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Musicians on Meaningless Capitalistic Romance Day

It was as it had always been. They sat together on the hole-ridden couch in the student lounge of their music school, neither one uttering a single syllable, instead choosing to interact through various single note riffs and assorted scale variations. This is how they conversed, but she felt as though he was missing a key part of the discussion.

Something about his playing drew her to him, but it was more than that. The way his hazel eyes never left the fret board as long, swift fingers ghosted over grooved strings, the way his darkened hair fell into his face, undisturbed in his concentration. His overall mannerisms made her longingly wish she could grab his attention, to distract him long enough to press her lips to his. It was musician love.

She struck a tritone in frustration before leaning her beloved six-stringed child on the couch next to her. She sat back and crossed her arms as he gave her a confused look from the corner of his eye.

“OK, what is it?” she said.

“What’s what?” he responded casually, holding onto his own left-handed instrument.

“That damn surprise of yours,” she countered with agitation lacing her voice, “This is driving me up a wall.”

He smirked to himself before returning to his playing. She huffed slightly before flicking his head. He stopped playing and touched the side of his head.

“Why would you do that?” he asked, glancing at her.

“Tell me,” she demanded.

He shook his head, laughing at the pout that appeared on her face. Her pout turned into a glare as she leaned forward and attempted to search the pockets on his leather jacket for the surprise. He moved away from her and covered his pockets with his hand, blocking her from her investigation.

“Come on, tell me,” she pouted, giving him the best puppy dog face she could.

“Not until you tell me what yours is,” he countered, slipping one hand inside his jacket.

She felt her face blanche before heating up, she knew from past experience she was turning the color of a ripened strawberry and try as she might, she couldn’t stop it. Her blush didn’t go unnoticed by him, much to her dismay. He cocked his head to the side and gave her a scrutinizing look.

“I don’t know if it’s just the way the light’s reflecting through your glasses or if you’re blushing, but your face just turned bright red.”

“Well, I uh….” She stuttered before he cut her off, chuckling.

“I’m just giving you s***,” he teased, pulling a white envelope out from an inside pocket. “Here.”

She took the envelope and gently opened it, pulling out a red card. Turing it over, she noticed the front has two polar bears hugging on the front. She smiled softly and flipped the card open, scanning the right side of the interior.

“Consider yourself hugged. Happy Valentine’s Day.”
She looked over at the left side, noticing an untidy cursive scrawl crammed into the top corner, the ink making an abrupt switch from blue to black midway through one sentence.

“Happy Meaningless Capitalistic Romance day. Hope you have a good one, if there’s any way I can help make it more enjoyable, don’t hesitate to let me know. Thanks for being the kind-hearted badass you are.”

As she sat there staring at the card, she felt the blush slowly creep back into her cheeks. She leaned over and gave him a brief, awkward hug, muttering her thanks. As she pulled back, she glanced down at the card and began to panic slightly; he did say anything didn’t he?

She grasped the card and its envelope, abruptly standing, “I brought you something, it’s in my guitar case. Follow me.”

She turned and marched down the hallway, desperately trying to ditch her blush, but failing miserably in her attempt. She reached her case and began digging around inside of it. She heard him walk up and sit on the chair next to her and she hastened her search. At last, she found it. She straightened up and presented him with a thick red folder and an equally thick green notebook.

“What’s this?” he asked, taking them from her.

“My math notes from pre Algebra in seventh grade up til college Algebra last year,” she said kicking at the ground. “Ya know, for your GED.”

He stared at the folder for a moment before flipping it open and scanning her handwriting. He paused for a moment.

“Might as well have handed me a textbook…” he muttered without taking his eyes off the page.

“I know, but you’ll never know what’ll be on the test,” she stated, rubbing the back of her neck.

He nodded slightly before setting them off to the side. He looked up at her and she returned the look briefly before an awkward silence descended between the two of them. She opened her mouth to say something, but was cut off midsentence by a loud announcement that one of her songs was about to be rehearsed. She watched as her band mates walked into the room, including her friend who gave her a knowing look and wink before following everyone else in. She sighed, it was now or never.

“Hey, do me a favor.”

“What’s that?”

“Stand up and close your eyes.”

