The sound of the alarm clock, tore through the silence in the room and the peace of his sleep like a hot knife through butter. From under the sheets, a well-manicured yet rugged hand emerged slowly and came hard at the alarm clock making it tumble onto the floor with a loud thud. It was the thud that forced Claud to open his eyes and lazily turn on his bed. “Gosh! Why did I accept this gig?” He mumbled to himself. Claud felt so tired and spent that, his only wish in this world would be to stay in bed but Alas! He had a professional reputation he had worked so hard to build and was bent on maintaining even if killed him. Claud was a brilliant entertainer who performed at people’s private functions sometimes for close to nothing. However, the joy it gave him whenever he took the stage was more fulfilling than any other thing he had ever known.
He jumped out of the bed and waltzed into the bathroom to take a shower and get ready. Dressed up all nice and feeling dapper, he rushed down the stairs to catch the bus. The door of the bus flew open and he walked into the bus noticing from the corner of his eyes, how a quartet of female friends had huddled up and were whispering to themselves whilst staring at him. One was an obvious red colored face now but Claud would not bother himself with any distractions at this moment of his life. “Focus Claud, Focus” he said to himself. Just as he was about to settle in his seat he felt there was something off and luckily his senses roared at him. “Damn”! He murmured out loud. “I left my guitar at the apartment”. He shouted at the driver to pull over and apologized on his way out that he had left something very important back at his apartment. The driver just smiled and said “Claud, you know this is the last bus on this route for today until tomorrow morning and I obviously cannot wait for you”. “I am sorry Jeff but I have a gig and I can’t play without my guitar”. Jeff slowly shook his head and said, “you really need to find a woman and settle down soon kid Brother”. With that he shut the door and drove off.
His reply was cut off by the hissing bus door and the gentle thud as the doors came closing in front of him. He half waved at the ladies who had been drooling all over from the time he stepped on the bus a fraction of a second ago. They looked so disappointed that he got off sooner than he boarded the bus with one of them literally out of her seat wishing she could get off the bus and run after him wherever he was going. Claud cleared his mind and rushed to his apartment to grab Cindy his guitar and was back by the side of the road trying to figure out how he would get to this appointment and in time.
In her beautiful red dress, she felt very pretty and yet a little uncomfortable. Dresses were not her thing and doing this for her cousin Jabez, was really costing her an arm and a leg. She already missed being in her regular faded Jeans and T-Shirt for she had become so accustomed to them that she sometimes slept in them. There were times she convinced herself that it was a necessary evil for days when she got inspiration whilst in her sleep. Lily was an artiste and even though she had enough to challenge the best in the country, her calm and reserved nature always restricted her and she exposed her work to only a limited few close associates. She prayed God to inspire her to be her best today because she knew how Jabez adored her for her talent. Her thoughts were interrupted by a loud bang that made her quickly duck behind the steering wheel. Her foot came off the pedal and she felt the car wobble to a stop. It immediately dawned on her that her car tire had just exploded. She let loose a stream of curse words she didn’t even know she knew and stepped out to check hoping against all hope that she would be wrong. She was not. She got overwhelmed with emotions when she confirmed it was indeed her car tire. How do I change a car tire in this dress and heels, at this hour in an unfamiliar neighborhood? she said to herself. She sat down in desperation and total dejection.
“Are you okay lady? Do you need help? Should I call the medics? I thought I heard a bang”. Not knowing which of the questions to answer first, she just said; “unless you are a mechanic or can help change my tire, I don’t know to say”. She slowly turned around to look at who had cut her thoughts short and squinting at the light emitting from the street lamp she sat under, she could see a well sculptured man whose face was not too clear because of the light behind his figure but looked worried for her. He sighed and she could swear that she saw a smile and what looked like a perfect set of white teeth and a spark in this strangers eyes. “Maybe today is just the day I have to destroy my professional reputation. Everything seems to be pointing in this direction”. “Excuse me, what did you just say?” Lily asked. “Never mind lady, pop open your trunk and let me fix you up first”. Lily popped the trunk open and yet stood strategically at a distance as if she was doing something. What if he is a bad person? Is he a serial killer, look at his physique? What if he placed something on the road so that I burst my tire just so that he comes to offer help and then kidnap me? Her thoughts were endless and each one grew more menacing and scary at the prospects of what his guys’ intentions actually were. She quickly put her phone to her ear and started chatting with her boyfriend, briefing him on what had just happened to her car.
