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Let’s Chat Over Coffee- Chapter 8 (a)


Chapter Eight

                 “I can’t do this…” Said Bradley throwing the sheet music to the floor. “Why didn’t I study business or psychology?!”. Picking up his iPhone, he looked at the picture he took with Colin that day they went on their “brodate” to the coffeeshop. “I wonder what he’s doing right now… Maybe he’s reading Les Miserables in French for the thousand time…” He said, laughing at the picture tenderly. Bradley walked to his bed, sat on a corner and looked at the window. “Why am I doing this? It feels like a chore, not something I want to do. I wonder if Colin ever felt this way? Is that why he didn’t study music, ‘cause he didn’t love what he played? I wonder what he played? Was he good? Why did Father made me do this… Music was fun… Music…” Said Bradley as he fell asleep.

 

                 “Do you like music?” Said the stoic man. “Yes. I want to play the piano.” Said cheerfully the short, blonde child. “Well, since the piano teacher is a quarter mile away, I bought you a guitar and you’ll start your classes with Mr. Williams next week. That is all.” Said the man while he left the room. “But I don’t want the guitar, I want to play piano!” Cried Bradley. “Is either the guitar o no music classes.” Said the man from the living room while Bradley cried in his room.

“Hey, Bradley. I’m sorry for your loss mate. She was a great woman. She was like my mum.” Said Eoin to Bradley. “Thanks. I’ve got to go I have a test tomorrow and if I don’t practice Father will kill me.”  Said Bradley coldly. “Mate, your mum died three days ago! Give yourself some time off.” Shouted Eoin. “Well, I took yesterday off, so I’m behind schedule after this. La Catedral is hard and I don’t have my digitation 100% down.” “Mate… the funeral was yesterday.” “Exactly. YESTERDAY. What’s done is done. I can’t change it. Just got to move on with my life. It’s what she wanted and she loved it when I played the guitar. That’s what I have to do, I have nothing else.” Said Bradley holding his guitar as tightly as possible, his knuckles pale white fighting the sting in his eyes. “Bradley…” “Bye, Eoin. See you tomorrow.”

 

                 “You have to be the best, you will audition to Oxford.” Father said calmly. “Do you actually think I’m prepared to even audition to Oxford?” Spat Bradley while drinking his coffee. “Obviously you are. I’ve spent a fortune in looking only the best guitar teacher in all of England, and you will get into Oxford ‘cause you want to study music, don’t you?” He said neutrally. “It’s the only thing I have, it’s the only thing you’ve given-” “And that’s why you will get in.” 

Let’s Chat Over Coffee Chapter Seven


Chapter Seven

                 On a cold December night, Colin clutched his pillow, shut his eyes hard so that he could fall asleep and forget. Rustling in his bed, the only thing that

“I’m sorry… I’m sorry it was my fault… I’m sorry”

…It was so easy… It just came to me. The Piano… Music… Happiness…

                 Colin walks on the street, with Mozart’s “Rondo alla turca” clutched in his left arm and his right hand firmly grasping his mother’s. He was going to have another fun day with “uncle” Gaius. They arrived to Gaius home, Colin saw the familiar red oak door and he knew it was music time. It sends shivers down his spine, Colin closed his eyes as he let the music rush in. Hunith knocked on the door as the diminute music on the other side stopped abruptly. “Colin! Welcome! How is my favorite pupil today? Said Gauis and Colin looked at him in wonder. I’m ok. How are you? That was “Beethoven’s Pathétique Sonata, right?” Said Colin all his bubbly happiness. Gaius laughed “You are a smart one, aren’t you?” Now in the living room, Hunith prepared Colin’s sheet music on the piano “You already know that Gaius. You know that Colin is… different. You would think that he would be playing basketball outside with Will but he’s always thinking about music and reading.” “Ok Honey, let’s get started. We have to go to go Will’s birthday party.” Hunith sat down on the expensive leather black sofa. “Ok Colin, let’s review your scales and arpeggios. In Adagio, play F#m.” Said Gaius  while preparing the metronome.

