Date: Sat, 21 Apr 2012 02:29:57 -0600 From: CK Subject: Gone Viral Chapters 1 and 2 Hey everyone this is my second attempt at writing a story for Nifty. I know that it doesn't have sex in it and everything, but I want this series to go on and for the readers to connect with the characters. Everything in this story is completely fiction and in no way mirrors any real life events. If you are too young to be reading this in your country then I suggest you step away quickly. :) As usual all text is Copyright to the author of the story. Send me some feedback if you want me to keep going. Its just starting and I think Jake is going to be meeting some very important people who will alter his life forever. Thanks, Cody Gone Viral Prologue: Okay, so here's the deal. A few months ago I posted a video on a website that features up and coming music artists. It was a simple cover with just me and my guitar jamming out to my favorite song. Michael Buble had been my major musical inspiration so I chose to upload my version of "Haven't Met You Yet." Within the first few days it hit over twenty-thousand views and I was completely stunned. I never thought that it would get that high. Then in the next month the views continued to rise, and soon it was over a million views. To say I was stunned now would be an understatement. Only because I never had faith in my music, and voice. So, now I had a viral music video on my hands and the count was continuing to grow. For the next month I just sat in awe as the views continued to escalate. I was not only overwhelmed by the response, but from the support my family and friends were giving me through Facebook responses and in my own home. I remember asking my father once if this could be something big and what I can do to make something spectacular come out of this, and he just looked at me with a look of deep love. He lifted my chin up and looked me straight in my eyes and said, "Jacob, I know you don't know what to do right at this moment, but things will get better I promise, your mother and I will be there to support you through everything. Your grandmother used to sing extremely well you know?', 'but she never had the opportunity you are being given right now. If she were here I know she would tell you to shoot for the stars and don't stop until you are one." He smiled at me one more time and that helped me gain a lot of confidence that I never had before. Anyways now I am on the third month of my video being uploaded and the views have reached over four million. Three months was all it took for me to go from a college drop out gone part time cashier to getting the phone call that changed my life. Chapter One: Phone Call That Changed My Life As I opened my eyes from my deep sleep I could feel something different about today. I knew today was going to be a great day for some reason and I already had a smile on my face. I slowly got out of bed and began my morning rituals. I got a clean pair of blue and white striped boxer-briefs from the top drawer of my dresser and walked down the hall to the bathroom. After finishing brushing my teeth, and my shower I pulled my underwear on and walked back to my room to get ready for my morning run. Once I finished dressing I grabbed my ipod and stopped to admire myself in the mirror before heading out the bedroom door. I like to stay in shape and I would have to say I have a decent body If I don't say myself. I have great runners legs, with a timid 6pack, and overall toned body. My hair is a dirty blonde in a clean cut way and my eyes have been refereed to as ocean eyes. Sometimes they are a deep blue, a light blue, or even a light green. All depends on the colors I decided to wear for the day. As I trotted down the stairs from the upper floor I checked in the kitchen to see if my Mom or Dad were up yet. When I turned the corner into the kitchen I could already see my parents fully dressed and thought that was really strange considering it was like 5 AM. My parents saw my arrival and motioned for me to sit. "Hey Jake, come sit for a minute we have to talk about something." My father said with a smile on his face. I knew I wasn't in trouble from that smile so I popped a squat on the counter next to the kitchen table. "What's up guys? Where you off to so early?" I asked while my legs dangled over the counter's edge. "Oh, we're not going anywhere, but you are. We got a call last night from someone." My sweet mother said with a grin on her face. "I am? What...? Who called last night?" I asked perplexed. "Well, you know that video you posted online a few months ago? Well a producer called late last night after you passed out and said he'd like to meet with you when you decide you want to do something with that voice. In fact, he came all the way from Los Angeles to see you." My dad said with a full out grin that wrinkled his face in several spots. "Are you joking? You're joking right?" I said as I slid off the counter and started pacing. "When do I meet with him? Are you guys serious?" I was getting excited and nervous and knew that this could be it. This could be my way out of the hard life of working manual labor and a career that I have no desire to be apart of. Now I am being scouted by a producer? This has to be perfect! My mind was in turmoil as I started trying to figure out how not to blow the opportunity. I could barely hear my parents speaking until my father grabbed my attention. "Jake!" He shouted, as I looked over he started chuckling. "You are going to be fine, it's in our blood remember? Just do your best and