Bert fumbled with the knob on the door to his garage, hands full of long necked beer bottles. Finally he gave up and used one of them to tap at the door until someone opened it for him, grabbing three of the beers out of his hands and ushering him in. It was nearly nine at night and the garage door was open to the street; they had stopped practicing songs hours ago. Their instruments were silent, put in stands or abandoned in favor of the worn out couch that Bert and Eric had dragged out.
Mathias was perched on the armrest, reaching out for one of the beers. Paul, who had opened the door for Bert, handed Mathias a beer and then kept the other two, falling down on the couch next to Jonathan. Jonathan reached for the other beer but Paul slapped his hand away, laughing.
“Not for lazy asses.” Jonathan dropped his hand and glared at Paul jokingly, reaching out to slap him on the side of the head.
“Now you really can’t have it,” Paul taunted, turning away to open his bottle and take a long swig. Eric kicked out from his perch on a worn out ottoman, hitting Paul lightly in the shin.
“Oh, give him the beer, Paul,” Eric told him, and finally Paul relented.
Mathias and Jonathan resumed their conversation about the soccer match scheduled for that night: Chelsea versus Manchester United. Jonathan was a staunch supporter of Chelsea, and Mathias was a loyal Man U fan. They often argued over the teams, but it was a friendly rivalry and not one that they let come between them.
Bert just sat back on the floor with his back against the ottoman, watching his friends and drinking his beer pensively. Listening to the friendly banter and small talk, Bert smiled slightly as he brought his bottle to his lips. He had hated their town, wanted to leave for a long time, but these four boys kept him here. The promise of being able to leave once the band got bigger was too good to be true, so he stayed and poured his heart into the music.
To be fair, Eric was his brother and would probably kill him if he ran off, but still. Of course, Bert was well aware that if he said anything to his friends he’d never hear the end of it. He just kept silent, enjoying the company. For the time being, it’s enough.