 

                 “I don’t like this. I wanna play the song! I like it it’s like a story. Do you think Mozart was thinking of a bird flying over a meadow and, and he sang to the other birds and the flowers and then flew high to the sky and danced and then went on playing with-“ Said Colin as he started to play his scales perfectly. “My, my… for a ten year old you have an amazing imagination. You can play your song after you play C major, B major, C minor and A major in arpeggios in triplets.” Said Gaius. “I like triplets, they’re quirky. They want to stand out, just like me.” Said Colin as he played B major. Gaius was always amazed with Colin and his piano playing. Colin’s playing was so innocent, pure. “Ok, very good. Now you can play your song.”  Colin needed no further instruction, he started playing as his swayed his lanky legs barely touching the pearly white tiles.”

 

                 “Gaius… I want study music. But I have to do an awesome audition if I want to get in Oxford.” Said Colin. “Well, you do have the potential. So I think you’re ready for this one then…” Said Gaius as he gave Colin 5 pieces. “Debussy, Bach and Rzewski… I don’t know that last one but I like the title. And, seriously? Claire de Lune?” Said Colin incredulous. “Ah… it may be “cliché” but very few can play a good Claire de Lune.” Said Gaius as he started to play. The chords and the subtle intensity made Colin’s gasp. He felt in another realm, all the knots in his back from playing in a bad posture were gone; he closed his eyes and dreamed. He felt he was in Paris, under the Eiffel Tower with his mum, after he got accepted to Oxford… he felt at ease and most importantly, at peace. “Now… that is how that clichéd piece should sound like.” Said Gaius laughing. “Now let’s get started. As always you start thinking about College and you’re still… how old are you?” “I’m 16… why?” Said Colin… “Did you forget my age… again?”  “My boy… you need to eat more. You’re too skinny and besides you look as if you were 13 years old. Now, now… go and sight read the Bach”. “Yeah… yeah ok. I’ll start with the Bach,k?” Said Colin as he opened the score. “Bach’s Piano Concerto #2 in D minor… I think I’m going to like this one.” Smiled Colin to Gaius as he started to play.

 

                 “We’re late! Come on Gaius, pick up!!” Said Colin pacing on the porch. “I’m just around the corner… I fell asleep. Sorry, my boy!” Said Gaius, quickly as he ended the call. “Typical” Said Colin. “Mum! I’m going to the audition? Right? Said Colin as he headed to the kitchen. “Yes. I’ll be there, don’t worry. Right after I finish babysitting Asa. I know you’ll be amazing. I love you.” Said Hunith as he kissed his Colin on his forehead and gave him a biscuit.  “I love you too! Bye mum.” Said Colin as he raced towards the door.

                 Emerys, Colin. It’s your turn. “Good Afternoon. I’m Colin Emerys.” Said Colin toward the judges and he sat on the piano. “What are you going to play?” Said one of the Judges. “It’s a surprise… I think you’re going to love it as much as I do.” Said Colin smiling at the judges.  Colin breathed and started to play Claire de Lune. Halfway in the song, he felt something was off… His piano sounded weird…. He looked at the chairs behind the judges. Hunith wasn’t there. He tripped over a few notes, but continued playing. His heart started to race, his hands were sweaty, he lost all concentration. “Maybe she’s stuck in traffic”… Just as Colin finished that though. The theater door slammed open. “Sir… Sir you can’t go in there. There’s an audition…” Screamed a judge. Colin jumped, he stopped playing as he saw Gaius almost falling down… He looked at Colin and Colin felt he was going to pass out. “Colin…” A judge got up and said “ Gaius! You know you can’t be here. Your pupil is in the middle of his audition.” “I know… Could you give me a few minutes? It’s an emergency” “Sure…” Said the elderly judge with a comprehensive eyes. “Mr. Emerys. You can start again as soon as we’re finished with the next one.”  “Gaius… what happened? What happened to mum?” Said Colin agitated. “Gaius! What happened?” Gaius just looked at Colin and said… “I’m sorry… a truck… it started to rain and…I’m sorry” Colin just stood there as his world came crashing down. 

