For much of the day Danny wondered about the invitation. He was distracted, almost bumped into Jen who stood right in front of him, her face set in an angry look.
“I told you to leave it alone Fatty.”
“Why are you still around Creepy Crawler?”
“Look. It’s none of your business.”
“If you don’t leave her, I’ll report you.”
What was her problem? She didn’t even like Amy. Calling her Creepy Crawler and stuff.
“That’s not the point. Look, I know you wouldn’t hurt a fly but…”
“You’d be in trouble not me. They’d know you looked up her file.”
Her lips drew a straight line: he knew it hit his mark. She turned around and walked away like a queen. Everyone parted in front of her; she truly ruled these walls.
At 6pm sharp, he was in the choir room; Amy was there before him. He closed the door behind; she tensed at that.
“Do you want to leave it open?”
“No. No that’s cool.” She swallowed. She wasn’t totally fine with it.
She sat at the piano. She was trembling. She turned to him.
“Do you mind singing the first part?”
She didn’t answer; she probably expected him to know. And when she drew the first notes from the instrument, he did. He sang the first verse of My Immortal, by Evanescence. When she joined him at the first chorus, he noticed the tears brimming in her eyes. But she didn’t stop playing; she didn’t stop singing. Her voice wasn’t so vibrant, as in the auditorium. Too much pain. She was telling him about her story. But what did that mean?
“Thank you,” she said when they finished.
“For what? I didn’t do anything.”
“You did. You made me cry.”
That made no sense whatsoever. She shouldn’t thank him for making her cry.
“I haven’t been able to in 2 years.”
Ok… he didn’t understand.
“Instead… you know.” He didn’t. “I know you felt the scars on my wrist.”
“Yeah. I’m sorry.”
“No. No, don’t be. It’s the only thing I can feel. Well the only thing I could. Until I heard you sing.”
“I don’t understand.”
“No. I’m not very clear, am I?”
And then she explained; in few words. But these words hurt him; they changed him. Or they made him even more of who he was. He wanted to hold her, protect her. He didn’t want to touch her in case he might frighten her. His woes were nothing. How could she bear this alone? She hadn’t cried until she heard him sing.
“You’re freaking out.”
He hadn’t said a word; her face was a mask. But somehow he could read it; she was wondering if he would ever speak to her again.
“Yes, a bit.” He laughed nervously. He sat beside her; she didn’t panic. She didn’t flinch. Well she shivered but she didn’t move away. He took her hand. For a long moment he said nothing. There was nothing he could say; he couldn’t take it away. He couldn’t make her forget. He couldn’t change what happened.
“Thank you.” She said again. “For not pretending to understand.”
Why would he do that? He couldn’t.
“I should be thanking you. For trusting me.”
He wondered why she did; obviously she would have issues with guys. But not him. The singing couldn’t be the only thing. Maybe because he was fat; she didn’t think he was a threat. He stood and stepped away.
It seemed she could read him too.
“Why do you trust me?”
She seemed taken aback.
“Well I thought… Haven’t we become friends of sort?”
They had; in a weird way. In a silent way.
“Will you join the choir?” Panic seemed to settle in. And again he retreated apologizing. “I just thought that since you played…”
“No. No. Thanks to you I play again. I played for my sister yesterday. Maybe… it’s just a big step you know. For me.”
She stood too, grabbed her bag. She opened the door, closed it. She came back to him, kissed him on the cheek.
“Thank you. For being kind.”
She exited the choir room, leaving him completely stunned. She’d kissed him on the cheek. She’d kissed him. Wow.
In response to the following prompts