A Trouble Shared

When The Going Gets Tough, Daniel Clancy Has Some Decisions To Make

Winter, Year 4
“If you don’t mind me saying,” Jack said as he sat down at the bar next to Daniel. “You look like hell.”
Daniel grimaced. “I know. I didn’t get much sleep last night.”

“A bit.” Daniel sighed. “Financial, mostly. This child support is crippling me.”
“Ouch.” Jack winced. He knew that finances were a tough subject for Daniel; and for himself, as it happened. Neither of the guys got paid a fraction of what they should, given the variety of roles both could perform and the high praise they received after every performance. They were keenly aware that Rebecca was earning a lot more than they were and, without saying a word, they both knew what the other was thinking. Jack decided a change of subject was in order. “Hey, have you thought of getting a roommate?”
Daniel blinked. “Are you serious? I’m 39; I had a roommate when I was in my twenties. Aren’t I a little old for that now?”
“Rubbish.” Jack looked thoughtful. “In fact, I might know just the guy. He’d be happy to share and he’d pay half the rent and bills.”
“Really? Are you sure?”
“Absolutely. It’s Zackery Dennis. He works with Hayley. I know he’s looking for somewhere in the city to live and sharing with you could be just the ticket. Why don’t I give him your number and he can get in touch if he’s interested?”
Daniel thought about it for a moment. “Yeah, why not? I think I’ll grab at anything at this rate.”

A few days later, Zackery arrived at the flat. “You’re Daniel Clancy?”
Daniel nodded and stretched his hand out. “And you must be Zackery Dennis. Nice to meet you. Jack told me you were interested in settling in the city.”
“I am. I work with Hayley Bolton and I’m trying to pursue a music career of my own, too. It’s getting tiring travelling this far every day to work in the studio across town, so this would be perfect.”
“Excellent.” Daniel smiled. “Well, come on in and I’ll show you around.”

Zackery moved in shortly after and it wasn’t too long before the guys began to get on each other’s nerves a little. Daniel hadn’t realised how loud Zackery’s music would be and Zackery hadn’t realised how early Daniel would be up in the mornings when he was on set. They knew it would take a while to get used to each other’s routines but just how long would it take?

They settled though. Zackery got his first solo track created and released; now it was a matter of waiting to see if a label would pick him up! He had a lot more tracks planned and now that he and Daniel were in a better routine, he felt like he really could accomplish all the things he wanted to.

Daniel had taken to going for a job every day to try and clear his mind. San Myshuno had already seen the first snowfall of the season and Daniel did love the sound of the snow crunching under his trainers as he jogged around the neighbourhood. He passed the wedding boutique and glanced briefly at the shop when suddenly he felt a pang. Would he ever get married? And if he did, would it be to Cristina?
Unlikely, since he had no idea how she really felt. There was no indication and she’d been very distant ever since she’d found out she was pregnant and even more so now Willow had been born.

Zackery sat down happily in the recording studio that afternoon. Hayley was working on her new album and they were taking a short break. The recording was going well and he had high hopes for this next album, especially as they were now able to meet more often, since he’s moved to the city.
He scanned his phone and saw no update yet for the progress of Can You Hear Me?. He was hoping he’d get picked up soon so he could work on his own content too. Working on music for Hayley was one thing but he had his own style. He was starting to feel creatively trapped.

After everything he’d been thinking lately, Daniel was knocked for six when Cristina phoned and asked him out to the Von Haunt Estate.
“I’ve missed you,” Daniel said as he wrapped his arms around her. “It’s been ages since I’ve seen you properly.”
“I know, I’m sorry. I’ve felt a bit bad about that.” She smiled and squeezed his arm. “Come on, lets walk and talk.”

“What made you suggest the estate?” Daniel asked as he took her hand. They began to walk through the grounds of the estate.
“Well I’m helping Simon and Caleb scout for wedding locations. This is on their shortlist and I wanted an excuse to come out and see it for myself.” She smiled. “I think it’s perfect.”

Daniel walked over to look at the arch. He couldn’t tear his eyes away from it as he watched the water from the waterfall behind go rushing into the stream below. “This is beautiful.”
“It is, isn’t it?” Cristina nodded as she came up behind him. “I think it’ll be perfect for Simon and Caleb.”
Daniel turned and hugged her. “Do you ever think about getting married?” he ventured.
She laughed. “No, not for ages yet!”

Cristina broke away and went over to take photos of the arch to show the guys later. Daniel watched her before turning to the fountain in the grounds. Digging deep in his pocket, he pulled out a penny and flicked it into the fountain. It spooked him how much he wanted to get married but now that it had crossed his mind, it wouldn’t go away. He only hoped that one day, Cristina would start thinking the same way. Screwing his eyes shut, he wished.

When she finished taking photos, Cristina took Daniel’s hand again and they walked back up to the house. Daniel was keen to wander around and see what the fuss was about.
“These are beautiful,” he said as he stared at the old paintings on the walls.
“They are.” Cristina squeezed his arm.
Briefly, Daniel wondered if he should say something. Today, he felt closer to Cristina than perhaps he ever had done before. Maybe it was time to talk about something serious, talk about what was happening between them.

“I’d better get going,” Cristina said. “I didn’t realise it was so late. I need to get back, Simon and Caleb wanted to go out tonight and they’re babysitting for me.”
Daniel’s heart fluttered and his stomach dropped. Another lost opportunity. “Okay. I’ll see you again soon though?”
Cristina smiled. “We’ll see.”
As he kissed her goodbye, he wondered if perhaps tonight had been the start of something. If it was, then only the sky was the limit.

3 thoughts on “A Trouble Shared

  1. Cristina is a hard nut to crack – I understand her and think she is wise to keep Daniel at an arm’s length – He’s too dreamy and controlled by whims and emotions?! I can’t really put it into words… but I think I get Cristina 🤔

    Liked by 2 people

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