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“Oh the blessed water, oh the blessed taste, I can't wait for the world to come to me. Oh the drunk man's daughter, living in my jeans, I am here with my words and company. Give me life illusion. Give me time confusion. Give me love solution. If the world's stuck on my back, God set me free. I must thank my father, for giving what I need; I've been loving in the walls of my dreams. So spill the holy water. Spill it over me, I must drink and cleanse my soul with anything. Give me life illusion. Give me time confusion. Give me love solution. If the world's stuck on my back, God set me free”, he sang with sheer rhythmic elegance.
There was something almost intoxicating about his voice, the way it raised with the notes then dropped two octaves below his normal range with a warming rumble as he sang into the microphone. He sat on a chestnut colored bar stool, guitar in hand, on the small blue stage we always used for open-mic night at the corner restaurant he and I were always hanging out at. He was my height, about five foot seven, with light brown scraggly hair naturally spiking up all over his head. His face had this gentle masculinity to it, a slight square chin and perfectly shaped nose with a medium sized forehead and protruding strong cheek bones. His eyes reminded me of the browning leaves of fall, still green but with hints of that deep wooden auburn shade mixed in. His name was Walker.
“Is it sounding any better?” he asked me with pure curiosity.
“It’s a whole lot better than it was before, but that G dim chord is sounding really bad when you mix it in with the rest of the song. It just stands out really bad; fix it.”
Walker and I were like Forrest Gump and Jenny except we got along better. We had known each other for over four years and kind of hit it off from the start even though our groups of friends were totally against it. Doesn’t mean it ever stopped us! Luckily it never did and luckily the music kept pouring out of his body like sunlight through the clouds on a slightly overcast day. I think it’s one of the things that helped him live as long as he did. Walker had a talent of just picking up one of his guitars and randomly playing something which he then wrote into a complete song in less than a couple days. He was a true prodigy and I felt so blessed to have him in my life.
I got up from my seat, that I had been sitting in for quite some time, and stretched which resulted in that mind swirling temporary headache that makes you weak. I collapsed back in the chair my hands on my head and noticed Walker standing over me, his shadow blocking the stages lights from my face. It was actually almost eerie, having this muscular eighteen year old standing over me whose skin is pale as snow. He was handsome and that attractiveness drew me closer and closer to his warm body that was leaning over me. His guitar was swung over on his back just hanging limp, wanting to be played again. But he ignored its request. Instead, he leaned in and kissed my forehead as if I was a little kid who did a good job on something. I shifted my head up quickly just in time to touch his lips with mine lightly. The movement startled him, I guess because I never actually kissed him before. His lips were warm but slightly chapped like a rock star’s. He looked me in the eye nervously as I stared back waiting for his next move. I wanted a true kiss, one of those passionate ones that you see in the movies that just sweep you off your feet. I felt so close to him and he to me, I yearned and did everything in my power through body signs to make him give me what I wanted. But he didn’t give it to me. He turned away back to the stage and began putting his guitar back in the case. I felt torn in two. I fought hard to hold back tears that were screaming to break the surface of my eyes. It was as if everything we had had the past four years had just tumbled down. I got up from the chair and went to the bar where no one had been today. I sat at the counter and kept my back turned from him and just let the tears flow easily down my cheeks. I could hear him fidgeting on the stage with the microphone and the other electronics. For someone who had spent the past four years with someone like me, being so close to each other, it just destroyed me that he would act this way.
I pulled away from the bar, grabbed my coat from the chair where he could see me. He looked up confused but uncaring at me. I refused to make eye contact with those eyes I used to think were so warm and loving.
“Where are you going?” he asked.
I left before he could ask any more questions and began walking in the cold night atmosphere of a Nashville winter.
“Annemarie!” he yelled out after me.
“What? What could you possibly want from me?” I yelled back without turning around.
I could hear him following me with a swift pace. I could feel his warm hand on my exposed shoulder and as he applied force to turn me around, I could feel his breath on my skin like a teasing whisper. He took my face in his hands and kissed me just like they do in the movies except that this was the real deal. I could feel my body getting filled up with warmth as he pulled me closer to him. Then when I thought he would do more, he stopped suddenly.
“Oh not again, Walker.” I complained.
“That’s enough for tonight. Walk with me.”
“Where?” I asked.
“To the stars, my dear.”
He wrapped his arms around me closely and breathed deeply. I could have almost fallen asleep then and there. But then he moved forward and as I followed by his side, together we walked down the sidewalk to the center of Nashville, leaving his guitar inside the restaurant for when we returned later that night.