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As Matthew watched Meredith walk carefully up the steps, he found himself smiling. Driving home, he wondered why. He had been a professor of music for several years, and the female students made no secret of their interest in him. They had always flirted with him, but since becoming a widower, he seemed to have magnetic appeal.
He drove slowly, in no hurry to return to his empty house. Sometimes, he wondered why he had been in such a rush to start his career. He had gone to school constantly, never taking a summer off, never resting. His music degree, graduate school, concerts, he had to keep moving. He was the youngest professor on staff, being nearer in age to the graduate students he taught than the faculty. He had known Ariel most of his life, growing up in the same neighborhood and climbing trees together. When he rediscovered her in college, he knew he had found magic and pursued her avidly. She was an artist and understood the creative need burning in him. They could spend whole weekends in the same place, each working on the current project in their life, never speaking. They were at peace with the artistic mind and soul. They fell in love and married, both keeping a part of their soul for the wonders they needed to bring forth.
Still, they were a happy couple. Neither was in any particular rush to settle into a home and family. They both had too much to do, to create. So, while they loved each other deeply, they never really committed to building a life together. Both always felt there was more time. Then Ariel was killed and Matthew didn’t have any more time with her. He blamed himself for wasting their life together and moved into his own world of guilt and grief. The longing looks from the coeds, the hints and outright propositions, slipped right past him as he moved through his days, oblivious to everything.
At his concert last night, he had been aware of the woman in the orchestra seat directly before him. Her eyes had burned canlı bahis brightly as she listened, and he saw the tears shining on her cheeks during one piece. He watched from off-stage as the audience filed out, the woman remaining in her seat, still in the grip of the haunting music he had presented. For some reason, he wanted her to hear his tribute to Ariel, wanted to see her reaction to the music from his heart. He knew she was still in the theater as he sat on the bench and the chords took wing, filling the air with the essence of his beloved wife.
Amazingly, she understood what the music was meant to say. It touched him, hearing her young voice, speaking his thoughts and feelings. It was extraordinary, finding someone who could read his heart so clearly.
Fate, suddenly, seemed to be working overtime in Matthew’s life. After meeting Miss Meredith Brooks at the concert, he found she was registered for his classes. She had watched him raptly during the hour, taking notes on everything he said. He found her attention endearing. Then, driving home, thinking of her, he saw her sitting on the bench, looking distressed. It pleased him to be able to assist her, to rescue her. When she fell asleep in his car, he was delighted. Reaching her apartment building, he was able to just look at her while seemingly engrossed in a composition. Again, he puzzled over his reaction to her. Certainly she wasn’t the most attractive woman he had ever met. She was short and compact, with a fresh-face appeal he couldn’t understand.
Ariel had been…no, he wasn’t going to do this. He couldn’t compare every female with her, it wasn’t fair to anyone. Matthew reached his house, his dark house, and pulled into the garage. Entering it, he was assailed by the quiet, the loneliness that surrounding him. Suddenly, he wondered what it would be like to return home to Meredith preparing supper, the house alive with lights and the sounds of a family at the end of the day, full bahis siteleri of news and important announcements. He could almost see the children racing to him, wanting a hug and a kiss, wanting to share their day with him. The ache in his heart was palpable. He prepared his singular dinner, sitting in the empty dining room, the silence his only companion. He worked on some music, a composition that seemed to be eluding him. Then he walked to his bedroom, stripped off his official clothing and climbed into his cold bed.
The next morning, Matthew couldn’t stop himself from retracing the drive to Meredith’s building. He was sitting outside, watching her door, when she came out and walked slowly and carefully down the steps. He could see her wince with pain as she stepped down, trying to keep her weight off the left foot. He was so glad he had come. Once again, he rolled the window down and called her name. She looked absolutely delighted to see him, to find him there, waiting for her.
“Come along, Miss Brooks, let me give you a lift to campus. I thought you might still need some assistance, and it is right on my way,” he called. Meredith didn’t need convincing. She approached the car happily, sliding into the front seat and turning to him.
“Dr. Scott, I can’t begin to tell you how much I appreciate this. I planned to walk, but my heel is still very tender and my shoes hurt it so much. You are a life saver. I owe you so much!”
Matthew dismissed her appreciation and began talking about music and composition and they happily fell into a discussion. It seemed like minutes later that they arrived at the school. Matthew dropped her at the music building entrance and drove into the faculty lot to park.
Meredith walked into the building that was already seeming like home, looking for the lab she was to teach. Entering, she went to the desk, placing her satchel down and starting to prepare the room. She was ready for them as the students bahis şirketleri came in, taking seats and talking together. Her lesson plan was on the desk and she introduced herself and began working with the class. Her love of music was obvious and her students responded well to her. All too soon, the bell sounded and the class left, many thanking her for a great class. Meredith spent the next hour looking over her assignments from yesterday, preparing for today’s lecture from Dr. Scott.
When the next bell sounded, Merry’s heart jumped. It seemed to be skipping a few beats, out of time with the music in her mind. She packed up her papers and moved along the crowded hallway, entering the lecture hall, and finding a good seat near the front. Dr. Scott entered and began his discussion, and the entire class listened with respectful silence. He sat at the piano to demonstrate a point, and beautiful music filled the air. Again the bell sounded, compartmentalizing her day, making her move along to her next lab.
Meredith returned to her assigned lab, finding another room full of new underclassman, eager yet scared, unsure of just about everything. She started her lecture, finding again the rhythm of the class, enjoying the sharing of knowledge. As she spoke, she saw Dr. Scott enter the back of the classroom and take a seat. She stammered once, then regained the theme, catching the interest of all the students gathered there. When the bell rang, the students left, smiling at her, already looking forward to the next session.
Dr. Scott walked to her desk, smiling. “You have a knack for teaching. You obviously love music and share that love easily. Teaching will be a wonderful profession for you.”
Meredith blushed from the praise. She lowered her eyes, wondering why this man affected her so much, so quickly. When she looked at him again, he was silently assessing her. “Would you like to have an early dinner with me, Miss Brooks? We both have to eat and it would be nicer if we could do it together. We can discuss the composition I assigned today and you can tell me your thoughts on it.”
Without hesitation, Meredith beamed at him and accepted.
TO BE CONTINUED….
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