My First Song by D.I. Jolly
Miles sat in the back of the room nursing his beer and waiting. It had been a good six months since the last time he was there, so what was a couple more hours? Besides, the bar was a nice enough place, comfortable seats, low light, good selection of drinks, and it beat spending those hours at home. Also, this way he could be sure he’d have a good place to sit with a clear view of the stage. Beside him sat Liz, the hallucination of a sixteen-year-old girl that lived in his head and not so quietly judged him for being a bit of a stalker.
“It’s creepy is all I’m saying. You just sit here alone, watch the show and then sneak off back home.”
“Lots of people do that, it’s normal and shhh.”
“Fine, but don’t get too drunk, anything that happens to your head also happens to my head and getting teenagers drunk is illegal.”
Miles turned a frown towards her but didn’t say anything in case someone heard him talking to himself and she stuck her tongue out at him. Although he knew that her telling him it was creepy was also, in a way, him telling himself, he also knew it personally. But couldn’t help himself, he couldn’t think of anywhere else he wanted to be, but also wasn’t sure if he really deserved to be there, or should be there. As the bar filled up, he slipped his earphones in subtly and turned on a track of white noise. It helped drown out the sound of the people and helped prevent his social anxiety from getting the better of him, forcing him to leave early. It also helped keep out the sound of everyone’s thoughts which Miles could also hear, and had no control over. As the time drew nearer, he let his nerves get the better of him and ordered a couple more drinks, which got a smile from the waitress and a disapproving glare from Liz. Then, just before she suggested they leave because his nerves were rattling harder than usual, the lights on the stage lit up, and the room fell silent. Quickly Miles pulled out his earphones and leaned forward waiting. The anticipation in the room was palpable and even people’s minds grew quiet. Then she walked on stage and Miles’ heart lifted and he remembered he could be brave and he could be charming and normal and deserved good things to happen to him. She moved across the stage and sat down at the piano and started to play, and then started to sing, and everyone in the room stared captivated. Tears filled Miles eyes as he watched and a long quiet sigh left his lips.
“Do you know why she always plays that song first?”
Liz asked quietly,
“Yes, but tell me anyway, hearing you say it gives me hope.”
Liz smiled a little sadly and turned to look at herself on stage.
“Because that’s the song you put on, on the first and only night we were together, and a part of her still loves it, and you.”
Miles’ mind filled with flashbacks of that night. The perfect night with the girl of his dreams which ended when his gift for reading minds leapt into overdrive and he absorbed an entire copy of her into his head, and how the shock had stopped his heart, and how he’d been afraid to even make friends with another person ever since, but he’d never stopped loving her, and their first song together.
“You grew up to be a beautiful woman Liz.”
Her eyes filled up with tears and they sat silently staring up at the woman on stage until the song was over and the room erupted into thundering applause and just before the second song started Miles let his anxiety of being around that many people and her get the better of him, and he slipped out into the dark of night, and went home.