Javi's Cafe, 9.

Submitted by Kyleigh on Mon, 09/01/2014 - 20:01

Because of my late night, I woke up late the next morning, and it was almost ten before I opened my eyes and looked at the clock. I groaned. What if Clara thought I wasn’t free and had already made other plans? I sat up and reached for my phone, calling her as quickly as I could. While the phone was ringing, I climbed out of bed and started getting dressed.
“Hello, this is Clara.”
“Hi Clara, it’s Walter. I didn’t hear your message until late last night. But I’ll be heading down to the café for a few minutes and will be there until closing time. You can even come after closing time – that’s eight – if it works better for you.”
“I’ll probably come after lunch. Do I need to bring anything?”
“Just your flute and any music you want to try.”
“Great! Where is the café?”
I gave Clara directions as I tied my shoes and then ran out the door as soon as we hung up, grabbing my satchel from the foot of my bed as I passed by.
“Good morning,” I called as I entered the café.
“Good morning, Walter,” Emily said from behind the counter. “Did you just get out of bed?”
“Yeah, why?”
“I take it you didn’t check the mirror at all.”
“What’s wrong?”
“Your hair is hilarious.”
“Oh.” I ran my fingers through my hair, combing it back to its normal position. “Now that I’m presentable, may I have a quiche and two muffins for breakfast?”
“Hungry, are we?” Emily said as she got my breakfast.
“Waking at this time, I’m starving.”
“You also seem very excited.”
“Clara’s coming after lunch.”
“That’s good news.”
I nodded. “I hope so, anyway.”
“You bet.”
“You’ll be fine. Besides, Ema’s here to break any ice that needs breaking.”
“What’ll I do?” Ema asked when she heard her name. She was standing on a stool stirring a bowl of batter.
“Do you have anything for me to do before Clara comes?” I asked Emily.
Emily shook her head. “Write, play, anything you need to.”
I sat down and pulled out pieces of sheet music, double-checking pieces and parts. Then I went to the piano and ran through the trickiest bits and made sure that I knew what I was doing with my own music. The soiree wasn’t going to be entirely original music, but there were a fair number of Christmas carol arrangements I’d done, as well as a sonata for flute and piano. And then we’d have the music Clara was bringing. I got up to talk to Emily.
“What should we do if they ask for an encore again?” I asked.
Emily shrugged. “You’re the musician, not me.”
“Can I do something?” Ema asked.
“You don’t play anything,” Emily said.
But I began nodding slowly. “I think that’s it,” I said. “I’ll pull together one more arrangement. What’s your favorite Christmas carol, Ema?”
“Silent Night. It’s so pretty.”
“How does Silent Night arranged for flute, piano, and voice sound to you, Emily?”
“It sounds beautiful, but I don’t know if Ema would really sing in front of people.”
“I would!” Ema protested.
“I’m thinking of maybe just having her sing at the very beginning, with Clara playing on flute and then the piano will come in when Ema is done. It’s already coming together in my head!”

