1. Sounds

She sat in the car. Her eyes growing heavier with every second she waited for them. Shapes caught her eye as they seemed to move in the rear vision mirror. Ceasing their dancing only when she focused on them. 'Fuck this' she thought, what little patience she did possess having run thin minutes ago. She sent him a message, short and abrupt, saying that this was ridiculous, that she was going home. As she drove off up the unfamiliar street headlights passed her the other way. 'Damn him' she thought. She drove a little further to the round bout and turned around. She pulled up sharply at the kerb only realising as she threw herself out that the man and the car in the driveway were not familiar to her. She swallowed the quick pang of shyness that threatened to take over and said 'Hi, are you with James?' 'No' he said. 'Are you a friend of Joel's?' "No' she replied. 'I'm a friend of his friends." "'They far off?' 'Apparently not.' The dog had been barking ferociously throughout their exchange and he glanced around at the neighbouring houses nervously. 'Jess' she said. 'Tim' he said. 'Do you wanna come for a quick drive with me to shut the dog up, otherwise we're gonna wake the whole street'. They jumped in. As he pulled away from the house she realised that was a pretty dumb move but lately that seemed to be her forte. They ducked down to the servo, he went in and got an ice cream, asking if she wanted anything. As they left she called him to check they were there. Pulling up at the house a man she could only assume was Joel was getting out of a car. He affectionately greeted Tim and she hovered, not knowing Joel but also not wanting to waltz into another's house. But as she tossed up whether to just run and hide her mate softly called her name from the front door, he was apologising for their lateness before she even got to him, she brushed it away not needing to hear it. The other two came loping down the driveway and the owner of the house overtook her to open the door. She was first to reach him. 'Jess' she said smiling easily at him. 'Joel' he said grinning back, doing a little twirl so that the door was open for her to enter first. She walked through the unfamiliar doorway looking behind her for an indication as to where she should be going. She was ushered into the bedroom taking her cues from the others she dropped her bag and relaxed on the end of the bed taking in her surroundings. The wall to her left was built in cupboards that had mirrors for doors stretching the length of the wall to the en suite door. The room wasn't messy but it wasn't clean. It was lived in. There was a laptop on the desk, an 8 track, a pile of books and the bed was large and pushed under the window by the desk. She turned to take in the room's owner; he stood in the doorway, chatting to his mates. He was very tall with long limbs that, although slim, seemed to take up a lot of space. He talked with not only his hands but his whole body, shifting his weight from leg to leg. After his mate left he paced the room a bit and as he came closer she had a chance to take him in. He had a shaved head, big strong hands with long lean fingers. His face was almost gaunt but it seemed to enhance his energy and she found him pleasing to watch. He dropped down in the desk chair. 'Do you like rap?' he asked her. 'I like a bit of everything, why's that?' He wanted to show her some of the tracks he's made. She eagerly agreed but was careful to warn him that she was by no means a 'rap aficionado'. He preferred this, wanting her female amateur opinion. She scooted around to the other side of the bed so that she was closer t him and could put headphones on. 'I want your criticism' he said. 'It will take a couple of seconds to load'. 'Well there's my first criticism' she joked 'making me wait God!' He laughed. 'You're a cool chick, a rare find,' he said. She blushed and smiled thanking him for the out of the blue compliment. As his music started up she promised herself that if she didn't like it she would be honest, gentle but honest. But she didn't need to worry, it was fantastic. She had never heard lyrics that she connected with a well as these. At the end of the second song she though to herself 'he thinks like me!' They were tripping over each other, him eagerly playing her song after song, her picking out her favourite sounds and lyrics while they talked about love and life. He would try to explain a lyric, she would finish his sentence and he would stare at her in disbelief. 'Exactly' he would say. And she would laugh and disappeared beneath the headphones again, losing herself fin the combination of his original beats and lyrics that took her to a world that seemed fantastical yet real to her all at the same time. She glanced at him when he wasn't looking. Was she reading too much into it? His lyrics were such a mix of feeling and emotion and fun and anger and pain and love that she just wanted to burn through his head with her eyes and read its contents. He fascinated her and she wanted to know more, probed further and into the songs and lyrics and the history, their banter never stopped and every now and again he would turn to her, mouthing the words of a particular chorus, her unable to meet his eyes, afraid of her own feelings, afraid she would see something in his, more afraid that she would see nothing. Knowing that this was where it had to end. Hours passed in each others company, slipping away as seamlessly as an eel into water. As the sun began to come up she realised that this was it. That the night was over, the sun bringing no light to her, no warmth to her as it signalled the beginning of the end. He promised her a CD, another meeting left dancing on their lips, but she didn't dare hope, didn't dare wish it or imagine it, picturing them a week in the future, a month, years? He walked out the front door with her, turning around it was only natural for them to hug, they were way past a handshake and she held onto him briefly letting go much earlier than she wanted to, but knowing that if she held on for a split second longer she wouldn't let go. She felt his arms still around her as she started to pull away, felt him gently resist her exit; she grinned and manoeuvred her way through the front garden out to her car in the biting cold of the morning. His image danced in her mind for the rest of the day, she jumped from hope to despair to daydreaming to wishing to knowing that it could never be. That their worlds would never align and that he had probably forgotten her already had probably never thought of her at all. And she knew that she would be best to do the same. But he had changed her, nothing huge, she couldn't pinpoint whether it reassured her or frightened her, but she had found him, found someone, that thought like her, that had opinions like her and that pondered the same never ending series of questions, the same morals the same strong belief systems. He was out there, and for now that had to be enough.



She had made some questionable friends. Of course on meeting them she hadn’t realised their backgrounds but she was no fool, although many would call it foolishness. The more her life bored her the more risks she seemed to take until one night she found herself outside a very big risk indeed. 

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