jueves, 23 de enero de 2014

Singing your Shades. Chapter 6.

Voy a empezar este post diciendo que es la primera vez que voy participar en una FIESTA DE ENLACES, gran idea de mi amiga Laia (http://bakesweetsnotwar.blogspot.com.es/). Para ello, enlazaré este capítulo al blog "Personalización de blogs". Fiesta de enlaces del Blog Personalización de Blogs 
Una vez dicho esto, aquí teneis un nuevo y emotivo capítulo, lleno de buenas canciones, que podéis encontrar actualizadas en Spotify y YouTube. También he añadido a la lista de "Mis páginas" un tablero de Pinterest. ¡Espero que os guste!
First of all, I have to tell you that this is my first time in a BLOG/LINK PARTY,  a great idea  of a friend of mine, Laia (http://bakesweetsnotwar.blogspot.com.es/). I'm linking this chapter to the blog "Personalización de blogs". http://www.personalizaciondeblogs.blogspot.com.es/2014/01/fiesta-de-enlaces-num-51.HTML
Having said this, here you are a new and moving chapter, full of good songs, that you can find updated in the Spotify playlist and also in the YouTube Chanel. I also have added to "Mis páginas" list a Pinterest Board. I hope you like it!


“It’s fantastic, Ana! You already have a job waiting for you after our graduation, in Seattle!” Kate said with delight, clapping her hands and jumping as a teenager.
“Congratulations, Ana” José hugged her tight raising her from the ground.
“Be careful with my girl, José” Ray chuckled with pride in his eyes. “You’ve played beautifully, Ana, and these are very good news! I’m very proud of you!” He caressed affectionately Ana’s face.
“Oh, I’m so excited! I don’t know what to say! I hope I won’t ruin this opportunity!” Ana said, smiling nervously.
“Oh, don’t you dare thinking like this! Let’s go celebrate!” Kate stated guiding them out of the theatre.
# # # #
When Ana arrived home, she borrowed Kate’s laptop and went to her bedroom. She tapped her thighs nervously with her fingers, cross legged, while it was switched on. She needed to read about him. She was getting used to his e-mails, sometimes a little bit naughty, but always gentle, and always sincere, at least it was what it seemed. She loved the way he teased her, the way he made her laugh and made her feel… something more. Something she didn’t want to name. And it was so much fun to find the right songs to tease him, to show him she cared… to please him. She bitted her lip. This was becoming much more than banter, at least for her. What if they met? He would realize how the real Ana was; shy, with low self esteem, just one more girl. She immediately thought about the grey-eyed boy. She kept waiting for him, but he didn’t come. She had seen something in his eyes she probably misunderstood. Probably this was also the case, with Fifty. She acceded to her e-mail and looked for one of him. There it was. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath.

