Author's note: Hope you enjoy! If you want to read the next chapter just post me a comment and I will. ^_^
Matchmaker's Mansion: Ch. 8Asha wiggled her toes beneath the soft blanket as she stroked the lollipop back and forth over her tongue in a slow movement. Her eyes followed Ever’s fingers dancing on the guitar strings like a cat fascinated by a rolling ball of yarn. The light of evening poured in through the window to strike against Ever’s face, putting the other half in a deep shadow.
With a sigh she leaned back against the padded wall of the window seat, looking to the left into the dim room. There was no
Her mind drifted as she continued to stare at him. Ever is…well…Ever. He’s the one that’s in between- the one that seems to be there just to fill in the blank. Chase is the extreme of happiness while Shay is the hidden darkness. Ever is the gray between the black and white.
The guitar strings slowed till sound no longer came from them. “Asha?”
“Hmm?” she snapped out of her daze. Quickly she swiped away the drool that had leaked out of the side of her mouth due to her lollipop.
“Were you always so quiet?” he said, looking up at her with his deep hazel eyes that she felt her eyes lock to.
Asha’s mind overloaded with instant memories: her laughing loud with friends as they walked down the sidewalk together, dancing with all the boys at a middle school dance, and her dad spraying the hose at her as she screamed.
“Uh, I suppose I was a little louder back in the day,” she said, feeling a little guilty when she cut off the subject by looking out the window.
“I had a feeling,” Ever said as he strummed a chord. He kept his focus on the guitar as he spoke, “You seem like a shell with the real-live person of you living inside of you- deep deep down there. Your opinions and expressions are disconnected from your face like you’ve cut the chord attached to your heart.” He strummed louder so that his words weren’t as loud and didn’t hit her like the ton of bricks like they had. “I don’t know what your past is and I don’t know what caused you to become like this…but I just want you to know that you’ve got a brand new start here. You can be whoever you want to be…but Chase, Shay, and I—truly we only want to know the real you. So please…just be you.” He smiled, finally lifting his head for her to see his eyes deep with emotion. At the corner of his eye she saw a small tear.
He strummed his guitar and began to sing. His voice hitting her heart, and as he sang- she knew he sang it for her- but the tear…she felt was for someone else.
(I don't believe that typing out lyrics will do enough justice...so please look up "Firework (Katy Perry) Boyce Avenue" on youtube to listen to the song. ^_^ Listening to it is so much better than just reading the lyrics.)
The song stuck in her head for the rest of the day: when she walked down the hallways of Matchmaker’s Mansion, down the sidewalk, and finally to the front door of her house. As she stared up at her bedroom ceiling, she couldn’t help but feel like his words had peeled away a layer that encased her heart.
Shay’s head nodded off of the hand that held his head up. He jerked his head back up, blinking several times. Flicking his head to get his hair out of his eyes, he looked over at Chase in his bed just staring up at the ceiling. His body shook slightly beneath the covers.
“Feel better?” Shay asked as he pushed himself over on the rolling chair.
“A little,” Chase said. His hair was slick with sweat on his forehead. He managed a small smile. “A lot better than last night.” Shay frowned down at him, his thoughts immediately turning to Asha. “Don’t blame her, Shay,” Chase said, but rolled away from him when a seizure of pain made him groan.
Once Chase’s shivering had slowed, Shay said, “Do you want to watch something?”
Chase sat up in his bed, pushing a pillow behind him to support him. “Sure,” he said. A drop of sweat quivered at his chin. Shay threw a towel over his head on his way over to the TV across from Chase’s bed.
“What do you want to watch?” Shay asked, browsing the TV guide.
“Oh! Beastly is on!” Chase said and Shay looked over at him with a raised eyebrow.
“You’ve already watched it five times,” he said in a bored tone.
Chase scrubbed at his face with the towel, a red color splotching his white face. “So! Just put it on.”
Shay shrugged and obeyed, taking his seat once again on the swivel chair beside the bed. He leaned his elbow on the desk to the left of him to prop up his head with a hand, watching Chase’s face intent on the movie.
“You know...he’s just like us,” Chase said without looking over at him.
Shay’s eyes flicked to the TV screen, understanding that Chase was talking about the main character on Beastly (a modern version of Beauty and the Beast). “He should count himself lucky that he wasn’t born with it like we were," he said.
Chase folded his knees to his chest, hugging his legs tight. “True,” he mumbled and fell silent to watch the movie.
Shay scooted away to lay his tired head down on the desk, feeling his ear pressed to the desk turn cold from the surface. His gaze fell upon a picture frame standing upright at the far end of the desk. He sat up with a jerk, his eyes locked to the picture. With a hesitating hand, he reached out and lifted the picture, bringing it to sit in front of him. Old memories spiked his cold heart, bringing pain to the surface that he had kept away for so long.
“You know, Shay, even though you think that no one understands you- and you may even try to keep it that way- you’re very easy to figure out,” Ever said as he shut the door behind him and sauntered over to stand next to Shay. “All one needs is the facts.” Ever looked over Shay’s shoulder at the picture sitting on the desk and Shay turned to look at it too. “It doesn’t help that they look so alike, does it?” Ever said softly and Shay knew exactly what he meant.
Gazing at him from the picture was a small girl not but eight years old. Her brown hair was woven into two braids that rested behind her ears that stuck out slightly. Tender brown eyes stared out at him, piercing into his very soul, but all he could see in them was alarm and horror as memories blurred into the present. Blood speckled the little girl’s face like the freckles that dotted her face. His head swirled with the memories mixed in with hurt. He hadn't protected her…it was all his fault she was gone.