9th – No More Hiding


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Days and weeks passed by with John keeps his secret well. The other members hardly to find a way to make him talk, John is the great one to distract the conversation and the most important thing is; it was no sign for him lacking intension in their album preparation. He still reveals his song continuously; lead the other in discussion and so on.

John admitted that he working though, but he keeps his mouth shut on where it is or what he does.

Today, John should be giving guitar lesson, but he remain lying on his bed, his stomach growling in pain, the medicine he just took seem useless. He wonders whether it works or not.

Meanwhile, Jerry lazily going home since he knows he will be all alone until Ring back from school and it may take an hour for that.

Jerry sighed when he open the doors, smell of loneliness welcoming him. But he a bit surprise seeing John’s shoes scattered right in front of the door (as usual). Jerry put it back to the case and examining the whole house.

Quite, just as he expected, no one seems to be around. Again, he took his glance to John’s shoes. He should be home since Jerry never sees John wore another shoes but those old pair.

Curiosity filling up Jerry’s mind so he observed room by room which then he found John curled under his blanket.

‘Are you alright?’ Asked Jerry, and he hurriedly approaching John examining him closely.

John opens his eyes and surprise to see Jerry is sitting next to him with worry reflected in his face.

‘It’s okay, I’m fine.’ John replied slowly.

‘What happen?’

‘Nothing, it’s nothing.’

‘Nothing?!’ Bellowed Jerry. ‘You’re definitely sick! I know it’s going to be happening with you sneaking out all the time, treating us as fool for not knowing what you’ve been doing.  I, we’ve been waiting for you to speak but you didn’t, okay, you said you’ve work, all the time? John we’re all respect you as leader, we trust in you, but why you have a little faith in us? If it’s all about the band, why do you keep those all for your self? We’re all have the same responsibility.’

Jerry finally burst out everything he wanted to say. His breath was heavy and his face turn red for John knows pretty clearly it was anger, anger to him, his leader. Suddenly he felt bad to be a poor leader.

Slowly John sat up, crossed his leg and shoved his blanket aside. His face still white as sheet but he did not even know it and slightly pain on his stomach as he moved. John looks directly into Jerry’s eyes and Jerry gaze it back, insisting not turn away from the dark eyes but piercing into it.

‘Alright,’ John said quietly.

John knows that he can not keep this any longer from the kid in front of him. Sometimes, John surprise himself that he found some comfort in Jerry. Jerry is younger than him, definitely and he barely know Jerry if he has to make comparison with Tom who he known for so long beside their parents also an old friend. But in some occasion, most actually, John feels a friend comfort from Tom not somebody who can attach heart to heart.

Jerry is noisy, John knows pretty well and that also the main problem with Tom who prefer something quite. But the funny thing is, he did not mind and enjoyed instead and maybe Jerry is the right choice to be someone he need to talk rather than he keeps for his own.

Jerry however, stunned in where he sits by hearing what John had told. Hardly can he imagine how much John had done to them.

‘You shouldn’t have to do that for us. If necessary we’re all could have some part-time job too.’

John shook his head.

‘No, you can’t. As long as I can handle this, I won’t trouble you. All you need is focus on our plan. That’s all.’

‘But-‘

‘No but, I’ll tell you if I need some help okay? Promise.’ John cut off Jerry’s protest.

Although Jerry still suspicious but eventually he obeyed John’s conclusion, ‘alright, I’ll keep your word.’

John nodded.

‘But are you sure you don’t need to go and see doctor?’

John shook his head, ‘I’m fine, no worries. Eh, don’t tell the other okay,’

Jerry raised his eyes,

‘Please,’ plead John. ‘You have my word.’ John reminds Jerry about the word that he will asked for help once he needed.

‘Alright. Get rest then, I’ll make you porridge.’ Said Jerry and he got up. ‘One last question, where is your gretsch white? I didn’t see you using it nor isn’t around either.’ Asked Jerry before he closes the door behind him.

John did not answer but staring at Jerry and it took sometime before he said in low voice.

‘I sell it.’

‘What?! What did you say?’ Jerry step back to the room.

‘It’s not a big deal, really.’ John said and he lying back.

Hesitantly Jerry steps out although he wants to know more but looking at John he decided to drop the conversation and giving his leader rest.

