Part IX: A Musician’s Intuition
I’d never been to a club so wasn’t sure what to expect as we walked inside. I normally avoided crowded places where there was the potential for alcoholic drinks because for some reason alcohol had the effect of making people’s mind more open and their thoughts could literally spill out to me. Luckily no one had spiked anything as far as I sense so far.
Alison was already going straight to the dancefloor, grabbing my hand as they did. I let them lead the way and felt a little self-conscious as I danced. I loved listening to music to zone out and played the piano, but dancing was not my strong suit. I mostly just copied Alison until after a few songs the music faded and the band took the stage. They had a punk emo vibe going and the guy who grabbed the mic to talk to us had long hair and lots of piercings. The silver contrasting against his dark skin in the stark club lighting.
“Good evening everyone! My name is Zayne and this is the Unkindness’ first performance of the year, glad to see the house is packed.” There were cheers when he mentioned the bands name, clearly they were popular locally.
“What’s up with the Unkindness?” Alison asked Charlie.
“Unofficial Ravenhold band, they’re all students,” she explained.
“Are y’all ready to dance?” Zayne asked. The cheers grew louder and they started playing. The music was really good and I could feel the sounds loosening my muscles and anxiety. I could feel a growing restlessness as I started to dance, a desire to move to the electric sound. I placed my hands on Alison’s hip and met their eyes before we started to dance together. Our movements in sync and our bodies getting closer. I could feel their warm breath on my neck as I pulled them into an impromptu hug. All my emotions for them welling up, feeling as it would spill over as we danced and touched. Our lips found each other and it was the most intense make out session I’d ever had.
By the end of the second song my skin had a sheen of sweat but more pressing I needed the bathroom.
“I better hit the bathroom,” I told Alison, leaving the dancefloor “Darn HRT meds…” I muttered as I did.
“Go for it. I’ll get a drink,” Alison offered. I nodded my thanks. I was presenting more femme so if there were only two bathrooms I’d have to go into the ladies. I hoped I wouldn’t get any abuse. I was then pleasantly surprised to see a few separate doors with a half man and half women lady and a silly unicorn with the words ‘Any Gender’. I couldn’t help grinning as I walked in to do my business. It was rare to find inclusive bathrooms and I was very happy to see that was the case here.
I made my way back to the bar after washing my hands and saw Allison and Mace talking. The two had become good friends, although I hadn’t had much chance to talk to him myself. Maybe I should be making an effort to get to know the others.
“Hey, I’m back,” I announced.
“Glad to see you again,” Allison said, a relaxed smile on their lips. “Join us for a drink?”
“I’d love to,” I smiled back. I ordered a cinnamon flavoured mocktail and sat with Alison and Mace.
“So, how are you handling science teamed up with Allen?” Mace asked. Admittedly I hadn’t even paid attention to him. I saw him now talking to Tyler by the dancefloor. My own team were nice enough, although I could sense Jamie’s hesitance to get close with anyone.
“Don’t,” Allison sighed, shaking their head.
“He’s not that bad y’know. I know he’s said problematic things but he does seem to be learning,” Mace shrugged.
“I have seen that Caroline spends a lot of time with him. She must be teaching him,” I admitted.
“Are you really going to give him another chance?” Allison asked, clearly growing frustrated.
“I can’t sleep on your bedroom floor forever,” I pointed out. “How about we go dance?” I suggested, seeing that this conversation was going to go nowhere anytime soon. Alison nodded. Mace quietly excused himself to go dance with others. Unkindness were still playing so I let the music carry us. When they finally finished everyone was suitably tired so we headed to an American style diner. We’d lost Jaeger and Harley and I had a pretty good idea what they had ditched us to do based on how they had been dancing. Allen had gotten lost somewhere too apparently. I hoped he was okay.
It seemed like the rest of the evening would be drama free, then someone who was apparently an old friend’s of Charlie dropped in. I exchanged a look with Alison as voices were raised around us. Charlie rushed out to follow her friend.
“Are you okay?” I whispered to Caroline who seemed upset. She nodded, focusing on our food. I chose not to push the subject.
Once we were back home I showered and got into PJ’s and went to Allen’s room to check he was okay, but he wasn’t there. I chewed my lower lip and decided to break my own rule. I reached out, trying to get an idea of where he was. I immediately got a contact high and left his mind. Wherever he was, he was definitely having a good time. I opted not to tell Allison anything when I returned to their room.
The next morning I woke up before Allison so I grabbed a shower and dressed in plain jeans and a pale blue top. I grabbed a hoodie and walked downstairs barefoot. I poured myself some orange juice and grabbed a breakfast bar. I didn’t feel particularly hungry so it would do. I knew Caroline would be down at some point later with a cooked breakfast anyway. I didn’t feel like searching out the others so went to the conservatory. With Allison and Tylers help I had set up my keyboard down here. I missed the feel of the piano at my parents house but a keyboard was easier to transport. I could also adjust the volume so as not to disturb the others still sleeping while I played.
I took a moment to reacquaint myself with the keys before playing a well practiced tune. A classic piece of, ‘Light Through the Day’ by Alexander Campbell. It was a uplifting piece and a favourite of mine. I was halfway through it when I noticed movement from the corner of my eye. I glanced at the keyboard panels and noticed a small lizard had settled on top of the speakers, apparently enjoying the music. I smiled at it and kept playing. I assumed it was Ahti’s pet Iravi. I’d never seen Tsun up close but I could see that his back was covered in bright yellow scales which slowly darkened to orange as they went down his belly, like a sunset.
The thought made me switch to playing ‘Sunset At The Varanda’ by Henrik Janson. It was more soft and sombre piece but also one I found relaxing. Tsun tilted his head at it. It was full of intentional quiet moments and everytime I paused on the keys he would tilt his head. I sensed he didn’t understand it was purposeful and was just disgruntled by the lack of sound. I momentarily gleamed his thoughts and realised it wasn’t the sound, but rather the speaker vibration he was enjoying. I also sensed he was hungry.
“Do you want something to eat?” I asked him, finishing my playing. He stood up and crawled towards me, his head tilted up. His little chest rising and falling with his breaths. I held out a hand and he glanced at it, hesitating for a moment before climbing on. I lifted him to my shoulder where he happily settled. I walked into the kitchen, mindful of my movements with an animal balanced on me. I found some of the pre-cooked crispy bacon you put on sandwiches and gave him some. He happily munched away while I cleaned up some leftover dishes.
It wasn’t long before movement erupted in the house. Tsun took his bit of bacon in his mouth and waddled over to me, intimidated by all the people. Ahti came downstairs and spotted him. They said something in Ibariat and Tsun scuttled to them quickly, letting Ahti coddle them like a baby. I noted the word and saw in Tsun mind it was kind of like ‘cuddles’ in English. Strange, I’d never thought about how my ability could help me harness languages. I could learn Ibariat in a matter of hours if I walked into Ahti’s mind and looked around. However, that would be an ethical breach without their permission.
Maybe my power could help the planet if more aliens showed up. We obviously had measures in place, since there were a few alien species on Earth now, but it was a nice thought. I could be useful in some way.