Being misunderstood doesn’t mean you’re the issue…sometimes it’s the people that misunderstand you with all the issues.Unknown
The door opened and Maeve stopped short upon entering, when she noticed Everett in her living room watching TV as if it was the most normal thing in the world.
“Oh, come on now! Why are you here again? You are harder to get rid off than herpes!”
“Your roommate invited me in.”
“Well, and this roommate here is going to kick you back out now. Leave!”
“Negatory. I am here for Mariko. We went out to lunch and she asked me inside. Would be awfully rude to just leave now without even saying goodbye. Sorry, no can’t do.”
“You have GOT TO be kidding me!” Maeve sighed.
“Oh hey Maeve. Yeah, look what this cat dragged in. Rett and I had lunch together and it was soooo amaaaaazing. And he is sooooo amaaaazing!” Mariko appeared now.
“Oh, I know. He’s pure joy in a handy dandy package. Can I see you under four eyes in my room for a second, Mariko?!” Maeve told her roommate while behind Mariko’s back Everett mouthed the word ‘amaaaaazing’ then grinned.
Mariko smiled at Rett then entered Maeve’s room, Maeve followed, flipped a smirking Rett off before going in and shutting the door behind her.
“Look Mariko, I know this is going to be hard to hear, but Everett cannot be trusted. I know he seems nice, but he’s not. Do not fall for that playa! Open your eyes, he is not really into you. He is up to something. He just takes what he wants and then drops the girls – usually several at the same time.” Maeve told Mariko.
“He told me he used to be that way, but he has changed. Everyone deserves a chance. I believe him. He’s really sweet.” Mariko replied with that glazed over look in her eyes.
“Sweet and changed, my ass! Mariko, he is using you to get to me.” Maeve chose brutal honesty now.
“Wow, self-absorbed much?! You think I am not pretty enough to get his attention or something?! I think I see what’s really going on here. You wanted to play hard to get, didn’t work, and now you are pissed that he likes me better! You are jealous! Not happening. He’s mine now and you will keep out of it, bitch!” Mariko stormed out, slamming the door shut behind herself.
“Ugh!” Maeve groaned defeated, then dropped down on her bed.
So, Everett became a regular visitor at the girls’ home. Mariko seemed over the moon, he undoubtedly had his fun with her since he was still around. Maeve avoided him best she could, which wasn’t easy in the tiny two bedroom apartment.
Until one day, when he ended up just entering Maeve’s room uninvited.
“Excuse you!? Ever heard of knocking?! Out! What are you thinking?! I could have been changing …!”
“I should be so lucky. You sound just like my brother now. Declan used to always get on me about knocking when we both lived at home. Oh wow, strange to see grandpa on your walls. Anyway, Mariko is getting pizza for us and just called me to check with you if you want some and what.”
“No thanks and OUT.”
“Keyboard huh? Do you play?”
“No, Rett, I had this empty corner and couldn’t think of anything more expensive to put there.”
“Would you play something for me.”
“NO! Get out of my room!”
“Maeve, come on, why can’t we just get along? I am trying here. What do you want me to do? That afternoon of my graduation was fun, wasn’t it? So why are we back to hating on me? And I would really like to hear you play. Or sing. Ideally both.”
“And I would really like my roommate’s boyfriend out of my room now before she gets back.”
“I am not her boyfriend. We went on a few dates. Big difference!”
“Not to me! You hittin’ it, it’s yours. You own that shit now, Rett, whatever you label it.”
“Well, you’d be excited to know then that I am not ‘hittin’ it’, so nothing there to own. And not for lack of trying on your roomie’s end, let me tell ya. That girl is randier than a bobcat with his balls caught in an electric fence. But I told her I want to take it slow. She actually liked that. So … there’s that.”
“Wow, you are a real hero. And also: TMI. None of my business, and frankly, I really couldn’t care less. But what kinda gentleman let’s the girl get the food anyway? Why didn’t you at least go with her?”
“Because she insisted. And I aim to please. Want me to show you a few …” he headed for her keyboard, she blocked the way.
“NO! Leave my keyboard alone, leave me alone and leave my room!”
“Maeve, please … come on. Look, I am going to see my grandpa tomorrow. He’s got the coolest studio in their basement, with all the cool pictures and awards. Why don’t you come with me? You’d love it and I am sure he’d love nothing more than to give you some pointers and all …”
“You can’t always use your grandpa as bait … won’t work all the time.”
“But it works this time, right?”
“Maybe. Just because I am a big Blaine Cameron fan and I have never actually seen a recording studio up close. And I could desperately use some pointers. Fine, I actually am not working tomorrow, so what time and where?”
“How about I pick you up here at 1 PM, we have lunch and then I drive us to their house? And back here after.”
“What is it with you and lunch all the time?”
“Man’s gotta eat. So do you.”
“Pass on that. No lunch, no coffee, just your grandpa. But – what about Mariko?”
