Just One Song - By Stacey Lynn
I stare at the girl with the dark blue eyes in the mirror and frown. My eyes used to sparkle with vibrancy, but they now look dull - almost lifeless. It doesn’t matter what I’ve done physically over the last fifteen months to grieve and begin building a life, I know that everything has been done without any heart behind it. I’ve looked at my face for the last year and noticed the change but for some reason, tonight I’m saddened by the dark circles just barely covered by make-up and the tiredness which surrounds me.
I tilt my head to one side and then the other, slowly, and narrow my eyes as if a change in the view will change what I see, but I know I’m fooling myself. I still look just as sad and tired. I pick up my mascara and hope a few coats of ultra-lengthening black will help and re-examine. It changes nothing.
I set my tube of mascara down a little too forcefully and exhale loudly at myself in the mirror.
“I’m so tired of this,” I say with a sigh to no one else besides the stranger in the mirror.
The girl in front of me with the pouty red lips and chocolate brown hair is a blurred image of the girl I used to be and I’m so tired of seeing her every day. I hate this girl – an outer shell of who I was who wears her despair all over her face. It’s written all over the sunken cheekbones and sad smile I’ve been wearing like a badge of honor and I’m sick of it. I don’t even know how it all started, but I’ve counted every day since the accident, checking off the days on a calendar mentally reminding myself that I’ve survived one more day in hell.
Twenty-eight days ago I decided to stop counting, and actually try living. Or doing something different, but I’ve only managed to make a few pathetic attempts at actually moving forward. But as I stand here getting ready for my weekly dinner with my best friend Mia, I realize I’ve had enough. It’s time to move forward…to live again.
I don’t know what it means, but I can feel something rise up in me from the depths of my soul…planting seeds of growth and hope that are dying to burst forth into something more alive than the shell it currently lives in.
Before I can think twice, I grab my phone and send a text message to Mia.
Change of plans. We’re going to Jack’s Bar tonight.
I can practically visualize Mia staring at the text with raised eyebrows, her light blue eyes as a big as saucers, and a slack jaw. She’s probably thinking I’ve lost my mind and I already know I’m in for a really long explanation when she picks me up tonight, but I’m determined to do this.
Mia: You sure?
Me: Get here before I lose my nerve.
She responds almost immediately.
Mia: Welcome back, girl. It’s about freaking time.
I don’t know if I’m back….I don’t think I can ever go back to who I used to be. But for tonight at least, I want to fan whatever fire has been lit inside of me.
I look back at the girl in the mirror and see a small glimmer of hope.
I leave the bathroom and shut the door quickly, hoping the girl doesn’t come with me. For just one night, I want me back. The old me who loves music and dancing and smiling and heaven forbid - actually having fun.
I stumble over my own feet as Mia and I walk into our old-time favorite restaurant and bar. The first thing I see is the stage. It sits empty right now, but it’s Wednesday and it’s early. It won’t be too long before some local band takes the stage. I briefly hope we’ll be done with our dinner by the time the music starts so I can head out before then, but then I shake my head at myself.
This is what I came here for. To take one step towards doing things I used to love instead of hiding and running from them. I feel the longing deep in my soul begin to sir as I remember how many nights I’ve played on this exact stage. I’ve denied this part of me for the last fifteen months. Cut it out with a dull spoon and threw it in the casket the moment they were buried because I refused to have anything