June, 10:30 pm
There are so many other places we could have ended up, but I have to believe none of them would have felt this right. "All I want is you" is not entirely true. I want so much more, and with you I think I can get it.
The Realm of Possibility, David Levithan
Zak carried an armful of white lilies that had been thrust on him as he was leaving the stage by someone whose face he couldn't remember. He paused two steps from the open doorway, feeling his heart race in his chest. He thought that if he were asked to play right now, he would run out of breath before he completed the first phrase.
Trying to compose himself, he closed his eyes and played a game that was now very familiar to him: he imagined himself back over a year ago, to that small, light-filled music room with yellow pine floors, where it was just the two of them. Only this time around, she was the one waiting for him to step inside. He prepared himself to give her his normal greeting, as if they had last seen each other the week before.
When he entered the room and found her eyes on him, he was too nervous to smile. But she did, and it was the loveliest thing he had ever seen.
"Hello, Zak," she said.
His white tuxedo was a far cry from the faded jeans and button-up shirts he had worn to his lessons. His coppery hair was shorter and looked like it had been trimmed by a master hand, but the newly-tamed curls still reached past his shoulders. There was no hint of a smile on his face, and she hoped that he remembered her.
"You gave such a wonderful performance tonight. It was truly breathtaking."
He managed to find his voice at last. "Thank you. It's nice to see you again."
She couldn't tell what he was thinking or how much time they would have alone together, so she searched desperately for something to say. "When I heard you were touring again, I wanted to attend one of your first performances, but the tickets were even harder to get than I expected, and then, well, exams came around."
"When I saw you in the audience, it was – it meant a lot to me, Ami."
Her eyes sparkled when she told him, "I can play the Sentimentale with vibrato now."
The smile that broke out on that beautiful, mobile mouth she longed to kiss was blinding. "I hope you'll play it for me sometime, then."
She would have looked towards the doorway, but it was so hard to take her eyes from his. "Will they be looking for you?"
He grinned. "Jaden's probably holding them off. I was hoping we could talk, unless you have somewhere to go." Someone to go to.
The thought made his head spin. When she assured him that she didn't, he asked her, "Do you enjoy living in Boston?"
"Very much. It snows a lot there." Most other people complained of such things, but the pleasure in her voice was clear.
"I'll be auditioning for a position with the Boston Symphony Orchestra this fall," he told her, searching for and finding the surprised happiness in her eyes. "How are you finding medical school?"
"It has its ups and downs, but overall I like it very much. It feels like I'm making progress and moving forward."
"I'm glad to hear it. And what do you think of your fellow students?" Before she could answer, he continued slyly, "I hear that there's a dearth of single men in medical school. Have you found that to be the case, in your experience?"
She smiled again. "I wouldn't know. I have to admit, I haven't been looking too closely."
"No?" He smiled back. "What a coincidence. Neither have I – until tonight, when I saw you again."
"My heart is free."
He took the two steps that closed the distance between them swiftly and took her hand. This time, he kept her fingers in his, and she didn't blush. "Mine isn't."
When he leaned down to kiss her, she rose on her toes to meet him halfway. She rested her other hand against his chest, where she felt his heartbeat instead of his vibrato, and the smell of lavender, mint, and the lilies crushed between them filled her nose. It might not be forever, but it felt like it would be.