Ema was the first one to see Clara approaching. “Is that her?” She asked, pointing to the window. I grinned and nodded.
“She’s pretty,” Ema said.
“And she plays flute?”
“What’s a flute?”
“You’ll see soon.”
Ema ran to the door and opened it when Clara got close. “We’ve been waiting for you!” she said. “I’m Ema.”
“I’m Clara.”
“That’s what Walter said. And you play flute!”
“Yes, I do.”
I went to the door to rescue Clara, laughing at Ema. She’ll have no problem singing in a room full of strangers, I thought. “Welcome to the Café, Clara!” I said.
“I can see why you like this place so much,” she said. “It’s beautiful.”
“Come meet Emily.”
I introduced Clara to Emily, and then we got to practicing. There were a few other people in the café, but we briefly explained what we were doing and apologized for any inconvenience we caused – but told them they were getting a free preview of the New Years’ Soiree.
The next few hours were filled with lots of music and only a little less of laughter and smiles. Clara’s musicality was even more amazing than I had thought it was, as she not only made my music come alive but gave it wings. Ema came by every so often asking if we needed any water or snacks, or if we were done so we could play with her. At last we satisfied her by saying that yes, we were finished practicing for today. Ema whisked Clara away to the back room.
“Ema will be fine singing in front of an audience,” I said to Emily.
“She knows you really like Clara,” Emily said. “That’s why she’s so fearless with her.”
“So we do the same with an audience, and put people she knows in the front. And Clara and I will be right there with her.”
“Alright, I’ll stop protesting.”
I smiled.
“Are you happy with how it went this afternoon?”
“Yes. The musical aspect is obvious to see. It’s going to be a great concert. Beyond that, today’s a start, but there’s no telling where it’s going to lead or end.”
“Just be patient,” Emily said. “Not everything clicks right away like it did for Javi and I.”
“Oh, it’s sure clicked right away,” I said. “But I don’t know if it’s clicked on both sides.”
Emily laughed.
Clara and Ema came out of the back room.
“I showed her the dolls you made me, mama,” Ema said.
“I need to be getting home,” Clara said. “But I enjoyed this afternoon and am looking forward to the concert.”
“Let me know when you’re free again,” I said. “We should practice again at least once more - after Christmas is probably better.”
“And you’re welcome to come over here even if you’re not practicing,” Emily said. “And even if you don’t need anything to eat or drink.”
“Thank you,” Clara said. “I’ll let you know when will work to practice again, Walter.”
I nodded. “Thanks for coming today.”
“I really did enjoy it,” Clara said as I walked her to the door.
“Me, too. Do you know how to get back from here?”
Clara nodded.
“See you later, then.”
“I like her,” Ema said as soon as the door closed.
“Me, too,” I said again. I turned to Emily. “But now that people have heard about the Soiree we need to get fliers out.”
“I’ll get them printed tomorrow,” Emily said. “And then you and Jerome can go out putting them up.”
“Sounds like a plan. Have you thought of anyone you might like to invite for the reserved seating?”
“I’m not inviting my parents, Walter.”
“Anyone else?” I said, trying to make it seem like I hadn’t asked my first question to make her think about her parents.
“The people in the Café are the only ones I really know here anymore.”
“What about Kate?”
“I was thinking about her again last night,” Emily said. “Not in regard to the concert, but just in general. I’d planned on just waiting until she got in touch with me if she needed anything, but the more I think about it, the more I realize that I can’t do that. I won’t help her like I said I would if she kept the baby, but I still want her to know I’m here for help, comfort, and support if she needs it.”
“I think she might appreciate being specially invited to the concert,” I said. “I don’t know how many friends she has apart from Jake, and we probably aren’t the kind of party she’s used to on New Years’, but it’s an excuse for you to get in contact with her and maybe a more tangible way to reach back out to her.” I shrugged. “But you’re a girl, I’m not. You know what she needs.”
Emily laughed. “You and Jerome crack me up with your obsession over the reserved seats, that’s all.”
“It’s a way to honor special people, that’s all,” I said. “I’m going to invite my parents, but only because I know they’re not going to end up standing by the door the whole time.”
“You do know more about concert etiquette than I do. I just don’t want these special events turning into ticketed concerts.”
“They won’t,” I said. “They’ll always be community events that are free. But I think we need to have them more often if this one is as full as the last one.”
“We need bigger community for that,” Emily said. “Which would help not only our concerts but also business and finances.”
I sighed. “I wish I was some rich, famous musician and could help you financially,” I said. “My lunch money doesn’t go very far – but your prices being cheaper than the rest of New York helps a lot.”
“Walter, what you do for us relationally is so much more than any money could. Strangers can provide money. Good friends are something else.”
I nodded. “They certainly are. But I still wish I could do something.”
“Your concerts help a lot,” Emily said. “They bring in a lot of business. Don’t worry about it, Walter. Jerome is helping us, and we’ll get through. It’s not hopeless, just not where we wanted to be right now.”
I looked around the little café. “Maybe we should have two concert times,” I said. “Clara and I could certainly pull it off, and more people could come that way with it being less crowded.”
Emily didn’t say anything at first, but then nodded. “I think that’s a good idea. I might need even more extra help, though, since that will mean more food.”
“I’ve volunteered my services already, though you may not want me to do much. I’ve never done much in the kitchen.”
“Does Clara cook?”
“I don’t know,” I said, and then noticed the impish look on Emily’s face. “You schemer!” Then I laughed. “Oh, I’d be so lost without you and Ema. I’ll find out if Clara is good in the kitchen.”
Emily smiled.

Author's age when written

Since I've been writing pretty far in advance right now, know that I AM listening to your comments. ;) Conflict/tension stuff IS coming.


“I take it you didn’t check the mirror at all.”
“What’s wrong?”
“Your hair is hilarious.”

That made me smile.

Maybe Walter won't end up with Emily, after all. But I still think that if that's so, I, the reader by now should have known Clara more. After all, if this is in Walter's point of view, he should have thought of her and she should have been more than a fleeting thought - and we should have learned to know her better. Just some thoughts when you edit.

Also, to be honest, since you're just concentrating on the people of this story right now, could you try to characterize the main characters more? Give them a few quirks; make things happen that show their real side so they're not so perfect. I like them, but not necessarily love them yet.

