Waiting for You Excerpt
“What got you into music?” she asked suddenly, idly stirring her straw.
“My mom, to be honest. She gave piano lessons at our house. We had an old upright piano in our living room, and she used to play when I was little. I always wanted to sit next to her on the bench. I don’t think Elliott, my little brother, was even walking yet when I started learning. My dad used to get mad every time I’d play chopsticks.” Kylie smiled, brushing her hair out of her eyes, as she watched him intently.
“Do you play anything besides piano?”
“A few.” He glanced at Kylie as her head tilted, questioning him for more. “I started cello lessons in fifth grade, although I haven’t touched one since I graduated. I started teaching myself guitar once I got into high school.”
“Neat. I wish I was that talented,” she said with a bemused smile.
“What about you? How’d you end up giving out advice?”
“Growing up, I wanted to do investigative work like my dad.” She looked down into her nearly empty glass. “But as you saw, I kind of have a hard time with blood. So, I ended up getting my degree in journalism, and my intention was to do more…I don’t know. Actual news and stories. The advice column sort of fell in my lap. Mama insisted I take it to get my foot in the door. Eventually, I want to do investigative journalism with the Herald.” Her smile faltered.
“That doesn’t seem like such a horrible job,” Adam said, raising his voice over another screeching karaoke contestant. Kylie leaned in to hear him. “How long has your dad been a detective?”
“Um, he isn’t with us anymore.” She bit her lip and stared down into her glass, rattling the ice cubes with her straw.
“Oh. Sorry.” Adam took a long draught, watching as two girls finished a duet. Kylie shook her head.
“He died during a case.” Her voice was soft, and mournfulness dulled her blue eyes. Adam found himself floundering again. This wasn’t going at all how he had planned, and he had to do something.
“Let’s do karaoke,” he said.
“Huh? Oh no, don’t subject these poor people to my singing,” she pleaded as Adam grabbed her hand, tugging her off the barstool.
“Who cares? Half the people who get up here can’t hit a single note.” She pulled her hand out of his grasp, shaking her head as her cheeks reddened. Adam stopped as he watched the mournfulness in her eyes turn to pleading. She looked away, quickly gathering her purse, her hands fumbling as she fished out her wallet.
“I really don’t do well like this in front of people,” she said, tossing cash at the bartender and turning towards the exit. Adam grabbed her hand again before she could take another step.
“Kylie, wait,” he said. She stared at the ground, but did not pull away. “I’m sorry. We can just go for a walk if you want. The battery is nice at night.” She paused for a few moments.
“Alright.” Although Adam was reluctant to let go, she slipped her hand out of his grasp and led them outside.
Allison Williford is a Women’s Fiction author, blogger, and all around nerd. She is the owner and operator of The Sentranced Writer, a blog dedicated to helping other writers.
Originally from upstate New York, she now lives in coastal North Carolina with her husband and their dog, Wilson. In addition to writing, Allison is a mental illness awareness and suicide prevention advocate.
When not glued to her writing or with her nose in a book, Allison enjoys free time at the beach, boogie boarding, copious amounts of coffee, romps in the yard with her dog, and also saying hello to every dog she meets.