Authors: Kaitlyn Hoyt
Colton rolls his eyes and pushes me back toward the piano. “Play something.” I really do want to play it. However, I don’t really want to embarrass myself if I mess up. It has been a long time since I’ve touched a piano, let alone tried to play anything.
“I don’t know what to play,” I say hoping to waste some time. They’re going to make me play no matter what, but if I can prolong it for a little bit…
“Oh quit stalling, Ryanne. I want to hear you play,” Emma whines. I place my hands on the cool keys and take a deep breath, preparing myself. I’ll play a simple song first.
Facing everyone, I ask, “Can you not look at me? It’s making me nervous. Turn around or something.” Collectively, I hear frustrated sighs, but everyone listens and turns around. I take a deep breath and place my hands on the correct chords. I start slowly to make sure that I remember how to play the song and get adjusted to the weight of the keys. I close my eyes and let my fingers move across the keys, focusing only on the piano. Everything else is forgotten in that moment. It is just me and the piano.
I almost growl at Emma when she tells Ryanne to quit stalling. She looks over at me and smirks. Obviously Ryanne is nervous about playing in front of all of us. When she mentioned that she could play piano, I just had to hear it. It shouldn’t surprise me that she could play though. I’m more surprised that she never mentioned it before.
She reaches up and pushes her long hair out of her face and looks down at the keys. I watch as she slowly places her small hands on the right keys. It looks like she is about to play, but instead she turns around and asks us if we can look away. I chuckle at the request, while everyone else groans. After everything that we’ve been through together, she still gets nervous and embarrassed around us.
I turn around and everyone follows. Ryanne exhales loudly, and then the notes start playing through the room. I try not to turn around like she asked, but after the first couple of seconds I can’t help it.
I can’t see her face, but she is moving with the music, her hands seeming to glide across the keys. I look around at Logan and Liam and see that they have similar expressions. She really can play. Emma walks over to me and puts a hand under my chin and pushes up, closing my open mouth. I blink a couple of times and smirk at her before walking toward the side of the piano. The music starts slowing and I expect her to stop playing, but she transitions into another song.
Her eyes are closed like I expected, with a calm countenance. Liam walks over and stands near me. Ryanne leans forward and clears her throat. Her long hair starts falling over her shoulders and shields her face from my view, so I can no longer see her expression. Under the notes of the piano, I can hear her humming along with the music, but I’m not prepared for what happens next.
Emma gasps when Ryanne begins singing along with the music. “Did you know she could sing?” she whispers to me. I shake my head, not able to tear my eyes away from her.
Her voice is beautiful. She sounds so sad singing the song. The melody of the song flows through her. I can tell that Ryanne is releasing some of her emotions through this song. I have to force my legs to remain where they are, because I want to go over to her and comfort her in any way possible. I want to ease her pain and make the sadness go away. She starts moving more when the chorus comes; her voice becoming stronger and louder.
Such a big voice for such as small girl.
I wait until the last note fades before I open my eyes again. A single tear falls down my cheek. I hear someone move behind me, and I tense. I forgot that I was playing in front of an audience. I’m afraid to see everyone’s reactions. I quickly wipe the tear from my face. When I started playing, everyone was standing behind me. Now, they’re all standing off to my side.
No one says anything.
“Was I really that bad?”
“Bad?” Logan says. “Holy crap girl.”
I don’t understand. “It’s been a while since I’ve played. I wasn’t really planning on singing, but I got caught up in the song.”
“That was beautiful, Ryanne,” says Colton. I look toward him and find his eyes focused on me. I blush under his gaze, but I can’t look away. When he continues staring at me, my face reddens even further.
“What songs did you play?” Emma asks walking over to the piano breaking me out of my trance.
“Umm, the first one was called “River Flows In You” by Yiruma and the second one was “Breathe Again” by Sara Bareilles.”
“Can you play anything else?” Colton asks as he leans across the top of the piano…still staring at me.
“Anything.” I know that most of the songs I listen to no one else will know. Oh, I know what to play. I smile up at him and then shift my eyes to everyone else.
