Ever wondered why karaoke machines are only in bars? Only drunk people can find such dreadful singing entertaining. Drunk people love karaoke. The delusion that comes with intoxication makes them think they have Beyonce’s or Usher’s voice. One of those people was my longtime friend and crush, Maria. She loved going to karaoke nights but any time she invited me to one, I had an excuse to avoid going.
It’s not that I hated singing. I just don’t have the talent or the delusion to sing in front of a crowd. I seriously suck at karaoke. As a person who sings anything and is obsessed with music, I let myself down so badly. At least I’m a good dancer though. I still have that going on for me but that’s a story for another day.
Maria was the complete opposite. She had the voice of an angel. She was no Beyoncé but she could sing to the beat and hit the keys just right. Additionally, she owned the stage. She moved around and engaged with the crowd a little. She even knew which songs people would enjoy. Sometimes I find myself watching her Karaoke night videos on TikTok all day in awe.
“Your videos make me smile,” I commented on one of her posts.
A few hours later, I got a text from her.
“I’m going to a karaoke night today. Do you want to come?” It read.
I thought of making my usual excuses to avoid going but I thought that it would be fun. Besides, I had missed hanging out with her and this was a good chance to spend some quality time with her.
“Of course, just don’t make me sing,” I replied.
She sent me the location and I started preparing myself for the night. At around 8 pm, I ordered an Uber and headed to the location. My uber drive was pretty amazing. He complimented my suit and we had a good conversation till we reached my destination. When we got there, he came out to open the door for me and I tipped him generously.
I stood at the entrance of Panari and admired its beauty. I hadn’t been there but I had passed it on many occasions. The guards directed me to the lifts that took me to the second floor where the lounge was.
“I’m here,” I said to Maria over the phone.
“Okay. I’m coming to get you.”
I spotted her walking towards me in the most beautiful red skater dress. We hugged and she pulled me into the lounge. When we walked in, one of our mutual friends was on stage singing and killing it. She sounded good.
However, I didn’t realize that it was one of her friend’s birthdays so there were many strange faces around me which only made me more nervous. The karaoke host welcomed me and invited me to sing.
“You will get a free shot of tequila when you sing.” She said trying to entice me.
Maria kept adding fuel to the fire and pressuring me until I gave in. I couldn’t disappoint her since she was so excited to hear me sing.
“I can’t sing.”
“It doesn’t matter. We’re just having fun.”
The last thing I wanted was to make a fool of myself but Maria’s words put me at ease. Besides, we pretty much had the place to ourselves and I didn’t mind embarrassing myself in front of a small crowd. I kept taking shots to kill the nerves and for a moment, it worked. We were dancing and had the time of our lives. However, the crowd grew bigger than I anticipated and it was too late to back down.
A group of white people walked in and settled at a table. My turn was still a bit far but I was getting nervous. The host called Maria to the stage to sing another song.
“Next up is the lady in red to sing My All by Mariah Carey.” She said and the crowd went wild.
She was popular and everyone looked forward to hearing her sing. This was the first time I saw her sing in person and it was an absolute treat. I saw she sounded better in person. The performance was stellar and I made sure she knew that as soon as she got off the stage. Her performance also caught the attention of the group of white guys and one of them came to our table to talk to Maria.
“You have a beautiful voice.” He said. “Can I buy you a drink?”
She agreed and they disappeared to the bar area to order a drink. I was so focused on them that I forgot I was supposed to sing. Then, I heard the host call out my name and a few faint claps followed. I got up and went to the stage ready to put on a show.
My song choice was literally the worst. I chose a rock song. A ROCK SONG!! Whink I was? Axl Rose? I knew it was a horrible choice but went with it because I love Iris.
In my mind, this was the concert I have always dreamt of. I felt myself smiling and waving to the crowd. Then the beat started.
“Aaah I love this song!!!” I yelled with excitement.
It was a train wreck. All I could hear myself doing was screaming. That’s it. However, the whole crew joined me on stage which was awesome because that’s what we were there to do; sing and have a good time.
That we did. Even the hostess acknowledged our “litness” by gifting the birthday boy with dinner tickets. Would I do it all over again? Yes. Maybe a little more sober next time. I’m trying to win dinner tickets.
However, Maria was less than impressed by my singing capabilities and it was completely awkward between us throughout the night. She ended up singing with the white guy who had been hitting on her and buying her drinks. I just sat there and watched as they looked at each other with heart-shaped eyes and bonded over their mutual love for karaoke. I didn’t stand a chance with her and was content with being in the friend zone.
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