When Elise comes home to Chicago from France, where she studied, she finds the world she left has changed, and finds her best friend is in a band now
In those three weeks, I managed to find an apartment, get a car with the money that I had, and start looking for a job. I was looking for something like a bakery or something since I did study in France, but there weren't any jobs available in that area of work. So, I went to my next passion in life: music. I managed to find a job opening that I almost threw away as something I wouldn't be qualified for, but Pete told me to take the interview. It was a job booking shows for a local coffee shop. This was the last interview I was going to that day, so after I did this one, I'd go home.
"Hello, I'm here for the job opening? It says here in the paper that you're looking for someone to book shows for you," I said to the girl behind the counter. This place looked comfortable, but it was really empty.
"Oh, you'll want to see the manager, Mark, for that. Let me go get him," she said, hurrying off. I had no choice but to stand at the counter, looking lost until she came back with a man who looked to be in his mid-30's.
"You must be the girl that Sarah here was talking about," he said, gesturing to the girl. "I'm Mark. Do you know of any bands that could come here? We're mostly looking for the smaller ones, but big bands would improve profits," he said, half to himself.
I almost laughed at that question. Being around Pete for as many years as I had been, I knew a lot about music and the local music scene. Some of the things that Pete said to me had to do with his new friends in bands around here. "Yeah, I know a bunch of local bands that would love to play here," I said, thinking of a few.
"And do you know how much we'll have to pay these bands to play here?" he said, looking a little uneasy.
"Yeah, and I bet some of them would be so grateful for a venue that they'd pay you to play here," I said joking.
"Please, Mark? We need someone with her sense of humor around here," Sarah pleaded. She looked like she needed a friend or someone to talk to since she apparently worked afternoons alone.
"I can work behind the counter too if you want," I offered. He looked satisfied.
"OK, you've got the job. You got a name?" he asked.
"Yeah, the name's Elise Rutgers," I said, grateful for the job.
"Well thank you Elise. My daughter keeps telling me how much we need someone with musical knowledge around here to get some bands playing," he said.
"No, I say that, Mark. Your daughter says we need hot guys working here," Sarah said. I laughed.
"Well, I can't do much about the hot guys working here part, but if you need musical knowledge, I'm your girl, I guess," I said. After half an hour of talking to Sarah and Mark, I left to get home. It was already 6:30, and the guys were supposed to finish practice at 7. I found a voicemail on my machine with Patrick's worried voice.
"Umm, Elise? Have you seen Pete? We can't reach him anywhere and he's late to practice. If you have any idea where he might be, call us at Andy's, OK?" "This message is from 6:21 on Wednesday, September 19," came the automated voice on the machine. After that there was a beep. You know the kind. Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep. I dropped my purse and dove for the phone, calling his cell phone and praying that he'd pick up.