He obliged, rising to his feet and closing his eyes. She inhaled and reached forward, wrapping her arms around his neck. She leaned forward, lips ready to touch his, but a mental chemical reaction decided at the last second to alter their course and briefly press against his cheek. Flushing furiously, she reacted the first way that came to mind: she pulled back and ran as fast as she possibly could into the rehearsal room. She silently cursed herself as she realized what song it was, and just how much it related to what she had just done. She inhaled and stepped towards the mic, ignoring the odd stares she received from her band mates.
***
Ten minutes later, she emerged from the rehearsal room; silently praying he was still there, right where she left him. She felt her heart stop as she glanced around the empty hallway. She hurried down the hallway to the student lounge, fearing the worst and cursing her stupidity.

‘He’s gonna hate me forever,’ she thought to herself as she slowed to a crawl, desperately wishing she could become transparent and disappear for the remainder of the night.

Sighing, she rounded the corner and came to a dead halt. There he was, sitting on the same run down couch, almost as if their verbal conversation had never occurred. She took a deep breath, plucked up her courage and sat next to him. He looked at her and nodded his acknowledgement of her presence. She relaxed a bit, the feeling of dread in the pit of her stomach lessened.

“So how’d your songs go?” he inquired.

“Pretty good. It was a fun song, I love it.”
S
he could see a gleam of teasing amusement in his eyes as he replied, “More than anything else?”

She chuckled nervously and rubbed the back of her neck, her face turning pink once again, “Actually, I have something I need to talk to you about once the parent meeting’s done. In the small rehearsal room.”

He nodded as the show director walked into the student longue, pulled up a chair and began to review the events of the night. She was barely paying attention, all her focus was directed towards her follow up explanation to her hasty actions.
***
She drew the hood up over her head as she sat on the bass amp, a ragdoll black cat face covering her own. She nervously fidgeted, contemplating the flight instinct as seconds disguised themselves as hours. She waited patiently as finally, he walked into the room.

“Shut the door,” she whispered in a voice barely audible to the human ear.

He complied, closing the door softly before crossing the room and sitting behind the drum kit. She refused to look at him, but she was all too aware of the fact that his eyes were trained on her. A brief silence fell upon the room.

“So, what is it that you wanted to talk about?”

She sighed, and the words that followed fell from her mouth faster than water from a broken damn, “Well, basically I really like you, and I have for a while now.”

The silence returned as she stared at her boots, her knee-high socks, anything other than him. She nervously fidgeted with her sleeves as the silence persisted. At long last, the silence was broken by a slight chuckle. She glanced at him out of the corner of her eye, her cheeks pink.

“Glad to know the feeling’s returned.”

Her heart stopped in its tracks, dropped dead for a moment before leaping back into action, practically doing backflips of joy. She turned to look at him.
“Really? They are?”

He chuckled again as he got to his feet, “Yeah, at least they were from my end. I wasn’t so sure on yours.”

“I see,” she muttered, her gaze returning to her bootlaces.

He chuckled again and moved to the wall in front of her, patting her head on the way. She pulled her hood farther down over her face, slightly embarrassed.

“You ok?” he asked, watching her as she attempted to curl into a ball.

“Yeah, I’m ok. I’m just trying to process it, slightly nervous too.”

“Gotcha gotcha. No need to be nervous.”

The silence returned for less than a moment.

“You make it incredibly hard for a girl to not like you.”

He raised an eyebrow, “How so?”

She took a breath, “Well, I fully intended on staying single this month, but you made it hard for me to do that.”

“I see, well, I respect the fact that you need your space. If you want to wait a month, we can do that and see where it goes,” he reasoned.

“I said I intended to, not that I actually would,” she retorted, glancing up at him. “I just need some time to think about it.”

“Gotcha,” he said, absently picking up a cable and wrapping it.

She quickly followed suit and wrapped a cable of her own, trying to get rid of the blush.

“No need to be nervous,” he reiterated with a chuckle.

“Sorry, can’t help it. You keep chuckling,” she countered.

“It’s what I do when I’m nervous.”

“I see.”

They finished wrapping cable, placing it back on the amps where they belonged. They moved onto the next room and continued their conversation.
***
The bright glow of her cell phone screen illuminated her smile as she read his message, “So, what do you want to do?”

She quickly typed back, “I want us to be a couple, but I don’t want it to be public yet.”

She placed her phone in her lap, staring out the window at the darkened sky while she waited for his response. After a few moments, she scrolled through her messages, finding that he had responded.

“So we’re a couple now?”

“I’d prefer to be asked out face to face.”

She waited.

“Consider it done.”

She smiled to herself; it was more than just musician love.





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