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The 5 Musketeers

Krist turned off the car radio as we began to pull into the parking lot. I sat there patiently, waiting for Krist to say something to all of us. Me, Tracy and Chad all sat in the back while Shelli and Krist sat in the front. Tracy looked over at me and smiled warmly. This whole ride here I've had some bad thoughts about our relationship. I bet if she could read my mind she would be so heartbroken. I actually kinda wanted to break up with her. I wasn't really sure why though. I looked away from Tracy and watched Krist get out of the van. Did I actually want that? Maybe it was a good thing to consider. After all, I knew those thoughts would appear sometime. But as of right now, I wanted to think about something else. I blinked hard, trying to get rid of the feeling of bags under my eyes. I felt so fucking exhausted. Everyone woke me up early just to travel here. I barely understood what was going on but I didn't care about all this, I wanted to go back home and sleep. Krist opened the door to let us all out in the back. I let Chad and Tracy go first and got out after. Tracy stood next to me and slipped her warm hand in mine. I looked down at her hand and noticed she had painted her nails a darker color than normal. Krist walked past us, closed the door and threw me my wallet. "Thanks man." I held on loosely to Tracy's hand, when we began to walk. Krist and Shelli led the way while me, Tracy and Chad followed shortly behind. I watched Krist pull his hand out of Shelli's to rub his tired eyes. At least I'm not the only one tired. Krist smiled a goofy grin at Shelli and grabbed her hand again. It was really nice to see Krist and Shelli happy together. I stopped staring at Krist and began to look up at the sky as we approached the entry of the store. The sky was really dull and cloudy today. I wasn't surprised it looked that way. Seattle was known for having so much rain in a week. Day after day of cloudy or rainy weather. I really didn't like the rain but at the same time I didn't really seem to mind it either. The rain made me feel relaxed, especially now. Krist held the door for everyone and let me and Tracy go first along with Shelli and Chad. I stopped in my tracks and let go of Tracy's hand. This place was really.. Different. It had sections of everything I loved to. Except it was all in one store. It had sections with instruments, art materials, crafting boards and clothes. Maybe they brought me here because of the instruments. That made a lot more sense. I went over to the guitar section first and looked at row after row of beautiful brand name guitars. I then walked over to the acoustic section and glanced at all of them. I've wanted an acoustic for a long time now. I wanted one to at least practice some of my songs I was writing at the moment. I was really glad they brought me here. I looked up and looked at the label for one of them that stuck out to me. A Martin D-18E. The Martin was over 3 grand. I stress fully brushed my hair behind my ears and looked at the price again. Did I have enough for that? I should.. Especially from all of the money I got from my album, concerts and half of Krists wedding. "Hi sir, How are you doing today?" A man with a deep voice asked. I turned around and saw a tough guy looking at me. The guy had blue eyes, long brown hair tied in a ponytail, piercings and was wearing a black uniform over a pair of dark jeans. I could see his abs poking through his uniform. The guy offered to shake my hand. I looked down at his meaty fingers and lightly shook his hand. I already knew I didn't like this guy. "I'm pretty good." I said, fake smiling. "Anything specific you lookin' for?" He asked. I tried to ignore my anger towards this guy and pointed at the Martin above me. "I really like this one." I said, avoiding his eyes. "Oh man. A Martin? Those things are great. My dad owns one and he plays so smooth on 'em" He said smiling at me. "You play guitar too I'm assuming?" What kind of fucking question was that? Of course I do that's why I'm over here. "Yeah." "Well sweet man. Good choice too." The man added. I moved out of his way and let him do his thing to get what I needed. I watched the guy pull up a ladder and reach for the guitar. I looked at the guys arms and saw multiple Metallica and Megadeath bracelets. He was a heavy metal boy. A tough heavy metal boy. Those were the types of assholes who bullied me in high school. I rolled my eyes and looked over to my left to see if I could see Krist or Chad. I saw Krist and Shelli looking at clothes while Chad and Tracy were going into the art section. The man finally brought down the guitar to me and kept it in his hands. "Would you like to try it out?" He asked. "Oh yes please." He motioned me to a leather foot stool near the check out counter. I walked with him and sat down quickly. He smiled and handed it to me. I positioned it on my lap the other way so I could play with my left hand. I kept a straight face and slid my hands down the fingerboard. I pressed my fingers down and plucked the low E string first. It made a low relaxed tone