A bright green sports jeep pulled to a stop in the back parking lot of a secluded gray brick building. A girl stepped out of the vehicle, shutting her door behind her and waiting for her companion to join her before she set the alarm. She stuffed her hands into the pocket on the front of her hoodie and headed along the side of the building through the ally way to the front. She looked about 19 years old and stood at 5’4” with tan skin. Her black hair hung down to the middle of her back and she had dark purple streaks staining the locks. She dressed like your average everyday skater bitch.
“Who did you say was playing tonight?” she asked her companion, a tall lanky boy with shaggy black hair and a gothic appearance.
“Umm, I do believe it’s some up and coming band… Underdogs or something like that.” He told her. She nodded while pressing her lips together for a moment in thought. She’d never heard of them so this was either going to be a huge disappointment or extremely interesting.
They entered just to be stopped by a big man at the door “I’m going to need to see some I.D. kids.” He told them and the pair fished out their wallets. She showed her license and held out her hand to have an X marked on the top in heavy duty permanent marker and plastic bracelet slapped onto her wrist “Welcome back, Psych. Long time no see.” He told her, and she casts him a smirk.
“Had better places to be.” She said as she slipped in and waited for her friend.
“Why don’t they know me by name?” he complained when he finally had his wristband on and was next to her.
She shrugged “Must be because of my pretty face.” She chuckled as she headed deeper into the throng of people. A few years ago this crowd would have kept her from coming here. She still hated being around such large groups but she’d gotten to where she could tolerate it as long as they weren’t pressing up against her. So she kept away from the front of the stage where she could see band techs setting up the mics and the amps and anything else that needed to be messed with before the show could start. She found her favorite seat tucked away in a corner. She had a side view of the stage so she could see the members when they came on but it was far enough away that the crowds didn’t bother her as much.
“Go grab us a couple of drinks, ‘kay?” she called over to her a friend as she slid into place and kicked her feet up on the seat “And Neno! Remember, nothing dark.” She called after him and he lifted a hand to say he’d heard her. She turned her attention to the stage while she waited for him to return.
For a moment she saw the curtains shift and a face appear before it vanished again. She wondered if that had been one of the band members looking to see what sort of crowd had gathered. For an obscure band, the amount of people here would have been delightful. It’s rare that anyone made it far in the music scene these days unless they have rich friends willing to put their names up top.
She was roused from her thoughts by Neno slipping into the seat across from her. He set down a bottle of Sprite and she snatched it up to take a swig off of it “You’re a doll.” She winked and he cocked her a little grin. Now they were just waiting for the music to start.
They didn’t have to wait long. 10 minutes later the manager of the bar came out onto the stage, welcoming everyone with his peppy attitude and a charming smile. Psych rolled her eyes and gulps at her pop until the speaking was over and he was finally introducing the band “Let’s give a little energy for this new group, Underdogs!” he said and as the applauds and screams sounded he vanished down the steps of the stage to allow the band of four to take his place. The first to come out was a cute looking boy with messy blonde hair and dog tags around his neck. Just by the way he carried himself and his gorgeous Telecaster she figured he was the leader of this little group. The next to appear was a girl about her height wearing brown curls down her back. She also had a guitar… an Ephiphone SG from where Psych sat. Nice, nice.
She could appreciate a thing of beauty like that. Then came out another girl who was a little shorter compared to the other. She had a beanie clad head with short brown and black streaked hair. Psych was almost surprised to see that she was carrying a bass guitar what with how small she was. She took the position closest to Psych before she was followed by another boy who took up the drum set further back on the stage. He looked like he had some energy to him and man, did Psych like a good drummer.
The leader, the boy with the blonde hair, took up the microphone and reintroduced themselves, saying a few words to charm the crowd before he stepped back and slammed onto the strings of his guitar, playing the first cords of whatever song they had planned for the night.
