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Melody

Checking out a local open mic night leads to more
As sad as it is to admit, some days I feel two or three times my age. That's pretty rough to say when you're only in your thirties, but with all the things I've had to do to make sure I hit each and every month's deadlines at work, I sometimes feel like I never shut off. I always seem to be worried about the things I have to deal with in the morning and trying to keep up with the next day's new batch of craziness.

When I first started working I never took much time off. I didn't see the point to it. If I had time off all I did was hang out at my parent’s house and that just didn't appeal to me on many levels as a twenty year old. But as the years wore on, over 15 of them, time off became such a valued and needed concept that I couldn't seem to get enough.

After hitting a really rough deadline one day, I was on my home when I decided that I needed a break from the routine. Driving down the same old street to go back to my same old apartment, I stopped off at a local coffeehouse for a breather. In what seemed like another lifetime (over a decade by my calculations), I had actually been in there once before and taken part in an open mic night. It was so long ago that I was almost positive I had hair, I thought, as I smiled to myself and ran my fingers across the shaven dome I sport these days.

As I walked into the coffeehouse there was a sign reading "OPEN MIC NIGHT TONIGHT! BRING AN INSTRUMENT, A SONG AND HAVE A LOT OF FUN!" Another smile crossed my face as I read the sign, amused that my return to this place mirrored the last time I had set foot inside, except now I was just a random audience member waiting to be entertained.

As I sat down with a cup of green tea, I turned my attention to the small stage at the front of the coffeehouse. It was set up with a small amplifier, microphone stand and a stool, it made for a cozy little concert for those of us in attendance. A hipster looking host stepped up to the microphone to introduce the first act for the night. After thankyous to the audience and the coffeehouse for providing the location to play, he gestured to a young auburn haired, slender woman sitting at the table near mine.

"Now, let me introduce you to a friend of mine who's graced us with her presence tonight. Melody, come and take a seat and show us what you can do!"

The audience clapped as she gracefully made her way to the stage. Strapping on her guitar and sitting down, Melody situated herself at the mic. With an easy smile and a very gentle voice, she said, "Hi, everyone. My name's Melody. Yes, my parents really did name me that. Some of you might think they named me perfectly and some might find it cruel irony tonight. Hopefully I leave you with more of the former than the latter."

There was a collective laugh from the audience as she settled in and started to strum her acoustic guitar. Melody's songs instantly took away all my worries from the day and made them take a seat on the curb outside. Her lyrics painted vibrant pictures in my mind's eye about a girl trying to find her identity, about loves found and lost. Her voice felt like it was wrapping me in a warm embrace and letting me relax for the first time in a long while. With her long, wavy auburn hair, her soothing voice, her fun and engaging manner in dealing with the audience, I was becoming a huge fan of Melody in a very short time.

As she thanked the audience for their applause after her third song of the night, she stepped off the makeshift stage to make her way once again back to the table near me. Various members of the audience came by to compliment her as she put her guitar back in it's case. With each person, Melody was very personable with a smile that was so warm and welcoming you'd think that everyone she met was a lifelong friend she was just running into randomly throughout her life.

I decided to go with the flow of the evening and leaned over to Melody's table, "You have a really beautiful voice. You did a wonderful job up there."

Melody looked over and greeted me with that same, welcoming smile she gave everyone else that evening. "Oh, that's so sweet of you to say. Thank you!"

"No problem, just calling it like I see it, " I smiled. "You did ten times better than I did when I last had a go at an open mic here years back."

"You play too?"

"From time to time. I used to write songs back in my day, but lost a lot of passion for that when I kept over thinking things too much. Your songs are beautiful, they flow really well, almost like they relaxed me to the point where I was floating. And now that I just said that, I realize how truly lame that sounds out loud."

Melody giggled. "No, it didn't sound lame. That was actually a really nice compliment. I appreciate it. I always get excited to know that someone's listening to my lyrics and paying attention. What's your name?"

"I'm Smith," I said, holding out my hand.

"Smith? What's your first name?"

"That is my first name. My parents wanted to be different and now I get saddled with a sob story about how they did me wrong by naming me Smith. At least I don’t have the problem that the guy in Johnny Cash's ‘Boy Named Sue’ had."

"True," Melody smiled, shaking my hand, "but if I was you I'd still write a song about how your name is Smith anyway. You know, to get you back into song writing again."

"You know, I never really thought about that as an option. And here I was so stuck on subjects like love and loss and, at the time, growing up and learning about who I was. Well am. You know what I mean."

Melody smiled at me once again and all she kept doing was making my body weaker while making my heart skip a beat each time. "You know what I think? I think you need to share your talent with the room. You know, I showed you mine, now it's time for you to show us yours."

