quickly when Thomas started a rock riff on his guitar and Michael took place behind the drums. Together they played a heavier song and the crowd went going dancing immediately.
After a couple rock-songs, Thomas took the mic and thanked everyone who was here right now, out of the name of not only him but also Michael and the whole crew from creative productions. He thanked everyone for being with them to release their first full album. He also thanked their parents and friends for their support all those years.
Michael had taken the liberty to take place after the piano again while Thomas was giving a speech and he started a slow song. Yana and Elise got together and started slowing, followed by their parents and a lot of other couples.
After two full hours of playing they closed their set with a song they wrote for Gus, Yana’s father, a song which was also on the album. After the song, a short silence followed and Samuel had started: Stairway to heaven, just as he did every time in honor to Gus.
The guys from Soul Generation took over half an hour later. They also had a lot of switches in their set and even though some people had been leaving early, there was still a lot of people inside.
After their set, which also was almost two hours later, Samuel took over with the DJ boot for another couple of hours.
The heroes of that evening were definitely Thomas and Michael. Everyone was coming up to them with a copy of their cd and asked for autographs, or just for a small talk. Also Yana and the gentlemen from Soul generation got a lot of compliments and good luck wishes.
After what seemed an eternity Michael had found some space to get out of the mass for a while and went outside to take a breath, followed closely by Berton.
“Are you feeling hot, boy?” Berton asked with a grin from ear to ear when they came outside.
“Yeah, terrible, I could not stand it there a minute longer.” Michael replied.
“You did a great job out there son. I am very proud of you!” Berton said while he hugged his son. When he released him, a tear was rolling over his cheek. “That was absolutely normal.” Berton thought. Because if he looked back on what his son had done in the last two years together with his best friend, the emotions were a very normal reaction. He was very proud of his son.
At the end of the evening only a handful of people were left at the youth center. Mark, Berton and Francis stayed to help the boys pack their stuff and now they ordered one last beer before going home. For them it was like the last chance to drink a beer with their sons for a long time again.
The next day they had a day of well earned rest because the day after that they had to wake up early. That morning they had to take the plane to Luxor where they would be on a cruise on the Nile for a week and in that way their world tour would officially start. The day after that they had a show in Valley of the kings and there was almost the double amount of people then back home.
Thomas and Michael were a little bit nervous for this one and also Yana was a little bit nervous. But the moment she entered the stage, her nerves were getting calmer. Again she played the song in honor to her father which was taken with a loud applause.
Then it was time again for Michael and Thomas to enter the stage. They also ended their set with the song honored to the same man.
The public was very enthusiast about both Yana and Casa Musica and they saw that immediately. Back in New York they also recorded a demo for Yana and he was selling almost at the same speed as Casa Musica’s album. That fact made Yana very happy and everyone could notice that. During the set of Soul Generation she was standing next to Thomas with a big grin on her face and that made that everyone was having a great feeling when they set foot on the ship a day later.
They played a show on the second day, but this one was shorter then the other two they played before. After the show they all sat on deck and enjoyed a late night drink right before going to sleep. The next morning they were able to sleep a little bit longer. They were going to sail the whole day and they didn’t had to play a show so everyone had agreed to make it a lazy day at the pool.
That night they arrived in Karnak, where they would play the next day. After a heavy, warm night, in which Michael didn’t sleep much, he stood up late in the afternoon and he decided to go into Karnak with Elise. When they were strolling through the city they saw a guy with kids giving a little street performance and they decided to stop for a while and watch him play. When he was finished, Michael and Elise went to him.
“Hi!” Michael said. “You guys play nice music!” He added.
“Thanks.” The man answered. “Do you also play?” He then asked.
“Yes, we play here tonight with our band; Casa Musica, as a part of our world tour.” Michael replied.
“Waauw!” The man said. “So you are part of the band where everyone is talking about? Well, then I see you tonight, we have also tickets for your concert.”
