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I woke up Monday morning around noon, a bad taste in my mouth and my head buzzing.
"Ugh." I opened my eyes and saw my floor directly under me. I guess I must have had a restless night and decided to hang my head from the right side of my bed. For the second time in a row, I had gone to bed with my clothes on, it seems. I laid awake, dangling from my bed when I noticed something- a smell. For some reason, the unmistakable smell of bacon and coffee hung around my apartment.
"Food? ... Sebastian!"
I turned over and sat on the left side of my bed and gathered my thoughts. Sebastian came over last night for drinks and he stayed over in my couch. I looked to my right to the bedroom door facing my living room. I couldn't see Sebastian in the living room, but then again, the sofa was facing away from my bedroom.
Wait, I thought, if Sebastian is asleep, where's that smell coming from?
It took me a few seconds for my hung over brain to fit the pieces together. I stood up from my bed and walked the twenty steps it took to get from my room to the living / dining room.
Realization creeped into my mind. That's where that smell is coming from, I thought.
Before me, my dining table was set up with a plate of scrambled eggs, hash browns, and bacon strips next to another plate with two pancakes stacked on top of each other. I looked back to my kitchen through the small counter top that divided it from the dining room and saw freshly brewed coffee.
All this food, yet no Sebastian to be seen.
I looked back down at the table of food in front of me and saw something I had missed- a white note. I picked it up and saw that it was a regular white, notebook piece of paper that had been ripped out and scribbled on. I read the note:
Hey A, sorry about me being gone before you woke, Emma called, said she wanted to talk. I was planning on staying and having breakfast with you but I couldn't so I just left everything set up for you. I wanted to thank you for letting me stay over last night, I appreciate it man. P.S. you're out of eggs.
I smiled, any time, Sebastian, I thought.
It had been a week since Sebastian had slept over and the memory of that night was still vivid in my head. I had spoken to him throughout the week in the classes I had him for, but he hadn't braught up any of what we had talked about that night. Kass and I continued to talk and grab lunch throughout the week but for every conversation I had with her, I was wishing I was having one with Sebastian.
My chance came when Sebastian himself texted me the following Wednesday:
"Hey A, we still on for guitar lessons or what, lol."
Guitar lessons, I thought. Oh! Guitar lessons!
"Oh, yeah man. Whenever you want, let me know."
"Alright, what about tonight? I get out of class at 5?"
"Uh, can we make it at six or seven, Seb? I go to the gym at that time."
"Sure, what if I go with you to the gym at that time too, though?"
I thought about what Sebastian was saying. There was no way in hell I wasn't going to not spend time with him.
"Yeah, sounds good, see you there then, Seb."
I had an Ecology lecture to go through till 5:00 PM but I couldn't concentrate thinking about spending time with Sebastian. It seemed like this lecture was never going to end until, finally, it did. After driving to my school's gym and parking on the second row, I looked around trying to find Sebastian's car. When I couldn't find it, I got off and decided to just wait for him inside the gym.
I checked into the gym with my ID, sat on one of the sofas near the entrance and took out my phone to check for any messages Sebastian might have sent.
"Fancy seeing you here,stranger."
I looked up, curious as to who was talking to me.
"Oh," I looked to the entrance nervous that Sebastian was going to walk through the door and somehow figure out what Squat Guy and I did, "Hey man. What are you uh- what are you doing here?"
He looked at me as if I was slow. "It's a gym, what do you think I'm doing here, Alex?"
Well, you got me there, I thought.
"Ha-ha," I rolled my eyes, "ok, gym, right. Sorry."
He sat down on the seat in front of me. "What are you doing here, though, Alex?" He squinted his eyes in a way I found oddly attractive. "Haven't seen you around in a while."
Ok, truth be told, after our first encounter in the shower, I had felt ashamed of the way I had behaved. It wasn't like me to just do something like that. With a stranger. In public. I mean, it was hot as hell, yes- but it wasn't something I did, so I'd been going to Gold's gym on the other side of town trying to avoid him.
"Oh, I've been busy with school and work, you know," I looked back towards the entrance hoping to see Sebastian, "And right now I'm actually waiting on a friend to work out with."
