Playing the Blues Ch. 04


A little later the girls were sitting at their table having a last drink as most of the crowd were leaving. Several people had approached them, mostly to welcome Jenny and thank her for playing. Jenny was amused by the way Kate seemed to try to get between Jenny and every woman that came over but eventually she pulled the girl down into the chair beside of her to keep Kate still.

“So Jenny,” Julie asked smirking at Jenny, “Is there something you forgot to tell us?”

“Well not really, up until this morning I didn’t even know Kate although she tells me she’s been stalking me for years.”

“I have not,” Kate was blushing again, “I just heard you sing before.”

“I think hearing me sing almost every performance I ever made must count as stalking.” Jenny teased her.

“Yeah that was a surprise, but that wasn’t what I meant. Where the fuck did that voice come from. I’ve been croaking out the songs all night and then you come up at the end and sing like that. Shit girl, I could have taken the night off.”

“Well I wasn’t intending to sing. I only really did it ‘cos Kate was asking me too when we were on our break. I don’t really sing any more.”

“But why the hell not, you’re fantastic.” Julie exclaimed.

“Well you know how it is, you spend a few years with someone who tells you to stop making such a fucking racket every time you try to sing. I think he told me so many times that my voice was crap, I think I ended up sort of believing it. I mean logically I knew my voice was as good as ever, I just needed a bit of encouragement.” Jenny took Kate’s hand and gave it a gentle squeeze.

“Ohh no, here comes the boss, well one of them anyway, Hi Daphne.” Julie said.

Jenny looked over at the group approaching them, an older woman led the two women that Jenny had been watching as they danced. Jenny felt a flush creep over her cheeks.

“Hi girls, I just wanted to meet your new member.” Daphne looked to be in her late forties, she looked well groomed and obviously took care of herself.

“Well then, Daphne this is Jenny our temp bass player, although we are trying to persuade her to stick around. Jenny this is Daphne one of the owners of the club.” Julie made the introductions.

“Hi Daphne, it’s a nice place you’ve got here.” Jenny greeted the woman, her glance kept going to the younger couple, she could sense Kate looking worried beside of her but she couldn’t help it.

“Hi Jenny, I hope the girls manage to persuade you to stay you were great.” Daphne smiled at the younger woman.

Just then Chris decided to pipe up.

“I think the problem is she doesn’t like us.” She grinned at Jenny as the girl tried to protest. “Her reason for not joining the band was that she isn’t a lesbian, but then we all saw that last number didn’t we girls.”

“Hey that’s not fair.” Jenny went bright red.

“Hey yourself what’s not fair? if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck you’d be daft to call it a chicken.” All of the girls were laughing now and after a moment Jenny had to join in.

“Well before I go I would like to introduce a couple of my daughters friends. This is Wishes and Linda. Thanks for a good show girls, be good now.” Daphne walked off towards the bar.

“Hi Jenny,” the girl introduced as Linda said to her, her red haired companion just smiled sweetly. “I just wanted to say to you that I’ve never heard ‘Man of the world’ or rather ‘Woman of the world’ sung with such hope, it was really great. I hope you find what you’re looking for OK.” After Jenny had thanked them for their comments they left with a wave and walked back to Daphne.

“What was that supposed to mean?” Kate asked Jenny, she could see the other girls were dying to know as well.

“Oh nothing much I guess, Linda spotted me watching them out on the dance floor earlier. I don’t know why but for some reason they looked so perfect together. I think

Linda must have thought I was looking a bit wistful or something.”

“Anyway It’s time I made tracks, how did you get here tonight Kate?” Jenny asked her.

“I caught the bus here, I was going to book a taxi back, I was waiting until it got a bit quieter. You can never get a taxi when the pubs kick out, in about an hour it will have quietened down for the night.” Kate said getting to her feet to let Jenny out from the table.

“Well I’ve got my car here, why don’t I give you a lift.”

“Please if you wouldn’t mind.” Kate said looking at the floor.

“See you tomorrow girls.” Jenny said as she went to walk away. When Kate’s hand slipped into hers there were a series of catcalls and whistles from the table and a few comments about Kate’s chances of getting home without being molested, and whether or not she wanted to be.

Jenny took it as good natured fun and just waved at the girls as they headed for the exit. As they passed Nicky the big woman raised an eyebrow at Jenny, Jenny just gave her best innocent smile.

