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MUSE [TL2018]

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posted on May, 23 2018 @ 02:42 PM

MUSE (TL2018)

----- 1 - MUSE -----

Sean finished the Hanon drills, his fingers warming up and starting to feel limber. He started every day with Hanon and other fundamentals - scales, arpeggios, and basic chords. His favorite teacher, Mr. Petrushkin, taught him that a good player - any player, whether "legit" or jazz - should start with the same warm-up every day. It was a way to physically and mentally prepare himself for playing the piano each day, a rhythm of mind and body that resonated with him. Mr. Petrushkin - he had to laugh at himself, as at 26 years old he still thought of the teacher of his teenage years as "Mr. Petrushkin" rather than by his first name, Dmitri - had been only one of his favorite teachers. Another was Dr. Ellis Allen, a tall, African-American man with a smooth, deep voice and a ready smile. He was an incredibly talented piano player who had taught Sean virtually everything he needed to know about jazz improvisation, comping, and being part of the cohesive unit that was a rhythm section in any genre.

He had left school with graduate credentials in keyboard performance and music composition, his ultimate passion. He wrote anything that came to mind, anywhere, anytime. His friends would get frustrated with him whipping out his small composition notebook while they were all out for beers and wings at the Buffalo Grille at Seven Corners, or over at Billy's watching the game. Anj was the only one who didn't get annoyed with him constantly writing down ideas. But then again, Anj loved him for his compositions, and he loved her for inspiring them. She always had the knack of pushing him through "blank page" syndrome, where he stared at a blank piece of staff paper, absolutely nothing but trite crap coming to mind. She would sit next to him and just talk; talk about times they had spent together, places they had visited, or wanted to visit, or things they would do, or how their lives would play out together. She would ask him questions, bring out his feelings and memories, his hopes and desires, and amazingly, notes would pour onto the page as if by magic. He loved Anj, her perfect white teeth, her smooth brown skin, her deep dark eyes and long, silky dark brown hair. She had a mix of ethnicity in her - mostly Czech and English, but she was also one-eighth Native American, her great-grandmother a full member of the Lakota. She was lithe, slender and beautiful, and he could not believe a girl like her would even notice a skinny piano-geek like him.

She came in today after her exercise - blading around Lake Calhoun and Lake Harriet, she had told him - while he was pushing through a long piece by Chopin. Dr. Allen had rebuked him back in college when he balked at playing classical music, feeling like he was supposed to focus strictly on jazz. "Y'know, I met Miles Davis backstage at a gig once," he said. "I came up to the green room before the show, and Miles was there warming up his horn. You know what he was playing?" Sean had shaken his head. "Ravel. He told me that playing the masters helped him improvise, helped him write. Not too many brothas can say they more hip than Miles, right?" All of a sudden, Sean's love for classical piano no longer competed with his love for jazz. He began to see parallels between the writing of Ravel, Liszt, Chopin, Schubert, Debussy, and Mozart as well as masters of jazz - Ellington, Basie, Coltrane, Dizzy. Ellington had even written jazz arrangements of classical pieces, and was himself a master pianist.

Anj came in, deliberately being quiet. She grabbed a yoga mat, unrolled it in the main area of the apartment, then began with breathing and focus exercises as he played. Their studio was not very large, but it was open and he could watch her as she stretched and held the various poses, going through her routine. The muscles in her legs contracted and stretched alternately underneath the skin-tight leggings she wore. He reached the end of the movement of the sonata he was playing, then stopped, turning on the piano bench to watch her.

"Stop staring," she said quietly, not looking at him. "Why aren't you playing? It was helping me focus."

"Yeah, well, your routine is not reciprocating the favor."

She flashed him a dazzling smile, releasing her pose and coming over to him. She climbed on his lap, straddling him and wrapping her arms around his neck. "Your muse wants a song," she said in his ear, her breath sending tingles down his spine. "Write me a love song," she whispered.