Dear Midnight Sun,
What are you doing to me?
You’ve turned my world upside down. I used to crave control, it was my top priority, and now it slips through my fingers with only thinking about you. You have entered into my mind in such a way I can’t understand. Why do I feel so connected to you? Why do I have the strength to make changes in my life I never thought I would be brave enough, just because of you? It scares me.
From the very first time I heard your voice I was drawn to you, and transported to a place I was only once, and where I thought I would never return. That was a door I never thought would be opened again.
I used to think I was a loner. It was the right thing to me. I was comfortable and secure. But now I feel something is missing. People keep telling me lately I’m “distracted”, but the truth is I’m totally focused in one single thing. I can´t think in anything else but you. Again, that scares me a lot.
I love the way you try to communicate with me. I love the songs you choose and I love it when you say my name, with that sweet voice of yours. It carries me to a safe place. I would love even more hearing you saying my real name, but I don’t deserve it. It would not be fair for you. Maybe I’m not brave enough.
I will resign myself to listen to you from the distance, enjoying every second of it, and craving for the next time to hear you with a smile playing on my lips and a load in my chest.
Sincerely yours,
Ana was shocked. God, that was really intense. She also felt connected with him, in a way she didn’t understand. She felt butterflies in her stomach. She only felt the same way thinking about the grey-eyed boy. In fact, her latest fantasies were a mixture of both men. A perfect combination. She would like to know his real name. She would like to whisper it in his ear. Ana closed her eyes, and suddenly she smelt the scent of that boy. “I can´t think in anything else but you”. Oh, my. If only he knew. But, why didn’t he tell her his name? And why the hell did not he give her an e-mail direction to reply? It was much more difficult this way. But much more fun. Maybe he had his own self esteem issues. He was afraid of rejection. That was a feeling Ana knew so well. Maybe he only was playing with her. Or maybe he was very ill and he could not be surrounded by other people. Or maybe he was dangerous, some kind of serial killer, or something. That was weird.
That night Ana dreamt about smoldering grey eyes watching her, strong arms holding her tight, gentle hands caressing her body, smiles, kisses, and she whispering soothing words close to the ear of his beloved. The appearance of him was the one of the grey-eyed boy, but she was thinking about Fifty.
She woke up with a decision made. She had to try. She desperately had to do it. Would he want to meet her?
After her scheduled classes, she spent all the afternoon choosing the right songs. She texted José to make him know the list of songs would be ready by the evening.
# # # #
“Are you sure about this?” José said frowning, pointing to the list of songs Ana had chosen. “It’s a weird list…”
“It’s cool”.
“It’s weird”. José repeated.
“Don’t you think these are good songs?” Ana told raising an eyebrow.
“I think so, but that’s not the point. I don’t know what you are thinking… Are you trying to prove something…to someone?” He suspected all this stuff was about that guy who was e-mailing her, or the other one. Who cared? He was really pissed off.
“José, that’s the idea” Ana sighed.
“I don’t think it’s a good idea” He replied narrowing his eyes.
“Do you have any problem?” Ana said tilting her head.
“Yes, I have a problem”. He stated crossing his arms on his chest.
“What’s your problem, then?” She said clenching her hands on her hips.
“Ana, you know really well what my problem is…” José said through gritted teeth, staring at her, with an unfathomable glare.
“José, don't. Let me be”. Ana turned on her heels and went away. She knew she was behaving like a bitch, but she didn’t need José’s harassment in that moment.
“Whatever!” José yelled frustrated.
An hour after, they were prepared to begin the program. José was deadly serious, and Ana felt her heart ached a little. She didn’t want to lose such a valuable friend like José. She looked at him sideways, and he made a signal moving his right hand with the index and middle fingers stretched. That was it. The moment of truth.
“Good night guys! Welcome back to our program. I’m Midnight Sun and we aim to fill your ears and your mouths with good music.”
Christian hurried to arrive to his apartment. The last meeting went well, really well, although those Taiwanese were a really hard case. He had to use all his negotiation skills, and it was awfully interminable. He went directly to his bedroom, throwing to the floor his briefcase, his jacket, shoes and socks and jumping to the bed. He switched on the laptop and put it on his legs. The other day, he had e-mailed her after his outburst with Elena, and, although everything he wrote was true, he didn’t mean to expose himself so much. Now, he was craving for hearing her response.
“Tonight I have a mission. I want to express myself as I’ve never done before. I want you to know me; not my name, not even my face. I want to be honest and show you my strengths and my weaknesses. This way, maybe you could trust me. Sometimes I am in a lack of trust too, but today I want to try. Do you?” Ana had chosen carefully the songs she wanted to play that night. They were songs with a strong meaning for her. She wanted to expose herself to Fifty, show him who she really was, the good and the bad; show him they probably weren’t so different, and make him understand that he could count on her.
Christian felt the drums of the song resounding in his chest, taking up the rhythm of his heartbeat, and suddenly the sound got trapped in it. He grabbed the sheets with both his hands until his knuckles went white. This was her response. She was opening her soul to him in the only way she could. The electric guitars filled his ears and the words entered in his psyche.
“...I try to let go, but I know
We'll never end 'til we're dust
We lied to each other again
But I wish I could trust.
My body aches from mistakes
Betrayed by lust
We lied to each other so much
That in nothing we trust”.
Ana was biting her lip until it hurt. Tears were in the back of her eyes. She didn't regret of doing anything, but it was so difficult for her. What if she scared him even more?
Christian’s breathing became erratic and his mouth went dry. He realized what she was asking him for. He did not even trust himself... How was it possible to trust someone else? He could only trust one person, that blue-eyed girl. He saw it in her eyes; innocence, pureness. Could he trust Midnight Sun? What if she hurt him? That was a big, big step. He covered his face with both his hands and rubbed it furiously. Then, he realized that maybe she was also talking about herself. It was not only a call for trust. She also had her own issues.
“This was Trust, from the 1997 album Cryptic writings. Megadeth is one the most important trash metal bands. It was founded by Dave Mustaine in Los Angeles, California in 1983. I also recommend you their hit A tout le monde, suitable even for those who are not used to this type of music.” Ana took a deep breath; her heartbeat was increasing dangerously.
“Now I want to show you a very particular song, called Your woman. It was released in 1997 by the one-man band White Town. It peaked at number one in the UK Singles Chart. It also topped the charts around Europe and peaked at number 23 in the US Billboard top100.” Ana grabbed the sheet of paper with trembling hands. She focused her eyes on it, although she knew by heart all the information she was giving. “The song parodies another song from the 1930s called My Woman, clearly recognized by its muted trumpet line. The author wanted to twist the misogynist lyrics from the earlier song and add some different perspectives. Some people think it could be a little bit ambiguous. For me, this song puts your mind in a slightly displaced state where you aren't so sure about certain things, where you begin to wonder about the options you choose in life. Think about it; it’s not only about you, but about me. I will need some reassurance too. It will have to be a two-way process”.
Ana closed her eyes while the prudish and old-fashioned first notes of the song filled the room. She wondered what he would be thinking.
“Just tell me what you've come to say to me
I've been waiting for so long to hear the truth
It comes as no surprise at all you see
So cut the crap and tell me that we're through
Now I know your heart, I know your mind
You don't even know you're being unkind
So much for all your highbrow Marxist ways
Just use me up and then you walk away
Boy, you can't play me that way
Well I guess what you say is true
I could never be the right kind of girl for you
I could never be your woman”
Christian drank in her words. She was being brutally sincere. And she was asking him for sincerity; she was demanding it. But also she was showing him a great load of trust and commitment showing him her fears. He closed his eyes and his mind flowed with the almost hypnotic effect of the song. When it finished, almost immediately another song began. Midnight Sun didn’t say a word between them. It was very dark and sensual, and full of angst. The notes enveloped him like a warm thick mist. Christian knew this song. He had listened to it several times. It talked about fear. Fear to be trapped, and then fear not to be able to run away from that trap because you are in need of it. Was she talking about her o about him?
“Never thought you'd make me perspire.
Never thought I'd do you the same.
Never thought I'd fill with desire.
Never thought I'd feel so ashamed.
Me and the dragon can chase all the pain away.
So before I end my day, remember…
My sweet prince, you are the one.
My sweet prince
you are the one”
Ana could not talk anything because of the lump in her throat, and she made a signal with her hand to José to put the next song just after the previous one. She was as pale as a sheet of paper. José was angry with her, and pretended not to notice her demeanor. When this song finished, she had regained a little of her composure.
“This was Placebo’s Sweet prince, from their 1998 album Without you I’m nothing. The song, according to the singer Brian Molko, talks about two romances, one with drugs and one with a person, which they both ended very tragically”. Anastasia sighed heavily, emptying her lungs. “We all have our fears and our demons. I only wanted you to know”.
Christian leaned his back on the headboard. His mind had gone blank. He couldn’t think about anything. He felt numb. This challenge was directly for him, and he was scared.
“I’m an imperfect human being. I have a dark side too. We all have one. I know you are scared. Me too. My hands are trembling now. My heart is pounding crazily”. Ana put both her hands over her heart. “The blood is drained from my face. But I’m here. I wanted you to know I will always be”.
Christian came back from his lethargy; her words piercing in his mind and his soul, the same way those beautiful blue eyes had done six years ago. He would not ever forget those eyes, and neither these words. It was pure and raw sincerity.
“This song doesn’t need any presentation. I’ll stand by you”.
“Oh, why you look so sad?
Tears are in your eyes
Come on and come to me now
Don't be ashamed to cry
Let me see you through
'cause I've seen the dark side too
When the night falls on you
You don't know what to do
Nothing you confess
Could make me love you less
I'll stand by you”
Christian stood up and paced up and down the room. He licked his lips because his mouth had gone dry again. She was a very brave woman. Did he deserve her? He didn’t understand why she felt that way towards him, but it seemed it was the same way he felt towards her. How was that possible? How could he deserve her? She was out of his league, wasn’t she? She was intelligent and talented, and sure she was kind and generous. He was not any of those things; he had a dark soul and could not love or be loved. She seemed like an angel, and he was evil. But then again he felt this feeling that embraced him six years ago: someone caring for him. No more loneliness. Now he could feel it near, caressing him softly. Why not grab it with both hands?
“Wow, The Pretenders never disappoint, don’t they?” Ana sighed again. She felt exhausted. “Well, today I have brought my guitar. I wanted to sing you a song about how tough can be to show the world your true self. I know it for sure; I’m a kind of freak! My friends and family keep telling me to come down to the real world, but I keep fantasizing about silly things… I know they don’t understand me, and I know they probably are right, but I can’t help it. I’ll always keep trying”. Ana took her guitar and positioned herself in front of the microphone. “You know I use to dedicate my last song to a certain person… my sad-eyed boy. Today, I also want to dedicate it to another recently earned friend. In fact, all the songs of today’s program were dedicated to you, Fifty. This is Iris, from the Goo Goo Dolls 1998 album Dizzy up the girl. I hope you like it”. Ana strummed her guitar and began singing with her eyes closed.
And I'd give up forever to touch you
'Cause I know that you feel me somehow
You're the closest to heaven that I'll ever be
And I don't want to go home right now
And all I can taste is this moment
And all I can breathe is your life
'Cause sooner or later it's over
I just don't want to miss you tonight

