We Were Both Young

'He was a wallflower, I could tell that much, but I had a weird desire to find out more than just his social status. He met my eyes and mouthed, "Hello,"...'


3. Throwing Pebbles

The next chapter was high school, also known as 'that hellish time' in life. In middle school I was popular, but I kind of faded into the background after that. Music became more of an important factor in my life, and I'd usually just stumble around school in the rain with my headphones jammed in my ears, blocking out the world. You'd also often see me with a guitar on my back. I didn't stand out, because I didn't try to and avoided conflict whenever possible.

High school is also the place where I officially met the wallflower guy from the disco. I was sitting in chemistry, first lesson on a Monday, watching the raindrops chase each other across the glass in the windows, when I sensed someone sitting next to me, which was weird for two reasons. One, no-one ever chose to sit with me because I was pretty boring - I'd usually avoid communication at all costs. And two, there were some far prettier girls in that class, so I'm still not entirely sure why someone who looked and smelt very good decided to sit with me.

"Erm, hi," I said, already breaking my normal regime of no conversation. And no, I wasn't trying to be flirty, even though kindness is often mistaken for flirting now.

"Hey," he said, half-smiling. I watched him prop his guitar up under the desk and wind up his earphones.

"Is that a Gibson?" I asked in awe, gazing at the guitar bag with a logo that indicated a guitar worth thousands was mere metres away from me.

"Yeah, I saved up for her... I mean, it," he said, blushing slightly at the end of his sentence. But I nodded - I generally referred to my guitars as 'he' or 'she' as well, so I didn't find it weird, I found it quite cute. My slightly shabby acoustic felt worthless next to his beautiful instrument.

But before I could delve into more questions (one of which being 'Can I borrow it sometime?' even though I hardly knew the guy), the teacher charged in, scrawled on the board and insisted we got copying.

I saw him again at lunch though. I was sitting by the pond that spanned across a secluded part of the field, flicking pebbles between my fingers and tapping my foot slightly, listening to music. I threw a pebble out into the water, watching it dither helplessly on the surface before sinking. I tried again, aiming higher, and yet I was still unable to make it skim the water. I decided on one last attempt, watched the pebble sailing through the air- and get smacked by another pebble. The sharp clunk of stones connecting made me jump, and I turned to the person with incredible aim who had ruined my chance at a perfect stone-skim.

"Hey-" I started, but decided not to finish my rant, instead smiling a little at guitar guy. He remained standing, looking around awkwardly.

"What is it?" I asked, and he shook his head.

"It's fine, I just sometimes practice guitar here. I won't disturb you though," he said, turning away slightly. I felt myself calling out, telling him to stay, sounding pathetic and demanding and yet he stayed, playing guitar in a way so skillful and beautiful that I was mesmerised. He held out his guitar to me, saying "Your turn!" He laughed at my expression, holding it closer. 

"Are you sure?" I asked, still stunned, staring at the gorgeous blue swirls cascading across the body of the guitar.

"Yeah, the A string is a little loose though, so watch out for it." I accepted the Gibson gratefully, strumming a few chords lightly. It was perfect.

The bell interrupted though, and as we stood to leave I saw a dark figure towering, a few metres away.

"Dad, what are you doing here?" I said, shocked and a little bitter to see him. But he looked past me, stared at the boy beside me and said, "You stay away from my daughter!" 

"Dad?" I said oddly, but he still ignored me, turning and walking away.

"What was that about?" I said over my shoulder to guitar-guy, recoiling when I noticed that he too had disappeared.

And I still didn't know his name.

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