Kate clutched Jenny’s hand tightly as they walked to the car. The young girl was bursa eskort quiet on the drive back only giving brief answers to questions from Jenny about directions. After Jenny parked the car outside of the flat above the music shop she couldn’t resist leaning over and kissing Kate goodnight. As their lips touched Kate closed her eyes and leant firmly into Jenny. As they parted her eyes fluttered open, Jenny watched as Kate sagged down in the car seat and she started to sob. Jenny didn’t know what had upset her but reached out to hug Kate. As her hands touched the crying girl Kate jerked herself away from Jenny. She clawed frantically at the door trying to find the handle through tear filled eyes.

Getting the door open Kate sprang out of the car almost falling on the pavement in her haste.

“Don’t play games with me! I’m not a fucking toy!” she cried as she slammed the car door.

Jenny sat stunned as she watched Kate run up to her flat and disappear inside. Just sitting there for five minutes staring at the door Jenny couldn’t understand what had happened, it had been such a great evening until now. Eventually she drove home and after a quick wash climbed into bed.

———–

When her alarm clock blasted out its morning call Jenny hit it so hard her hand stung for a few minutes. She pulled herself up into a sitting position in bed and tried to wake herself up. She felt terrible, her sleep had been restless. All night long she had been haunted by the image of that couple dancing. Then suddenly it would be her and Kate dancing closely, and every time she was jerked awake as Kate burst into tears. “I’m not a fucking toy!” would echo through Jenny’s head as she tried to get back to sleep only to have the dream repeat itself.

After a few minutes to summon some energy Jenny got up and showered. The shower woke her up a little but Jenny still went about her jobs for the morning in a mechanical way. She couldn’t stop her mind from flicking between the look on Kate’s face as Jenny sang to her and when she got out of the car.

By twelve o’clock she gave up trying and headed for the club. She wasn’t surprised to Julie and Sally there checking out the instruments.

“Hi Jenny, wow you look rough, didn’t Kate let you get any sleep?” Sally chuckled.

“Uhh, I didn’t get any sleep no, but it wasn’t Kate. I think I screwed up, but I don’t know how.”

Julie steered Jenny towards a table as Sally went to the bar returning a few moments later with three bottles of Bud.

“So what happened last night then?” Julie asked gently after they had each taken a drink from their bottles.

“I don’t know I parked by her house. I guess I just wanted to kiss her goodnight. Then she pushed me away and screamed something to me about treating her as a toy and stormed off. I don’t know what I did wrong.”

“Umm, she seemed pretty keen on you when you left and you said she followed you around when you were playing years ago. Do you think she may have fallen in love with you a little bit?” Sally asked with a slight smile.

“Well she told me she did which seemed a bit over the top, after all she had never even spoken to me before yesterday.”

Julie’s face registered a sudden thought.

“Last night every time a girl came on to you, what did you tell them?”

“Well only that I’m not a lesbian.” Jenny replied not seeing any connection between the two.

“Oh god Jenny, you’re a bright and talented person, but sometimes you can be very dense.” Julie snorted.

“Thanks for the compliment, I kind of worked that one out on my own.” Jenny said wryly.

“So tell me then how did I screw up so bad?”

Looking at Sally Julie said “Can you believe this girl?”

Sally slapped her on the arm.

“Give her a break, she’s just not used to emotional girls, especially the shy ones.”

“Look can you just tell me what I’ve done.” Jenny was getting irritated now.

“Jenny, a girl told you she loves you and you said I’m not interested right?” Sally explained.

“Yes, that’s pretty much it, there was bit more but we mostly talked about music.”

“Right, then you are giving her hugs and kisses, you sing her a love song and kiss her hand in front of the whole club. Then you drive her home and kiss her goodnight. Talk about mixed messages.”

Jenny groaned and put her head in her hands. “Oh shit!”

——

That night the band played the blues like never before. Jenny was encouraged by Julie to sing several of the songs. Jenny poured all her confused thoughts and emotions into her music.

All through the first half of the set Jenny scanned the crowd for Kate but was disappointed that she couldn’t see her anywhere.

During their break she wandered through the crowded club looking for her friend. Her progress was slow, just about everyone in the club seemed to want to talk about her playing. Most of the conversations were fun and good for ego, and by the time she returned to the band’s table Jenny thought she could just about bursa bayan escort write a phone directory from all the numbers she was offered.