And I don't want the world to see me
'Cause I don't think that they'd understand
When everything's made to be broken
I just want you to know who I am
Christian relished with the sound of her voice. He felt safe. He felt cared. He couldn’t help imagine the blue-eyed girl singing for him; gazing at him with those beautiful eyes in her beautiful face. But she was almost a dream, and Midnight Sun was real; as real as the feeling in his chest. “I’ll always keep trying”. He let her warm embrace hold him and rock him, and he fell asleep in his bed with a smile in his face.
“I’m Midnight Sun and this has been today’s program. Sweet dreams”.
Ya me diréis que os ha parecido... y qué os parecen las canciones. A mí me está encantando escribir esta historia!
Now, tell me what you think... and what about the songs? I'm really enjoying writing this story!

domingo, 19 de enero de 2014

Singing your Shades Youtube Playlist

YouTube Playlist

Aquí tenéis un canal de YouTube con las canciones de la historia. Las iré actualizando a medida que la historia avance. Espero que os guste!

Here you are a YouTube Playlist with the songs of the story. They will be updated with the new ones. I hope you like it!

sábado, 18 de enero de 2014

Singing your Shades. Chapter 5

Here you have chapter 5... I hope you like it!


“Here you are, next program schedule”. Ana told José, bringing him a manila folder.  “There you have the songs in order of appearance and some background. I’m sure we have them all in our archives”.
José took a look at them and whistled “Wow, Ana, you have done quite a work here. Oh... and are you sure about this?” José said pointing with his index finger to the very last part of the text.
“Yes, of course. We have to keep our audience interested... and it’s also something I have to do” She said smiling. José smiled too at the thought of listening to Ana’s beautiful voice again.
# # # #
The day after, Christian was sitting in his office, in front of his laptop, sipping from a glass of white wine. It was almost 23:00 h. He stood up and looked out of the window to Seattle’s skyline. Then, a radio jingle filled the space of the room. He took off his jacket and sat down, clutching both armrests with his hands.
“Good night guys, welcome to WSU radio, I’m Midnight Sun and we aim to fill your heart and souls with good music”.
Christian closed his eyes and felt that voice enveloping him like a warm breeze. It was the sexiest voice he could ever remember,  sweet and spicy all mixed in an incredible result, that made him melt. How was it possible, to get enchanted only with a voice, as in a siren’s call? He let go the breath he didn’t know he was holding and he relaxed immediately, loosening his tie and reclining in the armchair.
“How were your holidays? Mine were... interesting”. Ana paused for effect. She was thinking about that mysterious guy. Would he be listening to her? “Well, we have to thank you all for your incredible response to our last program. We never expected so many e-mails!”
Christian kept  lying on his armchair with his eyes closed. Would she be refering to his e-mail as “interesting”? And why the hell she didn’t expect people going crazy about her lovely voice? It was captivating for him...
“I want to begin this new year with a classic. You know I love classics. This song was written originally by Screamin' Jay Hawkins in 1956, begining as a song about the lost of love, and then transforming into a more violent thing, where Hawkins claimed his wife’s possession. It became quickly a success, and it has been versioned in many occasions by many different artists. Nina Simone’s is one of the most known. She transformed the tune into a thrilling love song, complete with horns and strings, and it had become one of her most well known songs. Enjoy this I put a spell on you... especially you, Fifty.
Christian opened his eyes abruptly, staring at the screen with his palms flat on the table, to reassure himself of what he had heard right in that moment. Did she just have mentioned him? He smiled widely, showing his perfect teeth and he leaned in the chair again, removing his tie and throwing it on the table, as the sexy notes of the song filled the room, making him feel sexy as well. He sighed. She not only was talking to him, but she was beginning a game, and sure as hell he loved to play!
Anastasia enjoyed the program very much. She loved the effect that music could do to people; from soothe your soul to inflame your spirit. She believed that, with only a song, you could go from hell to heaven; from lost to found. She prepared herself for the very last part of the show, plugging her keyboard to allow it to be heard through the radio sound system while Radiohead moaned in the background about wanting a perfect body and a perfect soul. She turned her head to José a little bit nervous, and he gave her a encouraging smile and the thumbs up.
Christian enjoyed the show. He liked the music she was choosing; it fitted him so well, as if she knew him. He also loved the comments she made about the songs. She seemed such an interesting woman, someone to spend your time with, chatting about whatever. He closed his eyes again, and began thinking about how would she be. Would she be tall or short? Slim or curvy? What would her hair colour be? And her eyes colour? He didn’t mind. He would love feeling her breath in his ear while hearing her singing softly. He felt a shiver through his spine thinking about it. And he was sure she smelt delicious, as her voice, sweet and spicy at the same time; sexy as hell. Suddenly, the scent of that girl, Annie, filled his nostrils, letting out a soft moan. He shook his head to recover his senses. Would he really want to face her? Would he really want her to know him, the real him? He wasn’t so sure about that. He wasn’t so brave.
Ana closed her eyes and took a big breath trying to steady her nerves. All these conversations with her parents these past holidays had made her think about her issues. And she had arrived to a simple conclusion; no matter what, she was drawn to him, to that grey-eyed boy. She was sure it had been an isolated encounter, one of these things that happen once in your life and remain recorded in your mind and soul forever. She didn’t expect much more from it, but she neither felt the need to move forward still. She was comfortable with it. She felt sentimental, but not sad. She had assumed that she could not expect anymore, and that was it. The radiohead song finished and she began talking again.
“Everyone needs a little bit of control, don’t we?” She said refering to the song that had already finished. “But we have to choose what control mean for us. I’ve been thinking lately... You, my lost boy, were like a shadow in a dream, the best dream I could ever have. I’m not upset or sad. Maybe I’m a little bit coward, but I just don’t want it to end. I don’t know why, but you make me feel good, so... why stopping thinking about you?”
