Tuning Delicate Strings

Chapter 2

Nikai sat down in his apartment in awe. He just couldn't believe he got hired. He got up and put his guitar away and headed to the bathroom, only to stop at the mirror. His happy expression turned to sadness.
"How am I going to pull this off?" He said to himself.

Ike listened as Taylor played his keyboard. He had quit playing for a few minutes just to think about some things. For some reason, all he could think about was how amazing that guy played. It was like he wasn't even trying. Ike wondered why he didn't just try out to do a solo career.
"Ike, are you paying any attention?" Taylor said stiffly.
"I just asked you something."
"What did you think about that guy we hired…uh…"
"Yeah." Taylor answered.
"His guitar playing was unbelievable…" Ike smiled.
"No…I don't mean his guitar playing, I mean him." Taylor said as he cracked his knuckles and rested his chin on his hand.
"What about him?" Ike asked.
"Well…there seemed something a bit off about him. I can't put my finger on it." Taylor said, narrowing his eyes.
"He was quiet…you know…and he looked…uh…" Taylor began.
"Looked what?"
"I don't know. I can't describe it." Taylor said and looked at his brother.
"I don't think there's anything off about him. He seems normal to me." Ike answered and looked down at his lyric sheet.
"All right. It was just an observation." Taylor sighed. Ike knew Taylor was right but he wasn't going to give his brother the satisfaction of knowing that. There was something odd about Nikai. It wasn't just that he was quiet, it was his whole demeanor. Ike quickly put it in the back of his mind as he started working on his lyrics again.

It had been a few weeks and they all were meeting with Nikai and the other back up musicians to go over some of the music. Ike was sitting on a chair as the other musicians walked in. His attention was immediately placed on Nikai who was the last in the room. He had on a large gray sweater, his green baseball hat and a pair of large, baggy black pants and sneakers. Yet again, his guitar was strapped to his back. He seemed so small compared to everyone else in the room, and quiet, extremely quiet.
"Hey guys." Taylor spoke up and shook everyone's hands. He put his hand on Nikai's shoulder and brought him to the center of the room.
"Everyone, this is Nikai, our new bass player." Taylor announced. As soon as Taylor opened his mouth, it seemed Nikai wanted to shrink away.
"Hey." Was all he said and looked around hesitantly. Almost immediately, Nikai looked at Ike.
"Uh…Nikai, could you show me how you did that riff…" Ike said, immediately walking over to Nikai and pulling him away from Taylor.
Taylor narrowed his eyes at Ike then passed it off. Nikai sat down next to Ike and took out his guitar and began to play. Taylor sat down at his piano and began to play along. It was like Nikai was a forth member of the band, always meant to be there. Ike smiled to himself as he listened to Nikai and Taylor play. Just as he turned his head, he could hear Zac joined in on his drum set. They jammed for a good ten minutes before the door opened and their father walked in.
"Hey Guys…may I ask what's going on?" Walker smiled.
"Oh…uh…mini-concert…" Ike grinned.
"Oh…well…I just wanted to let everyone know that the tour is starting in a couple of weeks so this is crunch time on rehearsal." Walker answered. Everyone smiled at him.
"Oh…Dad this is Nikai, our new bass player." Ike spoke up and pointed towards Nikai. Nikai once again shrunk away.
"It's nice to meet you…uh…Nikai is it? Got a nickname?" Walker asked as he shook the young man's hand.
"Some people call me Nick, some people call me Kai. Doesn't really matter to me." Nikai mumbled. Walker eyed him then smiled.
"I heard you're a fantastic bass player." Walker said.
"Uh…I guess." Nikai stammered and looked down at his shoes awkwardly.
"Uh…well…I'll see you guys." Walker said and narrowed his eyes at Ike and glanced at Nikai. Ike just waved his father away.
"So…uh…Nikai…I was wondering…how old are you?" Ike asked.
"I'm 19." Nikai answered and looked up at Ike, locking his gaze with him. Ike could feel his mouth go dry.
"Well…uh…you're very talented." Ike stammered.
"Thanks." Nikai answered. Ike didn't now what else to say. He quickly turned his attention to everyone else setting up.
"You guys are the ones that are talented." Nikai mumbled.
"Huh?" Ike asked.
"I mean, you got a great record deal and the album's you've done were really good…" Nikai stammered.
"Nikai, why haven't you tried for your own record deal?" Ike asked. Nikai immediately looked at him, eyes widened.
"Never thought I was good enough." Nikai answered. Just as Ike went to say something, Taylor came over, handing Nikai a piece of music. Nikai immediately stood up and fixed the strap on his guitar while everyone else was ready. Ike grabbed his guitar and got ready.

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