“Great!” Michael said. “If you want I can lure you into the backstage. Just come up to the podium and ask for Michael.”
“Thanks a lot!” The man replied. “See you tonight then.” He added.
The show was a huge success and when Michael and Thomas got off stage, the same man with his wife and ten kids came to them and congratulated them on their show. The man, named Pias Ramirez, told them that they were running an orphanage. They had decided to take these kids to their show today.
“We had heard of your band before and we were fans from the first minute we heard you.” Pias his wife Elina said. “The kids are also huge fans and they were wondering if they could get your autographs?” She added.
“Of course!” Thomas and Michael replied in unison and after the signing session including also a picture round, they played a little game with the kids. When it was time to say goodbye, Pias invited them for diner that night and everyone agreed joyfully.
And so it was that they were sitting at the table back at Pias’s and Elina’s home. Pias’s uncle, Ennes, and two friends of them, Janos and Retuow, were also there. A nice gang Michael and Thomas thought. Elise and Jana amused themselves while playing with the kids and Samuel laughed himself almost to dead with the jokes Janos and Retuow were doing the whole time.
Pias told them the story about how the orphanage originally started and that he once was an orphan too. With the heritage of his parents he then opened this orphanage.
The time flew by very fast due to the fun they all had. Late at night everyone decided to go to bed. Michael and Thomas didn’t had to play that night, they were on the Nile for a whole day, making their way to Caïro. There they ended their fist week of touring with a gig on the feet of the Gizeh pyramids.
After this week they had a week of rest and they had decided to stay with their new friends, Pias and Elina, who had invited them. There they gave a privet show every night and the children enjoyed it to the fully. On the last day they played a game called hide and seek, but then in a slightly bigger version. They had divided the group into two equally smaller teams. One team had to go and hide while leaving a couple of signs in the right direction and a couple of assignments written in the sand for the other team who had to search them by following the signs and accomplish the assignments. That night ended with a barbecue and the next day they had to say goodbye to their new friends with a promise to keep contact.
From Egypt they took the plane to Norway where their second cruise of the world tour would take place. First they played a show in the youth center of Stavanger not far from the harbor where their fjords-cruise would leave the next day. They had been in Stavanger once already, but they still found it a very beautiful place.
The whole week they were playing shows on the ship, as also on land and during the free times they visited the fjords again. They went to both places they had already seen, but also places they haven’t seen before due to time issues. They even had the chance on the last day, when they arrived at the Norwegian sea, to swim with orca’s. The feeling they got when they were swimming with these beautiful creatures was breathtaking and it gave them a great feeling. When they arrived back at the boat that evening everyone was exhausted and so it didn’t take long before they all fell asleep and slept like roses.
Chapter nine: The Mediterranean.
Around noon they arrived in Lisbon, Portugal. Upon their arrival there, the taxi that brought them to the ship was already waiting for them. On that ship they were going to be for the upcoming weeks. Once they arrived at the ship they had been escorted to their cabins. The tour was starting the day after and so they had decided to have an easy day. Thomas, Yana and Samuel did that at the pool and Michael and Elise in their cabin. Michael had had the opportunity the last couple days to gain some sleep, but he didn’t feel very well today and so he kept in bed. Elise hearted her boyfriend and gave him everything he needed. Michael didn’t complain about that, but he also didn’t wanted to take advantage of his girl, so he helped where he could.
That night they went to sleep very early and the next morning he felt that one day of rest had been a good decision. And that was a good thing too, because that night they played a set on the top deck and he didn’t wanted to cancel it. Fortunately he was back to the old him so the show could go on. That show they played with verve and the public was loudly enthusiast.
The next day they arrived in Porto and there they went on land. They had never really visited Portugal before and after their visit in the capital city yesterday, and Porto today they were all very amazed.
That night they played a gig in Porto, in the cultural building and again there was a lot of people.
“Unbelievable!” Thomas said; “Where is all that attention coming from?” He asked Michael during the next rehearsal.
