When Gene walked into his bedroom, Tracy was already there on his bed. First she lay there on her back with her hands behind her head. Then she sat, then she lay, then she sat. He could guess, but with her, you might as well just ask. “What are you doing?”
“I’m doing abnormal exercises.”
“Abnormal?” It was true, doing sit ups on his bed seemed a little weird. But… no, that wasn’t it. “You mean abdominal?”
“Oh. Yeah, that’s the word.” Tracy grinned at him, kind of embarrassed. It wasn’t like he hadn’t teased her about the word thing before.
He sat next to her on the bed and grinned back. “Isn’t it easier on the floor?”
“But the bed is so much more comfortable, and I don’t need easy.”
“I don’t think you need to do exercises at all. You already look great.” He patted her tummy. What there was of it. At this rate she’d be more ripped than him. Maybe he could do some crunches.
“It’s so I don’t end up all stoop-shouldered like a lot of guitar players.”
That did it. Gene got down on the floor and put his hands behind his head. He didn’t want to be all stoop-shouldered either.
“So. What have you been all pissy about lately?” Tracy dangled her head over the edge of the bed to look at him.
“I’m.” He did a crunch. “Not.” Crunch. “Pissy.” Crunch.
“Are too. It’s something to do with the band, right? ‘Cause you’ve been pissy since yesterday when we had practice here. Is it because Bruce and I wrote Bitter Harvest together?”
“You mean,” crunch. “Am I jealous?” Crunch. Crunch, crunch. “No.” He stopped doing exercises and looked her in the eye. “I get it. You two were stuck together for that practice Mrs. H told us to do, and got mad because you couldn’t find a place to do it.”
“Yeah. How’d you know?” She looked honestly confused.
“It’s in the lyrics. ‘No home, no haven, no place in the world.’ and the whole playing in the snow thing. It was literal, right? You had to do the practice in the snow.”
“Wow.” Her eyes went all big and impressed. “You really get it. So then what’s wrong?”
He wasn’t going to say anything. But if she asked, then Tracy wouldn’t just leave things. She’d keep picking at him until he talked, so he might as well just say it.
“Everyone dissed me.”
“What?” She pushed up from the edge of the bed, then swung her legs around. “When?”
“The whole time! I mean that bit about playing a regular song first so we can learn to work together. You know I’m right about that. But everyone wanted to fly off and do their own thing instead. And yeah, I get the business about not being a cover band, but that’s not what it’s about, you know? The least people could have done was try it.” He didn’t mean to go blabbering on like that, and had to make himself stop before he got nasty. So maybe it was bugging him more than he realized.
Tracy chewed on her lower lip for a minute. “You don’t think I dissed you too, do you?”
Gene clamped his mouth shut. No way he could answer that one without coming off sounding bad.
“Oh Gawd, I’m sorry.” She slid to the floor next to him. She wrapped her arms around his head and squeezed. “I… I guess I didn’t see it that way at all. I don’t think anyone else did either. We’re just all wanted to do our thing.” Tracy thought for a minute. “You think that’s what’s getting to Mrs. H.? Maybe we sound worse than I think?”
“We don’t sound good.” Gene laid it out there just like that as he pulled her closer. “I mean, we’re all good by ourselves, but together we suck.”
“Maybe what we need is to listen to ourselves. I mean, like we could make a recording and then listen to it. Right?”
“That’s a good idea.”
“Ok, so we’ll try that. Or whatever else you want. I’ll back you.”
“Um. Thanks.” Was that all right? Wasn’t this her band in the first place? Well, he’d think about that later.
“Hey.” Ben stood in the doorway. “It’s cool you want to lavish some affection on him, Tracy, but could you get out of his lap long enough to come down for supper?” He didn’t wait around.
“Huh.” Tracy got up. “What’s eating him?”
Gene shrugged. If Tracy thought Gene had been pissy, she hadn’t been paying any attention to Ben for a while now.
If you enjoy Suzie’s House and would like to see more, please leave a comment. Suzie’s House is powered by its readers.