"I don't suppose you'd take the excuse of me not bringing a guitar to mean anything?"

Melody opened her guitar case and held out her acoustic to me. "Good thing I came prepared," she smiled once again. Great, more weak knees and my heart was racing but this time for anxiety of playing in front of people again for the first time in years.

Melody got up and approached the host of the open mic, pointing my way. He looked at me, a thirty-something stocky, bald man, and nodded. Melody sat back down at her table again and with a gleam in her eye said, "You're up next! I want to hear at least one of your originals. Do whatever you want with the other two songs, but I get one original song from Smith!"

Smiling weakly, the host approached the mic again, introducing me to the crowd. There was a small round of applause followed by Melody cheering me on loudly. I sat down on the stool and fumbled about strumming a little bit to find my footing (or fingers as it were). I started off with a cover song from one of my favourite bands, Black Lab, that I was singing along with in the car before taking this random sidetrack for the evening. The song was ‘Time Ago’, a song about love and how it can sometimes tear people apart and leave you looking back on that love and how it's such a key moment of this crazy thing called life. It's a haunting song that I never can get enough of.

When I was finished, the audience actually applauded a bit more enthusiastically than when I had been introduced. I looked over to Melody and she sat with her hand resting on her fist, her eyes glued to the stage with a warm, interested expression. It definitely helped my mood, so I broke into ‘One’ by U2, a song I always loved to play at open mics. Thankfully I remembered all the lines and even managed to hit all the high notes in a way that didn't sound too forced to my ears. Again, there was enthusiastic applause.

Melody was still watching, her smile growing bigger as I looked at her. Then she pointed at me and mouthed "NOW YOU!" I smiled, looking down at the guitar to avoid my whole head getting red in front of everyone. As I felt my face blush against my will, I just shook my head and said "too late" under my breath.

Strumming an E chord, I started through the intro to a song I wrote many years ago that I called ‘One Last Dance’. As I tried to remember the lyrics I stumbled a bit here and there, but managed to pull through. My whole goal was to get through to the chorus because I knew I could recite that in my sleep after all these years. Finally, after strumming the last chord, the audience applauded once again. I smiled and simply said "Thank you so much!" and walked back into the crowd again.

Stepping up to Melody's table, I handed the guitar back to her and turned to sit back down at my table. "You realize," she said, stopping me in my tracks, "that after surviving my little trial by fire, you've more than deserved a seat at my table. I loved that last song. Very haunting and sad, but still very good. You have my complete attention."

With a sheepish grin, I sat down across from her and we started talking.

By the time we stopped to take a breath, I noticed that everyone working at the coffeehouse was trying to clean and lock up for the night. "Did we really talk the whole evening through?" I asked, looking around.

"Looks like it," Melody said. "We don't have to go home but we can't stay here, as the song goes."

Melody looked at me. "I've really liked this and I'm not sure I want to say goodnight right away."

My whole body was swimming with a happiness inside that I couldn't help but smile from ear to ear when Melody admitted that feeling. I was right there with her.

"Well, you know what they say about all good things coming to an end and whatnot. But I'm right there with you, I'm enjoying this too much."

"Alright," Melody sighed, "I don't do this often. Actually I don't do this ever, but what would you think of coming back to my place for some coffee or tea and maybe some more song playing?"

My heart was beating so fast by this point that it wouldn't have surprised me if it just stopped right there. "If you're sure about it, I'd be happy to."

In a bit of a whirlwind, we left the coffeehouse and I followed her back to her house. Carrying the guitar for her I walked inside to find the house was fairly cold. "I'm sorry," Melody began as she blushed slightly, "I forgot to warn you about that. I've been having some problems with my heating. Normally I'm used to just bundling up around here."

"No worries," I said as the chill made me shiver, but not so much that it ruined my excitement at the turn the night had taken. "It will just make us both have to play more guitar to keep our fingers warm."

Melody led me into her living room and to one side were multiple guitars, some acoustic, some electric. I was pretty impressed by her collection, seeing as how I only owned one guitar at a time. "Can I get you anything to drink? Coffee? Tea? Cocoa?" she asked.

"You know what, I'm feeling that this is a cocoa kind of night now," I smiled.

Melody returned the smile as she walked to her kitchen. "You know, I think you're right! Feel free to pick a guitar and play a bit while I warm up the cocoa if you want."

I picked up an acoustic guitar and sat down on her couch and began strumming randomly. After a while I started picking chords that turned into a progression without really thinking about it.

"Are you playing ‘With or Without You’?" I heard her ask from the kitchen.