He gave me a sly smile, "Oh, a boyfriend?"
"What? Oh, no. Just a friend."
Fuck him and his sly little smile.
I looked towards the entrance one more time before deciding to nip my fears right in the bud. "Listen dude about last time, I can't have anyon-"
"Relax Alex, I know. You can't have anyone finding out. I'm on the same boat."
I relaxed. I mean, this was the second time I had ever seen this guy, and for all I know he could be lying to me, but him telling me he was going to keep what we did on the down low was somewhat reassuring.
"But," He looked at me with his brown eyes and I saw a hint of mischief, "If you ever feel like doing something like that again," He took out a scrap of paper, scribbled something on it and handed it to me, "You can always hit me up or something."
I looked down at the scar of paper he handed me and saw that he had written his number on it.
"So, Alex," He flashed me his sly little smile again. "Tell me, what's up with this non-boyfriend of yours."
"I don't know what you're-"
"Oh, please ha-ha, you keep checking your phone and looking at the door like a lost puppy."
"Nah," I could feel my face begin to flush, "There's nothing going on between us. We're just friends, dude."
"Yeah, ok. I'm just curious," He squinted his eyes again, "'Cause you got all red right when I asked that."
"No, there's- there's nothing going on there." Before I could try my best to convince him, I felt a hand on my shoulder making me jump.
"Hey, A. Sorry I'm late. I had to pick something up for Emma. You ready?"
"Oh, uh- yeah Sebastian." I stood up, "no worries." I looked from Sebastian to Squat Guy, "Sebastian this is uh-"
Squat Guy only had to look at me for a fraction of a second to realize something- I didn't remember his name.
"Ralph here." Squa- Ralph stood and offered Sebastian a handshake. "Alex's- friend."
"Oh, nice to meet you, Ralph." Sebastian shook Ralph's hand.
"We'll we should probably start, Sebastian, so we can head to my apartment." Ralph looked at me with slightly raised eyebrows. "I'm teaching him how to play the guitar."
"Oh, that's pretty cool." He smiled, "Yeah, I have a psychology class right now." Ralph looked at his watch, "I should get going, too. See you around, Alex. Nice to meet you, Sebastian."
Sebastian and I walked away from Ralph and I led him up the stairs to the second floor of the gym.
"So, Ralph your boyfriend or what, A?"
I could feel myself begin to panic for a fraction of a second before I realized Sebastian must just be teasing me. I decide to play along, "Yeah, why? He a catch?"
He smirked at me, "Oh, yeah. He seems great. If you're ever having problems with your boyfriend though, you can talk to me- I'll listen."
"Oh, yeah?" I smirked back at him. "Thanks for understanding. Glad you're here to listen."
We stepped in front of the running track and I looked at him. "So, I usually start off with cardio- just four laps, then I move on to working out. Today's leg day- you good with that?"
Sebastian looked at me, "Yeah, A. I'm good with that."
"Awesome. Also, Seb? Fuck you- he's not my boyfriend."
Sebastian's laugh always brought a smile to my face.
After finishing our workout I told Sebastian I was going to go ahead and shower at my apartment.
"Yeah, A. Sounds good. I'll go ahead and shower here. Don't think you'd like for me to stink up your apartment."
I looked at my sweaty, yet still very sexy friend, "Yeah, fuck that dude. I can almost taste your fucking stench ha-ha."
"Ha-ha. Fuck you, A. Like you smell any better. Fine, I'll shower here real quick and then head to your apartment."
"Sounds like a plan."
I said goodbye to Sebastian and headed back to my apartment. I took a quick shower, changed into joggers and a t-shirt and sprayed some Febreze around my apartment while I waited for Sebastian.
Sebastian knocked on my door by 7:10 PM and I led him in.
Sebastian took a deep breath as he walked inside."Your apartment smells nice, A."
"Thanks, Seb. I was hauling ass trying to get this place to smell nice for you. You're welcome."
Sebastian smirked at me, "No problem."
I led Sebastian back onto the couch he had slept on last week and headed over to my room to get my guitar and the extra one I had for Sebastian.