"You know I can't control it like that," he said, closing his eyes and drinking in the sensation.

"Try," she breathed, pressing her body against him insistently.

Sighing regretfully, he turned back to the piano. As she always did, whenever she appeared during his practice time, she inspired him. He clicked the Record button on the audio program he was using, and began to play. Notes poured into his brain, flowing out his finger tips as they glided over the black and white keys of his battered Yamaha, the only piano he could afford on a gigging, freelance teaching salary. It was an agitated, insistent melody with a legato ostinato in the left hand, more reminiscent of George Winston than any jazz player. The melodies seemed to build upon themselves, and Anj snaked her hands around his torso, dragging her fingers up and down his back and neck, breathing in his ear as he played.

Finally, after several minutes' worth of improvisation, he stopped, catching his thoughts. Planning. Architecting. Seeing a whole piece built out of snippets he remembered. Once again, Anj, his fiancee, his love, his muse, had inspired music.

"See?" She said with an impudent grin, "you just need proper motivation."

posted on May, 23 2018 @ 02:43 PM

----- 2 - LATE -----

The next morning he woke to a blaring alarm at 5:30. He hated mornings. He much preferred staying up late and sleeping in, but his current temp job didn't permit that. He was required to be logged in by 7:00 AM on the dot, which meant, to his regrettably literal supervisor, 6:45 at the very latest.

He pulled into the parking lot running late - a few too many hits on the snooze button. He glanced at the clock on the dash of his beat-up 1989 Honda Civic - actually an old, cheap watch of his stuck to the dashboard with a sticky-strip. It said 6:49. He would hear it from Rita when he got in.

Racing through the doors, he was not disappointed. She looked up from the desk in her cubicle, shook her head, and tapped her watch with a stern frown. He mouthed, "I know, I know" and rushed to his desk to log on, her steely bespectacled eyes following him. As he approached his desk, she got up and exited the office.

As he settled into his desk, gorgeous nurse Laura walked into the records office, making even the turquoise scrubs she wore look alluring. She was not wearing a cap or mask yet, so her full, wavy red hair spilled over her shoulders. Looking around, he realized aside from Rita he was the only one in so far this morning. Laura's blue eyes studied the room in consternation for a moment, then she spotted him and headed straight to his desk.

"Can you help me?" she asked in a velvety soprano. He goggled briefly at her, his heart beating quickly.

"I'll try," he said with a smile. "What can I do for you?"

She pulled out a medical chart in a folder, then laid it on his desk. "Can you find me this patient's records? They're from the old system. Aren't you guys working on the upgrade?"

He hesitated. They were working on a system upgrade, but he didn't know if he could locate the old records. They could be paper, they could be microfiche, heck a few of them were even on tape backups. That's what this temp assignment was all about - he was doing data-entry for the hospital, converting medical records from those formats into the new system.

"Yeah, uh, yes. Sure, I think so. Yeah, maybe," he stuttered.

"If it's a problem," she started with a small frown.

"No! Ah, no problem. It's just that sometimes they're hard to find if they're old. But, if it's there, I'll find it," he declared with more confidence than he felt.

"Thank you," she said, her smile lighting up her face as she turned and headed toward the door.

"What did she want?" demanded Rita, returning with a refilled coffee mug just as Laura was leaving. He saw the redheaded nurse look back at Rita with a furrowed brow.

"Just a record from the old system," he reported. "I found it. It only took me a few minutes."

"This hospital doesn't pay you to find records for vapid barbie-doll nurses. If she comes in here again you tell her to go through the proper channels," she snapped.

He fought the urge to purse his lips at the woman, and shook his head when she turned away from him. Yvonne, another temp who had arrived in the interim, arched an eyebrow at the exchange, but said nothing.

Later he was taking his break in the cafeteria, his composition book out. He would eat a few bites, sweep the crumbs off his staff paper, and write feverishly. He only had a few pages left in this book. He'd have to start another very soon.