you will be fine, I can't believe this is finally happening for you! After all these years of listening you sing in the house you actually have something to show for it." My dad said as he began welling up. I looked at my father as a tear escaped my tear-duct. "Dad, don't cry. This is my time, I can feel it. I felt something this morning when I got out of bed. I don't know how to explain it really, but its like something connected for me last night while I was sleeping. I am not going to let this get away from me." I replied. I walked over to the table and gave my parents both a hug and sat down next to them. "Okay, so details! When do I meet him and where?" I asked excitedly. "Well his flight gets in at 8 AM and he requested that you and him meet for dinner tonight at 6PM." My father looked at me a little more seriously. "You're are twenty-one now and this is your life and career. So your mother and I decided to stay out of all of this unless you want us to be apart of it." My dad said. "Dad, Mom, you know I want you both to be apart of it. However, I understand what you are saying and I agree. It's my life, it was my choice to upload that video in hopes of a miracle, and I think it would be best for me to handle this stuff on my own as well." I said back to them with a reassuring smile on my face. My fathers face beamed with pride as he looked at me for what felt like the first time as person who was finally making the right decisions. "Okay then we will stay out of it. You are going to do great Jake, we know you will." My mom said with tears in her eyes. "Well I've got a lot to think about, I really need a long run now." I said while getting up from the table. "Okay well I'm going to start breakfast. It should be ready when you get back from your run." My mom said while scooting out her own chair. "Sounds good, I'll be back in an hour then." I said as I headed out of the kitchen to the front door. As I closed the door behind me I felt the cold nipping at me so I started off on my run. Running was another thing that helped me clear my mind. As I got into my running rhythm I switched on my ipod and let the music take over me for a while. Before I knew it my run was coming to an end and I had ran over 7 miles and was sweating profusely despite the morning chill. When I opened the door I realized my niece was up already along with her dad. My brother got into a nasty relationship and ended up with a child and no home out of the deal. So, for the moment he and his daughter also stay in my parents house. It's a little crowded, but hey you got to love having a three year old running around the house. When I walked through the door I noticed my brother Derek smiling extremely large at me. "Hey J-man, I heard the great news! Congrats!" He said while pulling me into a hug. My brother is a spilt image of me just six years older and a little more heavy-set. He has the same eyes and was a couple inches taller then me standing at 6'1. He has always been one of my greatest supporters throughout my life. "Thanks D. I can't believe this is happening! I still don't know what's going on and I won't know until later, so I can't be certain what's going to happen." I said nervously while letting go of his embrace. "Either way this is a great step!" He said with a cheeky smile on his broad face. I blushed at his praise while my Mom ushered me towards the table and sat a massive plate of scrambled eggs, green and red peppers, sausage, bacon, and hashbrowns all mixed together. My all time favorite. I shoveled it down as my family and I discussed the situation, and how great it was. Once finished I decided there was no way I was going to be able to wait all day for the meeting. I told the family I was going to go back to sleep until the meeting.I crawled into bed, and found it suprisingly easy to fall back asleep despite the feelings I had going throughout my body. I awoke as I felt a soft hand playing with my face. I opened my eyes and saw my beautiful three year old niece staring back at me. "Hello sweetie!" I said to her with as much enthusiasm as I could muster after just waking up. "Jake I knew you wanted to get up soon so I came in here to wake you up like daddy told me to!" She said while playing with her fingers trying to say everything without a mistake. "Thank you for that hun." I said as I got out of bed and gave her a little hug. I looked over at the clock and saw it was just after 5PM. 'Wow I slept for a long time' I thought to myself. I ushered my niece out of my bedroom with promises to give her a snack later. Once she was out of the room I began pacing again trying to figure out what to wear for the most important crossroad moment of my life. As I realized the entirety of the situation at hand I started to get really nervous that this could fall through. I had heard about a lot of music deals falling through on the internet and if I was just about to get my deal I wasn't about to let it fall through the tips of my fingers. After my little pep-talk to myself I rummaged through my closet trying to find the perfect style that emulated me. I found a nice button-up black and white striped shirt hanging in the center of the rack. I pulled that out along with a black v-neck undershirt. Once I had decided the top half I decided to go with a darker boot cut jean and a black pair of dress sneakers. Overall the look was all me, and I had to admit I looked pretty great in it. Once I finished dressing I ran to the bathroom, brushed my teeth, and made sure that my hair was perfectly styled to my liking. I walked back to my room to check the time, and realized that if I didn't leave now I was going to be late for my dinner meeting. I started my decent downstairs and my family wished me luck as I walked out of the door with nothing but high hopes for my future. Chapter Two - The Meeting I got in my car and from the information I had gotten from my parents the meeting was to be held at a local restaurant where I had actually worked when I was going to high school. I put my TrailBlazer in drive and made my way to the restaurant for the meeting that may change my life. The whole way to the restaurant my mind was reeling with anxiety. My thoughts kept saying, 'What if he writes me off the moment I step in there?' 