It wasn’t his fault; he didn’t understand what had driven me to leave England, how my life had taken a dramatic turn for the worse resulting in me packing my bags and heading for New York. I still couldn’t stop the tears that threatened to fall when he raised the question. I simply told him I didn’t want to talk about it and hoped he would respect my wishes.
That’s how we got onto the topic of music. I wasn’t overly surprised that I had found another keen musician in New York; after all, this was the city of music.
‘What music are you into?’ I smiled, keeping my voice friendly.
‘Mostly rock. I kind of think listening to certain tracks when I’m walking around is like having a soundtrack to life, you know?’
‘Yeah,’ I lied. My eyes flickered to the window and I realised with a start it was already dark. He followed my gaze to the window and I could have sworn his eyes widened ever so slightly, before he regained his composure.
‘Is something wrong?’ I didn’t want to pry, but felt I should check he was okay.
‘Um, no,’ his voice was slightly shaky and he began fiddling with the corner of his napkin, tearing it into little shreds. ‘Listen, I have to go.’
‘Oh, okay.’ I tried not to sound too disappointed. ‘See you around?’
‘Yeah,’ he replied, distracted. He stood up and without another word turned round and headed back outside, leaving me on my own. As soon as he left, the panic began setting in. It was dark and I still had to get to the apartment by myself. I should have asked Ryder or Dinah for help before they took off.
I picked my bags up, paid for the Cokes and made my way into the cold night. Luckily for me, a taxi was parked right outside. Climbing into the back of it, I pulled the crumpled piece of paper out of my pocket and told the driver the address.
* * *
The apartment was roughly twenty minutes away and I spent this time in complete awe and fascination of the city, captivated within the beauty of the bright lights and the liveliness of it all. Back in my home town, when it approached night time, the majority of the town would be at home, getting ready to go to bed, all the lights turned off. But here, it was like the city was more alive at night, everybody was rushing around, like someone was spreading a sense of urgency and, it was strangely alluring.
When we finally approached the apartment, I was tired and fighting to keep my eyes open. I thanked the driver, paid him, taking extra care not to mess up again and retrieved my bags from the back seat. The apartment was a simple building block, with two large windows overlooking the city.
I was fumbling in my bags trying to find the keys when someone coughed behind me. I whirled round, getting ready to shout for help when I found myself looking into the most gorgeous eyes I had ever seen. They were the most startling shade of blue, sort of a smoky sapphire shade, and they were now scrutinizing me with unsettling hostility.
‘Who are you?’ his voice was smooth and melodic, contrasting sharply with his obvious dislike for me.
‘Um, Lexi. I’m new, from England actually. This is the apartment address I was given,’ I babbled nervously.
‘Oh,’ realization dawned on his features and he broke out into a friendly grin. ‘Lexi, yes. I’ve been expecting you. I’m the owner of this apartment.’ He extended his hand and I shook it, relieved. ‘Let me help you with those bags.’ Before I could protest, he had my suitcase in his hand and was leading the way inside.
‘Name’s Elijah, by the way,’ he called over his shoulder, a strand of ash blonde hair falling into his eyes. He was extremely good looking. It was then that I realised, I was going to enjoy living in New York.
Muse - Apocalypse Please