*** Part 3 ***
Adree wakes late on this Saturday morning, she's never been someone to get up early. Her head feels heavy. She lays back down. With a sigh, she gets out of bed to wash and wake up. After she's clean and fresh and awake, she begins to play a little with her bass. She stops, her recent literary escapade weighing on her mind. Last night she dreamed of the story, she dreamt that she was Princess Isabella escaping from Manfred. She had been reading "The Castle Of Otranto" by Horace Walpole. Adree formerly wasn't one to care much for that type of story, but she's felt recently a shift in herself. As a small child, she was the girl who always played with her little dolls. She looked forward to growing up into a normal life. As she got a little older, she often went to the mall cinema with friends. She always had many friends, maybe that's why she never really gave a second thought to the future. She always felt as if all will be alright as long as she has her friends and family. When she moved away from her parents, she wanted to find a good gentleman to marry. But recently, she seems bored with her former pursuits. As if she was living in a black-and-white world, and everything was planned. Up until the past few months, she lived that way. She wasn't really happy before she felt this change. But now, she feels as if her senses have come to life. But now, she seems to understand emotion. But now, she faces a beginning.
She's still learning about music. She's intrigued at how almost everything has a name. The tempos, the scales, the chords, the types of notes... She puts her bass back on it's stand, feeling slightly overwhelmed by what she doesn't know. Lianna has taught her some, but she feels like there's something missing from the lighter style Lianna plays. She feels as if somehow she's been holding back in her playing. She thinks about the song Ritchie played last night, the second one. She liked the feel of it, it had an element she'd never experienced before. It was delightfully grim. Looking at the clock, she leaves to meet some friends at the mall.
Adree meets the other girls at the mall's cinema. They watch a movie about a man from the city falling in love with a girl from the country. Adree had seen many like it in her time. She didn't like it, to her it was completely forgettable. It was made to appeal to her "type". She no longer wanted to fit in with these girls. Walking with them, they banter about clothes and gossip. She thinks to herself, "What is this for? All this chattering and comparing, and what do they get from it?"
"Adree, are you with us?" One of the girls says. Noticing she had stopped, Adree catches up with them as they walk to the food court.
They get their usual meal and sit in the dining area. There's not a few people there, even post-lunch.
"Wasn't that guy at the booth so cute!" Adree hears. "Yeah, I'd say so. What do you think Adree?"
"Umm, yeah sure." She replies, not looking at anyone or anything in particular. Then she sees Lianna there too, she's eating alone. Adree wants to invite Lianna to come sit with her, but her friends don't know about her newly found musical side. "What is this?" She thinks, "Am I embarrassed to know Lianna? Or embarrassed to be a musician? Am I really a musician?" She considered making an excuse and leaving, but that last question was unsettling. She squirms in her seat, staring at her fork as she holds it above the plate. Why this inner conflict? She used to be so confident, so sure of herself. At least, that's what she thought. She pushes her chair back and stands up.
"Adree, is something wrong? You seem out of it today." One of the girls asks.
"I'm fine, just... Didn't sleep much last night." She lies, then goes off to the restrooms. She feels feverish.
Adree doesn't return to her former friends, she sends a text message saying she had to leave. They'll wonder, maybe worry, she knows. Those girls can be caring sometimes, she knows that they try to be nice. But she also knows that no matter what, they won't understand her now, they can't understand. She knows, she used to be like them.
Ritchie and Ron are calling various music studios to check prices. They could do the recording themselves and get it to sound alright, but they decided that it's worth a bit of money to get it spot on. They're tired of making phone calls.
"What good does this do anyway?" Ron asks, "We've yet to find even a bassist."
"If we don't find someone in time, I'll play the bass."
"Yeah. You know what would be cool? If we went to some other country to record this album. Like somewhat of a vacation. Maybe if we're relaxed and all, the spirit of it would be in the music. I don't know, maybe it's just me trying to justify such an outrageous thing."
"Sounds nice." Ritchie says, "Maybe it would make a difference. We would really need to have our material together and planned. I don't think we could do that right now, I just got a new job. I don't think we should wait to record this either, we're all in now."
