Last Hour. Part 4

You can't assume people will always be the same. And, is this post-Failure life as bad as it seems?

Ultimate Guitar

*** Part 4 ***

After she finishes talking to Ritchie, Adree gets ready to leave. She was going to take Lianna to the symphony, but she apparently doesn't care to much for classical music. For some reason, she thought of Ritchie. Ever since she saw him play at Dreamy Steam, his style has influenced her, though the feel of it was foreign. She was reluctant to invite him because she wasn't sure if he liked classical. That, and also he's the only other musician friend she has. He'll enjoy it, she's sure of that now. Sitting on the sofa in her apartment, dressed for a red carpet, she stares at the floor. Waiting, she starts to play on her bass. After a few minutes, there's a knock at the door. Adree sets her instrument on the sofa and answers the door.

"Oh, playing bass I hear." Ritchie says as he steps inside.

"Just passing some time." She hurriedly gets her purse and bag of extra clothes. "Alright, I'm ready to go."

Ritchie opens the door for her and they step out into the cool night air. On the way to the symphony, they talk about music. They talk about the symphony, about their favorite composers. They're pleasantly surprised to learn that they both share a past in classical music.

"I never took for you for a classical musician!" Adree exclaims.

"It's true," Ritchie continues, "I played violin for a few years, had lessons too. Then a bit on the piano."

"It's interesting, you know this music because you've played it, and I know it because I've listened to it."

"How long have you been playing bass?" Ritchie asks.

"Oh, just a few weeks."

"That's all? You were doing fine at the open mic, do you play anything else?"

"No, just bass. I've been playing with Lianna, she's taught me a bit. But I don't know, I think her style just isn't mine. I can't get into her songs, it's just something about them."

"Hmm. I played with someone like that. Not that they're doing anything wrong, just the styles, the tastes, don't seem to get along."


"You can play music with any musician, but to really be yourself and give it your all? Everyone's tastes have to fit together."

They drive for a while in silence, then arrive at the symphony. While they walk from the parking garage toward the venue, they can feel the anticipation. It's been a while since Ritchie has been to a symphony, and he's forgotten how much he liked it. The way everyone is dressed, and the way everyone seems so respectful of the music. After they are seated, he leans to Adree and thanks her for the invitation. Adree smiles, and says she can't think of anyone who might enjoy it more than him. They chat about recent news and weather. Neither of them do this normally, but they feel in the spirit of the occasion. Once the orchestra begins, everyone is quiet. They become absorbed by the music. They lean on each others shoulders and don't move for the entire show. Afterward, the orchestra gets a standing ovation, and they play an encore. They get some food from a drive-thru after the show. They can't stop discussing music.

Before they play together, Ritchie has to get his guitar from his parent's house. He parks the car in front of a neighbor's house. He and Adree get out of the car. His parents still have guests at the house, so they must be playing cards in the living room, or in the backyard. If he and Adree can get in the front door without being noticed, they'll be able to get upstairs. As long as they remain quiet, their only worry after that would be that of getting out again. Adree takes her shoes off so she won't have to carry them back, and gets her other clothes. She waits at the car as Ritchie walks to the side of the house to see what's going on. From what he can see, everyone is in the backyard, sitting around a picnic table near the fire pit. Moving to the front of the house, out of the shadow, he waves for Adree to follow. She dashes across the dark road and to the front door. They get inside, and quietly close the door behind them, then ascend the stairs with suppressed urgency. Once upstairs and in Ritchie's room, they exchange a look of victory, though they're not finished.

"Okay, so what do we do now?" Adree whispers.

"You can change in here, and I'll change across the hallway."

At that, he gets a few clothes and leaves the room. Adree stands there for a moment, as if in a daydream, then wastes no time in changing clothes. As she's folding her dress, Ritchie returns and gets his guitar and amp ready to leave. To be faster, they put Adree's clothes in the back of Ritchie's amp. As they near the bottom of the stairs, they hear the back door open, and a group of people chattering as they come inside. Quickly, Ritchie and Adree go back to his room.

"Ugh." Ritchie says quietly, as he and Adree sit on the bed. "I hope they go back outside. We could be stuck in here a while."

"It's okay, this is kind of fun."

"What is?"

"Sneaking around like we are, it's exciting."

"If you think so... I would much rather be out of here and playing music."

Adree lays back on the bed. "Well let's play a game while we wait."

"Like what?"

"I don't know, whatever you want to do." She says, resting her arms above her head.

Ritchie looks around. "Alright, a card game then." He leans and gets a deck of cards from the desk. Taking them out of the box, he begins to shuffle them quietly on the bed. "What game do you want to play?"

"Go fish." Adree answers, sitting up and crossing her arms.

Ritchie's parents don't go back outside. Their party continues inside until midnight, then Ritchie and Adree can hear the guests bidding farewell. Adree stands, Ritchie puts his hand out. "Shh, they're still going to be down there to clean up." Adree sits back down, and they start another game of Go Fish. A few minutes pass, and they hear Ritchie's parents coming up the stairs.

"Where's Ritchie?" They hear his mother ask.

A raspy man's voice answers. "Not sure, I haven't seen him since yesterday morning. He must've slept at his friends house."

"I worry about him sometimes. Anyway, are you going to keep your promise?"

"And what's that?"

"You said we'd have a fun time tonight, didn't you?"

"I did indeed. Just follow me."

Their voices become intelligible as they go into their bedroom. Ritchie closes his eyes and shakes his head. Then he stands and gathers his things.

"Eager to leave, are we?" Adree says smiling, biting her bottom lip, trying to withhold her laughter.

"Ha ha," Ritchie whispers with a straight face, "let's go while we have a chance."

He opens the door, peeking out. His parent's door is closed, and he can see the light underneath. He's careful not to bump his amp in the doorway as he steps into the hall. Adree follows, carrying his guitar. Silently closing the bedroom door, Adree follows him down the stairs. Ritchie opens the front door very carefully, as the house is quiet. Adree goes out first, then he closes the door behind them, carefully locking it back. Darting across the lawn and getting in the car, they close the doors and shiver from the night's chill. Ritchie starts the car, and they exchange a unifying smirk of victory.

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