Chapter 6

You've gotta sing like there's nobody listening. ~Logan Lerman

A/N: Okay, so this is the first thing I've ever done in third person POV, so I'm sorry if it sucks. XD Your name is Courtney.

Courtney sat back down in the white plastic chair, her bright pink Shirley Temple drink cool in her hand.

"What took you so long?" Her twin brother Cole asked, wiggling his eyebrows at her.

Courtney blushed at what he was implying, pushing Cole lightly on the shoulder as she took a sip of her drink. "The bartender wouldn't pat much attention to me. He was too worried about the hot girls who wanted to buy alcohol."

Cole rolled his eyes, taking a sip of his beer as their mother, Cora Matheson, chuckled softly from under her wide-brimmed straw hat.

Courtney never has confidence in herself.

"Oh, Co-ole!" A giggling, tipsy voice trilled from behind Courtney, who grimaced at the sound. "You were talking about meeeee, riiiight?"

Courtney resisted the urge to punch her brother's idiotic beach-blonde of a girlfriend in the face as she toppled onto Cole's lap.


She's so self-centered. Courtney thought disgustedly as Cole began teasing her and complimenting her, Cora Matheson watching with a pained look on her face.

But Trixie is pretty. Courtney thought grudgingly. Who am I kidding, she's gorgeous.

It was true.

With her waist-length honey-blonde curls, tan complexion, soft blue eyes, full lips, and her perfect oh-so-tall body, Trixie Roter was drop-dead gorgeous.

Courtney looked away in disgust as Cole and Trixie began making out passionately. Mom told him not to do that. Several times, too. She thought to herself as she twirled a stray piece of her dull brown hair around her finger.

"Ewww!! Get a room!" Clarissa, Courtney's and Cole's sixteen-year-old sister, teased, laughing uproariously in her skimpy pure-white bakini. She tossed her beautiful black curls over her shoulder as a crowd of extremely attractive guys passed by their table.

Courtney tried her best not to stare as well, knowing it would make her feel even worse because no guy had ever so much as looked at her before.

"Too old for you, don't even think about it." Cole raised his eyebrows at Clarissa, shaking his head adamantly.

Courtney hid a grin behind her hand as Clarissa stuck her lower lip out, her arms crossed over her chest in a pout.

Ever since Miles Matheson had died a year before, Cole had become much more protective of his younger sister and his mother, always making sure to watch out for them, as he was the only remaining man of the family.

Courtney closed her eyes for a moment, wishing that her father could be there with them at the resort in Florida, wishing that he would be at her graduation from college this May, wishing that he hadn't contracted cancer in the first place.

But then she shook herself and took a drink of her Shirley Temple, trying to distract herself by listening to the karaoke guy who was back on stage now.

"All right, thank you Ryan for that lovely rendition of Usher, I think we all loved that, right?"

There were several loud whoops and cheers spreading across the crowd, Trixie being one of the loudest in her drunken state, and the Mathesons just clapping politely.

The karaoke guy, otherwise known as Jared, smiled and squinted at the piece of paper holding the name of the next singer.

"And now, I'd like to welcome a Courtney Matheson to the stage?" Jared squinted out across the crowd, not seeing anyone move. "Did I say that correctly? Courtney Matheson?"

"OH, SHE'S COMING, SHE'S COMING!" Cole hollered, waving his arms in the air to get Jared's attention. Jared nodded and put on some dance music while he waited.

Courtney glared at her brother. "Why. Did. You. DO this to me?!"

Cole held up his hands, a sheepish grin on his face. "You need to break out of your shell, Courtney. I signed you up to sing Firework, you know that you can nail that song."

Courtney shook her head, crossing her arms over her chest resolutely. "I'm not going up there. This is ridiculous. Mom, tell him he's being immature please."

Cora Matheson sighed, rubbing her eyes as if she were very tired. "I asked him to do this, Courtney. It's for your own good, please do this. If not for me, then for your dad."

Courtney took a deep calming breath. Now they were guilt-tripping her into doing this. Into going onto a stage and singing in front of tons of strangers.

For Daddy. She thought to herself, trying to boost her confidence. This will be for Dad.

"Fine." Courtney snapped and stood up, making Clarissa nearly fall out of her chair, surprised as she was that Courtney agreed.

Even Cole looked surprised, but his face also expressed the pride he felt for his sister that she was agreeing to do this. "Yeah, Courtney, you go, sister!"

Courtney rolled her eyes and stood up, walking towards the stage in a roundabout way in the hopes that she wouldn't have to talk to anyone on the way.

No such luck, of course.

Courtney ran directly into someone who was about two inches taller than her, and she would have fallen to the ground if not for the hand that grabbed her by the arms just in time.

"Oh my God, I'm so sorry!" Courtney gasped, putting her hands to her face as her cheeks flamed red.

The person- guy- who Courtney had run into just smiled at her, letting her go once she was steady. "It's okay. No harm done." Wow. She is beautiful. he thought to himself as he looked into her gorgeous green eyes.

Courtney smiled nervously, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear. "Sorry, I guess I'm just a little clumsy. And I wasn't really paying attention, which is my family's fault, so you can blame them."

Why does this guy look so familiar? Courtney wondered, taking in the short brown hair and clear blue eyes. I doubt I know him, he's too cute to have talked to me.

The guy cocked his head to the side, confused. "Why, what'd they do to distract you?"

Courtney made a face. "I have to go on stage and sing. My family convinced me to do that and I really don't want to. I hate it when people listen to me sing."

Then it finally clicked in her head. Holy shit, that's Logan Lerman! She tried to keep her face impassive.