Psych leans back on her seat, watching them with interest. They certainly weren’t bad… But one good song didn’t make a band worthwhile. Above the music she heard Neno say something and she tilted her head in his direction, glancing at him “What?” she had to raise her voice so she could be heard.
“I said that bassist is pretty good! Did you notice she was left handed?” he repeated and she turned her head to look at the bassist again. She hadn’t noticed it at first but now she could see that the neck of the guitar was facing to the right. That was interesting “I bet she has bad hand writing!” She called over the noise, her lips pulled up into a little smirk.
“Psych! You have bad handwriting!” he told her and her smirk turned into a playful glare in his direction. She flipped him the bird before she turned her attention back to the talent on stage. She could get into this band, she thought, and not mind it at all. She wondered just how popular they were in the local scene. She’d never heard of them… so that made her have doubts. She tended to follow all of the local talent.
“Hey Psych, What if you got that girl to teach you how to play?” her attention snapped back to Neno. She rolled her eyes, snorted, and shook her head.
“I don’t need any help learn how to play.” She told him, but that was mostly her ego getting in the way. And Neno could tell.
“You said it yourself that you were having trouble with the bass! Why don’t you stop being a prideful bitch and ask her after the show?” he was telling the truth. She’d told him a few weeks ago that she’d all but given up on learning how to work it and she’d barely picked it up since then.
For a moment she started to considered seeing if she’d be willing to help her. Of course, she’d have to offer her some sort of incentive to do it. No way would she do it free of charge… Psych didn’t answer him. She just focused on the music and the other members, casting glances to the bassist every so often in thought.
They played for half an hour before the band leader told the crowd they’d been wonderful and headed back in through the curtain. Psych stood up at that moment, ignoring Neno’s inquiries as she headed over to the bar “Give me some of that good water.” She told the man behind the counter, who tossed her a bottle. She then weaved her way around the people, heading towards the door that leads backstage. She wasn’t stopped as she opened it, casting a look at the bouncer guarding the way. It paid to be a regular at places like this. She typically played when they had nights when multiple people put on a show. She’d long since become a friend of the owner.
She opened the door and peaked through, seeing people busily putting things away and packing up. She spotted the owner a few paces away and quickly moved over to him, tapping on his shoulder “Hey, Reeces Pieces, this was a nice group you found tonight.” She told him and he turned around in surprise, before his expression turned to a light amusement.
“Ya think so? I had them recommended to me and figured I’d give ‘em a call. Whacha do’n back here, girly?” he asked, though he didn’t seem very irritated by it. She lifted the bottle of water and glanced back in the direction of the room where the talent normally hung out before and after shows.
“Wonder’n if you could introduce me to the members.” She asked and he nodded slowly.
“Umm, yeah. I can do that. There’s four members though, only one bottle ain’t gonna do the trick.”
“This is for a specific member.” She told him and he cocked a grin like he knew what was on her mind.
He led her back to the room and knocked lightly. The girl with the curls opened it and casts him up a bright smile “You need something? We’re just about to head out.” She told him and he stepped back to motion to Psych “This is a regular of mine that plays here pretty frequently, she wanted to meet y’all.” He explained and her gazed became fixed on the girl.
“Name’s Psych. You four were beast out there today,” She grinned, before continuing “but do you mind if I talk to that bassist of yours?” she asked, waiting as the girl contemplated it for a moment. And then she nodded and stepped back.
“Sure thing, come on.” She let her come in before closing the door, pointing out the members as they looked up and gazed at the newcomer with curious looks “Everyone this is Psych, apparently she plays here a lot and saw our show tonight.” She explained and she began to introduce them. First starting with herself, Gem, and then pointing out the lead singer JayDen and the drummer Alex before finally zeroing her attention on the bassist in the back who was just standing from putting her instrument in its case “And the girl you’re look’n for is Remy.” She told her as the other two sent up little acknowledgements to their guest.
