d a m n a t i o n
The title and basis of this story is taken from the song, 'Eyes On Me'
by Faye Wong. It's sort of like a written form of a Music Video. No
infringement is intended. It is recommended that you listen to the song
when you read the story. Sometimes words can only do so much. Full Disclaimers
is the first of the Lyrical Ballads. It is a complete story in
Disclaimer: The title and basis of this story is taken from the song, 'Eyes On Me' by Faye Wong. It's sort of like a written form of a Music Video. No infringement is intended. It is recommended that you listen to the song when you read the story. Sometimes words can only do so much. Full Disclaimers found here.
This is the first of the Lyrical Ballads. It is a complete story in itself.
So here am I in this small, dingy room, spilling my heart out onto endless sheaves of paper that covered the makeshift table I created out of cardboard boxes. The alcohol in my system is causing a buzz in my head and my body no longer feels as much a part of this reality as it usually does. It seems fitting, somehow, for I could be the queen of castle building in the air.
Ironically, it was when I was building another one of those castles that something monumental of this reality occurred. I was sitting in a run-down bar near this run-down hellhole that I called home, half hidden in the shadows and nursing an awfully diluted beer, mulling over some words on my notepad when I was drawn inexorably towards the most beautiful sound I have ever heard.
It would be fitting to say that I was completely captured by it. Everything else was forgotten -- the endless questions in my head, the scene I was trying to put down on paper, the shitty place I was going home to. . . I just closed my eyes and let the beautiful sound fill my head and wash over me, trying but failing miserably to put into words the kind of sensation that ran through my being.
When I opened my eyes again, the owner of the sweet voice was gone.
I went down to the bar every single day after that, hoping that I would hear that enchanting voice and have it fill me with the wondrous sensations again. She would be there every night, occupying the small space on the stage and all of my attention.
On this particular night, she seemed so lonely, perched on the lone stool behind the microphone stand. Her eyes had a faraway look in them as she sang. Somewhere in the middle of the song, her voice broke a little. Strangely, a tide of emotions started building up in my chest during her performance. The sadness in her voice was evident; as was the lost look on her face. When our eyes met for a split second, my pulse raced. I had to gasp when the tenacious contact was broken.
Long after her song ended, I got up from my seat. The weight of emotions on my chest was significant. It hurt; but what a bittersweet ache. I was reminded of it each time I took a breath and it lingered deep into the night. No words were written that night; I had too much on my mind. I laid awake on my lumpy mattress and stared at the cracks and dust on the ceiling, running the memory of her voice in my head over and over as I soaked in the waves of sensation that came with it.
Dawn brought with it a compulsion to write. Two-dimensional characters soon came to life as I injected them with the breath of life my muse inspired in me. I wrote and wrote, taking short breaks only when I absolutely had to. Three days later saw me with the completion of my story. Yet, I felt it too private to be read by strangers and too self-indulgent to be called fiction.
Instead of catching up on my sleep, I went down to the bar with my manuscript in hand. I bought a mug of beer, sat myself in my usual place in the corner, and waited. Would I see her today? Was she still performing? Suddenly, I felt a growing sense of alarm at the possibility that I might never see her again.
My fears were quickly assauged when she came onto the stage. The amber light that fell on her dark tresses made her long hair look mahogany. It framed her face and cascaded down her back in gentle waves, caressing her lithe form. Not for the first time, I admired the beauty of her voice. But it was for the first time that I saw her as more than just someone who invoked the swirling mass of emotions within me. She was a living entity, not just a voice. She had a life and it did not only evolve around the stage she was on.
This time, she did not disappear from my world after her number was up. This time, instead of escaping backstage or wherever she normally went after her performance, she remained. This time, I did not get up from my seat to leave.
I allowed my eyes to track her as she went over to the bar. When she raised clear blue liquid to her lips, my eyes were on her. When she smiled her thanks to the bartender, a soft smile touched my lips as well. Then, she turned and our eyes collided with such an impact that I felt my breath knocked out of my lungs. After tearing my gaze away from her, I lifted my mug of beer to my lips and finished it. I got up from my seat, turned from her, and walked away.
I finally convinced myself that the papers I left behind were thrown away by the bartender instead of being read by her. I found myself on the familiar route to the bar again that night, needing something but not knowing what.
She was garbed in a glittering dress of the deepest blue, a startling contrast with her pale blue eyes. The amber light created an interesting play of shadows across her features. When her lips parted, I focused on the words that she carried with her clear, beautiful voice.
on this stage, on my own
I never said my words
wishing they would be heard
I saw you smiling at me I frowned
and my heart started to beat just a little faster. Then I shook my head
and pushed the silly thought of her writing and singing a song for me
-- an absolute stranger -- out of my mind.
I frowned and my heart started to beat just a little faster. Then I shook my head and pushed the silly thought of her writing and singing a song for me -- an absolute stranger -- out of my mind.
Same old songs, just once more
My last night here with you?
Maybe yes, maybe no
I kind of liked it your way At this
point, I could only wish that the song was for me. This songstress whom
I had no knowledge of had come to mean an absurd lot to me.