“I really don’t have a clue, it amazes me too that there is so many people coming to our shows. Until shortly we only played at cruises.” Michael replied.
The answer to that came the next day with the newspaper. When Michael got the newspaper next morning, which he does everyday, he went through it on a fast pace. Suddenly he stopped. He had seen a head and his mouth fell open. He started walking faster, no he started running. He slowed down when he was getting closer to Thomas’s and Yana’s cabin and he knocked the door wildly.
After a couple seconds Yana opened the door and said with a yawn: “Michael! You are up early.”
“Sorry!” Michael said. “I didn’t want to wake you guys up, but this I had to show you.” He added.
Thomas came walking up to them and when he saw the head, which Michael had hit hard earlier, his yaw also dropped. The head was called: The whole world is falling for Casa Musica! Thomas started reading loudly: “Casa, Musica, the band, founded by Michael Hart and Thomas the Mole, is on their way to become a world famous band. After they had finished one third of their world tour, a tour as promotion for their new album: Freedom of the seven seas, the same tour on which they easily had many people falling for, they are now enjoying a couple of days of well earned rest. But even in this peaceful moments they are not standing still. It became clear that in the hotel where they are staying they are playing a couple of acoustic songs every night. Therefor everyone who has seen the two guys playing are loudly enthusiast and it is spreading around the globe very fast. That is also why they are playing sold out concerts at the moment and to be honest: they deserve it to the fully. We will wish the two boys a lot of success on their first world tour and we truly hope that after the tour they are heading back into the studio for the recordings of new materials.”
Thomas stared at Michael with his mouth wide open.
“Waauw!” Yana jelled, who was the first one of them three who could find words again.
“We have to celebrate this!” Thomas and Michael said in choir.
That they did the same day in the evening at the show. After they had thanked the public very long and also mentioned the article from that morning, they went to the bar. There Michael ordered a bottle of champagne for the whole gang. They celebrated their success that night fully and it was already late at night when they all went to bed.
The next morning they arrived in Barcelona. That night they had a show on the beach of Pacha. A scoop, Michael and Thomas thought, because they had never performed on a beach before and it turned out to be a success. Especially when, during their set and during one of their slow songs, the sun was sinking into the sea. They both agreed that that was one of the best moments in their career so far.
After the show they decided to go for a nightly walk on the beach and when they arrived back at the ship, everyone headed straight to bed and fell asleep in an instant.
During their rehearsal the next morning, where they had stood up early, Michael and Thomas switched a couple of songs in their playlist so they didn’t had to play the same songs every time. That had been a great decision. They realized it immediately during their set on deck that night while playing the new version of the playlist. The crowd was really enthusiastic about it because the people who had seen them before now heard some new covers, together with their own songs and as preview a new song they had finished only two days ago. Due to the enthusiastic crowd Michael and Thomas felt good too.
The new song they also played a day later at their show near the colosseum in Rome. They had visited the capital city of Italy during the day and went to the Spanish staircases, the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, and last but not least the Vatican City. Both Michael and Thomas enjoyed it, even though they hadn’t seen the pope which they both hoped to do.
“What a fantastic city!” Michael said.
“Indeed, especially the colosseum and the Vatican City were fantastic.” Thomas replied.
“I totally agree with that.” Said Michael while giving his friend a pad on his shoulder.
They had only been to the Vatican City amongst them two, the rest of the group didn’t wanted to go there and were headed back to the ship already.
“What would you say if we are going to drink a pint of beer on one of the many terraces here? I got thirsty of all the walking around.” Michael said.
“Now I hear you talking again!” Thomas replied with a grin and he gave his best friend a pad on the shoulder.
“Come on buddy, let’s pick out a terrace here, shall we?” He added.
