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The Guitarist.

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The first thing I saw when I opened my eyes was my two best friends, Hange and Petra’s faces peering down at me. “Wakey wakey, its time for some eggs and bakey!” Hange exclaimed happily. I groaned and turned over onto my side, using my blanket to cover my face. One of them (most likely Petra) had opened my curtains and the light shining into my room from my window felt excruciating. “Oh, come on Levi. It’s time to get up!” Hange whined. “Its time for you two to stop breaking into my fucking apartment.” I shot back. I did not feel like dealing with Hange so early in the morning. I loved her, I really did but.. yeah no. I much preferred a good cup of tea and solitude to start my days.

“We aren’t breaking in, you gave us keys.” Petra began explaining, pausing to dangle the spare key I had given her, in front of me. “I am currently regretting that decision right now.” I grumbled, just wanting to stay in bed for a good few more hours. Hange sighed loudly before yanking the blankets on my bed off of me. I hissed at the rush of cold air that hit my body. “Now get dressed, and come eat breakfast!” Hange basically commanded. “And yes you have to actually eat, not just drink a cup of tea.” Petra cut in, with a little smirk before they both left my room. I sighed and decided I should probably just listen to them and get dressed, I wasn’t awake enough to put up a decent fight anyways.

I got off of my bed and yawned. As normal, I only got a few hours of sleep. I hadn’t been able to get a good amount of sleep in the past few months. My body had gotten used to sleeping the same bed with someone… I no longer had that. I shook my head, trying to shake that thought out of my mind. I didn’t want to think about him so early in the morning. I stretched and walked over to my balcony, stepping outside to check what the weather was like. As I had expected, it was a chilly September morning. I contemplated sitting down and watching the city from my balcony as I typically did on most mornings but the aggressive “hurry up!” coming from inside reminded me I was being forced to attend breakfast.

I closed the door to my balcony and walked over to my large closet. I had a lot of different clothes but today I decided that a grey sweater and black jeans would suit me best. I combed through my hair before leaving my bedroom and walking into the kitchen. “So you finally decided to join us.” Hange complained. She was sitting at the table already half finished her food. Petra was at the stove, cooking eggs. “Do you need any help?” I asked, walking towards her. “Oh, no. Just sit down at the table. It’ll be ready soon.” She beamed. “Okay, thanks.” I replied taking a seat besides Hange.

“God, Petra! Your cooking is just the best.” Hange happily exclaimed in between bites.
“Im glad you like it.” Petra chuckled.

Petra and Hange had been my friends for more than 10 years, we all went to highschool together and ended up working in the same university by chance. I trusted them more than anyone else. “Ah, there you go.” Petra said happily as she put down a delicious looking plate of eggs and bacon in front of me. “Thanks, it looks great.” I said before beginning to eat. Petra joined Hange and I after she finished cooking her own meal. We ate in comfortable silence, all of us focusing on our food. Once Hange finished eating she predictably began a conversation. Hange really couldn’t go more than 5 minutes without talking. Typically I hate that type of trait but she was an exception.

“So.. Levi, do you have any plans for tonight?” Hange questioned, with a gleam in her eye. I furrowed my eyebrows and shot her a concerned look. “Why do you want to know? What are you planning?” I answered. She was always scheming some weird adventure. “Im not really planning much, theres just this event that I thought looked fun.” She continued, with a smile. “You’re going to need to explain more because vaguely telling me about an event isn’t much to work with.” I shot back. She frowned for a second before continuing. “There’s gonna be a concert tonight, the tickets are pretty cheap and you’ve seemed pretty stressed lately so you should let loose.”

It is true that i’ve been needing a break lately. I thought about it for a moment and responded. “What band is it?” “Some indie group I think, they’re pretty underground.” She answered. “Underground? What are you a hipster?” I scoffed. “I prefer hipster scientist, thank you very much.” She said matter-of-factly. I chuckled softly, “Whatever. Where’s it at?” I questioned. Hanges eyes lit up “Does this mean you’ll go?” She asked excitedly. “No, it means I want to know where the hell this hipster concert is going to be at.” I said cooly. “Its downtown.” Petra answered. “There’ll be drinks and hot guys, come on Levi we have to go!” Hange whined. I sighed. Hange obviously really wanted to go and when she was worked up about something it was typically best to just let her get her way.

