Chapter 3- Do You Sing?

"So… did you move here this year?" I asked as we sat down in the studio.

"Yeah… my mum got remarried this summer and we moved here from Manhattan…" She replied, smiling slightly.

"What do you think? Must be really different…" I questioned as I positioned the guitar under my arm.

"It is… quieter and… calmer…" She seemed to linger on the words, intertwining her fingers in her lap. There was a moment of silence, the air filling with tension. I wanted to say something- comfort her. I just… couldn't. Although I had grown my confidence over these past few years, I was still quite a closed-off person. I normally kept to myself but something about the allure of this girl made me want to open up to her- to tell her all my secrets.

"I'm sorry… I'm just a little nervous…" The other girl murmured in order to break the silence, tucking a strand of her auburn hair behind her ear.

"Yeah… I get it. New school, new people. I was in that position a few years ago…" I said, in hope to sympathise with the girl and show her that I understood how she was feeling. She smiled at this.

"It's very… overwhelming…" She said, letting out a breath and clenching her fists to stop her fingers from moving. I glanced down at the guitar, looking for a way to continue the conversation.

"Do you play?" Thalia's face changed at this question; Her pupils dilated, and she fixed her gaze onto the guitar.

"Not very well. But I'm okay." She muttered, almost inaudibly. I handed it over in silence, watching as she chewed on her lip and placed her fingers delicately in the shape of a C chord. Her fingers were soft and elegant yet after years of playing the guitar, the skin around my fingers had gone rough and hard. She started to strum a slow, intricate pattern which echoed over and over in my ears. It was so well thought out, repeating only every eight bars. I shifted in my seat.

"Do you sing?" I asked sheepishly, resting my elbow awkwardly on my lap. She glanced up with a nervous smile her head inclining a fraction.

"Will you? For me?" Maybe I was going too far now. I hated singing in front of strangers, she probably did too. I thought she wasn't going to and having given up on it after I even said it, I rummaged around in my head for something to lighten the mood. Then she started to sing. Singing one of my favourite songs of all time. I hadn't even noticed that the chords had changed, I was too busy focusing on all the jumbled thoughts flying around in my brain. I shut it all out trying to focus on each individual word.

It was Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol. And she sang it perfectly. The soft sweet tone of her voice just above the beautiful strum of the guitar. It was a more mellow version. She sung the notes long and slow, each strum timed perfectly to the sound of her voice.

If I lay here, If I just lay here. Would you lie with me and just forget the world?

Her voice was enchanting, it felt like a hypnotising spell had been set upon me and I joined in, harmonising it. Both of our voices blended perfectly together, and the song gave me goosebumps as it flooded the room. Each wave hitting me harder and harder. Each note fuelled with the captivating pull of the music. This is what I love- getting so lost in the sound you lose all sense of direction. Nothing makes sense but the melody you sing. My mother always said she named me Melody because when I was younger, I would never stop humming. Then as I got older, singing.

As the song ended, all the weight of yesterday just tumbled off my shoulders. I looked over at Thalia. Our gazes aligning. It was as if the music had said it all for us. Then the door cracked open a little.

"Girls. That sounded incredible." Whispered an excited Mr Wood from the other side. "Thalia. Where are you thinking of going to college?" Thaila looked up from the guitar and I could see her hands shaking. "Erm. I've always wanted to go to Yale. My dad went there when he was my age." She stammered. He smiled at us "I can't wait to hear your final piece." Then the door closed, and we were left alone together once again. "So, I guess the expectations are high…" Thalia murmured nervously. I smiled reassuringly at her in response.

"I have a feeling we're going to create something amazing…" The corners of her mouth turned up as I said this, and she passed the guitar to me.

"So… any ideas?" She asked and I began plucking a few strings of the guitar, slowly shaping a finger-picking pattern around the chord sequence, Bm, C#, F#m and A. I closed my eyes, listening to each note ringing off of the guitar, changing and adapting the pattern based on what I heard. After a few seconds, I opened my eyes and looked over at the other girl. She seemed to be staring at me and immediately blushed as my gaze caught hers.

"I love it…" She murmured, tearing her gaze from mine. Then, as I played the tune again, she started humming along, structuring a melody for the song. It was very experimental, but it sounded beautiful- she sounded beautiful. We spent the rest of the lesson coming up with ideas for the lyrics. It was the most fun I'd ever had in a music lesson. Thalia just seemed to understand me, and I seemed to understand her. And that left me with this odd feeling of happiness. It was almost like a boost of adrenalin.

Thalia came with me to the library afterward for our very short 10-minute break.

"Guys, this is Thalia, you met her this morning..." I announced, grinning at Brie and May. Thalia waved a hand in the air slightly.

"Oh right, you're the one Melody ran into…" Brie said causally.

"I didn't run into her!" I protested, "I was just, not looking where I was going…" I trailed off at the unconvinced looks on their faces.

"Are you ever looking where you are going?" May retorted causing me to roll my eyes and Brie to chuckle lightly beside her. Then after a couple of minutes, Kye and Taylor made their way to us as well. Taylor stuck his tongue out, grinning wickedly at Brie as they approached and Kye walked over to stand next to me, wrapping his arm around my shoulder. Instinctively, I glanced over at Thalia watching as a glimmer of discomfort passed over her. I smiled at him grabbing his arm from around my shoulder and locking both our hands together between us. Looking up into his almond eyes, I smiled as he turned and caressed my jaw with the thumb on his other hand. I rested my head on his shoulder, relaxing into the familiar feel of his body heat against mine. And I wondered- was this what you'd call love?

"How are you?" He whispered, bring back down to earth and I looked up at him.

"I'm alright…" I murmured, pressing myself deeper into his side. Maybe if I pretended that the whole thing hadn't happened, things between us would be okay and I wouldn't lose him. I couldn't lose him.

"Sure?" He said sweetly, causing me to look up into his eyes.

"Yeah… Just… don't leave me…" I murmured, our gazes locking together.

"I won't. I'll always be here for you…" He then paused for a second, contemplating something, "I promise."

I caught Thalia's gaze as I looked back down and she immediately looked away, jaw clenched. Almost as if she wanted to say something but hadn't. Then May realised that she had some homework due in the next period and rushed to a computer followed by the laughs of Brie and Taylor.

"Hey, it's not funny!" She exclaimed, logging on to the computer, "Someone help me!" Brie ran over to her side, pointing at some things on the screen, both of them quarrelling over what the answer was. I smiled, looking up into Kye's deep brown eyes once again. I asked myself a question that should have been simple, once that I should've known the answer to. What did the word love actually mean?

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