Logan laughed quietly, still looking down at the girl in wonder. "So you're Courtney, right? I heard the guy call out the name a little bit ago."

Courtney nodded, her cheeks still a bit pink.

"Well, Courtney, I haven't introduced myself. I'm Logan." He studied Courtney's face, looking for a change in her expression and not finding one. She didn't freak out and ask for his autograph, which is good. "And do you want a tip for going on stage?"

Courtney grinned. "Sure, why not?"

Logan smiled too. "There's a quote by William Purkey I came across once and it's stuck with me ever since: "You've gotta dance like there's nobody watching,
love like you'll never be hurt, sing like there's nobody listening, and live like it's heaven on earth."

Courtney's smile grew wider as he said that, a real, true smile. "Thanks, Logan. I definitely will do that."

Logan nodded to her, smiling as well, this time a bit nervously. "I was...would you like to go to dinner with me after you finish?"

Courtney's eyes widened as her heart began beating faster. A guy wants to have dinner with me! And he's really cute too! And it doesn't look like he would ditch me! She opened her mouth to say yes, but all she could do was nod. In all of her twenty-one years, no guy had ever asked her to do something like that.

"Last call for Courtney Matheson! Courtney Matheson, to the stage please!"

Her cheeks beat red, Courtney waved to Logan hurriedly before rushing over and climbing onto the stage in her Hawaiian-print maxi dress and black wedge sandals, feeling very self-conscious as everyone turned their eyes to look at her.

I'll take that as a yes, then. Logan thought, smiling to himself.

Why did I let Cole talk me into this? Courtney thought to herself nervously. I'm going to make a fool out of myself. It was taking all of her willpower to not turn tail and run back to the table. Right. I'm doing this for Daddy. Get it together, Courtney.

Jared looked over at the girl who had come onto the stage, trying not to roll his eyes. The girl- no, woman- was about 5' 5", had long brown hair that tumbled over her shoulders and down her back, and she had pretty green eyes in her round face. She was no skinny twig, that was for sure, but she still looked very pretty.

"Okay, Courtney, are you ready?" Jared asked, handing her a cordless microphone and getting her karaoke song Firework by Katy Perry set up to run.

Courtney nodded, biting her lip as she looked nervous.

"Sweetie, I need you to say something into the microphone so that I know if it's at the right volume for you." Jared said, his smile tight.

Courtney blushed furiously and this time she spoke. "Oh. Sorry. Yes, I-I'm ready."

Logan leaned against a palm tree that was right where he and Courtney had been talking, smiling to himself as he heard the beginnings of Firework by Katy Perry start playing.

"All right, then, here we go!" Jared turned off his microphone and backed off to the side a bit, giving Courtney Matheson the center stage.

Cole pushed Trixie off of his lap, settling her in another plastic chair even as she protested and pouted. "I need to hear this." He said, standing and walking closer towards the stage while pulling out his iPhone.

Her whole body nearly shaking in nervousness, Courtney took a deep breath as she saw the words begin to appear on the screen. You can do this. Come on, Courtney.

"Do you ever feel like a plastic bag, drifting through the wind, wanting to start again? Do you ever feel, feel so paper thin, like a house of cards, one blow from caving in?" Courtney could already feel herself getting more comfortable as she sang more.

Logan's eyes had widened considerably as Courtney sang. She's amazing! He looked around the crowd and saw that people from the crowd were getting up and dancing, laughing and clapping, shouting and cheering.

Courtney closed her eyes as she felt the empowerment of the lyrics. "Do you know that there's still a chance for you, 'cause there's a spark in you? You just gotta igniiiite the liiiiight and let it shiiiiine, just oooown the niiiight like the Foooourth of July! 'Cause, baby, you're a fiiiirework, come on, show 'em what you're worth! Make 'em go "Oh, oh, oh", as you shoot across the sky-y-y!"

Cole whooped, grinning as he watched his twin sister let loose on the stage, seeing her face expressing her song as she sang. He held his phone up, recording the whole thing of course, because that's what annoying brothers do.

Mrs. Matheson was smiling proudly as she watched her oldest daughter singing on the stage, Clarissa cheering and singing along beside her. Cora Matheson hadn't seen her eldest daughter this happy in a long time.

"Boom, boom, boom, even brighter than the moon, moon, moon! It's always been inside of you, you, you, and now it's time to let it through-ough-ough! 'Cause, baby, you're a fiiiiirework! Come on, show 'em what you're worth! Make 'em go "Oh, oh, oh", as you shoot across the sky-y-y!!!" Only then did Courtney open her eyes and realize that half of the crowd was up dancing, and the other half was singing along and cheering. Nobody was laughing at her.

She could see Cole recording her on his phone, not that she was that surprised at that. Courtney could also see her mother and Clarissa singing along and cheering her on as well.

Her eyes roamed the crowd as she sang, searching for the person who had made her feel like a million bucks, had made her feel brave enough to come up here.

Then she saw Logan off to the side, leaning against the trunk of a palm tree, his arms folded over his t-shirt enclosed chest. There was a smile on his face that reached his beautiful blue eyes, a smile that made Courtney blush crimson as she stood on the stage, the last notes of the song singing out their ends.

Yes, her life had taken a turn for the worse since her father died, yes she didn't think that any guy would or should even notice her.

But something about Logan Lerman...something about him was different.

Different is good, right? Courtney thought to herself, a small smile breaking across her lips.

And so Courtney sang out the last words of Firework just like they were meant to be sung: like there's nobody listening.

A/N: Whatdoya think? Yes? No? Let me know! Oh, and here:


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