I strolled through the snow-covered park, a warm cup of coffee between my gloved hands. I quietly sang the lyrics of “White Queen”; the beautiful melody was stuck in my head.
“Queen II” caught my eye in the record store a month earlier. I had never heard of Queen before, but that record absolutely blew me away. I looked everywhere for the first album, and quickly purchased it when I finally found it. Those two were the only things I listened to anymore.
I took a sip of my coffee, and smiled. It was so warm. I continued to hum “White Queen” as I walked, and I noticed a man sitting beneath a tree, picking an acoustic guitar. He was quite striking: his dark, curly hair contrasted with his pale skin, he wore all black except for his white scarf and clogs. As I got closer, I could see his mouth slightly agape as he concentrated on the melody he was creating. He looked rather familiar, but I couldn’t place where I had seen him before.
I took another sip of my coffee and paused to listen. It was beautiful, whatever he was playing. I wondered if he wrote it himself. He stopped playing, turning to scribble something in a notebook by his side. Absentmindedly, I started singing again. I took another sip of my coffee. When I looked back at the man, his eyes were on mine. The words died in my throat and I could feel my cheeks warming up. I smiled awkwardly at him. He smiled back.
“You know that song?” he asked.
“Yeah,” I responded. “It’s one of my favorites.” His smile grew wider, and he beckoned for me to join him beneath the tree. I obliged, and sat beside him. “You play really well,” I told him.
“Thank you,” he said, extending a hand. “I’m Brian,”
“(Y/N),” I replied, shaking it. His long, ungloved fingers were so cold.
“You’re quite a good singer,” he complimented me.
“Thanks,” I grinned. “Do you like Queen too?”
He laughed. “You could say that.” I giggled, though I didn’t know what was so funny. “Have you ever seen them live?” he asked.
“No,” I responded. “I really want to though. Have you?” He laughed again.
“Yes, I’ve been to all of their shows.”
“Oh my goodness, you are so lucky!” I exclaimed.
He shook his head and smiled to himself, amused with his private joke. “Yeah, they’re pretty great. I’m not too sure about the guitarist, but other than that, I love the band.”
“Are you kidding, the guitarist is awesome!” I practically shouted. “The way he plays, I’ve never heard anything like it! Especially in ‘White Queen,’ the guitar solo absolutely blows me away.” He was trying so hard not to laugh at this point. “What is so funny?” I asked.
“It’s me,” he said. “I’m the guitarist.” I realized where I had seen him before: the album cover of Queen II.
“No way!” I exclaimed. “That’s you!?” He nodded, smiling at how starstruck I was. “Oh my God! I- you- wow!” I just sat there stuttering in front of this beautiful man until I just fell silent.
“I thought you knew it was me when you sang my song,” he said. “But when I realized you weren’t joking about not knowing, I had to play along for a little while.”
“Well, that’s rude.” I muttered, hiding behind my coffee. I took a deep breath. He was just a regular guy. Yeah, a gorgeous guy who could play guitar like nobody’s business, but he was just a guy.
“Did you really mean those things you said about my playing?” he asked.
I looked back at him, his hazel eyes locked on mine. “Of course!” I said. “You are undoubtedly the best guitar player in the world.”
“I don’t know about that,” he said. He softly strummed his guitar. “Jimi Hendrix is the best in my opinion.”
“No, I like you better.” He laughed softly, almost insecurely.
“You’re too sweet, (Y/N),” he murmured. I blushed again. He played a little louder, turning his attention to his instrument. I closed my eyes and tried to soak in the music. He played intently for a while, pausing occasionally and mumbling to himself. I shivered, the cold seeping in through my jacket. Brian stopped playing, but I didn’t open my eyes. I felt him gently wrap a scarf around my neck. I opened my eyes, and smiled at him.
“You don’t have to let me borrow it,” I said. “I don’t want you catching cold.” He just smiled.
“I don’t want you freezing out here just because I’m playing for you,” he responded. I smiled and wrapped the knit scarf tighter, breathing in the scent of his cologne.
“You’re playing for me?” I asked. He nodded shyly. “I thought you were just letting me listen! You’re so sweet!”
He started playing again, but his attention was on me. “So, sweet (Y/N),” he began. “I’d like to know more about you. Tell me everything: favorite colour, any pets you have, coffee preferences, I want to know it all.”
I giggled and drank the last of my coffee. “Well,” I started. “My favorite colour is blue, I have a cat named Ragnar, and I like my coffee with two sugars and a bit of half-and-half.” I paused for a moment. “I’m the oldest of three children, I draw in my free time, I write poetry, and I am an optimist. What about you?”
“My favorite colour is deep blue, I don’t currently have any pets, but I’m thinking about getting a cat, I drink my coffee with one sugar, I am an only child, I build things and play guitar in my free time, and I study Astrophysics.”
“That’s really cool,” I said. He smiled at me, and I glanced at his lips. I envisioned myself kissing him, and my cheeks grew warm. I raised my cup to my lips, desperate for something to hide behind, but it was empty. I pouted at the cup.
Brian laughed softly. “Would you like me to refill that for you?” he almost whispered. I turned to face him; his nose almost brushing my own. His cheeks were slightly pink, and a hopeful smile played on his lips.
“I would love that,” I responded. He grinned and rose to his feet. God, he was tall. He slung his guitar strap over his shoulder and offered me a hand. I accepted it, and he pulled me to my feet. We started walking down the sidewalk, talking about the randomest things. His hand brushed mine, and my breath hitched in my throat. Our fingers entwined, and I smiled.
I started singing “White Queen” again. Brian joined me, his beautiful voice harmonizing with mine, and I knew instantly that this would be one of many more walks together.