Saturday, June 21, 2008

Who I Am: Chapter 6

Chapter 6: Speechless

There was one whole month before big performance and Peter was so much confused. He was seated on his favorite spot and simply staring out the window and suddenly Anna sat down beside him. “Peter did you know there is a photo gallery on the second floor, you can exhibit your photographs there if you want” Anna said. Peter smiled and looked at her “What makes you think that I have photographs to exhibit?” he asked. “Well there isn’t a day I see you holding your camera, or do you just hold that for props?” she said and laughed. “I do take photographs once in a while if there is something I like” Peter responded. “But you just bring that out whenever you are seated here, I don’t see you point that thing and shoot” Anna said. “Really? Well that means you have not been observant enough, here take a look” Peter said and he showed her the screen of his camera.

Anna was surprised to see her photograph and laughed. “You took my picture! I didn’t even notice or hear the shutter” she said. “I place it on silent mode, stolen shots are the best for me, just look at your picture here, it says lot you know” Peter revealed and Anna was lost and didn’t understand. “Well you see if you look at this picture, it’s just a photograph of you, but if you look closer it makes you wonder what you are thinking at that moment when this was taken. It’s much different if I ask you to pose and smile, because if that’s the case then I just know you are thinking of nothing and you are just waiting for me to get your photograph” Peter explained. Anna nodded her head and moved closer to Peter. “So by looking at that picture then what do you think is on my mind?” she asked him.

Peter looked at his digital display and paused and quickly took another snapshot of Anna. “Now look at this picture, here you are thinking of what answer will I give to your question” he said and then both of them started laughing. Amid their laughter Peter suddenly looked at Anna and took a deep breath, “Hey Anna, are you free after work?” he asked her. Anna stopped laughing and looked curiously at him. “Peter suddenly has free time after work? This is a rare situation, I have no plans after work, are you inviting me out?” she asked him. Peter smiled and scratched his head, “Well Mrs. Jenkins told me to get a social life” he said. Anna frowned and looked at the window “Oh so you are forced to go out with me if that’s the case” she commented. Peter shook his head and bowed his head “Well not really, she told me that a long time ago, and I am not really good at this…I mean its not like she told me to go out with you…I want to go out with you” he said.

Anna didn’t budge and didn’t look at Peter; she just kept staring at the window. “I am sorry, I really am not good at this, it’s okay just forget what I said” he mumbled and Anna started to laugh. “Hey I was just kidding you, I will wait for you at my office then after work” she said and stood up and they both traded smiles.

Work ended that day, Peter and Anna were heading out of the building when they saw Melanie and Lorna. “Hey Peter would you want to come with us?” Melanie asked. Peter smiled and scratched his head and looked at Anna. “Oh I see, you two have a date. Go on now the two of you enjoy” Melanie said and she elbowed Lorna as they walked away. “I see that you both are in speaking terms already” Anna commented as the followed the two ladies. “Well maybe she had a change of heart” Peter replied and laughed. “Change of heart? Maybe she likes you” Anna added and Peter laughed louder which made Melanie turn her head and look at them.

“Hey Anna, why are we following them?” Peter asked and Anna smiled at him and didn’t answer. As Melanie and Lorna turned around the corner he knew they were heading for George’s bar and he began to worry. He called George before meeting Anna and told him he would not be able to make it. Peter was worried about the reaction and greeting of George and the others once they see him in the bar. He could not do anything anymore, and Melanie and Lorna had already entered the bar and they were a few steps away from doing the same.

Melanie and Lorna were seated in front near the stage, Anna rushed towards the vacant table beside them but Peter bowed his head and quickly followed. George attended to Melanie and Lorna and he saw Peter and was about to say something when Peter gently shook his head and looked at Anna. George understood right away and nodded his head but Anna was quick to notice it. “Hey Pete, do you know that guy?” Anna asked right away. Peter shook his head and said “No I don’t, its my first time here.” Anna believed him and smiled then called for the waitress but George was quick to come near them. “Yes, let me take your order please” George said. Anna looked at the menu and Peter did the same as George kept smiling at him.