“Grandpa doesn’t allow many people in his studio. He’s pretty quirky about it. I am pretty sure I can get you in, because he knows you and likes you but there is no way he’d let Mariko in there. Could be our lil secret, I ain’t telling if you ain’t.”
“Up to your old tricks, huh? Keeping secrets and shuffling girls in and out of places. And this time I am one of those girls, oh boy.”
“What tricks? Are you and I doing anything illegitimate? No. So there is nothing to tell. But you may have noticed that your friend is kinda on the jealous side, so why risk pissing her off, right? Between you and I, she also cannot carry a tune in a bucket with a lid on it, so I’d really prefer not to have to listen to her try to sing. Not again. My ears are still bleeding from the car ride when she went all classic Abba on me. She may be a dancing queen, but ain’t no singer. I was ‘this’ close to taking a swan dive out the window of a moving car. And I was the one driving it.”
Maeve couldn’t help but laugh, no matter how hard she tried not to.
They had fun at the Cameron’s Lake House, and over the coming weeks Maeve began to let her guard down a little, Rett was all over finally having found someone other than his grandfather who truly shared his obsession for creating music. And Maeve was grateful for his help. And a willing student.
One day he ended up in her room again – uninvited again – after Mariko went to her room to get ready for a dinner out, leaving him alone in the living room, where he heard Maeve practicing the guitar.
“Hey, I couldn’t help but notice … the tuning needs to be adjusted. Something is off.” he just opened the door without even knocking, startling her.
“Are you kidding me?! Are you physically and mentally incapable of knocking on doors?! Every time I turn around you bounce into my room like a Jack-in-the-Box! That’s just uber-rude, I could have been naked!”
“Are you physically and mentally incapable of locking your door, if it bothers you so much when people come see you? Besides, I heard you playing the guitar! Since when do you do that naked?! THAT I would not have wanted to miss for sure! Even I’ve never done that, but now am pretty eager to try.”
“Yeah, but not in my room. Out with you!”
“Listen seriously, something’s going on with the tuning and that is counter-productive when trying to learn. Just let me see it for a minute, I can fix it for you. What’s the worst thing that could happen? Think I’d break it over my head or something? Not that much of a knuckle-dragging Neanderthal, give me some credit, girl. But you are never gonna learn anything on a guitar that’s so out of tune that it sounds worse than two cats fucking in a back alley.”
“Yeah, well, I am all new on the guitar, it sounds all the same to me. You and your grandpa make it look really cool and easy, I never touched mine again after I got it all those years back. Was too upset because … well YOU. Anyway, had to go over to my parents’ house the other day and grabbed it, thought I might give it another shot. But honestly … I am getting nowhere fast. I tried online video tutorials but I am just not making any progress. I think I’d sooner build a space ship before figuring this shit out. Hopeless.”
“It’s not hopeless, just overwhelming at first. You’ve got a good feel for rhythm. It’s actually pretty easy, once you get the hang of it. Like second nature. Here, let me see.” Everett stretched out his hands.
She handed the instrument to him, he began tuning it, once he was satisfied with the sound, he handed it back to her. Sitting on the bed she started some simple chords per his instructions.
“No, you are still holding it wrong, and the position of the fingers is off. Too clenchy. Here, don’t move, I’ll show you you.”
Rett climbed on the bed behind her and guided her fingers, showing her with skilled movements how to do it, Maeve watched his fingers like a hawk, laser-focused on his instructions while also trying to ignore the feeling of his breath on her neck and the warmth of his body against her back.
“What is going on here?!” Mariko was standing in the middle of the room, visibly angry. Neither of them had heard her come in.
“Nothing. He’s just helping me with the guitar.” Maeve told her.
“Guitar lesson’s in your PJs?! You don’t seriously think I’d buy that! Just couldn’t leave well enough alone! Had to steal my man! Some friend you are! You whore!” Mariko hissed, then ran out, slamming the door to her room shut.
“I’ll talk to her.” Rett said, as he climbed off the bed, and went after Mariko, but re-appeared in Maeve’s room shortly after.
“Locked me out, says she hates me, bunch of choice words, and to be happy with you. Sorry Maeve, I seem to have a knack for pissing people off without even trying.” he sounded genuine.
“Yeah, it’s okay, I’ll talk to her once she’s calmed down a little. I mean, not like we were doing anything. Fully clothed, holding a guitar. So we were sitting on my bed, not like I have room for other seating in here, I mean, come on now, right? Be reasonable. She acts like she caught us screwing on the kitchen table. And no offense, but you and I are never, ever gonna happen.”
“None taken and agreed. Maybe I should have had you get up off the bed, but honestly, some people do better sitting while playing, others standing. I am a stander. Thought you might be a sitter. Even my grandpa stood behind me in the beginning a couple times when I was learning to correct my shit, just easier than to do it mirrored, and I promise you we didn’t go to any bases with each other. Look, really sorry about the drama, it was really not intentional, but I think it’s probably best if I go now.”
“Probably right. Thanks for the demo though. For what it’s worth, it helped, I think.”
To be continued …