Anastasia sighed and gulped. Christian was listening intently, trying to absorb every word as if his life depended on it.
“I’m borrowing, not stealing(*), this marvelous song by Gavin DeGraw. It’s from his 2011 album Sweeter and it’s called Spell it out. Pay attention to the lyrics, as always. It’s the best way I have to communicate with you”. Then she began playing the keyboard and singing the song, pouring her soul into the music.
With my eyes wide open / and with words unspoken / I still understand
And I'm reading your mind / using every outline / you're drawing in my hand
Feel your fingers /  I'm in way too deep
To wake up / Step out / Cause I'm really getting used to being in this dream / You know what I mean I / Can't find / Any reason I would ever wanna turn back now / Once you spelled it out”
Christian felt again the warm embrace of her sweet perfectly intoned voice. He felt a light oppression on his chest. It wasn’t a sharp pain; it was much more like a sweet longing. He looked at his hands, which were resting on his lap, and touched his fingertips. There She was again, piercing his heart with her deep blue eyes, so big and innocent. He imagined it was her who was singing for him.
“When I first met you / there were things I'd been through / that I would never tell
But it was almost as if / you already knew my language / cause you'd been there yourself”
Oh, Midnight Sun, you’ve hit the nail on the head again! He thought. He remembered the way She looked at him that day at the piano shop, like She were capable of seeing through him and knowing all the shit, but not wanting to leave. The song really suited him. He smiled sadly, with the longing he was feeling seized in his chest. She left, but it was for the best, for her best, he thought. At least he could share this longing with Midnight Sun. It seemed that she was in the same situation than him.
Ana poured all her longing at the song. There was so much to say. If only He were listening to her. Would this song make him feel better? Would He still be bearing all that anger and sadness? Would He acknowledge all the meaning of it? She felt his smoldering grey stare heating her core, unleashing her soul, accelerating her heartbeat. She even felt his scent and imagined him trapping her in a tight embrace.
“Come on, we can leave the world behind / Close the curtains, shut out the light / Just state the good / Don't let me go / Don't tell me I should
Wake up
Step out / Cause I'm really getting used to being in this dream / You know what I mean I / can't find / any reason I would ever wanna turn back now / once you spelled it out”
Ana felt drained after finishing the song, and she smiled while a single tear slipped through her cheek. She whispered her farewell.
“Well, it seems I have no control at all”. She chuckled. “I hope you like it. We’ll be back in two days. Be good and feel the music”.
# # # #
Grace was thrilled with Christian’s behavior during the last weeks. She was so happy, that she didn’t hesitate to share her bliss with one of her best friends, Elena.
“He’s calmer and a little bit more loving. He smiles sometimes. Even I saw him laughing at Christmas and New Year’s Eve!” Grace said joining her hands in her chest.
“Oh, dear, it is fantastic” Elena said with a fake smile. “And... do you know the reason of this change in Christian? Has he told you something?” Elena was really pissed off about Christian. He had not phone her in ages, and she knew about the end of the contract with Susannah. She suspected something or someone was interfering, and she wanted to know.
“I have no clue, Elena. You know my son is a very private person. I do not intend to risk upsetting him. For me, watching him happy is enough!”
“Of course, Grace”.
In that moment, Christian entered the room. Grace greeted him warmly, while Elena kept her coolness.
“Here he is. He is visiting us every Sunday for lunch since Christmas holidays” Grace said to Elena with joy. “How are you, sweetheart? It’s good to see you”. Grace approached Christian and kissed him in both cheeks.
“I’m fine mum. Elena”. Christian answered affectionately to his mother, and then nodded cooly towards Elena.
“It’s been a long time since we met, Christian. I miss you”. Elena got closer and kissed him in the cheek.
“You know, Elena, I’m a very busy man”. Christian felt something wrong about her. She was usually cool and arrogant, with that domineering halo that used to turn him on, but that day he could feel something more; some kind of restrained rage only visible for an imperceptible evil spark in her eyes. That look would probably scared him in the past, but in that moment it only pissed him off.
“I know you’re busy, but I need to talk to you about some issues of our shared business. Maybe we can meet this next Tuesday for dinner at the Mile High Club. You can pick me up at 7:00 h in the afternoon”. Elena ordered with a smirk, feeling pleased with herself.
“I’m always interested in my investments, Elena. If you have any problems concerning our business I will be pleased to help you, but not on Tuesday nor Thursday. We will meet on Wednesday. I’ll send someone to pick you up and we will meet at the restaurant”. Elena’s smile diminished into a thin line and her nostrils enlarged, showing her frustration.
“Of course, Christian. Until Wednesday, then”. Elena replied with a fake smile.
Christian waved his hand with a smirk and turned around to face his mother, who was completely oblivious of the give and take between Elena and Christian. He entangled his arm with hers and they went to meet the rest of the family.
# # # #
Ana stretched out her arms with both her hands joined by the fingers in front of her chest while she swirled her neck, and then she shook them loosely and sighed. The atmosphere was warm and filled with the discordant sounds of the different instruments of the orchestra; the high-pitched sound of the flute, the low-pitched humming of the cello, the sweet harmonic notes of the violin and the nostalgic moan of the sax, all of them weaving some kind of background jungle sound.
“Just missing the sound of your piano, Ana. Are you ready?” Mr. Clayton asked her with a warm smile.
“Yes, of course! I was only warming up my muscles and making relaxation exercises”. Ana answered. The last time they had played was almost a month ago, and facing the public was always something challenging for her.
“I’m glad you’re ready Ana... I have something to tell you”. Mr. Clayton said with a spark in his eyes. “Today there will be someone watching us from the stalls. Someone involved in Seattle’s music world, with a lot of contacts and influence. I’ve talked about you with him”.
“Really? Ana widened her blue eyes and touched her bottom lip with her fingertips (that damn habit again).
“Don’t get nervous, Ana. You always do good! Just be yourself”. Mr. Clayton reassured her resting his hands on her shoulders.
“Thank you Mr. Clayton. I’ll do my best”.
