"Are the words all true?"
"Of course. Completely."
But there’s no such thing as that anymore
- everything isn’t for her and hasn’t been for quite some time. his children cracked his heart wide open, creating space and light and joy where he didn’t even know it could exist like that. even his wife has a part of him that she never will. -
and he feels guilty when he sees her sad smile of acknowledgment. She knows it too. He hates watching the optimistic light in her eyes fade when she remembers (and she always does). And isn’t he meant to be regaining her trust? And how can he do that when he keeps spouting these half-truths and pretending everything is the same? Maybe it’s because they both know that these pretenses and roles are all that they can have now that they both embrace them so readily and emotionally.
"They’re beautiful," she says, her fingertips resting on the sleeve of his jacket. He wants to take her hand in his, claim it, but she pulls away when he catches her eye. "I should probably go home now. It’s late and Karen looks like she’s about to fall asleep over there."
He nods and hands her a copy of the tape. “If you want to listen again…”
She will. It’s not his ego speaking, he doesn’t think. He just knows that if she’d written a song about him, he’d want it close too. He’d spend far too long analyzing the damn lyrics, trying to understand what she wants from him, what she wants for them.
Not that what they actually want and desire really matters anymore when it’s all a complete impossibility. But it’s nice to have something to dream about. And when those dreams aren’t nice, when they torture him and prick his conscience and stir his heart, they at least inspire good music.
That’s what’s important, after all. He can’t have her but he can create because of her. Sometimes the result makes her smile genuinely, sometimes it causes her to blush furiously and sometimes it brings forth longing in her eyes and regrets in her words.
And he holds onto that. Because there’s not much else to hold onto.