“What time is it at?” I asked. Hange began to smile like a mad woman. “It starts at 7. I can pick you both up.” Petra said. “Deal.” I agreed. Hange was practically jumping up and down with excitement. “Oh, oh my god. I’ve got to go get ready!” Hange said while quickly getting up from the table and heading towards the door. “But, it starts at 7 and its hardly 9 in the morning.” Petra interjected. “Theres hardly anytime, Levi make sure to wear something that makes your ass look good alright?” Hange said while putting on her coat and shoes. “Everything makes my ass look good, don’t worry.” I smirked. Petra sighed. “Hange was my ride here and I have some work to do at home so I should go with her. Promise you won’t go back to bed?” She said looking slightly worried. “I promise I won’t. Now you better go put on your shoes cause Hange looks like she’s going to explode if she has to wait any longer.” I said with a small laugh.

“You’re right.” Petra said while glancing over at Hange. “Oh, shit! Wait, I don’t want to leave you a bunch of dishes to do-“ Petra began before I cut her off. “Petra. It’s totally fine. Now get out of here.” I said with a smile that she returned. “We’ll be back at 6:30 to get you.” She said as she walked towards the door. “Okay. See you guys later.” “Buh-bye!” Hange beamed before closing the door leaving me alone in my apartment. I sighed wondering how Hange had managed to derail my Saturday in under half an hour. I decided that I would spend the rest of my Saturday preparing for class on Monday and cleaning my apartment.

——

I had been calmly reading a book when I was interrupted by knocking at my door. I frowned and got up off of my couch. I had been really comfortable and was annoyed to be interrupted. I opened my door to see Hange and Petra standing on the other side. Hange was wearing a plain t-shirt with a trench coat type jacket and jeans and Petra had on a floral dress with a jean jacket and knee high socks. “I guess it’s time, huh?” I said walking back to the couch to put away my book. “It is, so why the hell aren’t you dressed?” I shrugged “I wanted to see what you two were wearing first.” Hange smiled “So.. does that mean we get to pick you an outfit?” “Pick out? No. Hell no. Advise me? Yes.” I retorted while walking down my hall into my bedroom.

They both followed and took a seat on my bed as I faced my closet. I stood there for a second considering my choices before deciding on a possible outfit. “Okay, I think I know.” I mumbled before grabbing my clothes and going into my bathroom. I put on all the clothes, and walked out of the bathroom studying both their faces to see if this was an acceptable outfit. Hanges eyes widened and Petras jaw dropped. “You look so good Levi oh my god!” Hange said excitedly. I smirked. “Im not sure what advise we can give you since you already seem to be a fashion god.” Petra exclaimed. I let out a little chuckle.

I had chosen a tight black t-shirt with a red leather jacket, ripped black skinny jeans, black platform boots that made me a few feet taller than I actually was and a red choker around my neck. “Eyeliner?” I questioned them. “Oooh yes!” Hange replied. I looked to Petra for her opinion as well and she nodded her head enthusiastically. I went back into my bathroom to apply the makeup and noticed Hange leave my room, i presumed she was going to go grab us all drinks from my fridge and I wasn’t surprised when she came back into the room a few minutes later with alcohol in hand. “Oi, messy hair.” I called out grabbing Hanges attention. “If you spill those on my carpet you’ll spend all night scrubbing it out.” I warned. Hange gave me a fake salute followed by “Yes captain.”

Hange and Petra sipped on their drinks as I finished getting ready and minutes later we were out of my apartment and standing in front of a small bar. I could hear muffled rock music playing inside the bar from the outside. I looked over at Hange who was grinning ear to ear. “Shall we go?” Petra questioned with a nervous smile. “Yes!” Hange practically shouted. Hange walked up to the door and held it open for Petra and I. As soon as I stepped in I was hit with the smell of alcohol and sweat, wrinkling my nose.