The short bassist girl had a look of confusion when Psych crossed the room to her. She pulled out the water she’d asked for earlier and handed it to her. From somewhere behind her one of the guys complained about her not bringing one for them too. She smiled to herself “Heya, thought I’d bring this to you since they don’t ever keep the fridge stocked back here.” She told her, feeling relieved when Remy accepted it after hesitation.
“Why’d you wanna see me?” Psych figured she’d be a little apprehensive. Normally the main person of attention was the lead singer.
“I actually wanted to ask you something. Offer you and your fellow members a little opportunity.” She said. She had the attention of the entire band by the way it went quiet. She felt eyes on her, but she kept her attention on Remy.
“…I think you should be talking to JayDen about that…” she tried, shifting uncomfortably on her feet.
But Psych shook her head “No, because the payment is something I’m asking from you.” She told her and before Remy could shut her down, she continued “I play acoustic and electric and I won’t deny I’m damn good at it-“
But she’s cut off by JayDen “Sorry, but we’re not looking for new members. So if that’s what you’re proposing you might as well get out of here.” He told her, his tone dripping with obvious command.
But Psych didn’t move. She held up a finger, not even looking at him “Let me finish,” She told him, frowning a little as she does so “As I was saying I play those two rather well, but I can’t grasp playing bass for the life of me. I’ve had music opportunities offered to me left and right, mostly because my dad has friends in high places… and I’d be more than willing to slip your band’s name to them with my recommendation… all I’m asking is that you teach me how to play one of those.” She motioned towards the case before finally breaking her gaze to look at the rest of the band “Could get you out of this city and travelling. Especially with the Battle coming up… that could help you get in, no question.” she offered up. JayDen looked like he was considering it while Alex and Gem looked uncertain. Psych finally looked back to Remy.
“So whaddaya say, kid?” she asked her, hands in her pockets as she waited for her answer. Remy didn’t look too convinced. She looked down at the floor, frowning to herself.
“I don’t know, I don’t see myself as a good teacher.” She said, glancing over towards Alex. Psych wasn’t liking that answer. She teetered back on her heels and sways forward again “I’m sure you know just as well as I do how hard it is to have a successful band without ties to higher ups. You guys have a killer sound that I know could make waves. I’m just ask’n for a little something in return.” She told her.
Remy lets out a slow breath before finally she shook her head no “Sorry, you’ll have to find someone else.” She told her.
Psych frowned to herself for a moment more before she nodded and turned away “Ah well, worth asking. It’s was great meeting the four of you.” She told them before she made her way to the door. She stopped then and looked back “Think about it. You can always contact the owner here and he’ll give you my number.” She said before she left out the door. She was disappointed. She’d pretty much expected they’d jump on the opportunity to put their name out there but she’d been wrong.
Whatever though, she’d learn it eventually. She found Neno waiting for her in their seat and motioned for him that she was ready to go. When he asked where she went, she simply shrugged “Bathroom.” And she stepped out onto the sidewalk and headed back to her jeep.
Psych pulled up to the curb and shut off the engine, just letting the battery power the car while her music played. She rolled down the windows, letting the decent weather in while she waited for the Christian Academy to let out. Week days and every other weekend were times when Psych picked up the love of her life to watch him while his parents worked or had time to themselves. She despised them… It was a wonder how Joey even remembered that they were his mom and dad. She looked at the time to see that it read 3:07. Joey wouldn’t get out until 3:20, which was a little later than the other kids because he wasn’t in an actual class… just a daycare. But the high school across the street was about to let out. She always tended to people watch as she looked out at the school, waiting for the bell to buzz to release the school going kids from their prison. Thank god she didn’t have to deal with that anymore.
An annoying ringing sounded from inside the building and a few minutes later streams of highschoolers came pouring out from the doors. She turned up her music and leans with her elbow on the window ledge with her head propped up against her fist. She hadn’t been able to endure high school for very long. She’d dropped out and took up this program when she was 15 that let her complete the full four year course in just one. It’s been tedious and boring but she’d managed and passed with just above average colors.
