It feels like things are starting to pick up again, story wise, which is great. I really struggle with slower chapters and scenes. I always like people to be going somewhere doing something, punching someone or wielding a sword, but slow moments are important too. That’s when you get to know characters a little better. Hopefully we know them pretty well by now. 🙂
I begin to unpack my lunch, but Oliver’s stiff posture and calculating gaze catch my attention. He stands before Miguel, eyes darting between the guitar and my friend’s face, tipping me off that something is very wrong. Miguel shifts and does his best to look everywhere but at Oliver.
“Play it again,” Oliver orders.
“Just play it.”
Miguel flinches at Oliver’s harsh tone, but puts his fingers on the fret board and strings and begins to play.
Again, the music takes a hold of me. Judging by the way other students have started to stare, it’s having a similar influence on them. It wraps around us like a ribbon, holding us tight, but not enough so to strangle us. Even the branches of the trees seems to start to sway with it, dancing as if they can take hold of that ribbon and twirl it.
The ribbon tightens around my limbs, demanding I get up and dance. It’s not even just because the music is good. It has this sort of of power as if it’s demanding I get up. If I don’t, that ribbon just might choke me to death–
Oliver clamps down on the fret board, freeing everyone of whatever bizarre trance Miguel just had us under. I don’t know whether to be grateful, startled, or confused. When I see the dark look on Oliver’s face, I decide to go with seriously concerned instead.
Miguel jumps to his feet and gets in Oliver’s face. “Dude, what the hell?”
“Where did you learn to play like that?” Oliver barks. “You didn’t play in class like that, did you?”
“For, like, thirty seconds at the end. Most of it was about scales and tuning.”
“You didn’t answer my first question.”
Miguel goes rigid. “I got a new guitar teacher. It’s not a big deal, Ollie. Chill.”
Oliver looks pretty far from chill. “It is very much so a big deal. Who are they?”
“Why? Are you looking to learn?”
“Sure. Just give me their name.”
“She goes by Ms. Lyra. I don’t have her number or anything. She always just meets me at Lake Side park. If you want, I–”
Oliver turns and strides towards the school before Miguel can finish. He abruptly stops and turns back to Miguel. “Don’t play like that around people again, do you understand? Even Zoe.”
“What about me?” Zoe joins us from one of the side exits with her hot lunch tray in hand. “Chemistry got out late then the line took forever.” Noticing everyone’s serious expression, she frowns. “What did I miss?”
We all look at each other, waiting for someone to think of a believable enough story. Luckily, Oliver comes to the rescue.
“Miguel was just telling us about how he wanted to teach you how to play guitar since he has it here today. He said you’ve mentioned wanting to learn?”
Zoe beams from ear to ear. “I mentioned that months ago. You remembered Miguel?”
Miguel flushes red and pretends to tune his guitar so that he doesn’t have to look at any of us. “Y-yeah. And I have it here at school, so I figured, why not, you know? You’re so busy after school with flute and other stuff, so this seemed like a good time.”
Zoe sets her tray down and fiddles with her hair for a moment. “That’s awfully considerate of you. Thanks, Miguel.”
Oliver chimes back in. “You won’t try and teach her anything too complicated, right Miguel?”
Miguel cringes at Oliver’s intense tone, but keeps the smile on his face. “Of course not.”
Apparently trusting Miguel’s words, Oliver continues back towards the school. I take off after him. Zoe and Miguel hardly notice.