The Music we Make

Cora Steele is a girl with talents anyone would die for.

Drew Bates is a guy with talents he would die to get rid of.

They're polar opposites and hate each other from the moment they first speak.

He wants all the attention and she attracts it.

But over time they learn that they're not so different after all, and maybe they could learn to like each other.

• • • • • •

Cora was a happy, talented girl until her parents died right before her first year of high school.
Now it's two years later and she has to go to a school for the talents that she hates to love.
She knows its the right thing to do but can she handle all the pain and pressure her talents bring?
Maybe with the help of a few friends and a special boy, she can survive the rest of high school, and maybe even learn to love it.

• • • • • •

P.S. I'm really bad at descriptions so sorry :/

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13. Chapter 12

Two weeks later

"Are you ready to go?" Drew asked.

"Go where?" Sky questioned before I got a chance to answer.

"To the music room. We have a project." I spoke up when Drew opened his mouth to answer.

I didn't want anyone to know that Drew was taking me home for winter break. I knew that would just cause a million questions to be fired my way.

"Oh, well I won't keep you guys from practicing then, my mom is here anyway. Goodbye, have a good break." Sky replied and waved as she walked away.

"A project?" Drew asked when Sky was out of ear shot, his eyebrows knitting together in confusion.

"I just don't want anyone to know you're the one taking me home." I answered.

Hurt flashed across Drew's eyes, so quickly I almost missed it.

Did I offend him?

"I just don't want to answer all the questions. Everyone probably assumes that my aunt is picking me up." I explained. The last thing I want is for my ride to get mad at me and decided not to take me home anymore.

"So are you ready to go?" He asked again, changing the subject.

I fixed the duffle bag strap on my shoulder, thankful that Sky didn't ask why I had it if I was going to the music room, and nodded, "All packed and ready to go."

Without a word Drew started walking away, presumably to his car, and I followed in tow.

We were walking in a comfortable silence when out of nowhere Drew stopped and turned on his heels to face me, causing me to almost walk right in to his chest.

"So where do you live anyway?"

I guess we never really discussed the details. After Drew offered to drive me home, we never really talked besides him asking me if I was okay every day.

The fact that he actually kept his word about asking really surprised me. I thought he would've forgotten about it after a couple days.

"I live in Beaufort, it's six hours away." I answered, suddenly nervous that he was going to back out of giving me a drive. He probably thought I lived somewhat close to the school.

What if he doesn't want to drive that far.

"I know where that is, my parents took me a few times when I was younger." Drew said, taking me by surprise.

Beaufort is a very small town, not many people know it exists. I guess it really is a small world.

Once we were settled in the car and on the highway Drew turned the radio on.

Believer by Imagine Dragons started blaring out of the speakers at an unreasonably loud volume and I jumped so high in my seat I almost hit my head on the roof of the car.

"Sorry, I'll turn it down." Drew apologized and reached for the volume dial.

"It's fine, I love this song." I told him before he could change the volume.

He nodded in approval, obviously happy that I didn't want it turned down.

An Imagine Dragons fan huh? I thought he would only listen to that popular rap music every cliche jock likes.

"I hate rap." Drew suddenly said, interrupting my thoughts.

I swear he can read my mind.

"You say things out loud instead of thinking them a lot." He explained when I just gave him a confused look.

Of course.

"I meant to say that out loud." I said defensively.

He shook his head in amusement, "Sure."

What a jerk.

"Maybe I just like speaking my mind." I insisted, crossing my arms stubbornly.

"Whatever you say." He quipped, smirking slightly when he heard my annoyed huff.

After that we silently listened to the radio as Drew drove. It was actually pretty nice and peaceful.

"What's your address?" Drew suddenly asked, turning his head for a second to face me before bringing his eyes back to the road.

"540 Charleston Ave." I answered, thinking about my modest white house with blue shutters and a bright red door.

The thought of mom always complaining about how the shutters didn't match the door brought a smile to my face.

Every summer dad said he was going to paint the door but he never did, probably because he liked that it annoyed mom and it was nice having a red door. No one else on our street had a funky coloured front door.

