As Josh heard the news come out of Megan’s mouth, time seemed to slow down. The words kept echoing in his mind, over and over again. A few hours ago, Bell had just agreed to see his session at the Legato club. Josh felt uneasy. There was a heavy feeling he couldn’t shake off his chest.
“Josh, c’mon, we need to get to the hospital!” Megan told him.
Josh had a blank look. He didn’t know what to do. The next thing he knew, he and Megan were rushing to the hospital where Bell was admitted. So many thoughts rushed through his mind in that instant when Josh saw Bell on the hospital bed. The attending doctor approached us. “Good evening. Can I help you?” he asked. “What happened?”
♦ ♦ ♦
That few hours ago, Bell was playing a gig with his band. They were invited to play for an event opening. After the event, lots of guests really loved the performance. They already had been paid for their performance but many of the wealthy businessmen who loved music gave them some tips and some of them also booked them for another performance. It was going well for Bell and his band. They had some drinks and then Bell’s plan was to go straight to the Legato to watch Josh’s gig. It wasn’t a long way. The club was only a few blocks away from where they were.
Bell and the band were done. Bell called out to his band mates saying he needed to be somewhere so they said goodbye and gave him his pay for playing.
He decided to just walk to the club. It wasn’t that far and it wasn’t that late yet so he knew he had time. As he was walking, he felt that he was being followed. “It must’ve been my imagination” he kept saying to himself until a few blocks away from where they performed, he reached an alley, he saw the same guy. He had already noticed him from the last street he was walked from. Thoughts raced. He knew he didn’t owe anyone anything. He didn’t get into trouble lately, so he asked himself why.
The man approached him. Bell kept his composure so he would be able to avoid trouble. “What do you want?” he asked the man following him.
“I’m sorry but I’ll need your money.” The man was unsure. He was trembling. “Just give me the money and I’ll go. I don’t want any trouble here.”
Bell started to think as fast as he could. He was carrying his guitar which meant running won’t get him far. He was alone by an alley, there were people but not enough and if he were to ask for help, they wouldn’t be able to aid him in time. He was in a pinch with no one to help him get out of it.
“Hey! I know you have money so just hand it over!” the man started to get impatient. There wasn’t enough time for Bell to make a decision.
“Okay… Okay.” Bell took his wallet; he set it down on the street. “All my money is in there. Take it. Just let me leave now, okay?” Bell slowly backed away and as the mugger reached for the wallet, he ran as fast as he could. The man opened the wallet and found no money at all. Frustrated, he shouted at him.
Bell looked back to the angry man.
He just kept running and running as fast as he could. He could see a safe spot; the next sidewalk was full of people. He was relieved but then he heard a loud noise.
“What was that?” he said.
“No. I just need to keep running. Run Bell! Just don’t stop until you reach…” he stopped and paused.
“I had a guitar… I was running away from…” everything was all blurry. He kept trying to remember what it was that he was running away from. “I was running… wait… why was I running?”
Bell looked back.
People were gathering; whispering at each other. He couldn’t understand any of them.
He approached them to ask why there were all gathered there.
No one answered.
He waded through the crowd. He saw a body. He was shot from behind. Then he realized it.
A few seconds before he could start running away, he remembered he heard something loud; the noise from before.
A gun shot.
♦ ♦ ♦
The two were devastated at what they had just heard. Megan slowly started to break down in tears. Josh didn't know what to say to her. They were both in the same situation. He felt as bad as her too. Bell was the person who changed his life and now, he saw him laying on a hospital bed unsure whether he would wake up or not.
One of his band mates approached Josh. He knew him. A while back, when he was practicing with Bell, he remembered that he was introduced to this guy.
"You're Josh right? Hey, here man." handing over keys. These were the keys to Bell's apartment. "Bell left you something. He told me before we played at the event." he added. Megan held Josh; grasped his hand and said "I'll stay here. I think whatever Bell left for you... he really wanted you to have it. I think you should check it out. Just get back soon, okay?" Josh could see the sadness in her eyes. He was also sad. Maybe a bit more.
He arrived at Bell's place.
It was quiet. The place felt so dead. He saw the guitar case on the bed and had the urge to open it.
He saw a note as he opened the case. "Josh" was written on the letter. He sat down, opened it and read.
I just thought you'd need a new guitar. This one is one of my better guitars! Anyway, I want to give to you 'cos I know you really love playing. That part of me is gone and I don't really know why but you love music. This guitar deserves to be played everyday... so, you get to keep it. It's also cool that I met you. It's been long and you became a really great player. I acknowledge you for that. Thanks man.
I know. This sounds really gay but c'mon. It's a bro thing. A bro is always honest with a fellow bro without thinking bad of the gesture.
Tears began to fall from his eyes. He had just lost his best friend.