Though she sometimes felt like she might have missed out on some of the things that came with high school; like meeting cute boys and breaking their hearts. She smiled mockingly to herself as she continued to watch the kids. Some got on buses, some into cars, some were walking home… and then others were just lingering around.
She was wondering on what it’d be like if she’d had stayed in school when a beanie wearing girl caught her eye. She leans her head up and looked out at her, watching her as she walked alone to the edge of the road as if she was waiting for someone.
Without hesitating Psych opened up the door of her jeep and stepped out. Remy didn’t even notice her walking towards her until she was just a few paces away. Remy turned her head, her eyes widening in surprise before narrowing in suspicion “What? Are you stalking me or something?” she was only half joking.
Psych smirked a little and shook her head, holding up her hands in front of her “Nah, I’ve never been much of the stalker type. I’m picking up a kid from across the street in a few minutes and I noticed you over here.” She told her, watching as the other girl relaxed a little.
Then she looked both ways down the road as if she was urging her ride to hurry up “What do you want now?” she asked, just a hint of irritation in her voice.
Psych found this rather amusing, the way she was so guarded around her. She had a feeling she was like this with anyone she didn’t know though “I’m just curious as to if you did give any thought to my offer from last night.” She said, crossing her arms as she looked behind her at the other school to make sure it wasn’t letting out “I’m a fast learner… I’m sure it won’t take me more than a month or two to help me.” She said.
“Why can’t you learn yourself? Or find a book or something…” the other girl said, her tone questioning how smart Psych thought she was.
The older girl just laughed and shook her head “Been trying to learn it myself like I did with the other two… I don’t know what’s catching me. I can’t learn from books, I need hands on practice to get it right.” she said, searching the girl’s expression as she waited for her response. When she kept quiet she asked “What did the rest of the members think after I left? The offer affects them all, so I’m sure they had something to say on the matter.”
And then Remy sighed and Psych knew she’d struck something “Yeah… yeah they did. They mostly think it’s a good idea. Whatever gets us out there…” she raised her eyes to look up at Psych with a little frown “I can try to teach you… but if I feel like it’s not working than I’m dropping it, alright?”
Psych beamed, she held out a hand for the girl to shake “Hey, I’m up for trying. And I’ll still slip your name to my dad’s friends just for that.” And finally Remy took her hand and shook it. She shifted her bag on her shoulder just as a blue 1971 Firebird pulled up to the curb. Peering in, Alex was the driver and he was giving Psych a curious look.
“I’ll pick you up here from school tomorrow and we’ll go to my place, alright?” she asked, and Remy gave her a fast thumbs up as she slid into the front seat of the car. Psych watched as it pulled away before she started back across the street just as Joey’s teacher came leading the kids out from the building.
Psych looked over at the passenger side as the door opened and Remy slipped in with her guitar case between her legs “Never rode in a jeep before… this is kinda nice.”
She said and Psych reached over to pat the dashboard with a fond smile “Was my dad’s but after I got my license I took her over. She’s done alright by me so far.” She said as she turned her music down and looked past the girl towards the Christian Academy “Now I just gotta wait for Joey to get out and we’re on our way.” She told her.
The other girl followed her gaze to the doors of the building, shifting as she does so. Psych turned her eyes on her, feeling the awkward silence beginning to settle between them. So she turned up her music a little more and used her connected iPod to turn the song while she waited for the teachers to start bringing out their lines of holy terrors.
They only had to wait for a little over five minutes before Joey appeared in front of his class. Psych unbuckled herself and slipped out, going around the car to wait a little ways away while the crowd of parents went first. Finally Joey spotted Psych and broke away from his teacher, running towards her at full speed. She grinned as she knelt down, opening up her arms as he collided into her and clung “Heeey, Squirt~ How was school today?” she cooed to him as she lifted him up off the ground and carried him away towards the Jeep.
“I drew a dinosaur!” he piped, beaming with pride at the fact that he did such an amazing thing. Psych chuckled and grinned at him.