And if you're writing pretty far in advance, might as well just post 2 times a month at least, since you aren't going to edit anyway. Don't you think? ;) Conflict and tension really need to come.

Tell me what you think!

"It is not the length of life, but the depth of life." Ralph Waldo Emerson

My favourite:

“She’s pretty,” Ema said.
“And she plays flute?”
“What’s a flute?”

I could so see that scene.

Goodbye? Oh no, please. Can’t we just go back to page one and start all over again?” – Winnie The Pooh

Looking forward to more Clara. :)

I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right. --The Book Thief

Thanks for continuing to post this story, Kyleigh. I'm enjoying it. I definitely want to read more interaction between Walter and Clara.
I have heard both Lucy Anne and my sister Susannah at least hint that they thought Walter and Emily were meant for each other. To give you more data points on how your audience might be affected, I'll say that this never occurred to me, even before Clara entered the story, as I was under the impression that Walter was not quite 20, and that Emily was at least half a decade older.
That said, Clara did enter the plot rather abruptly, when Walter brought her up in a conversation with Emily and Jerome in chapter three. I think it would help in your edited edition if you led up to it more... perhaps a scene where he notices and/or briefly interacts with her at the college, and then after that have him thinking about this and realizing he's interested in her, and wondering what he should do about it. That would set it up for Walter's conversation with Emily and Jerome in chapter 3.
That said, I've enjoyed reading the interaction between Walter and Clara so far and am looking forward to more. :)

"The idea that we should approach science without a philosophy is itself a philosophy... and a bad one, because it is self-refuting." -- Dr. Jason Lisle

Ditto on what James said. I had thought that maybe, just maybe, Walter would marry Ema when she grows up. :) But he is a lot older than her. Also, I saw that you had thought about changing his name. I think Walter is PERFECT for this story! =)
God bless!

I don’t thrive off of chaos: chaos thrives off of me.

Kyleigh, this was an EXCELLENT chapter! And about what James said, I was wondering about the ages. How old is Walter? And what about Emily?
Or is that something you don't wanna tell. If not, PLEEZ TELL ME! :D :P

- Susannah

p.s. Ditto to Lucy Anne :D

"Even if the sun crashes into earth, I won't let go, I won't let go. I can be your light, stay with me tonight, I won't let go, I won't let go."

Thanks, everyone.
Comments have been noted. ;)
Walter is right about 20, Emily at least 23. Not that there's anything wrong with that and them together, but the story would really have to run away from me for that. ;)

Also, it's your choice: would you rather I post more until the baby is born, or every month and most likely not take a break when the baby is born?

...I don't understand your question. I just want you to never stop writing and posting here even though the baby's coming, and if you already finished your story - just post it every week so we can read it more often and not have to catch up on the previous every time you post.

"It is not the length of life, but the depth of life." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Did my eyes deceive me? There's a baby coming?! *Squeal* Congratulations a thousand times!! *Another excited squeal* So wait, did I miss something... Did you post something saying you were pregnant? Oh dear, this is what absence has repaid me with.

....just visited your blog! I haven't been following it like I should of because life's busy and all those silly excuses...but yay! How exciting!! I have a million questions but I forget this is on the internet. *Squeal* So excited for you and Ezra. (I like babies very much) God bless.

Goodbye? Oh no, please. Can’t we just go back to page one and start all over again?” – Winnie The Pooh

I got some editing in today, and updated posts here. They're by no means perfect, especially pertaining to bigger picture edits of show vs tell and character quirks, but here's what's changed:
1. mentions of Clara
2. minor edits, mostly Clara-related, although I did mention Jerome's greying hair.
3-7. a phrase or two here and there... nothing much
8. more detail on Ema and Walter's trip to Central Park
9. same. :)

*new names for Emily & Walter still in thought... suggestions welcome.

... and I'm really excited about the next two chapters!

Oh, yay! I really like your edits! I looked at 1,2, 3, and 8 - really like the inserts of Clara. Like your description of faint Milky Way - through a frosty window. Only thing is - I'm not so sure you can see stars - or notice them as well in NYC, especially in Central Park. ;) But maybe. But probably not if you're surrounded by the skyscrapers. You're usually just looking ahead of you; making sure you're watching where you're going.

...and don't do new names. That would change the entire story and make it confusing.

"It is not the length of life, but the depth of life." Ralph Waldo Emerson

I think I said that. ! But I think it's okay now that you've written more.

Names: JOSIAH. Benjamin, Andrew, Jonathan, DAVID, Josh - those are names that I think could fit with a youthful person.

"It is not the length of life, but the depth of life." Ralph Waldo Emerson