Holidays are odd. You wake up and realise that you didn’t really have to. You don’t have school or a job to go to.
People usually have plans with friends, I didn’t.
The house seemed quiet. I walked around as I brushed my teeth. My family was out. The silence was eerie. Back in my room, I put on some music.
My playlist played a progressive rock track. As the sound of a guitar filled the room, I sank in my chair. I closed my eyes, enjoying every beat of the accompanying drum. The soft male vocals and hauntingly accurate lyrics always gave me goosebumps. The more I listened, the more I realised how much I could relate to the song. A song about the deteriorating music industry; I giggled.
“One of the wonders of the world is going down,” I sang, “it’s going down, I know.” I’m not a good singer but no one’s home. “It’s one of the blunders of the world that no one cares, no one cares enough.”
When the guitar solo began, I checked my phone. My friend posted a photo; apparently our group had dinner last night and I wasn’t invited. But it didn’t matter to me, we had been drifting apart for a year now.
My finger slid up and the messages scrolled down; most of them were left unanswered but I found the one I was looking for. The message wasn’t even opened. My excitement grew as the two ticks turned blue; she began to type.
I would’ve thought she was typing for hours if there wasn’t music in the background. “Hi. I’m sorry for the late reply, I’ve been really busy. I’m going out with some friends for college so I can’t meet you this week. I’m really sorry, maybe next week.” I sent her a quick text reassuring her that it was okay.
It had been a few weeks since I last met Melissa. She kept making plans with other friends. That’s what my other friends did too, till we stopped talking altogether. But she’s my closest friend and I didn’t want to lose her. My sadness drowned in the already sad music.
From the corner of my eye, I detected a movement. I turned towards it, towards the open door. I couldn’t see anyone but I knew she was there. If you stare at the spot for a while, she comes out of hiding; so I did just that.
Finally, a lock of brown hair slowly peeked out. It was followed by an eye, staring at me. She realised I was aware of her presence and entered the room, letting go of her previous shyness. She sat on my bed, leaning her back to the wall.
The first time I saw her was at school, about a year ago. She wasn’t in my class but I started seeing her a lot. Since I was getting tired of my friends, and vice versa, I walked in the school during breaks and she started following me. But she never talked, to anyone. I tried talking to her many times, she just kept looking at me.
A few months later, she started coming to my house. My parents didn’t seem to mind; or they were so busy with their work that they just didn’t care. She sat in my room for hours, but never spoke a word.
Talking to someone would have distracted me from Melissa’s silent treatment but I knew this girl wouldn’t speak. I took one last look at my unanswered, but read, text before putting my phone away.
“Nice song, I like Joan Jett too.”
Her voice was soft and calming. I believed she had a horrible voice and hence, never spoke. But I was wrong. Her voice was perfect.
“You know this song?” I asked, surprised at how casually she started speaking.
“Yeah, I like this more than the previous song.” I had never met anyone who listened to Porcupine Tree and Joan Jett. She was fascinating.
“Are you a fan of progressive rock?”
“I’m a fan of rock in general. Well, to be honest, I like most genres. But, I just can’t stand pop music.” she said, cringing at the idea of pop.
“Have you heard anything by Karnivool?”
“Themata is one of my favourites.”
“Themata is one of my favourites too!” I exclaimed. It was so rare to meet someone with a similar taste in music. I started feeling guilty. When I first saw her, I thought she was just pretty and dumb. I was so wrong.
“What kind of movies do you watch?” she asked. I saw the excitement in her eyes. She really wanted to know. She really cared.
“Comedy, but I don’t find most of the popular comedy films to be funny. My friends loved Central Intelligence but, it was just typical and boring.”
It was an unpopular opinion. Risky. My friends resented me for bad mouthing the movie. But I had a feeling she would agree.
” I know right? I think movies like Grand Budapest Hotel are really funny, even though they’re sad.”
“It’s comedy in tragedy. I like Grand Budapest Hotel too. I love the director. So far, every movie of his that I’ve watched has been great.”
“Yeah. Wes Anderson is awesome.”
She had the same taste in film and music. Her voice was angelic, and so were her looks. She was perfect. I just couldn’t stop myself.
“I know that it’s out of the blue, and I don’t even know your name yet. But, would you like to go out some time? Like a date.” I asked her. My hopes weren’t that high but I just had to try.
“I would love to! But don’t you want to know why I followed you for almost a year?” she asked.
“I was curious at first but it’s obvious that you’re just in my head. But, at this point, I don’t even care if I go insane.”
2A, BA LLB