'What if he wants me to be someone I am not happy being?' 'What if my secrets all come out because of this choice I'm making?' It only seemed as though a few minutes had gone by and I was at the restaurant. I knew it took twenty minutes to get there, so I knew that I was on high alert now. I parked my car in a spot near the side entrance and got out of the SUV. 'Keep calm' 'Everything is going to go perfect' I kept telling myself on the while walking in the side door. Once inside the restaurant all my memories from high school came back to me. All the people I worked with, the time or two that I sang with the piano in the bar area. I scanned the work floor and found only a couple people I recognized anymore. "Can I help you?" A young waitress I had never met before asked. "Yeah, I have a reservation for two under Jacob Marlonia." I replied kindly. "Okay right this way, your guest has already arrived." She said while motioning me to follow her. I followed behind her wondering what the guy I was about to meet looked like. When I arrived at the table the man stood up to greet me. From the looks of it he was well dressed in a tailored suit that smelt like money. He had a very kind smile that I instantly took a liking to. He stood around 5'11 and had dark brown hair and seemed to be getting a little grey around the ears. I noticed his eyes were a dark brown as well, and all around the guy looked to be a decent person. "Jacob Malonia? It's so great to finally meet you. I'm sorry we didn't get to chat on the phone so this might be a little strange for you huh?" He said as we shook hands and slid into our sides of the booth table. "Its nice to meet you too sir. Yeah, I was really shocked this morning when my parents told me what was going to go down today." I said with my most winning smile I had. "Well I guess we can get to the chase if you would like." He suggested. "How about we eat first then we can go into the bar area and have a few drinks then talk about it." I suggested trying to figure out the best way to get things to go my way tonight. "Sounds great, I'm starved." He said with genuine smile on his face. Just as he finished a waitress walked up that I remembered instantly. She was an older lady named Judy and was quite the character. She used a really bright shade of pink lipstick and always had a smile on her face. You could tell that she wore a wig, but that's because she suffered from cancer along time ago. When she arrived she smiled at me. "Jake! I was wondering when we would see you again! I missed that smile of yours." She said with a smirk on her face. I got up and gave her a big hug. "Its great to see you again Judy, sorry I haven't stopped by, just been a little busy lately." I said with a grimace. "Oh its alright, you're here now. So who's this gentleman you have here with you?" Judy asked politely. "Well this here is... wait I don't even know your name yet." I said a little stunned that I forgot to get his name. "I'm Rick Harrison. I am a producer for a music label down in Los Angeles. I am here to meet with this young man about possibly becoming part of our label." He said gently. "Oh wow! Jake! You are going to be signed? I remembered your voice when you used to sing at the piano. I always knew you had something special." She said with a sense of pride while resting her hand on my cheek. I blushed and added, "Thanks Judy." "So it seems you have a lot to talk about. I'll just take your order and I'll get out of your way." She said while pulling out her infamous pink pen and order book as I slid back into the booth across from Rick. "I'll have the Eddie's Burger with a house salad." I said to her. "I'll actually have the same. I heard these burgers were the best in the state." Rick replied. "Okay well your orders will be up in about twenty minutes. Anything to drink while ya'll wait?" She asked. "I'll take a Coors Light in the bottle." I said to her. "And I'll have a Rum and Coke please." Rick added. "Sounds good guys, I'll be right back with those drinks for ya." Judy said while walking away. Things got quiet for a second as I gathered my thoughts. "So I guess I do want to know some stuff before we eat, what exactly is going on completely? And who are you.. really?" I asked with a perplexed expression.Rick chuckled a little and began, "Well I am Rick Harrison. I was just sitting in my office the other day when I got a call from my son's friend's agent to check out a video that had been going viral over the past three months. Once I checked out the video I knew I had to talk to you and see if you wanted to possibly do something with that voice. I tried searching for more covers that you had done, but it seemed that you only posted that one. So for me to find an artist that only put out one cover and had it go viral is pretty rare." He stopped while Judy