I'd be lying if I said it wasn’t strange waking up in New York. As I was drifting into consciousness, I completely forgot where I was and for a second or two I thought I was still in England. That familiar glum feeling settled over me until I realised where I really was and it was replaced with a happiness so intense I was astounded by it.
The sun was shining through the windows onto the bed, warm and enriching. I cast a glance around the apartment and couldn’t help the smile spread across my face. It was a very modern apartment, all wooden floorboards and shiny, marble countertops. A fluffy white rug took up most of the space in the main room and elaborate, complicated paintings were hung up on the walls giving the apartment a certain charm. My favourite guitar was propped up against the wall in the far corner.
Deciding it was about time I got dressed, I dragged myself out of bed, showered and chose a simple black t shirt and a denim skirt. Just as I’d finished applying makeup, there was a knock at the door. Confused, I crossed the room and pulled it open. Elijah was stood there with two polystyrene cups of coffee and a brown paper bag.
‘Oh, hello!’ my voice was a little too eager.
‘Hey! I brought coffee and doughnuts. I have a lot of free time so I was wondering if you wanted a tour round New York?’
He didn’t have to ask twice.
* * *
We were sat on a bench by the river in Central Park, sipping coffees and eating doughnuts. It was something so simple and yet so strange to me. I’d never done anything like this before.
‘Nice doughnuts,’ I noted. It was getting a little awkward and I felt I should say something but as soon as I said it, I mentally scolded myself. I sounded like a right idiot.
‘They are. How are you finding the apartment?’
‘Really nice actually,’ I replied, glad we now had something to talk about. ‘I still need to unpack, but yeah. It’s a lot nicer than my house back home.’ Saying the word home out loud made me realise just how much had changed in such a short space of time. I would have to accept that home wasn’t back in England anymore, it was here.
‘Good! I’m glad. Sorry about the confusion when I first saw you, I honestly thought you were trying to break in or something.’
‘I didn’t know I looked the type that would be suspected of burglary.’
‘Well, it was late at night and I was tired. I was practicing with the band most of the day.’
‘Oh? You’re in a band?’ That sparked my interest.
‘Yeah, we’re called the Stabbing Angels. You should come along to one of our rehearsals some time!’ Wow, the Stabbing Angels. It was pretty dark. I tried not to judge but I didn’t think I’d like the sort of music they’d play. They seemed a bit too…heavy for my taste. I preferred the softer stuff.
Nevertheless I told him I’d go along. After all, he had made me feel very welcome.
‘If you need anything else, you can always call me.’ Elijah offered.
‘I don’t have your number,’ I blinked stupidly.
He laughed again. ‘Yeah I know, I’m just about to give it to you. Patience.’ My cheeks flamed red at my idiocy as Elijah scrawled some numbers down on a slip of paper and handed them to me. There were so many things I wanted to say to him. I wanted to tell him you make this day, because he had. I wanted to thank him so much for being so nice and understanding and I wanted to thank him for making me feel so welcome. In the end I settled on a simple ‘Okay, thank you.’
I could honestly say I had found a friend in Elijah.
Elliot Minor - Silently