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Enigma Variations

by  Cliff Hanger

Posted: Thursday, August 11, 2016
Word Count: 499

Content Warning
This piece and/or subsequent comments may contain strong language.

Alesha’s dad’s always been into that kinda stuff, twiddly violins and la, la singing. Not mine, nah. His favourite t-shirt tells you straight. Thrash. Loud, real loud. Our gaffe. Door hanging of the fridge, needles hiding in the garbage, a smell of horses. Even the rats don’t stay long but it’s always buzzin. Folk comin and goin. Puddles of puke in the hallway. Can’t bring anyone home cos they always fall for the allure. Dad’s more than happy to oblige and then they follow me about all moon eyed. Until they come at me with a blade.
School’s obsessed with the twiddles now though, something about grades and blah, blah, community and all that crap. Alesha likes it though.
Ya cmin orchestra? Smiley face.  
Yer, whatever.
Alesha’s goin to uni next year. Mr Robertson spent ages telling me that I could get the grades easy just needed to get my head down but the library shut down and there’s no place away from the whump, whump, whump. And all the rest.
Dad found one of my essays once.
‘How is the theme of love dealt with in Romeo and Juliet?’
Love, fucking love, FUCKING LOVE he screamed down my ear like the demented Sergeant Major in that movie, Jarhead or some such crapola.
So I’m in the room. Chairs smashed up from where Ali kicked off in biology and they’re all there laughing. Together. The dude in charge all cords and little round glasses.  
‘Coming round to mine after practise, Alesha?’
Finian. I hate that prick. You’d think his name was ‘Hollister’ he’s so branded.  New mini for his eighteenth. Of course he’s in before me. Fingers spasm in my pocket curling the edges of the ticket over on itself like a calzone pizza. I’ll have no place to go when dad finds out I raided his stash to get the cash for two bits of card and not even to see Metallica.
‘Harry welcome, join us’ the dude’s nose is too big for his stupid round frames. Think his name is Quentin or it might as well be.  I pick up the fiddle and stroke it. Amazes me how such sound can come from a bit of wood and some gut. Quentin starts talking about my potential he says it like this PO TEN SHIAL. I can see Alesha talking to Finian twirling a strand of long blonde hair around her finger, leaning in toward him a little, giggling like an idiot. I never took her for one of those. Deep breath. Thing is Thrash drowns out all other sound so I’ve had time to spend with the on loan fiddle  no-one else wanted.  It’s taken time to get to know one another. Slowly perfecting the ebb and flow of our secret friendship. When I pick it up and start playing the room falls silent. Alesha turns toward me with a look that says I’ve taken her somewhere already.
‘Couldn’t hurt to ask, could it?