The young woman left the building; it was obvious she was hiding something. Nobody in their right mind would be wearing long sleeves in this temperature. The heatwave that washed over the city was the likes of which had never been seen. 37C… Everyone was wearing sleeveless summer dresses and carrying an atomizer to keep cool. Not she.
The long trousers wouldn’t have been out of place if they hadn’t been so opaque; and the shirt. Definitely curious. She couldn’t have been cold; and if she’d wanted to hide from the sun, linen or light cotton would have made a better choice than the obvious heavy cloth she wore.
Or maybe he was just overthinking it; but he’d been watching her for the past week. He wasn’t sure she knew they lived across from each other. He wasn’t even sure she knew they had at least three classes in common. She’d been kind once but she hadn’t said a word. She just took off the stupid sticker morons at school had placed on his back. She’d stopped him and removed it. She hadn’t even heard his thanks; at least he thought she hadn’t.
He’d seen her in front of the choir room once too during one rehearsal. He hadn’t been able to decide whether she was there on purpose or not. She hadn’t appeared to stop. In fact, he would never have noticed her at all if she hadn’t removed that sticker. She was quite literally invisible. And he knew about being invisible; he’d designed his entire high school carrier around that.
Nobody ever seemed to see her, or watch her. Even the teachers appeared baffled every time they returned her homework. They never called on her to answer questions or make presentations.
Nobody seemed to bully her, but neither did they speak to her. Or was it that she spoke to no one? He couldn’t tell. He followed her from afar; if she didn’t want to speak to him, he wasn’t going to impose. She wasn’t invisible; he could see her, but it looked like no one else did. She slithered against the walls avoiding the middle of the sidewalk. When a group of people approached her, she’d stop and lean against the wall until they were gone.
Once she was inside the walls of the school he lost her; he had no idea where her locker was. And one of his few friends caught him and Danny lost sight of her. He didn’t even know her name. He should ask Jen; she probably did know it. She knew everyone.
She saw him cross the street behind her; he probably hadn’t noticed. She’d become quite good at disappearing in the middle of the day. And she never spoke to anyone unless she had to. But there was something about him; she couldn’t really have said what. He wasn’t the hottest in town, something most students made him pay regularly. Maybe it was his face: kindness was written all over it… or his voice. She’d heard him sing in the choir room; he had a gift. He’d made her cry. She didn’t cry. She had no tears left; at least she thought so. He made her realize it wasn’t the case.
But he was a guy. And… well. She. She didn’t like to think of it. Anyway.
“Hey creepy crawler,” she turned. Oh no. Jen Matthews, the queen B, and her retinue. Well; maybe she wasn’t so bad. After all he was friend with her. Maybe she was just nasty to her.
“Yes?” She asked.
“She talks. Wow. Not all hope is lost.” She bit her lips, as Jen’s friends laughed. She waved her hand and they scattered into the classroom. “Mrs. Jenkins wants to see you: auditorium, 2pm.”
“Oh. Ok thanks.”
Why did Mrs. Jenkins want to see her? In the auditorium? She didn’t like the auditorium; it was a reminder of a past she no longer contemplated. Still Amy went. 1:55pm she was in there; the entire thing was empty. She turned on the backstage lights. On the stage a piano… she looked away.
1:56, 57, 58, 59, 2pm. 2:01, 02, 03… the piano hadn’t moved. 2:10pm. Maybe Mrs. Jenkins was held back. She looked at the white keys. She bit her lips: it was tempting. She missed it; realized it when she heard him sing. His name was Danny. And his voice had plucked the strings of her heart in a way that made her cry, even now she thought of it.
She sat in front of the instrument. A deep breath caused her to shiver. Trembling hands on the keyboard. She pressed five keys; the sound reverberated in her entire body, travelling from her fingers to her spine and brain. A note escaped her lips, as she played another chord. Then another one. In the end, a song…
The door scraping startled her; she stood away from the piano, causing the stool to fall. It was him. He looked shocked.
“I’m… I’m waiting for Mrs. Jenkins.” She said. “She should be there any minute.”
Go away! I don’t want to be alone with you; you’re a guy. You may look kind but…
“I just saw her; she’s been called into a meeting with the principal.”
Oh? So no staying here then.
Amy grabbed her bag and made to leave but he took her wrist. She trembled. Bit her lips.
“Let me go. Please.” She breathed.
He let go of her hand without having her to ask again. But he’d felt them; she could tell. The way he looked at her.
“Are you ok?”
“Yes. Sure.” She breezed.
“But your…” He reconsidered. Thankfully. “Why haven’t you joined the choir?”
“I don’t sing.”
“Are you kidding me? You…”
She ran away. She didn’t sing; she shouldn’t have touched the piano. It was bad to remember; but he made her. She’d loved it before. Once she was in the bathroom, she pulled at her sleeves: the scars were there. Always. Everywhere. Visible and invisible ones. Maybe… no! Music wouldn’t solve anything. It couldn’t. Or could it? She hadn’t cried in 2 years after all.