It was a pretty small place with very dim lighting and black walls all around, that had many people packed inside. On one side of the room was a bar with multiple waiters. At the very front of the room was a stage which had multiple instruments set up on it. The rest of the room was pretty much clear of any type of furniture and was being used as a dance floor where multiple people were gathered waiting for the concert to start. “It seems…” I trailed off. “Interesting.” Petra cut in with a tone in her voice that made me think she was also doubting this adventure Hange plotted. “Oh, lets go!” Hange beamed before taking both of our hands and dragging us into the mess of people on the so called dance floor.

“I’ll go get us some drinks.” Hange grinned. “But we just drank?” Petra questioned. “You can never have enough to drink, sweetheart.” Hange said before running off to the bar. “I’ll go make sure she doesn’t waste all her money.” Petra sighed before leaving me and following Hange in the direction of the bar. I moved slowly through the crowd, looking around the place. I didn’t go out very often and I was suddenly reminded why when I felt someone tap my shoulder. I turned around and faced a young looking girl with brown hair in a pony-tail. “Hey gorgeous, what’s your name?” She slurred, obviously very drunk. “Not interested, kid.” I hissed bluntly.

“Well that’s a weird name.” She laughed. I frowned and she continued “My names Sasha, its more normaler than your name. Normaler…” She paused then began again “That’s not a word, is it?” She chuckled to herself. I shot her an annoyed look and seconds later a boy with a buzzcut came over grabbing her arm. “Sasha, oh my god. Stop talking to strangers!” He lectured her. The boy then turned to me “I’m sorry about her, she’s super drunk.” “I figured.” I said, not bothering to hide my annoyance. A look of guilt flashed on the boys face and he apologized again before walking away, the girl in hand. I sighed, seriously questioning leaving if this was the type of shit I would have to deal with all night but I saw Hange and Petra walking towards me and pushed the thought out of my mind.

“Sorry for leaving you.” Hange apologized, not really sounding all that concerned. “Its fine.” I replied. “Who were those people you were talking to?” Petra asked, visibly interested. “Just some random drunk kids, one of them tried to hit on me.” I answered, my voice cold. Hange let out a booming laugh “Ah yes, you can’t go anywhere without being hit on.” Petra handed me a drink and the lights hanging over the dance floor started to dim and the stage lit up. “Ooh, it’s starting!” Hange hummed. A guy with two toned hair and a laughable attempt at a beard wearing punk styled clothing walking onto stage a started speaking into the microphone.

“Hey everyone, thanks for coming out tonight! I know you’re all really excited for Titans but they need a few more minutes getting ready so we’re gonna open for them. We are The Wings of Freedom!” He said energetically as the crowd clapped and cheered. The lights on the stage dimmed and the opening band walked onto stage. It was hard to make out any of their faces but it seemed like there were four of them. Suddenly the lights lit up and music began to play. I noticed that the one with two toned hair was on the drums. As well a beautiful asian girl with short black hair was on the bass, a young looking boy with short blonde hair was on the keyboard and I felt my breath catch in my throat as I looked up at their guitarist.

The first thing I noticed about him was his emerald green eyes, they were the most beautiful colour I had ever seen and it was almost like they were glowing. The rest of this boy looked magnificent as well. His long brown hair was pulled up into a messy bun that accentuated his features. The second thing I noticed were his thick eyebrows that just seemed to fit his face so well. His nose was thin and his lips were a soft pink. He was wearing a black punk shirt, with a green flannel over top (which definitely complimented his eyes) and white ripped jeans. I was suddenly broken out of the staring trance I was in when the band began to play.

A rock tune (with a similar sound to My Chemical Romance) started blaring. Im sure the entire band was very concentrated on their instruments but I wouldn’t know since my eyes had been glued to the guitarist ever since he walked onto the stage. I was pleasantly surprised when I heard the guitarist open those perfect lips of his and start to sing. His voice was really nice, it was definitely higher than mine but not annoyingly high or anything of that sort. Without realizing I slowly walked closer to the stage until I was in the front row of the audience, my eyes still glued on brunette.

He was glancing over the audience during the performance, never really making eye contact with one specific person. He seemed like he was focusing on his guitar and trying not messing up any of the chords, I assumed he was probably new to the instrument but with the way his fingers were moving anyone would assume he’d been playing for his whole life. I noticed him look down at his guitar, to get his fingers positioned the way he wanted to. He tilted his head back up quickly but suddenly stopped when he made eye contact with me.

