The Enchanted Garden Cafe
The cab let me off right in front of the café. People sat at the small tables we’d set up on the sidewalk, and others hovered near the door, listening. It was quite a crowd, and as soon as the sound of the music reached my ears, I understood why.
Matthew sat on a barstool, strumming his guitar. Mom softly kept the beat with a set of bongos she had tucked between her legs. Moses played his saxophone, the sound twisting and winding though Matthew’s music like an intricate quilt. A young woman with braided hair and skin that glowed in the candlelight belted out a soulful melody about love and loss and hope.
I stopped, as enthralled by the music as the others. The woman had a lovely voice, and Moses was a genius, but Matthew grabbed my attention and held it. His black shirt and jeans accentuated his sleek, muscular body.A necklace with a yin and yang symbol carved in wood hung on a leather cord around his neck. His dark hair brushed his shoulders, as soft and smooth as silk, and his elegant fingers flew skillfully over the guitar, making it moan and sing and cry with a hauntingly beautiful sound. I’d never heard anything like it, and Matthew was as mesmerizing as his music.
As soon as the song finished, Matthew’s eyes met mine. I’d been caught watching him but couldn’t look away. This time he didn’t smile. He stared back at me, his expression as haunted and sad and beautiful as the song he’d played.
Mom came up and touched my arm. “Isn’t he amazing?”
I nodded, not trusting myself to speak.