The concert was a complete success. Mr. Clayton, as the conductor, was thrilled and filled with pride for his pupils, specially Ana. She was such a complete artist; if only she could overcome her shyness. She kept stubbornly hidden behind the piano, at the back of the stage, always trying to go unnoticed. But when she began playing, she couldn’t help growing higher and higher, and it was impossible not to get lost in her magnificence. You could feel her soul, her love, her hate, her sadness and her happiness poured in the notes she effortlessly played, subduing the audience to her will.
Ana was chatting with her companions at the foot of the stage right after the concert, all of them glad for the good work done, when Mr. Clayton approached her with another man. He was tall and slim, his hair was red and put up in a pony tail and he was casually dressed, with small hoop earrings in both his ears. In fact, his appearance was the one of a bohemian artist. The thing Ana didn’t like at first was his stare; his dark blue eyes that shone with a devilish spark, and the arrogant smirk on his face.
“Ana, this one is my old friend Jack Hyde, the person I told you before. Jack, this is Anastasia Steele, an incredible musician and singer, and one of the people I know who knows more about music. She is also in her last year of English Literature major”. Mr. Clayton knew about Ana’s alter ego as Midnight Sun, and he didn’t want her to miss any opportunity it could bring her. Ana blushed at his words.
“Nice to meet you, Anastasia. It’s been a real pleasure listening to your performance. It was captivating...” Hyde told with a warm voice that differed so much with the chilly look in his eyes.
“Nice to meet you too, Jack. Thank you very much, the pleasure is mine. You can call me Ana”. Ana noticed the discordance between his first and his second demeanor, which was warmer. It felt odd, but she put it in back of her mind, taking importance away from the thought.
“Jack works as an editor in chief of the prestigious music publication “Everybody’s possession”, which has its headquarters in Seattle”. Mr. Clayton said patting Hyde’s shoulder.
“Oh, so you are that H.J., aren’t you?” Ana said noticing Jack’s smile. She knew his work. “I think it’s an incredible publication; so interesting and usefull. I’m a regular reader, mostly of its website” Ana stated.
“Do you, really? Ok, tell me what you like the most”. Jack said crossing his arms in his chest. He wanted to test her.
Everybody’s possession was much more than a music magazine. It was a platform used by many artists (musicians, singers and song writers), promoting useful connections to make collaborations and easing new artists to get to the public and to the music industry. It was also known that the best song writers were behind its articles.
“Well, where do I begin? First of all, I like the diversity of the music involved in the publication, and the honesty of the articles. They are not what people always expect, but much more. I’m sure that artists look forward to be interviewed for the magazine because it means they are considered authentic and genuine. I also like the educational section, I think it’s very useful to music students. Oh, and I like the title, too”.
“Good answer, Ana. But, what about the title?” Mr. Clayton asked amused.
“I like it, “Everybody’s possession”. It is from a John Lennon’s quote, isn’t it?”
Music is everybody’s possession. It’s only publishers who think that people own it”. You’re right, Ana. I’m really impressed”. Hyde’s eyes darkened a little.
“I’m a music freak, I think”. Ana shrugged avoiding Jack’s stare.
“Well, Ana. I think I’m in need of music freaks. I’m sure you know how to write. I have you as a reader; I would like you as a writer too. Musicians are more comfortable with their fellows when they have to talk about certain things... What’s more, working in Everybody’s will provide you a lot of precious contacts. Make an application when you finish college. I will give you a 6 months try”.
Ana was shocked with the proposal. “Oh, thank you very much, Mr. Hyde. I’ll do it, that’s for sure. And you won’t regret it”. Ana offered her hand to Hyde and a chilly feel run through her spine when his hand made contact with hers.
Just after finishing the conversation, Ray, José and Kate appeared at the foot of the stage to congratulate Ana, and she explained to them with all the details her unexpected job offer.
# # # #
Christian was waiting for Elena at their usual table at the Mile High Club, situated in a more private zone. He was seated straight in his chair, with his left arm placed on the table and his right hand on his thigh, resting loosely. His grey stare was pointing to a undetermined spot on the wall in front of him, and his lips were slightly parted, a shy smile dancing on them. He was thinking about her. In fact, he was thinking about them both; Annie and Midnight Sun, put together in a mixture of perfection that made him go crazy.
“Christian? Are you alright?” Elena asked frowning. She was wearing a little black dress that perfectly fitted her, showcasing her curves.
“Oh, Elena. You’re here. I’m sorry, I was distracted” Christian replied, still smiling. That unnerved Elena, but she tried to hide it. Christian stood up and shifted the other chair, for Elena to sit down.
“May we order first and then talk about business?” Christian asked without waiting for an answer.
When they were finishing the main course Elena began her inquisition.
“Christian, you’re so different lately... maybe distracted is the right word”.
“Ummm, this word sounds too familiar to me lately...” Christian chuckled remembering Susannah’s words at the Playroom the last day they meet.
“Is it something wrong? You’re so distant. I think you need another submissive immediately. I will send you a list with some possible candidates tomorrow morning...” Christian stared at Elena raising an eyebrow. “Oh, I know, Christian. I know you finished Susannah’s contract”.
“And what is it up to you?” Christian demeanor changed from relaxed to belligerent.
“Oh, dear. I know you have needs...”
“You don’t know my needs anymore!” Christian growled interrupting Elena.
“No one knows you more than me. And you know it, Christian”.
“Don’t be so sure about that. Mind your own business, Elena. I won’t repeat it twice”. Christian stood up and left Elena shocked and enraged to the bone.
Christian arrived home and went to the shower directly. The hot water relaxed him immediately. After the shower, he put on his pajama bottoms and went to his office. He switched on his laptop and click on the “favourites” button of the internet browser bar. He had saved the URL some days ago. It was almost a routine. The past weeks, he had been e-mailing her regularly. And she had answered him in the only way she could; with her songs, at the radio. Always choosing them in the right way, reaching to his core. He felt as a teenager. It was thrilling, but sometimes he felt silly too. Would he be able to face reality? Would he be able to meet with her? And if they meet, will it be as perfect as he imagined?
He began writing:
Dear Midnight Sun,
What are you doing to me... 