that made me satisfied. "You like?" The guy asked. I smirked and played another chord. "I do." I tapped my foot and played a couple more notes before getting up. The clerk watched me closely. He was acting like I was going to steal it or something. "You got yourself a deal." I said, getting up from the stool with the guitar. I walked with him over to the check out counter and took out my check book. "You got a pen on you?" "Yeah man." He said, putting a red pen on the counter. I picked up the pen and grasped it firmly to make it fit my hand. I wrote the check for 3,000 and handed it to the annoying sales man. I walked away with the guitar and went over to Tracy's direction. "Hey man! You forgot the case." The guy yelled. I turned around and saw the sales man hold up my guitar case. Wow, I was an idiot. I was in such a hurry to get the hell away from that guy that I totally forgot about my case. I let my hair fall into my face as I made my way back towards the salesman. I watched my feet move across the dirty brown carpet of the store and held on to my guitar. I set my Martin on the counter and put my acoustic in its case. I could feel the salesman's eyes watching my every move. It was freaking me the fuck out. Some weird ass guy watching everything you do doesn't make you feel welcome here. It made me nervous. I finished locking it up and used the handles to carry it with me. I wanted to get away from this guy. But I don't think that's' going to happen knowing that I needed some art materials and clothes. "Kurt, come here!" Tracy said waving her hands excitedly. I turned around and began to walk faster in Tracy's direction. "What" I said, walking up next to her. Tracy looked like a mess. Tracy's hair was un-brushed and her eyes also had bags under them. "Look at this." Tracy said, pointing at the painting hanging up above the art materials. It was a picture of a small fetus. I liked fetuses.. A lot actually. Apart from all the gross stuff that came with it, I was very fascinated with them. I had some sitting on my easel at home, waiting to be finished. I was surprised that I saw one hung up here, It seemed a little too inappropriate. I nodded and rubbed my hairy chin. I looked down and put my hands in the green bucket containing paint and mini paint brushes. I searched through the bucket and looked over in the corner of my eye. Tracy had her eyes locked on me. I felt super uncomfortable all of a sudden. Thoughts of breaking up with her rushed back into my head again. I quickly grabbed some medium sized brushes, brown, green, red and yellow paint tubes. I adjusted my Scratch Acid shirt and looked at the shopping basket Tracy was holding and threw the materials inside. Tracy handed me the basket and motioned her head towards the clothing isle a couple feet away from us. "I'll go ahead. You can stay here." I said. Tracy stared at me blankly and stayed quiet. I walked away and looked straight ahead making sure I could keep a frown on my face. I entered the clothing isle with the basket and skimmed through the prices of the shirts. I walked up to a plain white sweater and took it off its broken hanger. I had an idea. I threw the shirt in the basket and walked further down the isle to see what else was here. I glanced at flannels until one caught my eye. It was a purple one. It was in fairly good condition too. I took it off its hanger and threw in the basket along with all the other things. How long have I been here? I walked out of the isle and looked around trying to find the others. I held onto the basket and reached in my pocket for my cigarettes. I opened the case and grabbed my last cigarette. I walked over to the check out counter where the annoying sales man was changing his cassette tape. I popped the last cigarette into my mouth and set the heavy basket on the counter. "Hey you sell cigarettes here?" The salesman looked up and smiled weakly. The salesman reached under the counter and set a pack of an expensive brand of cigarettes down and slid them towards me with his meaty hand. "Thanks" I said, reaching into my pocket to find my wallet. I opened my wallet and grabbed my credit card and handed it to him slowly. "You like Sonic Youth? The guy asked. I looked down at my shirt and saw the Scratch Acid label. Wait, How the hell did he know that? "Oh. Uh. Y- Yeah. I like practicing some of their songs." I said quietly. "How did you know that?" "Oh, Me? It was just a guess. You kinda seem like you like them. After all, they're.. Different I should say." The sales man rambled on. I raised an eyebrow at him. "What? You just seem like that kind of guy. I don't mind it at all honestly." The sales man grabbed the shirts and other things from the basket I picked out from earlier and ran them through the scanner. The sales man handed my credit card back to me and avoided my eyes. What was he trying to say? That I was different just because I liked Sonic Youth? He was acting like I was a fucking alien. "Look man. I know you don't like me and what I just said probably pissed you even more off, but I just said that because I own a Sonic Youth tape and I was wondering if you wanted to