I walked back to my living room with both guitars in hand. "So, Sebastian, is there a specific reason you want to learn how to play guitar?"
"Well yeah," He extended his hand and grabbed the extra guitar I had for him, "See, Emma's birthday is this Saturday and I wanted to surprise her with a song. It's cheesy- I know. I just wanted to do something special for her and Lily."
"Oh," I was crestfallen- I didn't know what to say. "That's- that's very sweet of you."
"Yeah, so I'd appreciate it if you could teach me I Won't Give Up by Jason Mraz. We've been through a lot and I just want her to know that I'm here for her and I love her."
"Ok, let me, uh- let me get my laptop and look up the chords so we can practice it then." I left Sebastian sitting on my couch as I walked to my room to retrieve my laptop. Every step to my room seemed to take more and more effort from me- I could feel my feet dragging towards the end. I got my laptop from next to my bed and walked back to see Sebastian playing with the strings of the guitar I lent him.
"Ok, so," I sat on the floor again, opened my laptop and looked up the chords to the song, "first of all, I feel like I should ask this." I looked up at Sebastian sitting on my couch as I let the chord website to load. "Are you- can you sing?" I said this as nonchalantly as I could to try and not sound rude. "I'm just asking because I don't think I've ever heard you sing Seb."
Sebastian looked at me and I saw him blush for the first time ever. "Well, I mean- yeah. Not as good as you though, but I can carry a tune. I'm not fucking Carol who can't sing for shit, ha-ha."
"Ok, well that's good. Just warning you that singing and playing guitar at the same time is going to be hard."
"Yeah, I know, which is why I wanted to ask you something.." I saw insecurity in Sebastian's hazel eyes as he looked at me.
"Uh, sure. What's up?"
"Well," I could see he was uncomfortable with whatever he was about to say. "I was- I was just wondering if you could help me out on the singing part."
I was taken aback. "You want me to sing? On your girlfriend's birthday? For your girlfriend?" I could think of a few reasons why I didn't want to sing for Sebastian's girlfriend.
"Well, not by yourself. I'd want you to sing with me, you know?"
I could lie and come up with hundreds of excuses as to why I couldn't be able to help him, but looking into Sebastian's pleading, hazel eyes I caved. I sighed, "Sure Sebastian, I'll do it."
"Thank you, A!" Sebastian flashed me a smile. "I know you haven't met Emma yet, but I'm sure you'll like her. And she definitely already likes you."
"Thanks, Seb." Wait. "Wait, what do you mean she already likes me?"
"Oh," Sebastian looked abashed for a second before he continued, "Well, Carol and I talked to her about how you're a really good singer. She used to be in choir so she appreciates a good singer."
"Oh," It was my turn to look abashed for a second, "That's great, uh, thanks."
"Yeah, she says she can't wait to meet you and hear you sing, ha-ha. I told her as soon as she met you she'd wish she didn't ha-ha."
I smiled at Sebastian. It was a good feeling to know that he had talked about me to his girlfriend. "Ha-ha, fuck you, man. We better start practicing, though."
I spent an hour going over the chords that the song required. I taught Sebastian what a guitar Capo was how it made playing bar chords easier. I helped him position his fingers to make the different chords the song required: G, D, A, C and Bm. In the end, I even let him borrow my guitar so he could practice at home but he insisted that he rather I keep it here.
"I don't want Emma seeing it around the house and ask me about it, A. Thanks, though."
"Sure no problem then, Seb."
"This was great though, Alex." He looked at me with those pleading, hazel eyes again, "Mind if I come over again tomorrow to keep at it?"
"Oh," I have to admit, having Sebastian at my apartment again would be great, "Sure Seb, no problem. I get out early so I should be here by 3:00 PM."
"That time's good with me, A." Sebastian stood up and headed towards the door. "I'll see you tomorrow then, Alex."
"Yeah man," I opened the door for him, "Sounds good."
I watched Sebastian walk away and head to the stairs, down to the parking lot. I smiled and walked to my room- deciding to go to bed early- humming the melody to the song we had practiced all the way to my bed.