À cette heure tu ne dors pas ? Non, je ne dors pas, je m'éparpille, j'écoute, un peu la pluie et un peu le piano de Philip Glass ; à la vitre de ma mémoire, dans la buée de mes yeux fatigués, il y a, gouttes d'eau et notes de pluie qui pactisent, il y a tant d'amour que je ne veux pas fermer les yeux. À cette heure tu ne dors pas ? Non, je ne veux pas m'absenter, pas encore, même pas mourir, je veille sur l'amour qui est à cet instant, un piano noir au fond d'un océan, au fond d'un grand salon médusé… et ce piano joue pour nous.
Voilà je dors, oui je dors et je rêve que je te rêve à haute voix…
La vida es como una melodía emitida por un piano; por instantes tocarás agudos que te acercarán al cielo, y por otros, los graves te hundirán.
Pero lo único que debe preocuparte, es no dejar nunca de tocar.
The Eltingville Club #2 is out today from Dark Horse Comics.
It’s the final chapter in a series of comics I started in 1994′s Instant Piano anthology –also published by Dark Horse Comics. The cycle is complete, the story is over, this is the end of the Eltingville Comic Book, Science-Fiction, Fantasy, Horror and Role-Playing Club.
It was 9 in the morning, far too early to be awake on a Saturday. Brown eyes became accustomed to the stream of light flowing through her bedroom window, as a vivid memory from the previous night pooled into her thoughts. Grace grabbed her phone from the bedside table, illuminating the screen to be greeted with 6 missed calls accompanied by a thread of text messages that was practically a novel. She didn’t want to hear the usual ‘I didn’t mean it’ or the all too common, ‘I’m sorry,’ therefore in mock annoyance, her phone was thrown to the foot of the bed before she noticed a text message from an unfamiliar number trailing behind Justin’s list of failed apologies. Reaching for the device, Grace felt the sensation of butterflies in her stomach followed by an involuntary smile as she read the message.
“Hey Gracie, it’s Chester. Just wanted to make sure you got inside ok. I had an amazing time getting to know you tonight. Sweet dreams Miss Grace Helbig.”
The blonde blushed uncontrollably - still dazed, she remembered running up to her bedroom last night, dropping her belongings onto the floor, flopping onto her bed screaming into her pillow like a 15-year-old with a first crush, and falling asleep shortly after with her cheek still on fire where he had so gently kissed.
She contemplated how to reply while reminiscing on her night with such a gentleman.
She recalled how he had driven her home in content silence. Their hands stayed entwined, Chester running his thumb smoothly over the back of Grace’s hand, making her feel things she had never felt before. When the car came to a stop in front of her house, Chester without hesitation, walked her to the door, resting his hand on the small of her back. In that moment, Grace had never felt more desire to kiss someone than she did then. She, however, did not want to move too fast. As if reading her thoughts, Chester laid his hands delicately on either side of her waist, squeezing gently and placing a light kiss to her cheek before whispering ‘goodnight’ and retreating to his car. Looking back once more, he caught her eye and smiled kindly as she closed the door.
He knew he had fallen. She knew this feeling was right.
‘Roar’ began playing from her phone, pulling Grace from her previous revelation. Mamrie practically screamed as she answered - Grace being certain that her hearing was now impaired.
“Grace what the fuck!? You never called me after your date. I swear to God if you slept with that boy and didn’t call me you can be sure tha..” The blonde frantically interrupted.
“Mamrie calm down. I didn’t sleep with him. It was fine. He was fine. Everything was just FINE!”
“Whoa there Helbig, I think this calls for some alcohol. Lucky for you I snuck some from my mom last night. I’ll be over in ten and don’t give me any bullshit.”
Grace sighed. She wasn’t ready to talk about the scene at the restaurant and how a different man, that was certainly not Justin, took her home.
“Can we just talk about this Monday at school? I’m just…not ready to talk about it.”
“Aw sure thing Gracie. Just know I’m here for you.”
“Thanks Mames. I’ll give you a full report, I just need some time to think.”