 (*) Reference to a verse of a Gavin DeGraw’s song from the same album (Sweeter, 2011) titled Stealing “I call it stealing, you call it borrow”.

jueves, 16 de enero de 2014

Singing your Shades. Chapter 1.

Christian entered the piano shop with a firm purpose. He had bought the penthouse at Escala some weeks ago, and it was almost furnished, even his Playroom, but he missed playing the piano to soothe his dark soul after his nightmares. His nights were longer than usual and the bad dreams were getting from bad to worse. Although his business plan went smooth as silk and he had proved his father than dropping out from Harvard had been a good decision, Carrick didn't approve it. His mother Grace was supporting him, but she was so sad because of the situation between father and son that it was killing Christian. He felt it was simply another fucking disappointment for his parents, and that he doesn't deserve their love.
Buying a piano was a job that Christian fully intended to make himself. He wanted to play it first, feeling his fingers slide smoothly along the keys and their vibration spreading through his chest. Then, he would make a decision.
"Good afternoon, sir. My name is Mr. Harris. May I help you?" An elegant old man, presumably the shop owner, said politely, watching Christian sideways from head to toe.
Christian then realized he was wearing a plain grey t-shirt with old jeans. He even had not shaved or combed his hair. But he didn't give a fuck.
"Good afternoon to you. I'm Christian Grey. I would like to buy a Steinway piano."
"May I ask you, Mr. Grey, are you an amateur or a professional player?"
"I'm not a professional, but I play piano since I was four years old."
"This is probably quite a long time." Mr. Harris chuckled.
"Yes, it is." Christian said sharply.
"Ok, Mr. Grey. In which of our instruments are you interested?" The salesman asked, guiding Christian through the shop.
"In fact, I would like your advice."
Christian knew very well what he was looking for. He was an experienced piano player, and he knew all the characteristics and specifications of the models he was interested in, and, of course, he knew that these art pieces needed specific temperature and humidity conditions, that his new apartment already met, but he wanted to test the salesman.
"Ok… I suppose you're an experienced player" Mr. Harris said, as Christian nodded with both his hands inside his pockets and a smirk on his face "so, the next question is… Where do you plan to place your piano? Is it a music room or a studio? Is it a small or a wide space?"
Christian was pleased with Mr. Harris reply, so he decided to answer all his questions and play nice.
"I'm planning to place my piano in my apartment, in a wide space, about 600 square feet, with the adequate temperature and humidity to keep its best conditions."
"Good answer, sir" Mr Harris said smiling kindly "Follow me, please."
Christian followed the man into a wider room, where incredible master pieces were exposed; majestic pianos, lush cellos and slim harps. It was quite a view. Mr. Harris put on a pair of cotton gloves and exposed the keyboard of a Music Room Grand Steinway piano to Christian. He sat on the stool, made some adjustments, and caressed the keys, warming his fingers. Then he began playing Chopin's Prelude in E minor Opus 28 n.4. Christian noticed the sweet notes filling the room, enveloping him in a soft embrace that dazed his senses. When he finished, he kept his eyes closed.
"Mr. Grey, that was awesome." Mr. Harris said with awe in his voice.
Mr. Harris remark made Christian back to reality. To his harsh reality.
"I need some time to think" he barked while frowning.
"Of course, Mr. Grey. Take all the time you need." Mr. Harris said as he left him alone.
Christian kept himself sat on the piano stool. Why did he have to be so mean? For sure Mr. Harris was a good man. Why was it so hard to be normal? With a big sigh, he put his hands on the keyboard again. His eyes remained closed. Taking all the rage and sadness that fought to exit ripping his chest, his fingers began moving along the keys, playing the Scarvo moment of Ravel's Gaspard de la Nuit. They moved faster, fiercely, until he missed a note. Christian stopped abruptly and he hit the keys with both his hands opened, producing a deafening sound. Then, he heard a gasp coming from his right side, and turned his gaze at that direction.
"What the fuck…" Christian began yelling, but stopped in his tracks when he saw a brown-haired young girl with the bluest eyes he had never seen staring at him, covering her mouth with her hand.
"I'm sorry… I am so sorry, sir. I didn't mean to disturb you." she said ashamed.
Christian stopped breathing. These eyes seemed to see through him, reaching his soul. His dark soul. He felt so exposed. She hurried herself towards the door, but Christian asked her to stop.
"Stop. Come here." He said with a hoarse voice.
She slowly turned on her heels, and stayed still, looking down and fidgeting with her fingers.
"What were you doing here?" Christian asked slowly, as if talking to a child.
"I'm used to spend all the afternoons here." She said in a small voice, keeping her gaze to the floor.
"Please, look at me." Christian pleaded.
She looked into his eyes again, and he felt an overwhelming whirl of sensations pounding in his chest.
"I didn't mean to keep watch on you. I was doing my thing, and you began playing the piano. And I couldn't help it. It was so overwhelming, beautiful… and so sad at the same time."
She kept her gaze directly into Christian's, and he got up and approached her. She was beautiful. Her pale skin glowed spotless, her inviting full rosy lips were slightly parted, and her eyes shone like stars in the sky, calling him. And her words were warm and comforting.
"I just missed a note and failed…" He said harshly, keeping his self-loathing.
"You were playing beautifully. You missed a note, but that doesn't mean that you have failed at all. You just have to keep trying."
They kept staring at each other's eyes for a while, in silence. Their breathings, deep and harsh, were the only thing that could be heard.
"How old are you?" Christian whispered keeping his stare.
"Fifteen." She said whispering too, like it was a secret.
Christian felt a jolt in his chest. She was so young.
"What were you doing here?" He continued, as he composed himself. The girl began talking, but Christian interrupted her. "Please, don't tell me you were doing your thing again. That is not a real answer, and I won't like it." Christian's words brought a smile to her lips, a beautiful and sincere smile, and Christian couldn't help but smiling too.
"You got me." She conceded as she blushed. "I was studying a new score."
"Do you study music?" Christian asked pleased.
"I do love music. But I also have my other subjects at school."
"Do you play the piano?"
"I play piano and guitar." She said nodding while biting her bottom lip. Christian's eyes darkened, and he silently begged her to stop with a painful look. She immediately quit, widening her blue eyes.
"What score were you working on?"
"Debussy's Claire de Lune. It's charming and full of hope." Christian felt again her blue gaze intently through his mind and soul, reaching his core and warming his frozen heart. "Charming and full of hope. Like you" he thought.
Then Mr. Harris entered the room. "Annie, dear. Your mum just has called. She has arrived home right now." He said warmly, and left.
"I have to go." She said to Christian. He panicked at the thought that she was leaving, and, without thinking it twice, he grabbed her by the forearm and reached his other hand to brush his fingertips against her bottom lip, feeling its softness and her intake of breath.
She bitted her lip again and run out of the room with confusion written in her eyes.
Christian stayed in the same spot for several minutes. She was so beautiful, so charming, with those big blue pools in her face, and these full lips so soft and welcoming. He couldn't avoid touching their silky surface just to imagine crashing his mouth to hers, savouring her. But then again, she was only fifteen years old. She was just so young, and he was not like Elena.
When he returned to his senses, he went to the counter where Mr. Harris was busying himself with some stuff.
"I'm buying the Music Room Grand. Someone will pick it up later." He said, feeling numb.
Anna hurried out of the room and, after collecting her backpack, ran out of the shop. She kept running until she reached the first corner. Leaning against the wall, she touched her mouth and closed her eyes. She had a tingling feeling on her bottom lip. She could still notice his fingertips brushing slightly against it, sending shivers through her entire body. What had just happened? She was focused on her new score, hidden at her usual spot, when the sweet notes of the Music Room Grand filled the room, reaching her core. But she could feel something more; a deep sadness that made her shed a tear. Then, she got out of the broom closet and saw the most beautiful sight she had ever seen. There he was, the most gorgeous man in the planet. His chin up, drawing his square jaw. His lips slightly parted. His eyes closed, with his mind probably immersed somewhere else. The muscles of his arms moving while he caressed the keys with such elegant hands. Then, when he began the other melody, she could feel also his anger, but his music was full of beauty and sadness. She was a little bit scared, and then, he looked at her. She could stare at those beautiful grey eyes forever. She just wished she could read his mind. What would have happened to that gorgeous man to have such a broken heart? He seemed young, except for his sad eyes, but the fact was that she was just a silly girl, and he was a real man. An incredible, gorgeous, beautiful and full of sadness man.