have it." The man paused. "Its been opened up but I was willing to give it away because its remastered and you just.. seem like that type of guy.. So yeah." I opened my mouth to say something when the man reached over and slid me the 1986 Sonic Youth tape. I picked it up and looked at the album cover for a couple seconds. "Okay. I'll take it." I said, with the cigarette still hanging out of my mouth. The man grinned at me. "Thanks man. Here, you just have it for free. I uh, really couldn't care less. You already seem like you have a lot on your hands anyway." The sales man put the items I had bought into a plastic bag and handed it to me carefully. I put the tape into the bag and looked up slowly at him. I turned around and saw Shelli standing behind me. "Everyone's waiting on us outside." I made my way towards the exit, carrying my slightly heavy bag with me. I pushed the doors open and looked across the empty parking lot, trying to find the others. I spotted everyone leaning against the van, having a smoke. "C'mon Kurt!" Tracy yelled. I looked at my feet as I kept walking to all of the others. The wind blew my hair and flannel both in the same direction. I swung the bag and hit Chad on the side who was standing there quietly a couple of feet away from Tracy. I looked up at Tracy and saw she was watching something behind me. I looked and saw Shelli jogging towards all of us. "Ready ya'll?" Krist asked, making me turn back around. I opened the back of the van and got in with my bag still hanging on my arm. Tracy held out her hand, wanting me to pull her inside. I set the bag next to my side and grabbed her hand, helping her inside. She sat next to me and brushed off her dirty jeans. "Thanks." She whispered. Krist shut the doors after Chad hopped in and walked to the drivers side. Krist looked over at Shelli and smiled slightly. "Where to next captain ass wipe?" Chad asked. That was a new one. I smirked and looked down at my things. "To Oregon, I guess." Krist said, looking into the review mirror. "Babe, Can you turn on the heat? Its freezing in here." Shelli squeaked. Krist turned the keys in the ignition and began to pull out of the parking lot. "Wait, what?" I asked, remembering what Krist just said. "To Oregon? Why?" I added. "Oh yeah, We're taking you and the boys to go preform in Oregon tonight." Tracy said, patting my skinny leg. "Oh." I said quietly.

I tried to pass the time by writing down some more ideas for my song lyrics. I tapped the pen on the paper and looked up to see what everyone else was doing. Tracy was resting her head on my shoulder and had her eyes closed. Chad was just staring out the window and had a shaggy blanket over his skinny legs. I rubbed my aching neck and sat up a little. I already hated when my neck hurt but I didn't need my back hurting either. I turned around and lightly shook Krists seat. "Huh?" Krist whispered. "Hey, what time is it?" Krist looked up in his review mirror and shook Shelli. "Babe. Hey. Sorry to wake you, but can you look at my watch to see what time it is?" Shelli looked up at Krist and squinted her eyes. Shelli grabbed Krists arm and looked at the wrist watch he was wearing. Shelli mouthed something I wasn't able to hear. I looked over at Krist and gave him a confused look. "12:52" He said in a tired tone. I turned back around and closed my notebook. We've only been driving for 2 hours. I guess the only option I have now is to sleep. I sighed and adjusted my position, trying to make Tracy get off of me. Tracy sat up and still managed to keep her eyes closed while she scooted over to her right. I crossed my arms and hugged my skinny body. "Kurt?" I turned around to see who was calling my name. I saw Shelli holding up a blanket in Kirsts face. "I noticed you seemed a little cold back there.. So I just thought you might of wanted a blanket." Shelli said, avoiding my eyes. I stared at the blanket for a few seconds until Shelli mentioned something else haven't even used it this whole time. I guess its a good thing I brought an extra huh?" Shelli smiled warmly. I grabbed the blanket from Shelli and turned back around. I threw the flower scented blanket over my feet and closed my eyes. I crossed my arms and legs before I positioned myself in a weird fashion to help me fall asleep better. Hopefully I wont feel so fucking exhausted after I nap.

I awoke from a distorted humming sound ringing in my ears. I felt the car jolt to a stop, making me slide and hit my face on something. I flickered my eyes open and sat up quickly. "H-How long was I-" I heard Krist cuss and slam his hands on the steering wheel. I turned around and saw Shelli watching Krist with a worried look in her eyes. I looked out the windshield and saw a car pulling out in front of us. I ignored the pain in my face and turned back around. "Ungh" I put my face in my hands and rubbed my warm face and oily eye lids. I let my head droop down and began to move my fingers through my hair when I felt someone watching me. I stopped messing with my hair and lifted my head up, only to see Chad looking at me. "We're here."

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