A/N Hey! Here's another superlate update from me. ;) But, to sort of make it up to you: it's a really long one this time! I hope you like it. Don't forget to listen to the songs mentioned in this chapter for extra effect. Enjoy and please-please-please let me know what you think!Week 5: Saturday (part 2)
The rest of the conversation with my parents was strained. Anytime my dad would be at a family, he just seemed out of place. My mum mostly asked me about boys, and got mad about everything my dad tried to say. It all loosened up a little when we started talking about music, a topic we could all relate to. I told them about my band, and about what great friends they'd become.
By the time Rich brought us our food, I was actually laughing about a joke my mum told about aunt Linda's record player. However, my mum was clearly eager to make things awkward again.
She kicked my leg under the table and gave me a look that I recognized very well. She then shifted her attention to Rich. "When are you off from work? She asked, far from casually.
Rich hesitated and looked at me. "At three m'am. I'm off before the dinner shift." He explained.
"Amy is free after three too."
"Oh." Was his simple, and clearly frightened, response.
My mum obviously wasn't happy with this answer. "It's funny cause she just told me she really wanted to try out that diner near the church."
"I didn't." I interrupted, but it went unnoticed by my mother. That didn't stop me from continually trying to shush my mum.
"We wanted to take her, but we have to go home earlier. Maybe you'd like to go with her instead?"
The colour of his face showed that Rich was slightly embarrassed by my mum's proposal, but the corners of him mouth curled up, showing that he was also a little entertained by my discomfort.
"I'm sorry mrs. Richards, I 'd love to, but I already made plans with my girlfriend," he stopped for a second and looked at me before he added, "Erica." The pun was as obvious as the sneaky grin on his face. I made a mental note to thank Rich for his flawless attempt to solve this situation my mum had forced us in.
"Enjoy your lunch." He said, before walking off without any more of my mum's questions.
"Such a shame."My mum mumbled. My mum wasn't even 50 yet, but sometimes it really felt like she was desperate for grandchildren already.
"Amy, he seemed like a good guy. You got to put yourself out there."
I just sighted, I knew better then to try to argue with her about this.
We spend the rest of the time eating in silence. When I finished my plate I excused myself to go to the bathroom. When I came back I saw Rich in the hall from the kitchen the door.
"Rich."He turned to me. "I'm really sorry about my mum. She's a bit of a character. Thank you for saving my ass in there and not saying anything about.." I didn't have to finish, he knew what I meant and nodded.
"No problem. I'm guessing Eric wouldn't have been happy with me if I told your parents. But I will have to yell at him later about not telling me the real story. That's not cool." He smiled when he said that, so I was pretty sure he wasn't that mad at his friend.
"One question though, why did you bring your parents here in the first place? Is this some weird way for you to introduce them to Eric in a non-official way?"
"No! They took me here. Apparently my aunt really liked it here. I don't really think Eric would want to see me here at all, let alone with my parents." I admitted.
Rich looked questioning, "what happened?"
I shrugged my shoulders. "I kinda screwed things up, I guess." I wasn't sure how else to explain it.
"Well, this'll be awkward then." Rich smiled, while we walked back into the dining area, where I now heard music coming from the piano.
"Why?" I asked. Rich looked at me to answer when a couple that wanted to order demanded his attention.
"He's here." He quickly said before walking off, leaving my baffled.
As I stood there frozen to the ground, the person behind the piano started singing. It was a voice I would recognize anywhere. Where I assumed normally the music in this restaurant consisted of cliché love songs, now he was singing his own adaption of Miley Cyrus' Wrecking Ball, and it wasn't difficult to figure out why.
My heart was shattering. I felt bound to the ground, afraid that Eric would see me if I'd move. I didn't know how to get back to my table without being spotting, but 2 waitresses had already bumped into me and my dad spotted me, so I had to walk back. I consciously tried to not make any sound, but of course that failed. My mum seemed mesmerized by Eric and his music. I didn't blame her. I too couldn't help but look. It was weird knowing he was singing about me, and how I had hurt him. His voice always pierced through my heart and everything he sang had meaning. Normally this gave me butterflies, now it left me heartbroken. After the longest ten metres of my life, I felt relieved to slip back into my seat without being noticed. But that relieve made me just careless enough to move my chair with too much force and knock the butter knife off the table. It wasn't even the butter knife that made a lot of noise, as more my reaction to it. Out of reflex Eric turned towards the noise and he saw me.
For a second he stopped playing and we just stared at each other. Then, he picked up the song seamlessly, but he didn't stop looking at me. The song was so long, it felt like he was ripping my heart out of my chest.
