Aftertaste

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In the kitchen I watched as the guys worked in like a well oiled machine. Luke, Kota, and North all were busy cooking. Victor, Mr. Blackbourne, and Sean were setting the table while Gabriel, Nathan, and Silas were staying out of the way. I headed over towards Kota, but when I got close I remembered the way his face had contorted in pain upon reliving the story.

I half turned, but Clementine was right behind me. She shook her head softly and then smiled, turning her gaze off of me and towards the boys.

"Look who I dragged out of bed!"

North turned around, his eyes immediately went to me and then dropped to my stomach. I could do this.

"North," I said, adding a hint of caution to my voice as I walked around him and stood next to Luke.

Luke looked down at me and smiled, though it wasn't a full smile, "Hey Sugar, you come to help with dinner?"

I wrinkled my nose, "I can't cook very well."

He raised an eyebrow, "I sincerely doubt that, come on help me.."

I pulled away, "No. I'm serious, I don't remember."

Something dark crossed over his eyes, and I decided that was enough of that. My heart was beating in my chest so hard that I thought it might escape. With every second that went by I thought one of them would catch on. One of them was going to figure it out.

But at the same time.. I dare them to.

I headed over to where Gabriel sat on the sofa with a guitar in his hands. He was strumming lazily and when I approached he looked up. There were red blotches around his eyes from when he'd been crying.

"You okay?"

He nodded, "Allergies."

Another lie.

"Oh... do you play?"

Gabriel smiled slightly and sat up, "Yeah, not very good, but I can."

Something sparked in the back of my mind. I ignored it and sat down next to him, hands out in a silent question. He handed the guitar over to me and sat forward, resting his elbows on his knees. After I tuned it a little bit for what I wanted, I started strumming it. Once I had it right I began to pick at the strings deliberately.

I could play the song on both guitar and piano, a song that I'd made up while trying to figure myself out. It had been around the time when I was hoping my memories would come back, and I'd realize someone else in the hospital was my boyfriend, and he'd lost his memories too.

A fantasy, something that helped me stay grounded and focused. But it helped me.

By now the guys had mostly stopped what they were doing and were watching me. I didn't have to glance up to know this, but I did anyways. When I saw Clementine looking torn among the guys, I almost stopped. But something inside me didn't allow that.

"What are you playing there, Sang?" Gabriel asked, his voice soft.

I looked over at him and smiled, "A song, I wrote it."

His eyes lit up a little bit, "Does it come with lyrics?"

"Yeah, but I think it sounds better on piano.."

Victor cleared his throat, and I caught sight of those firey eyes, "Can you play it for us?"

Perfect.

Outloud I said, "Yea, sure."

Victor and Sean both cleared off the sheet music from the piano in the room, and I sat at it, brushing my fingers over the keys to get myself accustomed with the feel of this one vs the one I found at the little church down the road from my old apartment.

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