"This seat taken?" a voice asked.

He looked up, blinking, his mind racing to catch up with the world around him. Laura the redheaded nurse stood there with her lunch tray.

"Ah, no! All yours," he said, gesturing. He tried not to stare as she sat down gracefully to his right.

"I wanted to make sure I didn't get you into trouble. I'm sorry if I did. Rita isn't particularly friendly," she said seriously.

"Oh, well, thanks. You didn't do anything. I'm always in trouble with her - she's always like that."

"Like what?" a small smile touching the corner of her mouth.

"Like someone squeezed lemons into her coffee."

Laura laughed, covering her mouth with the back of her hand.

"She has always been like that, you know, pernicious and frigid. Ever since I arrived here. And she hates me."

"How long have you been here? And why would she hate you?" he asked, surprised.

"Three years. This was my internship for my nursing degree, and now I'm using it to try to get my medical degree. As for why, well, she has her reasons, I guess," she said evasively.

"You have two degrees already? You must be very intelligent." His own degrees began to seem very inconsequential.

She brushed it off. "I'm willing to do the work, that's all. What are you working on?"

"Oh, this?" he gestured dismissively to the composition book. "Just a piece I'm writing. I'm going to submit it to, ah," he trailed off. A video game soundtrack, he said in his head, thinking how absolutely juvenile it sounded. "Well, yeah, there it is."

"You write music?"

"Yes, I'm a piano player. I gig and teach lessons, but it's not enough income yet, thus the temp job. I really want to write full time, but you have to get that break, you know?"

"May I?" she pointed to the book.

"Yeah, sure, of course," he said, handing her the notebook. Her beautiful blue eyes scanned the pages back and forth. She flipped page to page, all the way to the beginning of the notebook and a back.

"You wrote all of this? All this music?"

"Well, uh, yeah. It's just my idea book, like a scratch pad. Most of my music is on my computer at home."

"Can I hear some?"

"Well, I don't have any with me right now. I could make you a mix disc," he said hopefully.

"OK!" she said brightly. "How about over coffee? Tomorrow night?"

He was floored. "Y - yeah. Yeah! Great! The shop down the street from here?"

"Sounds good. See you at 7," she said with a smile, taking her tray and heading toward the cafeteria exit. He stared at her departing form, utterly flabbergasted.

"It's the musician effect, you know that, right?" Anj said, pulling herself up into another yoga pose later that evening.

"Whatever. Yes, I know that," he said sardonically.

"She's nothing special. Just a groupie. When you make it, you'll meet a hundred girls like her everywhere you play."

"I gotta make it first, Anj," he said.

She flashed him a smile, but it didn't reach her dark eyes. "You will. I have always believed in you," she said, changing positions again. "Besides, you have me to inspire you."

"Well, at least one of us has confidence."
edit on 5-23-2018 by PrairieShepherd because: Adding part 2

posted on May, 23 2018 @ 02:43 PM
He met Laura at Just The Bean, a mom-and-pop coffee shop just down Riverside from the hospital. He drank in the roasted coffee, the dark wooden tables and cushioned chairs and couches. An array of pastries and other snacks sat beneath a glass case, and the menu was hand-written in different colors of chalk and embellished with flowers and leaves. When she took her heavy coat off he realized she was still in her scrubs.

"Did you come straight from work?" he asked.

"Yes, it's been a long day. What do you want? I'm buying," she said.

"No, I mean, you don't have to do that!"

"I insist," she said. He gave in, and in short order they were sipping lattes by the fireplace. It had started to snow, and they sat at a table for two between the fireplace and the window, watching the flakes fall.

"I love winter," she said. "It's," she stopped, then changed what she was going to say. "I just like the season," she said.

"My family has always been winter fans. My mother would always curl up under a blanket, with a book and mulled wine in front of the fire when it snowed out."

"I'll take the book and the fire, but not the wine."

"Prefer bourbon instead?" he said with a smile.

