I've officially won Nanowrimo! But do not worry. I will keep posting the love tale of Matty Wilson and Eli Martin, but updates might be less often. You should all check out my new story, Red and Black, a tale of the Russian mafia, and review both I Hear The Bells and Red and Black.
Eli headed to Matty's studio. The two of them needed to talk. Hopefully, he was still in on doing the gig together. If he wasn't, Eli was sort of screwed. She had told Eric were to go for the job and it would be horrible if the boy didn't get the opportunity. Anyway, everyone she had invited was expecting to go to Norman Roberts's studio for the show. It would be nearly impossible to get a new place and tell everyone the place had changed. At heart, Eli was too ashamed to tell people she had broken up with her boyfriend. So far, only the Knightlys, her mum, Andrew, and the strange lady she had met knew about what had happened with Matty. The girl paused for a moment. It was going to be hard, talking to him again, but it was necessary.
Matty moved quickly towards Eli's apartment. He needed to know if she was still in on it, because he was. Well, it was more to apologize about over-reacting to her breaking up with him. It would be wrong to throw her out of the deal, because they already had a place. Anyway, Matty wanted to hear her play, buy one of her CDs, just talk again. He wanted to be able to see Nancy, Bill, and Andrew again, as well as all of her other friends. Hell, he'd even want to meet Eli's psycho parents. Anyway, his own parents wanted to meet the girl he'd spent hours talking about on the phone. They were driving all the way down to see his show. Matty paused to look up at the sky. It was darkened. Hopefully, it would start to snow soon.
"Sorry." Matty managed to knock over a skinny figure. He knelt to help the kid to stand up. The kid blushed and looked up, slightly smiling.
"It's cool." Eli took the hand the man who had nearly knocked her over had offered. She looked at him and smiled. Suddenly, all color drained from her face.
"Oh my God!" The two of them hugged, trying to crush each other's ribs. Matty laughed, swinging Eli around. At last, he set her down on her feet. Her face was flushed.
"We need to talk. There's a good café around here. Let's go." Eli grabbed Matty's hand and practically dragged her to the place where she had gone with her mother.
Eric grinned and hugged Eli when he saw her, and then blushed and showed them to a table. Matty sat down, crooked smile on his lips. Eli sat down and looked at the menu. There was an awkward silence. Around them, people laughed and talked. There was a football game on TV. He turned to look at it for a few seconds, but felt the girl's eyes on his back, so he turned back to his menu. Eli sighed and shut her menu. Eric jumped, but she shook her head. He blushed and turned away to get some water for another table. The silence was getting increasingly worse. A waiter came to put a breadbasket on the table. Both of them took a piece and ate it.
"So." It was Matty who broke the silence. He was really bad in awkward situations. Without meaning to, he began to drum his fingers.
"So." Eli looked up and smiled. It was cute, how fidgety and nervous he got when he was nervous. She smiled and pushed her bangs from her eyes. If she looked at him, she was afraid she'd start laughing.
"What's up with that kid? Please don't tell me you're in love with a twelve-year-old." His face flushed pink slightly in embarrassment. Hopefully Eli didn't notice.
"Eric? He's about sixteen or seventeen. I brought my mum hear, she verbally abused him, and I got him to cater for us. It'll be his first major job."
"Sweet of you, Eli. So, you're still in?" Eli was shocked. Matty wasn't annoyed that she had done some planning without asking and he still was in with it?
"Wait? You want to go through with it?" Matty looked up from his roll, startled. Why did Eli sound so shocked? It made perfect sense to go through.
"What do you want to eat?" Eric popped up, notepad in hand. Matty quickly read over the menu, seeing if there was anything that caught his eye.
