“I had no idea we sounded like that.” Kate didn’t sound like she was pleased.
Ben didn’t know Kate all that well. If it weren’t for Gene and Tracy’s band, he wouldn’t even have learned her name. Right now he wished she and all the others in the band would just go away.
Lisa should be here any minute. Ben really, really didn’t want anyone around when he said what he had to say. So he hovered around the front door and tried to pretend he couldn’t hear the band do their thing in the front living room.
“Yeah. Me neither,” Tracy said. “It’s just like Gene said. It isn’t that we sound bad so much as we sound bad together.”
“So you’re saying we should break up?” Bruce said. He had a nasty sneer on his face that made Ben glad he wasn’t looking through the doorway into the hall.
“No!” The word came out of everyone else in the room all at the same time. From they way they said it, Ben got the feeling they’d said it more than once before.
“Why are you so determined to break us up,” Tracy grumbled. But she didn’t wait for an answer. “We just need to find out what’s wrong.”
“We’re not in synch,” Justin said.
“We know that,” Tracy snapped. She must be really, really frustrated to be like that. Tracy hardly ever stayed mad for more than a minute.
Unlike Lisa, who could hold a grudge forever and ever.
Ben really hoped this didn’t backfire on him. If she made him grovel in front of everyone, he’d be so embarrassed. Maybe he should have gone over to her place instead, even though she said she wanted to come over and listen to the band anyway, so she’d do the coming over.
“No, I mean we are using different rhythms,” Justin said. “Gene and Tracy are together, but only with each other. I’ve been trying to keep up with them, but I keep synching up with Kate instead, and she’s almost half a beat slow most of the time. Bruce is all over the map, and Emma is always right in the middle of whatever the rest of us are doing.”
“Oh. I thought it was just that we didn’t have the same taste in music,” the shy girl playing with a mask said. That would be Emma, Ben guessed.
“Play the recording again,” Gene said.
Bruce punched a key on some piece of equipment in front of him and music came out. Again. Ben moved away from the door so nobody would see if he stuffed his fingers in his ears. Right then someone knocked on the door.
“Lisa,” he said as he flung the door open. He was so glad she’d finally come. He started to spread his arms like he would hug her, then saw the look on her face and let his hands fall down. “Hi,” he said instead. “Um… let’s go to my room.”
“No. This is fine.” She looked like she was still mad.
“Um… I just wanted to say…”
“Oh, they’ve already started.” She took off her jacket and handed it to him like he was some kind of butler or something.
“Wait. I have something to say.” He grabbed her wrist.
“It better be an apology.” She was already half way into the parlor and
If Mrs. Audrey hadn’t talked to him about it, he’d have cut and run right then. She didn’t have to be so mad. But she was right about him having to say it, so he did. “I’m sorry. You were right. It’s not my business if you want to be a writer.” He’d have said it real quiet, but the recording of the band would have washed it out, so he shouted it.
Lisa bit her lip. For a minute it looked like she might cry. That really got to him. “But you still don’t want me to do it, right?”
“No, it’s ok. I don’t mind. Maybe it’s even a good thing. I was totally wrong.”
She grinned, and Ben thought everything was all right. Then she got all serious. “But how do you feel about me? I mean, there’s not point in getting back together now, right?” He missed a few words in the middle because the music was so loud, but he got the drift. She was fishing.
Well, fine then. He’d tell it like it was.
“I love you,” he shouted just as the music stopped.
“We know,” the entire band shouted back.
Somehow he’d gotten pulled all the way into the room and everyone was staring at both of them. It would have been a complete nightmare, except Lisa grinned and wrapped her arms around him.
“I love you too.” Lisa hugged him hard.
“Yeah, yeah. Now go away,” Tracy said. “We’re busy.”
“Actually,” Justin said, “that might make a good song.”
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