Help me! I'm Diene!

Teaching Organic Chemistry through Fiction

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Sn Reactions - You & Me, We Have Chemistry - Pt. 3: You'll never see me coming
rsou wrote in help_im_diene
Title: You and Me; We Have Chemistry (so let's bond) Part Three: You’ll never see me coming (just her leaving)
Author: rsou
Concept: Sn2 Reactions; what are they?
Length: 1448 words; 3/5; multi-part
Rating: G
Genre: General Fiction
Summary: Lisa goes to find a new band.
Disclaimer: The following characters are anthropomorphic representations of atoms that are bonded to each other to form molecules. In actuality, atoms do not have free will and all atomic activity is a result of electronic attraction to form a more stable product.

You and Me; We Have Chemistry
so let's bond
Part One | Part Two | Part Three | Part Four | Part Five

Part Three: You’ll never see me coming (just her leaving)

Back to Part Two | Part Two Concept Explanation
Lisa Green shouldered her bag firmly, peeking through the window of the small practice room. It didn’t look like it was big enough for a band to practice in that tiny room—there wasn’t even a drum kit in the room—but Lisa had learned that appearances were deceiving. She had practiced with the others in Adrian’s small, badly insulated garage for a month, after all. Lisa unfolded the scrap of paper she had gotten from her friend about where another group called Simple ‘Nd 2 practiced. This was the right place; only two streets from Adrian’s place. She stuck her hands into her pockets and wiggled her fingers around; they grazed against a folded flyer, and she nodded in determination. She knocked.

“Hey.” A girl in the starched uniform shirt and skirt of the private school up the hill stuck her head out the door and stared at Lisa. Lisa stared back. “Who’re you?” the girl asked, a heavy braid of hair falling over her shoulder.

Lisa shrugged the bag higher up her shoulder. “My name’s Lisa Green.” She crumpled the scrap paper in her fist. “I heard about your group, and thought that maybe you could use another person.” She shrugged. “Is there a problem with that?”

The girl shrugged. “Sure, it can’t hurt, can it? Come in, and let’s check you out.” She held the door open, giving Lisa a once-over. “You don’t happen to play any instruments do you?”

“No.” Lisa clutched her bag tighter. “Would that be a problem?”

“Well, I don’t know.” The girl shrugged. “We’ve already got a singer, but we’ll see what we can do.”


The girl’s name was Christine. “Not Christy or anything like that,” Christine said firmly as she sauntered behind a keyboard. “Christine only.” It also turned out that the group consisted of only Christine and a serious looking girl named Lauren dressed in sundress who studied Lisa thoughtfully from above a pair of thick glasses from her seat beside the door. Lauren closed the door as Lisa came in; the small practice room consisted of a keyboard, two music stands, and a myriad of chairs.

“Nice to meet you,” Lauren said, smiling. She put her book down. “Are you here to join Simple ‘Nd 2?”

“Yeah.” Lisa shrugged. It was a strange name, but she had spent a month in a group called Super Nucleus Ones—she could handle Simple ‘Nd 2, even though She dropped her bag on a nearby chair, hearing her folders of music thump against each other. They would survive though. “I didn’t like my old group.” She waved a free hand. “For one, they were called the Super Nuclear Ones, and they also liked pop rock and that stuff. Songs about unrequited love.” She studied the two other girls in the room skeptically. “The two of you don’t sing about that stuff do you?” Her friend had said that they didn’t, but it was always good to be sure.

Christine laughed. “No, we don’t.” Lauren smiled as Christine continued, “We’re more R&B than pop rock.”

“What instrument do you play?” Lauren asked.

“She doesn’t play anything,” Christine said, nose wrinkled in worry.

Lauren looked lost. “You.... don’t play anything?”

“Nope.” Lisa sat down on a chair. It wasn’t very comfortable, but it was better than the cardboard box that she used to sit on when she still was with Adrian, Brandon and Cathy.

Lauren and Christine exchanged glances. Christine said, “I think we should discuss this now, before you decide to commit or anything. But, well, Lauren’s our vocalist.”

Lisa blinked. “Okay.”

“So,” Christine bit her lip and glanced between the two of them, clearly hesitant cut either of them out. “I mean, we could try to have two.”

