A Musical Interlude 8
Karmic patterns and past-life soulmates reunite in the present
I asked which version of the song this was.
“The movie edition,” she answered.
Those were always higher. “That one’s harder for me — the pronunciation is less like mine.” I smiled a little. “The cover, she’s from the same place as I am. I can always tell when someone’s from here, because it doesn’t sound like the original.”
She sat in silence. “Sorry,” I said preemptively.
“Where are you from?”
“Roundabout same place as she is.” I circled my fingers. “Farther north.”
“I knew you were.” She looked at me, emotion unreadable, but certain, confident, yet quietly reluctant. Hesitant to claim more knowledge.
It wasn’t my usually attuned senses that were accurate this time. “Yeah, ’cause I told you.”
“No,” she insisted, “I knew from talking on the phone. I know Hollywood, and your accent is different.”
We sang together this time, with a feeling of freedom.
Then, the tablet with the music score died. As did the computer.
Every perfect façade has its cracks.
“I used to have a music stand,” she insisted, as if trying to convince herself. “Now it’s — somewhere else. You only wanted a forty-five minute lesson, right?”
“No, one hour.”
She looked stymied, but didn’t waver, ever the professional.
I understood why the dress was gray — the neutral tones of non-engagement.
“Wait,” she commanded, going into a bedroom that seemed to be hers. After some inaudible discussion with the other inhabitant, she emerged with an identical MacBook. “We’ll use this.”
The offending tablet was plugged into a ground outlet above the carpet. After several beats. “I’ll see if I can remember the melody.” But a few halting notes later, she couldn’t. “I knew this was going to happen,” she exclaimed, as if this were an excuse. “I had everything prepared.”
I was silent, but my mind whirred.
Suddenly the door she had gone into earlier burst open, and a skinny dark-haired young woman wearing a university hoodie emerged. She didn’t make eye contact. “Is that good for you, Ains?” she asked sharply, seeming to hang over me.
“It’ll be fine,” the music teacher replied, sensing the undercurrent. “It’s at eight percent.”
I wondered how that would be sufficient; I was also resentful of the interruption.
The roommate went to remove some other plug from a cooperating outlet and the moment of awkwardness passed.
We were no longer a ménage à trois standing in the doorway.
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Chapter 1 of this story is here.