17 . The Wounded Sailor

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Chapter 17

The Wounded Sailor

If suddenly
you forget me
do not look for me,
for I shall already have forgotten you.
- Pablo Neruda, If You Forget Me

ADAM

Her wide eyes were set on me from across the room. The awe on her face warmed my insides. I forgot everything that was wrong and broken in that moment, and the music took over my senses.

I played every note for her, sang every word to her.

It was easy, for my music had been about her for a long time.

Did she even realize that she was giving me a huge, dazed smile as she swayed slightly with the rhythm?

If I knew my music would have that affect on her, I would have used it to win her long ago.

But now it was too late. I had wasted all my chances, and I didn't feel like trying anymore.

I had broken a strong chain the evening before, and though I was still tangled head to toe in it, I had the hope to be free. I could untangle and break free if I tried hard enough.

I was the wounded sailor on the verge of death, who didn't want to see the shore even if he could try and steer the ship. I wanted to die in the empty waters which had become so familiar, it started feeling like home.

I pulled away from the dark thoughts when the guys joined in on the last chorus and chanted along with me. One of them started to show off, adding an impromptu solo and all of us followed suit. Soon we started goofing with different riffs and beats, and something new fluttered in my chest. A feeling of belonging. Something I hadn't felt in a long time.

Maybe I didn't have to die in the dark waters. Maybe I had found people to pull me out – to show me a new way of life. It felt natural, almost like I belonged with the band.

When someone started clapping from the far end of the room, a curious silence descended. The guys stilled, and their mouths dropped open when the beautiful girl started walking forward. I waved, another wave of happiness surging through me when I saw her.

Alana walked in like she owned the place, greeting everyone with a wide smile. Her brother followed close, his back stiff, head lowered, and face hidden inside a hood.

She broke the silence, "Is there anything you can't do, Adam Ross? Now I regret letting you go so easily last night." she added a playful wink.

My eyes shifted to Ev, my ears heating up. Her eyes were on the new comers, a slight frown between her brows.

Alana read me a bit too easily. A sudden glint entered her eyes as she put two and two together. Her smile turned brighter when she turned to Ev.

I jumped down, and ran to her without losing a moment.

We didn't want Kaya-part two, did we?

"Alana, what a pleasant surprise!" my voice came out in a high squeal as I pulled her into a tight hug. She laughed, her body shaking in mirth.

Somewhere behind me, I heard a soft gasp. The hairs on the back of my neck stood, my skin prickled.

It was Déjà vu all of a sudden. I had been as attuned to Evelyn Price when I first met her, as I was today. She had taken over my life then, and still had the reins without even knowing it. And it was me who had given her so much power. I had to put a stop to this unhealthy one-sided obsession.

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