jueves, 16 de enero de 2014

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".

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