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Arrowpoint Innzone

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16 Re: Arrowpoint Innzone on Mon Mar 07, 2016 9:19 pm

"Just forget it," I frown as I start to tape the box shut again, the tape going on sloppily as I try to be quick about it before she has a chance to see what's inside. "I bought something and it's not what I asked for... just - I'm going to the bathroom real quick, I'll be right back."

I can sense her frowning as I drop the wrapping back on the box and pull out my phone, my thumbs already typing across the keypad furiously as I walk. I hear the tittering response before I've even shut the door to the bathroom, an infuriating, What's wrong with it? Grinding my teeth, I hit the call button, and bring the phone to my ear as I pace around the tiny space.

"What's wrong with it?" I demand the moment I hear Richard's voice on the other end. "It's not what I asked for! I told you, I wanted a spruce top, ash back and sides, and a rosewood fingerboard with the silk and steel strings! The one you sent has a mahogany back and sides - now it's just a stupid guitar, it's not Ljuba's! The smell is all wrong and the sound isn't going to be right, it's just-," I grit my teeth angrily as he interrupts, my ears growing hot as I shake my head sharply.

"It will NOT sound better!" I practically yell. "I don't need an improvement, what we had was already perfect! Stop trying to sell me on something different! I know what I like!"

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17 Re: Arrowpoint Innzone on Mon Mar 07, 2016 9:37 pm

Marnin's yelling catches me off guard, though it definitely draws my attention in as I take a seat on the bed. I'm not intending to eavesdrop, but it's too easy with only the thin door to the bathroom separating us. 

A guitar? My ears perk at the word, my gaze falling to the box at my side as I try to quietly shove the wrapping off of it, frowning at the tape preventing me from peeking. When Marnin's yelling only amplifies, my curiosity gets the best of me and I find myself tugging at the stray ends of the tape - the adhesive giving easily before I push the top of the box off to the side. 

Inside lays a pristine guitar case, not even the faintest sign of wear tainting it, and I shift onto my knees to look it over in awe. He got me a guitar..? The idea seems preposterous, it seems quick. It's hardly been two days since I lost Maja's. I push myself to unclasp the case, lifting it open when any sense of shame or self control disappears. This guitar is exquisite

There's a tightness in my chest as I shove the guitar case open fully, my fingers tracing the edge of the fingerboard before I pull the guitar out to inspect. Lush dark woods, nary a finger print on it. If I didn't know someone had to make it, I'd think I was the first human to ever lay a hand on the instrument, it's that perfect. Like a child with a new toy, I pull it into my lap and twist it in every direction, looking for every impressive detail when I spot something that brings a tightness to my chest. 

At the top of the neck, just below the head stock, is my name. Ljuba, carved in an elegantly lavish script, exactly where Maja's name had been on hers. I can feel the emotion stinging at my nose, just behind my eyes as I run my fingers over it appreciatively. Without even thinking, I right the guitar in my lap, my fingers running over the strings before I strum them loudly.

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18 Re: Arrowpoint Innzone on Mon Mar 07, 2016 9:57 pm

The back and forth is cut off as I hear Ljuba's playing in the next room. I was right. It does sound different. But I'm not sure it's a bad different yet, the rich mellow tones drawing me from the bathroom with the phone held distractedly away from my ear.

"Ah, I see she found it," I can hear the faint voice coming from the other end of the phone, his smiling coming across even with the phone held a foot from my ear. "Ask her if she likes the little treat I left on the head stock."

"You-," I frown as I hang up the phone to take in the scene, Ljuba's expression split into a broad grin as she glances up at me. I can smell the salt from her tears, and I can hear the excited beat of her heart - noting the way it mingles with the instrument's unfamiliar scent and sound. There's a difference in the way she holds this guitar, too - a happy kind of reverence rather than the sad way she'd held onto Maja's, both figuratively and literally... I'd swear, I could feel the weight that settled on her when she touched the old one. Right now, though, she seems lighter. Freer.

"You... like it?" I start again, my confusion tempered by a kind of relief despite my anxiety at the 'wrongness' of the instrument. "Can I..?" I ask as I come forward to touch the headstock, searching for the 'treat' Richard had left.

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19 Re: Arrowpoint Innzone on Mon Mar 07, 2016 10:01 pm

"I love it," I say weakly, my voice wavering weakly as I hold it up to him so he can inspect it. "It's beautiful."

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20 Re: Arrowpoint Innzone on Mon Mar 07, 2016 10:09 pm

I take the instrument gingerly, trying not to show my surprise that she'd let me touch it so willingly. Still, my touch is light as I run my hands over it, my thumb tracing over the finely etched name in the headstock. That's when I can feel my insides turning cold. It's exactly what I had asked for: Ljuba carved where Maja's name had been, the letters in just the right size... except it's Richard's neat cursive script that's carved it there.

"It is," I finally respond with a little reservation as I hand it back to her. "It's different, though... you're sure you're okay with it?"

Part of me wants her to change her mind, to tell me she hates it. But the part of me that can hear the thrilled little elevation of her pulse as she takes it back into her lap, her fingers picking at the expensive strings in awe, can't stand the thought of taking that delight from her.

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