The crowd chants our name. The lights fade out and thick clouds seep out of the smoke machine. Alfie, Ry and I scurry onto the stage to take our places just in time for the spotlight to illuminate us. The chanting turns into screams, the noise echoing off the walls of the concert hall. My heart rate speeds up in my chest. It’s been a few months since we’ve performed a live show, and I forgot how intense it can get up here.
Alfie puts on his charm. “Well, hey there, gang. Thanks so much for the warm welcome.” He says it smoothly, like he’s chatting up a girl at bar. It drives the kids wild. “We’re honored to be here to entertain y’all and help make this Pride Prom one to remember.” More applause and cheers ring out. “We’re starting with a song that’s very close to my heart,” he says. “I wrote it years ago, when I was trying to figure out my identity in a world of binaries. It’s called Fluid.”
He turns to look at me, gives me a wink, and then I start counting us in. I tap, tap, tap my drumsticks together, and then BOOM, I smash out the beat.
Ry starts strumming his guitar. People in the audience hold up rainbow flags, waving them proudly. Then Alfie starts to sing.
“The world says we gotta follow,
All the rules we’ve been assigned…”
My gaze is drawn to Alfie, his hair falling into his eyes as he sings his heart out. Something about the way he squeezes his eyes shut when he hits high notes makes me swoon a little.
Wait. Swoon? He’s Alfie. Alfie doesn’t make me swoon. I drag my eyes away from him and try to distract myself by looking at the crowd.