When they headed back to the ship a couple of hours later, they felt the alcohol a little bit but they were not really drunk. They still had to perform in the evening. Again that performance was a great success and their new song had been greeted heartily here too. When the gig was over they didn’t had much time to stay. From Rome they headed to Paris on a tourbus, which was also settled by Creative productions and both Michael and Thomas had a great time on the bus. They had been dreaming both to have their own tourbus one day and this was the first time they were able to experience this feature.
Unfortunately it was only for one night, cause from Paris they took a plane to the other side of the world, to Bangkok in Thailand. There they had a couple of days free before their show and in those free days they took the liberty to rest a little bit.
On the day of their gig they stood up early and went to the Impact Arena, Muang Thong Thani, where they would be performing for the last time because after that they were going to have two weeks free on the Atlantic Ocean. After the show, Michael and Thomas arranged a small afterparty for everyone who would stay and that party went on until early in the morning.
Chapter ten: Easy waters.
“Ah! Finally some rest…” Michael said fulfilled, while he settled deeper into his chair. The past ten weeks they had been playing almost everyday and had traveled the world in full speed. Now they could enjoy two weeks sailing the Atlantic Ocean onboard of the biggest Cruise ship ever build: Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas.
Michael had said to himself that in the upcoming two weeks he would take as much rest as possible and onboard of this ship, he was sure that there would be no problem to that.
Ever since they had started this band and were playing as cruise act, it was his dream to travel on this ship one day and now that dream came true. In between of the resting, they also amused themselves with the large amount of activities on the ship and also Thomas’s dream came true when they went for a dive for the first time in their lives. But that didn’t went good for everyone. At first they had to get used to the ability to breath under water. For Samuel it didn’t went well at all. He immediately started panicking the moment he was under water and went back up. The same thing happened to Elise, She also started panicking under water and so they both decided to stay above the water.
And so only Michael, Thomas and Yana went down. “What a beautiful picture!” Michael thought by seeing the underwater fauna and flora. They saw many different fish species swimming by, some of them alone and some of them in schools. They also saw a couple of rare fishes swimming like a little shark, a dolphin and even a seahorse.
When they got back on the boat a half an hour later, the instructor told them they had been lucky. For him it was only the second time in his whole career as diver that he had seen a seahorse. Michael, Thomas and Yana were very happy when they heard that and they couldn’t wait to tell Elise and Samuel about it. When they told them about it they both looked with big eyes.
“It was really amazing!” Michael said. “Next time you really have to try again honey.” He said to Elise.
“You too, Samuel.” Thomas said at his turn. “You really had been missing something beautiful.” He added.
“Yes, only the shark got me a little bit scared though.” Yana said with a soft voice.
Elise and Samuel heard their whole story trough and promised that they would try again the next time. That night they sat with all of them in the bar and enjoyed a nice cocktail. It was late in the evening when they all went to bed.
The next day they arrived in Cape Town in South Africa, where they would be staying for two days. There they had arranged a couple of tours. They went to the city itself but also a day hiking on the Table Mountain, a big mountain range that had a Plateau as top and was 1.086 meters high. On top of this mountain they had an amazing view over the whole city and they saw the stadium that was build for the world championship football back in 2010. That stadium, the Green-point stadium or also called the Cape Town stadium, they went to visit later in the afternoon. However it was only the boys who found it interesting. After the visit to the stadium they decided to have dinner there and because they never had been in South Africa, they decided to try a typical African dish.
After diner, which everyone found delicious, they headed back to the boat and that night they enjoyed attending a gig from a band who, just as Michael and Thomas, played covers.
“Well, that’s nice for the change, right?” Michael asked with a wink to Thomas.
“Absolutely, it feels good to be on the other side of the stage for once.” He answered.
They enjoyed the fact of hearing music without playing it by themselves, which they both found exciting.
The next day they headed out of the bay and off to an island not so far away. They would be at open sea for a whole day and the boys decided to try the flowrider, at the back of the ship. They had never been on a surfboard before and you could notice that immediately. When Thomas took his board with a lot of confidence he pushed himself off the side with a big grin on his face. That grin however disappeared very quickly. Within five seconds he was back at the frontside of the flowrider with his head faced down and the girls and Samuel and Michael were laughing very hard. Thomas came back to them with a slightly red face.