Let’s Chat Over Coffee- Chapter 6


Chapter Six

                 So was this you trying to impress me? By tripping on the carpet. By the way that cinnamon dolce latte is really good. It might be a new favorite. It might be. Said Colin smirking. Oh shut it. I did not trip. As I told you the Earth rotated against my will. Didn’t you come here to help me? Instead you are judging my amazing Earth rotating abilities? I am disappointed at you. Judging someone over they’re abilities. Said Bradley holding his literature book. Ok ok, I’ll stop judging you. Now what is it that you don’t understand? Said Colin smirking. Ok… Here-  Bradley hands Colin a yellow folder labeled “To-Do List”- The ones I can’t figure out are the ones marked in yellow. – Do you even understand the material? There has to be like 30 terms! Colin said surprised. And that’s why I need your help. Said Bradley with one of his award-winning smiles. Ok. So let’s starts with the Iambic Pentameter…

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                 Bad night, Arth? Said Eoin, rummaging in the fridge. “Why are you in my flat? I was informed that you were moving out last week.” Said Bradley throwing himself to the couch. “I knew you wouldn’t live without me.” Said Eoin as he bit an apple. “That means you couldn’t find a flat that was cheap enough, close to the bar and college. And the fact that you can’t cook makes it harder for you to live ‘cause you cant live with just Beer and Healthy Choice’s Café Steamers.” Bradley got up from the couch and heads to the kitchen and slaps Eoin in the head. “So that means you have to pay rent on time, buy groceries and pay half in everything. If you can’t do that I will kick you out.”I am pleased to inform you that you are going to buy dinner ‘cause as you can see my former flat mate ate everything and now I don’t have anything to eat.” Said Bradley hitting Eoin again but with an orange. “Fine! I’ll order some pizza. At least you have some of that wimpy beer”- Hey! Smirnoff is not a “wimpy beer” and what are you talking about? You drank half of them last week!  Said Bradley insulted. Exactly, I didn’t get wasted. Hence why its wimpy and you should buy straight up vodka. What’s the number of the pizza place?  Said Eoin after munching another piece of apple and fumbles with his krazor.

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For what it’s worth

I miss you…

Why do you linger?

Why do you stay?

Can’t you see this can’t happen?

Not this way?

 

Colin tries to shake his thoughts as he sits down. Closing his eyes he exhales and places his hands on the keys. He opens his eyes; his hands linger over a C7th  he shifts his hands as he meticulously starts playing. Exhaling and inhaling with the beats, he closes his eyes. An amalgam of arpeggios, chords bounce off the walls and fly off the tiny cubicle. Students stop and stare at Colin’s piano playing, asking each other “who is the virtuoso pianist?”

                 When he finished playing, he could feel himself sweaty and hyperventilating. Oblivious to the crowd outside, he closes the piano, picks up his bag and heads to the door. Colin halts as he stares at the people staring back at him. He starts to slowly move towards the door as he looks at the students fleeing the scene and only one figure is left. Colin opens the door and recognizes Eoin. “So why aren’t you studying music. You studied with Gaius didn’t you?” “ Um, yeah I-” Colin started to ramble. “I don’t know why you stopped playing, but you should continue, I’m looking forward to more of you impromptu concertos” Eoin smiles as he flips his black wavy hair to the side as he smiles cockily. “Could you at least tell me what it was?” “The people united will never be defeated, the Variations 27-29th by Federic Rzewski” Said Colin in shock. Eoin walked away as he said “I’ll see you when I see you, mysterious pianist”.

