The Musician

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Chapter Five

“He kissed you?” Morgan asked. Her voice was low, and she was crouched over the wooden cafeteria table in a way I was sure that made her back hurt. It was noon on Monday, and Morgan had been pressing me all day about how things on Sunday went down after she left me with Advik. I finally spilled the beans and told her we kissed, and now she was looking at me as if I had grown a second head.

A little shy about the matter for some reason, I found myself refusing to make eye contact with her and preferring to star out the window beside us instead. I had my hands folded on the table in front of my plate of chicken and mashed potatoes.

“Yeah, he kissed me,” I repeated when I thought I had calmed down. I hadn’t. My voice shook a bit, coming out like a little whine, and I couldn’t help the warm feeling that formed in my stomach at the memory of Advik’s lips pressing against mine. No matter how nonchalant I was trying to be about it I couldn’t hold back the nerves in my stomach and my face from warming with a blush.

“Holy shit,” Morgan said, making me look back at her. She was resting back in her seat and had a wide grin on her face. Her blue eyes were sparkling, and she seemed genuinely happy for me. “One step forward, I guess?” she said, and I just shrugged, reaching out for the can of soda I had opened and forgotten about.

After I had gotten Advik back to his room, and comfy on his bed I had wandered away to mine. Most of that night has consisted of me staring up at the ceiling as my face burned from the memories I had replaying in my head. I had spent the whole night freaking out about it, but I guess there was nothing to freak out about because Advik remembered everything, poked fun at it, and pretended like it wasn’t a big deal the next morning

“Yikes, I was really drunk,” he had said this morning as he searched to cupboard for a box of cereal that wasn’t just crumbs. Nexus and Reid had the habit of having everything open at a time.

“Yeah, you were,” I had said, forcing myself to chuckle as I watched him go about his day as if what I had just reminded him of a minor incident. A part of me had been relieved that there wasn’t some big confrontation to face, and a part of me had been upset about him treating it like it wasn’t a big deal.

At first, I was confused, and then angry. I felt a tinge of humiliation for making a big deal out of something he didn’t seem to care about — but pep talked myself into trying to get over it as I made my commute to the university campus. I decided that his reaction made sense, so I tried to imitate his nonchalance.

Emphasis on tried.

I’d been a mess throughout this morning, and its noon now and things weren’t getting any better.

“You don’t look very happy about him kissing you,” Morgan said, pulling me out of my thoughts. I blinked, looking over at her, and staring into her mascara rimmed eyes as I watched the ends of her lips bend in a little frown. Her hair looked a lot brighter today — the pastel pink popped more. She probably re-dyed it.

“I—” I started, pausing before letting out a sigh and nibbling my lower lip. “I think I’m not sure how to react. I mean, I freaked out about it all through the night, and then I reminded him in the morning, just in case he had forgotten, and he just chuckled...” I trailed, watching as Morgan’s features formed a sorry look.

“Don’t look at me like that. I’m fine, I swear,” I whispered, but my voice was high enough for her to hear. “It’s just disappointing I guess?” I added, trying to fill in the awkward silence between us. The cafeteria was oozing with chatter, but not hearing Morgan say anything made it feel like I was in a silent void.

“Well, if he doesn’t see you that way how about just taking what you can?” she asked, making me raise a brow at her. What did she mean by taking what I could?

She leaned back on her chair and put on her thinking face as she moved her glossed lips to the side. “Like, he might not like you, but I think he wants to sleep with you — or should I say, can sleep with you?” she said, making me raise my brow even higher.

“Come on, don’t look at me like that, you know what I mean,” she said, rolling her eyes. “Likes us. We fuck all the time, but we don’t like each other like that,” she explained, and I blinked, thinking about it.

“He fucks people all the time, right?” she pointed out, alluding to all the time I had to pick him up from sketch situations or the obvious situations where someone would glue themselves to him for a few weeks. I didn’t really think of those side things because I knew he liked Ollie, and none of those short flings meant anything to him. I wanted him to think about me the way he thought about Oliver, not some random stranger he knocked up while high on Xanax.