“Ok, but only if you guys sing with me.” They all agree and gather around the piano. I start playing “You Found Me” by The Fray. I look up when no one joins me in singing. They are all just staring at me. I glare at Emma, hoping that she will start singing with me. During the chorus, I hear another voice join mine. I look over and see Colton singing along with me. Our voices blend perfectly together. Everyone’s heads whip between the two of us.
After the first bridge, I don’t sing. I let Colton have his own solo. He has a great voice. Even though I don’t need to, I look down at the piano keys to keep from staring at him. I join him again on the chorus. When the song finishes, I transition straight into “Apologize” by OneRepublic. This time everyone joins in. David obviously can’t sing, but he makes it fun for everyone else because of his comical attempts.
When the song ends, I stand up and walk away from the piano. “That’s enough for the day.” I walk over and stand beside Colton. Everyone is still watching me. “What?”
“What else aren’t you telling us?” Logan narrows his eyes at me but smiles.
When the room falls into silence, I hear a muffled sound. Listening harder, I hear my The Cab ringtone. “Is that my phone?” I walk out of room and back down the hallway to the bedroom. I hear the beep telling me that I have a missed call. In the last pocket I check, I find the phone. Jane’s number flashes on my screen.
Redialing the number, I wait for her to pick up the phone. On the second ring, she answers. “Ryanne?”
“Hey Jane, I haven’t heard from you in a while!”
“I know sweetie, I miss you! Oh my gosh. You haven’t heard the good news yet have you?”
“Ross and I are getting married!”
“Really? Congratulations, I’m so happy for you!”
“Yeah, we’ve decided to have an early wedding. It’s in two weeks!”
“Two weeks?” Why so soon?
“Yeah, I know you’re working right now on your internship, but do you think you can get off that Saturday? I want you to be one of my bridesmaids. I know you can’t really help out with any of the planning, but I want you to be a part of the ceremony.” Internship? What internship? Claire or Tom must have made up a story for me.
“I can try. I’ll have to talk to T…my boss and get back to you later. Is that ok?”
“Of course. Oh, and bring a date!” She hangs up. I stare down at the phone. Two weeks? I throw the phone down on the bed and walk out of the room. I hear voices downstairs, so that’s where I go.
When Ryanne left to go grab her cell phone, no one moved. We remained around the piano surprised at what just happened. Is there anything that girl can’t do?
“Dude, since when can you sing too?” Emma leans against the piano, waiting for my answer.
“I can’t really.” I’ve never considered myself a good singer. Everyone can sing. Some people are just better than others. When she started singing “You Found Me,” I couldn’t help but join in. She looked so embarrassed when no one started singing with her.
“You can’t? You two sounded perfect together. You could record that song and sell it. I mean Ryanne’s like freaking Kelly Clarkson over there and you’re like….well someone else who can sing,” Emma says.
I ignore her comment and push myself off the piano and walk out of the room. I can hear their footsteps behind me, so I know they’re following me. Passing by Ryanne’s room, I see her pacing while on the phone. She doesn’t seem in distress, so I continue downstairs. I sit down on the couch and wait for everyone to join. David and Emma sit together like they always do on the loveseat. Liam and Logan sit on the couch while Bragden takes the other chair in the room. Emma turns and smiles at me. I instantly recognize the look on her face and groan, waiting for whatever ridiculous comment is going to come out of her mouth.
“So, when are you going to tell my best friend that you’re totally in love with her?” My mouth basically falls to the ground. That wasn’t blunt at all.
“Ryanne may be oblivious, but the rest of us aren’t. So. When. Are. You. Going. To. Tell. Her?”
“I don’t...I’m not…” I look up and see Ryanne descending the stairs and stop talking. Well, I stop stuttering. Talk about perfect timing.
“This conversation isn’t over.” Emma loudly whispers.
“Everything ok?” Colton asks when I make it downstairs.
“Yeah, Jane’s getting married and wants me to be a bridesmaid.” I glance at him. He appears to be blushing. His cheeks are redder than usual. “Are you ok? Your face is red.”
Emma starts laughing, and Colton glares at her. I look between the two of them. Logan, Liam, and Bragden are trying to hide their laughter. When no one explains what just happened, I walk past everyone and into the kitchen to find Tom. “I’m on a summer internship?”
