Wednesday, November 26, 2014

First Date Woes

*Disclaimer: THIS HAS NEVER HAPPENED TO ME. All dates with me are awesome. Just saying.

Outside her window, cars inched forward in the traffic jam. Sitting next to her, he absent-mindedly brushed lightly against her denim-clad thigh as his hand shifted the gear-stick. She felt a tiny surge of thrill, as he touched her, but she resolutely looked out of her window still. She wondered if he'd notice her curiosity in the world outside and ask her existential queries. Any question, actually. She might have as well been wishing for unicorns to dance for her.

The silence in the car was heavy, though she heard him hum an unfamiliar tune under his breath. It had been a minute since either of them cracked a terrible joke or said something uninteresting. It felt like years were rushing by. She wished he would hold her hand while the traffic wasn't moving. Or, maybe she could reach out to hold his: that was acceptable too, wasn't it? But, only if the traffic wasn't moving. That way, she could stop feeling guilty for being the cause of a probable accident.

Which song is this? It sounds lovely! You should ask him. Go on. Ask him. She glanced at him. He fussed with his hair, his foot tapping impatiently against the accelerator. He was clearly unaware of her looking at him. She wished she could say those words out loud. It would make a conversation at the very least, don't you think?Ask him about that perfume, why don't you? You should probably think of getting a bottle for yourself. Or, is that too creepy? She sighed out loud and silently gagged her mind. Unsuccessfully. Nice try.

"Do you want to get some beer?"

His voice startled her out of her reverie. Oh my, did he actually talk to you?

He looked at her with what she hoped was enthusiasm. Speak, idiot. Speak.

"Yes! I'd love to!" Great. Now you need to be drunk to say anything to him? Just great! Drunkard! She wished she knew how to shut up the mean inner voice.

"Great!" See even he thinks it's great you need alcohol to make conversation. "I know a place right around the corner." Okay. He's just saying that to hide his disgust.

She returned to her silent watch of the cars that wouldn't move, and he to his sweet humming. I'm never going to get that tune out of my head. You have to find out what it is! Come on!

She took a deep breath, taking a few seconds to formulate the question. It felt like she had forgotten the right words. How is this even hard for you? You've brought politicians to their knees. Okay, ONE politician. Wannabe politician. But, THIS is a simple city boy. Ugh. Seriously. I'M disgusted with you. Maybe you DO need that beer after all.

She ignored the rant. "Hey! That sounds really good, what song is it?" Now, was that really so hard?

He smiled at her. "You like it? It's a song I'm currently writing." He gave a short snort. "Maybe it won't be as good as you think it is now." She fell in love with that laugh. She wanted to hear it again. If only you were magic, you could make him laugh at your lameness.

"Are you kidding? I'm sure it'll come out well!" Yuck. Suck up to him, why don't you. "Why don't you sing some of it now, I could tell you if it's nice?" Oooh. Smooth. She patted herself on her back. Not.

He looked a little hesitant. Maybe he needs the beer more than you do. She laughed silently at that. "Come on, I'd love to hear it!"

He chuckled a bit, looking awkward. "Oh, alright. Here goes nothing." He cleared his throat and began to sing a melodious song, better than she had heard in a while. Something was off, though. It sounded incredibly sad for the mood. Who is he singing about? Who sings about a missing key to a lock, anyway?

He finished a verse of his song, looking shyly at her for feedback. She searched for the right compliment to pay him.

"Who was that about?"

He looked awkward, again, chuckling a lot more. It sounded nervous. She didn't think he knew how to be nervous. "That was, uhm, about..." He shot her a pleading look, begging her to understand.

She felt confused. What is that supposed to mean? ASK HIM AGAIN!


Sighing with resignation, he looked away. "My ex-girlfriend." Uhm, WHUT. Her eyes were growing rounder by the second as she stared at him.


"Yeah, I kind of wrote that about her."

Didn't he break up with her two years ago? "Wasn't she your girlfriend till about two years ago?" Or was he lying? Or was he...

"Yeah." His sheepish look was back in full force, as he avoided her stare. Oh, dear God.

She didn't know it was possible to feel sorry for this man. He was perfect till that second. Stop feeling sorry, idiot. Get out of here A-S-A-P! Oh, yeah. That.

"Oh. That's...weird. But, the song was good!" Now. Before the beer. "So. I, uhm..."

"You want me to drop you home, instead?" Hallelujah. Who would have thought? He understands.

"Yes, please!" I'd love to keep you around as a friend, though. You're gorgeous. You're useful. You have a car.

She let out a tiny laugh, feeling completely at ease. Nice to know you're not the only dork around, huh.


Monday, November 3, 2014

The Lyrics to her Melody

She walked into the shop, the opening door making the tiny bell trill welcome her entry. The shopkeeper looked up from his newspaper, ready with a soft smile.

"May I help you?"

She looked around the shop, taking in the musty smell that she remembered like it was yesterday. Many years ago, she would frequent the shop every other day. The old lady who owned the shop would always greet the little schoolgirl with cookies, if she could help it. Now, the old lady had kept this pleasant fellow to mind the shop in her place.

She smiled back at the man.

"I would like to try out the baby grand, if you don't mind?"

The man left his newspaper on the counter, as he walked towards the piano, preparing it for her. "Sure, why not?" More smiling.

She fussed around with the seat, and sat down with a familiarity that was returning with alarming speed. Her fingers were already warming up on the keys, but her thoughts were still scattered. Though her hands had begun their joyful reunion with her favoured piano, she knew it wasn't going to be the same.

A flurry of moments flickered in her mind, as though in response to confirm the thought: she singing gaily, slightly off-tune, while he expertly played the accompaniment on his piano, harmonising with her in song; she lying on his lap with her eyes shut, while he sang her favourite song, stroking her hair softly; she writing music to his guitar riffs, humming sweetly as he lightly kissed her neck in between writing the words to the music.

Weeks had gone by since they last sang and played together. She wasn't sure he would ever come back. He had been too angry with her, and nothing she did could make it any more bearable for him. He hated her now, she was sure of it. She had to move on, somehow. She had foolishly believed giving up playing the piano would solve that. But now, she knew better.

Slowly, finding the correct position, she played the opening keys to the song. She shut her eyes; her fingers could navigate the keyboard without her help. Soon it was time for her to start singing, but her throat seemed to shut close on her. That's when she heard it.

A voice, melodious as the music her hands were creating on the piano, flowed to her ears. She knew that voice only too well. It was the voice that had sung to her. It was the voice that had sung for her. It couldn't be.

Her eyes flew open, not believing the apparition that stood before her, singing. Without stopping the music, her voice found itself carrying the lilt that entwined with his, fitting in like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. It was perfect, like it always had been.

Not breaking eye contact, he came round to where she sat. They sang the chorus together, as he played the duet they had made up on his end of the piano. Fading to an end, they still watched each other: he, gazing at her fondly, and she, wondering if she had walked into a dream. Her eyes searched his smiling face, afraid to say a word.

She didn't have to; he leaned in and gave her lips his familiar soft kiss, her face in his hands. Breaking apart, he took in her trembling form, her brightening eyes and quivering mouth in one sweeping gaze, and returned to deepen the kiss he'd been meaning to give her.

Letting go of her after what felt like too little time, he answered her questioning looks. "I've waited here for you everyday, hoping you wouldn't give up on me."

A cry escaped her mouth, as she enveloped him in a large embrace, holding him tight and vowing to never let go this time. She was right; it wasn't going to be the same again. It was going to be better.