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Here’s a video of the piece Colin played:

Let’s Chat over Coffee- Chapter 5

Let’s Chat Over Coffee Chapter 4


Two weeks pass as Colin looks at the picture of the cup that’s carefully placed in his night stand, as some priced possession sighing as he, failing tries to think of something else. Should I call him? Even though it’s been two weeks? I saw an episode by the Millionaire Matchmaker that the first 48 hours are the crucial and that I shouldn’t give it away…Wait… what the hell am I thinking. I didn’t go on a date with Bradley… ergh! Snap out of it Emerys. It’s been two weeks, he forgot about me. Just stop behaving like a twelve year old! As Colin tried to not think about Bradley and focus on his essay due tomorrow, because obviously he spent the time he ~should have dedicated to his paper he dedicates (as usual) in reading fan fiction of Doctor Who, watch America’s Next Top Model (‘cause Tyra Banks is fierce as hell and would beat Naomi Campbell in a model off), Project Runway, Misfits (‘cause Simon and Alisha could have it all!) and The Devil wears Prada (‘cause Meryl Streep is flaw-free and Anne Hathaway looked beautiful in those Dolce and Gabbana dresses ). Staring at the paper for the fifth time and hating his “European” professor he looked at his laptop and his thesis statement.  This is so stupid. Why do I have to do this essay in the first place and why did tell him I would do an analysis of Les Sœurs Rondoli instead of Une Vie?  Just as he wanted to throw his laptop to the ground and flip his desk in frustration. Just as he wanted to scream, his blackberry started to ring.

 

Maintenant je maudis le jour où j’t’ai rencontré,

J’aurais pas dû te regarder
Si t’es plus là tous ces souvenirs

Qu’est c’que j’en fais, je veux juste t’oublier 

Tout ce qu’il me reste
C’est juste une photo de toi,

Juste une photo de toi,

Juste une photo de toi

 

Colin looked at his cellphone incredulously, he didn’t know the number but he had a feeling that he had to pick it up. Picking his phone tentatively he answered. Allô? “Um hi. Is this Colin’s phone? It’s Bradley” Said Bradley confused and dreading he called Colin. Damn it maybe Rachel gave me the wrong number just to mess with me!  Thought Bradley. “Um. Hi, sorry… yeah it’s me I was just doing a French paper and once I start I continue to think in French and it takes a while to change back… um… Wassap?”  Trying to sound as calm and collected while he tripped over his bag as he was standing up, thinking that would give him more confidence.


            “Ok, ok. Sorry I’m calling, I asked Rachel to give me your number I kinda wanted to talk to you. My English lit professor just gave me the list for my final test and I’m sort of freaking out, ‘cause I don’t understand the material. I was wondering if you had some free time and help me out. If you can I can pay you.” Said the musician.  Trying to recollect himself and trying not to hyperventilate, Colin replied “Um sure, but finals aren’t like in a month. Have you at least read your selections?”Yeah I’m in the middle of three and I finished two and I’m kind of struggling with these… I asked Rachel, but she was busy and she told me to ask you…” Bradley’s voice trailed. “Oh my God, that Rachel. I’m going to kill her next time I see that bitch! Thought Colin as he casually responded, “Well, sure I could help you out. I can’t right now ‘cause I’m in the middle of writing a paper I have for tomorrow. I’m free tomorrow, if it’s urgent.”  “Yes, that would be amazing. I have rehearsals up until like 6-ish, so maybe if you like we can meet wherever you like.” Said Bradley a bit too exited for his sake, doing a little jump and his guitar fell making startling Bradley. “What was that?” asked Colin. “Just my guitar, I didn’t secure it well apparently” Lied Bradley “So where should we meet?” Asked Bradley. “Well first of all I need to know the list, to know even if I can actually help you. Tomorrow at 6:30 at Perk’s?” Asked Colin. “Sure.” Said Bradley. “Let’s chat over coffee, my treat.”

