Josh and Megan were having fun at the bar. The music they were listening to, gave Josh a solid idea of how he would apply what he learned about Fusion to the actual thing. He was confident that he could handle it. He turned to Megan and asked her what other music bars offered performing Fusion. “I heard someone talk about a bar a few blocks from where I live. They also have live Fusion performances there. But it’s gonna be a long trip from here.” Megan said. Josh was eager to try out his skills already but he decided to just practice for the night and try it out the next day. “Hey, why don’t we meet up somewhere near your place if that’s alright?” Josh proposed and Megan agreed. “So meet me at this address…” she wrote down on a piece of paper and gave it to Josh. “… and we’ll try out that place. I think it was called the Legato bar. The players there are still top musicians so don’t let your guard down alright?” And the two went on home.

The next day came and Josh was very excited. He readied his gear for his first real play. He was so excited; he was hardly able to eat much. He looked at the clock. It was still ten in the morning. They were supposed to meet up with Megan at six in the evening. It was so early and he had no idea what to do. He went back to his room to rehearse. He plugged in his guitar, put on some of his jam tracks and just started playing. He even thought it was fairly good when he listened to himself play. He sent Bell a text inviting him to the Legato club later that night to watch him play. Bell replied and told him he had no other plans so he could stop by and watch. He asked Josh if he was sure about it but nothing could stop Josh at that point. He was too fired up to give up the chance of playing live for the first time. He continued to play for a few more minutes. He didn’t want to tire out his hands too much. He decided to visit the music shop. “Hey I should let the old man know I’m playing tonight. Yeah, I should” Josh said to himself. So he went out to visit the music shop. When he arrived and told the shop keeper about his gig, he was excited for Josh so he wished him the best. He even handed him some new guitar strings for his performance. He told Josh to fix them up now so it will play well by the time he’s going to play.

Josh went back to his apartment to have a nap. He changed the strings on Cloud, tuned them and then he went on his bed. Just closed his eyes and slept. He had a rather peculiar dream that afternoon. He was alone in The Cave just drinking in the bar staring at the empty chairs. He shouted calling for anybody that could’ve been there but no one answered. Then he woke up. Josh checked the clock. It was thirty minutes to six. He checked his guitar, tuned it again to make sure then he got his guitar and left.

“Hey Josh! Over here!” Megan shouted across the street. Josh immediately so her so he crossed. “So, are you ready?” she asked Josh. He was nervous but also excited. It was his first so what would you expect? They walked a few blocks and arrived at this small alley. There was a bright neon sign that said Legato. They entered the club and Josh signed up for the open jam session. They got a table and sat down. Megan tried to loosen him up. “Don’t be too stiff. Relax. If you do what you’ve been doing in your practices, I’m sure you’ll do alright.” She said tapping his shoulder to give him a boost in confidence. Then Bell arrived. “Hey man! Am I late?” “No, just in time. We’re up next.” Josh said to Bell. “Nice. Alright, I’ll be here. Get up there and blow their minds.” With that said, he was ready to play.

“And our next player; He is actually new to Fusion and this is going to be his first live on stage. Help me welcome Josh.” Josh was nervous. He could hear his heart beating fast as he was walking up on stage. He grabbed the plug for his guitar. He was shaking. He managed to get set up without taking too long. He looked at the audience. He took a deep breath. He closed his eyes. “I’m ready. Let’s do this!” Josh said with enthusiasm. Then the drummer started his beat. Josh immediately compared it to his practice sessions. He was thinking and thinking. Nothing would come to his mind. It was completely different compared to what he was listening to. The bass started playing. He knew he was remembering everything he learned but none of it fit the music. He was baffled. The hundreds of songs he heard, the live shows he listened to… Nothing fit. He decided to start off with some basic riffs. He knew the key so he told himself it was okay. He was going to build it up as he listened longer. They continued to play. The bassist was on fire. He was starting to play advanced basslines. The drummer also upped his performance but Josh seemed to be stuck. He tried to add some variety to his phrases but it didn’t impress anyone. He glanced at the audience and to him, it seemed like no one was listening. He got conscious of his playing. He started to miss notes and ultimately, he started to make mistakes. Everyone started whispering. Josh saw them and it made him worse. The set ended. Megan tried to comfort him. He just looked at her and said “I’m alright. Don’t worry.” He went out to get some air. Josh was crushed.

The End

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