The Misadventures of Johan O'Malley

The Misadventures of Johan O’Malley: Chapter 14

I woke up to two officers taking the straight jacket off of me. One was Noelle’s date from last night and the other his direct supervisor. 

“You’re free to go buddy. The DNA from the mugger matches what we had on file for the culprit.”

“Okay, well what do you plan on doing about my soiled pants?” I said.

“There’s nothing more I can do. I called Noelle and told her and we shared a nice laugh. Now it’s your problem.”

What a useless cop. And now Noelle knew about my accident. I was never going to be able to live this down. Maybe I should just ignore her for the rest of the summer. After all, I came here for my career, not my love life. 

After a humiliating and extremely uncomfortable walk back to campus. I stumbled into my room around seven in the morning. I thought I was quiet enough so that I wouldn’t wake up Jared. But as I started to slide my pants off I heard, “Dude, what the hell!”

Jared was sitting on his bed reading, and for some reason still dressed in his outfit from last night, minus the wig. 

“Jared, did you sleep in the outfit from last night?” I asked.

“That’s not important right now, man. Did you shit your pants?!”

“I’ve had a long night,” I sighed. “A really long and awful night.”

“Okay, well please just shower and do laundry. I feel like I’m about to throw up.”

I took off my clothes and wrapped a towel around myself. Then went downstairs and tossed them into the laundry before coming back up to shower. My plan was to take a quick shower and then go back to sleep. Even though I slept all night, I was still wiped out.

When I woke up, I went down to the dance studio for class to start. The weekend had been horrible. If I wanted to get a letter of recommendation for college, I needed to get to work. Musical theatre class started soon and I wanted to practice my combinations before the head of this school kicked me out for not keeping up.

I had the whole studio to myself for fifteen minutes, which allowed me time to perfect my moves. I was certain I could impress the class today with my amazing movements. When  Ms. Donoghue walked in and took a seat, I felt confident for the first time in days. She started class and had everyone perform the combinations solo. She even said, “Excellent work, Johan.”

Finally, I had something to be excited about and knew that I had to put everything into dance. Women could wait until senior year started. This summer I had the opportunity to be a star. I officially gave up on Noelle at that moment, because if she wanted a loser cop, she could have him.

I was wondering if there was a girl in the class who didn’t know anything embarrassing about me. But after my dates with Noelle and my crush on Haley, every girl in this program knew my reputation. At least I had one friend in the program, Jared, who supported me through all of my antics.

When I got back to the room, Jared had changed into his dance gear and had a big smile on his face.

“Dude, I have amazing news. I got us tickets to the biggest Manhattan summer music festival on Friday night. My cousin, who works PR for the event, got us backstage passes.”

This was the kind of news I needed. First a great class and then an amazing event that I could post about to make all of my friends jealous. Finally, things seemed like they were turning around.


I looked smokin’ hot. It took me all evening to get dressed and ready for tonight. I intended on taking tons of pictures to post to show my awesome #summerinthecity life. I mean I had to after seeing Mike and Tory. Apparently he went to Philly and the two posted a picture at the King of Prussia mall, one of the biggest in the country. 

But, I put them out of my mind and slipped on my vintage leather jacket that I got from a thrift store back home. It made me feel like a bad boy in one of Mohammed’s YA romances. Jared came in and handed me my pass. It had the whole lineup on it. I was looking at all the names. This was going to be an amazing night. But then I got down to the bottom: “And closing out the festival will be the world debut of Little Timmy and his new Indie band.

Seriously? Who were his new bandmates? I was pissed. I couldn’t escape this kid. But I do love Indie music and Little Timmy was incredibly talented so I had to admit I was really excited to hear his new sound. It was strange that I hadn’t heard much about Little Timmy since New Year’s and we both were in Manhattan at the same time.

When Jared and I arrived, we went through security and took our place near the stage. It didn’t take long for Little Timmy and the older man to come out. That was it? No new band members? I started to laugh, until a familiar face looked directly at me and winked. Craig Bach? The asshole who dated Melody for a few weeks and my former bandmate from Johan Sebastian Craig. At least Sebastian didn’t betray me.

Then I saw him come out wearing a suit and talking on the phone. I heard him say something about a record deal. This couldn’t have been what I thought it was. Was he their manager?? Don’t you have to go to school for that? I decided to hide because I couldn’t have either of them seeing me at the moment.

“Johan!” Jared called. “Don’t you want to meet some of the bands?”

“I don’t know. I’m quite shy,” I tried to hide behind a stranger, but I was over six foot and the person was like ten inches shorter than me.

“Shy? You openly stalk people. Come on. Little Timmy is supposed to be awesome.”

He had a point, but I wish he hadn’t said that out loud because every security guard then glared at me. I didn’t really have an option so I walked over and started shaking the hands of some of the talent. I then realized this was a good chance to try to make some connections.

“Johan O’Malley, professional backup dancer,” I said as I shook the first person’s hand. I didn’t recognize him so maybe he wasn’t in a big band. He also looked more like an accountant than a rockstar so he was probably just a manager. “Let me know if your guys want me to work for them. I’d be happy to let them perform with me.”

“Patrick Carney,” he said, almost expecting me to recognize him. But I’ve seen Cirque de Soleil and he didn’t look familiar. I’ve never heard of a carny getting famous, and I certainly have never heard of one becoming famous enough to be known by one name. This guy would never make it big in show business, so I was wasting my time talking to him.

“Sorry, but I’m not interested in dancing for the circus, excuse me.” 

I left him and started looking around for some real rockstars. Hopefully one of the members of the Black Keys or the White Stripes would be here. They could give me some pointers on making it in music, and possibly hear me out about doing a concert together and calling it The Gray Concert.

I started looking around when I got distracted by an announcement.

“Everybody, the moment you’ve all been waiting for…Little Timmy!”

Oh, now this I had to hear. But just before they started singing, I got a call from my mom. This couldn’t have come at a worse time.

“Hello, mom?” I said, trying to hide my annoyed tone.

“Johan, I need to ask you a favor. Your uncle was supposed to go to a community center in New Jersey to deliver a commencement address but there’s a huge storm in the Midwest and there are no flights for the rest of the weekend. I’m emailing you his speech now.”

I knew this was my big moment. People were going to hear my speaking skills and I would immediately get cast in productions. All I had to do was do an amazing job.

“He needs you to deliver his speech tomorrow…”

“Yes, mom, it’s my time to shine.”

“No, it’s not about you. It’s about them.”

“Yes, mom. I can save the day!”

“Johan, listen. Community center. Saturday evening. 7 PM. Auditorium two. Auditorium one is being used for a chip ceremony…”

“I got it mom, auditorium. Community center. It’s my time to shine!”

“Johan, auditorium t-“

I hung up. That was enough of that. I had to warm up my vocal cords. After this weekend I wouldn’t be able to go anywhere without getting recognized.

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