Matt is wondering if what he has seen is real. Six seconds ago his life was good, new beginnings, opportunities. He thought about Monday; the train arrives early. He walks to the studio to save the taxi fare Mum gave him when she dropped him off. He wishes he’d kissed her like he did when he was a boy. All his mates love his Mum; she’s a stunner and well nice. Josh doesn’t come around anymore because, at the party, he’d drunk too much and said ‘I love you, Mrs Lesley.
Brigette Lesley laughed it off. Secretly she wanted to sleep with Josh. Imagine her friends seeing her with an eighteen-year-old toy boy. It’s a pity she has only been a widow for three months. Matt, of course, could not envisage his Mum in bed with his best friend. In any case, the idea would never have crossed his mind.
If he only he’d taken the taxi. His phone map would not have taken him down the ally. He wondered at the time why he’d not walked to the studio before. From station to the reception the walk takes nine minutes. Yesterday had been a beautiful day; he plays one of his songs. The producer asks ‘Do you have anymore son?’ He plays three more ‘You better get yourself an agent and a lawyer son, I want to sign a contract.’
Matt stayed over with the chorus singer. Maxine. She said ‘Matt and Maxine. I like that, let’s go for a drink’ It was as simple as that. They walked out of the studio, crossed the road went into the bar and fell in love. In the morning he asked her if she would sing his songs. As he strummed the guitar, her voice took possession of the lyrics. The songwriter knew as all musicians know when a harmonious connection is made. The religious would call it a miracle. Tears ran down her face, she knew it too, she knew she would never be lonely or poor again. Later in the day, they recorded two tracks using an iPhone in Leicester Square. He finger-picks the tune, and she sings the words from the song sheets. Passers-by throw money into his beret. The officer lets them finish the last track, drops a two-pound coin in the cap and asked them to move on.
They repeated this three more times, at Piccadilly, Bank, and Tower Bridge tube stations. One hundred and nine pounds. Maxine gave him all of the money. ‘You wrote the songs, Matt; they paid you for those beautiful words’ In the market cafe he shared the money. Salad sandwiches and two mugs of tea. Below Maxine’s flat is a run down store. Mr Singh stocks good quality wine, they buy two bottles of red. The takeaway is two minutes away. ‘Meal for one will be enough Matt’ The lovers fall asleep by midnight. That was Tuesday.
Matt wakes early. Showers and dresses. The ‘emergency’ tee shirt and underwear came in useful. He has to go home today. Maxine grills the toast and makes coffee. ‘I’ll be back on Friday Maxine. If that’s o.k?’ ‘I never want you to leave me, never Matt’ She knows her future is secure, his songs, her voice. If they only busk in the city, they could earn six or seven hundred a week. They kiss, he leaves.
Down the stairs. Turn right by Mr Singh’s, past the takeaway. Ten minutes later he walks by the studio, into the ally. The short cut to the station. That was two minutes ago. At the end of the ally, he has to cross the road. He looks left and right, and his gazed is fixed on two people. He cannot believe it. Their kisses, lovers embrace and the betrayal. Tears run down his face. Matt knows, he knows for certain, he will never write another song. He cannot understand what he is seeing. He does not know why she is there, on the pavement with him. He will never write a song again.
As he watches his best friend Josh kiss his mother. He knows he will never write a song again.
a written in 20-minutes story