"Actually, I don't drink."

"Really? Huh. Neither do I," he said, trying to keep the gravity out of his voice. It was true. He had not had any alcohol for a few years now, preferring coffee or interesting teas. "I used to, but not anymore."

"Same here," she said, a twinkle in her eye. "So tell me about your music," she said, leaning forward and gazing at him.

He told her about going to the University, studying under Doc Allen, and how he liked to write. He told her about the little recorder he kept with him all the time - as he couldn't afford a smart phone - to capture melodies that occurred to him.

"It's a little challenging, sometimes, you know, with Rita around. I have to be pretty discreet. I go to the bathroom a lot," he smiled, and she chuckled. He finally admitted that his current project was to try to land the composition job for a new video game. She received it well, though, saying "Wow, that would be a great break, wouldn't it?" It was not the reaction he had expected, and he was pleasantly surprised.

He asked her about nursing, then. She had graduated in four years, also from the University, with a double major in nursing and child development. She was trying to get into graduate school, hoping to become a pediatrician. She talked about her nieces and nephews - of which it appeared she had several - and how she loved watching them grow.

"It's just so amazing to see their personalities come out. Each one is so different, I absolutely adore them."

He was feeling quite inadequate when the conversation turned back to music. He talked about the CD he had made for her, a selection of his best compositions, including one multi-movement work that had been performed by the orchestra at the University, several piano solos, and a few pieces that a local community jazz band had played. She seemed profoundly grateful.

"You're very generous to share this with me, Sean," she said seriously. "Thank you."

He nodded. "You're welcome. Can I walk you to your car?"

"No," she replied, and Sean was taken aback. He thought it had actually gone pretty well. Then she grinned, "I didn't drive. I only live a few blocks from here. You can walk me to my apartment," she said.

Several minutes later, they stood in front of number 245 in the Willow Hill apartment building.

"This is me," she said, turning to look at him. Their eyes were even.

"Thank you for a lovely evening," he said, trying to be as respectful as he could. "Would you," he began. "That is, would you maybe want to, ah, do this again? Or," he trailed off.

"How about dinner at that Ethiopian place in Stadium Village? You know, with the light blue siding?" she rescued him.

"Yeah, great idea. How's Friday night?"

"I'm free. Say 6:30?"

"6:30. Maybe I'll see you tomorrow, Laura," he said. They said their goodbyes and he turned down the hallway as she put the key in her lock. He thought about how much he had wanted to kiss her. His mind racing, he recorded two melodies on his way home, and worked out some of the orchestration of one of the pieces he was writing as he drove back to his apartment.

Anj was nowhere to be found when he arrived home. He practiced for a bit then got ready for bed, laying awake in the dark and thinking of long, wavy red hair.
edit on 5-23-2018 by PrairieShepherd because: Adding part 3

posted on May, 23 2018 @ 02:43 PM

----- 3 - PIANO -----

Friday came swiftly. Dinner was delicious, and they tried the tradition of feeding each other. Her soft, full lips sent shivers down his spine as they grazed his fingers when he fed her a bit of reddish-brown wat stew in a small piece of injera bread. It was an incredibly sensual experience and his mind was humming the entire time.

They agreed to meet again on Saturday, for ice skating at Centennial Lakes, then head to the Mall of America for some Christmas shopping and a bite to eat. Winter had come early to the Twin Cities that year, and they sipped hot cocoa between trips on the ice. They were both capable skaters, but she was better than he, able to skate backward and hold mittened hands as they sped along. He could not stop looking at her smile, and tried his best not to stare at how her winter leggings hugged her figure.

He briefly thought of Anj, and her yoga outfits, but doggedly pushed it out of his mind. You're in Laura's company. Concentrate! he told himself.

They grabbed a bite to eat at the north food court, then sauntered around the various shops in the Mall for quite some time. Passing the massive Victoria's Secret store, he deliberately averted his eyes, trying not to picture Laura in the various shimmery sheer outfits plastered all over the huge glass windows. His ears burned.