Lauren nodded.

Lisa shrugged. “Sure.”

Christine settled herself behind the keyboard. “Let’s do something nice and slow.”


Something nice and slow was an R&B song that Christine and Lauren had worked on so many times they could sing it in their sleep. Lisa perched on a chair she had pulled up to the keyboard, watching as Christine easily splayed her fingers across the keys and played accompaniment to Lauren’s sweet voice. Lauren leaned on the keyboard from the front, grinning and singing along.

They song fit, Lisa thought, even as she nodded along to the song. Christine’s voice on the harmony line sustained Lauren’s more strained voice, and the piano accompaniment was soothing and relaxing. Craning her head to focus on the music more, Lisa studied the score. Christine’s handwriting was neater than Brandon’s and Adrian’s combined, and it wasn’t hard to follow along.

“Sing along,” Christine said cheerfully as she dropped out on the vocals to focus on the accompaniment.

Lisa pursed her lips and studied the music warily. At the next repetition of the chorus, she carefully matched Lauren’s voice, the two of them competing for the vocal melody line.

Lauren’s voice was good, and Lisa couldn’t deny that. She wasn’t used to somebody matching her in the high notes, and even though Lauren’s range wasn’t quite as broad as hers, Lauren could hit the notes in the song.

When the song ended, Lisa couldn’t help the smile creeping across her face. This was what she wanted to sing. This was exactly what she had been missing.

“It was good,” Lisa explained cheerfully, still perched on the chair as she tried to express what the song had been like to her. She leaned on the keyboard and tapped a few notes. She was aware that she was sounding like silly little Cathy, but she didn’t care; it had been a while since she’d actually enjoyed singing in a group.

“Yeah,” Lauren said. She smiled a little, and then frowned in thought. “I guess we should decide who sings the melody and who sings the harmony now.”

Christine looked between Lisa and Lauren, biting her lip.

“We could switch off,” Lauren suggested tentatively. “I mean, it could work?”

Lisa shrugged. “We can try that,” she said. “Can we keep singing?”

Christine nodded slowly. “Who’s going to take the melody first?”

“I’ll do it,” Lisa and Lauren said in unison.

Christine laughed a short laugh. “You can’t both be lead singers!”

Lisa and Lauren exchanged looks. They shrugged, and Lauren held out her hand. “Stone-paper-scissors for who sings lead first?”

Lisa ended up winning, and for the next three songs, the two of them swapped parts.


“Lauren’s my friend,” Christine tried to explain to Lisa. She spoke slowly and carefully, uncertain. “I don’t want to just drop her because you sing better.”

Lisa tilted the water bottle back and drank. Lauren had left already, needing to prepare for an upcoming exam. “You said it yourself. We can’t have two lead singers.”

“I know,” Christine said. She shrugged. “I’ve been with Lauren since forever. It’s not right to just leave her behind and continue on with just the two of us.”

Lisa nodded and waited.

“We harmonize better,” Christine said carefully and reluctantly. “Your voice suits the mood better. It would be so right, but it would mean dropping Lauren.” She fiddled with the end of her braid, twisting the ends of her hair back and forth.

“Would that be so bad?” Lisa asked. She fiddled with the copy of the same flyer that she had seen Adrian take. “Look at this,” She slid the laminated paper across the keyboard to Christine. “Look, it’s not a big cash prize, but think of everybody hearing your song. You said it yourself, we harmonize great and my voice suits the song.”

Christine bit her lip.

“Why not?” Lisa urged. “Why not? Lauren has her exam coming up. She wouldn’t mind being dropped, I’m sure. And we can’t have two lead singers, our voices just clash like no other.”

Christine sighed.

Lisa slid an arm around Christine’s back. “Hey,” she said soothingly. “It’ll work out.”


“I had to kick you out,” Christine said softly into the phone.

“I thought you would. It’s fine.”


“Yeah. Good luck in the contest, by the way.”

“You knew?”

“Yeah. We’ve been together for a while, after all. Look, I’ll call you back later. Good luck with Lisa. She’s got a good voice.”

Back to Part Two
Continue here for the concept explanation.
Skip to Part Four

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