Jenny tried to smile and joke with the other girls during the rest of her break but they all could see that her heart wasn’t in it.

Just before they were due to go back on stage an older woman took Julie to one side and chatted too her for a while. Jenny could see Julie smiling at the woman and talking animatedly to her, she couldn’t help feeling nosey.

“Sally, who is that woman Julie’s talking to?” she eventually asked.

“She’s the other owner of the club. She’s another Sally, trust me to get a common name.” She said causing all the girls to laugh at her woebegone expression.

When Julie returned to the table she was grinning from ear to ear.

“You’re never gonna believe this guys, we just got a fifteen percent wage rise.” Julie announced to the surprised table. There was a fair bit of excited chatter from the girls for a while before Julie got them to calm down for a bit.

“The only problem is there are two conditions.” She said seriously.

“What conditions?” Chris asked her.

“Well the first one is Jenny.” They all looked at the bass player.

“What me, what about me.” Jenny squeaked.

“Well the wage rise is dependant on you joining the band full time, the other condition is that you head up the band.”

“Oh shit why me.” Jenny sighed and put her head in her hands.

“Girl you don’t know how good you are do you? Before you joined us we were a reasonable band but nothing special. Since we’ve been playing with you we have all upped our game to keep up with you. Look at this place, you played here last night. Word has already spread about the band, this place is never this full on a Sunday night.”

“OK, OK I can buy that but I don’t want to take your job away from you.” Jenny had blushed from the compliments which had been echoed by the rest of the girls.

Julie looked exasperated. She couldn’t believe this woman couldn’t see the obvious.

“Damn it girl, do you think this lot all came because I choose some good numbers. The thing that pulled in the crowd is the last ten minutes of last night. And the way you’ve played this evening they will be back. So are you in or not.”

Jenny laughed. “Of course I’m in. Until this weekend I let a selfish bastard take away the thing I’ve always loved most. Now I’m back and ready to rock.”

For a couple of minutes Jenny was smothered by the girls who all wanted to hug her at once.

“Well honey now it’s your job to decide what we close on.” Julie said with a happy grin. And handed Jenny some folded sheets of paper.

Jenny cast her eye down the list of songs the band knew, most were songs from their set but there were a few other songs on the list that the girls could play.

Jenny gave Julie a challenging look.

“OK if that’s the way you want it. How’s your John Lodge.”

“Um, who’s John Lodge.” Julie looked puzzled.

“Well if you’re up to it I would like to try Blue Guitar to close.”

“Shit, that’s a good track, I love playing that. But what’s it got to do with John Lodge.” Julie persisted.

Jenny chuckled. “He wrote and played the song with Justin Heywood. OK we will give that a try tonight then. Since you lot have dumped me in the driving seat can we all meet here at about one tomorrow to practice a few new numbers.”

“What tomorrows our day off!” Amy said. “I was planning on staying in bed until at least six!”

The other girls all groaned and looked daggers at Julie who shrugged and smiled happily. Jenny got the impression that she was glad to off load the responsibility onto Jenny’s shoulders.

“Yeah I know it’s your day off. But this week and next week I want us to put in a couple of hours each Monday afternoon to work on new material. Then we can review it and see if we go back to normal practice sessions. OK, good, lets get rockin’ gang.”

Again Jenny started the second half of the set with Peter Gunn. The second half the music was more mainstream again and Jenny found herself to be quite cheerful as she played. She still looked for Kate in the crowd, she was disappointed that she couldn’t see her anywhere but put that to the back of her mind as she played.

Between songs Jenny took a moment to whisper something to each of the girls.

The set wound down a little late at just before twelve, they were supposed to finish at half eleven on a Sunday but nobody had thought to tell Jenny.

They paused for a moment towards the end. Jenny moved to centre stage. She heard someone in the audience saying.

“This is where they play that Albatross, just wait for this.”

When Chris climbed out from behind her drum kit and was followed off stage by Amy the crowd made sounds of disappointment which got louder as Jenny took off her guitar and stood it by her amp. By the time Sally had put down her guitar and left the stage bursa ucuz escort the audience were stamping their feet and calling for them to come back.