“My Lady, I am not a bad person and do not wish you ill.” Lily jostled back into reality to realized that the stranger was a hairs length away from her, he was indeed tall strong and sturdy looking, staring down at her in what looked like, I could have done anything to you because I know you didn’t see me come towards you gaze. “How did you get here she stammered? Why do you even say that? I have not said anything about you being a bad person, are you?” A silly smirk took over his face and he bellowed slowly and undertone; “well for starters, you have kept your distance soon after you popped open your trunk”. “Oh sorry that was because…” He silenced her by placing a finger gently on her lip. It was scary but had a little pleasantness to it that worried Lily. He reached out and grabbed her phone from her ear and said. “I know you are not on phone with anybody My Dear, this is not a phone. You grabbed your spectacle case and put it to your ear in your panic and Yes! I have had your phone in my hand since you left it on the curb when you got up to pop open the trunk. A certain Jabez has called you twice already My Dear, I suggest you end the call on your spectacle case and talk to your real boyfriend on your phone because I think he is waiting for you and worried. You can drive off to him since I have finished changing your tire”.
Flushed with embarrassment, Lily looked away from his cynical stare and said, “stop calling me My Lady and My Dear, I am not yours!” “Is that all you have to say?” Claud said as he burst into a short spurt of laughter. “Forgive my manners My Lady… I mean forgive me Lady. I never intended to call you mine”. “Why are you apologizing” Lily snapped back, “Look, I don’t like this kind of attitude. I am the one who should apologize to you for my rude behavior not the other way round”. “Yes, but I thought you…” “Just shut up and sit down” Lily snapped again and pointed him to the front seat. “Just tell me where you are heading and let me drop you off.” Claud could not camouflage the look of bewilderment on his face, he didn’t even know how he felt with this whole situation anymore so he just grabbed his guitar and his jacket which both lay on the curb and turned to ask Lily if she really meant to give him a ride without first confirming from him where he was going. He had yet to open his mouth when Lily came at him again, “I said sit down”. Claud raised his hands in the air in a gesture of surrender and hopped into the front seat. What did I just do? Did I just invite a stranger to ride in my car? How and why the hell did I even talk to him that way? She delayed for a split moment at the door to gather herself and eased into the driver’s seat. She started her engine and eased back onto the road.
The next couple of minutes were that of dead uneasy silence. Claud struggling to catch his breath; Lily’s shaky breath from her attempts to calm herself and the soft mellow Jazz tune that played over the cars stereo was all that was audible. After some minutes of uneasy calm she said, “I am Sorry”. “Is that your name for real”? He asked. They both burst into laughter; “You are Crazy, my name is Lily”. The street lights threw their own reflections on her face as she sat behind the wheel, the way she laughed sounded heavenly and the curvature of her face was a delight to behold when she smiled. “Well, I am Claud and thanks for the compliment. You can drop me off at 14 and 20 West Lake and I would be out of your hair.” “You don’t mean it do you? That is exactly where I am going” she exclaimed and turned to steal another glance at him. He was beautiful and had a soft tone to his face. He looked like a dream you would normally not want to wake up from. His face was a testament that God was a great artiste and had taken his time with this piece of work. “Wow, I get it now. You are Jabez’ girlfriend that is why he was calling. We are both late for the Birthday Party”. Lily didn’t reply, she just smiled and gently eased into the parking lot where she saw Jabez pacing the miserable floor.
