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Authors: Briana Pacheco

Sounds of Yesterday

BOOK: Sounds of Yesterday
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Sounds of Yesterday

 

Briana Pacheco

 

 

 

Sounds of Yesterday

Copyright © 2016 by Briana Pacheco

 

All rights reserved.

This book may not be reproduced or transmitted in any capacity without written permission by the publisher, except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages for review purposes.

 

This is a work of fiction. Names, places, characters, brands, media, resemblance to events or persons, living or dead are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of various products, brands, and/or restaurants referenced in this work of fiction, which have been used without permission. The publication/use of these trademarks is not authorized, associated with, or sponsored by the trademark owners.

 

Cover Image
©
istockphoto.com/Arndt_Vladimir

Cover Design: Briana Pacheco

Note to Reader

 

Dear Reader, this is NOT a continuation of the Enough trilogy. This is what I originally envisioned Emily's story to be without the paranormal elements that occur in the trilogy. If you have read the trilogy, reading
Sounds of Yesterday
will be confusing because of the new content. The story is
not
the same. Please proceed with caution.

 

If you have not read the trilogy, you have nothing to fear.

 

This is a stand-alone novel!

Chapter 1

 

 

My fingers dance over the piano keys like we’re one. I don’t have to think about which key to hit, I just know. My eyes flutter closed as I let the music flow through my soul. I hum softly, not too loud so it doesn't overpower what I’m trying to accomplish.

              I play covers of songs I love that challenge me. Some are easier to get right on the piano, others are complex. I love the hard ones; they push me to be better. When I don’t do covers, I try to compose my own music. It’s not working today. The melody is right but something is missing.

If you don’t challenge yourself, you’ll never make it.

I hit a few more notes when I feel a light tapping on my shoulder.

I open my eyes and find Mom standing beside me, her lips moving but no sound coming out. I stare at her for a few seconds, watching her hands move through the air. She’s nervous. And annoyed. I always did block out the world when I played. She can’t really blame me though. She pushed me to do what I loved. I’m doing it.

I’ve been playing since I was a little girl. Mom bought a used keyboard at a garage sale when I was four and I was hooked. I gradually increased to wanting a piano.

My father is to blame for my love of music. Growing up, I’d watch him play his guitar in the garage, reminiscing of old times. He’d make me play with him too. I hated those days. Some times. He’d get moody and grab a beer. Then another. And another. He became someone we didn’t know. He became an asshole.

He left ten years ago and the Spencer family has done just fine without him.

Mom gave me everything I wanted and so much more. She was and will always be my glue.

Grace Spencer is a force to be reckoned with nowadays. There is nothing she won’t do for her children. Declan and I are her life.

Mom’s dark red hair sits on her shoulders where I find a small stain on her light green top. It could be coffee. All I know is that it’s keeping my interest, irritating her even more. She at least tapped my shoulder to warn me that she will be speaking. Some times she forgets and has one-sided conversations with me. If the headphones are on, you will be ignored. It’s a motto in this household.

I reach for my headphones and remove it from my right ear, my music bubble officially broken. Living in the city with close neighbors kind of restricts my playing so I have a digital piano, which is best for my situation because I plug in headaches and won’t piss anyone off.

“What?” I ask, clearing my throat as it comes out barely louder than a whisper.

“You’re going to be late for school. You have five minutes to eat. Hurry up, sweetie.” Mom squeezes my shoulder and kisses the top of my head before turning around, heading into the kitchen. Her dark blue jeans hug her body and I don’t know if I should be proud or embarrassed that we’re the same size. Mom used to be heavier until she decided to take control of her life. She stopped taking her depression pills, used the anger she held for her loser ex-husband out on something useful, and lost sixty pounds.

I take off my headphones completely and set them down.

Sighing, I stand and follow Mom.

It’s the first day of senior year.

It’s going to be soooo fun.

I can’t wait for this year to be over. I’m over high school. I’m done with the people in that godforsaken school.

I’m just waiting for my time to leave this city and be an adult.

It’s scary to think about but I believe in myself. I’ve wanted to go to college since I knew such a thing existed. Learning about something I love–
music
–is all I ever wanted growing up.