When the song finally finished, Eric jumped up from the chair and walked away as he quickly as he could. Unfortunately it wasn't fast enough. My mum too had jumped up and stopped him on his way to the hall. I was pretty sure I wasn't even breathing anymore. I had no idea what they were saying. All I could see was Eric forcing a polite smile and my mum using wild arm movements, including several pointing movements towards me. Every fiber of my body was hoping she wasn't trying to set us up.
Both of them started walking towards me, and I started hoping for either an hurricane or an earthquake to stop this from happening. My mum pulled me up from my seat. Eric was fiddling with the microphone as he turned towards me. He avoided my gaze, but he did shake my hand. "Hello, I'm Eric. Your mum says you're a singer." He spitted out.
"Learning to be." I stammered.
"Would you like to play a song for us, A..?" He didn't finish my name, I guess my mum hadn't told him, so he didn't officially know. His face clearly showed it wasn't his idea to have me sing. My mum was a forceful woman. Even though I felt like running away, I nodded. At least I had a song to sing, and this way Eric would have to listen.
"What's your name?" He asked.
"Amy Richards." I answered, as casually as I possibly could.
Eric bended over the microphone. "Ladies and gentlemen, I would like your attention for a guest performer, Amy Richards." My mum kissed my cheek and pretty much beamed as she walked back to our table. Eric turned towards me.
"It's all yours." He said quietly as he gestured towards the piano.
"Thank you." I kept trying to look at him, but he kept looking anywhere but at me. I sat down at the piano, but Eric kept standing there, tapping the piano. I wanted to adjust the microphone, but Eric had put it on the exact right height.
"Why are you here?" He finally whispered, with his back towards my parents, and his eyes still focused on the piano.
"My parents took me here, I didn't know." I whispered back, looking at the keys.
"You can't come here, Amy." He finally looked at me, even though it was only for a split second before backing off from the piano. My mum gestured for him to sit in my seat. He smiled politely and accepted reluctantly.
"This is Christina Aguilera's Blank Page, I hope you enjoy." I said mechanically.
There was a soft encouraging clapping in the room when my fingers formed to first notes. I started playing, the only way I really knew how: straight from the heart.
I caught a glance at Eric at the first sentence, but then continued singing in the distance, because I couldn't sing it when I saw that look of anger in his eyes.
"In my own way, regret choices I made. How do I say I'm sorry? How do I say I'm sorry?"I felt the song burning through my fingers, into the piano and out into the air. I didn't even have to think about it, I had sang it in my head so many times before.
"If I could undo that I hurt you, I would do anything for us to make it through." For a moment I forget Eric was listening, and it felt like I was finally singing what I wanted to scream out for the past three days. It was insane how much I had fallen in love with him in a little more than a month. For some reason Eric had always been so much more than just a guy I liked. When I was with him, I felt both crushed and unbreakable at the same time. Only carefully manufactured combinations of notes could ever come close to expressing how I felt about him.
"Let our hearts start, and beat as one together. Let our hearts start, and beat as one forever."
Right after I sang the last note, I fell back into reality. I had to resist the urge to look at Eric. I noticed I was crying and quickly dried my cheek with my sleeve. The restaurant was completely quiet. People were all staring at me. I was wondering if I had done something wrong when slowly and softly the clapping started. People started whispering to each other and smiling at me. I guessed they liked it. I felt a little awkward, realizing I had shared my raw emotions with a restaurant full of strangers, my parents, my ex-boyfriend's best friend and my ex-boyfriend.
I stood up, and so did Eric, as he was sitting in my seat.
"Thank you Amy." He said as he shook my hand again. He looked down, so I had no way to tell what he thought of the song. He wished everyone a good meal, and walked away. I saw him talking to Rich before they both walked off into the hall, out of sight.
I sat back down and my mum reached over to kiss my forehead.
"That was beautiful, Amy!"
I thanked her politely and went back to my ice-tea. My parents were talking happily and all I had to do was occasionally nod or say "yes". I couldn't stop thinking about Eric. I really wanted to know what he thought of the song. If only I could just talk to him, or at least listen in to the conversation he was having with Rich. I thought that maybe I could subtly ask Rich when he would come to give us our check, but instead another waitress came to our table. I guessed Rich really was talking with Eric somewhere.
After my dad paid, we left the restaurant, but not before I received some very sweet compliments from the tables we passed. No matter how personal the song was, it was always nice to hear when people like your singing.
My parents dropped me off at home and then they went back to their house. Back at home I poured myself a good glass of wine and took out my guitar and started singing. Maybe crying and sleeping wasn't the best therapy. After at least fifteen different songs, of which almost half by Taylor Swift, I fell asleep, without crying.
A/N For Wrecking Ball I was inspired by Eli Lieb's cover, look it up on Youtube, it's good.:) (And imagine it played with a piano!)