"All in." Ron says with a nod of agreement.
This album seems such a daunting task. But they know what will be on it. They also don't wish to waste any time to finish it. Record it now, and find other members later.
Ritchie is hungry, so he goes into the kitchen and makes a sandwich. He stands at the counter to eat it, staring out of the window before him. A large field lies beyond Ron's backyard. A large area where more houses were going to be built, but the project stopped. Ritchie imagined what this view might look like with all those houses. How many families would he see? How many children would grow up there? He stops at that thought. "Stop Ritchie" he says to himself, "your just going to bring yourself down. Don't think about that time." He breaks his thought and looks back outside, flinches, and drops his sandwich. He sees the nurse outside, walking out in the field. He runs outside, though he doesn't know why. What is he going to accomplish? He runs, the nurse still far off in the field. He covers his eyes with one hand and squints, because the sun is bright. He feels himself start to sweat, but he can't tell if it's from running or fear or shock. He trips and falls in some soft ground, and quickly gets back to his feet, still rushing. Looking up, he halts, his eyes searching for the image that was his goal. Standing there with heavy breaths, his nerves shake him.
"Hey! What are you doing?" Ron yells from the house.
Ritchie doesn't answer, but takes another look about the field. Seeing nothing still, he starts back toward the house.
"What are you doing? I heard the door slam and ran into the kitchen." Ron says as Ritchie gets closer. "Your sandwich is on the floor."
"I... I just had to get outside." Ritchie says, glancing back at the field. What is this enigma? This phantom? Even though Ron will wonder about it, Ritchie decides to leave this episode at, "I just had to go outside." If he tells Ron that he saw the nurse out there, what good would that do anyway? He decides to keep the nurse to himself. Every time someone thinks they see something, and they tell someone else, it won't be there. Did she disappear because Ron came outside? It's the first time Ritchie has seen her outside of dreams, or he thinks it is. His memory of the first time is unclear, being tired and on painkiller can have strange effects. But he's not on any drugs now, and he's not tired. They go back inside and choose a studio, acting as if nothing odd happened.
Ritchie parks in front of his parent's house and gets out of the car. The sky is still cloudless, but a bright sunset is on the horizon. He pauses for a moment to take it in, it seems so far away. The expanse of color seems to tell him something, it gives him a feeling he was trying to avoid. Taking a deep breath, he goes inside and gets in the shower. Afterward, as he's in front of the mirror shaving, his phone rings. It's Adree. He wonders why she would call him, but promptly answers.
She chuckles. "Hey, I was wondering um, I have two tickets to a symphony and no one to join me. Would you be interested?"
"Yes." He responds, slightly surprised. "We have to dress formal, right?"
"Yeah," she hesitates, "if you don't want to..."
"No, it's good. I like symphonies, and I'll wear a suit."
"Okay cool. You want to meet there? Or maybe we can ride together?"
"I can pick you up. What time should I be there?"
"Eight should be fine. Do you want to do anything afterward? Because I can bring extra clothes."
"I don't know. It would be good to bring clothes though, we'll see."
"Okay. Um, see you at eight then..."
"See you then. Bye."
Ritchie wipes a bit of shaving cream from his phone, feeling optimistic about this outing. That feeling he got from the sunset just faded a little. Adree sounded like she actually wanted him to go with her, not just someone to take just because she could. Finishing his first shave for a few days, he gets dressed in a black suit and dark red shirt, shiny black shoes, and no tie. There's noise from downstairs, his parents have gotten home. From what he can hear, they're having some of their friends over tonight. "If I can leave without being seen," he thinks, "they won't bother me to stay." The real reason for his plotting though, was not just because they might try to make him stay for their card games, but because if they saw him in the suit, he'd have to explain where he's going. Then they would make a big deal out of it, as if he had a 'date' or something. Slipping into the hall and silently descending the stairs, he makes it outside. He waits by the front door until they close the garage, then walks briskly to his car and departs.