“Well, if you think this was funny, your turn.” He said and gave Michael and Samuel a little push. Michael was going first and he laid down on his belly on the board. That went well, he taught and tried to get up. That was not going so well, because within two seconds he also fell over. Again everyone started laughing, but Michael was laughing with them. He was fully aware that this was not going to go very good from the beginning and he had said to himself that he would have made the best of it.
Then it was Samuel’s turn. He also laid down and headed for the wave. When he was almost there he stood up and that went so well that everyone was looking at him with their mouths wide open. He even added a couple of tricks and after almost ten minutes he landed and when he joined the rest of the group again, everyone celebrated.
“Waauw,” Elise and Yana said in unison. “You’ve done that before! Right?” Yana added.
“That’s right, I confess, I have been in Hawaii once with my parents when I was little and there I have learned surfing.” Samuel answered.
“But that has been a long time ago?” Thomas asked in unbelief.
“Yes indeed, but it’s like riding a bike or walking. You don’t lose your skills in it very quickly.” Samuel said. “Plus, I have been doing it afterwards too, every time I went on vacation with my parents I went surfing.” He added.
Everyone was so impressed by Samuels surfing skills that that was the only subject they talked about that night. Samuel didn’t bother, he was happy to bring back the beautiful memories again.
The next morning they arrived before the coast of Madagascar, a beautiful island that was laying before the coast of Mozambique. There they admired the wonderful nature and the local fauna and flora of the fourth largest island in the world. They were staying there for a whole day which gave them the time to visit the island and so they had asked a guide from the ship to escort them to the most beautiful places, including one of the many waterfalls in the middle of the nature. Here, they all went in for a little swim. After that they headed further into the forest on a lane where they walked between baobab trees, these were unique trees with a large trunk and where only on the top of it grows a crest.
The guide told them the legend of the bushmen which says that the trees are thrown on earth by the gods as a punishment and landed on their heads. That is why it looks as if the roots are heading in the air and the crests are underground.
After their two hour walk they arrived back at the ship and they all were exhausted. After diner they went off the ship again for a while to make an evening swim. Michael and Thomas brought their snorkels and they saw beautiful scenes underwater. Elise and Yana were laying in the beach chairs and Samuel was sitting at the beach bar.
The next morning they woke up early, because the guide had told them that the sunrise on this island was very beautiful and he didn’t lie. When they were outside they saw the sun coming up above the trees which woke up the entire jungle. They saw parrots flying out of the trees, together with a lot of other animals. Also in the water underneath them which was probably the most beautiful sight. Right before their eyes there were whales who came up and both Elise and Yana found that so beautiful that it brought tears to their eyes.
That night they went to bed late again and when they woke up the next morning the ship was porting in Port Louis in Mauritius. That was the last stop of the cruise and there they had a hotel at the beach for another couple days. There they had the chance to go for another dive and this time Elise and Samuel decided to try again.
“That went much better!” Samuel said excited when they were heading back to the hotel an hour later.
“Yeah, a lot better!” Elise said with an enthusiastic voice. “ And so beautiful, I am glad that I tried it again, but that’s all because of you honey.” She added while taking Michaels arm and she gave him a kiss on his cheek.
Michael laid his arm around her neck and gave her a kiss on her fore head.
“You did it all by yourself!” He said.
“Yes, but I couldn’t have done it without your support.” She said and started blushing.
That night they sat at the bar of the hotel with a nice cocktail and enjoyed the lovely pool party. Thomas, Yana and Samuel were in the water for the whole evening and also Michael and Elise joined in every once in a while. The next day however they stood up early and were taken to the airport, ready for the third and last part of their world tour.