 

***

 

My best friend, Sophie Woods, sits beside me in homeroom, talking about how exciting today is. She’s clearly the happy friend. I’ll stay in the background, balancing out her wild side. She’s my opposite in every way. She’s dirty blonde, I’m brunette. Her green eyes aren’t as bright as my blues. She’s the extrovert, and I, the introvert. She never expects more from me and I love her for it.

I love her even more when we find an Adam walking by us because she gets all hyper and makes the person scared for his life when she yells, ‘see, I can trust him!’. That probably won’t make sense to anyone so let me clarify. I told her a joke once, ‘never trust an atom, they make up everything’ and she thought I said ‘Adam’ instead of ‘atom’. She believed that for a year until we started high school and her teacher wrote it down on a board because he was trying to be funny. She felt stupid when she confronted me. I blamed the mistake on her hair color. She blamed it on me whispering things. Now, we just laugh when we spot an Adam.

Sophie stretches out her long jean-clad legs, crossed at the ankle. “Emily?” I turn my head and lock eyes on her green ones. “Let me see your schedule.” I open the notebook sitting on my desk and grab the white piece of paper.

After handing it to her, I grab a pen from my bag and start tapping it against the notebook. I watch it bounce up and down at a steady tempo. Music calms me. It always had. Smiling, I take a deep breath and watch the students enter the classroom. Some have been in my classes throughout high school so I know them and their hateful hearts. It’s not even funny how many students here find joy in bullying others. I’m one of their targets because I’m quiet and I have a hot best friend. Everyone loves Sophie. They want to know what she’s doing with a loner like me. Sophie can’t stand them so we bond even more over that.

I think of musical pieces that calm me when I notice some heads turned my way. A guy I’ve seen around school holds his fingers up to his mouth, forming a V, and wiggles his tongue in-between them, finishing it off with a wink. I look down at the desk. The best thing to do is ignore them.

“We have three classes together! Zach is only in two of mine. At least we have English first period.” Sophie hands me back my schedule and grabs my hand when I don’t say anything back. “Hey, you okay?”

I nod. “Yeah, just thinking of the piece I’m working on.”

Why wasn’t it coming to me? What was I doing wrong?

“You’ll figure it out. I know you.” She squeezes my hand and blows kisses at me while making faces. I laugh when she leans back into her seat, flipping her hair over her shoulder. Her smile fades when she looks over at the guys who need to grow up. “I fucking hate their stupid faces.” She holds up her hand and flips them off.

I can’t help but chuckle softly.

The final bell rings and within minutes, the noise from outside the classroom dies down.

Mrs. Bennett looks away from her laptop and gets up from her desk, running her fingers through her hair. She walks towards the door saying, “Alright class–”

“Wait!” A student runs into class, holding out a piece of paper to the teacher. “There was a mix up. I’m in this class, ma’am.”

Ma’am.
Who the hell is this guy? I sit up and try to get a look. Apparently so does everyone else.

Girls sit up straighter as the new guy walks through the door. They start whispering to one another, excitement written all over their faces. There’s a new toy in the store and they want it before anyone else gets their hands on it.

High school.

It’s disgusting.

I look over at the new guy just because I’m curious.

I’ve never seen him around here before but he looks familiar. And trust me, I’d remember a face like his. He’s too far for me to get a good look at him but I get enough. He must have some Spanish blood in him. I’m good at guessing skin tones. I people watch a lot. Sue me. His dark hair’s tousled, most likely from running his fingers through it too much. His black t-shirt hugs his arms and chest, showing off that he plays some sport. And…and…his bicep is flexing as the teacher looks over his schedule.

Confused, my eyes roam down to his hand and find his fingers tapping his leg.
Well, that’s interesting!
Not like a drug addict waiting for his next hit kind of tapping but...like he’s tapping out a rhythm, playing the piano. Making music. Each finger hits an invisible key, playing something that no one can hear.

“Soph!” I whisper-hiss, whipping my head to the left. “Who the hell is he?” She remembers faces so she’s the person to ask.

