As the band packed up their instruments and began to trundle away in their various cars, I fell into stride beside Karolina. She was beautiful - with the perfect nose, bright blue eyes and golden hair tied into an elegant knot, but still falling down to her shoulders like a waterfall. Like me, she'd just finished university, and like me, she'd discovered this little orchestra who handily rehearsed in the church five minutes' walk from my house. She lived on the other side of town, which was a little bit of a walk away.
We got talking, something we didn't do much during rehearsal, since I sat at the back row of the violins with the ad libitum parts, some of which I'd scored myself, and her fingers danced across the piccolo across the circle. We occasionally shared a smile - sometimes a wink, occasionally a note - but very few words.
We discussed music - what we liked, what we disliked, and what got us into our chosen instruments. I shared stories of the band I was in at university, and the society I helped found in my final year, sketching bass clefs onto whiteboard in meeting rooms and taking minutes in musical shorthand. She told me of the times she had spent in her room in university hall, twittering her way through musical scores which she picked up second-hand from charity shops. Once everyone else was out of sight, we sang the title song from Fiddler on the Roof to each other. I was amazed she knew the words, since they're not sung in the musical.
We harmonised well.
As we were walking in the direction of town, I suggested we get a coffee. Starbucks would still be open; we were young and silly, and although we both had work in the morning, it wasn't that late. So we walked down the tree-lined road, up the alleyways that provide a handy shortcut into town, and perched on stools with vanilla lattes, our instruments making love on the floor beside us. The conversation flowed freely - the laughter too. At this late hour, people were beginning to trickle away, and for a while, we were in our little bubble, the sparkle of her eyes reflecting my nervous brush-back of my hair which, I noticed, I was doing a little too much.
We stayed out far too late and waltzed back to her tiny flat near the train station on the hill. Where once we were waxing lyrical, now we were virtually silent. The door closed; our instruments leaned up against the wall. Our bodies met; her opal kisses tasted like vanilla, strawberry and excitement, with a hint of crescendo. A laugh, a smile, a breath and a tumble, and she fell backwards onto her bed, landing like a soft stick on a timpani. She hitched up her skirt; I tugged at my belt. She bit her lip as I sank my cock into her, her eyelids fluttering closed as her body relaxed around me. I moved inside her, gentle deliberate strokes, her giggles fluttering into my ear as I took breaths as deep and measured as I could.
Moving in rhythm... from the rehearsal room to the bedroom.
We awoke, kissed, dressed, and walked hand-in-hand to the station. I waved her farewell as she joined the stream of commuters heading into London; I turned to make my way to work - on foot, since I'd left my bicycle at home. Violin in hand, I sang softly to myself as I made my way up the hill, a soft glow illuminating my path in the dawn's misty light.
Karolina and I walked around town almost every night - sometimes going for a drink, sometimes just sitting in the park or watching the ducks on the river. We almost always went back to her little flat to make love. Occasionally, we would play music together. We always went to band practice, but this time we talked during the interval. I never told anyone else about her.
I never told anyone else about her, because she didn't exist.
And this time, I didn't want to. She was my secret girlfriend - the one I created. I carried her around like a light in my heart: a secret that I didn't have to feel guilty about. Someone I could talk to, share my stories with, and feel close to. I would walk to band practice every Wednesday, play my part, and then take her hand and walk home.
Say hello to my parents, make a hot chocolate, lie back on my own bed, close my eyes... and walk off into the night with Karolina, always ready to share one more adventure.