Chapter eleven: The new world
Early in the morning they arrived in Santiago, Chili. At the airport they were awaited by the people from Creative Productions to escort them to the ship, for their last part of the world tour. When they arrived at the ship and unpacked their stuff, Michael and Thomas had a small rehearsal.
That night they played a gig in Chili. They hadn’t rehearsed in the last two weeks, but that was not noticeable. They still were able to play together and also the new song was still fresh in their memories. That is why the gig itself went very good that night. Although there wasn’t as many people at the show, but they didn’t bother. They didn’t even found it abnormal because they only had played in South America once, at the cruise on the Amazon River in Brazil.
Michael was also a little bit relieved that they didn’t had to play in front of a big audience either. That way they had a little time to getting back on track, with a relaxed feeling. The next day they played a gig at the ship, again with not too much people. It was only two days later, in Buenos Aires, Argentina that they had to play in front of a big audience again. Both Michael and Thomas were nervous for this one. After a couple of weeks of rest they now had to perform for a big audience again. These nerves however disappeared immediately when they entered the stage under loud applause. When they started their set, the crowd became noiseless. Again they ended their set with their newest song and everyone was loudly enthusiast.
The next two days they had again some rest and that was welcome, found both Michael and Thomas. Michaels voice was a little bit affected by the heat of the past weeks, and also Thomas didn’t feel very well. To make matters worse, the music installation was overheated which costs that a couple of fuses were broken. Fortunately Samuel knew what to do but on board there was no stock so they had to wait until they arrived in Rio. Samuel had been browsing over the internet and luckily there was an electronics shop not far away from the harbor. There he would be going immediately when they arrived.
In the two days at sea Michael and Thomas had been resting a lot and that they noticed when they arrived in Rio. The small issues in their bodies were gone.
“Right in time!” Michael said. “Otherwise this could have been a disaster for the show tonight.” He added
“Indeed,” Thomas replied.
They had done once again a general rehearsal for the gig. Samuel and the girls had gone to the electronics shop and there they bought a small stock.
“You’ll never know!” Samuel said while they left the shop with a bag filled with electrical gears. When they arrived back at the ship, Samuel immediately started working and within an hour of hard labour the installation was like new again.
“You did a very good job there buddy!” Michael and Thomas said in unison.
“Well, if you work with deejay gear, you also have to be kind of a nerd and be able to know what you’re doing.” Samuel replied with a wink of an eye.
Now the trio of boys were on their way to the venue were they should play in the evening. There they did the complete setup and had a general rehearsal. When that was finished they went to go for a quick diner and afterwards they headed back to the venue for their gig. That gig however was not the brightest. Both Michael and Thomas agreed to that.
“Well, this one did not go so well.” Michael said when they came off the stage.
“Not every game will be a great game, sweetie.” Elise said when she joined them and gave Michael a kiss on his cheek.
“That’s true!” Samuel said. “But it wasn’t that bad. I mean, I haven’t heard a bad rumor coming out of the audience. Haven’t you noticed? They were singing along with your last song.” He added.
Michael and Thomas appreciated the kind words to support them. It gave them a great feeling again.
From Rio they flew to the United States where they had to play their last two shows. The first one was in Miami and upon their arrival there a cab was waiting for them to bring them to the hotel they would be staying. Their gig was still two days away which gave them the time to explore the bruising city in the state of Florida again. After they had been strolling along the beautiful beaches for a whole day, in the evening they went to an NFL game between the Miami Dolphins and the Buffalo Bills. For this game they each bought a huge fake hand at the entrance of the stadium. In this stadium the ambiance was great too. They had never seen a real game before, so they were happy they had taken this opportunity.
When the game was finished, almost an hour and three quarters later, Michael, Thomas and Samuel were happy. The Miami Dolphins had won the game with twenty-seven to ten from the Buffalo Bills. After the game they went back to the hotel and enjoyed a last cocktail before heading to bed.