Singing your Shades. Chapter 2.

Christian sat on the stool in front of his piano. He slid his fingers loosely on the keyboard. First, orphan sounds escaped through his fingers, and then the sweet notes of Claire de Lune began filling the space, and Christian imagined her by his side, watching him. Smiling at him. What was all about this girl? She seemed so innocent, so pure. "Charming and full of hope". Christian smiled at the thought.
He took a shower before going to bed. It had been a strange day. The feeling of the hot water cascading over his skin was soothing and calming. But later, the only thing he could see when he closed his eyes to sleep was hers. Those big crystalline pools piercing his soul. In fact, her stare was calming too, in an odd way, as if someone out there was caring for him. Did she care about him actually? He thought.
Christian woke up in the middle of the night covered in sweat, breathing heavy and deep. It had not been another one of his nightmares; he had been dreaming about her. He even could smell her sweet scent… The feel of her soft skin rubbing against his. His arms around her tiny body, pressing her tightly against him. Her soft moans in his ear. Her full lips kissing his scars, one by one. The thought sent a shiver through his spine, but it didn't scare him. That was weird, because no one could touch him there, even less kiss him. But imagine her doing it was comforting. He even didn't imagine her in his Playroom. She only deserved love and affection, not caning or whipping. Then, reality hit him with a slap in the face; she was only a child, and he was not capable of love, nor did he deserve to be loved. He rushed to the toilet to throw up all that was in his stomach. Then, he walked to his living room to bury himself in his music, between the mist of his sadness.