They reached one of the corner areas of the massive structure, and a baby grand piano sat off to the side - a beautifully polished Steinway. He knew that there was usually a piano player in the evenings in December, so that was probably what this was for. On a whim, he walked up to it, sat down, and began to play. For a few minutes, he lost himself in the music, the pure pleasure of such a fine instrument as compared. His eyes closed a for a time, he seemed to float.

When he finished, she sat down next to him as people who had stopped to listen clapped.

"Play another," she said in a breathy voice. He obliged, playing a piece he had written in the style of the great romantic pianists, rich with haunting harmony and desperate longing. When he finished, they gazed at one another amidst another round of applause. Gingerly, their faces drew close, and their lips touched. His heart raced and his hands trembled.

Suddenly he was very aware they had an audience, as the applause surged for their kiss, the people around assuming it was part of some act. Some actually cheered. He began to blush, and noticed her pale cheeks were rosy as well. Noses almost touching, he looked into her eyes. "Perhaps we should head out," he said.

She nodded, and together they got up and walked back toward his rusty Honda Civic. As they walked, she took his hand, and his heart leaped.

"Did you sleep with her?" Anj said bluntly, when he got home later. He had feared this, but tried to face the onslaught calmly.

"No, actually, I didn't. We only kissed once, and held hands. Unlike you, I'm trying to have some control," he said, a bit more harsh than he intended.

"Unlike me, huh? I seem to recall it takes two to sleep together on the first date, sweetheart," her words slurred a bit, and her eyes were unfocused.

"You're drunk," he said, a note of disgust in his voice he couldn't remove. "Go sleep it off and leave me alone."

"I'm perfectly fine. I always could handle liquor better than you. You're weak, you always have been," she snapped.

"Oh I'm the weak one am I? Tell me, was it vodka or Southern Comfort tonight?" He should his head. "You're nasty when you're drunk. Why don't you drop it and go pass out? Good night," he said firmly.

"You know you want me, Sean!" she called after him. "She's just an infatuation! I'll be waiting. I know you'll come crawling back."

edit on 5-23-2018 by PrairieShepherd because: Adding part 4

posted on May, 23 2018 @ 02:43 PM

----- 4 - BREAK -----

He and Laura found an excuse to meet after work every night that week. They had walked in the park, skated again, and did more Christmas shopping together, ending each visit with a kiss that grew steadily more passionate. And each day Anj had grown worse - more bitter and nasty in her disparaging remarks about him and about Laura.

On Saturday he met Laura at a Vietnamese restaurant after work. They kissed a greeting then entered the small, dark establishment. He fought hard to concentrate during dinner, but his arguments with Anj over the last couple days dogged him.

"You're somewhere else," Laura said. "What's going on?"

Inwardly, he winced. This would have to be delicate; it was a very fine line to walk.

"My, uh, roommate is upset with me."

"Oh, I see, yeah, that can be hard. I didn't know you had a roommate."

"Yeah, should have told you, I guess. I'm sorry."

"Can I ask what it's about?"

"Uh, well, sort of about you and me. I've been spending a lot of time with you, and well," he trailed off, unsure how to continue.

"Ah, I see. Roommate's a friend then?"

"You could say that."

"Did you know him from school or something? If he's upset with how much time we've been spending together you two must be pretty good friends."

"Yeah, well, we," he paused. "I, ah," he stammered.

She could see he was flustered. "How about you start with his name?"

"Uh, her name's Anj - Anjelica, I mean."

"You're roommate's a woman?" she said, her eyes suddenly cold and flat.

"Yes - no, I mean, well," he fumbled. How could he explain Anj?

"Are you sleeping with her?" her voice taut.

"Not exactly, no, it's," he started, but she interrupted him.

"Not exactly? How do you not exactly sleep with someone? What the hell? Are you playing me?"

"No!" he exclaimed, "It's not like that."