Grace ended the call, relieved that Mamrie understood, and redirected her attention back to Chester’s text. She had to rewrite her response five times but finally composed a text that she felt semi-confident sending.
“Well you did walk me to the door ya dumb. You are quite the man Chester See.”
Chester replied moments later, evidently ready for Grace’s text just as she was ready for his.
“A dumb? I am offended. So Miss Grace, I was wondering if you would like to come to the music class that I teach on Tuesday night and grab something for dessert after? I mean you don’t have to come to the class or at all. I just would really enjoy your company.”
Grace stifled a laugh at his adorable awkwardness, elated at the thought of seeing him again.
“Haha yes a dumb. I would love to :)”
“Great :) I can’t wait to see you again.”
The next few days consisted of Grace avoiding Justin at school, while trying to steer away from any sort of conversation with Mamrie or Hannah regarding her love life. Grace and Chester texted nonstop and it was becoming difficult to hide her apparent happiness from her mother and friends. Mamrie began to catch on that Grace was no longer seeing Justin and didn’t miss the new spring in her best friend’s step. The redhead decided, however, that Grace would come to her when she was ready.
After school on Tuesday, Grace drove home thinking about her night ahead, where panic started to sink in. She didn’t know what to wear or what to bring and she certainly had no idea where the class was.
The blonde settled for a dark pair of jeans and a blouse before reapplying her makeup and heading to the college. She pulled into the parking space and felt her heart skip as she heard her text tone. It was from Chester. Smiling to herself, she opened it.
“Just saw you pull in. No I am not a creep. Walk through the double doors and it’s the music hall on the left. See you in a bit :)”
“Creep. See ya soon.”
Grace grabbed her phone and made her way towards the building and down towards the music hall. She peered through the glass and saw a few kids seated waiting for the class to start and spotted Chester writing music notes on the blackboard. Grace made her way in and took a seat in the middle of the room as to not interfere with the students actually taking the class.
Chester turned and smiled when he noticed her before picking up his phone to check the time, Grace assumed. When her phone went off she realized he was doing more than that.
“You look beautiful.”
She blushed and looked up at him for a brief moment, catching his eye and smirking before reverting her gaze back to the screen.
“I don’t think you should be talking to your students this way Mr. See.”
She watched as he read her message and could almost see him visibly gulp, his face turning a shade of red.
“Good thing you aren’t a student then.”
“Yeah, good thing.”
The class began and though Grace was not particularly musically inclined or exactly interested in music, watching Chester teach and play the piano with such passion gave her a new appreciation. In fact, she decided she would buy a grand piano that instant if Chester would play it for her.
She was so mesmerized, hardly noticing the kids leaving the classroom to signal that it was over. Grace remained seated waiting for everyone to leave before walking down towards Chester. He waited smiling, and captured her in an intimate embrace before pulling away.
“Now I can say it in person. You look beautiful tonight. How did you enjoy the class?”
Grace looked away not knowing how to handle such kind words before Chester placed his index finger under her chin to pull her to meet his eyes.
“I loved it Ches. You are amazing at what you do. Is this piano yours?” Grace turned to walk towards the white grand piano. Chester followed suit.
“It is, the school lets me house it here.”
He grazed his hand over the small of her back, eliciting a shiver from Grace, before sitting down and running his fingers over the keys a few times, not failing to produce perfect short melodies. Grace watched in awe before joining him on the bench, Chester stopping and turning slightly to the gorgeous woman in his presence. Grace giggled and hit a few keys, no melody to be found. Chester repressed a laugh as Grace pounded the keys in mock frustration.
“I can see you’re an accomplished musician,” Chester said playfully.
“I know, you should let me teach your class sometime.”
“I don’t think they could handle your genius.”
“Very few can, Mr. See.”
He reached over and ran his fingertips along her arm, slowly standing up from the piano bench.
“Hold on.” Before Grace could question, Chester was standing behind her rubbing her back - tracing his fingertips from her shoulders, down over her arms, to finally rest his hands over hers, causing Grace to audibly sigh in pleasure and lean back into his chest. Chester placed a chaste kiss to the top of her head before bending slightly to brush his lips over her ear and whisper.