On the other night, Tom appeared at John’s house. It was just like the usual, simply spending time, playing music while they did not have any practice schedules. But that day, Tom looked so desperate and awful, seemed like he had something on his mind. However, John did not pay him much attention since his paper needed to be finished by tomorrow, otherwise he would fail his literary class.
Seeing his friend was busy, Tom did not immediately touch his guitar or keyboard but he silently watched John from the couch he sank in. It was a silent moment between them, there was just sound of papers flipping in and out as John looked for some ideas from the pile of books in front of him.
“Is there any problem? You look terrible.” John asked without taking his eyes off from his laptop screen.
John heard a heavy sigh which he knew came from his best friend.
“Nothing, I just need a company, you go on with your stuff.” Tom weakly replied.
John chuckled. He turned his back to see the boy who was sinking deeply on the coach near him.
“Liar.” John quietly said.
“Okay, I just… I was just thinking about our future.” Tom finally spat out his thought, hesitantly.
‘Our future’, which John knew pretty clearly, was all about The Tree, their band. John quit typing and again, he turned his back as Tom stood up.
“About what?” John asked.
Lately, John felt that his best friend had a lot of stuffs to think, especially after Choi’s departure from their band a month ago.
“Seriously nothing, your paper needs to be finished by tomorrow, I’ll just have some sleep,” Tom said and he disappeared into the room next to John’s.
Although they did not actually live together, John’s house was kind of Tom’s too. Whenever he needed friend he would just sneak into.
He even had a spare key so that he could drop by at anytime. In fact, both Tom and John rarely went out alone. It was no surprise, for most of people thought that they were relatives and live together.
Once Tom was out of his sight, John thought what might be in Tom’s head was and suddenly he realized that he never thought the way Tom did.
Before, it was him who suggested Tom to join the band. He loved music, even crazy instead, and so far, he had no idea what his future would look like if he quit music. But then again, it was him also who seemed less interested in recruiting a new member.
The truth was, deep inside him he wished Choi to come back. That was one true reason he never thought about recruiting a new member.
John let out a heavy sigh when he checked out their practice and gig schedules, before he started to finish his paper again.
The night gig was completely amazing. Audiences were very high and Crazy M was about to blown up. Maybe hundreds of people came today and that was another good achievement for them.
“Good job, man.” Mike patted John’s back while they were resting in the back bar after performance.
John was smiling wide and lifted his glass in cheers.
“Thanks, mate,” Tom said.
“Yeah this is one crazy night…” Ringo added and he slumped down to the sofa near him. “Can I get some sleep here?”
“Get up! Have hand to close down, you can sleep later,” Tom said with full of authority tone.
Sometimes Ringo questioned himself who is The Tree’s leader actually. Because the some point when Tom could be quite strict than John who technically is their leader.
Mike laughed and Ringo sulked, though in the end he got up on his feet following the other two helping Mike to close the café.
It was pretty late when they arrived at John’s house. The house was like their base after all, Tom and Ringo would always stay at John’s once they were done with their gig at Crazy M because they always came back late and the house was the nearest place.
“I can’t imagine what happened today,” John said once they gathered together on the couch and stretched their feet on the table.
“Ouuuuuuh crazy night, no more power left,” Ringo complained as he sank low.
“But as you can see, I can’t keep up the pace, I mean it. We can’t continue this way,” Tom argued over John and ignoring Ringo.
John sighed and straightened his back.
“Alright, I think we gotta talk about the new member. I do feel like we’re missing something, four is better than three after all.”
“No idea?” John asked since Tom and Ringo fell silent.
Ringo opened his eyes lazily.
“I have no other person than Jerry and Tom rejected him, so…?”
“He’ll be the last choice, then.” Tom shrugged.
“Anyway, what’s wrong with him? You don’t even know him. You make a nonsense judgement, you know that?” Ringo pouted.
John looked at Ringo agreed with what he said. Aside from everything, he also had no idea why Tom hated Jerry.
“He frightened me.”
Both John and Ringo looked at Tom in disbelief. The man who was afraid of nothing and loves using his fist rather than words felt threatened by first year junior high school?
It must be a joke.
“Come on, look at his appearance, long hair, and piercings and anyway, how tall is he?” Tom went on saying.
Both John and Ringo bursted out into laughter.
Did they hear it right?
“And I don’t like somebody who likes playing around. I can see that he’s never being serious.” Tom continued spitting up his impression towards Jerry while John and Ringo did their best to hold back their laughter.
“Sorry, mate,” John coughed, “you think too much and yes, how tall is he?”
“I don’t know, over 6? Anyway, Tom, as you said, he likes playing around, don’t you think it’s good? We don’t need someone who only plays bass but we also need someone who wanna go around wasting time” Ringo began and his explanation made both John and Tom puzzled.
“You gotta wake up,” Ringo pointed to Tom. “We don’t have many choices, besides people think we’re just wasting time and our classmates mostly belong to the talent agencies already, what choices do we have?”
Upon hearing Ringo’s long explanation, John and Tom acknowledged what their drummer said was the truth they had to deal with. Neither of them had spoken nor brought another idea up.
“He’s still the last choice,” Tom said after long pause.
John chuckled at Tom’s stubbornness.
“I was just thinking, we’re arguing about him all over again as if we have assumed that he’ll say yes immediately once we ask,” Ringo said all of a sudden and the two other heads turned to him instantly and bursted out into laughter.
Yes, they were.
They were discussing with assumption the one they had been discussing about would say yes and in fact none of them had asked
Jerry for that.
That night ended with laughter and the matter about new member was still hanging in the air, Ringo with the same person he recommended, Tom stayed with his stubbornness, and John neither agreeing nor rejecting.
Tom did not go home or hid himself at school backyard as usual after class today. None of his fellow band members were near to be seen as well.
Along the day, Tom had been thinking about what Ringo had said last night, he knew it was true but he did not know why, he felt like looking for more evidence.
“Gosh I’m late, I’m late…” a girl hurriedly passing him by and just waved her hand while Tom smiled at her.
The other girls or boys also in a hurry leaving the school for he knew they would have another practice in their own talent agencies. Seeing the crowd rush to and fro, suddenly he remembered his teacher once suggested him to take an audition in one famous talent agency, although he refused it.
“I don’t wanna be their slave.” He said at that time.
Now, looking around his surrounding, Tom was glad by himself since he felt the decision he made was right.
He wanted music, not to be an idol, not for the spotlight as celebrity, but as a musician. Thinking about music, he let out a deep sigh. The Tree, their band was really in an unstable stage right now. Their bassist left.
Even though Tom knew pretty clearly the reason behind John and Ringo stayed quiet about the new member, but he was unable to help himself to admit that they needed a replacement. They needed a new member, whether they liked it or not.