Two weeks had passed, with Christian focused in his job. But all the mergers and acquisitions could not erase her image of his mind. He even could feel the softness of her lips in his fingertips. So, one afternoon, he decided to come back to the piano shop.
The melodious sound of the tiny bell of the opening door startled Mr. Harris, who smiled at the sight of Christian wearing a business suit.
"Mr. Grey? It's good to see you again!"
"Good afternoon, Mr. Harris" Christian said with a serious face. In that precise moment, he was confronting the urge of turning on his heels and leave.
"Is there any problem with the piano, Mr. Grey?" Mr. Harris said, bothered with Christian's worried face.
"No, not at all" Christian said wavering a hand. "The piano is a perfect piece of art, and I'm enjoying so much playing it".
"So, what's the problem, then?"
"I… I was wondering… I only want to…" Christian couldn't find the words he had been repeating one time and another in his mind, and he passed both his hands through his face and hair. Then, his face changed with a determined look and his usual business-mode mask. "You know, Mr. Harris, this little girl, Annie, the one who was in the shop the other day?" Mr. Harris nodded frowning. "She told me she was taking piano lessons, and I thought I could pay for them. Playing piano helped me a lot as a child, and the other day it seemed to me she maybe was short of money…" "Well done, Grey." He thought.
"Oh… you're right, Mr. Grey". The furrow between Mr. Harris' eyebrows disappeared. "This girl has some trouble at home, not only financial" Mr. Harris said pointing with one finger. "That's the reason I let her stay here in the afternoons. But you don't have to worry for her piano lessons. I teach her for free. In fact, it's a pleasure to have such a nice girl hanging around. She reminds me of my granddaughters, who are now grown-up".
Christian could only focus on the information of Annie having trouble at home. "What do you mean? What kind of problems does she have, Mr. Harris?" He said with tension in his voice.
"Well… I don't know the details, Mr. Grey. I only know she was having some kind of trouble with her mother's new husband, so she used to stay here until her mother arrived home. I think Annie didn't like to be left alone with him."
Christian felt his rage rising up to his throat, making him scream, but he fought the urge, and clenched his fists both sides of his body, tightening his jaw. The thought of someone hurting her was abhorrent.
"I asked her mother once, but she didn't elaborate… so I thought the best I could do was letting her stay here. At first, she only walked through the corridors, looking at the instruments, and playing her guitar now and again. I still remember her enchanting voice while singing. Then, I decided to provide her the best I have, and we began her piano lessons. She's a good pupil, very focused and talented. At least, she could forget all her stuff while being here" Mr. Harris shrugged.
"I appreciate your effort, Mr. Harris. You are a good man. I had a difficult childhood and music helped me a lot too" Christian said sincerely.
"May I ask you a question, Mr. Grey?" Christian nodded and then Mr. Harris continued. "I don't want to be indiscreet, and even less sound patronizing… but your childhood may not be as far, isn't it? I mean… How old are you, son?"
"I'm 21. I could seem still young, but I'm a grown up man, and I can tell you that my childhood was left behind long ago" Christian said in a harsh tone.
Mr. Harris looked at Christian with worried eyes. "I didn't mean…" Christian heaved a sigh pulling his hair with his right hand. "Anyway, I want to help her".
"Well, I think she will be better now. We don't have to worry about her anymore"
"What do you mean, Mr. Harris?"
"She has moved with her stepfather, out of Seattle. He is a good man, I've known him a long time ago, and I know he adores her. He has been fighting to be with her stepdaughter for a long time, and the current situation made her mother change her mind and let her leave at last".
Christian noticed that everything was spinning around him and his legs were weak. His vision blurred and he had to hold himself firmly with both hands at the counter.
"Mr. Grey, are you ok?" Mr. Harris noticed the pained look on Christian's face. He looked him in the eye, and led him to a chair. Christian sat without noticing it, feeling numb, deaf by with the sound of the flow of his own blood through his veins.
"She left" Christian said whispering, staring at his hands on his lap. Mr. Harris exhaled heavily, relieved that Christian was speaking. "Mr. Grey, Christian… Are you ok?" Christian shut his eyes off and covered his face with his hands. Then, he brushed his mouth with his fingertips, keeping his eyes closed, mimicking the way he had touched her lips the day before. "She left, but she will be ok, won't she?" Christian pleaded Mr. Harris, looking at him straight in the eye.
"I think so, Mr. Grey". Mr. Harris said fondly. He took another chair and sat in front of Christian. Here was a lost man; a lost boy indeed. Then, he carefully chose the words to say the next: "Mr. Grey, I don't know what's going on. I suppose you two meet the other day and…and you two got connected. Maybe you share some things in common, like the music, or your difficulties in life". Christian gulped. "I know she is a charming bright young girl, but you also are a brilliant young man. Brilliant enough to know how to treat her properly." Christian straightened in his chair and felt embarrassed. "Don't worry, I know you care for her, it's easy to see in your eyes".
"Thank you Mr. Harris". Mr. Harris nodded, understanding everything that Christian couldn't express with words.
Christian got up from the chair and he was about to leave when Mr. Harris began talking again. "Mr. Grey, Annie left a week ago. She came every afternoon to the shop until then, as always, but she behaved in a different way". Christian turned on his heels. "The last day she came she asked me to tell you something, if you came back here one day…" Christian was holding his breath. "She told me to tell you to believe in yourself, and keep trying. I think she cared for you as well".
"Thank you again, Mr. Harris". Christian got out of the shop. Standing in the middle of the sidewalk, he closed his eyes and took a deep breath. He began walking down the street, and a sad smile crossed his face as a single tear streamed down his cheek.
Ana arrived home after her mother's call to Mr. Harris' shop, as always. Almost a week had passed since her encounter with the boy with grey eyes. She hoped he returned somehow to the shop. She knew she didn't deserve this gorgeous man attention, but she couldn't stop thinking about him. About his beautiful eyes, full of passion and sadness. She could get lost in these eyes… About his sculptured lips. They seemed so soft… How would it be the feel of his soft lips and his raspy stubble in her face? She blushed at the thought. She had only kissed once, and it had been quite good, but she thought it probably was nothing to compare with. His hair seemed so soft too. She would like to entwine her fingers through it. She even remembered his scent, of soap and something more. Sweet and masculine, all mixed. And how would it be to be in his embrace?
"Ana, honey. You have your head in the clouds lately" Carla said, wavering her hands in the air.
"Sorry, mum" Ana said while blushing. "Sure her mum couldn't know what was she thinking, did she?" She thought.
"Anyway… I've got something really important to tell you!" Carla approached to her daughter and she took both Ana's hands in hers. "Ana, darling, I've decided to give Ray your custody. I know you are not comfortable here… and I want you to be happy".
"Mum" Ana jumped to her mother's arms, with tears of joy in her eyes. "I love you mum. You know that, right?"
"I know darling, I know"
"But, will you be ok, mum?" Ana said with concern in her eyes.
"I will be ok, honey. We have to sort some things out, that's all". Carla said with a reassuring smile. "Ray is waiting for your call. Go upstairs and talk with him".
Ana kissed her mum on the cheek and hurried the stairs up. Then, she stopped on her tracks. This was the moment she was waiting for so long, but now it was a wrong time. Will she ever see him again? A pain got installed in her chest, like a heavy load pressuring it. She went to her bedroom and called Ray.
The day before leaving, Ana waited patiently in the piano shop. Every time the bell rang, she lost her cool. She waited until Mr. Harris closed the shop. But he didn't come. After hugging Mr. Harris and thanking him for all his help, she asked him a last favor.
"Please, tell him that he is worth it. He has to believe in himself and not to give up".