Julie played a couple of notes on her Guitar and adjusted her amp. A hush fell over the room as Sally came back on stage with a tall stool for Julie.

Jenny and Julie exchanged winks and Julie started playing Blue Guitar. When Jenny started singing the audience listened with rapt attention until the last notes from Julie’s guitar rang out across the room. Jenny gave a quick bow to the audience and waved to Julie and applauded her herself.

A few minutes later they met up with the rest of the band at the table.

“Wow, I’d forgotten how good it was to do that.” Julie exclaimed her face glowing.

“Well done, you were great.” Sally jumped up and hugged her. Followed by everyone else. Jenny was the last and held on to Julie’s shoulders as they parted.

“You were good girl. We will see if we can work that one into the set again.” she said pleased with her decision. “Listen guys it’s late and I’ve got a few things to do tomorrow before we meet so I gotta hit the road. Thanks for everything, we were good tonight. Goodnight.” Jenny left with a last wave and headed for the car park.

Jenny got home and after a quick shower climbed into her bed. She felt quite contented, the evening had gone well and she felt for the first time in years that her life had some direction. Then a pang of sadness entered her thoughts, she hadn’t seen Kate this evening and she had wanted to share her excitement with the girl. Jenny tried to avoid the thought but it kept returning. She couldn’t understand her feelings, it was nice to have a friend but why was it affecting her like this.

She thought back to her conversation with Sally and Julie this afternoon. She knew that she had been unfair to Kate with the way she had acted. Did she have feelings for Kate? Was she just caught up in the atmosphere of the club? What the hell was she going to do? The easiest answer would be to stay away from Silks and pretend that this had never happened, but Jenny couldn’t do that, she liked the girls and didn’t want to let them down. Jenny also had to admit that she didn’t want to give up playing again, it felt so good to be back on stage, she felt so alive now.

OK so she was going to stay on at Silks and play, but what was she going to do about Kate? Jenny was slowly beginning to realise that her feelings for Kate were a bit more than just wanting to be a friend. What she didn’t know was how much more she wanted it to be, and what would happen if their relationship developed and began to get physical.

Jenny had seen girl on girl action on porno tapes that Pat had wanted to watch. She had seen girls licking each others pussies and she wasn’t sure she could do that. What left her uncertain was that all she knew about lesbian sex was from those videos, was that how women really made out or was it just for the camera. She knew that sex with any of her boyfriends had never been anything like the scenes on the porno videos, so would it be same with girls.

Her thoughts were interrupted by the shrill call of her mobile phone. Picking up the phone she saw that it was Julie, with a sigh Jenny answered.

“Hi Julie.”

“Hi Jenny sorry to ring you at this time of night but we got a problem.”

“Oh shit what’s wrong, I thought we had performed well.”

“Yeah we did. Amy just split, took her keyboards and left.”

“Oh fuck!”

“Yeah oh fuck is right, listen I know it’s late but we need to get together and decide what to do.”

“Uh, no problem, where are you, still at the club?”

“No we’re back at our house, d’ya want to come round.”

“OK, text me your address and I’ll see you in fifteen.”

“Great see you then.”

Jenny groaned as she swung her legs out of bed and reached for her clothes. This wasn’t helping her to decide what she was going to do about Kate. She put that thought to the back of her mind and quickly dressed before heading out the door.

Twenty minutes later she was sitting in the living room of the huge house the girls shared. A steaming mug of tea in her hand Jenny looked at the glum girls.

“OK, so why did Amy quit?” she asked.

“Um,” Julie looked embarrassed. “she kind of flipped after you left. Said there was no way she was going to stand for some bitch shoving Kas out of the band. That there was no way you were going to make her work on her day off, who the hell did you think you were!” All of the band seemed to find their feet very interesting at the moment and wouldn’t look at Jenny. “Sorry Jenny, but that’s what she said.”

Jenny dropped her head for a moment before taking a deep breath and looking at the rest of the band.

“Well the first bit was pure shit as we all know. But the rest, was I throwing my weight around too much?” she asked them.

“No way, some of us are looking forward to learning some new stuff.” Chris said, the others nodded their agreement.

“Look we should have had this sort of discussion before I ended up in the band. Here’s how I see things.” Jenny looked at the girls who were all smiling their encouragement.

“I’ve always taken my music seriously, yes it can be fun and I enjoy it, but at heart it has to be professional.”


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