At noon the next day everyone was already very busy with the stage set up for the next day. They were going to play in an amphitheater in the middle of the city and after a whole day of testing the set up and the general rehearsal they went back to the hotel feeling exhausted which made them fall directly to sleep.
Finally the time was there. Tonight they were playing a show in front of a big audience in Miami and both Michael and Thomas, but also Samuel, Elise and Yana were pretty nervous.
“Waauw, what a huge sea of people!” Michael said while looking from out of the backstage to the people. Thomas also came to take a look and with seeing all these people standing he said: “Right, now I’m really getting nervous!”
That you could also notice in their preparations right before entering the stage. Michael had taken place on the left side and was rattling his lyrics softly. Thomas stood in the middle and he stretched his fingers one last time, took his guitar and played softly a couple riffs on it.
Then it became silent, while their intro started playing. At the end of it, the curtain fell down and Michael and Thomas entered the stage. With seeing the huge amount of people they both started feeling a little bit nervous, but Michael took place immediately behind his piano and Thomas picked in smoothly. They picked in to each other and their nerves eased down. After a couple of slow songs, Michael took his guitar and Thomas settled behind his drums. When the song started, Yana entered the stage and sang a song together with Michael. Elise didn’t know that this was going to happen so she was very surprised. “If they wanted to surprise me, they surely did.” She taught. Tears were filling her eyes when she heard the song, it was so wonderful that it seemed as if she was living a dream.
When the song was over she was applauding the loudest and when Jana re-entered the backstage, Elise jumped up and flew around her neck. “That was beautiful.” She whispered, but that was all she could say. It had caused her having her breath stuck.
“Thank you,” Yana answered, while giving her best friend a big hug.
“We didn’t tell you this because we wanted to surprise you.” She added.
“Well, that you did. Quiet successfully too.” Elise replied.
When the gig finished and Thomas and Michael joined them backstage, Elise also flew around Michael’s neck.
“What did you think of our surprise?” He asked with a big grin.
“Awesome!” Elise said. She looked him straight in the eyes and then she said: “I love you, Michael Hart and I never wanna lose you.” She added.
“That will never happen! I promise you that.” Michael replied and kissed her intensely.
When they were done packing their gear, they went back to the hotel and the next morning they took a domestic flight to New York for their last gig. Upon their arrival at Times Square, where they were supposed to give their last show of the world tour, they walked into a happy surprise. Their parents were waiting for them at the entrance and when they saw each other, everyone was very excited.
“Surprise!” Berton, Mark, Francis, Maria, Lynnette and Nicole yelled in unison.
“The people from creative productions, they wanted to surprise you because of your successful first world tour, so they arranged it for us to be with you during your last concert.” Berton explained.
“That’s true,” Said their manager Charlene who joined them. “Your tour was such a big success that we decided to give you a small present.” She added.
“Thank you so very much!” Michael and Thomas said in choir. “This means a lot to us.” Michael added.
“We had to miss you a lot the past six months, so we are glad that we are here today to join you guys during the last show of the tour.” Maria said. “So for tonight, play the roof off!” The fathers added.
“That, we will do!” Michael and Thomas said in unison.
The afternoon passed quickly. They had enjoyed being reunited with their parents again and had a great time. The evening arrived also quickly and the time was there for them to give it all one last time.
“Ready bro?” Michael asked Thomas.
“The time is right!” Thomas replied. “Like our parents said earlier, we are going to play the roof off, right?” He added.
“Absolutely!” Michael said with a wink.
Then, for the last time, there was a short silence right before they entered the stage. “The silence before the storm.” As Michael used to call it.
Chapter twelve: A dream come true
The curtain fell down at the exact same moment as Michael took the first note at the piano. Thomas immediately joined in on the guitar and their tribute to Gus was a fact. During the rougher songs, the whole crowd was swinging and dancing, including their parents and Yana and Elise in the backstage. But the crowd only became totally wild when Yana entered the stage and played a very intense, soft song for her father together with Michael. Again Elise was moved due to the hearing of these two beautiful voices together and a tear rolled down her cheek.
