“I don’t love you anymore.
“Its not fair to you, and it’s not fair to me”, he continued on.
“I can’t pretend to feel something that’s not there. And the longer we stay together, the longer we’re preventing the right person from showing up.”
The girl pulled her eyes from his and directed them at the floor. She couldn’t look at him.
“I don’t want anyone else”, she said.
“I want you”.
She pulled out of the driveway and drove to the interstate, directing her vehicle in a daze.
What would life look like without him? What was the point?
She glanced at the cars moving alongside her. People sitting in their seats, eyes glazed over, driving their vehicles.
“They look so peaceful”, she thought.
She saw a guardrail next to the cars speeding along side of her.
“What’s waiting for me back home…whats the point”, she thought to herself.
She stared in front of her and gripped the wheel.
Her thoughts focused on the pain, inner remorse fluctuating daggers of warm memory.
Sadness is what she felt. A piercing pressure of irrelevance, a consuming pit of perforated pressure; her insides begging for relief.
She wanted to escape. She wanted so badly not to feel.
She gripped the wheel tighter and pressed her forehead against the frame.
The vehicle tilted towards the guardrail, wheels wobbling as the car hummed.
She pressed hard on the pedal.
Her tires encroached the road-side pivots and a loud screech sounded.
She grit her teeth and tried to cry. She focused on the pain. Embracing it, prodding it, directing it towards memory. Experiences she would never again share…
A phone rang and she pulled up, reflexively directing herself towards the center of the lane.
She glanced at the screen and answered the phone:
“Come home. I love you, your family loves you, and all of your friends love you. Come home…”
Her eyes moistened and a lump welled up in her throat.
She didn’t hear anything after that.
Tears began to flood and all she could do was feel.
She was numb the whole way home. One step in front of the other, she walked up to the guest room in her parents house. She lay down on the bed and closed her eyes,
“What am I going to do”, she thought as her mind relaxed into a dreamless sleep.
A seemingly undocumented amount of time passed. Each day was as difficult as the one before. She tried to talk about it, but it didn’t help. She blocked him from social media and got a new phone. She avoided places where they had been, friends they had known.
Even still, though, every morning his name would whisper into her subconscious and she would feel a punch in her gut. In those moments, her mind was commandeered from reality. All she saw, all she felt, and all she knew was longing…
She couldn’t escape the feeling. The idea. The all-encompassing reality: she was absolutely, intrinsically alone.
No one could save her, no one could help, and nothing mattered.
The girl she thought she knew was gone, lost in a haze of life experience.
Her life had led her to “him” and now there was nothing. No future worth having.
She sat on her driveway and cried.
Escape. Meaning. Purpose.
Her mind craved for something to believe in.
She looked out to the street, tears blurring her vision, when her phone resounded an unexpected ding.
“I think you’ll like this song.” (link to a YouTube video). -Ripley
She pulled the video up and pressed play.
The lyrics guided her thoughts towards feeling. She understood what she was saying, what message the artist was trying to communicate. She could feel her pain, her longing, her remorse. She could sense the significance of her melody, her harmony…
The music bumped rhythm in her heart and for the first time, she understood.
There were no words for it.
She realized then that she needed to do something with her pain, she wanted to find reason for the madness of mortality, and so…
she began to write.
A month later, she performed for the first time.
She was scared.
A month after that, she shared her first song on Facebook.
She was terrified.
Two months later, she started practicing with a band.
She wasn’t afraid.
And she realized…
It’s about knowing we’re going to die, and leaving nothing left to chance.
Sharing the grit, the pain, and the pursuit. A desperation in the form of music.
For the girl who wonders…
“Can I do it? Can I be great on my own?”
For the romantic who feels lost; looking for something, anything to believe in.
That’s what I need to do. I need to bleed myself on the page, and push my heart unto the stage. I need to self-destruct. I need to get it out. I need to sacrifice my vulnerability and embrace the fear.
The perceived judgement, the “idea” that what I have to say is “good” or “musical”…
I need to forget all of it and just feel.”
A year passed…
Her band stood on stage in front of another crowd, but she didn’t see any of them…
All she saw was him.
Their eyes met: hers on stage, and his in the crowd.
He smiled. She smiled. And she looked past him…
Her sight fell out of focus and the crowd dissipated.
She gripped the mic and felt for connection, she felt for courage.
She opened her mouth to sing, and for the first time in forever, she felt free.