“So the two acts I decide to use for my Birthday Party decide to both arrive late and strangely enough, together? Do you guys even know each other”? Jabez said and didn’t wait for an answer as he turned and walked into the party. He had been out calling them a while now to find out where they were as the party needed some life yet both had not answered his calls. He grabbed the microphone and apologized for the late turn up of entertainment for the night and announced that they had just arrived and were setting up. He further announced that, to make up for lost time they would both perform together.
Once upon a time, in a bustling city, lived two individuals named Claud and Lily. They were complete strangers, living their separate lives of focus on career until one fateful evening. It was a warm summer night, and they found themselves performing at a rooftop party under a sky filled with twinkling stars. Claud, a talented musician, was strumming his guitar, captivating everyone with his soulful melodies. Meanwhile, Lily, a brilliant artist, stood nearby, sketching the enchanting cityscape illuminated by the moonlight. Their eyes met countless times and their gaze locked, a spark ignited between them. Claud’s fingers danced across the guitar strings, effortlessly, his voice and sweet melody resonating with the beats of Lily’s heart. She couldn’t help but close her eyes several times in her act just to let the wave carry her along as she was continually drawn towards his magnetic presence.
Unable to control how she felt, Lily mustered courage and went to him after the performance. With her paintbrush in hand, she asked Claud if he would be her muse. Intrigued by her request, Claud agreed, and thus began their artistic journey together. Days turned into weeks, and weeks into months. Claud and Lily spent countless hours performing and exploring the city together, capturing its beauty through beautiful melodies and amazing brushstrokes. Their art became intertwined, blending their talents into a symphony of colors and sounds. As their connection deepened, so did their feelings for one another take its own course. They discovered a shared passion for life, creativity, and a profound love that surpassed all boundaries. Their souls became inseparable, much like the brush and canvas, the guitar and the melody.
But life, as always is fraught with challenges. One day, Claud received an offer to tour with a famous band, taking him away from the city and his newfound love. It was an opportunity of a lifetime, but it meant leaving Lily behind. Torn between his dreams and his heart, Claud couldn’t bear to lose Lily. Instead, he composed a heartfelt song, pouring all his emotions into every chord. He presented this song to Lily, and as she stood in awe of his voice which had filled the room, it felt once again like she was hearing him for the first time. It was always like this whenever Claud sang and she did not understand why.
Touched by his expression of love, Lily understood his dilemma. She encouraged him to pursue his dreams, promising him that their love would endure the test of time. With tearful goodbyes and hearts filled with hope, they bid each other farewell. Months passed, and the world experienced the magic of Claud’s music. His songs resonated with millions, but his heart ached for the one he left behind. He longed for Lily’s presence, her smile, her touch, and the shared moments of artistic inspiration. On a chilly winter night, as Claud performed on a grand stage, He felt lost. He felt like giving up because the vacuum created by Lily’s absence had become so tangible he could touch it. From the corner of his eyes he saw a familiar figure ushered on stage with an easel and a paint brush. He swallowed a huge lump in his throat and gathered himself. It was Lily, her eyes sparkling with pride and love and she quickly melted into the mood and started painting. Claud felt every brushstroke and so did Lily feel every string strum. In that moment, time felt like it stood still, Claud had never felt this alive in a while and Lily felt same. They knew there and then that they were meant to be together. At the last note Claud fell to his knees and brought out a diamond ring he had carried with him all through the tour. Lily smile and said yes.
The whole world witnessed this beautiful spectacle of love and their love story was one to be emulated. It transcended circumstances, distance and time, proving that true love can indeed conquer all obstacles. From that day forward, Claud and Lily continued to create their art, side by side, their hearts set side by side, filling the world with the beauty of their shared love. And so, their love story lived on, etched into the hearts of many who listened to Claud’s melodies and beheld Lily’s brushstroke masterpieces… a testament to the enduring power of love.