At this point, I could only wish that the song was for me. This songstress whom I had no knowledge of had come to mean an absurd lot to me.
so there you are
Shall I be the one for you
stood up and got off the stage. She had never done this before and it
unnerved me for some strange reason. I crouched deeper into the shadows,
feeling unnaturally exposed in the darkness.
She stood up and got off the stage. She had never done this before and it unnerved me for some strange reason. I crouched deeper into the shadows, feeling unnaturally exposed in the darkness.
let me come to you
And stay there as I whisper
it possible that she was walking towards me? I could do nothing but
stare, frozen to my seat, as the magnificent creature came towards me.
The few other people in the bar watched on with interest.
Was it possible that she was walking towards me? I could do nothing but stare, frozen to my seat, as the magnificent creature came towards me. The few other people in the bar watched on with interest.
so share with me
How can I let you know
look on her face, I knew that she had read my manuscript. I felt my
face burn as she stood before me, her eyes staring straight into my
By the look on her face, I knew that she had read my manuscript. I felt my face burn as she stood before me, her eyes staring straight into my soul.
so there you are
Shall I be the one for you
should not be here, singing in this run-down bar. She should be rich
and famous and the whole world should be so lucky to experience her
voice. A finger touched my cheek softly, a question asked by a slight
tilt of a head. My breath, along with my heart, was taken from me as
she returned to the stool on the stage.
She should not be here, singing in this run-down bar. She should be rich and famous and the whole world should be so lucky to experience her voice. A finger touched my cheek softly, a question asked by a slight tilt of a head. My breath, along with my heart, was taken from me as she returned to the stool on the stage.
"Chase?" I looked up at the sound of a familiar yet foreign voice. Familiar because I heard it all the time in my head; foreign because I have never heard it outside a tune. I nodded slowly at the woman standing before me, still garbed in her midnight blue dress.
"You left this here the other night." My manuscript appeared from behind her. I did not move to retrieve the papers, merely nodding again to agree with what she said. She gave me an uncertain look. "Don't you want it back?" she asked. I shrugged. Her voice sounded lower when she was not singing. It did not sound as emotional and that disappointed me.
She studied me for a moment. "I read it," she stated. It was something that I already knew; how else could she have known my name? "May I?" she asked, indicating the space beside me. I hesitated, then, nodded. Her perfume smelled like sunshine and fresh air and it made me lament that we were in such a dreary setting.
"You don't talk much, do you?" At that, I ducked my head, hiding the shame in my eyes and the awkwardness that I felt. I heard her gasp and flinched when she rested a hand on mine. "I'm sorry," she murmured. I peered at her from beneath my lashes, gave her a small smile, and shrugged. How could she have known that I did not speak?
"Chase?" she said my name again, making me smile. "The song that I sang earlier? It was for you." I lowered my eyes but my smile refused to go away. Remembering something, I frowned. I reached into my pocket for the pencil and notepad that I always had on me and scribbled something on it.
'Your last night here for me?' I wrote, referring to what she sang earlier. I felt my face turn crimson the moment her eyes scanned my scrawling handwriting. I was a writer; I should know all about poetic licence.
"Yes, well," she started slowly. "This is my last night singing here." My heart fell and I swallowed hard. "I'm thankful that you shared your dreams with me, Chase. I feel like I know you after reading what you wrote. It made me think. A lot." I felt like a fool. It was because of me that she was leaving. "My mother... she passed away not too long ago. I felt so lost after that..." she trailed off, looking as though she did not know why she was telling me all that. "Will you come with me?"
I frowned disbelievingly at her. Did I hear her right? This was the first time that we were conversing with each other and she wanted me to leave with her? She took a huge breath. "I know this sounds crazy. We don't know anything about each other..." I raised a brow at her and gave her a 'uh huh' look which she acknowledged with a small smile of her own. "But if you... if you don't have any obligations here, will you come with me?"
She was right when she said this sounded crazy. It was incredibly brave of her to make such a proposition, though. I wondered how big of a chance she must have taken to actually come over here and ask me that.
I shifted my notepad towards her. 'Where would we go?'
She shrugged. "Who cares? Somewhere. Anywhere. That's what you want too, right?" She had read me truly well. Was it so obvious? Would it be as obvious to another person if they read what I wrote?
'I don't have much to contribute' I scribbled after a long while.
"I'm not asking you to contribute anything!" she started vehemently. "I'm not asking you to pay for our way, if that's what you're thinking. And, if that's what you're thinking, I'm sorry that I even asked." I widened my eyes in alarm at her anger and pulled her arm to stop her from leaving.
'That's not what I meant. I just meant in terms of company... I don't speak. Remember?'
Her expression softened. "It's okay," she said softly. "I'll speak enough for both of us." I returned her smile. After a moment's consideration, I bent over my notepad again.
A secretive smile danced on her lips as she pondered the question. "You had your eyes on me," she said simply. Before I could scribble my opinion that almost everyone in the bar had their eyes on her, she added, "And, I had mine on you." All that she sang was true.