Chapter 37: I'm Sorry That I Made You Cry

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Hey y'all, today's weather was gorgeous so I decided to make a celebratory post! Hope you enjoy this chapter, I feel like I did a decent job on it haha. Goes unsaid how much I really appreciate you all—there's always been at least one person supporting my work. <3<3<3

Feeling very nostalgic atm after listening to summer of '69 and idk why haha

"So ye've finally brought home a girl, have you then?"

    I silently closed the door behind me, unsure of how to respond. Martin's cheeks colored. "She's just staying the night, grandpa," he said in a quick attempt to explain the situation before realizing he made it sound even worse.

    "Whatever you say, boy." The old man gave Martin a smile, I saw the etch of relief woven into it. He exhaled a long stream of smoke into the air, clouding my vision from him for a split second, but not before I noted the shared black, wavy hair and thin face with his grandson.

    After the dramatic escapade at the bar and the darkroom, Martin and I had decided it was unsafe for any of us to walk home alone. It was probably safer for him, being a young man walking late at night as opposed to a young woman but what with the violent act of his outing he obviously felt somewhat vulnerable. So the two of us decided to go back to his house and I could go home in the morning. We had walked home from the library; he was holding onto my arm. He didn't say anything until we were a few blocks away. Only then did a little bit of his life story sneak its way out of his locked, protective mouth.

    "Grandpa doesn't know," he said. "Just thinks I'm a bit soft, that's all, you know, classical music and the like. No one knows. Only Lennon caught on, but for some reason he's subtle enough—it's like he knows exactly where to stop before others catch on." He took a quick glance at me through his glasses. Black rimmed, like Buddy Holly. No wonder John felt insecure, but it still didn't excuse his actions.

    "I'm sorry," I said again.

    "It's not your fault." He sighed and produced a key to his house from his coat pocket. His neighborhood looked a little like George's—not too posh, more middle class. "We live on the second floor of this flat. Grandpa should be asleep."

    Grandpa, in fact, he was not—when we walked inside we came face to face with him watching the television, still in his work clothes, smoking a cigarette. After our awkward introduction, Martin quickly pushed me into his small room while he had a talk with his grandfather to clear up the situation. The door closed behind me; I had time to admire his blue-painted room, the color washed with the light of a warm lamp on his side table. Posters of photography and magazine cutouts were tacked perfectly on the walls, parallel to one other. The bedsheets were a plain dark blue; the bed perfectly made. Martin's desk held a couple of books and an old, washed out Campbell's soup tin with writing utensils. A few strange looking instruments, probably photography instruments, decorated a small part of his desk, which looked out of a window into the now dark neighborhood.

    Martin pushed open the door; I turned away from the window. "Sorry about that," he said. "Grandpa is just happy I'm bringing some sort of female home."

    I laughed. "Well, my condolences, he'll be disappointed."

    "That is, if he ever finds out," Martin said darkly.

    "He won't," I was quick to affirm. "Not from me, anyways. Hey, can I make a phone call?"

    Martin directed me to the phone in the hallway. Quiet noises from the television wafted from the living room to the hallway, and I got the sense that grandpa wanted a listen in on what the hell I was doing here. George picked up on the third ring.

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