She sits up straight and eyes the new kid. She brings her pen to her lips and bites down on it, her eyes narrowing. Her mouth drops open a second later, and her hand flies to her chest. “Sweet baby Jesus, that’s Gwen Sawyer’s son, Alex.”

No, he’s not!
I’ve never paid attention to the pictures of the guy when Soph gushed over him so I can be fooled. Soph is a prankster at times. She always wishes for a celebrity to enter her life. She loves stalking them. And when her favorite power couples break up or divorce, well, let’s just say it’s not healthy for my bestie.

Her eyes shoot to mine with a beaming smile on her lips. “He’s staring at you.”

Yeah. Right. He’s not

I would have started laughing if I didn’t turn my head back toward him because Sophie isn’t lying.

All thoughts leave me when hazel eyes stare back at me.

I have somewhat of idea of who he is; basically his name and the fact that girls LOVE him because he’s hot. Besides that, I didn’t care. Sophie stalks him on Instagram so she’s squirming in her seat, whispering how unreal this is. I couldn’t care less about fashion most days. I know Soph is in love with Mrs. Sawyer. Her clothes are expensive so we don’t have closets full of her stuff but I know I have a pair of heels made by her. Sophie and I saved up to get them during the summer.

The corner of Alex’s lips turn up into a smile.

Holy. Shit.

I look around quickly to see if he’s smiling at someone else. Nope. His eyes are on me. His smile is directed towards me. His attention is on
me
.

The pen I was tapping against the notebook stops.

We’re just staring at each other and I’m getting uncomfortable because I will make this awkward.

Do something, dammit! Stop staring like a moron with your tongue hanging out of your mouth.

I don’t have my tongue–

Ohmygod, I think it is!

Do something!

I smile back.

He’s still tapping his leg!
His fingers slowly move over his thigh like he’s playing the most beautiful silent melody I’ve ever heard. His shoulders relax and I’ll say it looks like all the tension of being the new kid is gone.

It’s not everyday you find a guy in high school who is into music the way I am. Some guys bump their heads and tap their feet. I always look for the ones who close their eyes and
feel
what is being said. I want to know what kind of guy he is.

I wish our school had a music program but budget cuts and all that leaves me wanting to go home as soon as the day is over so I can settle into my little comfy and safe planet where music replaces people and frowns are non-existent.

Alex breaks eye contact when the teacher hands him his schedule. “Sit up front, Alex. Class is about to begin.”

He walks toward a desk, the whole room watching his every move.

I’m sitting all the way in the back but I can see how he keeps tapping his fingers against the desk softly as Mrs. Bennett starts talking to the class. He drops his backpack on the floor and I can be wrong, but it looks like he’s trying to look back and not be obvious about it.

“Do my eyes deceive me or is he blushing?” Soph questions, looking at me with raised brows. She bites her lip and gets this mischievous look in her eyes. “Oh, this good. Em, you and him, it’s going to happen. I can see the future.”

“Really? The future,” I deadpan.

She rolls her eyes at me but smiles the whole time.

“Yes, because he just looked back at you.”

I dart my eyes over to his desk, he’s already turning away.

Now, I’m definitely intrigued.

 

***

 

The first week of school passes by slowly. After everyone is familiar with what’s expected, teachers hand us enough work to make us wish graduation were next week.

I close my locker and turn to Sophie’s but she is busy giving Zach ‘fuck me’ eyes. I really don’t want to continue seeing it. How does the chick always wake up so energized and happy? Zach only adds to it. It’s cute. But it also makes me want vomit with how cute they are.

I walk into Mrs. B’s class and take my regular seat in the back. It’s comfortable back here.

As soon as I sit down, Alex enters the room. I watch him walk to the first row of empty desks. He looks up and spots me, his steps changing direction.

Oh, no.

He’s walking toward me.

I grab my notebook from my bag and set it down on the desk.

I have spent who knows how long trying to work up the courage to talk to him but with everyone up his ass on who his family is, I feel like it would be a bad idea. His mom is a fashion designer. As in,
the
Gwen Sawyer. Her work is known everywhere and the fact that she’s in town has everyone wanting a way to meet her–through her son.

BOOK: Sounds of Yesterday
6.29Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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