I was leaving Rose Records, listening to the voicemail again, checking one more time, before I made the short trek back to Winthrop place, that I had gotten the right CD.
"Hey, Michael, this is Emma. I was wondering if you could record yourself playing the following three songs by Beethoven: Für Elise, Moonlight Sonata, and Appassionata. I need them for a project assigned by my dance instructor. Obviously, I have the music, but..." she tripped over her words a little bit here. "Just when you play Beethoven, it's better. You know? Anyway, let me know and what not. And, Anna wanted me to tell you that she is disappointed that your hair is neither spiked nor blue." Someone shouted something away from the phone. "SHUT UP, ANNA. I'M NOT GOING TO SAY THAT." The voicemail ended.
I peeked in the bag from Rose Records. Für Elise, Moonlight Sonata, and Appassionata. The CD had a few other songs on there, but as long as I got the three she’d mentioned, it’d be fine. No matter what I did, Emma would notice that they weren't mine, even if I replaced the CD cover with my own. She'll probably be mad. I shrugged, and put my phone back in my pocket.
Ever since the press had found out where I lived, I had set my music aside, and I wasn't going to start again anytime soon. I didn't need anyone figuring out my apartment number based on sound.
I had relaxed, though, since I'd taken the time to breathe, and my parents had shut down the whole fiasco with the stranger in the football field-- they were always better with the press than I was. The world still knew the town I lived in and the building, but unless I was kissing people or involved in murders not many people really cared about a classical pianist that wasn't performing anymore. Even the press from the kissing photo wasn't as bad as middle school when I got caught doing-
I stopped and couldn’t help but smile at the small space just between Rose Records and Raphael Heights Elementary. I set the bag down and stepped into the alleyway. I knelt on the ground and just smiled at the tiny village.
Doll clothes, shoes, and brushes were arranged around the town like gifts to whoever lived there. There were lights strung up in the alleyway through the town. The attention to detail in the buildings was incredible. They were made of twigs but they looked like someone could almost live in them.
I gently tugged on one of the doors, to see if it would open. It did. Functioning doors? Charles would like this. I leaned back. Charles would really like this. Anna would love the visual too. This was brilliant. Someone in this dreary town had made this little alleyway into something beautiful.
"You should leave something"
I jumped and looked over my shoulder. A boy held a single piece of bread he was crumbling in his hand.
"The fairies. You probably didn't know. Have part of my bread." He put half of his bread into my open hand, and he started thoughtfully scattering his crumbs. "That's our job." The child beamed. "We give them things."
"I suppose that makes-" I stopped and stared at the boy. Job. Job? JOB.
I handed the bread back to the boy. My mind was racing, trying to figure out many days I hadn't shown up to work. "Here, you can give this to them for me. Thanks."
I stood up, barely remembering to grab the bag with Emma's CD. I smiled at the boy, and then dashed out of the alleyway.