Author’s Note: So I started writing, and all of a sudden I Hear a Symphony was stuck in my head. I have no idea why.
“I think the scariest part is that I’m getting used to the snoring.”
He smiled, looking across the car at Luna. Alvin no longer claimed to feel lonely, and he slept more with his recordings, and now she could drive if she didn’t get distracted by the snoring. They were able to make a much faster progress on their return trip than they had when they started out. He knew Luna wasn’t happy about having to stay in one place again, and neither was he, but they had to consider the money—and she was almost out of what she’d left with, she’d admitted that much, though it had taken far too many questionings to get that response from her.
She’d have kept going without any money at all if it meant keeping him happy, and he thought was so beautiful. She was the best friend anyone could ask for, and when he thought of that, he got scared of losing her all over again.
So they were both afraid of loss. That shouldn’t surprise him, and yet it did.
“Now that we can get him to sleep almost on command, it will be easier to have him with us and see all that we want when we are near your home, yes?”
She nodded. “I hope there’s still enough to keep you curious back there.”
“I told you—I don’t need curiosity. I need you.”
She smiled, but instead of talking, she reached for the radio and turned up the volume, tapping her fingers against the steering wheel as she kept driving. He frowned, not sure what to do about that. “Can I ask you something?”
“If it involves you leaving, the answer is no.”
“I figured as much.”
“If you want to know about the paint in my hair, it was a long-standing joke in my family. I’ve been painting since I was a little girl, and I was always getting paint all over everything. Mom said the worst part was my hair. She wanted me to wear it long when I was younger—I still keep it pretty long—and so I’d always be dragging it into paint somehow or other. She got so sick of trying to get it out, and I laughed because I’d started dipping it in the paint can on purpose.”
He reached out to touch the pink tips and stopped, shaking his head. “I wasn’t going to ask about that, but thank you for telling me.”
“What were you going to ask, then?”
“I wanted to know what I sound like to you.”
She frowned. “What?”
He glanced back at Alvin, snoring away in the back seat, and then back at her. “You turned up the volume on the radio, and so I started to wonder if… You say his snoring is annoying. I have heard you sing and heard you read aloud, and I think your voice is very nice, soothing and lovely and melodic.”
“You dislike that word?”
She shrugged. “I don’t know that I dislike it. I just never expected to be called melodic, even if I might enjoy a bit of singing now and then, even if I gather an audience when I’m reading aloud. It’s kind of weird. Surprising.”
“I like your voice.”
“I like yours.” She saw him frown and smiled. “There’s nothing wrong with the way you sound, Tynan. I turned the music up because I like the song, not because I was annoyed by your voice.”
“You know, I haven’t really found much about you that I don’t like. Sometimes it can be very frustrating because you miss my point over and over again, but then in some respects, it’s a relief because then I don’t have to worry about those moments where I swear you don’t feel the way I do. Most of the time, though, I can pretend.”
“I thought… I don’t know that you have to pretend about anything.”
Her smile then was wide, more radiant than any of the ones he’d seen before, and he smiled back, thinking there must be some kind of name for the feeling she invoked in him. He was not sure he wanted to know what it was, though. The possibilities worried him as much as he wanted to see her smile at him like she was right now.