dropped our drinks off at the table. Once she left we both took a deep drink as I thought over what he was saying to me. "Anyways I am from a company that finds talent across the globe and help my business grow. I actually produce four top-twenty artists on my own right now. Including Maroon 5, Jason Mraz, Michael Buble, and Gavin DeGraw. I know thats a lot to take in, and its a big offer, but I saw something in that video that I haven't seen in awhile. I saw you connect with a song over the internet. It gave me chills to be honest and when I consulted my boss about coming to meet you he said to do whatever it takes to get you to join the team." He finished with a little puff. "I don't really know where to begin... I only put that one video online so why go through all of.. this to get me to join your team? I don't have any experience, and I don't even know the first thing about writing a song. I just know that when I find a song I connect with I can sing my heart out of it. Sorry, that probably doesn't make sense. Its just hard to explain the feelings that come over me when I hear a song I connect with." I replied with a blush hinting over my cheeks. "See? That's what I'm looking for. A passion. A drive. A feeling that you can't explain. We need you on our team." Rick said. I began to answer when I noticed that our food was coming. Judy came to our table and set the burgers in front of us with our salads beside them. "Okay fellas, enjoy your meal. Jake you better not leave without saying goodbye to me." Judy finished saying. "I won't I promise." I replied to her with a wink. I had a plan up my sleeves that I hope seals the deal for the producer, and gains me the support of my old co-workers. Over the next hour Rick and I conversed about my future, my favorite artists, my biggest inspirations, and the people I want to meet in life. Once we finished our dinner I suggested that we head to the lounge and decided what to do from there. As we walked into the lounge we found a nice section in the corner that had no one around it. I chose that one and Rick looked happy about that. "So here's the deal." He said once he sat down in the comfortable old chair. "We are offering you a spot on our team. Your wages will be discussed when we get to LA, but this is serious and is going to need some time and effort put into this. I need to know if you are willing to move to LA and start a hopefully amazing career." He questioned. I put my head into my hands and thought for a moment. I pulled my head up once I came to a conclusion and looked him dead in the eye. "I would be willing to do anything to have my name in lights. I am ready to sing for the rest of my life. So yeah I would totally move to LA." I replied with my heart pounding. I couldn't believe that this was actually happening to me. This was it. "That's a relief to hear. I don't know what my boss would do if I didn't snatch you up. Next thing I need to know is when you will be ready to move to LA. We have several company flats that are quite nice and we allow our artists to stay there as long as they are with the label. So you can live there for as long as necessary for free." He said. "Well I can be ready to leave anytime. I have no ties here anymore other than my family. So I can go whenever you need me to." I stated. I couldn't believe the offer he was giving me. I get to stay in LA for free and do music for a career. This is all to good to be true. "Then I don't see why you can't hop on the company jet tomorrow then. If that's too soon then we can schedule a flight for a week from now?" He suggested when he saw my face crumple a little at his first suggestion. I could leave tomorrow for my new life, or wait a week. To be honest I am ready to start this adventure now, and I know my family will support my decision either way. I continued to think for a few minutes while Rick waited patiently. "Okay then. I guess my career starts tomorrow." I replied to him with a smile beaming across my face. The older man looked to be relieved once again and drained his drink. "I can't wait to hear what you sound like in real life now. Do you have anywhere I can listen to you?" He suggested with his eyebrows raised a little. "Sure, actually let me go talk to the manager really quick." I got up and walked out of the bar area into my old bosses office. I looked in and there she was sitting over a bunch of bills that probably aren't getting paid due to the economy. She looked up when she noticed me and broke out into a smile. I missed her I realized. She got up and gave me a great big hug that I can't recall ever getting while I worked there. "Jake. Wow how you have grown! Its been what? Five years since I last saw you?" She asked. "Yes mam, around five years. I actually had a question. I am trying to strike a deal with a music producer and I was wondering if I could use the piano in the bar for a song or two." I questioned her with a hopeful look on my face. "I don't see why not. I haven't heard you sing since the New Years Eve party six years ago!" She stated. I beamed at her as we made our way back to the bar. She sat in her normal chair at the bar, and looked on at me as I got ready. As I sat down behind the piano, a song I heard a few weeks ago came to me. I made sure I had the right keys and began my piano cover of Maroon Five's new single Payphone. "I'm at a payphone trying to call home All of my change I spent on you Where have the times gone Baby it's all wrong, where are the plans we made for two? Yeah, I, I know it's hard to remember The people