Sometimes I wished I could just turn off my mind and pause my thinking. My mind, oh what a tangled web. Thankfully, this little tangled web of mine allowed me to peacefully persevere through the first day of high school. It seemed as though 1:45 came to pass in the blink of an eye as I, sure enough, found myself walking to the little town library.
“Bonjour, Mademoiselle! Nice-uh to zee you again! Would you like ze free pastry for zee first day back to ze school?”
‘Ol Frenchie was at it again, this time with a cream-filled croissant that was just too gorgeous for my mouth to resist.
“Uh….oui, monsieur!” This time with more gusto. “Merci! Uh….Mr…..?”
“Jean-Claude! Call me Jean-Claude, petite madame. And we shall be ze best of frands!”
“Uh, sure! I am sure I will be back. Bye. Thanks again!”
At times, my awkwardness was so thick that you’d have difficulty cutting through it with even a butcher’s knife. I always made mental notes to someday work on curing myself of my shyness, but this day was not going to be that day. Alas, I continued to trot along the historic streets of my little town, gnawing on my fluffy pastry. I was deep in a sugar-induced trance of sorts when I passed by the same church I had just entered earlier that day. I had almost made it about half of a block away from the Episcopal building when I started to hear muffled, but familiar chords trickling from the church’s cracked doorway.
“Who is that?” I said aloud to myself. Although I was adamant to still make it to the library, I just couldn’t help but follow my curiosity, yet again. Licking what was left of the croissant off of my little fingers, I crept back toward the church, peeking one eye in to catch a glimpse of the action. At first, I did not see a thing. Not only that, but I noticed that the music had suddenly ceased playing once I started to get my peek on.
“Can I help you?”
A grave, and yet, well-meaning voice followed by an actual person walking up out of nowhere immediately jolted my senses, sending my rear to the ground and my glasses flying off my face. The world around me immediately became fuzzy without my extra pair of eyes.
“Oh! I’m so sorry, dear. I didn’t mean to startle you. Let me help you up.”
The blurry figure helped me to my feet, but I was still trying to catch my breath.
“Here, let me clean these for you. Thankfully, they fell without a scratch!”
The blurry figure proceeded to pick my specs up off the ground and clean them with what looked like a handkerchief from his pocket.
“There you go. All better now.”
The blurriness slid my glasses back on my face, revealing itself to be a smiling, lanky young man donning a band t-shirt, black jeans, and bare feet, one of his arms entirely covered with tattoos. He was a confusingly precious sight to behold (Getting sappy now, are we?).
“Oh my! Thanks so much! I….I didn’t mean to bother you. It’s just that I…..I heard really beautiful music coming from here and wanted to see who was playing.”
I was completely frozen in his presence, but still managed to spit out the truth.
“Oh, my dear. You did not disturb me at all. It’s really me who should be apologizing to you! I just thought you were here to audition for the musician apprenticeship program. My teacher has been putting up notices for this everywhere, but still no takers. Other than myself, I guess.”
He had a really interesting accent, one I had never heard before in my life. It sounded British, but not British. British with a southern accent or something, I don’t know. However, after the initial shock of……encountering his being wore off, I realized that there was room for my response.
“It’s no big deal, really. I really should just be on my way. Have a nice day!”
I scurried off, as I usually do to avoid further awkwardness, to the library. It took me another ten minutes from the church to get to the library, and in the time it took to get there, I couldn’t shake that man’s eyes out of my recently-re-renewed vision. Although he had a very calm and friendly disposition, he also had a sort of sense of longing in his gaze. Anyone, not just my highly-observant self, could easily recognize this. And hearing the music again. Oh, the music……………