***

There not much change within The Stars. They still do street performances, join performance every Sunday. As for every of them also busy with themselves, John keep managing to cover himself with the job he is doing, thank to Jerry who help him to disguised from the other two and day after day Jerry is growing better in lying about John.

Meanwhile Tom and Ringo seem less curiosity about what John is doing since they also busy with their school stuff.

That night there only John and Tom in home, Jerry has assignment with his photographer friend and Ringo not home yet for his extra class.

‘John, I borrow your English History.’ Asked Tom.

John did not say a word but only raised his left hand, indicating to Tom to take the book on his room by Tom himself.

‘John, where’s your gretsch white?’ Shouted Tom.

‘What?!’

‘Where’s your gretsch white, that’s nowhere at your room.’ Asked Tom more clearly in front of John who busying himself to finish his homework.

John quit writing and look up to his friend who gazing at him with curiosity in his face. Here we go again, John’s heart saying.

‘I lose it.’ John simply replied and gives his eyes back to his book.

His answer somehow leaving Tom dumbfounded, lose? That guitar is lost?

‘Lost? What the hell was that?’

John did not give any reply but shrugged.

‘Tell me where it is,’ Tom demanded.

‘What where?’

‘When it lost?’

‘Months.’

Tom gaze at John who keep busying with his book that he suspect John is avoiding any of his question.

Tom chuckled, ‘do you think I’ll believe any of your word? Tell me what you were doing with that guitar.’

For the second time John quitting with what he is doing.

‘Nothing, I just … lost it, that’s all. Anyway, you need to take my book or searching around my room?’

‘Don’t change the topic,’ John held up his both hands. ‘How hell did you lost it?’

‘I must have left it at bus station, I met my friend then I went to talk to him and when I came back it was nowhere I can be seen.’

Tom’s eyes narrowed, clearly that he did not believe John’s story. Somehow John can not blaming Tom either since he also surprise with how lame the excuse he made. He is not the kind of people who careless enough so that happen to lose his guitar. Losing guitar? Maybe this also the first ever he heard about this kind of story as well. Another surprising thing for John is, he can tell the truth toward Jerry but the lies just slipped out of his tongue once Tom bombardier him with the same question.

Tom about to open his mouth to continue his confrontation, once again, while Jerry entered the house, and gazing confusingly to Tom and John before he asked,

‘There’s something going on?’ maybe he feels high tense between John and Tom.

‘D’you know what he had doing with his guitar?’ asked Tom to Jerry.

John’s face turn pale at once, he never told Jerry how to tell lies, Jerry knows the truth. John only looks at Jerry with pleaded and hoping his story will match, otherwise the game will over.

Jerry however just shrugged when he passes by Tom and opens his room door to put his bag and bass case.

‘Which guitar?’ Asked Jerry to Tom once he gets back to the living room.

‘His gretcsh white.’

‘Oh, you won’t believe if he told you he lost it, will you?’

Both Tom and John eyes widened, Tom stare at Jerry and examining him close and carefully. Trying to find what game both John and Jerry had play which eventually he loses it.

And John, he can not be sure if he still can breathe easy, surprise and glad about how well Jerry saves his neck.

‘None has dinner hasn’t it?’ Asked Jerry before Tom could start again. ‘Ah… let’s see what’s in the refri …’ and he murmuring some words both John and Tom hardly to catch.

***

Day after day John could feel the other members, especially Tom, getting curious again about his outside activities, Jerry, he knows some and both Tom and Ringo definitely know nothing yet he pretty sure Tom already relying his losing guitar story to Ringo.

‘John isn’t home yet?’ asked Ringo to Tom and Jerry who sit at the living room. Both of them seem busy with their home work.

‘No, not yet,’ replied Jerry.

‘Ah… I need to take my book back.’

‘Why didn’t you search in his room? It probably lying somewhere on his bed,’ replied Tom with his eyes still on his book he read.

‘Anyone knows what this is? I’ve never know if John has a gastric problem. Has he ever sick and we don’t notice it?’ asked Ringo after a moment gone into John’s room.

Jerry stomach turn over, John is stupid! Cursed Jerry silently in his heart.

