Chapter 29

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Been a while, so here's a chapter twice as long as the others. Merry f***ing Xmas.

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I decided to take Mitch to a little cafe not too far from Martin High to try and calm him down and possibly give him some energy before his audition. We sat down across from one another at a small table in the corner of the cafe and not long after our waitress took our beverage orders.

"I'll have an ice sweet tea please." I said, placing the menu down onto the table.

"Sure thing! And what about you sir?" Our waitress who told us her name was Karen asked, turning to Mitch and waiting for his response.

"I would just like a water please. And a lemon on the side if you could."

"Got it! An iced tea and a water with one lemon on the side. I'll be back with your drinks shortly."

After Karen went away to get our drinks I looked across at Mitch. He was picking at his sleeves nervously, a theme I've picked up on in the few weeks we've known each other.

"Hey, what's going on in that head of yours?"

His head snapped up at my voice.

"Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to scare you. What's wrong?"

He shook his head. "I don't know. I'm just nervous... I don't think I'll be able to eat."

I frowned. "But aren't you hungry? You won't sing for like an hour."

"I'm more nervous that hungry." He chuckled sadly.

I hummed in thought. "What if I order something that we can both share? That way you'll still get to eat but just not too much."

"Yeah, okay. That would be fine." He looked downed at his lap and I smiled.

Karen returned with our beverages and took our orders, Mitch not ordering anything and me ordering a sandwich with fries for us to split. "Okay boys, I'll be back!" She smiled, walking over to someone else's table.

Suddenly, Mitch spoke without me saying something first. An occurrence so rare I consider it a treasure.

"Will you be disappointed in me?"

I was so shocked at first by the question that I didn't respond.

He sighed, "I knew it..."

"What? No, Mitchie. Disappointed in you? Why would I-for what? Of course not."

"O-oh. Okay then. I just don't like letting other people down because of my stage freight."

I reached across the table and held my hand out, Mitch understood the gesture and laid his palm atop mine.

"Have you let someone down in the past?" I questioned softly, stroking his knuckles with my thumb.

"No, but it's just always been that fear of failure that we've talked about. I'm afraid of letting my parents down, embarrassing myself, letting Mrs. C down... I'm afraid of letting you down." He said, getting quieter with every sentence.

I continued to rub my thumb across his knuckles. "I promise you there's nothing you can do that'll let me down. I can obviously tell you're scared, but you're still trying and that kind of bravery is incredibly admirable. That's all I could ask for in a mentee."

He smiled. He smiled! There we go, those cute little dimples.

"Ah, there's that million dollar smile. Now stop worrying, okay?" I smiled.

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