Southern Constellations

Romany Fitzgerald wishes one day to lead a frivolous and harmonic life pursuing her dreams, but first, she must complete the exhausting challenge of being an actual teenager. Romany believes her vicinity is filled with people who just do not understand, in fact, nobody understands. Most of all, there's a person she would give her left arm to avoid.

Austin Orion.

Hell-bent on bringing beautiful chaos into Romany's life, can Austin and Romany build a steady friendship on the ruins of a lifetime of hatred? This seems far too surreal for Romany, but she is unknowing of the hell and torment waiting for her around the corner; she was yet to lose possibly the most important thing she had in the world; music.
But she still has the constellations for guidance; looking for answers in a world that doesn't know the question, can Romany delve deeper into what is meant to be and follow her heart?

Did fate fall short this time?

A/N: Rated red for bad language and trauma.

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9. Nine

 

I could have slept for days. I want to sleep, either when I'm extraordinarily happy, or disturbingly sad, for a very long time. To soak up what has happened, so my brain call mill over everything and try to make some sense of my chaotic life.

But I couldn't get held up doing unimportant things like sleeping, I had shit to do. I had an art assignment to finish, music tech ideas to create, books to read, read, and re-read, paintings to sketch, paint, throw away, and start again, and guitar chords to practice, learn, and become frustrated with because Wednesday was getting closer; which meant I was seeing Lillian, the guitar tutor Grayson had told me about.

Before I even had three seconds to myself to spare, it was already Wednesday morning, and it was walk-to-school-with-Grace day. I didn't forget this morning, and I hadn't for the past couple of weeks. And everything was good, everything was great, I was doing well, everything was fine and nothing was going wrong.

Music technology was my last class of the day, and I spent the entire hour looking eagerly at the clock, begging for time to go faster. I was getting excited to meet this guitar tutor, I liked to have something to look forward to, it got me through things, I could focus on individual things if I knew something would be there waiting for me at the end of it.

"What's with you?" Austin said, looking at me as if my eagerness had been bothering him all lesson.

"Nothing," I said dismissively, he didn't need to know. He shrugged, not caring any longer and he gave up wondering.

The bell rang, and never had I been surer that getting out of the school gates would be the best thing that had happened all day. I impatiently paced my hallway waiting for 5.P.M to arrive, my acoustic guitar in its case tightly placed over my shoulder.

Finally, as if it were the most relieving thing ever, I sighed with liberation as Grayson turned up outside my house in that dusty old car of his – or should I say, his friend's.

My heart raced with whole-hearted excitability. Grayson smiled at me brightly as I got in the passenger seat.

"You look excited." He observed.

I jumped up and down in my seat a little bit, "it's because I freaking am! Now drive please, I want to meet this lady!" He chuckled lightly before hitting the accelerator.

"You're not coming in?" I said, as he stayed in the car whilst I got my guitar off of the back seat. He smiled lightly.

"Nope, she only teaches me on Tuesdays and Fridays, you've got Wednesdays and Sundays if you want them."

"Thanks." I smile at him, and he turns to drive away before turning back to me suddenly.

"Good luck, I'll see you later."

And off he drives. I hesitantly eye the house, it's huge, and it's beautiful. Delicate vines of ivy had crawled along the cracks in the brick work on the side of the house, and colorful arrays of flowers were displayed in tightly compacted flower boxes on the windowsills. It looked very homely.

I bashfully knocked on the door, and then started to panic, what if she didn't know I was coming? What if she just thinks I'm going to turn up and expect her to teach me? What if Grayson hasn't said anything? What if—

"Hello, lovely," she smiled brightly, and then looked at the sky, screwing her face up in thought. "Romany, was it?"

I return the kind smile, "yes, I can't thank you enough for this Mrs…" I wait for her to tell me her name.

"Don't bother with all that formal nonsense, you call me Lillian." Her smile was infectious, and I found myself smiling right back at her. She welcomed me into her house which was, just as I guessed, beautifully furnished with old antique style white-wood furniture. There were hand-painted pictures hanging decoratively on the wall. There was one of a forest that didn't look too far from here, but one particularly caught my eye. It was a painting of the hill that I always venture up to when I stargaze, it's of the hill just before sunset and the sky is golden oranges and yellows. It's almost as if I'm there again, it's a beautiful piece of art.

"It's wonderful," I say, completely captivated.

"Isn't it just?" She mused proudly, "My son painted it, you might know him, his name—" A small ding went off in what I guessed was the kitchen; she looked momentarily dazed before raising her finger into the air.

