I've seen him all week, passing him as we work here in the mines, but we avoid eye contact. At least I do. It's not that I don't want to try and strike up a conversation. But what would I say after last weekend's disaster? I've not got the gift of words like he does. And, you know, I been thinking, he's the songwriter, why doesn't he try and chat me up? But there I'm getting ahead of myself. Huh. I don't even know if he likes me at all. Not in the way I feel about him. Maybe he smiles at everyone and I just don't see it. I'll have to watch him more closely.
More closely? Shit. How much "more closely" can I watch him? I'd have to be glued to his pretty face. Every moment I ain't working my eyes are on him. Or at least searching for him.
I wish I was the easier sort. The kind of laid-back fella who gets everything he wants with a wink and a smile. Things just come to him because he has no problem asking for them. But then, those type of guys don't work in these type of mines, do they? And if I didn't work here I wouldn't ever have met Nick.
Still, dammit, why can't something just come easily to me. Just this once.
There's a tapping on my shoulder. I think it's the foreman telling me my break is done with, so I turn around to say "I know," but it ain't the foreman standing there. Instead, it's my brokenhearted wordsmith, eyes a-shimmering.
Instinctively, I remove my miner's hat and push back my hair. "H-hey there, Nick," I says.
"Hi there, Adam." My name. He knows my name. He said my name. It's like I've never heard it said by anyone before. Don't it sound pretty coming from his lips. Suddenly, all the noise, all the miners, everything around us, doesn't make any sense at all. It's just filler.
"I-I want to apologize for the way I acted the other night," I says. "At the pub, I mean. I had something to ask you, but..."
He smiles and my mind goes quiet. No. Numb. That's the more appropriate word. What was I going to ask him?
"It's no problem," he says. "I enjoy seeing you at my shows."
"Truly? I mean, really?"
"Really and truly." His eyes are searching my face for something. "It's good to see a...your face. You'll be there this weekend, right?"
Truth is, up until this moment I wasn't certain if I was going to make it. I'm still carrying around the shame of cowardice from last weekend. But I blurt out like struck oil, "Absolutely!"
We're standing here, grinning like two fools, and it's the best half minute ever. I could live in this moment, dirt-covered and all.
"Back to work!" shouts the foreman from somewhere behind me.
Me and Nick nod at each other. "See you this weekend," he says.
I just keep on grinning, but I think to myself, "Best break ever."