When they played their new song for the last time and intended to end the show, the crowd was begging for more so intense, they could not let it pass by.
After a couple minutes they re-entered the stage with Both the guys from Soul Generation and Yana. All of them together played a couple of huge covers and after a couple minutes more then normally was calculated, the show ended with a loud applause and so their first world tour became a fact.
“Well, one thing is certain,” Thomas said. “We are going to talk about this long after today.” He added.
“Indeed! Well done buddy.” Michael replied and gave his best friend a hug.
“That was fabulous!” Their parents yelled when they entered the back stage.
That night there was a huge party. During this party Thomas and Michael had a new announcement, during the tour they had finished not one, but fifteen new songs and so they were heading back to the studio soon for the recordings of their second full album.
Both the parents as also Yana and Elise didn’t knew this yet and were excited with the hearing of this news and celebrated until early in the morning.
A couple days later they arrived back in Etely Mountain and also there everyone was wildly enthusiastic about the news of the upcoming second album. In the youth center they had been welcomed back as hero’s and one morning they gained a letter from the Mayor of the town with an invitation for an awarding.
After this ceremony they had decided to head to Mallorca for a couple weeks of well earned rest in their house back there and so it was that one week later they were laying at the beach near the villa. Michael had just been finished rubbing in Elise’s back when all of the sudden he felt four hands grabbing him. Thomas and Samuel had grabbed Michael and were dragging him to the water. There they threw him into the sea as if he was a bottle with a message inside. Elise was laughing so hard with seeing this, but Michael took his revenge while the other were looking away. He ran into them and pushed them over one by one.
“There! Now we all are wet!” He said with laughter.
Elise laid down and thought by herself: Men! She shook her head and closed her eyes.
That night they were all sitting together at the terrace. The fathers were baking meat on the barbecue and the mothers had been busy with the vegetables in the kitchen. During diner Elise reported about their day at the beach and when she came at the point of Michaels revenge, the parents laughed very hard.
“ Suits them well!” Berton said and winked at his son.
“Absolutely,” said Mark, “no mercy, as the saying is going: whoever dugs a pit for another usually falls into it! Well done, Michael.”he added.
Thomas, who sat next to Michael, gave him a pad on his shoulder.
“Luckily it was all just for fun!” They said in unison and they both laughed very hard.
“Hey, what do you say if we were going for another try dive?” Michael asked Thomas.
“I’d like to give it another try.” Thomas replied.
“Who wants to join us?” Michael asked and Mark, Berton and Francis said in unison that they would like to give it try too.
So it was that in the afternoon they were in the water together with three experienced divers. This time everyone was going for a try. The underwater fauna and flora that was laying before the coast of Mallorca was a little bit different then it was at the Atlantic ocean, but it surely wasn’t less pretty and perhaps even prettier. Certainly when they were swimming on a reef after half an hour they encountered a school of fish with so many different colors that it seemed as if a large flag was passing by. They also saw dolphins swimming which gave everyone a great feeling.
When they arrived back at the villa in the evening, their moms had prepared a paella which tasted wonderful and everyone had eaten so much they all became instantly sleepy. They sat together in the lounge with a drink and talked that night about their adventures of the last two years. From the very beginning with the rehearsals back in their basement with Berton and Maria. Maria couldn’t hide a tear while she thought back to that time. Berton had seen it too and he pulled his wife close to him. In the corner of his eye he saw Michael and Thomas sitting at the fire pit with their guitars, entertaining Samuel, Elise and Yana. A smile spontaneously appeared at his face with seeing this. He was so proud of his son and at what he had performed the last couple years.
That two friends, who knew each other since kindergarten, had been going along for such a large amount of time and still were able to be best friends. That beautiful picture made it happen that Berton, Maria, Mark, Lynnette, Francis and Nicole felt as if they were the happiest people on earth, for the rest of their lives.