"Listen," Octavia whispered, poking Annie in the shoulder.
Annie turned her focus away from the boxes, and took off her headphones; a beautiful song filled her ears. Immediately recognizing the instrument as a guitar, she joined Octavia at the café counter, and followed her gaze.
A young man about Annie's age, sat on a stool on the far end of the café, strumming a tan, and brown guitar. The music coming from the instrument captured the eyes and ears of every customer at the café .
"Do you know him?" Annie asked, in a hushed tone, not wanting to disturb the performance.
"I think we went to school with him, but I don't know his name," Octavia answered. The elegant song went on for a couple more minutes, before the musician strummed the last note, and stood from the stool.
The café filled with applause, as the young man took a small bow, and walked off the small stage. As the next musician took the stage, the young man strolled on over to the café counter.
"That was an amazing performance." Octavia beamed; Annie went back to the boxes that still had things in them that needed to be stocked onto the back shelves, but her face went red when the young man came to the counter.
"Thank you, I've been practicing that song for a little bit now, so I'm glad I was able to perform it for tonight's music night." he answered, as he took out his wallet.
The young man ordered his coffee, and Octavia asked, "What's your name?"
"Jason," he replied, pulling money from the wallet, and laying it on the counter-top.
Octavia's head whipped around, and saw Annie dazedly sitting on the floor with a wooden stool tipped over across from her; a cardboard box sat next to her as well.
"Are you alright?" Octavia asked, rushing over to her.
"Yeah, I'm alright, but I don't think carrying a heavy box while standing on a stool is a good idea." Annie chuckled, nervously, her face flushed red with embarrassment.
Octavia helped her put the things from the box onto the shelf, playfully scolded her about not being careful, and went back to finish up with Jason.
"Sorry about that," she said, panting a little bit.
"Don't worry about it; are you friends with her?" Jason asked in response.
"She's my bestie actually. I'm letting her stay with me, so she can finish up school." Octavia explained; she proceeded to make the coffee Jason had ordered, but saw Annie was blushing, and when she looked at the young musician, he was looking at Annie, and was also slightly blushing.
Octavia smirked, as she recognized those looks; it was the same ones she and her boyfriend had given each other when they first met.
"What's her name?" Jason asked, perching his chin on his palm.
Octavia set the cup of coffee down, and with a raised eyebrow, and a mischievous smirk, responded, "Annie,"
"Does she have... a boyfriend?" Jason started to think he was being a little too snoopy, but he needed to know.
Octavia shook her head, and asked, "Why?"
Feeling his face going hot with embarrassment, he said with a nervous smile, "I want to hang out with her, get to know her."
Octavia's stifled a laugh at the young man's awkwardness; he may have looked confident playing the guitar, but he couldn't even ask a girl for her number,
"I think I can help you with that." she smiled.
"Wait, you did what?!" Annie shockingly exclaimed, the following day.
"I got you a date with Jason, the guitar player from Open Music night yesterday," Octavia explained, calmly.
Annie's face flushed red, and she laid her head on the countertop. "Look, you need something to do anyway, you're on school break right now, and I'm going on a date with my boyfriend." Annie glanced up, as her friend explained herself, and knew Octavia was right.
"Don't worry, it's going to be fun, and I won't set you two up again if you guys don't enjoy yourself." she continued.
Annie sighed; there was no way she was going to be able to get out of this. "Alright, what time am I supposed to meet up with him?"
"7 pm, at the river walk." Octavia informed her.
Annie sighed again, and she and Octavia started planning for the night.
Jason leaned against the railing, as he looked upon the sparkling river stretched out before him. The sun had just disappeared over the western horizon when he decided to sit down on the bench and pull out the guitar he had decided to bring along.
After making sure it was tuned, Jason proceeded to strum the strings, and soon he was lost in a melody of acoustic notes. He knew the song he played but didn't know the words, so he didn't try singing.
However, when it reached the chorus, a soft, feminine voice started singing the words. Jason looked over, still playing, and was shocked to see Annie sitting next to him singing, her eyes closed.
Jason kept playing, despite the shock, until he played the last note, and the atmosphere fell silent. Annie opened her eyes, and her bright blue eyes, locked with his dark brown eyes.
"My Mom used to sing me that song when I was little." she muttered, her cheeks going red, but she had a smile.
Jason smiled, and said, "You have such a good voice."
Annie's smile widened, and Jason put the guitar back into it's bag, before slinging it around him, and getting to his feet.
"How about we get this date started?" he asked, extending his hand out towards Annie, who took it, and was pulled to her feet.
The two took a walk through the park, went to dinner, talked, laughed, and had a good time.
"So, Octavia told me you're going to school. What are you studying?" Jason asked, later on in the night when they were finishing up dessert.
"I'm studying for a "Visual and Arts" Major. I want to work at the local theater as a vocal instructor." Annie explained, before taking a small bit of the cheesecake.
"That's perfect for you; you're very talented." he exclaimed.
Annie chuckled a little, and asked, "What about you? Are you studying anything?"
"No, I moved out of my parents house three years back, and started playing music on the side-walk; since I'm pretty good I make a good amount of money, but it's not enough to get into school. I actually wanted to go to the one you're going to, but sometimes I guess we can't achieve all our dreams." Jason's smile fell, and he looked down at his already empty plate.
Annie looked at him with sympathy, and placed her hand on his hand without blushing. "Maybe I can help you out. I may not be rich, but I could still help you if you want."
Jason shook his head, and responded, "No, I can't take the money you've worked hard to earn."
"It's no problem at all, I will happily help you if you really want to get into the school." Annie protested. Seeing her stubborn determination to help, Jason smiled, and softly gripped her hand.
"You've already helped me by being here. Don't worry, I'll be fine." he said.
"Are you sure?" she asked.
Jason nodded, and replied, "I'm sure."
A wall of silence fell over them, as the two finished up in the restaurant, and went on their way back to the park.
"I had an amazing night." Annie said, breaking the wall of silence, and Jason looked at her.
"Same here, thanks for going out with me tonight. Do you think I can have your number, so maybe we can do this again?" he asked.
Annie could feel herself blushing again, but she smiled, and nodded; they traded numbers.
1 year later....Open Music Night
Jason's guitar filled the café with music once again, but this time a soft, smooth voice accompanied it. Octavia was behind the café counter, smiling as she watched and listened to the beautiful acoustic notes, and Annie's harmonized voice.
Once the song was over, the café filled with applause just like last time, but it seemed even louder this time. Jason stood up alongside Annie, and the two bowed and walked off stage hand in hand.
Octavia embraced Annie, and said, "That was amazing Ann!"
"Thanks Via." she answered, before they both turned to Jason, who was grinning brightly.
Annie strolled over to him, blushed slightly before giving him a small peck on the lips. "Thanks for helping me get up there, Jason."
"No problem." He responded softly.
"Okay, you two, Open Music Night is over, now come help me clean up." Octavia cheerfully exclaimed.
Jason and Annie burst out laughing, and they went on to help Octavia clean up the café.