"Then what is it like? Some kind of friends-with-benefits or something?"

"No, of course not, I just, it's hard to describe," he said desperately. Things were falling apart fast.

"I think I've heard enough. See you around, Sean," she said, standing up and turning away.

"Laura! Wait," he said getting up to follow her. But she refused to even look at him as she left the restaurant, got in her car, and slammed the door, driving off with a heavy foot.

Downcast and dumbfounded at how quickly it had deteriorated, he returned to the restaurant to pay for their meal, then dejectedly headed home.

During the drive, his anger rose ever higher, and as he turned the key and opened the door to his apartment, he was on a boil.

"Sean," Anj said softly. She was sober, in baggy sweats, and he could tell she'd been crying. Always the same pattern, he thought bitterly. She'd realize she went too far, then clean up and try to apologize.

"Not this time, Anj. I'm so done with this," he snarled.

"I'm sorry, I'm so sorry, please forgive me, Sean."

"Why? Why should I? You ruined it for me tonight! You always ruin it! Why can't you just let me find some happiness?"

"You're happy with me! I know you are! Please, let me make it up to you!"

"NO!" he shouted, pounding his hand on the table. "I'm done! I really liked her, Anj! And it's over because of you!"

"Make love to me, Sean, please," she begged, tears falling from her eyes. "You'll remember, I know you will," she pleaded.

He looked at her coldly. "I want to be free!" he yelled.

"You can't," she said, her voice sharpening. "You need me, I'm your muse!"

"No, I don't need you!"

"You're weak! You'll always come back, you'll never leave!" she snapped.

Rage exploded. "I'M NOT THE ONE WHO LEFT!" he screamed.

Silence fell suddenly, and a heavy wave of pain and heartache threatened to overwhelm him, swelling up in his chest. He sank into the chair, and for the first time in years now, he wept. Through his tears, he looked up at her. "Why did you leave me?" he cried. "I loved you, you were everything to me. You left me, and now there's no color and no life. Until I met her, I finally found some, and now it's gone again."

Softly, gently even, her misty voice came to him. "You need to let me go, Sean. I want you to move on, find love, be happy. That's all I ever wanted for you, even during the worst times."

Slowly, tears still falling down his cheeks, he turned over the picture of a smiling Anj, taken just a month before the accident that claimed her life three years ago. He buried his face in his hands and sobbed.

Later, he collected the pictures from the apartment, everything with her in it, and put them in a box. "Goodbye, Anj. Someday I'll see you again, but I have to do this for now," he whispered to himself.
edit on 5-23-2018 by PrairieShepherd because: Adding part 5

posted on May, 23 2018 @ 02:43 PM

----- 5 - TRUTH -----

Roses in hand, he approached her door. Trying to calm his breathing, he knocked, hearing the footsteps he both hoped for and dreaded.

He heard the cover on the peephole slide, and Laura's muffled voice said, "What do you want?"

"To apologize. And to explain." He paused, then, "Please?"

There were several moments of silence, then the door cracked open. "Why should I trust you?"

"Whether you trust me or not is up to you, Laura. But I promise I will tell you the truth. All of it."

She pursed her lips, then unlocked the chain and opened her door wider.

"Coffee. You're buying," she said tersely, pulling her coat on.

At Just The Bean, they found the same table, holding big mugs of latte that kept their fingers warm. It was quiet, just low music playing and only a few other patrons, all of them buried in electronic devices.

"So? Talk," she commanded.

"I don't really have a roommate, Laura," he began. "I," he hesitated.

"The truth, Sean, or I walk right now," she said ominously.

"I know, I promise. Please, just be patient," he said, holding up his hands placatingly. "It's not easy."


"Anj was my fiancee," he said. "Back when we were in school together. She was in education - phy ed. I was in music. We met by chance at a public health course everyone has to take."

"You said 'was'. She's not anymore?"

