Once Xoe was alone, she said quietly under her breath, “Well, girls, we got ourselves a brand new house. Wish you were here to see it.”
Through the open door, she reached in to get her bag, guitar, and amp, which were all on the back seat. With her arms full, she walked up the driveway to her new temporary home. The weird thing was it felt like home. A real home. Not a fly by night home. Not that a fly by night was a home. Xoe frowned at her muddled thoughts about home and what a home was. There was a feeling of comfort radiating from the house, like a mother’s comforting arms.
She wondered briefly if she had known the cleaner from before she had left. It sounded like she was a local. With a shrug, Xoe gently placed her guitar bag down on the ground along with the amp. She left her carry bag on her shoulder as she unlocked the door.
She pushed the door open onto a beautifully varnished hallway, which she liked the look of. Stepping inside, she saw that the walls were moveable. Rather than bring her guitar inside, she pushed the wall on her left open. The room that was revealed looked to be a relaxing room that ran the whole length of the house. It had views of the road and the sea.
Oh, the sea. The waves crashed on the white sand, and the sea gulls screamed at each other. What a sight it made, and she could look at it every day she was here. Out in the distance, boats bobbed on the surface. There was something soothing about the sounds of the beach.
Finally remembering her precious guitar, she went back to get it and her amp. Bringing them into the room she had opened up, she took them right down to the sea view end. She noticed a small kitchenette that could be an outdoor/indoor setup if the front glass folding door was open.
Plugging her guitar and amp in, she sat on the black leather couch facing the ocean. Sitting down and getting comfortable, she lost herself in her music. The music of the waves crashing became a background harmony to the music she played softly on her guitar.
The emotions that she had felt when learning her friend had died came out in her music choice. The grief poured off her fingers to be transformed into music, making her guitar sing. There was utter concentration on her face as she fell into her music.
Time seemed to stand still as she drifted into her music playing and solitude; it may have been minutes or it may have been hours. When Xoe got in the moment, nothing else existed except her and her music.
During these times, she never played new music but old rock classics and songs she knew well—songs she never had to think about when she was playing. She would also play country and pop depending on her mood and the purpose of the music session.
These sessions revived her from the same way reading a good book did for some people. It was her one special place. Sometimes she was disoriented when the session was over, as if she didn’t know where she was. And sometimes if she was playing on her acoustic guitar, she would walk randomly around, playing and singing.
As she came out of her music haze this time, Xoe smelt the delicious aroma of the food cooking somewhere in the house. The cleaner must have come back while she was playing.
She wasn’t surprised she hadn’t heard or smelt the cleaner cooking. When she got in the zone, nothing else registered. Fire alarms could be blaring and she wouldn’t know unless someone physically touched her arm or she came out of her music haze.
Xoe followed her nose through a set of double doors to her right, down another moveable hallway, up one flight of stairs, and then left down another moveable hallway to a deluxe kitchen above the room she had previously been in.
For a moment, all she could do was stare at the opulent kitchen, like she had stared at the house when she had first driven up. The window looked out on the beach, and from this vantage point, she could see a little of the sea, just enough to make her lips curve a little.
“Nice!” she said to herself.
Once again, the bare wood floors were coated in a lovely matte varnish. From the doorway, she looked directly at an island bench in the middle of the floor space with ‘U-shaped benches and cupboards hugging the walls with the bottom of the “U” under the window.
As she took a step into the room, she saw a massive dining table. It was located to her right on the other side of the U-shaped bench in the open plan dining area. The colour scheme all fitted together, whites and browns that went with the floor.
As she surveyed the rest of the kitchen, she saw an epic oven on the left. There were three pieces to it, and she puzzled over it for a moment before finally looking back to the right and seeing the stovetop under an extractor fan.
Once she had looked around from the doorway, she went to the island that had a note on it.
I didn’t want to disturb you while you played your beautiful music.
The oven will buzz when the lasagne has finished cooking. On the dial, you will see instructions for turning the buzzer off. You didn’t get a jar out, so I used that pretty bowl that’s in the cupboard above the fridge.
I have put the food in this kitchen as the master bedroom is on this floor in the right wing facing the beach. It has its own balcony.
Your keys are in the bowl by the front door. I took them out of the door for you.
If you need anything else for the duration of your stay, here is my number.
Charlene (The cleaner)