Summary: James was always seen as the definition of perfection. Everyone saw him as perfect. Everyone except himself. In his eyes, he needed to work hard to earn that title. Too bad he didn’t know that sometimes people hurt themselves by trying to be what society shoves down their throats. – Rated: T – Genre: Angst/Friendship – Characters: James & Kendall
To his friends and the people around him, James was the definition of perfection. With his soft and silky, chestnut-colored locks of hair, hazel and bright eyes, and charming smile, he was always seen as flawless. Never was he seen with a strand of hair sticking up in an odd direction; his hair always being combed to perfection. His down to earth personality and Diamond charm did nothing to help his situation. The girls fell head over heels for him; the boys envied him. While that was a gift, it could also be seen as a curse. Because James Diamond was seen as perfect to anybody around him, except himself.
As a child and teenager, James had always had the dream of becoming famous, whether it was as a pop star, actor, or model. He loved it when he was the center of attention. Somehow, having people clapping for him and cheering him on always gave him a boost of confidence. He loved the attention. He dreamed of one day performing for thousands of people. Singing was his passion, and he hoped that one day, singing could become his job.
It was until he was sixteen years old that the opportunity became presented to him. As his eyes focused on the television in front of him, a smile turned his lips upward. This was it! He could finally have the career he had always wanted. He could finally become famous. All he had to do was get to Gustavo Rocque’s audition on time and make sure that the producer liked him.
To him, the task was easier than counting from one to three.
But as Kelly Wainwright –Gustavo’s assistant– handed out little sticky slips of paper with numbers to see which of the four best friends would go first, and in what order they would go in, James became nervous. Suddenly, the idea of performing for the famous producer wasn’t so tempting.
In a rush, James removed his sticky paper with the number 810 on it and stuck it onto Logan’s shirt, at the same time taking the sticky paper with the number 811 and sticking it onto his vest. He had nervously smiled at his shorter best friend and told him to go ahead before him. Of course, Logan having no interest in the matter, had claimed that he couldn’t sing. But thanks to Kendall’s quick way of thinking, the second smallest of the four had gone up and beat boxed for Gustavo. Unfortunately, the only response he got from the grumpy man was to be yelled at in his face. To say he was traumatized would have been an easy way of putting how he was feeling into words.
Then number 811 was next, and James was forced to trade sticky papers with Carlos so that he wouldn’t go next. Logan’s claim of Gustavo being Satan with bug-eyed sunglasses had really freaked him out, and frankly, he was now terrified out of his mind.
When Carlos came back, he had a rather pleased smile on his face, as he told his best friends that he wasn’t going to Hollywood. James didn’t even want to know what his smaller friend had done. With Carlos being Carlos, he could only guess that the boy had done something very stupid that most likely got him humiliated.
For the third time that day, James reached to trade sticky papers with Kendall. The shorter boy, however, had other plans. Unlike his two other friends, Kendall was bull-headed and stubborn. He may not have been as smart as Logan, but he was definitely wise beyond his years. That was something James had always admired about him.
“James, this is your dream, not mine. Now, remember, opportunities like these come once in a lifetime. Now, grab on to that dream with both hands and go BIG TIME!” Kendall, always trying to encourage his best friends had said those exact words to James, right before pushing him towards the doors of the auditorium in which they were to audition. Still nervous and a bit scared –though he had to admit, Kendall’s words had given him an unknown courage– the brunette had walked forward and positioned himself in front of the so-called-Satan, not knowing what was to come his way.
“I don’t need good. I need the fire. I need someone to knock me out of my seat, and as you can tell, I’m still in it. Because you have NO TALENT!”
Gustavo’s words had stung, much like a knife to the heart. So apparently he was good, but not good enough to have the fire Gustavo was looking for. He might have had talent and a pretty face, but that was not enough to win the producer over. He wasn’t good enough. The pain hit him full-force. His insecurities brought him crashing down, until he saw Kendall stand up from his seat and confront the angry producer.
James watched in surprise as Kendall shouted in Gustavo’s face, then jumping onto the table in front of him and his assistant, only to resume his angry rampage. He was mad; James could tell. By the way he started singing his Giant Turd Song and insulting the man in front of him, James knew Kendall was not a happy camper at the moment.
The brunette watched with worried eyes as Carlos jumped out of his seat in order to remove the security guards that had now surrounded his best friend. Without a second thought, James joined in on the fight. Logan and Mrs. Majikowski were soon joined in on the fight. It wasn’t long before the cops were called and the boys were escorted back to Kendall’s house, where Kendall’s mother opened the door with an amused look on her face.
So James had not been good enough for Gustavo? James could live with that. Sure, he was sad and a bit mad, but it wasn’t something his friends could not fix with a night of games and being their goofy selves. Another opportunity would most likely appear to him in the near future. He wasn’t concerned about that.
But then Gustavo returned. He thought he had come back for him, but that wasn’t the case. Gustavo wanted Kendall. Kendall was the fire Gustavo had been searching for. He had finally found his new star after touring 22 cities and auditioning 20,000 teenagers, and it wasn’t James. While it hurt to know that his best friend would live the dream James had always wanted, he felt oddly satisfied and proud –not for himself but for Kendall. He wanted Kendall to take this opportunity into his own hands and do something positive with it. Kendall was passion-driven; surely, he would do what was right. But then, why had he rejected Gustavo’s offer?
James felt like slamming his head into a wall after Kendall declined to go with Gustavo to Los Angeles in order to become a popular singer. Was this it? Was Kendall going to give up that easily?
For the rest of that night and part of the next day, James felt like he hated Kendall. While his head wanted to hate Kendall, he knew that deep inside his heart, he still loved the blond like a brother. But there was no denying that he was upset over his decision.
It was the next day, when the boys were visiting Kendall at Sherwood –which was the supermarket he worked in– that they finally managed to convince Kendall to go with Gustavo. The youngest of the four had other plans in mind, though, for when Gustavo went to talk to him, he suggested that he had to take all four of them with him. He made it very clear that he would not be going to LA by himself, unless his best friends were by his side. The suggestion was a kind and selfless one; James found himself smiling after the green-eyed boy had suggested it to Gustavo. And when Gustavo finally said “yes”, James wanted to cry with happiness. And he would be lying if he said that he didn’t run back home to cry into his pillow due to the joy that was running through his body.
It took both James and Kendall a lot of convincing in order to get Mrs. Diamond to let James go to Hollywood, but she eventually gave in. Within a period of 24 hours, the boys were in a plane on their way to sunny Los Angeles.
James thought that moving to LA with his best friends would be the best thing for him. But it seemed like faith had other plans. With everything going on around him, and James receiving constant pressure from Gustavo and hateful words, James felt his self-confidence slowly decrease, until he felt pretty much worthless and drained out of energy.
James was referred to as “the pretty boy” pretty much wherever he went. Gustavo had told him multiple times that he had to create an image for himself, and not ruin it. He had to keep being pretty. Had to keep winning the girls over. He had to keep being the best he could be.
James had to be perfect.
Not one little flaw could be seen on him. He had to be the best of the best; the prettiest boy in town.
James hadn’t thought much of it back then, but after some time passed by, he came to a conclusion. Maybe if he acted perfect and was perfect, Gustavo would finally accept him for who he was. Maybe he could finally be who he was without being judged.
James smiled as he looked at his reflection on the mirror that stood in the bathroom of Rocque Records. He might have not been perfect then, but he would be… in a matter of time. Time was all he needed. Time to create the perfect image of himself.