"No. Anj was," he stumbled. "Anj was a partier. She'd drink, do stupid stuff, blame me, then clean up for a bit and we'd make up. You could say it was a stormy relationship. When she was clean, it was wonderful."

Laura had become very attentive, now, her pale blue eyes boring into him.

"But one night we had a fight. She had already had some, and took off to a party angry cause I wouldn't go with her. I was mad too, sick of the drinking." He paused, remembering the slamming door, the heavy footsteps. He had thrown a composition book across the room that night, furious at her. "She never came home. A jogger found her car down the embankment by the river the next river. She'd driven it over the edge and into this huge oak. They said she was going at least 50."

He realized his hands were shaking horribly. He had never told anyone this next part. He took a deep breath and plunged on, come what may.

"I guess," he continued, "I guess I've had a hard time letting go. I've been living in the past. You'll think I'm crazy, but I told you I'd tell you all of the truth. And the truth is I still talk to her picture sometimes. And, I, uh, I imagine she's talking back, having a conversation, you know, like it used to be. I guess I've taken it a little far."

She had become completely still, now, hands wrapped around her mug of cappucino, a faint pink flush in her smooth cheeks.

"She used to help me compose, sort of like a muse. She could always break my composing blocks, even though she wasn't a musician. So when I'm playing alone, or writing, that's when it happens most often."

"So when you said your roommate was upset with you...?" she asked slowly, her eyes unblinking.

"I was really just feeling guilty."

She arched an eyebrow at him. Even that small action was elegant and graceful.

"When Anj died, everything went sort of gray. But when I was with you, I started to see beauty and color again. I guess," he looked her straight in the eyes, "I started to finally feel alive again, and I was feeling guilty about falling so hard for you."

She held his gaze for a long moment, searching his eyes. Then she pursed her lips, looking out the window at the big snowflakes that had started to fall. There was an odd look in her eyes, and the faint rosy flush in her cheeks just emphasized her fiery red hair. For a moment, he thought she looked almost embarrassed.

"I am an alcoholic. I've been sober four years, six months, and eleven days," she confessed, still looking out the window. "At a party, my boyfriend and I were completely smashed. He got behind the wheel and tried to drive us home. My little sister was in the back seat. Amy was just twenty, and we had taken her with because it was her birthday."

Laura inhaled softly, then continued.

"Eric nodded off on a two-lane road. We got clipped by a pickup, and Amy was thrown from the car. She died at the scene from a skull fracture. Eric has been in and out of rehab ever since. I don't talk to him anymore," she paused, adjusting the grip on her mug.

She looked directly at him then. "But I do talk to Amy. She was more than my sister, she was my friend." Tears sprang up, starting to stream down from her eyes. She sniffed, and scrubbed the back of her hand across her cheeks. "I miss her so much. Sometimes I just wish I could talk to her for real again. I think," she sniffed, "I wish I could tell her how much I like you," she said with a weepy smile.

"I'm sorry, Laura, I'm so sorry I lied to you."

"Thank you for telling me the truth."

"Could we, maybe, try again?"

She fidgeted, pushing her thumb over the handle of the mug. "I think I'd like that," she said, smiling at him. "I'd really like that a lot."

For a time, they simply sat there in each other's company. Slowly, almost shyly, she reached across the table and clasped his hand gently as the lights in the parking lot glinted off the newly fallen snow. Like angel voices in the darkness, notes began flowing into his head as he studied her features. He had an urge to pull out his notebook and start writing. Instead, he put his mug down, and placed his other hand on top of hers, gazing into her eyes and captivated by her touch. Perhaps he didn't need a muse, after all.

----- THE END -----

edit on 5-23-2018 by PrairieShepherd because: Adding part 6

posted on May, 24 2018 @ 04:33 PM
a reply to: PrairieShepherd

That was bloody brilliant. I loved every word

posted on May, 25 2018 @ 07:12 AM
a reply to: SprocketUK

Aw, thanks Sprocket! *blushes*

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