We both stared at each other, almost analyzing the other. I had no idea why but the idea of him focusing on me, and only me, in a room with so many other people lit a fire in me. Seeing those gorgeous, bright eyes trained on me, I unconsciously licked my lips. I held eye contact with the guitarist as my tongue slowly darted out of my mouth and flicked over my lips. I hadn’t been so attracted to someone since… Erwin. When he saw me do this, his eyes widened and he visibly became flustered.

His cheeks glowed with pink and he missed his queue to start singing again, along with messing up a chord on his guitar. He quickly blinked and shook his head, picking up where he left off in the song and turning his head and gaze away from me. I felt a small smirk creep onto my lips. I had always been good at making people flustered but it was especially fun when I had an interest in them. The brunette didn’t make eye contact with me again during that song or during any of their other songs.

His band had only played 4 songs but those 20 minutes were my favourite of the whole night. That boy was like eye candy. It was only once The Wings of Freedom walked off of stage that I found my way back to Hange and Petra. “Where the hell did you disappear to? I thought you ditched us and went home!” Hange shouted as I was walking over to them. “I got distracted.. sorry.” I apologized. Petras eyebrows furrowed for a moment. It wasn’t like me to be easily distracted and she knew it but she dropped the look after a few seconds. “I really liked that bands music, they were really good.” Petra said happily.

“Oh yeah! They were great.” Hange added. “What did you think of them Levi?” Petra questioned. “They were..” I paused, and thought about my response for a second. “Enticing.” I said, my voice low. Hange shot me a confused look. “You’re acting so weird tonight, captin’” I shrugged my shoulders.

The second band came on stage but i found that I didn’t enjoy them at all as much as their opening act. Throughout their set I found my mind wondering back to a certain emerald eyed guitarist. After the second band finished their final song me and Petra had to drag Hange out of the bar and into a cab, she had gotten shitfaced and kept saying that she would throw up any moment which had me on high alert. “Four eyes, if you throw up on me I will consider you dead to me.” I warned Hange after we had finally gotten her into the cab. She had taken to lying across my lap.

“Oooh, shud up’ Levi. I know you love me.” She hiccuped. “Barley.” I barked.

After 10 more minutes of threatening and bickering with Hange in the cab, it rolled into her driveway and Petra agreed to stay the night at hers to make sure that Hange actually got to bed without breaking anything in her house or herself. After a few more minutes the cab pulled up in front of my apartment building.

I walked into the doors, across the familiar foyer and pressed the button for the elevator, yawning while doing so. It was around 2am and all I wanted was to go to bed. When the elevator arrived and I stepped inside it took all of my will power to not fall asleep while standing straight up. I lived on 76th floor of one of the most expensive apartment buildings in the city and yet the elevator was still slow as shit.

I dragged myself into bed as soon as I stepped foot into my apartment and managed to sleep in until 1pm the next day. I spent my late starting Sunday preparing my lecture for my class tomorrow.

——

I was unpleasantly woken up to the chime coming from my phone, I reached out and hit it to make it stop ringing. I yawned and slowly got out of bed. I had set my alarm for six thirty. Normally I wake up at around five because I like to go for a morning run but after waking up so late yesterday I decided it would be fine to skip the run today.

While rubbing the sleep out of my eyes, I walked towards my closet. When i’m not teaching I tend to have a bold fashion sense but in the classroom I make sure I always look professional.

I picked out a white dress shirt, with a dark blue suit, black dress shoes and of course, my cravat. Other professors (such as Hange) at the university didn’t dress nearly as formally as me but I liked to be looking my best in front of a shit ton of people.

I quickly made myself a cup of coffee, as I did every morning and made myself some toast. I had a few minutes before I had to leave so I decided to go out on my balcony. As i stepped out onto the familiar deck a burst of cold fall air hit my face. I actually liked the cold so I didn’t mind that much.

My balcony wasn’t the biggest but it was good enough for me. It was a relaxing place and was oddly enough the part of my apartment I used most often. Something about looking down at the toronto streets from way up high was comforting to me. When i watched the city, it calmed me.

