Ashes & Wine

There was one thing his music needed. Her.

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1. Coffee & Crumb Cake

Ok, so I start each chapter with a song, these are the songs at the beginning. Personally I like a few songs, but most of them just fit the chapter.

Chap. 1 - Falling In Love At A Coffee Shop; Landon Pigg

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Chap. 2 - Amazing Grace; John Newton

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Chap. 3 - Like We Used To; A Rocket To The Moon

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Chap. 4 - There You Go; P!nk

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Chap. 5 - First Date; Blink 182

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Chap. 6 - Bye, Bye, Blackbird; Paul McCartney

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Chap. 7 - Popcorn Boy; Essential Logic

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Chap. 8 - Someone Like You; Adele

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Chap. 9 - How To Be a Heartbreaker; Marina & The Diamonds

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Chap. 10 - Trying Not To Fall In Love; Jaicko

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Chap. 11 - If You Leave; Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark

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Chap. 12 - Best Song Ever; One Direction

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Chap. 13 - Hanging By A Moment; Lifehouse

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Chap. 14 - Iris; The Goo Goo Dolls

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Chap. 15 - Special; Garbage

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Chap. 16 - Mirrors; Justin Timberlake

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Chap. 17 - Wake Me Up When September Ends; Green Day

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Chap. 18 - April; Deep Purple

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Chap. 19 - I Love You; Ed Sheeran

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Chap. 20 - Radio; Lana Del Rey

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Chapter 1: Coffee & Crumb Cake

November 24, Day 1, 7:21 A.M.

I never knew just what it was about this old coffee shop

I love so much

All of the while I never knew

I never knew just what it was about this old coffee shop

I love so much

All of the while I never knew 

I walked into the little, green coffee shop that always made the best crumb cake. The air in here always smelled of chocolate syrup, and, of course, coffee. “Henry Bean’s” was what the green-walled coffee shop was called. People walked around here trying to get to their soy-mocha-frapp-no-milk-latte.  

“Hey, Christine. I’ll have my usual, big show today.” I told the barista, Christine, my order. My twenty year old body drifted around the store, looking at the coffee beans I saw everyday. The long, black skirt trailed behind me. 

“Eleanor!” I heard someone yell. I went over to the counter with the mocha, with a certain awkward-ness. My back had a small curve to it as I walked over to the counter. 

The was cold with the iced coffee, freezing my hands, so cold I could swear they were going to fall off. 

My brown, leather, knock-off-coach bag was slipping off my shoulders, onto my elbow. The cold day made me have to resort to wearing a sweater. My hooker’s green sweater, to be exact. The sweater would bunch up every time I tried to pull up my bag, which for some reason has some fetish with falling to my elbow.  

I walked out of the coffee shop, my heels making a faint sound of a “Click! Click! Click!”

November 24, Day 1, 6:30 P.M.

 I strode into the Broadway theater. I into the door marked “Employees Only”. A very large crowd of people, entered the doors, pushing each other to get out of the frigid air. I just simpered and sauntered into the boring gray doors, with a small amount of elation, that they were all here for my show! I mean, I was performing and all, and I was playing the major role of “Girl” in “Once”. The role never really was named, but the play is amazing.  

(warning: spoiler alert! if you have not seen once, and want to see it, don’t read these next few paragraphs.) 

The plot is about a thirty-something Dublin Busker sings and plays guitar on Grafton Street, a Dublin shopping community. He grapples with the trials of performing on the street. Lured by his music, an unnamed young Czech immigrant flower seller talks to him about his songs. Delighted to learn that he also repairs vacuum cleaners, she insists that he fix her broken vacuum cleaner. 

Next day she comes back with her vacuum cleaner, and soon tells him that she is a musician, also. At a music store where she regularly plays piano, he teaches her one of his songs; they sing and play together, blithely. He invites her and her ailing vacuum back to his father's shop, and on the bus home musically answers her question as to what his songs are about: a long-time girlfriend who cheated on him, then left.

At the shop, she meets his father. The Guy takes the Girl up to his room, but when he asks her to stay the night, she is aggrieved and leaves. The next day, they quickly patch things up, as over the course of a week they eagerly write, rehearse and record songs. The Girl rehearses her lyrics for one of the Guy's songs, singing to herself while walking down the street, or when at a party, people perform impromptu. 

Flirtation continues. He is thinking about and writing about his ex-girlfriend, who moved to London. The Girl encourages him to win her back. Invited home to dinner by the Girl, the Guy discovers that she has a toddler and lives with her mom. He decides that it is time to move to London, but he wants to record a demo of his songs to take with him and asks the Girl to record it with him. They secure a bank loan and reserve time at a recording studio.

He learns she is married, with a husband in the Czech Republic. When Guy asks if she still loves her husband, she answers in Czech, "Miluju tebe", but coyly declines to translate what she said. After recruiting a band among other buskers, they go into the studio to record. They quickly impress Eamon, the jaded studio engineer with their first song. On a break in the wee hours of the morning, the Girl finds a piano in an empty studio and plays the Guy one of her own compositions. He asks her to come with him to London, which she jokingly goes along with before they come to terms with reality.

 After the all-night session wraps up, they walk home. Before they part ways, the Girl reveals that she spoke to her husband and he is coming to live with her in Dublin. The Guy asks her to spend his last night in Dublin with him; she says that it would only result in "hanky-panky", which is a "bad idea", but after the Guy's pestering she ultimately agrees to come over. In the end, she stands him up and he cannot find her to say goodbye before his flight. He plays the demo for his father, who gives him money to help him get settled in London. Before leaving for the airport, the Guy buys the Girl a piano and makes arrangements for its delivery, then calls his ex-girlfriend, who is happy about his imminent arrival. The Girl's husband moves to Dublin and they get back together. (end of spoiler)

It took me three months to figure out what all my Czech lines meant. 

I strode into the quaint, plain, little, dressing room. I saw Olivia who played Guy’s Ex. She was the nicest girl you ever could meet. She was basically my best friend. She was an even better actress though.  

“Ellie!” Olivia screamed, while jumping up to hug my abdomen with her legs, while her arms cloaked my neck, almost not making me not able to breathe. I don’t know why she was hugging me like this. She saw me only two hours ago at rehearsals. I just had to leave to get food. 

 I handed her the box of lo mein, that she had asked me to pick up earlier. Sure they have food for the actors and all, but it’s not a very good selection. There’s apples, some coffee, and a bowl of pretzel sticks. Considering this, we decided that every other day we would bring each other from a new New York restaurant that we had never gone to before. 

This time it was “The Dingy Dragon”. Or, at least that’s what I called it. The floors had been covered in what looked like dog shit on some really hideous teal carpet. The walls had been camouflaged in a purple paint. Not the lavender or mauve you would think of, no it was a tyrian purple which in my mind, is the ugliest purple that there could be, ever.

“Eleanor Dennis! You NEED to come to hair and make-up, now!” The director, Victor yelled. “Hurry up, chickie!” He seemed especially worked up tonight. Usually his wife and kids would come see the show and he would be worked up, but tonight it was worse. 

 Victor just held onto his hair, looking as though he was going to pull it out any time now. I could literally see the stem coming out of his ears, and his face turning a nice shade of scarlet. 

 “Jesus, Vic. No need to yell.” He didn’t seem like he wanted to listen to another one of my rants on how he’s always yelling, and how he needed to take a chill pill. Sure he was a nice enough guy, but someone please help him with his stress. 

 I started over to hair and make-up, a small chuckle bubbling from the crevice of my mouth. Vic was such a dork.

~if you are reading this it has been edited~

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