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Matchmaker's Mansion: Ch. 7
“Because you’ve officially met them, you’ll be spending the rest of your sessions in this hallway.” Shaun pointed down a long hallway, doors occasionally breaking up the ongoing brick walls. “You’re allowed only to this hallway though, none others. These angel statues are your clues as to which hallway you’re supposed to be in.” He motioned to the two standing angels, each one holding a stone rose at the end corners that led to the hallway. A brick wall at the end of the hallway revealed
that it was a dead-end.
“First door on the left is where you’ll find them,” Shaun smiled and Asha walked hesitantly to the door. At the door, she turned back to see that Shaun was already gone. She lifted her hand to the doorknob and saw that her fingers were shaking. Excitement and dread pulsed through her. Clenching the doorknob, she turned it. The door opened smoothly and she stepped in.
Drapes of cream laced the red walls, a heart shaped mirror on one wall with a wreath of roses around it. The other walls were decorated with various pictures and lamps.
The center of the room held a scatter of sofas, chairs, small cabinets, and a table.
She softly shut the door behind her and stepped forward into the dim lighted room. A lamp on the wall beside her instantly brightened.
“Chase, Ahsa has arrived,” she heard Ever’s voice and squinted in the light to see where he was. The room lay still, without the stir of human life.
“Hey, Asha!” a hand waved in the air amidst the chairs. She hurried her steps till she stood behind a couch. Lying down, with his head propped up by the arm of the couch, Ever’s fingers lightly strummed the strings of his black guitar. On the other side of the couch, Chase sat on the floor with his back towards her, leaning over a low table.
Asha rounded the couch to stand next to Chase. “What’re you doing, Chase?” Asha leaned over him.
He responded several seconds later, holding up a picture for her to see. His eye watched her face intently, his mouth set in a firm line. “Do you like it?”
Asha’s eyes lit up, “Did you draw this?!”
He nodded, a smile forming on her lips from her excitement, but his eyelids still drooped like he had been up all night.
“You drew this?! Wow! Chase, it’s amazing!” she took the paper from him, staring in awe at the waist-up drawing of a girl. She had large sparkly brown eyes and long wavy brown hair. A sweet smile rested on her pink lips.
“It’s you,” Chase said. Asha’s head flew up to give him a startled look. “In anime form,” he added.
She opened her mouth a couple of times like a fish out of the water. “I…I…I don’t look like this, Chase. She’s so gorgeous.”
Chase’s eyebrow shot up. “Then…” his face brightened. “Just think of it as a picture of your inner self.”
Asha’s heart skipped a beat looking down into Chase’s serious face and innocent eye.
How could one person be filled with so much lovableness? Asha thought.
“Chase, thank you so much!” she dropped to her knees to give him a hug. A small tear threatened to escape her eyes as she thought about her ex-boyfriend. He had never said anything close to what Chase had just said.
Beside them, Ever struck a chord on his guitar and started to sing:
I’ve been awake for a while now,
You’ve got me feelin’ like a child now.
Asha leaned out of the hug to watch Ever as he strummed the chords and with his soothing voice sang more:
‘Cause every time I see your bubbly face,
I get the tingles in a silly place.
“Ever!” Chase said and punched Ever lightly in the shoulder, but he kept going.
It starts in my toes and I crinkle my nose,
Wherever it goes I always know.
“Come on, Ever,” Chase tugged on the headstock of the guitar. “You promised you wouldn’t do this again in front of girls.”
“Why?” Asha said. “I like it.” The tune was catchy and bouncy, making her want to sing along.
Ever finished with a rolling chord, “It’s the theme song I gave to Chase that describes the feelings of nearly every girl towards him.” He smiled over at Chase, a hidden secret in the smile as though there was more to the story.
As Chase gave Ever a glare that threatened him to say any more, Asha looked around the room for the one person that was missing.
“Where’s Shay?” Asha said, still looking.
“Oh…he’s in “his” spot,” Chase said, looking around to. “Over there,” he pointed to the far left corner that was darker than the rest of the room.
“What is he doing over there?”
“Oh,” Asha said, wondering how he had enough light to read the words.
“Now you draw a picture, Asha,” he slid a blank piece of paper towards her. Asha looked down at it with dread. She was a horrible artist, but… She picked up a pencil from among the myriad of graphite and colored pencils.
Glancing uneasily at Chase’s drawing, she tried to mimic the face shape he had drawn. The pencil left streaks across her paper as she tried desperately to meet his expectations. With her tongue sticking out the left side of her mouth as she focused, she added one more scratch with the pencil and straightened her back to look down at it.
She smiled, feeling she had done the few classes of art she had ever had a service of honor. Looking over it one more time, she slid it across the table to Chase. He looked down at it, his eye devouring the details.
“This is how you see me?” Chase said.
“Well, not everything can be drawn on paper, but yes, I suppose that’s the way I see you physically,” Asha said, trying to avoid any criticisms.
“You drew me with two eyes,” Chase said, holding up the paper and pointing at the two blue-green eyes.
“I know,” Asha said.
“Why?” Chase looked at her with a slightly pained expression.
“Because I know that the other one is just as beautiful as the one I’m looking into right now,” Asha smiled. A tear fell from the corner of Chase’s eye and Asha’s smile fell.
“Chase, what’s wrong?” Asha said, and gave a little yelp when Chase’s eye suddenly closed and his body started to fall backward. Thankfully, Ever managed to catch him before his head hit the ground. Asha reached out a hand to help, but flinched when an arm dressed in black blocked her way.
Shay’s eyes pierced down into her, warning her to move any closer. He turned away from her to look towards Chase. His crouched body blocked Asha’s view of Chase’s face and she leaned to the side to see around him, but moved back to her previous position when Shay looked over his shoulder at her from behind the black strands that had fallen in front of his eyes.
“He had a rough night last night,” Shay said, turning to Ever. “Thanks to her,” Shay flicked his head back to gesture in her direction.
For a moment, Asha was speechless, but then her fuming heart spat the words up, “What have I done!”
Both Ever and Shay ignored her as they sat Chase up. His blonde head rolled forward in limpness. “Chase,” Asha whispered, wanting to hug him tight. Her gaze flickered between all three of the boys as they heaved him up, Chase’s arms around their shoulders to keep him up.
On numb legs, she followed them to the door, opening it for them. Before going through the doorway, Shay paused to look over at her. His grey eyes were like daggers to her soul when he said, “You have yet to understand how love can hurt a person.”
Her breathe made a pain in her chest by her sharp intake of air. His stormy eyes stayed connected with her’s for a few more seconds until he finally walked through the door, taking Ever and Chase with him.