Kimberly Gould’s Picture Choice: Both
Todd sat with his fingers resting lightly on the keys. He’d been in this position long enough for his wrist to begin to ache. He should be practicing. No, he should be composing, but neither was happening. His head whirled with events of the previous evening, distracting him utterly and completely.
There had to be someway to turn his encounter with the girl in blue into music.
She had never given her name, or her number, but she had flitted past him many times, always in the company of another party attendee, almost always laughing. That laugh… Bells in a wind chime with the yip of a puppy. Playful and melodic all in one.
For the first time today, his fingers actually pressed those key, playing an arpeggio that didn’t really do her laugh justice. It was something, though. He played around a bit with the key and finally settled on one that he thought fit the evening. Not too bright, but not minor, not a downer.
When he tried to fill in the introduction with the ambient noise of party, he hit a wall again. The piano cried out discordantly as Todd rapped his forehead on the keys.
“Get outside. Now,” his mother said.
He started to argue, but couldn’t find a valid argument. He was only home for the term, taking a break from classes. There it had been even worse than here. At least he’d written a few things since he came home. It was just that girl that had him stymied now.
It wasn’t a girl at Julliard. It was a boy, a man. The atmosphere there was naturally competitive, but Brandon took it to extremes. He’d set out to sabotage Todd more than once. He was also supremely talented, enough to make Todd jealous at the same time he wanted nothing more than to beat the guy senseless.
Without realizing, Todd was outside and stepping very heavily in the soft mud resulting from a spring shower. His footsteps were deep, ripping into the newly exposed earth and pulling up the small green bits that had just begun to show.
With a sigh, he turned to find a stump or something else to sit on. As he lifted his foot, he saw for the first time the perfect violet flower he had almost obliterated. He thought of her as the girl in blue, but in fact, her dress was closer to this. Closing his eyes, he could picture her clearly, her hair tied up, falling in curls around her face. Her dress fell in soft folds, accentuating the curve of her hips. Her laugh came back to him again, clearer than he had remembered it before.
“Hahaha! You’re such a bitch, Jenna.”
Todd started. That wasn’t a memory.
“Oh! Excuse me,” she said. Then to her friend, “I have to go, Jenna.” She brought the small rectangle down from her face and regarded Todd, as though she was trying to place him. “I’ve met you before. Recently.”
“The Gibson party,” he answered flatly, his mouth suddenly dry. Which was in contrast to his palms that had just gotten very clammy.
“Right,” she said with a smile. “You’re the Jackson boy home from school. Julliard, right? Wow. That has to be amazing. Walk with me and tell me about it?”
It took Todd three of her paces to get over his shock and jog up to join her. “It’s hard,” he began. “There’s this one guy, Brandon…”
PS: the botanist in me just HAD to identify that purple flower. Todd has no idea what it is, but with the right keywords in google… I find it’s Anemone americana or round-lobed hepatica.
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Kimberly Gould is the author of Cargon: Honour and Privilege, and it's sequel Duty and Sacrifice. She can be found most places as Kimmydonn, including Kimmydonn.com