‘What did you say?’ asked Tom, looking up to Ringo who held a small white bottle, ‘how did you know if it’s for gastric?’

‘Mum has one, the same one.’

While Ringo and Tom exchanging questions and replies Jerry just keeps silent and cursing John’s carelessness.

‘Do you have any idea?’ Asked Ringo.

‘I do, I think we’ll have better answer from his little brother.’ Tom’s voice icy and sharp as well as his eyes when look down to Jerry who still busy (or pretend to be) with his book.

Ringo puzzled with Tom’s sudden change voice and who is ‘his’ and what ‘his little brother?’ is

‘Now, will you tell us what the hell this was all about?’ Tom icily asked Jerry.

‘What was this? I don’t even know what are you talking about?’

‘You don’t know huh,’ Tom grab Jerry t-shirt to make him stand.

‘Oi, Tom!’ Shouted Ringo.

‘I don’t know, do I?’ Jerry exclaimed.

‘Maybe you will know this,’ Tom said as his fist flying to Jerry’s stomach all in sudden.

‘Hey!!!’ Ringo about to launch himself in between Tom and Jerry when Tom held his hand to make him stay still,

‘Wake up,’ Tom ordered to Jerry who struggle in front of the couch, ‘still wanted to cover John huh?’

‘Tom, easy, what was this all about? We’re talking about-’ asked Ringo.

It was another punch when Tom cut Ringo’s words off, ‘Our little brother knows everything we don’t, both of them playing game behind our back.’

‘It’s not like that!’ Jerry still manages his voice loud even he is grunted in pain, twice consecutive stroke enough to hurt him.

‘Likely story, so what or how it is?’ asked Tom sharply.

Ringo, meanwhile, stay stunned with his eyes swiveled backwards and towards from Jerry to Tom.

‘He will kill me,’

‘So you want me to kill you?!’

Aside from everything, the fact Jerry did not even trying to defend himself is one prove that he knows something and also  his loyalty to keep covering John even he is being hurt shown off Jerry’s another personality Tom did not know before. Tom praised Jerry’s loyalty, however, but this is not the time for a loyal, he knows both of them hiding something, and he attempt to get to know all of them.

Slowly Jerry sat up and starts telling the whole story, how he had discovered and how he finally manages John to tell the truth, of course his word not to tell the other too.

No one has move nor speak, both Tom and Ringo standing dead on where they were.  The living room turns silence once Jerry finish tells everything.

‘Don’t tell anything to him about us that already discover this.’ In the end it was Ringo who broke the silence between them.

Both Tom and Jerry look at him at once.

‘You guys know John, he’s good in arguing. We need to get ourselves in right plan before we told him about this otherwise he’ll turn us on his point.’

Tom did not arguing, he knows Ringo was right. John pretty good in turn anyone’s word around.

‘We need to get job, we can’t let him feeding us like this.’ Jerry said.

‘That’s my point.’ This was Ringo who had said.

‘Any idea?’ asked Tom.

‘No.’ Replied Ringo and Jerry in chorus.

‘Anyway, what did he do with his guitar?’ asked Tom, it is kind of surprise that question came out in casual voice since he just very cold to Jerry.

‘He sold it.’

‘What!!!’

Both Tom and Ringo looking at Jerry at once.

‘He sells it once we only have rice for our meal.’ Jerry explained.

‘He’s definitely out of his mind,’ murmuring Tom as he throws himself down to the couch beside Jerry.

‘Just don’t tell anything to him, yet.’ Reminded Ringo.

Jerry is about to ask them what does the guitar means when suddenly John appears. All of them stop dead in surprise; it is like a child who caught did some wrongdoing, three of them gazing at John with funny and strange face.

‘Eh, is there any special thing to talk about? And why do you look surprise?’ Asked John.

‘Yeah, ‘cause that mean we’re too late to stay awake,’ replied Jerry and he began to collect his book, ‘night.’ Jerry bid short goodnight and Ringo followed him nervously.

‘Study huh?’

Tom did not reply but keep staring to his leader.

‘What?’

‘No, nothing suddenly I just remember a melody.’ Tom shook his head and shoving his book carelessly and bid John good night too.

Their strange action leaved John in grinning, what happen with them, he thought.

The Stars

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