Leon couldn’t describe how he felt. Why did he feel a jolt of nervousness when he looked at this girl who referred to herself at ‘Alice?’ He had the desire to launch himself towards her and dive into a long hug. Was this feeling the feeling that Leon thought it was: the feeling he had always resented. Was this—
“Hey, Leon, let’s go,” said Desmond into Leon’s ear. It would appear as though the practical part of the lesson had already begun. He stood up and looked around: guitarists, drummers, bassists and pianists were all engaged with their respective instruments. Desmond had marched off to the drum kit closest to the only piano in the room so he could still hang around Leon, who followed behind. However, Leon noticed the piano was already occupied.
A sweet, yet melancholy melody played on the piano; it took Leon a few seconds to realise it had been the very same Alice that made him feel so nervous. Swallowing his nerves-
“U-um, Hi, Alice, right? I’m Leon.”
Her eyes glistened at Leon as she smiled and replied, “Yeah, I’m Alice. Hi, Leon.”
“I umm—I play the piano, too, actually. That Beethoven?”
“Yeah. I’ve always been a fan of his work. What kind of music do you play?”
Leon pondered for a second a way to reply without sounding stupid at all.
“Well, I like to play songs from ‘The Legend of Zelda.’ It’s a game, if you didn’t know.” He followed the sentence with a chuckle and coy grin. Alice stopped playing the piano, now.
“Oh, that’s a great game! What’s your favourite?”
“Oh, I loved that one! This one time—“
“The drum kit’s rooted. Snare sounds like crap.” Desmond caught Alice’s eye, “Oh, hello, Leon’s friend.”
“Hi.” She said simply.
“Oh, this is Desmond, my best friend,” said Leon to Alice. “Des, this is Alice.”
They exchanged greetings, but then shortly after, the bell went.
“So, it was great to meet you, Alice. Maybe we could get to know each other sometime.”
“Sure, that would be nice. You seem like a good guy,” Alice said with a smile. “Bye, Leon!” She skipped off.
Later, during first break, Leon and Desmond were sitting in their usual spot. Leon had one EarPod in, listening to Sonata Arctica as always. Desmond seemed to be playing around on his phone.
“So,” Desmond said, breaking the silence and looking up, “Alice seems really cool, doesn’t she?”
Another indescribable emotion was upon Leon at those words: a feeling of anger; a feeling of hatred. He wanted to yell at his best friend. Despite this, he did his very best to keep a straight face.
“Eh, she seems okay, I guess.”
“ ‘Cool?’ You seemed interested in her when she was playing that guy—what’s his name, Bate Hovun? Anyway, I’m thinking of asking her out—Oh, I mean if you didn’t mind.” Desmond shook off the awkwardness with a chuckle, “But of course, you wouldn’t mind right? You hate relationships.”
“Um, well, I—I only mean, I don’t—“ Leon stuttered, but couldn’t get his words together. He knew he had to hurry and get his words together, or else it would seem too suspicious. “No, I don’t mind.”
“What the hell was with you choking on your words before, then?”
Leon contemplated if telling Desmond the truth straight up was a good idea. Leon just simply dismissed his feelings as a little crush he would get over soon enough.
“I just don’t want you getting hurt like with Brie, is all.”
Leon wondered if he would come to regret his answer. But he knew that he had always hated relationships and thought romance between people who aren’t about thirty-years-old or above is disgusting.
The only class Leon had without Desmond was math. And as fate would have it, Alice was also in the class. She stepped inside the room with her bright blonde hair being blown by the outside wind. She noticed Leon sitting by himself and joined him.
“Hey, again,” she said, sitting down.
A smile instantly formed on Leon’s face. “Hi, Alice. How was your first break?”
“Quite well, thanks. I just hung out in the library because I don’t really have any friends here.”
“Why don’t you hang around me and Des?”
“Would he mind?”
“No, of course not. He is always complaining we don’t have a girl in the group,” Leon laughed. Alice smiled once more. And even though seeing Alice smile made Leon smile, he kept thinking over and over and over in his head, “This is just a fling; it will pass. You aren’t going crazy. You want Desmond to have her.”
Halfway through class, they weren’t talking much as there were a lot of math equations to get through, despite it being their first day back. Once they had both finished, there was about ten minutes left. Leon knew that even though his feelings were just a temporary fling, he might as well get to know Alice.
“So, aside from Beethoven, what kind of music do you like?” Leon asked.
“Well, I like a variety of different music. My favourite band would have to be Nightwish.”
Leon’s face lit up. “Really? They’re similar to Sonata Arctica, aren’t they? That’s my favourite band.”
“Oh! I love that band, too!” she said joyfully. At these words, Leon could literally feel his emotions grow stronger: he had never met a fellow fan of his favourite band before.
They kept talking about music, hobbies, favourite movies and TV shows as they left math. They went their separate ways as Leon had chemistry with Desmond while Alice had Drama. Leon asked Desmond discreetly if he would mind Alice joining their group. It was obvious that Desmond was more than happy to have her in the group, and this made Leon cringe. He was happy that Alice would start hanging around them, but for some reason he hated the idea of Desmond wanting her. But why? Leon has always chosen single life above all else. Yet, even so…
He knew he wanted Alice to himself.