"You know, I think I am. Sorry, I didn't realize that's what I was doing till now. Nervous habit."
"It's no problem," Melody said quickly, "that's actually one of my favourites!" She entered the living room with the cocoa and we sat and drank for a bit just enjoying each other’s company. Melody told me about her inspirations for song writing, how it was a way for her to deal with things out of her control and make sense of it all. She took up a guitar and sat down next to me.

"Since you got my attention tonight, I want to see what you think of this song. I just wrote it the other day and I haven't played it for anyone yet."

"I'm honoured," I said.

For the fourth time that night, Melody left me floored. "I wish I had words that were good enough to describe how much I like that song," I offered.

"Thank you! So how about instead of finding words for a compliment, you just play another original for me?"

"Oh, you're going to wish you didn't ask for that!"

"Don't be silly," Melody laughed, her hand resting on my thigh, "I loved the first one you did, the dance one. I'm interested to see how you wrote other songs from your past."

"You asked for it," I said, trying my best to ignore the electricity running up my thigh and starting to make my body react to her touch. Again, I started strumming, slightly clumsy this time as I tried to remember another song from the old days that I called ‘Dream’. Melody didn't move her hand the whole time, not helping my ability to recall the lyrics at all. The look this auburn haired beauty was giving me showed a kindred spirit sitting with me, someone who enjoyed learning about another person through their creative outlets. Even at this late hour of the night, even with being a bit tired from my crazy deadline riddled day, the feeling that I didn't want this connection to end read true in the way she watched me. We seemed to get each other and that's something you don't find every day.

I strummed the final chord of the song and she smiled again, clapping a little for fun. "I can tell some of your influences in how you wrote each song. You were listening to a lot of alternative music back in those days, right?"

"Yes, I was on a steady diet of Better Than Ezra, Counting Crows and Goo Goo Dolls back in those days. Honestly I haven't changed!"

"Oh Smith, change can be good. Look at us right now. Normally you'd be home by yourself probably asleep or close to it getting ready for the morning. Because you were brave and changed, now it's after one in the morning and we're playing guitar and breaking all the rules. I think you need to break the rules sometimes or you start to lose the excitement of life!"

"Tonight's the best change I've ever made, including the day I decided to see if bald would work for me," I laughed.

Melody reached over and ran her fingers over my bald head. "I think you look good bald, by the way. I have a feeling it makes you feel old, but I think you pull it off well. You're quite appealing to the eye and soul, if you don't mind me saying so."

"Thank you again," I blushed.

"No need to be embarrassed, Smith," Melody said, touching my chin. "We kind of bared our souls here tonight. There's no judgement anymore."

Hearing that last line made my heart skip another beat and I decided to do something crazy. I leaned over to her and let my lips meet hers. After a few seconds, we broke away and sat there looking at each other. I waited to see what she would do.

"Well then," she said looking at me as if she was a little annoyed.

"I'm sorry… I just thought… well… ummmm…."

"It's about time," she smiled seductively and leaned in to kiss me again. This kiss was passionate, like both of us needed each other to breathe. The guitars fell to the floor as she leaned me back onto the couch, her body fitting perfectly on top of me. I was so excited by the moment that I was actually shaking a little, but not from the cold this time.

"If you're cold," Melody breathed as she looked into my eyes between kisses, "maybe I can convince you to get warm under the covers in my room. That is, if you want to break out of the rut more than you already have."

"Only if you're sure," I managed to say, trying not to scream YES!

Melody got up from the couch, turned to walk to her bedroom and along the way started sliding off her shirt, letting it fall to the floor. She took her bra off and added to the pile of clothing that was collecting in the living room before she reached the door, turned and said, "I'm game if you are."

I stood up and walked (ok, maybe it was more of a lunge) toward the bedroom door that Melody had just entered. Inside, she was standing beside her bed pulling the covers down. She reached out to me with both hands, again with that disarming smile I had come to love in only a few hours. I took in the sight of her standing there topless waiting for me. She had an athletic build so her stomach was smooth and flat. Her breasts were shapely without being too large for her frame and her pink nipples stood out, pointing at me with little bumps around her areolas.

I took off my button down shirt and let it fall to the floor, walking over to her and wrapping my arms around her slender waist. We kissed again, this time feeling more vulnerable with each other, letting our hands wander and explore bare flesh. Again I shook from adrenaline and probably a bit from the cold now that my skin was exposed. Melody pushed me to the bed and I fell back into it on my butt.

Reaching down, Melody unbuttoned her jeans and let them slide down her slender legs. There was a slight jiggle to her thighs and butt that I found adorable and sexy at the same time as she kicked the jeans across the room. Standing in lace panties, she looked down at me as I sat on the edge of the bed.

