These Dead Composers.
“Did you ever wonder,” Tim said to Ayla one day in the hall as they passed each other, “Why these dead composers wrote all this music?”
Ayla just looked at him, unsure where this was going. She was never really clear on Tim’s points, and, sure, he’s cute, she’d sometimes tell her friends, but he’s so… obscure. She tended to keep her cello between her and him, not out of fear but as a way of keeping a little distance.
“No?” she asked him back.
“What if it was a message?” Tim wandered on, looking out the window as he spoke. It was easy to keep a distance from him, Ayla often realized, because he only looked at you, as he talked, sparingly. Tim would stare out a window as he said hi, or look at his shoes as he asked how your weekend was, or fiddle with a pencil while talking about a professor, and his eyes would slowly sneak over like a bird trying to get from one side of the patio to the other while you were tanning on it, and if they made contact with your eyes they would flicker away and start the journey over.
“A message.” This one was not a question, but Tim went on anyway.
“Maybe all this…” and he waved his hands in a way that could have taken in the school, her cello, or maybe all the music, ever, but then he stopped, and said “Never mind.”