But now that Morgan brought it up, I couldn’t get it out of my mind. I kept thinking about the kiss from Sunday, and how he seemed a little offended when I pretended that I couldn’t see myself sleeping with him.

She was right. Advik was chill enough to entertain that if I tried. He wouldn’t reject me, but that’s not the point. Could I really just sleep with Maxwell without any feelings attached? I could sleep with Morgan without things getting awkward, but she was different. I actually liked Advik, and even though I was relaxed enough to see sex outside a relationship, my feelings would betray me in the long run.

“He does,” I said after dwelling in my own thoughts for a while.

“So...” Morgan said, adjusting the cuffs of her long-sleeved top. I stared at her, and she stared at me, as if waiting for me to add to her sentence.

“So what?” I asked, showing her that I didn’t get it. She groaned, rolling her eyes before pushing back stray strands of her hair.

“So, the next time he comes to whine to you about Ollie in your room about Ollie, kiss him,” she said, folding her hands over her chest.

“Kiss him?” I asked, still believing that we were talking about this.

“Yes, then see where that goes. Hopefully, you end up fucking,” she said, and my face warmed up at the thought. I couldn’t imagine it — wait, that’s a lie. I could. It was just very embarrassing, and it made me feel things, okay?

“But—”

“Look, shut up. You can whine about Advik never noticing you till we graduate, or you actually attempt to move beyond the friend zone. He’s can’t fucking read your mind. How’s he supposed to know you like him?” Morgan said, cutting me off before I could object to anything. I opened my mouth to complain, but I closed it, letting out a sigh before biting the nail of my thumb. She was right, and I’ve been thinking about putting effort into getting Advik to realize how I feel --- I just needed a push, and Morgan was pushing me now.

“You have a point...” I trailed. At my words, a cheeky smile formed on Morgan’s face.

“Good,” she said, and that was the end of the discussion. We finished up what we were having before leaving the cafeteria together and eventually separating. Throughout the rest of my lectures, I couldn’t help thinking about what I had decided to do. The next time Advik’s two inches close to me, I’m kissing him. I said in my mind, giving myself a pep talk as I scribbled on my note pad. My music theory professor talked up front, but her voice felt like buzzing and I couldn’t hear anything apart from the panicking voice in my head. I kept thinking about how to go about things with Advik, and a part of me would randomly start berating myself and insulting my own plan.

That would never work, you’re an idiot. The voice would say, and I’d cancel the little notes I was making in my journal. Advik was in this class too, but he sat up front with a friend of his.

I looked up from my notes, letting my eyes wander to the front of the class. I didn’t stare at the back of his head for long because he turned, and we locked eyes. He rose a brow at me, and I just stayed still, a bit shocked at having being caught in the middle of moping at him. He smiled a bit before looking away, and I continued to stare on in shock. He didn’t look suspicious of me, and maybe he just felt it was a coincidence.

My phone buzzed on my table, making me tear my eyes away from him to look at my screen.

Push notification.

Message from: Addy.

Can I talk to you tonight? I said I wasn’t going to bother you too much anymore, but I need advice.

Monday 5:20 PM.

A shiver ran through my spine, and I felt nerves knot up in my stomach. I wondered how he got to text me without the professor noticing, but I decided that didn’t matter and went about unlocking my phone screen to respond to his text.

Message to: Addy.

Sure.

Monday 5:23 PM.

I pressed send before putting my phone away and trying to listen to the rest of the lecture.

I just couldn’t.

My mind was going haywire, and I kept looking at the wall clock in the corner as I waited for the class to end. This was my last class today, so with each passing minute ‘the talk’ I was supposed to have with Advik was getting closer. I hadn’t expected to have the chance to kiss him so soon, but I guess it’s happening tonight.

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