"Ah, my cookies! I forgot about those, excuse me dear, take a seat, I won't be a moment." I nodded obediently, taking my place on the sofa which was covered by a patchwork blanket.

I sat patiently for Lillian to return from the kitchen – which she did, bearing cookies which she offered me, and I was gladly obliged.

"So," she clapped her hands together, "where to start," she motioned to my guitar, "how about you show me what you've got?"

I nodded nervously, pulling my guitar out of its case; I poised it in my arms and looked at her, searching for what I was supposed to do.

"Go on," she urged me, "sing what you know, what you think suits your voice best."

I desperately searched my brain for songs I knew off by heart faultlessly and that suited my voice, or so I hoped. After flicking through my brain like an old school juke-box, I chose True Colors by Cyndi Lauper; I learnt that song for months until I got it right, and until my fingers bled. That song meant a great deal to me, the lyrics I thought, were beautifully written, and the overall message is something I wish everybody could hear.

I looked at her, and she nodded, confirming I was right to start. I was nervous, and my hands shook, so it took a second of steadying to focus my gaze on the frets in front of me.

No regrets, remember? I heard the words echo in my head, and I decided to give that song every single ounce of everything I had in my body.

As far as I could tell, my guitar playing was mediocre, because I messed up a lot, but Lillian seemed to be enticed by the voice coming out of my body. Her eyes were wide and she looked as if the song had taken her back to a time in her past that gave her enchanting memories. She had a faint smile on her face as she nodded in time with my strumming.

I put my soul into the song, as if I were singing to myself, because I needed to be Romany Fitzgerald for just a second. I needed to believe in myself, because for that very second, nobody did. So don't be afraid, to let them show, your true colors, true colors are beautiful.

I finished the song, looking at the floor, hoping for the worst, it wasn't my best performance, I know that. I was nervous, so nervous.

Lillian placed her hand on her heart, and made flapping gestures with her fingers next to her eyes, as if to stop herself crying. I smiled warmly, and I looked at her so admirably. She had shoulder length black hair, which framed her rounded face; she looked like she had a very big heart, from what I'd seen so far, she definitely did.

"My goodness, that was beautiful," she stated, obviously delighted. "You have a really unique voice, it's very intriguing, easy on the ears, and your vibrato, my goodness…" she went on, praising and flattering me until she'd used all the lovely words in the dictionary. I was astounded; really, I wasn't expecting such a reaction. "We can work on your guitar skills, it was good, but perhaps we can get some harmonics in there too." I smiled; this had exceeded all expectation I'd had of today ten-fold.

"Wow, I really don't know what to say," I murmur quietly.

"You have such potential Romany, and you don't even realize it, you have an incredible voice, and you could go far, if you wanted…" I was still processing the information when Lillian looked out the window, peering at the sky with her warm auburn eyes. "My goodness, is that the time!?" She looked at me and smiled thoughtfully, "I don't want you walking home in the dark, darling, perhaps you should get going, I don't want to be in trouble with your parents."

"Sure," I smiled, "thank you again, Lillian, I can't thank you enough for the opportunity." I pulled out my purse from the bottom of my guitar case to pay her; she pushed my hands back at me immediately.

"No, no, no," she confirmed, "that's not necessary, I don't do this for money, I do this because I like to help people see their potential and unleash it, your music and your voice is your payment. It's an honor, really." She hands me my guitar and gives me another one of those genuine smiles.

This woman really did have a warm heart, she even sent me off with a number of freshly baked cookies for my parents. I left by thanking her once again and Grayson was waiting in his car, tapping his hands on his steering wheel.

I stepped in the passengers' seat, completely awe-struck by the whole experience. A moment's silence made him get all flustered and curious.

"Well?! Don't leave me in suspense! How did it go?"

I sighed contently, "it was so good, and Lillian's so lovely, she is single-handedly the nicest woman I've ever met."

"I know right!" Grayson agreed, and we drove home, both relaxed and content with the day's happenings. This time I knew what I was doing, and confidently kissed him on the cheek before smiling widely. I waved at him through the car window and mouthed 'see you later' to him.

Today was definitely one of the best days I'd had in a very long time. I looked out of my bedroom window before crawling under my blankets, and saw the sky twinkling, as it always does, and today it was saying:

You did it, girl, you're going to do something with your life, you're going to be remembered when you die, just know that. Lillian whole-heartedly believed I could make something of myself. And for her sake, I would.

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