“I’m impressed! I bet it’s scary looking.” She told him as she opened up the back door and helped him into his car seat. Remy was looking back at them from the mirror in her visor and Joey almost instantly noticed her.
“…Oooh! Who’s that Aunt Psy?” he’d never seen this girl before so he was quickly curious. Typically if Psych had anyone with her, it was Neno “I’m Joey!” he told the reflection in the mirror, making Psych smile as she finished buckling him in.
“This is Remy, a friend of mine.” She told him and the 4 year old instantly went on babbling about his day at school to her, to this new Remy.
She went around to the driver’s side and slipped in, turning her music down again as she started the engine “Joey’s the son of a family friend. I’ve been watching him since he was a baby.” She explained as she pulled away from the curb and started home.
Remy nodded, unable to stop from smiling a little as the kid carried on talking to her like she was his best friend or something.
Psych had the pleasure of living in one of the nicer neighborhoods of the city. She passed through a gate into the community and weaves her way along the residential streets. They passed a park and drove for a couple more blocks until she pulled into a street with only a few, rather large, houses on it. She passed the first one before pulling into the driveway of the second, pushing in a password on the gate and waiting for it to slide open. Finally she pulled in, glancing at Remy as she parked the Jeep behind a large, sleek black truck “Home sweet home… I have to warn you though, kid. My mom can be… a little much. So excuse her.” She said as she slipped out of the car and headed around to let out Joey.
Remy stepped out of the vehicle, her eyes wide in awe at the massive home. It was like a mini-mansion really. The lawn was well kept and a gorgeous garden decorated the front of it. A stone path lead from the drive way to the front porch where the door was opening and a woman was stepping out. She was covered in paint, wearing an old T-shirt and jeans with an apron covering her front “Heeey, honey~ Did you see Todd on your way in?”
Psych helped Joey down, motioning for Remy to follow her as she headed up to the front door. Joey broke away from her and ran straight into the older woman’s awaiting arms “Nah, he must have taken the other way around.” She said as she headed up the steps.
The woman then noticed the new face and her eyes lit as she leans up from hugging Joey “Oh MY! Who is this adorable little thing?!” she then reached for Remy, grabbing her hand and pulling her forward so she could get a better look at her “Aww, Psych has never brought home a girlfriend!” and then she stopped and giggled “Well a girl, who is a friend. She doesn’t have those. But we would be completely supportive of her if she did!” She added, with a wink at her daughter who was shaking her head at the ground “I’m her mother, Miece~ But you can just call me mom.” She beamed and quickly ushered the three of them in.
Remy was dumbfounded but at the same time Psych saw how she seemed to frown at the “little thing” comment. She smiled to herself, mouthing an apology to Remy when she looked back at her like she was pleading for help. But Psych wasn’t about to get in the way of this “Um… hi, I’m Remy…” she managed to get the words out, only to have the woman let out a little squeal. Okay, this woman was scary.
“Oh, Remy! What a pretty name! How old are you? Are you a friend of Psych’s?” she asked, spitting off the questions without ceasing to breathe “How tall are you? You’re so cute! You look about my height!” she told her, causing the new girl to show obvious discomfort.
“Um… 17, kinda…. I think I’m 5’1”?” she tried, which made Miece squeal because she too was about that height. But then finally Psych stepped up, placing a hand on her mother’s shoulder.
“Miece, Joey needs food. Remember he doesn’t eat in school and I’ve got things to do in the basement.” She told her.
Finally her mom let go of the girl, patting her cheek lightly and giving her a warm smile “You two have fun. Let me know if you need anything~” she cooed to them before she turned and sashayed away into the next room.