"Our front door is bright red." I added so Drew would be able to find it better.

"That's very strange." He mused out loud.

"I suppose." I agreed, shrugging my shoulders.

After that it was quiet between us again, only music filling the space between us.

I rested my head back again the seat and closed my eyes, thinking about my neighbourhood, my house, my old room, and my parents.

• • • • • • • • • • • • •

"Cora, wake up." A deep voice said, and then I was gently nudged.

I slowly opened my eyes to find an annoyed looking Drew sitting beside me.

"What's your problem Mr. Cranky pants?" I asked as I rubbed my eyes to wake myself up more. I must've fallen asleep during the drive.

"We've been here for fifteen minutes and you weren't waking up." He explained, and then proceeded to cross his arms and pout like a child.

Something that Cody said on my first day of classes crossed my mind and I smirked, "A bird's gonna poop on your lip if you keep pouting like that."

That wiped the childish look off of Drew's face and replaced it with a look of annoyance.

"Is this the right house?" He asked, changing the subject.

I looked out the windshield and saw that familiar red door, causing a huge smile to form on my face.

I quickly got out of the car without saying anything and practically ran to the door, taking my keys out of my jacket at the same time.

I didn't realize until now just how much I missed home.

This is the place that I feel closest to my parents, and I really needed to feel their presence right now.

I heard Drew's car beep to confirm that it locked, and his footsteps on the front steps as I walked into the house.

I missed this place so much.

The smell of home hit me like a ton of bricks once I was inside, and tears pricked my eyes as I looked around at the familiar surroundings.

Everything was the exact same as when I left, not one thing out of place. I don't know if aunt Maria even came back here after she dropped me off at school.

Luckily my parents left the house to me when they died, and they had enough money to pay for it until I was old enough to pay myself, so the house didn't need to be sold.

"Want a tour?" I asked Drew when I saw him standing beside me, waiting for me to do something.

"Sure." He replied, and gestured for me to lead the way.

I'm glad he agreed to the house tour because I wanted an excuse to see all of the house and someone to talk about it with.

"This is the living room." I said as we entered the room, stating the obvious and internally face palming at how stupid I sounded.

Thankfully Drew didn't point out my stupidity, and just nodded to acknowledge that he heard what I said.

"That's my spot." I said, gesturing to one side of the couch, "And that's dad's spot." I continued, pointing to the other side of the couch.

"And I'm assuming the chair is you mom's." Drew commented, nodding in the direction of the recliner beside the couch.

"Yeah." I said, smiling at the memory of mom kicking dad out of her chair every time he sat there.

"Okay, next we have the kitchen." I said, walking towards the kitchen as I spoke.

There was still my last grade 8 report card on the fridge, and a couple pictures from when I was a toddler.

"Are you hungry or thirsty?" I asked, suddenly realizing I was being a terrible host. We'd been driving for six hours and I don't think we stopped once to use the restroom or get food.

"No thanks." He replied, sounding distracted as he looked around the room.

I guess it's good that he didn't want anything to eat or drink because we probably don't have anything other than tap water. No ones lived here in months.

"This is a nice house, very warm and welcoming." Drew observed, not really directing his words at me, just saying his thoughts out loud.

I nodded in agreement even though he wasn't looking. The house is very lived in, and it shows. It's not some clean, sleek, modern house, it's a family home and I'm proud of it.

"Next I'll show you the basement, it's where my mom's studio is." I told Drew when he was done looking around the kitchen.

We quietly walked downstairs and I braced myself for the wave of sadness I was about to feel. I don't come down here often, it makes me miss mom too much, but I felt the need to show Drew pretty much every part of the house.

Once we were at the bottom of the stairs I flipped the lights on and the large room lit up.

Mom's artwork was covering the walls, and paint splattered the cement floor.

It still smells like fresh paint down here, even though no ones painted in here for years.

I always felt comforted by the smell of paint, I grew up around it and it just smells like home, and mom.

