Chapter 7

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Wandering into the church atrium, I find a seat on a leather couch. Matt pulls the front door open, greeting me with a sweet smile, making my skin tingle. Admiring the way his brown leather jacket, with a gray lining, puts off a more sophisticated look than his black bomber. Pulling off his hat, his messy hair looks adorable.

Running his hands through his hair, he stops by my side. "Sorry I'm late. My professor wouldn't stop talking."

Grabbing my bag, I avoid eye contact to allow myself a few moments to gather my emotions. "Your timing is perfect." Glancing around, I ask, "Where do you want to do the interview?"

Pointing to the empty coffee shop, he says, "Should we sit at the tables over there? I don't want to rush you, but I told my mom I'd meet her at home in a little over an hour." Walking in sync, we walk side by side to the nearest table.

Curious I ask, "Does your mom live nearby?" The chair scrapes across the tile, making me cringe. Sitting across from me, I notice he lifts his chair, so it doesn't make a sound.

His brows knit together, "She does now. When my dad left her, she found a small place in Ankeny. Sometimes it's too close because she calls me for every little thing." He sighs, "I don't mind helping her. I think it just irritates me that I have to do it because my dad took off."

Watching him, I'm surprised by what I say, "She's lucky to have you close. She probably comes up with things to have an excuse to call."

He lets out a small laugh. "You're probably right."

I bitterly remark, "Be glad your mom wants you around." I stop, wishing I kept quiet.

Looking surprised, he shrugs, "Family's complicated sometimes."

I nod. "That's an understatement." 

Cautiously he asks, "What about your dad? Does he want you around?"

My stomach lurches. I don't want to stress out again, so I say, "He died in a car accident."

"Sorry." Changing the subject, he says, "Are you going to record the interview?"

"Actually, I'd like to take a video, if that's okay?" Leaning over, I grab my iPad out of the bag.

"That's fine. Had I known I would've done my hair." His sheepish grin makes me laugh.

His hair is perfect, but no need for him to know that. Hitting the record button, I start with the basics. "What sparked your interest in music?'

Watching his expression change, he smiles. "My grandma. When I was six, she bought me a cheap little guitar for Christmas. When I went to her house, she asked me to bring it, to play and sing for her. She always cheered and sang along, making me feel important."

Tears sting my eyes. "That is so sweet. What a wonderful memory." A tear falls on my cheek. Embarrassed, I wipe it away.

Continuing to share, he adds, "My mom's a lot like my grandma. They have this way about them that's hard to explain, but it's like they only see the good." He pauses. "Even when I didn't see the good in myself."

I need someone like his mom and grandma in my life. My family only sees my flaws. Building on his thought, I ask. "Did you always know you wanted to be a musician?"

"No." Rubbing something on the table in front of him, his tone is intense. "I found my way back to music during one of the worst times in my life." Glancing at the camera, he stops.

"Do you want me to stop it, so you can tell me? Or would you rather go onto another question? It's up to you." My curiosity is killing me, but I want to respect his privacy.

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