As Anna was about to order Harold came over holding a glass of pineapple juice, Peter and George were trying to signal him but they were too late. “Ah here you are your favorite Pineapple juice” Harold said and was about to place the drink on the table. “Hey put it on the bar and I will drink it later” George was quick to say and Harold was suddenly confused. “I thought you were not coming tonight” Harold added and George gave him a little elbow on the chest and said “Come on place it on the bar, I am taking orders, yes I did decide to come tonight” he said and pushed George to go back to the bar. Peter breathed a sigh of relief and said “That pineapple juice looks tasty can I have one of those?” he said. George nodded and signaled Harold to come back with the drink. Harold was so confused and he just stood there beside George holding the drink. George took the drink and placed it on the table “Here sir, since it’s your first time here let me treat you to your first drink” he said and Peter quickly took a sip and smiled.

Anna finished ordering and George rallied the troops and explained the situation. After a few minutes Harold waived at Peter and nodded and gave him a thumb up signal. Peter could not resist from laughing from seeing Harold do funny faces. “Hey Pete what are you laughing at?” Anna asked him. Peter stopped and pointed at George who was about to go on stage. “The show is about to start, he is going to introduce Kyle now, I tell you he really sings well” Anna said and Peter just smiled at her.

George went on stage and took a deep breath as he turned on the microphone. “Good evening everyone, I know this is sudden but Kyle would not be with us tonight. I am sorry but he said it was an emergency so I hope you guys understand. Anyway since there are no performers if anyone wants to sing just come on stage. Thank you and enjoy the night” he said. The crowd became noisy and Anna pouted and slouched on her seat. “Hey cheer up maybe it was really an emergency you know” Peter tried to console her but she would not budge.

Some people from the crowd went on stage and sang their hearts out. The bar erupted with laughter as some of them were simply fooling around. Peter was having a blast but Anna still was pouting even though everyone was already enjoying the comedic stunts on stage.

“Wait here” Peter told Anna and she looked at him curiously. “Where are you going?” she asked. Peter stood up and smiled at her “I am going to put the smile back on your face” he said and walked towards the bar. Melanie turned towards Anna and asked “Where is he going?” and Anna shrugged her shoulders. Anna looked at Peter as he was talking with George and Harold, a few seconds later Peter walked towards the stage and took the guitar and sat down.

“Hi, my name is Peter. I know most of you know me since we work in the same company. I just did not like to see the smiles in your faces fade away when you heard that Kyle would not be here so let me try to bring it back. Please bear with me since this is my first time” he said and the crowd began laughing and cheering him on. Peter adjusted his seat and tuned the guitar as cheers and jeers were reverberating inside the bar. Melanie stood up and yelled “What the hell are you trying to do Pete? Don’t embarrass us this way!” and a lot of people laughed with her.

Peter started to strum his guitar; he got a different reaction compared to when he was Kyle, this time the crowd did not calm down. The bar was still noisy but he started to play the tune already and moved his face closer to the microphone. Melanie stood up again and acted on walking out and a lot of people did the same. Peter started to sing and the noise slowly died down and those people standing quickly took their seats. Melanie was left standing as her body froze with the cool sound of Peter’s voice. Slowly she took her seat and could not believe what was happening. She quickly turned around and looked at Anna but she saw even Anna was stunned and could not get her eyes of Peter.

As the crowd was stunned and being serenaded by Peter, George and Harold could not believe what they were hearing. “Hey George are you sure Peter and Kyle are the same person?” Harold asked. George took a gulp oh his drink and shook his head, “I really don’t know now, he sounds different today. They don’t sound alike but I know they are the same person” George said. “He sounds better now don’t you think?” Harold commented as he was preparing a pineapple juice for Peter. “Damn this guy, he has been holding back on us” George said and they both laughed as Peter ended his song.

The crowd erupted in cheers for Peter as he bowed several times and stood up. He turned off the microphone and started to walk towards the stairs. There were several people still clapping and some were egging him on to sing one more song but Peter just smiled and went back to his seat. As he took his seat Anna, Melanie and Lorna were looking at him with disbelief. “Hi, what’s with those look on your faces?” Peter asked but the three ladies remained silent.

The crowd noise simmered down and George played Jazz music to make the atmosphere cozy. Melanie and Lorna left the bar and Anna still was silent. A few minutes later Peter and Anna left the bar, they walked for a few more minutes then suddenly Anna hailed a cab. Before she was about to enter the cab she looked at Peter and took a deep breath “I am sorry, I did enjoy your singing but it just made things more complicated now” she said. Peter was confused and looked at Anna as she entered the cab and closed the door. “Hey Anna what do you mean it became complicated?” he asked her. Anna just shook her head a bit and looked forward and then the cab took off.