“What? Oh, yeah. Claire and I thought it was an easier explanation to why you wouldn’t be with her at all this summer than you came into your powers and were being chased around by a crazy Gadramick. We didn’t know all this would happen, but we thought it would be good for you to stay around and train. It turned out to be a good excuse.” I nod, understanding the need for a cover-up. It’ll keep Jane safer too.
“So, do you think that I could go to her wedding? It’s two weeks from Saturday.”
“I don’t see why not. You’ll have to bring one of the guys for protection though. I’d bring Liam.”
“I figured as much. She said I had to bring a date anyway,” I pause. “Wait, why Liam?”
“He hasn’t told you?” I shake my head. Told me what? “Forget I said anything then.”
What is going on? I look at Tom for a few more seconds, but he has returned his attention to the magazine in front of him. I walk back into the living room and plop down onto the couch between Colton and Liam. Turning towards Liam, I ask, “What aren’t you telling me?”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, I mentioned that I had to bring a date to the wedding and Tom suggested you. When I asked him why, he said, ‘He hasn’t told you?’” I pause to gauge his reaction. His face remains expressionless. “So what haven’t you told me?” He just looks at me. Then, his eyes move over me and land on Bragden, who nods, agreeing to whatever is silently spoken between them. What is going on?
Liam sighs and looks at me. “I’ll explain everything tonight, ok?”
“Tonight? Like you’ll visit me in my dream?”
“Yeah, think about the meadow where we met the second time before you go to bed. If I can’t meet you there, I’ll tell you in the morning.” My stubbornness is telling me to argue with him and make him tell me now. I open my mouth to respond, when he says, “I promise.”
“You know, I could just read your mind to see what it is.” I won’t do that, but it’s still an option. They don’t have to know that. “Why can’t you just tell me right now?” I ask again.
“Please be patient, Ryanne.” I fold my arms across my chest, frustrated that he won’t tell me right now, but I agree.
“Everyone’s always keeping something from me,” I mumble and turn my attention back to the room. Logan glances over at Colton quickly, before bringing his attention back to the TV.
telling me?” I whip around and face Colton.
“What are you talking about?”
“I saw that look Logan just gave you. You’re keeping something from me too.”
“I’m not keeping anything from you Ryanne. I promise.” He seems earnest enough. I can’t detect a lie in his words. Logan’s watching TV, not paying attention to our conversation; maybe I did jump the gun a little early on that accusation.
“Ok, I trust you, but I’m keeping an eye on you two.” I point between Colton and Logan. They are up to something. I reach over Liam and attempt to grab my notebook but can’t reach it. It’s not worth the effort of getting up, so I just lean back and face the TV. David and Emma are deciding on a movie to watch. Liam looks at me and laughs before reaching forward and grabbing my notebook and iPod off the table and handing it to me. I smile and thank him.
I put my headphones in and click shuffle. “All You Ever” by Hunter Hayes is the first song to play. The music starts, and I can no longer hear any of the voices around me. Flipping the page over in my notebook, I start sketching. I keep seeing this scene in my mind of a couple walking down an illuminated path in the rain. Standing beneath an umbrella, they are holding hands. A lamp post illuminates the area around them. Trees are located on either side of the trail. Puddles of water are sporadic on the ground. The outline of a city can be seen in the background.
I start swaying to the music as I shade the couple’s silhouette. When the song ends, I briefly glance up before bringing my attention back to the notebook. My attention is quickly drawn back the room when I realize that everyone is looking at me.
“What?” I turn toward Liam, hoping that he will tell me why everyone is looking at me.
“You were singing.” I feel my eyes widen.
“Like out loud?” I hear a bunch of chuckles. “I’m sorry. I didn’t realize.” I grab my iPod and turn the volume down, so I can tell next time whether or not I am singing.
“There’s your answer, Colton,” David says with a slight chuckle.
“Answer to what?”
“I wondered if you knew that you were singing out loud.” He glances at me and smiles. My heart beat increases under his attention. I curse at myself for reacting to just a simple look.