Let’s Chat Over Coffee


A new project I’m working on. A Short Story with an aspiring guitar player, amateur conductor and a Literature Major with a troublesome past in piano playing. Any names that may refer to any celebrities are purely coincidental.

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Chapter One

The tinkering, chattering, and random yelling engulfed the coffee house as the perky blonde cashier gave an unknowing smile to the lanky, pale, and misanthropic Lit major. Tired of waiting for his large cup of black coffee from the coffee house similar as that famous green lady from Seattle, he walks over a free table and opens his MacBook, plugs in his headphones and just before he can hit play, a screeching cry from the blonde cashier calling his name, summoning him for his coffee. He glares at her, picks up the coffee, ponders on the chair, and blasts “The New Year” by Death Cab for Cutie as he opens To Kill a Mockingbird to read it for the thousandth time.

Finally pleased that the lunch hour madness was behind him and he could read his precious book in peace, as he hears the doors open and he watches Bradley Pendragon enters the shop, and Colin dreads the next hours of his life, since Bradley goes to the shop almost every day as Colin. Colin rolls his eyes meanwhile Bradley yells at his mate Eoin, tackling each other as they walked toward the cashier who miserably failed at taking their order. As they wait for their coffee, Bradley and Eoin scope the room for new “future wives.” Bradley plays along as Eoin’s wingman while Colin watches in silence, judging them as Eoin tries to woo three college girls’ two tables ahead. For an instant Colin’s eyes meet with Bradley’s, and Bradley swears he knows him from somewhere.

After getting their coffee, Eoin and Bradley sit at a table and try to study for their lit midterm. As the hours run by, the coffeehouse dwindles except for the college students, and the blonde cashier stops trying to get Bradley’s attention. Bradley and Eoin express their hatred to toward Dr. Ellis, “the old Gaelic fart that could win an award for making literature even more boring than it already is.” Colin listens to their lament while sipping his third coffee and taking a bite of his peanut butter-filled bagel; he smirks, knowing that they wouldn’t last a day as Lit majors. He thinks of Bradley’s and how he can be a social butterfly but when it comes to literature, he won’t survive even if he had to define and analyze what an iambic pentameter at the sake of his life. He finishes his bagel and thinks that even though he doesn’t seem like the brightest crayon in the box, Eoin looks pretty hot. At the same time, he sort of loathes him for his amazing, swooshy hair. For what seemed like an eternity (but was actually closer to 30 seconds) he stares at man in front of him and his big blue eyes. For some reason his heart feels like it’s going to burst, his hands get sweaty and suddenly he needs to reach for his inhaler from he’s, for all the air in the world vanished and he can’t breathe. Trying to change his mind he starts to read his 30-page review, which he downloaded and printed, directly from Spark Notes and thinks why the hell Ellis gives this class. If only Prof. Torres gave all his lit classes…. If only…