Psych looked at Remy apologetically “I’m so sorry about her…”
“Man, you weren’t kidding.” She said as she rolled back her shoulders and looked after the woman who she felt had violated her personal space. She looked to Psych, shifting her guitar on her shoulder as the other girl laughed quietly to herself. The older girl then headed deeper into the house, glancing back at Remy with a nod to follow her. She started after, looking around the house in amazement at how huge and nice it was. She was starting to really believe that this girl’s family could have ties to important music names. Psych led them down a hall before stopping at a door at the end and sliding it open. She stepped back and did a mock bow.
“After you~” she told her. Remy half rolled her eyes and slowly started down the darkened stairs, making it halfway down with careful steps before Psych finally flipped on a light above her. She made it down the bottom to find a small, unimpressive laundry room.
“We’re not practicing down here, are we?” she asked, causing Psych to snort as she came down the stairs after her.
“No, we’re practicing in here.” She said and she crossed to a door that Remy hadn’t noticed until now. It was camouflaged in the wall, made to look like it. She pulled a key from her pocket and slipped it into the lock, sliding this door back as well “Welcome to my sanctuary.” She tells her as she flips on a light and leads her into the room.
It was a decent sized room with grey walls and band posters of different rock bands lining each one. It had a pair of couches in the center and off to a corner it had a gorgeous drum set ready and waiting for someone to play. Along the long wall to the right were guitars. Some were encased, vintage and beautiful, and others were leaning on stands. Psych moved over and tapped her finger on the tops of each until she came to the stand that held her bass “Mi casa es su casa.” She said as she picked it up and plopped down on the couch. Remy took a seat across from her, her eyes going around the room.
“Are all of these yours?” she asked, shocked, and feeling that horrible feeling of envy that someone could have this sort of set up.
“More or less; Christmas presents, birthday presents… a lot of it I bought on my own with the cash I get for babysitting Joey and playing on street corners.” She told her as she plucked idly at the strings, bringing Remy out of her state of awe and into a more serious demeanor. She pulled her case up onto the couch and takes out her Fender Precision.
“I don’t know if it’s gonna effect it at all… but hopefully the fact that I’m left handed and you’re not won’t cause any problems.” She said as she slipped the strap over her shoulder by habit and positioned her hands. She sighed, and decided to show her the basics first, telling her which string were which and starting her off on a basic melody.
For the next couple hours or more Remy did her best to teach her the simple things she knew. Psych did actually pick up pretty quickly on this sort of thing but when Remy tried to see if they could just move on to slightly more advanced thing, the girl began to have trouble “No, no. Move your hand here,” she reached over and tapped the place on the guitar where Psych’s hand needed to be “And then try it.” She told her, leaning back as she watched her attempt it. It still sounded a little off and Remy wondered if the guitar was tuned right “Here, can I see it really fast?” she asked as she put her own instrument down and took it from her. It felt extremely weird to have to hold it like she was right handed but she managed to test out the cords easily enough. One of them was slightly off and she fumbled with the turners to fix it. Then she handed the guitar back and asked her to try again.
Again they played for another half hour before Remy decided she was tired of it and wanted to stop. For a moment Psych thought she was giving it up completely, but then relief flooded her when Remy stood up, stretched, and looked back down at her “Are you wanting to do this again tomorrow? We could make it Friday and Saturday Afternoons. Sundays I’m with the Underdogs.”
Psych nodded and stood with her, taking her guitar back to its stand before she headed out of the room with her in tow “Yeah, that sounds good. I’ve got shit to do during the week anyways.”
They headed up the steps after Psych locked down her music room and towards the door “I’m taking Remy home, be back in a bit!” she called and Miece told her to drive safe from somewhere else within the house. The older girl opened the door for her guest like a gentlemen and headed out after her, unlocking the Jeep in the process. Remy gave her directions and soon enough Psych was dropping her off at her place “Hey, let me have your number, kid. Just in case one of us needs to cancel or something.” She took out her phone and handed it to her, taking Remy’s phone in the process and putting in her digits. After that she gave her a mock bow in farewell and drove off. Psych glanced up into the mirror as she watched the girl head inside and then smiled to herself, delighted that she’d finally be able to conquer her instrumental enemy.