Thankfully, Matty was able to steer the conversation from the opening to Andrew. He loved hearing stories about the boy. Eli smiled. It was easier to talk, without having to worry about the opening. Eventually, they'd have to come to a decision, but that could wait until they finished with lunch. Eric brought out their plates. Eli took a bite of fish and chip, while Matty enjoyed his tomato sandwich. It was almost as if they were still together again. Matty smiled and reached forward slowly. At the last moment, he froze and stuck his hand back under the table. He wasn't ready to touch her hand again. Eli saw Matty and sent him a smile, nudging his foot lightly under the table. It was enough to make the man smile a little.
"Been busking lately, Eli?" Matty took a sip of water and a bite of sandwich. A tomato seed rested by his lip for a second, but he wiped it away.
"Yep. I'll be sad when I've got to stop. It's fun. Doing any additional sketches in the park?" Eli tossed a stray piece of hair behind her ears and looked back at him.
"Not really. I've just been working on the stuff for the collection, to make sure it's perfect." He started to fiddle with his napkin, unsure what to do with his hands.
"God, everything is fine. Are you still obsessing over making your paintings perfect? There wasn't anything wrong with them. You are insane."
"I'm not so sure. Why don't you come over to my place? Bring your guitar. We could practice the opening. You know, I could explain the drawings, you could do your song set. What do you say?"
"Sounds good. I'll come over at two, okay?" Matty nodded. The two of them hugged and quickly split up, ready to practice for the big event.
Eli nearly ran to her apartment. She couldn't help it. In an hour, she'd be back doing what she loved, playing the guitar and being with Matty. The girl made a quick cup of tea to soothe her throat and started to get her stuff together. Her guitar case was sitting in the middle of the sitting room, wide open. All she had to do was put the guitar away, find some spare picks, and remember where she last put the tuner. Eli sat down and pulled her guitar on, testing the strings. It would suck if a string broke or the bridge slipped or something. The girl ran her hands over the wood, checking it for cracks or splinters. Everything seemed to be in order. Eli took the guitar off and slid it into the case, making sure not to bump anything.
Matty pulled the sheets off of his paintings to check them over. It was the third time that day he'd checked for cracks, lumps, or splits in the paint. Even though everything was fine, he was still nervous. It was his first show in five years. The last time he did this, he became a sell-out to everything he loved. There was no way that would happen again. Matty lightly touched the paint. His fingers were used to the feeling of cold paint, finding imperfections in his work. Nothing felt wrong with the first painting. The other ones were fine as well. Still, he could help double-checking all his work. It would be just his luck to have something go wrong on the night of and he really didn't need that at the moment.
Eli got her case together and headed down the stairs. It would feel good to start to play with Matty again. She loved playing for him, how he'd close his eyes and smile when she sung and how later he'd tell her what was good and bad. The girl loved getting criticism, unlike most musicians. It was Matty who suggested some volume changes in her most popular song. She sang softly as she walked down the streets towards Matty's place. A few passer-bys stopped to give her strange looks, but Eli didn't care. It felt so good to be walking and singing, enjoying the cold November sun. Somehow, it reminded her of Stephen. He kept on popping up in her mind without meaning to. Whenever she saw a young man or couple, or a car, she would be sharply reminded of what happened five years before. Eli wiped a tear out of the corner of her eye. She had to stop crying as much. It wasn't good for business.
Matty smiled as he caught sight of Eli. Quickly, the man put some coffee onto boil and ran a comb through his hair. He was glad he had moved all the booze out of the main room into a small side closet. The man grabbed an extra chair and put a pillow on it. Hopefully the light was good and Eli liked all the paintings he had done. The girl rang the buzzer. Matty quickly rung her up and smiled, getting to work even faster. The coffee would be ready soon, so he grabbed some mugs for the hot liquid. Eli always loved drinking the hot stuff and Matty loved the look on her face when she drank the stuff. Somebody clumped up the stairs. Only Eli could make so much noise in a pair of Converse. Matty sat back and waited. The thumping grew louder. Suddenly, it stopped. She must be standing right outside. Suddenly, somebody started to pound on the door to his studio. The man jumped up and looked through the peephole. Eli was standing out front. Matty smiled and opened the door for her.
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