Ben sat at his mother’s desk, hands on the keyboard, butt in the chair. Ms. Audrey called it Bic-hok, which kind of sounded like a swearword to him, but she said it really worked. But she also said you had to watch out for distractions.
Which was probably why he felt so guilty about surfing the internet. He was supposed to be writing a story for her, something with “banter”, whatever that was. Instead, here he sat, looking for Gene’s guitar. Or rather, he was looking for pictures that might tell them who carved the initials KC into the guitar before Gene bought it second hand from a music store.
Stupid. He already knew he wasn’t going to find it this way. Hadn’t he already spent about an hour googleing it? Lots of old rockers turned up, more than old guitars. Plus there were pins and logos, and weird stuff like a dog that didn’t have anything to do with it. But a lot of times there’d be a picture of someone holding a guitar, so he kept going.
Some of the guitars looked maybe kind of like it, but not exactly like it. Some were weird colors, like green or blue. Maybe someone striped the paint? But he could never find the initials.
It was hopeless, and besides, he was supposed to be writing.
“There you are,” Lisa said from the door. “Your mother said you were writing.”
“Yeah.” He quick clicked the little minus sign to make the web browser thing go away. Only now it showed what he was writing, and he didn’t really want Lisa reading it because she always said something about whatever he’d written and then for some reason it was harder to write. So he clicked that one down too. That left him with his mother’s wildflower screen saver looking stupid.
“Were you looking for Gene’s guitar?” She walked up.
“Um… yeah.” Might as well admit it. He made the web browser bigger again.
Tracy was walking by, probably about to go upstairs and see Gene. She glanced in, then backed up, looking into the office. “Gene’s guitar?”
“Ben is trying to find it on the internet, find out who carved K.C. into the back. Right?” She gave him that tell-me-I’m-right look.
“Ooooooh.” Tracy ran up, making the electric-green fringe all over her shirt swing. “Did you find it?”
“You sound so depressed.” She wedged herself between Ben and Lisa to stare at the screen. “It cuts off at page 45? Google used to be better than this.”
“Yeah. I tried a bunch of different searches. Still nothing.”
“I know.” She pushed further, reaching for the keyboard. She fumbled a little when she had to push his hands away, but didn’t seem to notice. “You should set up a page on Facebook.”
“Facebook? I’ve never…”
“That’s ok. I have.” She started typing, even all squished up between them.
In a few seconds she had Facebook pulled up and a few minutes later had a dummy account set up and even had a few ‘friends’ linked up. The whole thing was about the guitar and asking if anyone knew anything about it.
“We need pictures,” she muttered. “Oh, let me borrow that.” She grabbed Mom’s digital camera from the corner of the desk and ran out before Ben could say anything.
“It’s like being trampled by a herd of zebra, isn’t it?” Lisa forced a smile as she watched her cousin run out with the camera.
“Yeah. I don’t know how Gene handles it.”
And to think there was a time when he thought maybe Tracy would be his girlfriend and Lisa Gene’s, instead of the other way around. Thank God it hadn’t worked that way.
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