we used to be It's even harder to picture That you're not here next to me You say it's too late to make it But is it too late to try? And in our time that you wasted All of our bridges burned down" I went on until the last bar and looked up at the producer and saw a grin plastered across his broad face. I got up and did a little nervous bow to the audience that had assembled while I was singing. I got back to my seat and asked, "So did you like it?" with a hesitant look on my face. "That was nearly better than the original and I can't believe that voice came out of you. Its like your a totally different person when you sing. Its quite impressive to tell you the truth." He replied with another genuine smile. I knew at that moment that I could trust this guy. His smile put me at ease and made me reassured that this was the right thing. Once we finished our after dinner drinks we got ready to get going. I walked over to Judy and told her good-bye, and that I'd visit when I was in town next. We made our way out the doors and just before we parted ways Rick stopped me. "Don't forget to pack for a long stay. Give your family my best wishes and I'll send them an E-Mail with all my contact information when I get back to the hotel. Meet me at the airport at 11AM for the flight." He added politely. "Sounds good Rick, and thank you so much for this opportunity. I won't disappoint you or the label. I promise." I stated with a smile on my face. "I know you won't. I'll see you tomorrow afternoon." He said as he got in his rental BMW and sped off towards his hotel. I got back in my TrailBlazer and made my way back home with my thoughts all going about ten million miles an hour. I was about to leave everything I knew for a city I had never been to. For a career I had no experience in. And you know what? I couldn't be more excited. Before I knew it I was back at my house and the lights were on in the front room signaling that my family was waiting to hear the news. I put my car into park, got myself emotionally together, and got out to give my parents the good and bad news. As soon as I entered the house both my parents and my brother were waiting with pained expressions for my news. "Hey Jake! How'd everything go?" My dad asked nervously. "Oh, it went okay I guess." I said not wanting to give it up so easily. "Jacob Marlonia, you tell me this instant what happened." My mother said not wanting to tortured by her youngest son. "Oh fine. Well lets go sit down I don't really know where to start." I suggested as we all walked into the living room to discuss my future. "Okay so spill!" My brother said while mock punching me in the arm. "Fine Fine! Okay so this is gonna kinda come as a shock and I know its really sudden and out of no where. But this guy I met with tonight produces four of the top twenty music artists out right now and he wants me to join the label aswell." I said with a smile plastered on my face. I noticed both my parents hugging with tears slowly falling down their faces. While Derek showed nothing but pride all across his face. "But here's the bad part. He wants me to leave with him tomorrow to start getting everything setup in LA." I said with tears crawling down my own face now. "Tomorrow? So soon?! Will this be a permanent home now? How are you going to get a place to live?" My mom bombarded with questions. "Mom. Everything is already taken care of other than the fact that I will be packing all night long. The company allows artists to stay indefinitely at a flat located in the city. Plus its rent free, so I don't have to pay for anything other than food and other necessary items of course." I said trying to calm her down. "Are you sure you are ready to do this Jake? Its going to be a big challenge being down there by yourself." My dad asks. "I think I am ready to do this Dad. Yeah, I am. I know its going to be a big challenge, but I am ready for this challenge. Music is all I know and probably all I will ever be good at. This is my chance to live off a dream for the rest of my life, and I couldn't be more happy." I said with tears flowing down my cheeks. Both my parents and my brother got up and gave me a monster hug. It finally sunk in that I was leaving tomorrow and wasn't even ready for life on my own. My parents were scrambling trying to find the money they stashed away for me and all the necessary cards and information. Meanwhile my brother and I ran upstairs in my room and were packing anything and everything I needed to take with me for my new home. My brother and I talked constantly about the whole idea of being able to do something that you are so passionate about that its not even like a job or a career. Its just something that you were born to do. We continued packing all the way until 5AM when finally the last piece of clothing fit into the suit case and was zipped up. I ran down stairs and put all my baggage by the door. I walked around the house thinking about all the memories that were encoded in the separate parts of the house. All the times Derek and I played hide-n-go-seek, the countless hours spent on the computer gaming, the homemade meals that my mom slaved over every day, but most of all I would miss my family. Nothing can replace my family, not even my dream of becoming someone everyone knows. They were there for me when things were rough after dropping out of college and I knew there was no way I could ever repay them. I shook out of my reverie and stumbled up to my room and passed out anxiously awaiting the next day when I would finally start my new life.