The next day, after classes, Phyllis and I were walking to the parking lot when we were stopped suddenly by Rachel, my keyboarding instructor. She ran up to me, smiling.
“Taylor…I want you to meet someone.” Rachel smiled.
“Oh…I have to go to work Taylor…I don’t think that…” Phyllis began to say.
“Phyl, don’t worry about it. Go on to work and I’ll get a ride.” I smiled and put my hand on her arm.
“Are you sure…I mean…I don’t want to leave you…” She said in a concerned voice.
“It’s all right…” I said. Without thinking, I turned to her and kissed her on the cheek. She got a funny look on her face then shrugged it off and waved good bye.
“Uh…who is it you want me to meet?” I asked Rachel.
“Just come with me.” She smiled.
I followed her to her car and stood there a little puzzled.
“My house is only about five minutes away. I’ll drive you home afterwards.”
We got to her house which happened to be a pretty big estate. I got out of the car and gazed at it in awe.
“Follow me.” She said and walked ahead of me to the front door. I looked at her for a brief second then followed. She unlocked the door and opened it to reveal a huge living room. I almost choked when I saw Ike sitting on the couch with a notebook and pen in hand. He looked up and our eyes locked.
“This is my boyfriend.” Rachel said. Ike smiled and got up from his seat, putting down his writing supplies. He walked to me with his hand outstretched. I had the undying urge to embrace him but I held back.
“Nice to meet you…uh…” He stopped, trying to think.
“Taylor.” I said. I was shocked he didn’t know it.
“Taylor. I had a brother by that name.” He smiled but it soon turned into a look of sadness. I wanted to yell at him that it was me and I was alive but for some reason I couldn’t.
“So…Rachel says you are really good with your lyrics and such.” He said, quickly changing the subject.
“Uh…I…” I stammered.
“I used to do a lot of that but I stopped for awhile.” He said, putting his hands in his pockets.
“Well…I’m going to do some laundry. I’ll leave you two.” Rachel said and left the room. This feeling that took over was one of quiet awkwardness. Ike sat down and offered me a seat next to him. I couldn’t understand why he didn’t recognize me.
“So…uh…” I began to stammer again.
“Ike.” He answered.
“Ike.” I repeated.
“Well…this might seem a little forward…but would you like to jam with me? I have a few instruments upstairs in my room.” He smiled.
“Sure.” I smiled back enthusiastically.
We went to his room and I found the “few” instruments he had happened to be a lot more. I smiled as I saw a piano sitting in the corner, just waiting to be played. I glanced over at him as he picked up a guitar. I walked over to the piano and placed my hands on the keys. As if through an unspoken agreement we both began playing as if we had never been apart. I couldn’t help but smile the whole time. The awkwardness had vanished totally.
A couple weeks later after numerous jam sessions with Ike, I found that everything seemed back to semi-normal. On a Monday morning, Phyllis and I got p and went to class. I ended up working on my songs during both my keyboarding and vocal classes.
I walked down the hallway and went into the art room. Phyllis looked up at me and smiled as she set up her easel.
“Hey.” She grinned.
“Hey.” I answered. Anne walked in and greeted the class. We were still working on our anatomy studies, which made Phyllis blush every time someone was modeling. That day, it seemed we had a new student who was going to model for us. I took my seat next to Phyllis and smiled.
“Okay everyone, this is Damien, he’s going to model for us today.” Anne announced. I looked up to see a guy around the same age as myself. He had jet black hair cut so the bangs in the front were to his chin and the back was short cropped so it tapered. He also had light skin and green eyes, the same exact color as Phyllis’. When Phyllis looked up, she gasped to herself. He dropped his towel with confidence and sat down, posing for the class. To me he seemed extremely arrogant but frankly, I think Phyllis thought he was attractive. I began gritting my teeth as I started to draw him.
“You don’t think he’s nice looking do you?” I whispered to her.
“Huh? What?” She said, scrunching her brow at me.
“You heard me.” I said a little angrily.
“Uh…I…uh…” She began to stammer.
“I thought so.” I huffed.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Phyllis said angrily.
“Never mind.” I said and looked away from her.
“You’re jealous! I can’t believe it!” She laughed out loud.
“Shut up!” I yelled angrily. She closed her mouth but began giggling.
“Shut up…” I said, gritting my teeth again.
When we finished, I quickly grabbed my stuff and put it away. I wanted to leave immediately. I wasn’t jealous! I wasn’t!
I walked over to Anne’s desk and put my sketchbook on it for her to grade. When I turned around, I saw Damien wrap the towel around himself and walk over to Phyllis. I could feel myself start to tense up.
“Uh…Phyllis is it?” I heard him say as he put his hand on her shoulder.
“Uh…yes.” She said, turning around.
“Hey…uh…I wanted to tell you I really like your work. It’s really good.” He smiled. I could see Phyllis start to smile in that way that she only used to for me. I could feel the heat rise in my face from anger.
“Thank you. I appreciate that.” She smiled.
“Uh…I was sort of wondering if maybe you would like to have dinner with me or something tonight.” He said. I couldn’t believe it. I took a deep breath and attempted to calm myself down.
“Oh…I…uh…I don’t know. I was supposed to have dinner with my room mate tonight.” She stammered. At least she remembered that I existed.
“Tell her that you made other plans.” He grinned.
I just couldn’t take it any longer. I stomped over and put my arm around Phyllis aggressively.
“Yeah…Damien. I’m her room mate.” I said and grinned. I looked down at Phyllis expecting her to be happy I rescued her but I was surprised when I saw she was gritting her teeth with her lips pursed together.
“Taylor! Tonight, I’m going to dinner with Damien! Why don’t you call Amanda and Holly.” She said, steaming. I quickly took my arm away in surprise. She stared at me with a look of pure anger.
“I…I…” I stuttered.
“Damien…what time?” She asked, turning her attention away from me.
“Uh…how’s seven. I’ll pick you up.” He smiled and glanced at me.
“Okay.” She grabbed a piece of paper and a pen out of her bag and wrote down our address and handed it to him.
“See you then.” He smiled and headed to the dressing room. As soon as he was out of sight, Phyllis grabbed me by the arm violently.
“OW…OW!” I yelled.
“WHAT THE FUCK IS YOUR PROBLEM!” She said, gritting her teeth.
“SHUT UP!” She yelled.
We got back to the apartment without saying a word to each other in the car. As soon as we got in, Phyllis slammed the door so hard, one of her pictures fell off the wall and the glass shattered. I looked at her in surprise.
“SIT DOWN!” She commanded. I did as she said and sat down on the couch.
“I can’t believe you! What the hell is your problem!” She yelled.
“I’m trying to protect you…”
“I didn’t ASK YOU TO!” She yelled.
“I don’t want to hear it Taylor! You’re so jealous that you can’t stand the fact he asked me out! I haven’t gone out in a long time and damn it, I’m going to take advantage of it!” She huffed.
“I just think he’s bad news…” I began to stammer. I got up and looked at her in the face.
“GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY FACE!” She yelled and ran into the bedroom. I just didn’t know what to do. I just stood there in total shock. I sat back down and stared at the wall ahead of me.
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