What would you do in six months?
“I’m pretty sure Gabby told me you were ‘amazing’, but I don’t think nursery rhymes classify,” Pete had apparently let himself in.
“How nice of you to knock,” Carson leaned back on the bench, withdrawing her hand reluctantly from the piano. “It’s just a habit I have. It was the first thing I could ever play.”
Pete smirked tauntingly, “I still see no evidence of this amazing talent I’ve heard so much of.”
Carson grabbed her iPod, handing it to Pete, “Pick a song, any song, I’ll play it. Pick one of yours if you want.” Carson resumed playing, closing her eyes as her hand traced the pattern she had known since she was thirteen. Pete handed her the iPod, and she quickly listened to the song, a Fall Out Boy song, of course. “Do you want me to sing along too?” She asked cheekily.
Pete rolled his eyes, “Stop stalling.”
Carson shrugged, “I’m just trying to prepare you for my amazing piano skillz. That’s skillz with a ‘z’.” She put in the earphones, placing her hands strategically around the piano, and started playing.
Pete stared at Carson as she played the song as if she had sheet music in front of her. ”You’re a canary, I’m a coal mine” she sang along softly, her eyes fluttering closed again. Pete couldn’t stop staring; she captured his lyrics better than even Patrick had done.
She finished, looking up to see Pete’s dumbfounded gaze. “That was the best thing I’ve ever heard.” Carson blushed, her hand immediately creeping up and playing her song.
“You picked an easy one, there’s piano at the beginning,” Carson mumbled. Instinctively her hands slid across the keys, starting to play another Fall Out Boy song. “But lately I’ve been working on my own songs.”
“Can I hear one?”
“No, it’s not done,” Carson argued.
Pete sighed, “Well I expect to be the first one to hear it.” Carson just smiled. She stood up, facing him.
“Well it won’t be done for a while,” She cocked her head to the side, examining his outfit choice. “I totally want that hoodie.” Pete immediately took it off, letting Carson get a glimpse of the stomach that all the crazy fans were obsessed over. “Damn.” She said without realizing it.
“Excuse me?” Pete asked.
Carson’s eyes widened as she searched for an excuse, “You smell really good.”
Pete smirked again, “I knew you wouldn’t be able to resist me.” Carson leaned forward to playfully hit him, but she lost her balance, falling forward. Pete caught her automatically, and she looked up, staring through her pale blond hair. Pete brushed it aside, and leaned down to kiss her.
“CARSON!” The two jumped apart, and Brandon walked into the apartment. “Oh, hey Pete.”
Carson glared at him for a moment, “Yes Brandon?”
“Gabby wants food,” He replied.
“Why do you come to me?” Carson complained. Brandon gave her a look that clearly said why, “Fine, give me a minute.” She walked calmly toward her kitchen, pulling out what appeared to be leftovers. “I just made this last night. Heat it up on the stove for about fifteen minutes and put in some rolls.”
“Thanks, see you later,” He said, running out.
“What was that about?” Pete asked.
“I’ll let you figure it out yourself if you help me unpack,” Carson loved playing little games with people. She pointed at a box, “Put those frames up on the wall across from the piano so I can see them while I play.”
Pete opened the box, finding Carson’s high school diploma on the top. There was a picture near that with her appearing to be speaking as the valedictorian, and another picture showed Carson and Gabby, arms around each other, grinning at the camera.
The next picture was Gabby and Brendan smiling and waving at the camera by a sign that read Brown University. Carson posing by the Eiffel Tower, and then Carson in a chef’s outfit. She was smiling as she worked, and didn’t know the camera was pointed at her. The next was her diploma from a culinary arts school in Paris.
He cringed at the picture of her and her ex, but put it up anyways. He continued putting up picture after picture, until he was finished, turning to Carson, who had started to play again. She looked up and surveyed the wall, her hands never leaving the keys.
Carson finally stopped, pointed at the picture of her and Kyle, “Take that one down. I have one to replace it.” She rummaged through a few papers and handed him the picture they’d taken in the diner.
“How’d you get this?” Pete asked.
Carson smirked flirtatiously, “I have my ways.” The ‘I have cancer’ line works every time. she thought wryly.
He put it in the middle, and she smiled, checking her watch. “Shit, I have to go.”
“Where?” Pete asked.
“I teach piano at the orphanage Mondays and Fridays at five, at the homeless shelter Tuesdays and Thursdays at six, and I teach music appreciation and Global Foods at the middle school all five days of the week. But I have Friday off because there’s no school.” Carson quickly explained her hectic schedule to Pete. “I play the organ for a church on Sundays and Saturday is my day of relaxation. But as you know, it is a Thursday, so I have to go do my duty to the world.”
She pulled a hat snugly over her head and grinned, “Don’t break anything, stay as long as you want. Brandon and Gabby are directly above you, they’ll be happy to see you. Just knock before you enter. Ciao!”
Pete shook his head laughing; she was amazing. He was so excited to introduce her to all his friends the next night. He sat down at the piano, not intending to play it.
He spotted a lone frame face down on the counter. He picked it up, discovering another diploma. “Juilliard,” He whispered, his eyebrows furrowing low over his brow. He sat back down at the piano, playing the same nursery rhyme Carson had.
“Mary had a little lamb…”
A/N- I like this chapter better than the second, but the first is still my favorite. What do you think?