Katie sighed as she locked up her shop. It was nearly midnight, and she should have shut up long ago, but she'd stayed behind the counter long after the other shops should in the hopes she'd get a good customer. No luck. Just another load of bratty kids screaming, "I want a real guitar, mommy!" or, "This guitar's broke, it only has four strings!". She was tired of explaining, a bass is a real guitar, no, it doesn't just play the same note over and over (well, not if you have a decent teacher), and yes, it is meant to have four strings. No-one took any notice, and she'd only made one sale – of a guitar pick.

She had a few regulars, and she looked forward to the times when they came in. She'd have discussions with them, her leaning on the counter, fist on chin, fiercely arguing the value of a bass solo in modern rock. Some of them loved the place so much they'd ask if she had any jobs going, and she'd explain sadly that she couldn't afford to take anyone on.

She pulled down the shutters, and blew a stray strand of her out of her eyes. Her dark hair was pulled back into a messy bun, but however hard she tried that one piece would never stay with the rest. She pulled the pale band out of her hair, letting it loose in soft curls around her face. Holding it between her teeth, she used both hands to scrape her hair back, then held it tight in one hand before twisting the band around mercilessly, so even the littlest curl lay stretched straight.

Her tired eyes looked at the world before her, looking but not seeing. She sighed again, thinking how dreary life was, not even black or white, just a washed-out gray. She laughed and shook her head, to rid herself of these thoughts. Caffeine, that's all she needed. A nice, hot coffee. She pulled her navy fleece with the gold embroidered Kayz's Bass's on the left-hand pocket closer around her, and her thin frame shook slightly as the harsh wind whipped through her. Putting her head down, she shook back her pony-tail and ran to Starbucks, ignoring the tears that the wind brought to her eyes.

Katie made it safely to Starbucks, and sighed again, happily this time, as she sank into the comfy leather seat. She ordered a coffee – not caring which they brought so long as she got one – and settled herself further down. She switched on her Mp3 player, and smiled as School of Rock started to play. A tap on her shoulder brought her sharply out of her thoughts, and she anticipated the warm coffee. Carefully turning off her music, she turned to greet the bringer with a smile, and her eyes widened.

"Zack!"