Wandering aimlessly around campus, Colin arrives at the College of Music. In disbelief on how and why the hell he got there, he enters the building in search of a room with A.C. After walking down endless halls and nearly dying from an asthma attack after scaling the never-ending stairs, he reaches the practice room hallway. The rooms remind him of his middle school years, when his mum enrolled him in piano lessons for 6 years. Even though he was good at it, it wasn’t his passion and he was too much of a perfectionist to enjoy spending 5 hours every day in front of a piano. He preferred spending that time in front of his MacBook, watching his favorite shows while eating Jiff’s peanut butter and procrastinating.  Of course looking back, Colin figures that nothing has changed; he is the same procrastinating perfectionist from middle and high school, only that he doesn’t play the piano anymore.  He turned left at the end of the hallway and he saw a familiar skinny, slightly muscular blonde man. When he checked the cubicle, he noticed it was Bradley tuning a guitar. Colin’s bag crashed on the ground and observed in disbelief as Bradley place Albeniz’s “Asturias” on the stand.  Colin thought there was no way Bradley was that good until Bradley started to play.Bradley’s fingers moved on the guitar, and Colin stared in awe. After the first quarter of the piece, he heard Bradley curse; he had started playing without warming up. While he played the C major scale at 4 octaves, Bradley suddenly stopped and caught Colin staring at him opened-mouthed and Bradley glared at Colin; he hated when people watched him practice since in his perfectionist mind everything he played is not up par. Colin got the memo and picked up his bag, mouthed “sorry,” and almost ran away from the room and the building as if it had the deadliest disease known to man. Running away Colin’s mind races, his hands get sweaty again, as he tries to run from the music building with an incredulous face, thinking that Bradley can’t be a musician.  He can’t! He can’t play… and especially not guitar! Why a guitar for God’s sake! Why couldn’t it be piano? At least if it were a piano, Colin knew he would be better than Bradley. Why? Why couldn’t he be an engineering major? A nurse? Doctor? Why am I thinking of him anyways? Why is he so important for some reason? As Colin mind races, Bradley walked to the door, opens it, and finds Colin’s copy of “To Kill a Mockingbird” on the ground. He opened the book and saw Colin’s number. He gazed at the empty hallway thinking, who the hell is this guy?

Asturias Video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oEfFbuT3I6A

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After Hell Week students finally get out of the library and dorms, and kill their already dead brain cells with alcohol. Colin goes to the local pub, orders a pint and some chips, and goes to the most secluded corner where he dropped his bag and takes out his limited-edition copy of “Les Misérables.” The book is in French, obviously, because in Colin’s mind a book should always be read in its language of origin. Translations suck and they can’t truly convey what the author wants.  As he turns the pages, pondering whether he should reread the book entirely or just read his favorite chapters, he watches his favorite Linguistic/Psychology major Rachel Trying to make her way through the crowd that was leaving the pub. However, at only 5’3’’ she failed miserably at trying to intimidate people to let her walk inside. Even though she didn’t have a model figure, she was astonishingly beautiful and had the brains to match it, her height being her only “flaw”. Colin didn’t understand why she was always single. She was a total catch! Colin thought as the girl approached Colin, he placed the book carefully on the table at a safe distance from his beer.

“OI, Cols! What’s up? Did you fail all those papers you had to write? Buy me a drink or I’ll tell everybody about Halloween and that you looked like Gaga, but instead you wanted to dress up like Merlin!
“HEY SMITH… calm your tits! I’ll get you a drink soon; first tell me about your midterms. And when are ~you~ going to buy ~me~ some drinks? You are a cash cow. Your dad is freaking rich! Just buy me booze every now and then, hell it could be in Thirsty Thursday!  Besides, you know that you drink like a sailor and I can get drunk easily. You won’t break the bank if you buy me a couple of Heineken, you know?” said Colin, lips curled as he drank the last of his beer and almost dropped the bottle in an attempt to be cool.

“Oh shut it! One of these days I’m gonna take you out and make you drink shots!” she replied with a smirk and

“Yeah, yeah, yeah, you keep telling me that, but have I heard the date for this activity? ‘Cause you know that I haven’t.”

“Anyway,” said Rachel, “how’s your new guy friend? Or should I say guy-who-you-stare-at-every-time-he-walks-into-Starbucks?”

“Oi, shut it, you hag!” warned Colin as he smiled, “it’s not MY fault I’m in the shop everyday he goes there. I’m a lit major I need a place to crash when I’m reading, you know how Lance is; I can’t read anything in the dorm!

“Yeah, yeah, whatever you say,” said Rachel. “And besides, isn’t that your type?  Prat musicians with whom you can fight but also debate whether Gaga is the new God? And if I know that you wouldn’t (sorta) fancied him, if I didn’t took that chem class with him last-

“I loathe you, Rachel Smith. I. Loathe. You.”

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