“Vous Parlez Fancais?” She perked up a bit at the sound of his French tongue, reminding her a bit of back home where everyone spoke it. Originally, Cindy was from Connecticut, but she moved to France at an early age. She didn’t pick up the accent much, but she did have to learn to speak in French. “J’habite à France.” She stopped there. “Did you?” Crossing her legs, she looked at him engaged in knowing the story of his adventure in French. “It’s very nice there. When did you go?”
As he began to hum, Cindy smiled. His voice was soothing, comforting. “Mhm!” She followed the trail of his eyes then saw something move in the corner. “Oh! Hello there” She bent over immediately, rubbing her fingers together and calling for the kitty. As it ignored her request, jumping onto the desk, she sat back up putting her hand out to let it sniff her. She scratched behind it’s ear and the cat began purring, rubbing itself up against her hand. Cinderella had a way with animals, she always did. “Well, I have a horse, Major. He’s a good horse. My favourite part is riding him when I got the chance. I had him since I was a little girl. He’s getting old now.” Sadness grew in her eyes. She knew Major wasn’t going to be there much longer, and the thought of that made her want to be back to see him. But that meant facing her step mother again. She couldn’t go back now. “I also have a dog Bruno. He’s a very loyal one.” She began chuckling thinking of how Bruno never got along with the cat. “And then there’s Lucifer. He was a bad cat, I don’t know why we kept him.” She shrugged. What did that wicked step mother see in Lucifer? “I also had a few mice” She felt sheepish admitting so. “I guess you could say I have a bit of a soft spot for them” she shrugged. “What’s his name?” She asked O’Malley, still petting the cat. It was so sweet, so needy. Unlike Lucifer. Oh he was needy alright, also greedy, disobedient – the list went on.
“I was there a…few years ago. In Paris. I…” O’Malley hesitated. Looking up at the blonde, he studied her face a moment. He wasn’t very good at opening up about his past. It was long and not the best story. Especially his time in France. But her curious gaze and the innocence in her blue eyes helped calm him. “Well..I was performing in the streets there. I was living in the streets. Though…the Paris streets are not all that bad. But I was there for a number of years before I had to leave. It was actually the longest I had every stayed anywhere before.” Pausing, he smiled softly at Cindy, deciding he had said too much.
Watching her reacting to seeing his cat, O’Malley smiled. He appreciated people who liked cats. Mostly because so many people weren’t fans. The brown and white cat warmed up to her quickly, rubbing her hand and purring loudly. Then O’Malley raised his blue eyes to the girl once again as she began to talk about her animals. He could sense the sadness in her voice as well as her eyes as she talked about Major. It was obvious the horse meant a lot to her and she had no idea when she’d get to see him again. O’Malley chuckled whne she mentioned Lucifer. Naming a cat after the devil is never a good idea. It gives the cat ideas and well…there’s no way he’s going to be good after that. Cindy certainly did seem to love animals.
At her question, O’Malley cocked his head. “Huh. I suppose he doesn’t have a name. I’ve just been calling him the cat. Want to help me name him?” O’Malley smiled at her warmly. Since the cat liked her so much, he couldn’t think of anyone better to name him.
For years, it was as if the word ‘love’ wasn’t even a part of O’Malley’s vocabulary. Like he had regressed and completely forgotten the word was ever taught to him. Those years were spent on the road, the changing scenery was the only thing that could distract him from the pain he felt. The abandonment. The betrayal. The one person who saved him from his miserable life was the one person who threw him back into the darkness. She left without a word. Without explanation. And so he left it all behind and headed for the road less traveled. He would love to admit he never looked back, but he constantly checked over his shoulder. For just one more glimpse of her golden hair. Or the twinkle of her pale blue eyes. None ever came.
“Alright” she responded, closing the door halfway and taking a seat in the chair infront of him. She was intrigued by the guitar he held and she hoped he would play for her. Cindy was back in her quiet stage. It seemed only 2 hours ago O’Malley was able to make her speak but now it was as if they were meeting all over again.
His desk was a bit messy, which, bothered Cinderella a bit. She was used to always keeping things neat and tidy and seeing all the mess made her cringe inside. She wanted so bad to clean it up, but she knew that’d be a little weird of her to do and the last thing she wanted was to weird Thomas out.