In the far corner of the room was mom's easel, with a half finished painting sitting on it.

That's one of the things that broke my heart the most my parents passed away. Mom never got to finish her painting.

I remember her being so excited about this one, she had planned it out for weeks, and then spent two days sketching it before actually starting to paint it.

She was already so proud of it, and it wasn't even finished it. She said it was going to be her best piece yet.

"Anyway now lets go all the way upstairs and I'll show you the bedrooms and stuff." I quickly said, trying to shoo away the sudden pang of guilt I felt.

It's my fault my mom never got to finish her painting.

Drew silently followed me as I hurried upstairs, quickly pointing out where the bathroom was on the main floor just before we got upstairs.

The upper floor of my house was basically just a hallway with three doors, two bedrooms and a bathroom.

First we entered my parents room, which Maria had taken over when my parents died.

Thankfully when she moved out she took everything of hers with her and put my parents room back to the way it was before they died.

It was a simple room, a double bed in the middle of one wall, and a piano against the opposite wall. Other than that they had a walk in closet and a night table on either side of the bed. They weren't the type of people to have unnecessary furniture for decoration.

"This is my parents room." I explained, just in case Drew didn't already realize it.

He took a quick look around, and once he was done I walked out into the hallway, Drew following close behind.

"That's the other bathroom." I pointed out as we walked past the door in between mine and my parents rooms.

"And this is my room." I continued once we got to my door.

I slowly opened it, scared that I'd have something embarrassing like an old bra laying around.

Thankfully I cleaned up before I left for school.

Once we entered my room a smile made its way onto my face, it felt right being back here. This is my safe place.

A small single bed was in the corner of my room, with the night table I've had for as long as I can remember standing right beside it.

On the night table was a picture of my parents and I, and my speaker alarm clock.

On the wall opposite my bed was my dresser and piano keyboard.

And on the wall adjacent to my bed was my desk, right in front of my window so I could look outside for inspiration when drawing.

"You have a nice room, exactly how I'd imagine it would be." Drew commented, looking at me for the first time since we got into my house.

"Thanks." I muttered, distracted by the warmth I felt in my chest from being home.

I let Drew have another minute to look around my room, then I walked back into the hallway and made my way downstairs, knowing he was going to follow me.

Once we were in the living room things got awkward. I sat down in my spot on the couch and Drew just stood in the middle of the room, not knowing what to do with himself.

I almost laughed out loud at the uncertain look on his face. He resembled a lost child.

"You can sit down you know." I said when I was done being amused by his awkward standing.

He nodded and sat down on the other side of the couch, dads spot.

After a moment of silence Drew turned to me, the uncertain look back on his face.

What is he thinking?

He opened and closed his mouth like he was going to say something, but changed his mind. What in the world is he doing?

Finally after a minute he spoke, "Where are your parents?"

My heart sank. I expected him to ask that, but I was hoping he wouldn't.

What do I say? Do I tell him the truth so I don't have to stress about coming up with a lie? Or do I lie so I can avoid taking about my parents?

Just as I opened my mouth to reply there was a knock at the door, causing us both to jump with a start.

Who in the world could possibly be at the door?

I quickly got up and answered the door to find no one.

What the heck?

I looked around for a moment and there was no one around at all, not even a car in sight other than the ones in people's driveways.

Just as I was about to close the door something on the top step of the porch caught my attention.

It was a simple white envelope with my name typed on the front.

That's strange.

I quickly picked it up and then came back inside, slowly closing the door behind me as I thought of what this letter could possibly be.

"Who was it?" Drew asked, startling me. I didn't even realize he got up and was now standing right in front of me.

"Mail." Was all I said in reply.

We both quietly made our way back to the living room and sat down in the same places as before the knock at the door.

"Are you going to open it?" Drew asked when I just fiddled with the envelope instead of seeing what's inside.

Without answering him I carefully ripped open the envelope and took out the piece of paper inside.

I instantly recognized the writing to be the same as the letter I got before I was told aunt Maria had died.

A chill ran down my spine as I read the words.

This is all your fault.

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