It was just like any other afternoon, after class had done, there were always three students who gathered together at the school backyard, at the old basketball court that was already left behind. They are neither from the same class nor come from the same grade, but they have one passion which tied them together, that is music. But today, there was only two of them, the elders.
“We gotta find a new bassist,” said the one who played on his guitar randomly.
The other one did not reply, but kept on playing his ball.
“You didn’t hear me, did you?” again, he asked louder.
The boy stopped dribbling and in one moment or so he passed the ball to the boy who was sitting at the edge of the low wall nearby. He had no preparations at all. But he had quite good instinct to catch the ball.
“What the hell are you doing?! I’m holding my guitar!” he yelled.
The other one grinned and climbed up to sit beside the irritated boy.
“I hear you,” he said in low voice after sipped the water from a bottle beside him. “I still can play though.” He kept on saying.
“But I can’t keep up the pace, bloody hell, why was Choi had to go back to Korea; he left all this mess to us.” He got more irritated and put his guitar aside, harshly.
“Easy Tom, his family didn’t allow him to, what can we do?”
“Neither mine? But you see, I’m still here, do you know why?”
“I mean it John; we gotta find a new bassist.”
John had not given the answer yet when another noise came from behind them. John spun around while Tom only took a glance.
“What’s up,” the new comer greeted cheerfully.
“How many boxes you’ve got today?” Tom asked while he put back his guitar and started strumming it.
“What?” apparently he was quite confused with Tom’s question and looked up at John for help instead.
With a silent communication John told him what did Tom mean and Ringo, the new comer, just smiled lightly.
Actually Tom was talking about chocolate boxes Ringo received from girls almost everyday. Well, among them it was always Ringo who received many gifts and foods or snacks.
“So, what makes you upset my brotha,” toothy grin Ringo asked.
Tom gave Ringo a fierce glare and was about to snap him before somebody else, all of a sudden and out of nowhere, jumped to the hole under the spot where Tom and John were sitting.
“Who the hell —” Tom snapped to the intruder.
“— hssss…” The intruder hushed Tom even before he was finished with his swearing.
Interjected by an unknown and — obviously — highly unwanted stranger when he felt irritated the most, Tom came to his rage. He put down his guitar he just put back and about to confront the impolite boy when another rush came.
“We gotta find him!” one girl shouted.
“I saw he ran up here, where’s he?” Another shouting was heard.
“I swear he’ll pay the price, oh let’s see where he’s been hiding…” Her word was cut off once she realized there were guys looking at them with confused and irritated (the one should be Tom’s) face.
Ringo recognized one of them was his classmates so he asked,
“What are you doing?”
“Umm… I… we… and what are you doing here?” she gapped, she asked Ringo question instead of replied his previous question.
Ringo laughed while John turned around and he was now face to face with the girls and he could exactly tell that whoever hid under the wall (if he was stupid enough to stand up) was under his shoes too, plus John excitedly spreaded his charm to his junior girls.
“Here is our place.” Ringo shrugged.
“You —” John’s word was interrupted by the girl with slender feature whose hair was tied into ponytail.
“Have you seen a tall guy run or hide? We saw him run up here.”
Tom looked at the girl instantly and she took a step back instead.
John could not blame her, however, Tom was their senior and they did not know him in person and most of the thing here was there was no friendly sign at all on his face.
“What will you give me in return if I tell you?” John teased her before
Tom gave the intruder away.
The girls stared at John blankly. They had never expected that John would ask them for something in return.
Knowing what John will do with the girls, Tom put his guitar back, played it randomly (again) and enjoyed himself.
Meanwhile the one who hid under the wall held his breath and prayed for John would not give him away.
John teasingly smiled and finally pointed out at the distant, to the corridor that led to the gym, before he said,
“I don’t know who you guys are looking for, but I saw someone ran up there.”
One girl in white cardigan looked at him in doubt and John stared back at her waiting for her to argue, though she seemed to believe him in the end.
John, or no one, had never known how relieved he was, the one who was hiding.
After saying thank you, the five girls hurriedly left and ran after the one they were looking for.
“You’re saved now, they’re gone,” John said, but the one he indicated already climbed up and patted his pants to sweep the dust away.
“Thanks,” he said with wide smile, mischievous face that made Tom’s face hardened.
“What’re you doing this time so that those girls are chasing you up?” Ringo asked.
He shrugged and lightly said that he was set up by his mates and those girls thought that was all his. Have no more business and afraid that the girls might come back once they could find him nowhere, he took his steps away and waved hand to his savior.
There was a silent pause among them, only the sound of random song that Tom played was heard.
“Can we have our time now?” finally it was Tom who broke the silence.
His question made the two of his friends faced him at the same time.
With questioning look, Ringo faced Tom and John back and forth.
“Alright, as you wish, shall we hold an audition?” John asked slowly.
Ringo’s eyes widened and his brow furrowed, “what was this all about?”
“He wants a new bassist.”
Tom did not give any replies, he just looked at Ringo as if he was expecting another rejection but he heard something surprising instead.
“Bassist,” Ringo murmured. “Ahhh… Jerry! What about Jerry?” Ringo said, almost yelled with excitement.
“Who?” John and Tom asked in chorus.
“Jerry, the guy who had hid behind you,” Ringo explained. “He’s in the same grade with me.”
“That guy? No way!” Tom quickly refused.
To his surprise by Tom’s reaction, Ringo asked the reason and Tom simply said that the boy was the stupid type.
Ringo rolled his eyes as he listened to Tom’s answer.
“Heaven’s sake, what happened with your reaction? You don’t even know him,” Ringo laughed.
“Oh please, don’t you see what he was doing just now? Believe me, I can see that he likes to fool around, in fact he’s deadly stupid.” Tom argued.
“Hey mate, you’re thinking too far,” John gave his opinion to his irritated friend, Tom, and turned to Ringo, “how do you know that he plays bass?”
“I saw him playing often. We’re at the same class for literary, well, he….” Ringo seemed to remember something but he cut his own word off.
“He… what?” Tom asked.
Ringo ignored the question and said that he was unable to attend practice today due to tomorrow’s exams instead.
“Ahhh! I have a lot of homeworks to do too. Ohhh, it makes me crazy. Poems, short stories…” John grunted while he jumped down and collected his books, shoving them recklessly to his backpack.
“You’re not going?” John asked as Tom did not make any movements.
“Leave him alone, he might wanna find some inspirations,” Ringo teased.
Slowly Tom jumped down, hoisted his bag that was laid desperately on the old paved basketball court under. Clung his bag on one shoulder and held his guitar on the other hand, Tom followed the other two and left the place.
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