Every night, she saw him sitting about half way back, watching as if he knew her, but she’d never seen him before in her whole life.
She was trying to remember, she kept telling herself she must know this boy but couldn’t remember anywhere their paths may have crossed.
A 19-year-old girl with cascading chestnut curls that brushed her waist when she bent her head head back, which she did fairly often for one reason or another. She constantly has accessories in her hair; she matches them precisely and beautifully to her dress, often an A-line. She is known for being a dancer and fosters a deep if relatively confidential enjoyment for old records. “Nothing after the Civil Rights Movements came along,” she’d always tell herself. She is an eloquent speaker when she wants to be and talks like a lady of times long past. But this girl’s glory is without a doubt in her music. She considers herself to have no other talent than the viola and never feels more beautiful than when she is wrapped in a concerto. It is the goodness in her heart; the music in the park is her act of community service, of active charity. That viola is her strength, it’s her life. Lucinda Amerstown.
That boy… he must be around 13 years old. He’s a street urchin, known for carrying numerous weapons on him at all times. Like a mother renowned for her insanity as well as her famous tricks, he has reddish hair and gray eyes that are really quite disarming in color. His movements are always small and quick, just like him. He perpetually hides himself under the cloak of caution. Deep down, he prides himself on having a past as a straight A student but will only admit to priding himself on being able to survive his present circumstances day after day. These days he speaks only in slang and mostly to animals. His most prized possession is his dog, a creature he has not been away from in five years. But five years ago was a very, very different time. He remembers exactly where he knows the girl from. Lucille, he whispers. Lucille Annity.
They had an arrangement, the boy and girl of a small town in northern Maine. He came to her sectioned off portion of the auditorium each night and stood off to the side, about halfway back. He watched like he knew her, she pretended not to even notice. She played a stunning performance, he clapped three times, then they both slunk off into the night. Until one evening in late May when all of that changed irrevocably.
The tech crew was missing its best members, three seniors who were sick the whole week due to… private illnesses. The lights weren’t working well at all; Lucille’s form was a shadow. He couldn’t see her face. The whole arrangement was ruined if he couldn’t watch her face. He crept forward. He was still invisible, thankfully, as he crouched down close to the front. He could see Lucille now, a smile on her face. So close. So far. It had been five years since he’d seen her up close. Now she was worlds away.
She kept playing, her notes getting bolder, stronger, louder. She’s happy, he tells himself. For the first time in five lives, he feels himself getting wet. Little drops beneath his gray irises. He’s forgotten what they look like, what they feel like. He thinks about the sound, imaging he can amplify his hearing by a thousand. What do his tears sound like in a room full of Lucille Annity? Why is he weeping? Didn’t he ask her to be happy right before she left him all those moons ago?
That was something they had in common- an affinity for the moon. Their best things they did by lunar light, they were simply better people under moonlight. It was only by evening that he had the courage to approach Lucille. And it was in that May moonlight that he let tears fall.
Lucille stood center-stage, lights on her viola. Only her hands mattered. She took her next rest as an opportunity to look at the audience. It was only two beats, but it was enough to watch her audience marvel at the viola’s magic. The strange boy who always watched her was up close, several rows ahead of his normal spot. But tonight he wasn’t emotionless. Tears split his face as he crouched down. She was midway through the song’s most cheerful section. She wasn’t unaccustomed to tears on faces as she played- but this wasn’t the spots that prompted them. Why tears?
The curtains eventually fell. She stood behind them, her mind on that boy. His routine was a constant, she’d assumed because it was so important. But he’d broken his biggest rules- coming close and showing emotion were things for other people to do, never him. Why tonight? She slipped backstage, set her bow and viola down, and went back out to the stage and down the stairs. As it turned out, she’d chosen the right staircase- he was waiting for her at the bottom. And so it was… he and she were face to face face at last.
But twenty-four hours and thirteen seconds later he had returned to the very spot he had run from. He kept his eyes cast downward, afraid to let her see them.
“You made me mess up.”
“You played perfectly. Just like you always have.”
“I suppose you ought to know.”
“Why are you doing that with your voice? Why don’t you speak at a normal pitch?”
“So it’s easier for you to pretend you’ve forgotten who I am. So you don’t have to think of me as a person and ask me what my name is. I know how much you hate responsibility.”
“You know nothing about me.”
“I know your mother had a son first and he died of circumstances never discussed again. She then had a baby girl, born with a bow of one kind in her hair and of another kind in her hand. She then a baby boy. Who gave you the scar you keep trying to hide. And you gave you the nickname Luce. I know you, Lucille Annity.”
“You are mistaken, child; you speak of another, not I. My name is Lucinda Amerstown.”
“Ah, Lucille, I always admired your creativity. Where has it gone?’
His voice was getting quieter but hers was near a scream.
“I will call the police if you don’t stop this nonsense and put your obsession to bed. I am not Lucille!”
“But you are. I shall never love you as Lucinda, only as Lucille. Only Lucille would know my name.” And with hat, he turned his back on her and her threats to begin his retreat.
“Lucas. Your name is Lucas Annity. I remember the night you said your first word; it was hope. Leave me now with some hope, I beg you.”
He took her by the hand and lead her outside to the waiting moonlight. Lucinda had played her last concert.