“Well” She shrugged. “I just moved here from France. It was nice and all, I had a few pets… but I had to leave them all behind. They’re what I really miss the most” Cinderella was an animal lover. She loved all kinds. Horses especially. They were so beautiful in her eyes and free when they ran. The blonde also had many mice; she had a soft spot for them. But Cinderella didn’t want to gross him out mentioning that part. It seemed a little strange. Her animals were on her mind a lot lately. She wondered how they were doing and who was taking care of them now.
O’Malley’s eyebrow perked when she mentioned France. “France? Really? C’est très intéressant. Quelle ville? ((That is very interesting. What city?)) I myself spent a bit of time in France. A loong time ago.” He chuckled softly and glanced down at his guitar, strumming a few chords softly and humming with a song he only heard in his head. Looking back up at her while continuing to pluck at his guitar he smiled softly. “You love animals, huh?” He glanced over to the corner of his office and made a psst psst sound softly. Standing up and stretching, his cat looked up at the both of them with golden eyes and trotted over to the desk to jump on top of it. “This is the cat.” He said simply, gesturing to the small white and brown cat that was sitting on the desk. He had taken in the stray a while ago and it had lived in his office ever since. He had a soft spot for the abandoned. Turning back to the blonde, he smiled softly. “Tell me about your pets, ma chère.”
The bell rang. Cinderella zoomed out of the classroom and just before she made her way to his office she prepped herself in the nearest ladies washroom. She washed her hands at first, dried them, then looked at herself in the mirror fixing her hair and the makeup under her eye. She didn’t know why she was putting so much effort into how she looked, it was just a meeting with a teacher. Still, she continued to do it. She tucked one side of her hair behind her ears, showing off her earrings, then with a huff smiled in the mirror a few times. She left the washroom.
540E. 540E. 540E. It took her a few minutes to find the place, but she did. As she approached the door she knocked on it with the back of her hand and then slowly opened the door. “Hello?”
There she saw him sitting on the desk with a guitar in his hand. She let herself in, standing only in the doorway.
At the knock on the door, O’Malley looked up and paused playing his guitar for a moment. “Come in.” As he watched the blonde step into his room, he smiled wide. “I was hoping you’d show. Please come sit.” He gestured to the chair across from his desk with his hand. Crossing his legs on the desk, O’Malley studied her face, trying to read her emotions. She seemed a bit nervous, but just like before in the hall he mostly saw her innocence. She just seemed like such a sweet girl. It was a stark contrast to his own life. Where he lacked innocence, she had plenty and while he had experienced almost all that life had to offer, he had a feeling she had led a sheltered life. It intrigued him to no end. “Tell me about yourself, Cindy.” He said cooly, remaining lounged comfortably in his chair.
O’Malley sat at his desk with his guitar cradled in his lap and his fingers dancing effortlessly over the frets. He knew he should be grading, or at the very least organizing his office, but he would much rather play music. He definitely wasn’t here for the administrative side of the job. Glancing up at the clock sitting on the worn surface of his desk, O’Malley considered just how long it had been since he had met the cute blonde in the hallway and whether or not she would actually come to his office after her class. The thought was fleeting though as he turned back to his guitar and continued to play.
“Wait, really?” Most people would get nervous when put on the spot, but Ariel had been waiting to sing to someone for the longest time. She was beaming, and all she could manage to do was spring out of her chair. “What should I sing?” A bunch of songs raced through her head as she tried to pick something. Her thought process was broken when the cat in O’Malley’s lap meowed. Ariel blinked.
“Wait… do you have a piano?” She’d probably sound better if there was music to her voice. Ariel wanted to show off all of her skills too. “I can play, too. Unless I should just sing.” She didn’t need music either, since she memorized all of her stuff. Flipping pages while performing was a pain.
O’Malley laughed at her excited response. It was refreshing to meet someone who seemed so passionate about something like she clearly was. Gesturing to the left, he pointed out the small piano in his office. There were piles of papers blocking her view of it, so it’s not entirely surprising she didn’t notice it at first. His office was comfortable but it certainly wasn’t organized and clean.
“Play whatever you want. You’re here to impress me, so make it good.” O’Malley responded in a gruff voice before winking. He didn’t want to intimidate her. He preferred when students felt at ease in his presence. Turning so he faced the piano more, he kept his eyes locked on the red head, curious to see what song she picked and just how good she was.