“You remember?”  He asked.

“Well no,” I replied.  “Evie said we were very young when we first met.”

He smiled awkwardly, looking emotionally conflicted.  “Yes, of course.”  Then, he quickly changed the subject.  “Your father thought you would be safe here.” he mumbled with a pained smile.  “And what is it that you would be doing if you were at home?”

“I don’t know…playing my cello, reading, running.”

That was basically the extent of my abilities.  Despite everything that happened over the last week, I was surprised and relieved by the ease of our conversation.

“You didn’t bring your cello.”

“No, I’m on a forced break.”

“And you don’t want to be?”  His expression was appraising with each answer-his hands motionless as he waited for my reply.  Alex seemed surprisingly interested in my entirely uninteresting life.  And, when he was satisfied with my answer, his hands would continue twisting his rope.

“I ask too many questions, I’m sorry.”

I didn’t mind the questions so much.  This beautiful creature was talking to me and I fully planned on taking advantage of it.

“Do you play?  The piano upstairs, is it yours?”  I asked, gesturing with my shaker bottle.

There was a flicker of a frown.  “Yes and no.  Yes, I play occasionally and no, it is not mine.  It belonged to someone very dear to me.”

“Oh, I’m sorry,”  I said, wishing I never asked.  Though the piano looked in pristine condition, only the much older editions had such intricate details to them, and decided that it must have belonged to a grandparent.

My eyes met his for just a moment, just long enough to catch the hopelessness that pained him before something else stole both of our attention.

 

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