I laid back on my chair, taking a sip of my tea and taking in the sights. I would never get tired of the view. It was especially beautiful in the morning during the sunrise. The light from the sun hit all the buildings just so perfectly and covered the busy city in a gorgeous pastel orange. I let out a sigh and continued to observe the city.

My calm was broken as my phone vibrated in my pocket. I had set myself an alarm for when I had to leave for work. ‘Oh well. The city’s not going anywhere.’ I thought to myself as I left my balcony and collected my things.

My drive to work was as uneventful as it always is and I got to Colossal & Jaw University an hour before my class started, as usual. I walked up the steps to the front doors and walked inside. C&J had a beautiful campus that I had always admired. The buildings were always very well kept and clean which I admired.

As I walked through the halls to get to my classroom, I ignored the whispers and stares from students I passed by. It was as Hange said, I really can’t go anywhere without being hit on. I eventually got to my room and started making preparing for class. I set up my laptop, made sure the chalk board and my desk was clean and organized all the papers I needed.

The first day of school was always a really insightful one, by the end of the three hours I can usually tell who’s going to try far too hard, who’s barley going to pay attention and who’s going to fail my course. First impressions are important and I can tell what type of class i’m going to have each semester by the end of this day.

Twenty minuets before class started I heard footsteps and my first student walked into my room. I looked up from my laptop and was surprised to see the young blonde boy from the band the other night staring back at me, looking absolutely shocked. His eyes widened the second he saw my face and his jaw dropped. Even though I was surprised I hid it and sent him an annoyed glare.

He looked different from when I saw him on stage but I think thats because now he was wearing somewhat dorky clothes instead of the punk ones his band had on.

“You look like you’ve seen a ghost kid.”

The blonde boys eyebrows shot up and he tried to relax his face. “Ah, oh i-i’m sorry. You just- uh.. you’re here.” “Why wouldn’t I be here? Im the professor of this class.” I said, my voice deadpan. “You’re right, sir! Im so so sorry. I’m Armin Arlert.” He said quickly, sounding worried. “So, can I sit anywhere or is there assigned seating?” He asked, nervously.

I must have really scared the kid. “Sit where ever, Armin.” I replied. He nodded his head and examined the room. After a few moments he decided to sit in the second row, in the center. I looked back down at my laptop but heard him rustling through his backpack and pulling out papers. I could already tell he was going to be one of the ones to try too hard.

It intrigued me that Armin was shocked to see me, I never noticed him look at me but I suppose that’s because my eyes were glued pretty viciously to his bandmate.

As class came closer to beginning more and more people filled the seats, once again I heard the faint whispers describing how ‘hot’ and ‘sexy’ I am. I’ve always hated being hit on but I especially disliked it when 19 year old girls gushed over me as if I weren’t sitting right in front of them.

The bell rang and I sat up from my desk, looking over the crowd of people in the room. There must had been at least 100. I cleared my throat, to draw everyones attention towards the front of the room where I was standing. I walked over to the door and closed it then went over to the chalkboard and began to talk.

“My name is Professor Ackerman, I will be your english professor for this course-“ I wrote my name on the chalkboard and turned towards my students. “-I expect you all to follow my rules and expectations. If you cannot follow my basic instructions then there is no reason for you to be in this class in the first place.” I spoke, in a cold tone.

“This course will be very fast passed, if you cannot keep up with the assignments you will fail. There will be a new assignment everyday after my lecture. You are also required to write a 4 paged essay based on the prompt I give you, every week.” I heard many people sigh. “As for rules, strict attendance is mandatory. If you do not come to class on time you will be punished. As well there is absolutely no food allowed in this room. You are allowed a water bottle but that is all.”

More sighs filled the room. “Now, please fill out the document I posted to this course’s website. You will have 20 minuets to fill out the form. When you’re done please submit it to me. You may now begin.” I said. The class began to pull out their computers and complete the work. I walked back over to my desk and sat down.

The room was mainly silent as the students filled out the form. That silence was broken the second I heard the classroom door open. My head shot up from my desk to look at the person who had interrupted my class.

Once again I found myself staring into those emerald green eyes.

It was him.

The guitarist.