I couldn't help myself anymore. I pulled her tight against me and began to kiss and suck on the flesh of her breasts. With a shudder and a sigh, Melody held me closer, letting me know that exploration was welcome. My fingers stroked her back and sides so I could enjoy the smoothness of her skin while my lips and tongue couldn't get enough of the taste of her nipples. I was enjoying how hard they had already gotten but I loved the way Melody's breath drew faster, the slight whimpers she exhaled as my tongue stroked and rolled across those beautiful treasures.

"You're overdressed for bed," she sighed to me, crawling into my lap.

"I can fix that," I said, pulling my mouth from her for a brief second.

Melody crawled off my body and lay on the bed as I shed my pants and socks, leaving on my boxer briefs as I got back into bed with her. Like magnets, we were drawn to each other again, our bodies rubbing against each other, our lips exploring, hands enjoying the contours of flesh. Even after gaining some weight over the years leading to a slight paunch that I wasn't proud of, Melody didn't seem to care at all. The connection was what mattered and it made me fall for her even harder.

Both of our hands trailed down each other's chest and stomachs to rest at the underwear area. I could feel a lot of wetness already coming from the crotch of her panties. Gently I started to work my fingers over the damp cloth, massaging her in a way that made her open her thighs to my hand and then close around it to lock me in place. Slowly her hips began to move as my fingers kept up their pace.

"I can't believe how wet you are," I breathed against her shoulder.

"I can," she sighed, her hand running across the bulge in my boxer briefs over and over making my lower stomach tingle in anticipation. "The fact that I got you up on that stage and you showed yourself to me by playing that song… it got my attention but it also made me start getting wet for you. I can't help it. I liked you already, Smith."

"I like you, too," I whispered, my fingers pushing aside the crotch of her panties so I could feel Melody's wetness.

"Ahhhhh," she sighed, clutching me closer as her hand wrapped around my hardness from outside the boxers.

"I hope you don't mind that I wanted to really feel you and not just panties," I breathed. Melody kissed me so ferociously our mouths couldn't keep up with one another.

"I don't mind at all… LOVE IT!"

Rolling onto her back for a moment, she pulled her panties down her legs and kicked them to the floor. I looked to see her closely cropped triangle of auburn hair just above her wetness. I couldn't help it, my mouth watered to take a taste.

I kissed my way up her thighs, making her body shake against its will. This time it wasn't from cold as both of us were enjoying the moment so much. I worked my lips up to her wetness and Melody willingly spread her slender legs apart. I took a moment just to take in the sight of this woman who sent so many emotions through me in such a short time. Everything about her added up to an amazing woman and I couldn't believe it was me that she wanted to be this intimate with.

It made me want to help her see that I appreciated everything.

My lips met her wetness in a long, slow kiss. Melody's back arched just from the touch, letting out a slow groan. My lips opened to kiss her again and I wrapped them around her slightly protruding labia. Inside my mouth, my tongue stroked up and down those lips over and over, taking in her intoxicating taste. I looked up to see her looking intensely down at me. Maybe she was having a moment of appreciation like I was.

Her hips started to move against my mouth and I opened my lips, letting my tongue lap at the wetness as her hips bucked back and forth. My face was getting soaked from her movements and I was so turned on as I was getting covered by her warm juices.

"I can't get enough of you," Melody moaned. Her fists balled up the sheets from the bed as I wrapped my arms around her legs to hold her in position. With intensity from all of the warmth, the happiness, the intimacy, the chemistry between us, I sucked her clit into my mouth and just focused on it. I could see tears starting to form in her eyes as she watched me.

"Something about the way you look doing that to me," she sighed, "it's like it means something to you already…"

I didn't speak, my mouth and tongue were too busy enjoying themselves to stop, but I did reach my hand out to hold hers as we continued. She squeezed my hand tight as the moment started to crest upon her body. I watched Melody's whole body tense up, her head thrown back as she made stifled squeals into her pillow. Before I knew it, my mouth was filled with such sweet nectar that could only mean her orgasm was hitting her with full force. I kept enjoying her wetness with my mouth, helping her reach even crazier heights that made her try and push me away. I stayed with her, though, focusing my attentions as she screamed, her legs closing around my head and her hips working against me so hard I thought my head would snap off.

Finally I stopped, releasing her pussy as Melody lay on her bed completely spent. Her auburn hair was all over her face and pillows as she gazed at me with a dreamy happiness. "Like I said before, Smith… you definitely got my attention."

I leaned over and kissed her, this time gently as she wrapped her arms around me, pulling me close to her.
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