Musical Romance (Short Story)

Your best friend, Beth, invites you to an open mic night at a local coffee house. It the first time Beth is going to sing one of her original songs in front of people, besides you and her cat, Meowers.

You are thrilled to go and support your friend.

After your shift is done at the call center for a tech company you rush home to get ready. You change your clothes and redo your hair. You do this in record time and meet Beth at the cosy coffee house.

You can smell the beans roasting and the coffee brewing from outside the door. As you enter the coffee house you look around the warmly decorated room. It has two large couches facing a makeshift stage area and wood tables that are only large enough to sit four people each. 

Beth finds you and greets you with a great big hug, the way she does when she is nervous. As she is still squeezing you Beth stated, “You made it.” She lets go and tells you, “The first person is about to start. I’m fifth in line.” She straightens her red and brown floral dress that flows over her slender body.

“Of course, I made it. I wouldn’t miss this.” You look at your friend and ask, “How are you doing? Nervous?”

Beth tried to smile. “Nah, no, no. I’m fine.”

You look blankly at her and her face drops, fully revealing her nerves. “Yes, I am. I shouldn’t be, the crowd isn’t that big, but it’s my song. What if they hate it? What if I mess up? What if I can’t really sing?”

“Don’t be silly. You’ll do great. Meowers and I love the song. Plus you’ve sung in front of bigger crowds than this.”

Confused Beth asked, “When?”

“Our middle school recitals and more recently karaoke.”

Beth shakes her head as she states, “Those don’t count. Karaoke isn’t really performing and middle school ended like half a lifetime ago.”

“Still, you’ll do great.”

Just then the first performer takes the stage and taps on the mic. He is a large round man with little hair on the top of his head, but plenty white hair coming from his chin. He starts to sing an old blues song as he strums on a guitar. He is good and the crowd applauds him when he finishes. The next performer is a woman with pigtails and a banjo. She can’t seem to play and sing at the same time, but struggles through the full song anyways. The following two performers get progressively worse and the audience hardly even claps for the last man, who leave almost in tears. It is obvious that his nerves won.

It is Beth’s turn. She is nervous and starts by fumbling the first notes on her simple acoustic guitar.

You mouth “Breathe,” to her. She closes her eyes for a moment and takes a deep breath. She starts again and plays her song perfectly. It is beautiful. The crowd cheers for her at the end. They are very thankful that she was a wonderful singer and the song was beautiful.

Beth makes her way back to the table where you are sitting with a giant smile on her face.

As she sits the next act gets on stage. He has perfectly curly brown hair and sits on the stool, but keeps one leg on the ground. He smiles a nervous yet cute smile as he places his guitar on his lap. He clears his throat and say, “This is my first time here too, and I also have an original song.”

He starts singing and your eyes meet his sparking hazel eyes. You hold eye contact with him and smile. It feels as though the room melts away and he is singing only to you. Towards the end of his song he looks down to make sure he is playing the right notes, but is grinning widely.

At the end of the song he thanks the audience, but is looking at you when he does so. The crowd applauds him as he leaves the little platform that makes up the stage.

He walks directly to you. “Hi, I’m Matt.” He says with his hand out.

You shake his hand as you tell him, “Hi Matt, I’m Lucy. You were great.”

“Thanks. I don’t mean to be too forward, but can I join you two lovely ladies?”

Before you can answer Beth does. “Of course, we would love that.”

The conversation quickly dies down as the last performer takes the stage. She resembles an jazz singer with her hair pined in curls and a black fit and flare dress on. She sings a slow and soft song. It is a very loving sweet  jazz song. After she finishes the audience claps, but starts to leave.

Matt, Beth, and you continue to talk. After half an hour Matt buys both of you teas and you help him carry them over to the table.

You do not realize the time passing. As the coffee house closes Matt asks for your number. Smiling you give him your phone number and he sends you a quick smiley text, so that you have his.

You can tell that this is the start of something new, but after a long day at work you are ready for bed.

You say goodnight to Matt at the coffee house and walk with Beth to your car, which is outside of Beth’s apartment. You say goodnight to your best friend and get in your car.

When you get home you see that you have an unread text message from Matt. It says, “I’m really glad I went to the open mic night, tonight.”

You smile as you respond with, “Me too. Goodnight.”

As you get ready for bed another text from Matt pops up on your phone. “Goodnight.”