Mitch readjusted the rearview mirror, and a smile crept up on his face when it reflected the guitar in the back seat. Hopefully this was a step in the direction for atonement, even if it wasn’t in great shape.
When he got home, he left the other two guitars in the trunk and grabbed the black one to bring inside. Thinking better of it, he turned back and grabbed a Chlorox wipe from out of the glove box, then cleaned the lacquer veneer. Once he was satisfied with his work, he sprinted up the front porch stairs and began to look around for signs of Avi on the first floor. When he couldn’t find him in the livingroom or kitchen, Mitch hurried up the stairs and knocked on his bedroom door. His entire body vibrated as he waited for an answer.
“Hello?” came Avi’s voice from the other side, and Mitch gulped.
“It’s me,” Mitch responded, ignoring how stupid he suddenly felt. “I know it’s late, but-” The door creaked opened, Avi’s bemused face peeked through the crack and caused Mitch’s mouth to go dry. This would have been much easier to convey over text, he realized “I. Uh, this-” He held the guitar out by the neck, putting a little more space between them. “This is for you.”
“Wait, what?” Avi’s eyes went wide as they landed on the guitar. “What’s going on?”
“This is yours. My friend, well, bandmate. And friend. Darius is his name-” Mitch rambled as the door swung open, and Avi stood there in nothing but thin gym shorts. He gently took the guitar from Mitch’s grasp. “I bought it off of him to give to you.” Though he specifically wanted to avoid the word ‘bought’, Mitch could barely focus on anything other than how badly he sputtered.
“You bought me a guitar?” Avi’s smile spread wide. “For no reason?”
“Yes. Well, no, there’s reasons. Because we’re friends. And I owe you so, so much at this point. Thus. Guitar.”
“Oh my god, that’s maybe the nicest thing that anyone’s ever done for me,” Avi declared as he admired his gift.
“It’s kind of beat up, but I’ll tune it for you tomorrow. And re-string it. And I’ve got a bunch of picks that you can have. I didn’t have any time to do that tonight.” In retrospect, he should have taken care of all of that ahead of time, but the excitement of finally having something to offer to Avi clouded his judgment.
“Take your time, I won’t be able to practice until after Graveyard Smash, anyway.” Avi shrugged, then set the guitar down on the floor next to him and leaned up against the doorframe. “But thank you. I really appreciate this.”
“Hey, you’re the one that keeps investing your time in playing. And me, I guess, heh. It’s the very least that I could do,” Mitch rubbed the back of his neck. “Well, I’m gonna crash. Have a good night.”
“You too. Sleep well,” Avi responded, still in the doorway while Mitch turned on his heel and escaped to Jodie’s room. He turned back to look just once, and caught Avi watching him from down the hall, appearing surprised before shifting into a more relaxed stance. Mitch gave a small wave, his face and chest hotter than the surface of the sun, and Avi waved back.
He practically dove behind Jodie’s door to escape further scrutiny, his heart thundering so hard that he worried it may bruise a rib.